Operation Southwind against the Wolf Neuroi nest over Berlin begins with a huge aerial battle. Yoshika and Shizuka both play prominent roles.
Episode 10 – “Shizuka, Come In!”
Strike Witches makes rooting for your favorite witches easy when it’s time to fight the Big Bad Neuroi. The previous episodes finished making all the little enhancements to their characters’ development, relationship bonds, and emotional motivations, so the entertainment stakes are as high as possible just before dramatic plot points make us worry for their safety and psychological wellbeing. War is hell, but it’s better when cute magical girls in animal ears, no pants, and thigh-high flying boots come out the other side and hug each other.
The Big Boss Neuroi of the Strike Witches’ third season maintain their toughness and creativity. The first couple of episodes raised our expectations of how the Karlslander Neuroi operate and this Wolf Neuroi over Berlin met them. The fight isn’t over yet either, so there will be even more innovative tactics and machines to look forward to.
Shizuka’s character makes a great partner in discovering how the entrenched Wolf Neuroi fights. Part of the game of defeating the red laser shooting enemy in Strike Witches is locating the core to make the killing blow. The big bomber-type Neuroi misdirected Shizuka into looking for the core in the same place as a previous bomber to set up a trap. That’s sneaky! It’s also in character to how the Karlsland Neuroi have fought since Yoshika encountered that Iceberg Neuroi at Antwerpen. Strike Witches made the fight for Berlin extra tough with an entertaining enemy.
I like how Strike Witches makes slight fun of Yoshika’s never-give-up attitude. Her friends in the 501st always complain about her not following orders when she’d rather rescue them in a grandiose display of self-sacrifice. I keep making remarks that she just needs a broken pipe in her hand to bash the Neuroi. Even the public knows her reputation, enough so that it’s a point of exclamation in a newspaper article that “the famous Miyafuji actually went straight home, for once,” when explaining how well an aerial battle went. Everyone loves Yoshika in Strike Witches. Deservedly so.
The Karlsland witches are so ready for Operation Southwind. The presentation slides are adorable. That is so totally Yoshika flying at the core. Oh, that’s why it’s Yoshika. She’ll push her big shield to the core for the other Strike Witches. Uh oh. Shizuka will have separation anxiety away from Yoshika.
Ha. The B-17 bombers hold the Strike Witches like a bomb payload. Patton likes watching explosions. The Wolf Neuroi looks like a top hat UFO. Yoshika’s big shield is… big. Minna suspects something. It’s a trap! Come on. The Berlin Neuroi made a Berlin Wall. With frickin’ lasers! The American, uh, Liberion Generals now understand Yoshika at full power. Respect. Ugh. The Wolf just made destroying its core much harder.
The Strike Witches will need to come back for round two. The Generals prioritize saving Yoshika’s magic. This is an impossible mission — prevent Yoshika from fighting. They should have just handed her a broken pipe and dropped her on top of that bomber. No magic? No problem. Yoshika smash! Oh well. It’s time for Shizuka to shine and prove her worth. She got the big one! Nice catch, Shirley.
The eye catches show how Operation Southwind changed and Shizuka watching the Neuroi walls come down.
Yoshika is happy to show Shizuka’s picture on the front page of the newspaper. Too bad it’s all propaganda. The Strike Witches have teatime in Minna’s office. I just noticed that the Kaiser’s Iron Cross citation for the Strike Witches is on a striped pair of teeny panties. Lucchini asks Shizuka the right question: “How did you make Yoshika do what you said?” Yoshika has a reputation. She’s a barely constrained dog of war!
Patton likes punching cans of motor oil. It looks like it’s back to the original plan for Operation Southwind. Some big tank and special Striker Units for Yoshika. I don’t like how those cannons are red. Did they appropriate Neuroi technology again? Because it’s worked so well in the past Strike Witches seasons… Yoshika will need to conserve her magic until it’s time for her part in the final operation. Death flag tripped! Just in time for another Neuroi attack.
Another big bomber. Shizuka sees a resemblance with the smaller bomber she defeated. Will it have the same weaknesses, though? Strike Witches gives us another smart Neuroi. Its little drones were radio jamming chaff. And the core isn’t hiding in the same belly box as the other one. It’s a trap! Ouch. Shizuka lies in a pool of blood on that bomber’s wing. Things don’t look good for Kiel.
And Yoshika’s gone. Did she find a broken pipe to swing around? Patton swears, “Got dam!” Yoshika will show those three Karlslander witches how to make a shield. There goes all her magic again. Youch. Shizuka will need stitches on that deep cut. If Strike Witches wanted to make you hate the Neuroi more, they just did, because they put a big scar on Shizuka’s lovely upper thigh. Shirley gets her hero moment. That bomber’s core was in a totally different spot than the smaller one. Perrine didn’t mind getting frizzy hair to find it. Blammo!
Oh dear. Shizuka will blame herself for Yoshika draining all her magic power. Lots of drama left for the last two episodes.
Next time, the Strike Witches episode title is “Road to Berlin.” It took eleven episodes to match the show’s title.