Minna leads a small team of Strike Witches to prevent Neuroi rockets from bombing Kiel.
Episode 9 – “Minna’s Sky”
Strike Witches sets up the final story arc as the witches are at last on the road to Berlin. The Karlslander witches, Minna, Trude, and Erica, are the key players because Berlin is the capital of their homeland. Minna and Trude have extra motivation tied to how much longer they can fight as Strike Witches. They’re both nineteen years old and about to turn twenty, meaning they’ll lose their witch powers. Both these veteran Strike Witches need to take back Berlin from the Neuroi using their own powers. Revenge, loyalty, and patriotism are all connected to what motivates Trude and Minna to fight.
The main drama of the season is in full swing now, but that doesn’t mean Strike Witches will ignore any chances it has to make fanservice. Ursula, Erica’s nerdy twin, helps the audience with formulating jet fuel that melts clothing. Thank you, thank you, Ursula! Minna is a fanservice machine just being on the screen, so any story featuring her is going to be a treat. She’s also famous for her beautiful singing voice which Strike Witches used to full effect in an insert song. The road to Berlin has many entertaining rest-stops along the way.
Speaking of fanservice, this episode is the first one this season where Strike Witches blatantly used anime censorship techniques to hide beautiful body parts. We saw Minna covered in steam in the bounteous breast adventure, but it wasn’t clear (literally) whether she would have had nipples or too much butt crack showing. When Strike Witches first debuted in 2008, celestial rays of censorship didn’t leave much to the imagination, but those scenes still lured horny otaku to buy the disc boxsets. 2020 is a more socially conservative time for PG-13 anime broadcasts, so even showing fictional nineteen-year-old women taking steamy showers or hovering in jet fuel mist is a risky proposition. As a long-time Minna fan waiting for her star turn this season, I was hoping for more. I am curious to see (or not see) what the Blu-ray versions include for this season of Strike Witches.
The Karlsland Strike Witches have a nice chat while on patrol. They’re happy they’re finally on the road to Berlin, from Kiel instead of Antwerpen, but they’re moving. I’m happy we’re on the road to Berlin too… Uh oh. Minna looks like she’s starting to suffer from magic loss now. We’ll start seeing this happen to Trude soon enough too.
Hey, General Patton is ready to go! Ooh. Erica’s little sister Ursula is here too. She’ll have the crazy useless tech for Strike Witches jokes. Helmet gun. Hearing horns. Rocket Launcher. Trude likes that last one. Speaking of rockets, boom! The Neuroi attacked Patton’s tanks. This is a nice reference to the real Patton’s car accident during WWII.
Wolf, the Neuroi nest over Berlin, is the rocket launch site! Will Strike Witches make the rockets look like V2’s? The plan is to hit the rockets at apogee at its slowest. Oh! Ursula made jet Striker Units that don’t drain magic power so quickly. It’s a Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet, of course. The secret is the jet fuel mixed with Strike Witches’ magic. Uh oh. Lucchini likes mechanical things, but they don’t like her. That jet fuel is magic in other ways too, like creating fanservice out of thin air! This will be awesome by the end of the episode, I’m sure. Minna proclaims she’ll be the Komet’s pilot.
The Komet’s test flight shows the Strike Witches why it suits Minna’s powers the best. Her dimensional mapping sense lets her fly at supersonic speeds without diverting her focus to aiming weapons. Sonic boom! Dynamite ass! Got it. Minna looks tired, but it’s not related to the jet fuel mixture.
The truth comes out in the bath, as it usually does in Strike Witches. Trude accused Minna of already starting to lose her magic. Both feel the crush of a deadline weighing them down. Minna is desperate to pilot the Komet.
The eye catches feature Minna and how witches lose their magic with the tragic example of Mio. Minna graduating to long pants will be a sad day.
Ursula explains to the Strike Witches that Minna and the Komet will need to infiltrate Neuroi territory to get close enough to the rocket launches. Erica knows how to drive a truck. They’ll use the Autobahn at night to evade notice.
Erica is such a simple creature. She sleeps too much and complains about food. Her magic familiar in Strike Witches ought to have been a cat, not a dachshund, but that was too much overlap with Lucchini. Do dachshunds oversleep and make mountains of trash? Minna promises real coffee to Erica when they get back, which makes Trude angry because she tripped a death flag. Aw. Trude admires Minna’s gentle optimism. Ominous monster movie slash cut.
Strike Witches made the Wolf Nest over Berlin smart. Trude and Erica know how to beat the NX-30 Neuroi, but it’s still tough. The blue jet color of Minna’s magic reminds me of the great contrast witches have with the Neuroi red laser power. It’s way too early in the episode to celebrate. Yup. That’s a lot of rockets! Minna had a great back and forth battle and then she had a moment to choose self-sacrifice. Minna (voice actress Rie Tanaka) has a great singing voice too. Of course, Trude and Erica rescued her because Strike Witches always save each other. Trude is such a softie.
Strike Witches ruined, ahem, enhanced this awesome Karlsland sisterhood moment with accidental nudity. “Accidental!” Excellent job, Ursula! She’s the glasses-wearing yuri fan. Our self-insert! It’s a beautiful sight, yes, Ursula.
Next time, Shizuka sees a big aerial battle up close.