Thursday, 12 August 2010

Strike Witches 2 - Episode 6

In what is rather a change from recent episodes, this sixth instalment of Strike Witches 2 wastes little time in getting down to the core (ho ho, do you see what I did there?) of its action, with Eila doing her bit to impressively pick off a large number of Neuroi drones. But what is controlling them? Oh, only a 30,000 metre high monolith of sorts...

Of course, this kind of altitude is way beyond the normal range of a Striker Unit, so it's time to return to base to formulate a plan involving the use of rocket boosters to reach the required altitude; a tricky affair, given that these boosters eat up magic at a vast rate. Sanya is chosen as the best member of the squadron to take on this mission, but she still needs a second person to travel with her to act as her defensive shield. Eila is naturally the first to volunteer, but is turned down in favour of Miyafuji as she's never actually used a shield in battle on account of her ability to see slightly into the future, which renders it unnecessary for her in normal combat.

Eila refuses to take this decision sitting down, but her attempts to learn how to use a shield prove to be abortive in the extreme, and on account of her giving up so easily a rare argument and falling out develops between herself and Sanya. Of course, we can't have such falling outs within the world of Strike Witches, and thus Eila redeems herself at the last in what is actually a genuinely rather sweet moment (helped along by a pretty decent insert song) as she takes Miyafuji's place and succeeds in protecting Sanya as she completes her mission.

After a few episodes where the Neuroi threat was more of an after-thought than the main course, this episode was actually all the better for centring itself around a military problem which needed to be solved. Of course, this was largely little more than an excuse to bring the relationship between Eila and Sanya into focus, but given its backdrop and the way it panned out it worked well to make for an entertaining episode that was actually enhanced by its inevitably happy ending. Add in some nice touches like the use of a bouncing bomb during the episode to continue those deliberate World War II parallels, and this series continues to keep on trucking without losing itself too deeply in the mire of fan service for the sake of it.

No comments: