Thursday, 9 September 2010

Strike Witches 2 - Episode 10

The 501st Joint Fighter Wing's recent saving of the battleship Yamato clearly hasn't gone unnoticed by those higher in the military food chain as episode ten of Strike Witches 2 begins - Although this allows Minna to submit her petition for the Witches to push on in defeating the Neuroi, it appears that they will have to return the favour by engaging in something of a publicity stunt by working together with a high-profile Witch for their next mission.

The girl in question is one Captain Hanna Marseille, another Witch from Karlsland who is already familiar with both Barkhorn and Hartmann as a result having fought alongside them both in the past. Unfortunately, this makes for an uneasy relationship between the competitive Marseille and Barkhorn in particular, as they not only come to blows but the former also refuses to work with the latter on their next mission, instead leaving Hartmann to pick up that particular task.

Unfortunately, that competitive streak displayed by Marseille is even more pronounced when up against fellow flying ace Hartmann, meaning that any hope of teamwork between the two is a remote possibility despite the best efforts of Minna to ensure that they work together. Come the day of the mission, even the normally placid Hartmann has been goaded into competing outright with her new comrade, although this doesn't actually seem to make any difference when it comes to defeating the Neuroi threat of this particular mission even if this rivalry spills over into the two shooting at one another after the battle itself is over.

As with the rest of its character line-up, Strike Witches has made the most of tying its new addition into actual Second World War history, with a clear nod to real-life pilot Hans-Joachim Marseille - a neat touch which is always an enjoyable bit of education alongside the frivolous nature of the series, although heaven only knows how fast these pilots would be spinning in their graves if they knew they were now only recognised as cute girls with animal ears and a penchant for not wearing pants. Anyhow, throwing another character into the mix also freshened up the episode somewhat as it offered up everything we've come to expect from the series - a couple of top-notch and well choreographed action scenes, a bit of personal drama between characters and an arbitrary discussion of breast size. It's just the kind of unique blend which makes Strike Witches 2 pretty fun to watch, so it's a case of mission accomplished on this occasion I would say.

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