Tag Archives: Strike Witches

Strike Witches 2 – The Pantsless Dream

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

We live, as the Chinese would have it, in interesting times. No, let us be more frank than that. We live in absurd times. As the BP oil spill continues, as North Korea makes warlike noises despite warnings from nearly every other civilized country with an interest in the matter, as the men from Union Carbide get off with 2 years in jail for the deaths of over 10,000, it is evident that lunacy is the order of the day.

What better time than now to release an absurd show? And how much more absurd does it get than Strike Witches, a show about pantsless magical schoolgirls who put on robot parts and nekomimi to fight for their countries?

Accepting absurdity is not easy.  Some people may complain that, for instance, a blacksmith should wear some pants. But this is the old way of thinking. These standards of believability have already been dealt a mortal blow! In fact, anime has already visited the topic of magical blacksmithing in great detail, and not only is it OK to smith without pants, it is OK to do so without hammer, anvil, quenching liquid, or even fire!  Magic has supplanted all of these. The Strike Witches already engage in life-and-death combat without pants; compared to that, why should the entirely controllable rigor of blacksmithing compel them to don pants?

Do not hesitate: he who hesitates is lost. Do not fear: we have nothing to fear but fear itself, and recursion is utterly passe. Stride forth boldly, and embrace the future!  Dare to dream of a pants-free world!

Of course, it’s possible – just possible – that I’m biased in my assessment. I mean, I’m not wearing any pants.

Funimation’s English “Strike Witches” Trailer…

…is actually pretty amusing, I have to admit. This is how you sell a show that might encounter a skeptical audience here for various reasons. Including characters not wearing any pants. Moe anime tends to be popular in the blogosphere but less so when it comes to actual DVD sales and so it’s understandable that they’ll have to take a different tack.

I can only imagine what an English ad for Queen’s Blade might have to be like.

(HT: Janaiblog)

New York Anime Festival 2009 Day 1

NYAF Video, Day 1:

Moritheil‘s liveblog of the New York Anime Festival, Day 0:

  • 11:44 Attention New Yorkers: Moritheil walks among you. #nyaf #
  • 12:19 @misuzulive Wow, how far are you driving to come to #NYAF? (Cars. NYC. Brave soul!) #
  • 12:22 Tonight we dine in . . . Hell’s Kitchen? #nyaf #
  • 12:55 Darnit, people in the hotel lobby are talking about plans to meeet with @animevice and I can’t place them! Who are youuuu #nyaf #
  • 13:40 @s0nified hahaha, where precisely are you? #nyaf right? #
  • 13:41 @hisuiRT I’m sure they were going to! One of them nodded at me and I smiled back but they didn’t say anything. Awkward otaku silence! #
  • 13:42 @narutakiRT I’m a little shaky on the chronology involved. Are you going to the preparty as well, or just the movie? #
  • 13:46 @animemiz Let me know if you’re about :) #
  • 13:47 @omonomono So, we meet again! :P #
  • 13:48 @s0nified This just goes to show – no place is safe! :P #
  • 13:48 Ni-pah, Yaan, Au, Fuwa-Fuwa (#NYAF) digg.com/u1D3It #
  • 13:55 Nobody draw! RT @petertatara: 40,000 officers on the street because of the UN. I’m running an event filled with kids with swords. #nyaf #
  • 13:57 @AA_TheHaisho That’s the spirit! :P #
  • 14:04 @VamptVo Hey, are you in town today? Going to the preparty or anything? Doing dinner? :D #
  • 14:07 @VamptVo Understandable. I’ll see you tomorrow, then, probably :) #
  • 14:21 @narutakiRT I see. I’m going to the party; I’ll see how tired I am after and decide if I can stay awake for the movie :) #
  • 14:33 @omonomono Cool. I’ll look for you when I get there. #
  • 14:49 I’m wearing jeans and a shirt with rainbow afterimages. You can talk to me. Really. #nyaf #
  • 15:05 Guy in a suit just started chatting me up. nothing to do w/anime. I’m too approachable! #
  • 16:08 delicious cake is delicious. #nyaf #
  • 16:13 w/ @omonomono, @animemiz, @kransomwastaken. #
  • 17:37 Rapid search for Yui Makino merch: failed. Trying the dealer room tomorrow. #nyaf #
  • 17:39 Fabled NY bookstores, you have let me down. #

Moritheil‘s liveblog of the New York Anime Festival, Day 1:

  • 05:49 #NYAF weather: 63 F now, 41 F tonight. Can you believe that?! #
  • 05:54 I heard 6 AM. RT @OutOfTimeProd: The #NYAF autograph ticket line for Yoshiyuki Tomino begun at 7am, maybe earlier. Signing is at 7pm. #
  • 06:01 #NYAF #followfriday @princetrunks @ronaldhennessy @petertatara @jlhls @omonomono @debaoki @vamptvo @s0nified @hisuiRT @narutakiRT @PatzPrime #
  • 06:14 Bandai’s PR guy is staying at the same hotel as me. Huh. #nyaf #
  • 08:44 You will know me by my tachikoma shirt! #
  • 08:45 Hanging out w/ @sbrblurb. Come say hi! #
  • 09:02 Number of compliments on my @jlist shirt: 3 #nyaf #
  • 09:04 Cosplayers! Come forth! My camera is ready! #nyaf #
  • 09:22 Just met @Yuricon, who dropped tantalizing hints about the next Yuricon. #
  • 09:25 Note @sbrblurb is wearing a pedobear getup. It’s easy to spot us! #nyaf #
  • 09:56 Had a hilarious conversation with @animealmanac about the finer points of bathroom photography. #nyaf #
  • 09:57 Dealer’s room is setting up. Took video but can’t get in yet. #nyaf #
  • 11:00 Just saw an MTV agent try to recruit some cosplay girls. #nyaf #
  • 11:29 Shook hands with @mpinto prior to his panel. Ganbatte! #nyaf #
  • 11:31 #nyaf @animevice arrived fashionably late – just on time for her own panel. #
  • 11:33 Correction: that fine gentleman is @michaelpinto. Ganbatte! #nyaf #
  • 12:45 Interesting advice from @animevice. Now for Tokyopop. #nyaf #
  • 12:47 @debaoki I’ve heard good things about Chorus. :) #
  • 13:03 @edsizemore whoops, just saw your tweet. I guess you know what I look like now :) #
  • 13:05 OK, why are we at #nyaf looking at clips from SDCC? Is this a metajoke, Tokyopop? #
  • 13:06 www.Tokyopop.com/ramenflavor #nyaf #
  • 13:11 Haha, 1 out of 50 ppl recognized the Joss Wheadon film Tokyopop is adapting to manga. #nyaf #
  • 13:18 Nice catch by @debaoki as to who published what manga. #
  • 13:20 “Not just boobs, MILK coming out of boobs!” Oh, Tokyopop. #nyaf #
  • 13:37 Audience member just called out Tokyopop on declining amounts of Japanese content. #
  • 13:42 Hey neat, I won a shirt. Full disclosure! #
  • 13:44 Tokyopop is now 20% non-Japanese content. #nyaf #
  • 14:17 In the giant blogger katamari ball by Tomino. #nyaf #
  • 14:23 Tomino moved to bigger room; line chaos ensues. #nyaf #
  • 14:25 Tomino has struck a victory pose. The crowd is roaring in approval. #nyaf #
  • 15:19 Tomino conducted himself with great dignity and gave a high-level speech. #nyaf #
  • 17:07 Tomino is the man. Nodded in approval, posed for a photo. #nyaf #
  • 17:09 #nyaf Met the @hinano / @jpmeyer gattai. w/ @vamptvo and 17 other bloggers for Cencoroll. #
  • 17:14 Too many bloggers to list them all. @wildarmsheero rocking the Strike Witches gear. @starcreator w/@wootshirt. #nyaf #
  • 18:46 Cencoroll was very neat. Very condensed. #nyaf #
  • 18:51 @mightyatom That WAS you! I wasn’t sure. #
  • 20:52 @mightyatom I was with a ton of bloggers outside Cencoroll, and I was like – that hair! It’s her! I yelled at you but you didn’t respond :/ #
  • 20:54 @mightyatom Then I thought, “Maybe I just didn’t get a good look; it could have been someone else.” You were moving pretty quickly. #
  • 22:49 #NYAF 2009 Karaoke Showdown! digg.com/u1D8JX #
  • 22:58 @mightyatom Holy crap, you missed Tomino? Well, I have some HD video for you. #

Strike Witches: The Evil Without

In our roundtable discussion on whether or not anime is art, Ray brought up an excellent point about that infamous scifi-fantasy-loli-pantsu fanservice vehicle, Strike Witches.  To wit, though the show has actual fodder for intellectual discussion, the mere fact that it shows school girls in a permanent pantyshot state renders this moot for the vast majority of viewers.  You cannot rehabilitate such a thing, the argument goes.  No amount of light will overpower this darkness.

Gaze into the abyss!

Nevertheless, with licensing confirmed for S1 and a second season reportedly on the way, an attempt should be made to see just what is good about this show.  And so, with both eyes open – fully cognizant of the anti-intellectual properties of the show – let us try to find some spark of creativity inside.

Continue reading Strike Witches: The Evil Without

Strike Witches 8, 9 – Well, at least it’s trying…

And with Tanaka Rie’s performance, it just look so much better.

(I’ve been doing summary, but there are other blogs that review raw, so go look them up. I ain’t gonna waste my time for no reward.)

In any event, the high ups in the military is hiding something about the neoroids, and at this point, it’s quite clear that these may be just alien creatures trying to reach out to people, or even have something to do with the existence of witches.

What’s commendable is Tanaka Rie’s performance as Mina. She’s strong and together on the outside and vulnerable on the inside with a great range of emotions. She makes a silly moe show sounding like a serious drama.

Miyafuji discovers that the “enemy” may not be so enemy like after all, but like any classic drama shows, her comrades clearly don’t think that way.

However, it is obvious that the higher ups in the military knows something about these supposedly savages that these poor girls don’t.

Perhaps the humans attacked them first? That’d be an old plot, but it’s probable.

I obviously don’t recommend this show to sensitive people who hates moe with a passion, but for people who are open minded and love great seiyuu performance, I definitely recommend episodes 8 and 9.

Rie-sama, sugoi!

2 in 1 review – Nogisaka sitcom (Nogosaka ep 04) and Pantsu kudasai + no pants please (Strike Witches ep 05)

Turn...
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Perhaps I’ve been too lenient and just not cynical enough, I mean, why should I give these 2 shows – Nogisaka Haruka no Himitsu and Strike Witches – a specific review for each? So, I’ve decided to combine their reviews into one.

Let’s go with Nogisaka first.

Continue reading 2 in 1 review – Nogisaka sitcom (Nogosaka ep 04) and Pantsu kudasai + no pants please (Strike Witches ep 05)

Strike Witches TV series 03 – this is why today’s anime has no soul!

Where is the running/training on the beach? Where is the oneesama running up the stairs wearing iron geta (sandals)? Where is the necessary dead first love to inspire our heroine? Where is the atmosphere? Where is the powerful drum music? Where are the stand out characters?

Continue reading Strike Witches TV series 03 – this is why today’s anime has no soul!

Strike Witches: Delightfully Crazy

Do you remember that episode early on in Welcome to the NHK where Satou and Yamazaki are sitting in a cafe in Akibhabara, trying to come up with a main character for their eroge? Remember after being immersed in the Otaku Holy Land, Satou basically threw every single gal-game cliche at Yamazaki, who’s furiously sketching as Satou suggests a half-alien maid-robot with cat ears who is a childhood friend and is possessed of a spirit of a fox and…

Well: take that idea. Give them a high budget–a very high one. Give it a genuine classical music soundtrack (Rachmaninov’s 18th Variation on a Theme by Paganini in this case), a serious war story, and add WWII-style dogfight sequences. Add fan service.

What you get is what you see above–Strike Witches, an upcoming OAV. Every single moe convention seems to be thrown into this one, as well as mecha drama, and even more–it works. It’s beautiful to look at and even, at the end, a little stirring, which is far beyond anything I expect from this genre. This is an 8.5 minute triumph. It shouldn’t work, but it dang it, it does. I watched slack-jawed at the sheer audacity, ridiculousness, and delight that went into this production.

I must watch the full length episodes of this when it comes out. Now.

HT to my friend moritheil for introducing this to me.