Brave Witches Episode 3: The 502nd Joint Fighter Wing
Hikari a cute!
Every week, Brave Witches continues to surprise. In fact, I’m surprised that I’m surprised. It’s bizarrely realistic, and even though I was perfectly aware of that going into this episode, it was still the case that very few of the scenes went the way I expected it to. It’s no longer just a case of Hikari not being like Yoshika – by now you would expect the protagonists to have some sort of worth or special ability that’s almost stereotypical of protagonists to have. And Hikari doesn’t have that – or at least, her one is actually useless for now. I didn’t expect her to save the day in the first of the two Neuroi encounters this episode by being able to immediately pinpoint the core using her magic eyes (clearly nor did the rest of the 502nd) but they went further than that – she almost died and needed to be saved again. As for the second, anyone who is even only vaguely familiar with storytelling would have anticipated that this encounter was where Hikari would prove herself – and she did, but she also didn’t. Her special magic wasn’t suddenly pulled out of her panties, and she contributed in a realistic way that falls in line with what we’ve seen of her abilities thus far. Kanno was still the one to kill the Neuroi in the end.
It’s good. I like this. It does make me wonder exactly how she will get good, because it would not at all be in line with the spirit of what they’ve shown us up until now if there was a timeskip and she suddenly improved without us seeing the efforts of her training. It’s also a little ironic that her reason for being unable to properly pilot the Chidori is that she lacks the requisite magical power to do so, because from what I remember Yoshika was the exact opposite and had Striker Units malfunction because she overloaded them with her magic. At least Hikari can eat and run faster than the rest of them.
World-building and character development both started happening this episode. I love Orussia, by the way – I loved it before, partly because of the tacky name and partly because best girl Sanya comes from there, but now that we’ve seen it I think the setting is really nice. I like how Silver Link put in the effort to show smaller details like the girls’ breath becoming visible in the cold. As for the various members for the 502nd, there’s still a whole lot to learn but we’re starting to get an idea of the dynamics between some of them.
I thought Georgette would be the new Lynette (she feels a bit like Hifumi except not as cute) but it almost felt like she wanted to maintain her distance from Hikari instead. Nipa (who is a little like Shirley) ended up being Hikari’s first friend. Of course, as I said last week what I really want is for Kanno to end up being her quasi-lesbian, special hand-holding friend, but that might take a little time. This might be an unpopular opinion, but her distaste was super cute this episode. Not that I’m going to condone it – she certainly doesn’t have to make noises every time someone mentions Hikari’s existence. And although it’s true that the 502nd need someone combat-ready at the moment, and just don’t have the time (nor the resources if Nipa keeps breaking Striker Units) to train someone up, there really was no need for her to be so bitchy about it. The rest of the girls came to the same conclusion but in a much nicer way – they said she wasn’t good enough, but they didn’t go out of their way to disparage her or criticise her for being weak or blame her for it. They just acknowledged that it was a reality, and that in the end she’s a student. Kanno should learn from them. They’re all cute girls, they should just get along!