Brave Witches Episode 5: Deadly Battle in the Freezing Cold

That was reckless.



screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-03-21-13A lot of real-world stuff has happened during my years as a writer here. And throughout it all, I haven’t been one to let political discourse take me off-track from the Chinese cartoons that I’m supposed to be focusing on instead. But I will say that today was a sad day. Which, in turn, makes it a great day for injecting myself with Brave Witches before sleeping. I take comfort in the fact that, no matter what happens in reality, cute anime girls will always be an important part of my life. Cute things are actually the best. I hope I never lose sight of that. But seriously, I had to blow through (i.e. start actually watching) my entire stock of Shuumatsu no Izetta to tank the pain. I’m glad I saved it for a rainy day – it was really good. I know Eva’s stopped blogging it, and I also know that interest in it has diminished since its first few episodes, but I think it’s great. It’s exactly the sort of quaint, historical military-focused genre that I said I loved in a comment not too long ago. It’s charming, yuritastic and just a little bit lewd, which combined makes it so within my strike zone that it’s a little scary. The only way it could get more perfect is if there were lolis.

screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-03-22-28Anyway. Brave Witches. It’s long since dawned on me that the coming few episodes will be all about Hikari figuratively sleeping her way through the 502nd and making friends with them all, which is fantastic because we really need to know more about the girls who aren’t Kanno and Nipa (as cute as they are). Sadako is a perfect example – until now we only knew her as the cook, but today we learned that she’s great friends with Georgette, is from a part of Fusou that Hikari can relate to and has been conflicted about her role and place in the 502nd and whether she’s as good a Witch as she thinks she has to be. These episodes are run by Hikari but they aren’t about Hikari at all – they’re about the people she’s with. We also finally found out why Georgette has been acting the way she has been around Hikari. It was pretty obvious that she found something uncomfortable about her, no matter how much they tried to deny it. Her guilt about not saving Takami must have been quite deep, but I have to admit I don’t really see much force in her argument – because she did save Takami. Georgette should be more optimistic and positive about herself! Actually, to an extent that applies to Sadako too. Hikari must have been so confused when she heard that, because the chances of Takami being in a worse state than she currently is would have been much higher if Georgette wasn’t there. She literally did nothing wrong – Takami will be so proud when she wakes up and sees what Hikari has become, and that’s much preferable to the alternative that she never wakes up at all. Both Sadako and Georgette need Kanno to knock some self-confidence into them. By the way, wasn’t Kanno was just too cute being the first one into her Striker Unit? I want to hug her and hold onto her while she angrily protests until she reluctantly returns my hug.


screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-03-20-41I found the Neuroi fight more interesting than anything else. My first question was: is what was done actually possible? I mean, we have no idea what Neuroi are even made of, but Neuroi material can be shattered by bullets and so it’s not impossible for heat to do so as well. I’m no scientist, but it felt weird to see the Neuroi crack in lots of places that quickly even if (as I understand it) the quick transition from a cold to hot temperature causes so much stress in the material that it can’t take it anymore. My second thought was that a Neuroi doing unorthodox things reminds me of some of the stuff in Strike Witches that was never explored to its fullest – things like human-shaped Neuroi or Neuroi brainwashing warships. At first I thought the one today could suddenly use elemental magic, but it makes sense that it’s merely manipulating the cold air over Orussia (of course it would be Orussia) in such a way that it causes blizzards. If future Neuroi attacks take advantage of the weather over Orussia, this could be a serious problem for the 502nd given that they can’t get anywhere close without their Striker Units and themselves both freezing over. I kept thinking Hikari would melee the Neuroi to death after she lost her gun, but that would not only reveal the Contact Eye but also get her killed because she’d freeze over before she can touch it. It really was a dangerous episode, and you really don’t tend to feel that in this franchise – well, I suppose Takami did something similarly dangerous in the first episode, but in Strike Witches I only really remember the True Reppuzan and Yamato episodes involving risk where it actually felt like something was at risk. Both were finales as well. Hikari was so reckless I was genuinely scared she was going to get hurt or worse. Every single one of her battles so far has made me fear for her safety. I’ve learned my lesson, her plot armour is literally as thin as her panties.



I love cute things.

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6 Responses

  1. Each week this show just proves how much more enjoyable and solid it is in comparison to its predecessor–which I’m still enjoying, just Operation Victory Arrow 3 and the Movie left!

    I suppose even the Neuroi have to obey physics at a certain point and this wasn’t one of those particularly hard-to-crack ones in terms of armour to begin with, so I can see how the intense cold could’ve made it frail enough to submit to an explosion made from tank-grade fuel and combustibles. They’re also very animal-like, so while they make surprises advances and tactics at times, I’m sure they’re even more prone to just barely meeting requirements and having almost too much confidence in their regeneration (who knows if that’s even an original trait!).

    That aside though, this was definitely my favourite Neuroi and takedown yet, as cool as the hook-line-and-sinker plan in Operation Victory Arrow 2 was. As a final note on the old cast, could it be that Sadako’s teacher was Mio (Must. Resist. WIKI!)? “There’s nothing a Witch can’t do” is ‘her’ saying as I know it, unless she learned that from someone else who uses it often.

    I definitely look forward to learning more about the cast’s past and seeing how they grow in the future. Seeing Rossmann call out our “fake countess” was a real treat, though, the energy she put into those gestures of disapproval was unexpected! On the other hand I quite like Gundala’s lack of energy in a sense. And last but not least, yes, Kanno continues the tried-and-true thawing tsundere technique.

    • Oh and I forgot to mention this last week (pixiv[.]net/member_illust[.]php?mode=medium&illust_id=59790333) but I wonder if someone will commemorate this battle just like Hikari’s first official fight with the squadron :D I guess this week’s would be considered her first real team battle despite having been with the whole group last week in which they all kind of did their own thing.

      • Vantage says:

        That’s beautiful. I don’t often browse Pixiv for leisure, but every once in a while I’m reminded that there are some seriously great artists on there who can produce seriously great pieces.

    • Wanderer says:

      ” As a final note on the old cast, could it be that Sadako’s teacher was Mio (Must. Resist. WIKI!)? “There’s nothing a Witch can’t do” is ‘her’ saying as I know it, unless she learned that from someone else who uses it often.”

      Sadako and Mio were both stationed in Libau, just like Takami and Rall and many other characters.

      • Vantage says:

        There needs to be a spin-off detailing the events of Libau, if there isn’t already!

        Also, I’ll probably do a double post (last week and this weekend’s) for Strike. I intended to get it out sometime this week, but… stuff happened and suddenly it’s Friday. I’ll find some time. I’ll do it for Rinne.

    • Vantage says:

      I still need to watch all of Operation Victory Arrow. It’s interesting that you prefer Brave Witches to Strike Witches – I take the opposite view (for now) but I’m very conscious that it’s a nostalgia thing. I’m sure I would have reacted differently to much of what I first watched in 2007 or 2008 if I’d only watched them now! For series really dear to me like Zero no Tsukaima, watching them for the first time today would just make me tired of the cliches that in reality they were the amongst the first to popularise.

      It recently dawned on me that if manipulating physics like that is a possible route, then as dangerous as it could get for the 502nd it could be a benefit for them too given that they know how to deal with it. It’s most likely always that cold in Orussia, if not even colder.

      Rossmann is cute! And Rall is cute too! Everyone is cute!!!

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