Help! I’m in love with Nipa!
Sorry, but why is Brave Witches so good? I’ve long become captivated by and reliant on it to a surprisingly concerning degree, and I’m just trying to figure out when exactly I started feeling this way. My symptoms are getting worse every week. I almost died when HS never appeared and before I found the CR release – I felt like a drug addict who was abruptly told by their dealer that they wouldn’t be supplying anything for the next week. Even when I woke up yesterday morning, I didn’t think to myself that it was Wednesday and that therefore Brave Witches was today. Instead, in my head it was Brave Witches day that so happened to also be a Wednesday.
This episode was fantastic. It was a wonderful experience and I feel like the depths of my soul have been cleansed. It’s kind of like an iyashikei effect I never expected. I finally understand what Petersburg in Orussia reminds me of: Neo-Venezia in winter! It was a conclusion I came to after musing for a few minutes on what exactly it was about this town that I found so familiar (a bit like what Sasha went through). Not only in terms of the architecture, but also its general feel and atmosphere – if you take away the existing Neuroi threat, it’s a picturesque and idyllic (albeit empty) town. It’s interesting that the episode stressed that it was essentially abandoned, because it wasn’t ever something I gave a lot thought to. Of course, it makes sense in hindsight, and I’m sure I’d be able to confirm this if I browsed through past episodes, but it was weird to consciously realise that the town was actually empty apart from the 502nd and presumably their military support staff (and some unnamed but potentially plot-worthy ground Witches). The 501st always did have bases that were pretty far out from inhabited areas.
There was one thing the episode did wrong, however. When its writers were given their guidelines on what they were supposed to achieve with the episode, fairly high (if not the highest) on the list must have been to make us all fall in love with Sasha. I succumbed to Nipa instead. She was already fairly high on my best girl list (just behind Kanno and Rossmann, whom I was seesawing between as an undecided up until now) but there was a final push missing that I didn’t think would happen because she’d already been introduced properly (and therefore wouldn’t get too much attention for the next few episodes, so I believed). This episode was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Nipa is the softest and the comfiest. Even her name is comfy to say out loud. NIPA. Hugging Nipa must be like hugging the softest and warmest cloud (if clouds weren’t just vapour). I don’t even care about lewding her, even though I easily could if I wanted to. Nipa is not for lewd. Nipa is strictly for snuggling and lap pillows. Also marriage. Why are girls from Suomus and Orussia just so top-tier? Sanya, Eila and now Nipa. Oh, and Sasha too. She’s like the stressed and competent onee-san type that’d be really fun to tease (so long as that doesn’t extend to drawing unexplained ladybugs on her stuff).
As interesting as her development was (and I know the feeling of moving away from somewhere you lived during childhood and coming back years later as an adult only all too well) what I was really impressed by were the alley chase scenes. Those were on point. Really brilliant. Neuroi encounters in the sky are the norm, and so unusual situations like this serve as some great diversity – I wonder whether that’s something this series plans to explore further? Not only can the Neuroi manipulate the atmosphere, now they can also disguise themselves, transform and work in tandem to deliver crippling blows that were actually did detrimental and disruptive damage to the 502nd. It feels like they’re getting smarter (and certainly smarter than the ones in Strike Witches) which is a little weird when you consider when exactly in the timeline this is taking place. Maybe the Orussian Neuroi are just better, much like Orussian girls. Although that means if there’s a nest in Suomus, it must be absolutely terrifying.
P.S. It was Georgette’s birthday yesterday! Happy belated birthday, Georgette!