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Strike Witches S2 Episode 8

August 26, 2010

After all of the nonsense of the last episode of Strike Witches 2, we were certainly due some more serious fare from episode eight of the series and as soon as it became clear that we were skipping the normal opening credits it seemed that those prayers were answered and that this latest instalment would deliver.The episode begins with Sakamoto practicing her Reppuzan; a practice session which Miyafuji walks in on and pleads to be taught this ability for herself in the hope that it would shorten the war against the Neuroi. Unsurprisingly, Sakamoto refuses on account of Yoshika’s lack of experience, leaving her more than a little disheartened.

Despite Miyafuji getting herself back together with a renewed determination to do her best, she soon runs into an even bigger problem – Although her magical and healing powers seem to be as strong as ever, she’s having more and more difficulty actually flying. Once this becomes clear during a practice session, Miyafuji is grounded until further notice, and with no problems with her either physical health or her Striker Unit nobody is sure quite where to turn next.

Of course, in these situations it never rains but it pours, and next thing we know the battleship Yamato is radioing in and reporting injuries after an explosion. Lynette and Yoshika volunteer their services, with the former having just about enough power to fly out to tend to the wounded, but when a Neuroi attack inevitably rears its head Miyafuji can’t even take over, leaving Lynnete to handle it alone while the naval fleet escapes.

At this point, enter a rather hefty deus ex machina – A brand new prototype Striker Unit, created with the help of the letter received by Yoshika at the start of the series, and one which just so happens to be able to handle Miyafuji’s burgeoning magical powers. So, Miyafuji saves Miss Bishop, destroys the Neuroi violently, and proves to be anything but the rookie Sakamoto made her out to be. Hurrah!

I suppose anything must seem like a vast improvement over the last episode, but if you can forgive that aforementioned deus ex machina then this was really a rather good episode which did a good job of portraying Miyafuji’s emotional turmoil as her flying abilities dwindled and left her unable to help anybody before her magnificent return. Throw in some well-realised action scenes (although the CG is still a little too obvious a lot of the time) and a feel-good ending, and you have an instalment of Strike Witches 2 that stands out amongst some of the “fluffier” instalments its delivered of late.

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