I know I have asked for some assemblance of a plot before, but I’d never thought that when I do see it, I’d be watching Déjà vu.
The cliffhanger from last episode turns out to be one big anti-climatic teaser that deflates all my hypes as fast as the Strike Witches flashing their panties across my full screen. Dear Minna-san, you are a commander of the elite 501st Strike Witches unit who should know that pointing a gun at anyone requires you to convince your target that you have the resolve to pull the trigger, which is the opposite of what you achieve when you put up a face such as this:
At this point I am a bit disappointed, but I say to myself, oh what the hell, I don’t watch Strike Witches for some deep contrived plot—I watch it for its unadulterated fan service. And I need some mindless relief entertainment too after the bat-shit craziness that is Macross F 20–21 and the ultra-melodramatic meltdown that is NatsuYuu 8.
For the most part, Strike Witches 9 delivers just that. And then, bam! Another plot twist, another teaser bait. This time, the Neurois as neutral beings simply mimicking the humans they observe to be waging wars.
But it doesn’t end there. Yoshika disobeys an order to stay put and catches up to this week’s Neuroi, which slowly but surely takes on a Strike Witch form. Somehow, the two start to befriend each other and end up dancing in open sky in laughters in the middle of a war. Mio thinks WTF and flies out to rescue Yoshika from what she is convinced a trap to lure Yoshika to danger. Then comes the Déjà vu scene.
Yoshika jumps out in between the Neuroi and Mio’s gun, defending that this one is unlike the others that have harmed or murdered numerous people many of which are close friends and blood relatives of her fellow witches. One thing leads to another, Mio is shot down and now hangs on a thread for dear life.
Now, it’s my turn to think WTF?!
Just when I am looking for a refuge away from the recently turned upside down Macross F, I am thrust back into this mirror plot. Even though Mio will unlikely to die like Michel in Macross F, everyone’s beloved Yoshika will certainly be treated as a traitor, especially if she goes off to the Neuroi-land as forecasted in the preview for next week.
I don’t know if I should laugh or cry this time around.
Staying within the confine of Strike Witches, this surprise development is certainly more intriguing than the presupposed Minna’s betrayal. Hints were dropped as early as in the opening scene of the first episode where two WWII warplanes shooting and flying into the Neuroi vortex got sucked in, and out came a Neuroi that took the form of the two warplanes meshed into one. Throughout the series so far, the Neurois have taken rather simplistic forms like a seed or an embryo waiting to take shape. Last episode, it learns the voice of Sanya; this episode, Yoshika’s form—although I wish it has chosen Charlotte instead for her obviously huge … ah hem. Anyway, it’s good shit.
If Strike Witches does take this path, then it sudden qualifies as a war philosophical work. Us human chooses war or peace? Not a new concept, but let’s see what Strike Witches will do with it in the remaining short four episodes.
In the meanwhile, I need to look for another source of mindless entertainment to balance all these thematically heavy shows I’ve been watching.