First Impression – Brave Witches

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The next installment in the World Witches story

1939Humanity was faced with the sudden appearance of a mysterious foe. They called it the Neuroi. In the blink of an eye, the Neuroi successfully invaded most of Europe, stealing many people’s homes and nations. To combat the Neurois, humanity developed a new weapon, the flying Striker Units that could only be used by Witches, girls with magical power. Witches across the world gather to use these Striker Units against the Neuroi. And that’s how you keep a reintroduction simple, to the point, and just around a minute in length to explain!

The Witch of Sesebo?

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Hikari has room for improvement…

There’s a great big bunch of history and legacy that’s explored in the first episode and it was mostly about what the 501st was last up to, and the victory in Poland, along with a Miyafuji mystery. But, by in large, that can be picked up later. It’s 1944 by now, and we are back in Fuso. Besides serving as a connection to the franchise that has come before, the legacy also serves to underscore our newest main character’s journey – Hikari Karabuchi is looking to serve as part of a much grander whole, as a witch capable of fighting the Neuroi. Her older sister, Takumi, has already served with great distinction, and not only is Hikari being looked upon to live up to her sister, and jeered for failing that – she’s perceived as not having the same magical power, or tenacity, or capacity. It’s a big hill to climb, for sure, but she remains both resolute and cheerful; and kudos to her for not being bald faced mean spirited about that. But she does get to see that in Misumi-san, at least for a while. I’m sure that shapes a large part of her character.

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Geez, lighten up a bit Misumi! That crash might be on the other foot…

Crossing the Sea

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Got it in three…

Now, a good chunk of the episode is taken up with the idyllic family life and Hikari’s home in Fuso, her school life, her father’s work, her village’s anticipation of Takami returning home, their pride in her service. I really like the laid back moments this franchise has to offer. They’ve always had a sumptuous eye for art design, with every city, Fuso or European, looking lived in and comfortable. They put a great deal of work into how people sit, what they eat, and where and what they work with. The soundtrack also offers a great deal of comfort as well, underscoring the nature of a well-earned peace with as much occasion as they do battle. All of this, of course, serves to remind what they’re fighting for. Which brings us to Hikari’s test. She had to join the war effort sooner rather than later, and if the next episode preview is any indication, she’ll have a larger trial by fire. But for now, she has to tackle water. It’s an old supernatural bit that magic or creatures can’t cross running water, and in this case that context has been refined as a test for novices. You can cross the sea, but it takes a great degree of effort. Hikari answered with flying colors and a timely rescue. I wonder if she’ll be able to win over the future teammates with this much ease? Something tells me she’s off to a decent, but not exactly good start in a few ways.

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Try not to crash again. But those freckles kill me….

Would you Brave a few more…

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I’ve always loved this series’ midcards…

Show ▼

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We’ll get to them all in due time….anyone have a favorite? I’m liking Naoe Kanno

This was a great start to the newest show, and a great time with the charmed franchise. It got us caught up if we followed it before, or it made a good introduction to folks that haven’t. So, I make no bones, I really love this stuff. It’s unabashed good times, it has a sense of humor about itself – it’s not taking itself to seriously, it’s fanservice is the silly goofy end of the spectrum, and the characters are always fun and entertaining. If it has some faults it gets to far into earnesty, but that’s workable. But there’s a secret to the show. The monster of the week in the Neuroi is just there to be a catalyst. How the girls react to the threat, and how they respond to each other is what makes this franchise so much fun. Hikari’s beginnings bring that idea to a good life and so far they’ve carved out a good place in franchise history. Sometimes it’s good to find a new wheel. I’m looking forward to more.

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See you next week…


All around nerd that enjoys just about any anime genre. I love history, politics, public policy, the sciences, literature, arts...pretty much anything can make me geeky...except sports. Follow me @theskylion
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9 Responses to “First Impression – Brave Witches”

  1. Wanderer says:

    So, who was looking at the scars?

    …Scars? What scars? :p

    We’ll get to them all in due time….anyone have a favorite?

    They’re all cute, but currently for me, Nipa: aka Nikka Edvardine Katajainen. Seeing her get struck by lightning in the movie just gives me the impression of a witch with abysmally bad luck, and I can’t wait to see how many messes she gets into and how many striker units she loses.

    • skylion says:

      …Scars? What scars? :p


      They’re all cute, but currently for me, Nipa

      Ah, part of the same Destroyer mentality as my favorite.

  2. Sumairii says:

    I’m also waiting for burning fist witch…

  3. Highway says:

    This did a very good job nodding to the other series, and then moving off on its own. I also liked how they mentioned Yoshika, but kept her in the right context: she was never much of a hero to anyone outside the business, with Mio being the brash face of Fuso heroines.

    I think they worked the ‘try hard’ aspect of Hikari’s conditioning in well, making it a difference maker but not the all-conquering aspect. I do hope they tone down her dojikko aspects a little bit, tho, as I find that a bit tiresome (I do understand that, consequently, I’m not the kind of person they put it in there for). And I hope that they don’t have Takami be that constant worrywart kind of character. But that’s all stuff to find out in the future.

    • skylion says:

      …any time they show a character growing by a few steps towards a goal rather than GARRRRRRRRRing at it, is good times…

  4. Foshizzel says:

    Same old Strike Witches but plenty of new! Also budget? Holy crap this episode looked great, but I know first episodes get the most of the budget to rope people into watching more.

    Why do I get the feeling older sis is gonna get hurt or is hiding that she isn’t the great hero everyone says she is? LOL jk that kind of story might be bit2deep4 this series, but we never know!

    I hope we get some cameo’s from the original girls…probably not!

    • skylion says:

      I’ve heard some complaints about how they’ve “blurred” the pantsu shots…and how CGI pantsu is inferior to hand-drawn? Darn technology, ruining everything!

      Sis is featured in the OP as looking on in support…so who know what wrinkle she will add. I don’t know about 2deep, but 2derp would be injuring her in an arch silly way to advance a plot. But seeing that a hero is something people create and therefor exalt, and not just the complex person they are and literally everyone else is? I’d like to see more of that…

      • Highway says:

        I personally wasn’t worried that much about the blurred pantsu, more that the action overall was a bit too blurred.

        I think that Takami is going to end up being the person in charge of the unit. That’s what it seemed like, much like Minna was in the first series.

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