The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

Strike Witches: The Sky That Connects Us Reflection and Operation Victory Arrow News

“For fans who are sufficiently mature to get over the fanservice and minimal plot, there is much to be enjoyed from Strike Witches.” —Unknown

Late in July, I picked up a copy of Strike Witches: The Sky That Connects Us while browsing through the Chapters near campus. I had made the trip so I could purchase a birthday gift of sorts for a friend and came across a copy of the manga. Set between Strike Witches‘ season one and two in 1944, the manga details what the different members of the 501st Joint Fighter Wing are doing after they were discharged from combat operations following the first season. The original Japanese manga ran in NyanType magazine from September 26, 2009 to 2010, and was released as a single manga volume in September 2010, but it was only this June when an English version was published. It took me the entirity of August to read through it, mainly because I was also reading through Tom Clancy’s Command Authority, working on fine tuning the software for The Giant Walkthrough Brain‘s September 12/13 screening, and playing through Battlefield 4 and Titanfall from Origin’s Game Time program. Having finished the manga, I find it to be an excellent companion to the TV series, introducing several new characters into the mix while simutaneously returning readers to the familiar dynamics between the 501st members. Whether it be Lynette and Perrine’s participation in Gallia’s reconstruction, Erica and Gertrude’s encounter with a mysterious night witch or Charlotte and Francesca’s misadventures in Africa, the short stories covered in The Sky That Connects Us marks a welcome return to the Strike Witches universe, placing an emphasis on the light-hearted side of the Strike Witches franchise and answering nicely what happened between the two seasons.

  • Strike Witches is not intrinsically an anime “unable to let go of its mediocrity” (the individual who wielded such a phrase in their review is); the anime is simple and does not aim to be anything more than a fun series set in a different universe because it does not need to, and arguing about ambition is utterly meaningless (about as foolish as wondering why a shotgun cannot hit a target over 100 meters in Battlefield 3). If Strike Witches were meant to be serious, military hardware and focused leads would dominate the scene.

Besides the relatively recent release of the English-language version of The Sky That Connects Us, it is now common knowledge that Strike Witches: Operation Victory Arrow will be of a similar focus, dealing with what the girls were doing between season two and the movie. There are three OVA episodes: the first of these is dubbed Saint-Trond no Raimei, will showcase Ursula’s adventures with the Karlsland witches and will be set for release on September 20. The second OVA, titled Aegean Umi no Megami, will release on January 10, 2015 and follow the Africa Corps. At the time of writing, there has been no word on what the third one will be about, but the process of elimination suggests that it’ll be about Eliya and Sanya, Lynette and Perinne and/or the Fuso witches. No release date has been provided for the third OVA, either. With this said, I will try to have a talk out for each of the Strike Witches OVAs one the home releases become available. The release dates provided are for theatres, so the home releases will probably come out a ways after that, but in the meantime, I am quite interested to see what stories the OVAs will present. I understand that Strike Witches is not for everyone, but I find that it has a certain charm, less so for the lack of pants and more so for the alternate-universe setting.

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