The Infinite Zenith

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

Strike Witches Rage: Pantsu-only challenge and the 666th post milestone

“Like I said, I was rage quitting left and right, and I wasn’t going to put myself through that much pain and frustration; it’s not healthy to go in to play a video game and leave in such a state, so I didn’t want to put myself through that to try to get any more gameplay.” —Matimi0

The Strike Witches Movie premièred on March 17, 2012: at this point, we’re just shy of the four year anniversary since the movie was released. A few days ago, I was reading through the site’s archives and came across the old Strike Witches Movie post, published some seven months after the première date. It’s a little surprising as to how time flies, and how much can change over the space of four years: for one, the old Strike Witches Movie review does not seem to be written to the same standard as the posts that were published over the past two years. This shouldn’t be a surprise, as I did not make the transition from my old site to here until 2013. With that being said, the time is ripe to revisit the Strike Witches Movie and cover elements from the movie that were not discussed during my first review. This post comes a week before the four year anniversary, and the format is motivated by Matimi0’s Terrible Weapon Challenges, where he would use unconventional means or poor setups to slay his opponents. In a similar spirit, I will do a pantsu-only challenge as the prelude to my review proper. The setup of this challenge is quite simple: all of the screenshots will feature the infamous anatomy shots that Strike Witches is so famous for and I will attempt to do a discussion on both the pantsu and the blog’s 666 post milestone without being distracted. Moreover, in the spirit of good sportsmanship, each and every of the eighteen images are available for closer “inspection” in 1080p.

  • The most difficult element about writing this post was double checking my six every five seconds to make sure I was afforded a degree of privacy while writing said post: Strike Witches is (as far as I’m concerned) an entertaining anime with its own merits extending well beyond the camera angles, but the contents are most certainly not the “wholesome family entertainment” that some have claimed the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs to have said (in fact, a search in either language doesn’t find anything).

  • While the true Strike Witches fan is able to identify the character based on the so-called anatomy shots alone, the animators have ensured that not more than 10 frames are a face-full of Witch backside at a time, so it becomes much easier to differentiate between who were looking at in my screenshots. Whereas games usually have variable framerates on account of different hardware configuration and other variables, anime runs along at a constant 24 FPS (which corresponds to around 41.67 milliseconds per frame).

  • This means that the cameras are not focused on the Witches back end for more than around 1/25ths of a second at a time. When one sums up the number of pantsu-shots seen in the movie against the movie’s total running time of 97 minutes (5820 seconds), they’re honestly not frequent enough to act as a serious distraction from the movie’s main events. With that being said, if one were to play a drinking game based on the number of these camera angles they see, even the most resilient individuals would be dead before the film’s first fight ends.

  • Because this post will consist entirely of such screenshots, I cannot imagine it will be an easy talk: under normal conditions, I will have a variety of screenshots that are significantly more conducive towards discussion. If and when I’m asked, Lynette’s assets are the easiest on mine eye, with Gertrud and Minna tying for second place.

  • I honestly wonder if writing about posts such as these will get this blog reported and blacklisted from search engines, although given that it’s a one-time thing, it should not be too bad (unless there’s somehow a demand for this sort of thing later down the line, and for now, there thankfully isn’t). This post will showcase some of the movie’s camera angles, although it is by no means an exhaustive representation of every moment in the film.

  • Eighteen stills were pulled from the movie and posted: as will be noted later, this is my 666th post, and in the spirit of things, I decided to do something a little out-of-the-ordinary. Because 666 mod 18 = 0, 666 / 37 = 18 and 18 = 6 + 6 + 6, the numbers aligned well enough so that there would be enough screenshots for the post to be a little more substantial than the usual milestone post.

  • I think the last milestone post I did was back during November 2014. So, it took me a year and four months to write 166 posts to reach 666; and I average around 153 posts a year, so it seems that the past year’s posting patterns were par the course for the average seen so far. On a note more related to the screenshots themselves, in trying to capture the pantsu shots, I noticed some minor bugs in the animation.

  • Because it appears that I continue to find time to write the occasional blog post even when under a deluge of work, I think it’s safe to say that this blog won’t really die out or see the fate of countless blogs out there, when their authors decide that maintaining a blog is not the best use of their time and move on to new pastures.

  • I personally think that the authors who realise that blogging is not for them and subsequently stop are making a reasonable decision: it takes an incredible commitment to continue blogging, and I vaguely recall mentioning in the 500 posts milestone that the average review/discussion post will take anywhere from an hour to two hours to write, from the first draft and screenshot acquisition to mashing the “publish” button.

  • This is mainly why blogs with multiple authors tend to have greater longevity: Random Curiosity is one such example, and despite having had a turnover in authors, they are able to find new authors to continue delivering high-quality content. As a mark of the solid job they do, I may not always agree with their opinions, but nonetheless respect them for generally taking the time to explain their positions.

  • A few years back, I was wondering if I would be able to recruit one or two extra authors to help out with anime reviews here, although that endeavour was not too successful. As to why I have not apply for a position on Random Curiosity, the main constraint is commitment: they are an episodic blog, and authors typically follow several shows per season to write about them. I found out while blogging about Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?? that episodic blogging is immensely rewarding but also quite exhausting, and the prospect of doing that for three shows a season is admittedly a daunting one.

  • I outline in an earlier post that Gertrud reminds me greatly of Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu Ka?‘s Rize Tedeza, and a brief search finds that perhaps I am unique in sharing this particular outlook. A quick comparison of their appearance (sharply-angled eyes, twin-tails and facial structure) finds that a few colour changes to their eye and hair length allows one to become the other without too much difficulty.

  • Because the camera angles go by so quickly, it takes mad reflexes to actually find the right frame: sometimes, releasing and pausing the scene will result in the Witches flying just out of range, while before, they were so close to the camera all one sees is Witch backside. In a way, gathering the inappropriate screenshots for the post was quite a challenge: on top of making sure there were no observers, I also had to be spot on to catch the moments.

  • Looking back, the Operation Victory Arrow OVAs appear to structured in the same way as Strike Witches Movie in that it predominantly follows the adventures of individual groups of Witches, whereas the first and second seasons were about the entire unit working together to become more effective and overcoming their grievances with one another to defeat the Neuroi threat.

  • In spite of the complaints leveled against Strike Witches, the franchise has remained quite popular because of its unusual combination of world-building (for a series so adamant about shoving the Witches’ assets in the viewer’s faces) and character dynamics that extend well beyond the yuri elements: one of the more serious elements in Strike Witches includes the psychological impact of losing one’s magic, the impact of the Human-Neuroi war on society and how the Witches cope with the different challenges they encounter.

  • In comparison with Girls und Panzer Der Film, after it was screened in Japan on March 17, 2012, the only known bit of information from the Strike Witches Movie was that it ended with the note “To be continued”, and so, discussions were nonexistent. Spoilers for Girls und Panzer Der Film were immediately posted to social media following the movie’s release, and this led to much discussion based on the reaction of the Japanese movie-goers.

  • It was not until three months later in June that the film’s home release date was announced, set seven months after the original screening, and after the movie became available, discussions present the image that aside from events in the movie’s ending, things were quite enjoyable.

  • That’s it for this post. The title was inspired by Matimi0’s “Buckshot rage”, which encompassed running around in Battlefield 3 using only the M320 and buckshot ammunition. He quickly discovered that the the weapon was difficult to use and the endeavour became a nightmare. On my end, writing the post turned out to be easy enough, but capturing the screenshots was a bloody nightmare: I was doing the capture on a Mac and things weren’t very responsive (hence the rage component). I managed to get twenty nine screenshots in the end before calling it quits, so I worked in the 18 screenshots (the next multiple is 37).

The post title also indicates that this is my six hundredth and sixty-sixth post here: the number 666 is so firmly entrenched as the Number of the Beast, that there is a phobia of the number. Known as hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia, fear of 666 has been utilised as a plot device in horror films and some folks will do their utmost to avoid the number. So, in the spirit of 666 symbolising the Beast, I decided that for this milestone, rather than merely talk about where this blog will head in the near future, I could do things slightly differently just for laughs. There are eighteen screenshots, rather than the usual twenty because 666 is divisible by 18, and 18 = 6 + 6 + 6. Readers may then wonder, could I have not saved this sort of post for April Fool’s Day? A valid remark, but consider that every blog only hits the 666 posts milestone once, and April Fool’s, by comparison, happens once a year.  Regular programming resumes next time: my 667th post will deal with the third Tamayura: ~Sotsugyou Shashin~ movie. Until next time, have a good one, and take it easy!

5 responses to “Strike Witches Rage: Pantsu-only challenge and the 666th post milestone

  1. Lurker Joe March 10, 2016 at 18:42

    Could have sworn there was another 666th post, one about 6 phrases not to use in an anime review… Ah, well, no matter. Interesting post.😛 I’ve been lurking about for quite some time now, but I think to commemorate the occasion I’ll pop in to the comments for a little. Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

    • infinitezenith March 10, 2016 at 19:10

      Thanks for dropping in and commenting: I hope the content here is satisfactory🙂

      There was a “six terms not to use” post earlier, but I spoke with some of my friends, and they said that the idea of flooding a page with pantsu from Strike Witches would have been funnier. Because I’m only able to have one 666 post, I decided to send the six phrases page back to the drafts section and put this one out instead.

      Like

  2. Jusuchin (Military Otaku) March 10, 2016 at 19:15

    “I found out while blogging about Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?? that episodic blogging is immensely rewarding but also quite exhausting, and the prospect of doing that for three shows a season is admittedly a daunting one.”

    I can only agree. There have been blog posts where I haven’t put in my all, and some where I rambled on.

    And some where I’ve given up on a series and moved on. It’s why I look at people like you, with obviously busy schedules, and can put out something great when you aren’t as hurried to put something out within a week of the episode airing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • infinitezenith March 10, 2016 at 19:22

      I hope you don’t mind that I’ve modified your comment slightly with the block quote. It’s a rather cool feature I’m fond of using, and it makes quoting stuff way more fun🙂

      Now, getting to the main meat-and-potatoes of my response, the episodic approach isn’t for everyone. I personally think that the bloggers who take this approach deserve a tip of the hat for consistency: the main challenge is finding something unique to talk about for that episode, and for some series, that’s easier than others. Perhaps GochiUsa is not the best example: being the classic slice-of-life moé anime, nothing really happens, so I would draw upon all manners of topics like Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, the fieldcraft seen in Tom Clancy novels, et cetera to liven up the discussion. For series with more emphasis on narrative (something like Gate: Jieitai Kano Chi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri or Gundam), the availability of topics is less of an issue, since there is an overarching plot that accommodates discussion on the episode’s contributions. Ultimately, though, people should stick to the style that works best for them.

      Like

      • Jusuchin (Military Otaku) March 10, 2016 at 20:44

        Aye, I did voice my displeasure at the style, but at the same time I enjoy it. I like being able to voice my views and opinions of a show, and if I decided to blog it, it meant it caught my attention for a good reason.

        That said, I once tried to come up with something for the Space Battleship Yamato: 2199 series, but that kinda fell apart. I think though, with the English release of the Legend of the Galactic Heroes novels, maybe something can be done.

        Still, I hope you continue on doing what you’re doing. Your posts are often a pleasure to read.

        Like

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