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501st Joint Fighter Wing "Strike Witches"
The 501st JFW, also known as the Strike Witches, is a specialist unit composed entirely of witches originally stationed in Britannia and later in Romagna. Although their primary duty is defending the area where they are stationed from neuroi, they are the ones responsible for liberating Gallia from the neuroi. After the liberation of Gallia, they were disbanded, however they were reformed in Romagna to help defend the area. During the liberation of Gallia, they were one of the squadrons under the command of Trevor Maloney, after they were reformed to defend Romagna they were placed under the command of Adolfine Galland.
These are the maidens who make up the 501st Joint Fighter Wing, better known as the Strike Witches.
- Amplifier Artifact: Their striker units function as magical amplifiers as well strengthening their spells.
- Child Soldiers: They range in age form twelve to twenty (meaning the older ones don't count for this trope). Given the generally optimistic tone of the show, the darker side of this trope is never explored.
- Five Rounds Rapid: The vast majority of their firepower accomplishes exactly nothing. Only when the core is exposed or when the Neuroi deploys drones does their firepower actually do something.
- This has little to do with the guns the girls are using and a lot to do with the structure of the Neuroi themselves. Pretty much everyone can inflict significant damage on the shell of a neuroi, the problem is that said shells can completely regenerate from having whole wings cleaved off of them in just a few seconds, so nothing short of a direct hit on the core will put them down.
- Fire-Forged Friends
- Flying Brick: In addition to a nifty unique power, all witches have increased strength, endurance, and durability. They also have access to basic magics like shields and flight, meaning they are essentially all flying bricks.
- Improbably Female Cast: The overwhelmingly female demographics of the witches is hardly unique since magic is pretty much an all girl party. What justifies the presence of this trope is Minna enacting a rule that prevents any guys from getting anywhere near the limelight.
- Instant Runes: These are created whenever the girls raise a shield and whenever they take off.
- Little Bit Beastly: The girls grow animal features when they use magic.
- Little Miss Badass
- Mildly Military
- More Dakka: The standard issue gun is a heavy machine gun.
- Multinational Team: Since witches are so rare, talent is pulled from everywhere.
- Power Glows: Whenever the girls of the 501st call upon their magic they glow in addition to growing animal features.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: For the same reason that witches are pulled from everywhere, they are also pulled from all walks of life.
- Also before the Neuroi invasion the military appears to be composed of mostly men so there was a scramble to recruit witches who are almost exclusively female from the civilian populations. This coupled with the seeming lack of formal training means that the Strike Witches are mildly military to put it lightly.
These are the maidens who make up the 501st Joint Fighter Wing, better known as the Strike Witches.
"Her latent ability is impressive indeed. Not only with regards to her magic, but she also has perseverance and determination. It's my mission and duty to guide her on her path to becoming a full-fledged Witch, for the sake of my, no, the world's benefactor, Dr. Miyafuji." —MioSergeant Yoshika Miyafuji comes from a family of magical doctors on the island nation of Fuso. Her father was responsible for the creation of the Striker Unit, magically powered engines that amplify magic, to counter the Neuroi. However her father was killed in the war tainting Yoshika's perception of it. She was initially reluctant when Mio came to recruit her, but after helping to defend the Fuso fleet from a Neroi attack, she agreed to join the 501st Strike Witches. Yoshika's striker unit is based on the Mitsubishi Zero A6M3a and she carries around a Type 99 13mm machine gun. She's named after the WWII ace Kanayoshi Mutou.
- Accidental Pervert: She has a habit of staring and grabbing onto the breasts of the well endowed members of the unit, though Lynette's the usual target. She even unconsciously does it in her sleep!
- All Loving Heroine: On top of just being a really pleasant person who doesn't bear grudges, she's the only one willing to negotiate with the Neuroi. Played Up to Eleven in The Movie, despite or (perhaps because) her lack of power.
- Badass Adorable: Takes several levels in badass over the course of the series. Remains cute as hell.
- Badass Normal: In the "The Movie", even without her Witch Powers she destroyed a huge Neuroi tower with a machine-gun she can barely carry and a Jeep all by herself.
- Barrier Warrior: Her shields are noted to be far stronger than average and she seems to have a higher magical capacity than most.
- Beware the Nice Ones: She's very nearly a pacifist. The first time she really seems to want the Neuroi to die right now is after it almost kills Lynne. She even goes on a short Roaring Rampage of Revenge to do it. After a Dungeon Bypass straight through its center of motion, firing her machine gun all the way.
- Bi the Way: In spite of her close Les Yay relationship with Lynne-chan, Yoshika is still overjoyed at receiving her very first love letter from a boy; namely an admirer in the Fuso navy. Something might have come of it if Minna didn't rain on her parade and ended the relationship before it even began by pulling rank.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: In The Movie, it seems that Yoshika must stop and help others whenever there is an 'opportunity' to help, even though that means facing up against a Neuroi with nothing but a machine gun that she can barely lift.
- Combat Medic: She possesses strong healing magic yet still mixes it up in combat.
- Covert Pervert: She seems pretty innocent, but shows an inordinate interest in other girls' boobs. Specifically Lynette's.
- Determinator: See Heroic Resolve.
- Does Not Know Her Own Strength: Yoshika is blissfully unaware of her growing magical prowess in season two.
- Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: In the end of episode 5 of the first season Yoshika grabs the boobs of Shirley while she is unconscious due fatigue.
- Friend to All Living Things: Well, not to Neuroi. But taming the bears in The Movie has to count for something.
- Healing Hands: She tends to channel her healing magic through her hands.
- Heroic Resolve: Mio has noted that Yoshika's magical abilities seem to increase under stress.
- Taken Up to Eleven in the finale of the second season, when, after exhausting all her magical power, she musters up some more through sheer determination. The rest of the squadron follows suit.
- And once more in The Movie, while bleeding out on the ground, the collective call of everyone in the 501st lets her get her magic back.
- Another example from The Movie: She doesn't let the little difficulty of having no magic keep her from lugging a gun into a nearby Jeep in order to protect a village Basically, there's never ever a good time to get on her bad side.
- Heroic Sacrifice: At the end of the second season, she uses up all her magical power in order to save Mio and destroy the Neuroi core.
- Honor Before Reason: The last few episodes of the first season are almost a direct cause of her honorable nature trumping observational evidence. Then again...
- Idiots Cannot Catch Colds: According to episode 8 of the second season, she's never caught a cold in her life.
- Little Bit Beastly: She takes on the features of a Shiba Inu when she uses magic.
- Naďve Newcomer: The newest one into the squadron, and due to Japan's relative isolation from the war she has very little idea of what has been going on.
- Nice Girl: Again, she treats everybody with compassion and doesn't hold grudges. Not even against Perrine, who's constantly insulting her.
- Orphan's Plot Trinket: In the first season Yoshika's striker unit is a memento left by her dead father. She later uses it to blow up a gigantic Neuroi core and liberate Gallia. Likewise the Shinden Striker Unit in season 2, which is based on her father's research.
- Ramming Always Works: How the burrowing battleship Neuroi is disposed of at the end of The Movie. And it's glorious.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: With Lynette. Her friendly admiration of Mio also has some shades of this, though it's nowhere near Perrine's level.
- Sailor Fuku: Her signature outfit is this over a school swimsuit.
- She's Back: This largely the point of The Movie. Season 3, here we go!
- Stone Wall: Her shields are very good, but she seems to have a far lower kill rate than everybody else in the squadron.
- Team Chef: She's pressed into this role after joining because nobody else can cook, although Lynette is often seen helping her.
- Even after the other members start showing off their culinary skills, Yoshika and Lynette are often the default chefs of the unit.
- 10-Minute Retirement: She quits military at the end of Season 2, but Shizuka pick her up back to Venezia in The Movie. Then she gets her power back during a very crucial moment, so She's Back in action with full glory.
- Took a Level in Badass
Lynette Bishop ("Lynne")
"Other members of the unit? Lynne was the first friend I made after coming here to Britannia. She showed me around in the base and was very kind! That made me happy... And... that big bosom.... wah! Nothing! It's nothing!" — YoshikaSergeant (later Master Sergeant) Lynette Bishop is a very personable, if a bit shaky, sniper from Britannia. Lynette is the middle child of eight siblings and was sometimes overlooked. Because of this, she's very domestic and painfully shy. She joined the Strike Witches shortly before Yoshika to help protect her homeland. Lynette is assigned to be Yoshika's roommate, where the two quickly become friends. Her striker unit is based on the Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX and she lugs around a Boys Anti-Tank Rifle in battle. Her sister, Wilma Bishop, is named after the WWI Ace William Avery Bishop.
Voiced by: Kaori Nazuka (JP), Kate Bristol (EN)
- Apologizes a Lot: Apologizing seems to be her first knee-jerk reflex.
- Cute Clumsy Girl: Less clumsy than most, but she has her moments.
- Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: Her power essentially turns normal bullets (and other objects) into these.
- Friendly Sniper: She's soft spoken, nice, and can hit a target most people need binoculars to see.
- Gag Boobs: Often treated like this by the fandom.
- Spot of Tea: Every time the squadron chips in to help prepare for a difficult mission, her suggestion is tea.
- Idiot Hair
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Her inherent gift magic lets her guide and strengthen her shots. Also she has really good eyesight.
- It Is Pronounced Tro PAY: In the Japanese version, her nickname is Lee-Nee rather than Lyn.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In spite of her close Les Yay relationship with Yoshika-chan, Lynne-chan was overjoyed for the latter when she received her very first love letter from a boy; full of encouragement and support and doing her best to help that potential friendship blossom into a full romance... until Minna stepped in and ruined everything.
- Little Bit Beastly She takes on the features of the Scottish Fold when she uses magic.
- Marshmallow Hell: Gave it to Yoshika after they took out a Neuroi.
- Nice Girl: Probably why she and Yoshika gets along so well.
- No Scope: Despite shooting at objects across distances measured in kilometers, she does so without a scope. Although the ability to guide her shots after she's fired them probably helps.
- Shrinking Violet: She's very shy and almost washes out before Yoshika arrives.
- Small Girl, Big Gun: She's on the short end of the squadron and her weapon of choice is an anti-tank rifle.
- Squishy Wizard: Yeah.
- Team Chef: Along with Yoshika.
"Sakamoto-san? She's kind, but can be pretty strict sometimes. She told me about the work my father had done, and I'm very grateful for that. Although it surprised me when we met for the first time and she told me that “I would come to her sooner or later”!" —YoshikaMajor Mio Sakamoto, the second in command of the Strike Witches, worked with Yoshika's father on the Striker Units and is therefore the oldest witch. As a veteran of the initial fights against the Neuroi, she is far tougher and more disciplined than most of the Strike Witches. Her primary job is to train new recruits and takes a no-nonsense "tough love" approach to her duties. As the second in command of the Strike Witches she supports Minna and maintains discipline when out of battle and locates the weak point of Neuroi with her magic eye in battle. Her striker is based on the Mutsubishi Zero A6M3a in season one and the Kawanishi N1K in season two: in battle she carries a Type 99 13mm machine gun and a katana. Her character is named after WWII aces Saburo Sakai. She is known for her distinctive, hearty laugh.
- Badass in Distress: In the finale of the second season, she is absorbed into a Neuroi core. You don't get much more distressed than that.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Known for her rolling, jolly laugh of approval for innocence and/or righteous behavior.
- Bar Sinister: Oddly enough this appears on her eyepatch as well as her emblem.
- Brought Down to Badass: In The Movie, she appears with an ordinary warplane to deliver the Shinden Unit to Yoshika.
- Can't Hold Her Liquor: After having a jug of wine dropped on her, Mio immediately proceeds to give Commander Minna a full-on kiss and runs into a cave.
- Cool Big Sis: Serves as this role to ease newcomers into their new military life.
- Cool Sword: Reppumaru, a katana she forges herself using magic and it can block lasers.
- Death Seeker: Though far from a fatalist, Mio still intends her death to be a glorious one in battle, befitting of a Fuso Warrior. Tragically, she finally plays this trope straight in Episode 11 of Season 2, when her life as a warrior comes to an end.
- Determinator: She never gives up in the battlefield, even when her powers starts to fade away, she wants to stay in the battlefield even if cost her life.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: According to supplemental material, new recruits in the Fusou Navy call her "Sakamoto the Demon" behind her back.
- Enemy Scan: When she looks at a Neuroi with her magic eye, she can see its weak point.
- Eyepatch of Power: She wears a patch that hides her Neuroi core-detecting right eye.
- Feeling Their Age: The fact that for Strike Witches old age starts somewhere around 20, with decline in magic power, is explored in the second season. Mio pushes herself to stay in action, against fellow high-ranking officer Minna's advice, ultimately receiving first a minor then a grave injury.
- Fragile Speedster: In the second season her striker unit is upgraded, making it far faster and more maneuverable. She doesn't have a shield, so the only thing between her and extra crispy is her reflexes.
- Heroic BSOD: Not only does she have no shield anymore, but Reppumaru ate up almost all of her magic to the point that she can't even fire off Reppuzan anymore.
- Heroic Resolve: In the end of second season she snaps out of a Heroic BSOD after knowing the Yamato mission failed. She rushes into Yamato ship with little to none magic power for reactivate the ship in order to blow up the Neuroi nest.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted. She's prepared to pull one in the second season's finale, but Yoshika saves her.
- Honor Before Reason: On top of acting like a stereotypical samurai, she refuses to be sidelined since her ability is critical to the squadron's success. Even after she loses her shield she continues to fight, even though even a glancing hit from a Neuroi laser would be enough to critically injure her.
- Hot-Blooded: A bit more tempered than most, but is not one to back down from a fight.
- Lady of War: Again, modeled after a stereotypical samurai.
- Little Bit Beastly: She takes on Doberman traits when she uses magic.
- Losing Is Worse Than Death: And Mio unhesitantly charged into the latter, having finally and literally exhausted her life as a warrior in Season 2 Episode 11.
- Magic Knight: She lacks some magical capacity but makes up for it with increased martial skill.
- Meaningful Name: Her sword means "gale" and is named after a Japanese plane model that never entered service.
- Number Two: She is second in command of the Strike Witches and supports Minna whenever she can. For example, when enacting discipline, she often plays "bad cop" to Minna's "good cop".
- Oblivious to Love: She shows absolutely no awareness of the fact that both Perrine and Minna have crushes on her. Minna at least tries to be subtle about it, but not noticing Perrine's feelings takes work.
- Older Than She Looks: She's twenty.
- Proud Warrior Race Gal: The picture of a classical Japanese Warrior, albeit Gender Flipped.
- Shower of Angst: In the end of second season after knowing her powers are fading away.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Is her rank squadron commander or major?
- Suicide Mission: In the end of second season she rushes into Yamato to reactivate the ship again while it was infested by Neurois.
- Super Senses: Her power is Enhanced Visual Acuity which grants her telescopic vision along with the ability to identify a Neuroi's core.
- Supporting Leader: To Minna.
- Sword and Gun: She uses a katana alongside with gun weapons.
- This Cannot Be!: After Reppuzan failed in the battle.This led to Mio having another Heroic BSOD.
"Wing Commander Minna? Yes, she's a fantastic person! She's always smiling... and she feels like a very mature woman. I wish I could be more like her. She somewhat reminds me of a mother." —YoshikaWing Commander, or Oberstleutnant, Minna Dietlinde Wilcke is the leader of the 501st joint fighter wing and the commander of the Karlsland Air Force. After the Neuroi appeared and her lover was killed, she gave up her dream of becoming a singer to join the Karlsland Air Force. Because of her traumatic past, the safety of her subordinates is her top priority. Despite her kind and gentle demeanor she will go to any lengths to protect her subordinates. She is even willing to issue orders specifically to prevent them from being hurt and she was the one behind the order forbidding male workers in the base from socializing with the witches. Her striker unit is based on the Messerschmitt BF109G2 and her weapon is the MG42 machine gun. Her character is named after the WWII ace Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke.
Voiced by: Rie Tanaka (JP), Anastasia Munoz (EN)
- Berserk Button: Engage in self destructive or suicidal behavior around her, I dare you.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Despite her demeanor, it's worth noting that her familiar is a wolf.
- Broken Bird: Became bitter with the death of her first love, and rather self-righteously tries to stop anyone else from falling in love as a result, with the justification of "not wanting her comrades to experience the same pain."
- The Captain: Despite her demeanor, she's clearly the one running things although she doesn't hold the rank of Captain.
- Extreme Omnivore: While not a Big Eater, Not only can Minna consume foods and drinks that the rest of the squadron can barely stomach, but she actually likes them. Examples include ginger tea that Lynette put too much sugar in, and Lamprey oil (She asked for seconds!).
- Glamorous Wartime Singer: Minna tried to be a singer earlier in the war.
- Genre Savvy: It's almost impossible to hide anything from Minna. She knows her companions very well. For example, she is the first to perceive Mio powers are fading away.
- Her Heart Will Go On: Minna lost her love during the war before the beginning of the series. This led her to be a stern captain in order to guarantee the witch's safety and avoid they to experience the same pain.
- Little Bit Beastly: Takes on the features of a wolf when using magic.
- Mama Bear: She is willing to go to any lengths to prevent her subordinates from being harmed.
- Meaningful Name: Her archetype pilot is named Wolf, she gains wolf features.
- Mission Control: Minna's power gives her acute knowledge of her surroundings which allows her to determine unit positions in 3D, unit allegiance, and unit health. She uses this in battle to help her direct her forces. When she sits out of a battle, she is usually in front of a radar giving orders.
- A Mother To Her Girls: She cares deeply for her subordinates and they return the favor.
- Team Mom: The novels mention that she and Mio have a Good Cop/Bad Cop approach to discipline, with Mio as the Bad Cop and Minna as the Good Cop.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: She's willing to do a lot to ensure her subordinate's safety, including pulling a gun on one of her best friends. This is the result of losing her love during the war.
- Yandere: Her behavior toward the end of the first season — specifically, pulling a gun on Mio to keep her from fighting when she's losing her power — can be considered this. She gets over it, though.
- X-Ray Vision: Minna's ability essentially lets her see everything in her proximity out to a respectable yet unspecified distance. In battle it makes her a mobile CIC: out of battle it allows her to keep tabs on her subordinates.
Perrine Henriette Clostermann
"Perrine? Yes, it feels like she's always mad at me. I wonder why...? I know I make a lot of mistakes all the time, but I still don't think she has to be that hard on me... Sakamoto-san told me being strict on someone is a way to show you have hopes for them, but I wonder..." —YoshikaFlying Officer Perrine H. Clostermann is a rich Gallian noble that saw her home destroyed when the Neuroi invaded Gallia. She joined the Strike Witches in their liberation of Gallia to help free her homeland from the Neuroi. She admires Mio and quickly develops a dislike of Yoshika due to their closeness. Her dislike eventually turns to full blown jealousy as she challenges Yoshika to a duel. Eventually she does come to view Yoshika as a comrade, but still makes constant attempts to win Mio's attention and to make Yoshika look bad. Her striker unit is based on the Arsenal VG 39 and her weapon is the Bren Light Machine Gun Mk 1. She is also seen carrying a rapier in some official art, which doesn't show up until midway through season 2. Her character is named after the WWII Ace Pierre Clostermann.
- Alpha Bitch: Snobby, rich, and insufferable.
- Butt Monkey: Her foot seems magnetically attracted to her mouth: One time she insults Miyafuji for bringing in foul tasting Lamprey oil as a health drink only to find out seconds later that Mio brought it. Also, almost everything she does tends to backfire horribly for her.
- Used literally in episode 7 of season 2 — a Neuroi bug crawls into her butt crack, and when she pulls down her tights and panties Francesca shoots her in the rear with a high pressure firehose (using a scope from a Mosin-Nagant no less).
- Character Development: Probably the series' best example. She goes from a snooty, self-centered Yandere to a friendly, even humble person who runs an orphanage & a school. She never really gets over Mio, though.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Holds Mio with the utmost of respect, and resents anyone getting too chummy with her (especially Yoshika who, like Mio, is a native of
Japanthe Fuso Empire).
- Cool Sword: Often seen with one in the promo art, and in season 2 it makes its appearance. A different rapier is used to destroy a golem.
- Gallian Jerk
- Hidden Heart of Gold: There's a heart of gold in there somewhere, you would need a crowbar and heavy digging equipment to find it though.
- And that kind and gentle big-sister hugging and playing with children in S2 Episode 6 can't be the same Rich Bitch that's mean to Yoshika can she? Oh you have got to be kidding!!
- Season 2 reveals she's practically penniless. All that huge hazard pay she's getting? All donated to charity. She also sold most of her family's heirlooms to raise money for the Gallia rebuilding effort.
- Luminescent Blush: She has one whenever Mio is in any way involved, when she's outraged, and when she's embarrassed which is why there seems to be on permanently glued to her face. For example, see the picture.
- Meganekko: Constantly wears glasses except in places where they would fog up.
- Ojou: She definitely used to be high class and wealthy. She even does the laugh.
- Petting Zoo People: Gains the features of a Chartreux when using her magic.
- Psycho Lesbian: Challenging a rookie to a duel with live ammunition over a crush is really really pushing it, even if the ammo was just used for intimidation.
- Rich Bitch: Though it's less flaunting her wealth and more complaining about how unrefined her comrades (read: Yoshika) are.
- Shock and Awe: This is her power. It messes up her hair so she doesn't use it often.
- Took a Level in Kindness: In The Movie, after Gallia is liberated, she runs an orphanage (which is also a school) with Amelie. She's also very nice toward Yoshika and Shizuka.
- Tsundere: She has her moments.
- Yandere: Attached to Mio.
"Lucchini always eats the things I cook with a smile on her face. Things like that makes me happy! But it feels like she's always sleeping in some odd place... is that really okay?" —YoshikaPilot Officer Francesca Lucchini is a talented and cheerful witch from the Duchy of Romagna. Unlike most other members of the 501st her past isn't marred by tragedy, she joined the Strike Witches out of a sense of duty to ensure that no harm would ever come to her beloved Romagna. However for all her lofty ideals she's still twelve years old and often acts childish or self indulgent like a typical twelve year old. Her energetic personality masks the fact that she's quite lazy. She'll often spend time napping around the base only waking up to change where she naps. However in the air, she displays a passion and talent for flying that nobody in the 501st can match. Her striker unit is based on the FIAT G-55 Centauro and her weapon is the Breda-SAFAT Machine Gun 12.7 mm. She is named after the World War II ace Franco Lucchini.
- Barrier Warrior: Takes this a step farther and literally fights people with her barriers. Her stacked barriers are almost unbreakable as well.
- Big Eater: Eats slightly more than the other witches and for her food is always a top priority.
- Butt Monkey: She tends to be the one whom bad things happen to. In one episode she spends most of it running away from everybody. In another she accidentally breaks Shirley's Striker unit and receives a lump on the head when Minna finds out.
- Cat Girl: While there are others with the cat motif, she has the personality to match. This includes her habit of sleeping in high places.
- Child Soldier: She's twelve and has been serving for a while.
- Cute Little Fangs: See the image.
- Fastball Special: In the first season finale, Shirley throws her. Also her signature move seems tailor made for this.
- Fearless Fool: She doesn't seem to fear anything (not even Shirley's driving) except Minna and Mio.
- Genki Girl: She's full of energy, jumps around a lot, and speaks in a sing-songy voice.
- Girlish Pigtails
- Heavy Sleeper: Although she takes cat naps, not even the roar of airplane engines can rouse her while she's asleep.
- Hypocritical Humor: Makes fun of Perrine's boobs, despite being the flattest of the witches herself, which is nothing unusual, since she's also the youngest.
- Lovable Sex Maniac: She likes to grope the boobs of her teammates, sometimes as a greeting ritual, sometimes just fo' funzies....
- Petting Zoo People: She gains features of the black panther whenever she uses magic.
- Ramming Always Works: Her signature move is to stack several shields together and ram the target.
- Small Girl, Big Gun: She's the smallest witch and she wields a gun meant for airplanes. Although its not that much bigger than the other girls' guns, the size difference is more pronounced.
- Token Mini-Moe: She's also the youngest.
Charlotte E. Yeager ("Shirley")
"Shirley is a really kind person! She seems kind of slack, but I think she actually really looks after everyone. She's bighearted and broad-minded... What? I'm not talking about her breasts! But... well... they sure did feel nice..."First Lieutenant (later Captain) Shirley Yeager is a mechanical enthusiast from the United States of Liberion. She is a thrill seeking speedster and her goal is to break the sound barrier. Before the war, she raced motorbikes and set a land speed record. When she joined the 501st she modified her Striker unit to help her with her goal of breaking sound barrier. In addition to her obsession with speed she's also obsessed with cleanliness: even going so far as to have her personal bath shipped when she was transferred into the 501st. Her Striker Unit is based on the P-51 Mustang and her weapons of choice is the Browning Automatic Rifle M1918. She is named after American WWII ace Charles "Chuck" Yeager.
- Affectionate Nickname: Shirley.
- Danger Deadpan: She is modeled after Chuck Yeager, after all. She even breaks the sound barrier in episode 5 of season 1.
- Drives Like Crazy: While not as destructive as most in the one scene she's shown driving, she drifts on mountainside dirt roads and leaps across chasms in a military supply truck. Francesca loves it, but Yoshika gets sick.
- Fearless Fool: Which is probably why she's paired with Lucchini so often.
- Fiery Redhead: She's strong, passionate, and outgoing, but she's only outspoken when dealing with certain people.
- Hot-Blooded: She doesn't back down from any challenge even going so far as to charge a neuroi in an unarmed plane.
- Parental Substitute: She's pretty much Luccini's mom.
- The Rival: Started a rivalry with Trude.
- Super Speed: Her power lets her do anything faster. Her power plus the modifications she made to her striker unit allow her to break the sound barrier in flight.note
- Petting Zoo People: She takes on the features of a jack-rabbit; most likely a nod to her speed.
- Shout-Out: Other than the obvious one to Chuck Yeager, there's one to the photographer Bunny Yeager.
- Also she says the P-51 Mustang, the fighter that her striker unit is based on, is her all purpose weapon platform of choice.
- Wrench Wench: Before joining the witches she worked on motorcycles and airplanes, consequentially her striker unit is heavily modified. Even after joining the witches she spends her spare time in the machine shop and making further modifications to her striker unit.
"I don't really understand Hartmann. Everyone says she's an excellent witch, and she is amazing even in small-scaled battles, but in her everyday life she is... how should I put it... umm... sloppy?" —YoshikaFlying Officer Erica Hartmann is one of the "Double Aces" from Karlsland, having the second highest kill score in the world at just over 200. However her skill in the air and on duty is in sharp contrast with her disorganized and careless nature when off duty. She is a close acquaintance of Gertrude and Minna having served with them long before the creation of the 501st although, unlike Minna and Gertrude, she spends most of her time sleeping and eating, only getting up to investigate oddities and fight neuroi. Her striker unit is based on the Messerschmitt Bf109G-6 and her weapon is the MG42. She is named after WWII ace Erich Hartmann, the highest scoring ace in history.
- Blow You Away: Her power lets her create a vortex of air when she does a barrel roll. She calls this ability Sturm and it's powerful enough to blow holes through Neuroi.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Even more so than the rest of the 501st.
- Compatriot Yin Yang: Pretty much the complete opposite of Gertrude, to the latter's endless annoyance.Gertrude: And you call yourself a Karlsland soldier?!
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: On the ground she's a lazy disorganized failure of a soldier. In the air she's skilled, disciplined, and one of the best aces in the world. Both are the real her but most people see the disorganized failure before they see the second greatest witch in the Karlsland air force.
- Do a Barrel Roll: Her power is an offensive barrel roll she calls "Sturm".
- Dumb Blond: Averted. The girl's smart enough to be one of the best fighters despite sleeping most of the time.
- Genki Girl: When she's awake, anyway.
- Historical Injoke: Her sister is named Ursula, the name of Erich Hartmann's wife.
- Her striker unit has the black tulip pattern also present on Erich Hartmann's aircraft.
- The hubbub over her stealing Lucchini's underwear is based on Erich Hartmann accidentally taking Hitler's hat.
- Like Erica, Erich also had a problem with discipline.
- Her hairstyle is based on Erich's nickname "Bubi" (Erica's hair is in the Bubischnitt hairstyle)
- Heavy Sleeper: She seriously spends most of the series asleep, only appearing to investigate major disturbances and participate in battles. She even sleeps through an alarm clock and having books thrown at her.
- Hyperactive Metabolism: In The Movie, this is the only possible explanation about how she's able to use her special attack, despite unable to even fly a moment ago.
- Impact Silhouette: When she uses Sturm to ram Neuroi, she leaves behind a perfectly circular hole.
- Jerkass Ball: In the first episode of Operation Victory Arrow, she distrust the new military stuff of her twin sister, Ursula, for no reason.
- Mildly Military: While the other girls are at least trying to act like soldiers, Erica doesn't. Interestingly enough her real life counterpart had disciplinary problems as well although nowhere near as bad as her.
- Nice Girl: A cheerful, upbeat and friendly breath of fresh air who doesn't hold grudges and can get along with anybody.
- Not a Morning Person: Friendlier than most though about staying asleep... though mention the possibility of having candy and she'll wake up instantaneously.
- Petting Zoo People: Takes on the features of a Dachshund when she uses magic. However unlike the other girls she doesn't grow animal ears, the tips of her hair turn black instead.
- Power Fist: In The Movie, this is how she obliterate the Neuroi attacking her when she's out of guns. It looks and acts like Chidori & Rasengan: she actually has to board the Neuroi and punch it.
- Ramming Always Works: Like Luccini she uses her magic to invoke this. Unlike Luccini she uses a vortex of wind for protection instead of a stack of shields.
- Sweet Tooth: She wants sweets, they buy her an alarm clock instead.
- Trash of the Titans: Especially in comparison to Gertrude's room, which is spotless and on the opposite side of their dorm.
Gertrude Barkhorn ("Trude")
"It feels like Barkhorn is always mad at me too. But well, compared to her, I'm still just an inexperienced little duckling, so I guess it's only natural." —YoshikaFlight Lieutenant Gertrude Barkhorn is also one of the "Double Aces" of Karlsland. She holds the highest kill score over 250. She is disciplined and efficient: a very stereotypical German military personality. However to her friends Minna and Erica, whom she has known for a long time, she's slightly more open and friendly although she often yells at Erica for lacking discipline. She cares deeply about her little sister Chris, who was injured before the first season in a Neuroi attack. Her striker unit is based on the Focke-Wulf Fw190D-9 and her weapons are two MG42 machine guns with dual drum magazines. She is named after WWII ace Gerhard Barkhorn, the second highest scoring ace in history.
- Action Girl: Although every witch is technically one, her love of fighting coupled with her skill in the air means she takes the prize.
- Affectionate Nickname: Trude.
- Big Sister Instinct: Towards Yoshika after she saved her life. The reason is because Yoshika looks like her sister, Chris.
- Blood Knight: Not only is she one of the best witches, she deeply enjoys her job.
- Broken Bird: She is deeply affected by her sister's injury: At the beginning of the series, she acts cold to Yoshika because Yoshika resembles her sister and reminds her of her inability to protect her sister.
- Death Seeker: She's this from the time her sister is hurt to the point where Yoshika and Minna make her realize how stupid she's acting.
- Dual Wielding: When she decides to use her guns as clubs instead of guns.
- Guns Akimbo: Her normal battle loadout is two MG42 machine guns.
- It's All My Fault: Trude blames herself for not being able to protect her sister and her homeland, even knowing this wasn't her fault. This worsened when Yoshika joins the Strike Witches, since she looks like her sister, leading to a Heroic BSOD and a Death Seeker moment.
- My Greatest Failure: She was unable to protect her sister, Chris, who was injured during a Neuroi attack in Karlsland. Trude blames herself for it.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: Half her power seems to be her ability to strengthen objects allowing her to use her machine guns as clubs and not be crushed by a giant steel girder.
- Out-of-Character Moment: Most of her dialogue in the dub really does not sound like a disciplined Karlsland soldier.
- Petting Zoo People: She takes on the features of a German Wirehaired Pointer when she changes.
- Pistol-Whipping: When she mixes it up toe to fin with the neuroi she sometimes uses her guns as clubs.
- Proud Warrior Race Lady: And therefore constantly exasperated by Erica's laid back and informal attitude, seeing them as "a disgrace to the Karsland military."
- Replacement Goldfish: Since Yoshika resembles her sister, she often treats Yoshika coldly because she doesn't want to see Yoshika hurt.
- The Rival: of Shirley.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Various sources render her name as "Gertrud".
- Super Strength: The other half of her power is strength exceeding the already boosted strength of most witches.
- Tsundere: Becomes a type A after Yoshika saved her life. She denies, but deeply care for Yoshika. Lampshaded by Erica several times.
Alexandra Vladimirovna Litvyak ("Sanya")
"Sanya is a really kind girl! She's a little shy and quiet, but she's good at singing, and I think it's really great how she always does her best for all of us during the nights!" —YoshikaFlying Officer Aleksandra Vladimirovna Litvyak, or Sanya as she prefers to be called, is a shy Orussian witch in the 501st that often handles night patrol duties alone. Described as "nocturnal" she doesn't have a lot of contact with the other members of the 501st, but is essential for the unit's safety. Because of her lack of contact with the rest of the squad, she is only close to Eila and Erica although her compassionate and submissive personality means she's kind and accepting of everybody in the 501st. Sanya's father was an accomplished musician and taught Sanya how to play the piano and sing. He even wrote a song for her entitled 'Sanya's Song'. When the Neuroi invaded Orussia, Sanya was separated from her father but maintains hope that he's still alive in Orussia and someday they'll be reunited. To remind herself, she often hums the song her father composed for her. Unlike the other girls, most of whom wield machine guns, she uses a rocket launcher called the Fliegerhammer which is based on the Fliegerfaust, a contemporary German anti-aircraft rocket launcher and M202 FLASH. In season one her striker unit is based on the MiG60 a fictional fighter combining features of the MiG-1, MiG-3, and Yak-1: in season 2 her striker unit is based on the Yak-9. She is named after WWII ace Lydia Litvyak, one of just two female aces in real life.
Voiced by: Mai Kadowaki (JP), Jennifer Forrester (EN)
- Distaff Counterpart: Averted, she is the only one not based on a male ace.
- Friendly Sniper: In essence. Her rocket launcher weapon means that she tends to attack from long range, which leads to:
- Enemy-Detecting Radar: This is her unique ability.
- Heavy Sleeper: Justified, considering she's up all night patrolling.
- Loners Are Freaks: She's afraid that her isolation will make other people perceive her this way.
- Macross Missile Massacre: While she's limited to nine dumbfire rockets, she never seems to fire only one.
- Until season 2 episode 11 where she just fired one rocket and it created a domino effect on the Neuroi. She even lampshades it herself.
- Mission Control: She can also use her power to broadcast information to witches (including spacial information and orders) as well as rebroadcast radio transmissions.
- Moe Couplet: With Eila.
- Mundane Utility: She uses her radar powers to listen to the radio at night.
- Nice Girl: Gives even Yoshika a run for her money in the niceness department.
- The Load: During day missions she sometimes relies on Eila to move her around because she's practically dead on her feet.
- The Quiet One: She rarely talks, although she's quick to scold Eila when she's being too malicious.
- Parental Abandonment: She was separated from her father when the neuroi invaded.
- Petting Zoo People: She gains the features of a black cat when she uses her magic.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: With Eila, if you don't consider it full-on Les Yay.
- Small Girl, Big Gun: Her FliegerHummer is almost bigger than she is.
- Vapor Wear: Averted. She is indeed wearing something underneath those black tights, as can be seen when she undresses to go to bed.
Eila Ilmatar Juutilainen
"Eila is quite mysterious. But at least I've come to understand that she cares a lot about Sanya. Seems like she almost never has used her protective shield during battles since she can predict the enemy's attacks. According to herself, she does it without thinking, “by intuition”, but... Isn't it amazing?" — YoshikaFlying Officer Eila Ilmater Juutilainen is the top ace of the Suomus witch corps where she held the rank of captain (the rank indicated by the three roses on her collar). She is an expert at reading people, allowing her to predict her companions' actions and outwit her enemies. Her ability to read people combined with her ability to see the future means that in the air she is nearly untouchable. She is so used to her mastery of evasion that she relies exclusively on dodging and has difficulty raising a shield. Her striker unit is based on the Messerschmitt Bf109G-2 and her weapon of choice is the Suomi KP/31 Sub-Machine Gun. She is named after the Finnish WWII ace Eino Ilmari Juutilainen the highest scoring non-German ace in history.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: She's less extreme but relationships are definitely not her specialty. She just can't resist throwing insults into everything she says to anyone (except Sanya).
- Finns are stereotypically perceived as aloof and casually rude people by their neighbours, and Eila seems to follow those tropes pretty closely.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Very protective of Sanya.
- Combat Clairvoyance: She can see three seconds into the future and uses this to her advantage in combat.
- Declaration of Protection: Gives a big one to Sanya in the second season.Eila: I'M GOING TO PROTECT SANYAAA.
- Deadpan Snarker: She gets a few moments of this in episode 6 of the first season.
- Dodge the Bullet: As a part of training, she dodges live anti-tank rounds fired by a sniper.
- Averted later that episode when Sanya angrily throws a pillow at her and she's too shocked to dodge it.
- Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: In the episode 7 of second season she tried to pull off Sanya's panties while she was sleeping, suspecting the bug neuroi was under her panties. Obviously Sanya wake up and do not enjoy it.
- Fragile Speedster: The fact that she is rarely prepared to raise a shield means a stray Neuroi beam would toast her. Fortunately, she is really good at dodging.
- High Speed Laser Dodge: She uses her ability to see several seconds into the future to dodge lasers.
- Hoist By Her Own Petard: Her reliance on dodging backfires spectacularly in the second season.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Since she knows where the enemies will be and where her shots will go, she doesn't even have to look to hit with perfect accuracy.
- Lightning Bruiser: Her abilities let her dodge every attack coming her way and hit the enemy with uncanny accuracy.
- Little Bit Beastly: She takes on the features of a black fox when she uses magic.
- Loveable Sex Maniac: She's almost as bad as Lucchini.Sanya: Eila is very dear to me. We’re always together... because that’s just the way it is. I didn’t even notice it until people around me told me. But I don’t like her habit of touching other girl’s bodies like she does! That’s not good, Eila! You never do those kinds of things to me... Why? Just blushing won’t help me understand...
- Moe Couplet: With Sanya.
- Mysterious Waif: Almost every character notes her odd behavior and mysterious air, even the ones that don't normally comment on character disposition. Also she has the least back story development of the entire cast, all we really know about her is that she's from Suomus and loves Sanya.
- Not What It Looks Like: When she pull off Sanya's panties while she is sleeping and Sanya wake up with an angry face.
- Psychic Powers: Her power is the ability to see several seconds into the future, although her accuracy with Tarot cards is not nearly as good.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: With Sanya, if you don't consider it full-on Les Yay.
- Smug Super: She's more than happy to rub the fact in that she doesn't need shields, which are critical to every other witch.
- Tarot Motifs: She keeps a tarot deck in one of her belt pouches and she occasionally reads people fortunes.
- Tomboy: Aside from using the gender-neutral "watashi" to refer to herself, Ella uses exclusively masculine vocabularies and syntaxes in the Japanese version.
- Tsundere: She often tries to pass off her presence at several engagements as just chance, much like a tsundere would her acts of kindness. No one buys it, though.
- In the end of first season after the disband of Strike witches, she tried to deny she returned to the base because Yoshika. Sanya revealed her true intentions.
- Waif Prophet: She's a mysterious little girl and her powers revolve around reading the future.
- Wingman: In combat she takes this role more often than not.
Junko TakeiFlight Lieutenant Junko Takei is originally from Fuso Imperial Navy and now is the commander of 504th JFW. She is an old friend of Sakamoto and fought alongside when they were stationed in Libau together. Takei, Sakamoto, and Yoshiko Nishizawa were called "Three crows of Libau" for their outstanding performance in Libau. Her special ability allows her to raise her comrades' morale. She also is the protagonist of Nintendo DS game and one of the main characters in Maidens of the Heavens. In anime, she appears as the commander of 504th JFW in episode 1, 3, and 12 of season 2.
Voiced by: Masumi Asano (JP), Kara Edwards (EN)
Hanna-Justina MarseilleFlight Lieutenant Marseille, also known as "Star of Africa", is yet another super ace from Karlsland. Originally from Karlsland Afrika Corps, she now belongs to the "Afrika" Joint Fighter Wing, which was practically organized just for her. She has incredible combat skill which is said to be one of the best in Allied Forces, matching that of Erika. Though her score is only up to 200 kills, Neurois in Africa are much larger than the Europe, making this score worth three times as much. Marseille is originally from semi-official Doujinshi series "Afrika" which, as the name suggests, focuses on North African Campaign of the Strike Witches Universe. She also makes an appearance in season 2 episode 10 of the anime.
- C-Cup Angst: Her breasts are big, but she is envious of Charlotte's, who're even bigger.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She is very arrogant and thinks she is the best witch of the world, but has a good heart and care for others.
- The Rival: She sees Erika as her only rival, while Erika couldn't care less.
- Smug Super: She's one of the top aces in the world, and kind of an ass about it.
Shizuka HattoriA newer member of the Witches who idolizes Yoshika. Without much knowledge of war, she sticks strictly to the rules. She is given the role of accompanying Yoshika in her journey through Europe, but is very shocked and dismayed at Yoshika's demeanor which seemingly is disgraceful for her rank. This comes to a head when she disproves even of Yoshika's desire to help everyone she can. By the end of the movie, she seems to have mellowed out. Her ace archetype is Utou Kazushi
Voiced by: Aya Uchida (JP)
- Apologizes a Lot: Does this to Yoshika initially, and again at Perrine's chateau.
- Broken Pedestal: She's shocked at her idol Sergeant Miyafuji's disregard for military rules, as well as her un-officer-like behavior (read: cooking dinner, swabbing the deck).
- Defrosting Ice Queen: At the end of the movie she lightens up considerably and learns to accept Yoshika for the way she is and admires her once again.
- Fangirl: Of 501st witches, but especially Yoshika.
- Lethal Chef: And how.
- Little Bit Beastly: Takes the ears and tail of a Japanese wolf dog when using magic.
- Military Brat
- New Meat: In her first year at the Fuso Naval Academy. Her first combat sortie consists of engaging a Neuroi alone during the movie. She does remarkably well.
The NeuroiA mysterious alien force that arrived from space one day and started wrecking havoc. Their goals are unknown.
- Alien Invaders
- Attack Its Weak Point: Every non-drone Neuroi has a core. If the core is destroyed, so is the main body and all drones created by the Neuroi.
- Beam Spam: Most of the time, large-scale Neuroi attack by firing laser barrages, with occasionally focusing their firepower for a single, powerful laser.
- Cute Monster Girl: The Neuroi Girls near the end of season 1 and the beginning of Season 2 are really attractive to some people. Too bad the two that show up get blasted unceremoniously with extreme prejudice.
- High-Tech Hexagons: Even though they are based on time appropriate vehicles for the most part, the hexagonal structure they have make them look futuristic. And the fact that they can shoot lasers from them doesn't hurt.
- Mechanical Lifeforms: The Neuroi are vaguely mechanical, and mostly use forms based on vehicles and such, with some exceptions.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The first known Neuroi what invaded the Earth were sealed beneath a Egyptian city. While even knowing about the existence of the seal would break it, it was only broken during the Second Neuroi War.
- Starfish Aliens: They feed on the land's soil for energy, and even though they are Mechanical Lifeforms, they show little to none mechanical structure from the inside. Some pictures in The Movie seem to indicate that Neuroi used to take animalistic appearances like those resembling Hydra, Orochi, Tsuchigumo and dragons.
Trevor MaloneyAir Chief Marshal of the Britannian RAF. He was well against the Witch program since it was created by his political rival. He's also the commander of the 1st Assault Unit codenamed "Warlock" and funded an advanced project to render the Witches obsolete.
Ursula HartmannErica Hartmann's identical twin sister. A brillant engineer who designes and build strike units, including a powerful jet striker prototype used by Gertrud Barkhorn. She is introduced at the end of season 2 episode 4, where she offers the 501st a sack of potatoes as an apology for the super jet striker unit being unstable. Formerly a member of the 507JFW, AKA the Suomus Misfits Squadron.
- Distaff Counterpart: Averted, as she is based on the wife of Erich Hartmann.
- Meganekko: One of her features that distinguishes her from her sister.
- Made of Explodium: Some of the things she builds tend to blow up, as shown in season 2 epilogue (may also explain why the jet striker prototype she built for Gertrud eventually self destructed).
- Numerical Theme Naming: Hilariously played with when some of the protagonists first meet her and call her "Erica #2" not knowing she is Erica's sister.