Strike Witches is an unique anime in several aspects; set in the World War II era, the series possesses elements from both a war film and a slice-of-life series. These two elements mesh together to form the basis of the plotline, cycling between character development (which is given a lot of attention to and shows positively in the series) as well as the state of the human-Neuroi conflict. The latter is actually one of the secondary aspects of the show: there is no central plot outside of shooting down a Neuroi every week, and in this respect, is the weak end of things. However, the characters breathe life into the show; depicting the livelihoods of the 501st, much of the enjoyment value is derived from watching the characters interact and mature. Every pilot of the 501st was based off a real pilot from WWII, so for individuals with a strong background in history, subtle details such as the military tactics, weapons, aircraft and events will demonstrate the effort that went into generating a story that hints at the actual events of WWII. In fact, sufficiently knowledgible individuals with a keen ear will note that every striker unit possesses a slightly different engine sound. The Striker units incorperate elements of WWII planes and turns the girls into anthropomorphic combat aircraft; taken together, the implementation of such a concept gives rise to appealing visuals during combat sequences. Meanwhile, the Neuroi are depicted as mysterious antagonists with no speaking roles. Following Awakening of the Trailblazer, such aliens aren't too much of a surprise, and have the effect of simplifying the plot further, which in turn allows for extended focus on the characters. When everything is considered, Strike Witches is a visually rewarding anime, with character development being its strongest suit. The presentation of the plot is a unique and pleasing one, despite being a touch shakey at times. For fans who are sufficiently mature to get over the fanservice, there is much to be enjoyed from this series.
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