Yumi HaraRie TanakaStrike WitchesAyuru Ohashi
World Witches Take Off!
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2021: W
Also known as: World Witches Hasshin Shimasu!
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2021
Director: Fumio Ito
Original creator: Humikane Shimada
Actor: Ai Kakuma, Ami Koshimizu, Arise Satou, Ayuru Ohashi, Chiwa Saito, Haruka Terui, Hiromi Igarashi, Kaori Nazuka, Kayo Ishida, Maaya Uchida, Mai Kadowaki, Marin Mizutani, Mie Sonozaki, Misato Fukuen, Miyuki Sawashiro, Natsumi Takamori, Rie Murakawa, Rie Suegara, Rie Tanaka, Rika Morinaga, Rina Satou, Sakura Nogawa, Saori Seto, Yumi Hara
Keywords: Strike Witches, World War II, anime, SF
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: Twelve 13-minute episodes
Url: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=23727
Website category: Anime 2021
Review date: 26 April 2023
strike witches
It's another Take Off! parody of Strike Witches, except that this time they're doing the 2016 Brave Witches spin-off too. They alternate. Odd-numbered episodes are Strike, while even numbers are Brave. I hadn't been expecting much from the Brave episodes, but in fact they're very good. It helps a lot that they're often doing specific parodies of the parent show's story beats and episodes... but you'll find them funnier if you've watched Brave Witches recently.
Here's a suggested watching order for the franchise, which is only slightly different from broadcast order:
Strike Witches (2008)
Luminous Witches (2022) -- with its first nine episodes chronologically overlapping with the events of the first Strike Witches season. You could interleave them!
Pilot OVA (2007) -- if you feel like it, but it's an alternate version rather than part of continuity
Strike Witches 2 (2010)
Strike Witches: Operation Victory Arrow (2014) -- prequels to the 2012 movie
Strike Witches: The Movie (2012)
Strike Witches: 501st Joint Fighter Wing Take Off! (2019) -- which parodies Season 2 and the movie
Brave Witches (2016)
Strike Witches: Road to Berlin (2020) -- which has a Brave Witches cameo that could be called a spoiler if watched out of order
World Witches Take Off! (2021) -- which parodies both Strike and Brave Witches
The Brave Witches parodies arguably improve the cast. These gag versions tend to be more distinctive. Kanno is funnier (especially her well-hidden girlie side), Nipa becomes more than just "nice with boobs" (since her accident-prone tendencies have been ramped up to near-supernatural levels), Sasha is more memorable (she's the accountant), Captain Rall is now a money-grubbing exploiter and above all Krupinski is funny rather than annoying. She's become a joke character, with her woman-chasing now at "sex pest" levels. In a gag series, she fits. In the original, going around calling everyone "koneko-chan" like an elderly lothario, I had no patience with her.
Some characters barely appear, mind you. Good luck trying to spot Rossmann, Georgie and Sadako. I'd expected that, though, and I completely agree with the series's decision to focus on characters who can generate jokes. Kanno is comedy gold, which I hadn't expected at all. (She likes to project the image of a thug, but sometimes the facade slips.) Nipa gets used for the equivalent of mine clearance. (If she doesn't have an accident, we know it's safe!) Captain Rall accepts Hikari into the 502nd while ignoring her combat abilities, because of the merchandising opportunities. "That solves our budget problem!"
I was only disappointed regarding Takami, who should have been torn to shreds in a parody of the final episodes. The show doesn't go there, although she does get an amusingly dumb, embarrassing reason for being written out of the bulk of the show.
They also make good comedy use of the setting. Russia gets cold.
Meanwhile, of the Strike Witches girls, Barkhorn's trying to make a movie. Her efforts will get taken over by the 501st's lowlifes (Shirley, Hartmann, Lucchini), which is a terrible decision. Parody Miyafuji is still a boob-fixated sexual predator. Delightfully, there's no Hattori. The show's pairings tend to be made explicit for comedy (e.g. Minna fancies Sakamoto), but this won't mean much to you if you don't know the characters already.
It's another good Take Off! series. The first episode didn't make me laugh, but after that it gets funny. Mind you, the title sequence tries to imply that the Brave and Strike shows' casts are full of equivalent characters, which is theoretically true but in practice absurd. They're similar at the upper end (the funnier characters), but Brave Witches has more nonentities. That doesn't matter, though. It's funny. I enjoyed it.