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Dated 4 August 2010: Strike Witches 2 is better than ever

Barkhorn is awesome because she's always serious.

After re-watching the first season of Strike Witches while waiting for more episodes of Strike Witches 2, I've concluded that the sequel surpasses the original—at least through the latest four episodes. The real problem with the first season of Strike Witches is the show takes a tremendous dive during the final third of the show. The instant Wilcke pulls out that pistol the show effectively gets shot out of the sky and goes down in flames. The final three episodes of the last DVD were especially bad.

Yeager and Barkhorn
I love it when Barkhorn calls Yeager "Liberion."

Season two, on the other hand, returns to the elements that made the first season enjoyable. I am in favor of a retcon that wipes the "plot" episodes of the last season, merging the rest of what's left into a single continuous arc. True, in some respects the second season has been too much like the first season. For example, the recent episode about Karlsland's experimental striker unit evoked many of the same elements found in Charlotte Yeager's supersonic episode from the first season. But c'mon, Gertrude Barkhorn with JETS! The very idea brings a tear to my eye. So beautiful.

The very recognizable Charlotte Yeager.

Besides, it's not all the same. There were numerous problems with the broom-training episode, but don't overlook the positive aspects it brought. First, it reminds us that the Strike Witches really are witches, as opposed to traditional magikal girls or true mecha musume. Second, it brought Perrine-H. Clostermann into the Lynette Bishop and Yoshika Miyafuji clique. Gallia's haughty witch was a bit of an outcast the first season, so it's nice to see her with friends this time around. It's easy to forget she's also one of the younger members of the wing.

Yoshika and Ursula
Hopefully Ursula isn't a complete slob like her sister.

Minor changes are the keys to success here. All too often sequels seem all too eager to screw up a good thing by making it bigger and better. Cameo appearance by Ursula Hartmann aside, I'm really glad Strike Witches 2 has not fallen to the temptation to overload the show with more and more witches. There's no question Strike Witches 2 could still crash and burn, but as long as it stays the course, I'm content to let this war go on as long as it has to.

Dated 9 October 2010: Summer 2010 season wrapup

Summer 2010 wasn't an especially good season of anime:

Major season six > Asobi ni Iku yo! > Strike Witches 2 > Detective Conan (579-590) > Seitokai Yakuin Domo > Shiki (1-11) > Amagami SS (1-13) > Heartcatch Precure! (20-33) > Shukufuku no Campanella.

Dropped: Legend of the Legendary Heroes (1) | Worse than Cosprayers: Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi (5) > Mitsudomoe (1).

Major was easily my favorite show from summer 2010, although I felt the "yips" arc went on too long.

This was my favorite part of the OP.

Asobi ni Iku yo! was a lot better than I was expecting. It stayed fun the whole way through, but I would have liked to see more of the evil-type Momiji. And they never explained what the deal was with her older younger sister.

Minna and Mio
Not this shit again.

To some degree, I enjoyed the second Strike Witches season more than the first one. Nevertheless, it really did feel like a re-hash of the first season.

Detective Conan is Detective Conan. I continue to enjoy it as I plow through the hundreds of unwatched episodes I have remaining. As you can see, I've long since realized there are no meaningful spoilers in Detective Conan, so I've started watching the currently airing episodes along with my backlog of older ones.

Aria, Tsuda, Shino, and Suzu
The rules segments with the drum and whistle were my favorite parts.

I really enjoyed Seitokai Yakuin Domo and its relentless stream of sex jokes and short jokes. It was probably funnier to native speakers, though; it's tough to adapt verbal comedy to different languages.

Shiki hit a long skid of tedious episodes, but the recent ones are quite good, especially if you enjoy hollering directions to idiot B-movie characters. E.g., "Don't go in there!"

Amagami SS is pure cheese. That said, I still look forward quite a bit to each new episode as Potato-kun attempts to trophy-love every girl in the school.

Obi-Wan Kenobi supplants Tart as the least annoying Precure mascot.

I'm still not a huge fan of Heartcatch Precure! but it is growing on me.

Shukufuku no Campanella kinda sucked, but all the scenes with the Tortilla sisters or Agnes made it worth it. Also, "ARMAGEDDON JA YO!"

I tried watching Legend of the Legendary Heroes which I figured would be tongue-in-cheek, but it wasn't very interesting. Dropped after one episode.

Now, two shows I not only dropped but considered to be, ahem, WORSE THAN COSPRAYERS: Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi was inexcusably terrible. How J.C. Staff fucked this up, I have no idea. I dragged my way through five episodes. Finally, I realize I'm in the minority in not enjoying Mitsudomoe, but the only thing I saw in the one episode I managed to watch was ugly children doing horrid things.

Dated 4 July 2011: Strike Witches side arms

Charlotte Yeager
Shields. Shiiieeelllldddssss!

It kinda bugs me that when Charlotte Yeager's BAR jammed she (1) didn't make any attempt to clear the malfunction, and (2) didn't have a side arm. Okay, sure, a real-world .45ACP would be useless during an air battle, but Yeager still could have drawn a Colt 1911 in that situation. I'm pretty sure they're all using magic weapons anyway—at a minimum, ones with unlimited ammo and barrels that don't overheat.

Update: ani-nouto adds...

Most of the shooting was rather magical, but in the beginning of the original GONZO SW we saw Sakamoto's gun overheating (just so that she could switch to sword).