Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

Dated 29 December 2020: The war on pants will go on a long as it has to

Yoshika and Shizuka
I don't dislike Miyafuji anymore, but these two still aren't exactly favorites.

It's been a while since I've watched the first two Strike Witches seasons, but I felt this third season seemed better overall than those previous installments. I also liked it better than the Brave Witches spinoff. Despite this, I'm still not at all prepared to call Strike Witches: Road to Berlin the best season yet even though it sort of has to be by definition. The problem is Road to Berlin still relied on the Neuroi as the primary advesary. This is an unavoidable component of the World Witches canon, but these alien invaders have never been compelling enemies. The witches need to fight somebody, but the battles still feel hollow and the stakes haven't grown as the war has progressed, despite a fair amount of dialogue trying to convince viewers that they have.

World Witches Take Off!
That sure is a lot of witches.

Thankfully, Strike Witches 3 at least avoided some of the even less convincing drama that dragged down parts of the first two seasons. Frankly, I rather enjoy the characters more when they're doing silly things in garrison such as in the Strike Witches: 501 Butai Hasshin Shimasu! (Strike Witches: 501st JOINT FIGHTER WING Take Off!) gag anime. This bodes well for next season's World Witches Hasshin Shimasu! (World Witches Take Off!) installment, although I think I would still prefer it use the standard superlovely character designs than the simpler comedy-friendly ones.

Dated 10 July 2005: Iriya no Sora, UFO no Natsu (UFO Boobs)

Foo Fighter
A UFO from Iriya no Sora, UFO no Natsu A.K.A. UFO BOOBS.

Just so you know... THRUST VECTORING? Passé. The new stardard for air supremacy is FOLK DANCING.


On a more serious note, I find Iriya no Sora, UFO no Natsu to be an underrated OAV. Much of the directing is very well done, and is reminiscent of Futakoi Alternative and some episodes of Evangelion (mostly in the establishing shots and scene transitions). It appears the director might be relatively inexperienced, but I'd definitely be interested in seeing more of Naoyuki Itou's work.

The last few episodes have taken the show into kind of a dark place, so I'm also curious as to whether episode six will end on a complete downer.

Iriya and Asaba
Iriya and Asaba

I guess I should expand a bit for people unfamiliar with the show. Iriya no Sora, UFO no Natsu seemed like a cute enough fanservice show. The promo art was mostly cheesecake. Hence, I started referring to it as UFO BOOBS because there was no way I was going to remember its proper title, Iriya no Sora, UFO no Natsu.

The first episode had the kind of fanservice you might expect from a show with this art style, including brief nudity. Of course, it also had schoolkids packing submachine guns....

Since then, the show has gotten somewhat bloody, and a bit brutal at times. It's good, but some viewers may find it disturbing. To my knowledge, this is a six-episode OAV, with the final episode due shortly. It doesn't look as if it's going to end on a happy note, but as a credit to the show, I think I would be equally satisfied with either a happy or a depressing ending.