Picking up directly from the last episode, Izetta’s opening amused me considering she appears to be flying a modified Lahti L-39 Anti-Tank Rifle as her primary broomstick. A little bit more about how Izetta and Finé know each other, as well as the general state of the war. As for Brave Witches, we see a little bit more of the front and fills in the gap between Seasons 1 and 2 of Strike Witches.
Izetta: The Last Witch – Episode 2: Mit Narben und Schussen
After escaping from the crashed plane, Izetta and Finé head towards the mountain to an Elystadtian fortress. While enroute, they are set upon by Bassler and his wing. Breaking her taboo on revealing her powers to the outside world, and with Finé rapidly falling into her wound, she uses her magic to launch spikes of ice and snow fused her blood at the attacking Germanian planes, managing to take out all four of Bassler’s wing and earning his ire. Apart from their safety, it seems Izetta had witnessed the brutality of the invading Germanians at an earlier date and isn’t fully against fighting back.
Running low on energy, Finé helps her fight Bassler off by cocking and firing the PTRS antitank rifle that Izetta has enchanted to fly, striking a direct hit into his engine cowling and disabling his plane. Landing, Izetta tends to Finé’s wound and leaving the rifle behind, carriers Finé towards the fortress that they were originally headed to.
Back at the Elystadtian capital of Landsburgg, the Archduke is meeting with his advisors. While his military head seems to think they have a chance against the Germanian forces, another advisor reminds him that Germania won’t be the type to be beaten by morale and fighting spirit alone. Asking of his daughter’s whereabouts, they can only answer in the negative. With the situation grim, it seems that even the rational advisor would be willing to seek help from the White Witch from the fairy tale.
Speaking of which, the defeated deffenders of the fallen fortress is led through the woods by their commander, who overhears someone stumbling through the woods. Confronting the unknown, Izetta appears and after verifying that they’re Elystadtian soldiers, pleads for help for Finé.
While a makeshift camp is setup to rest the soldiers and treat the princess, the Major in charge tries to get answers but is interrupted by the doctor who asks for Izetta’s help. Thanking Izetta for the prompt first aid, the princess will survive and also treats Izetta’s wounds. She remarks that she deems herself unworthy to be her friend, after the doctor comments on Finé’s old injury as well as her own scratched and bruised legs. She remembers her childhood with Finé, who was the first person not to care that she was a witch or not.
Later that evening, the Major implores her to eat, that Finé is also important to them, a member of the nobility who puts her subject’s lives above her own, even if her subjects would wish she would consider that hers is more important. At this point Finé would wake and the next day, would camp at an abandoned manor.
Recognizing the dire situation they’re in, with the possibility of being trapped and surrounded, Finé implores Izetta to run, that Elystadt’s war is not her own, but Izetta can only think of Finé’s own sacrificing for her as well. Back at the crash site, Belkman and Sieg conclude that Izetta is the real deal, but would be interrupted by a report about a start of a battle nearby. Back at the manor, Izetta refuses to run, and states that she will stay to protect Elystadt to repay Finé’s kindness.
Brave Witches: Take Flight, Chidori!
The world at this stage is learning that the Neuroi are defeatable with the liberation Gallia by the 501st Joint Fighter Wing “Strike Witches”, and with the general need to destroy Neuroi nests, more witches are dispatched, including the Karibuchi sisters are sent to Europe. Hikari is destined to be attached to the 507th Joint Fighter Wing “Silent Witches” located in Suomous and is more of a support wing (a notable member is Ursala Hartmann, Erica Hartmann’s twin sister and scientist/engineer); while Takami is destined for the 502nd Joint Fighter Wing “Brave Witches” in Orussia, a mainline combat unit.
EDIT: Mistakenly wrote 502 rather than 501.
While pouring over the news with Squadron Leader Gundala Rall, Flight Sergeant Edytha Roßmann expresses pride in Erica’s actions in Gallia. As the flotilla consisting of the Shoukaku-class carrier, four destroyer escorts (Yuugumo class) and what looks to be a Takao-class heads towards its first port of call in Petersburg, Orussia. Hikari continues to show off her inhuman stamina, while Takami test flights a new Striker Unit which she nicknames ‘Chidori’, the Japanese term for the plover.
Trying out the unit, Hikari is unable to control it, commenting the difference between it and the training strikers used in the academy. Takami tries to give her sister tips, and bonds with her later that evening to try and lift her spirits. They would be awoken in the morning by the sounds of Action Stations, as a staggering Neuroi pack consisting of thirty small-type Neuroi and ten large-type Neuroi intercept the flotilla. Launching with the carrier’s complement of Zeros, Takami notices through her powers that only the medium type Neuroi have cores, and orders the Zeros to go after the smaller ones as she starts to snipe the medium size Neuroi. This is a losing proposition though, as Zero after Zero is shot down for every small-type Neuroi. Hikari tries to sortie to help but a hit to the carrier destroys her striker unit.
With her support gone, Takami resorts to her hidden potential at the cost of her shield. She destroys all the Neuroi remaining but had been hit, falling to the deck of the carrier and into Hikari’s arms. With Takami down, Hikari attempts to buy the fleet to escape, sortieing in Chidori and barely able to hold off two new Neuroi that has appeared, though it seems she has a power similar to her sister’s but quite stronger. At this point, reinforcements in the form of six members of the 502nd arrive and destroy them in quick succession. Naoe is shocked and demands to know who Hikari is.
With the carrier docked at Novo-Kholmogory (our timeline Archangelsk), Pilot Officer Georgette Lemare manages to heal some of Takami’s wound but Takami is using what was left of her magical powers to keep herself alive, though it is unsure when she would wake up from her magically induced coma. With the appearance of the new Neuroi hive and the potential that they would be cut off, Squadron Leader Rall agrees to send Takami back to Fuso, much to Naoe’s chargin.
Ikari overhears this and implores Rall to make her fight in Takami’s stead, angering Naoe. She doesn’t relent at her sister’s friend’s steely stare and Rall agrees on the condition that she must get stronger.
Izetta seems to be on a roll, and finally we see the result of Izetta’s utilization of a PTRS as a broomstick. While the majority of her kills were through spikes of snow initiated by her blood as a catalyst, Finé’s help in disabling the Germanian ace’s fighter with a shot to the engine cowling might be the plantation of the idea of using a big heavy weapon like the Lahti L-39 as a flying broomstick, or rather, what looks like the Lahti L-39. That said, there seems to be some folks I know who think it isn’t the Lahti, but the profile alone as well as what would be Izetta’s own mission requirements might need a heavy hitting anti-tank gun. Of the weapons available, the Lahti seems better suited to the role.
My thought process, just by the OP alone; stick more wooden furniture above the barrel forward of the magazine well, remove the magazine cover, replace the ski-bipods with motorcycle-like footrests that connects to the trigger, the crank-type charging handle can get a small spring to bring it back forward. 10 rounds of 20mm and it’ll be very effective against planes and light armor.
Regardless, Finé at first reminded me of Princess Diana, who was very much a royal of the people. From fiction, she reminds me of Lafiel from the Sekai series, especially when dealing with Izetta, valuing her friendship that defies her noble status. And the Germanian ace will now be Izetta’s rival due to her killing his men in such short order as well as disabling his own aircraft.
The niggle I had last week about the Shoukaku-class carrier in Brave Witches hit a new high this week. While the evidence presented in the anime seems to indicate that it is the Shoukaku-class carrier Zuikaku, due to the mention of the 3rd Carrier Group, and its consort of three Akizuki-class destroyers.
In regards to Episode 2 though, the escorting vessels this time were switched to Yuugumo-class destroyers, with a single Takao-class in tow. I’ve postulated that since they are going through an area known to have no Neuroi hives, ships that are less effective in fighting aerial Neuroi would be consigned to convoy duty while ships that would be better suited for combatting Neuroi like the Akizuki-class would be stationed with forward deployed fleets.
In regards to the name of the Shoukaku-class carriers, I think in the past two episodes, both ships were actually shown. Episode 1 was of Zuikaku, escorted by three Akizuki-class DDs, while the carrier transporting the Karibuchi sisters would be the Shoukaku. My reasoning for this would be the commander of the European Expeditionary Fleet reporting into Squadron Leader Rall. He introduces himself as ‘Itou’, and bears no similarity to the commander on the flight deck of the carrier from episode 1. In fact, he shares the name of the Yamato’s last commander. Another of my ‘proof’ to the ship in episode 2 would be the Shoukaku would be the fact that two Shoukaku-class carriers passed each other once leaving Sasebo.
This also sets up the story of the 508th quite nicely, since the Shoukaku has a way to Europe, or would’ve stayed in Europe, and would’ve met up with Enterprise and Victorious in Belfast or New York.
Another thing of interest is the performance of the ‘normies’ in comparison to previous depictions. The pilots of the Zeros were able to score multiple kills of the small-type Neuroi before being overwhelmed by beams. And to be fair, it was fifteen to twenty fighters and one witch versus thirty small and 10 medium Neuroi. If that isn’t a force-imbalance I do not know what is. I chalked this up to it being the Shoukaku’s compliment. They would be the ones most well versed in fighting alongside witches as part of the 508th Joint Fighter Wing “Mighty Witches”. And no doubt considering our-timeline’s USN’s training and rotation practice, it’s a good chance that knowledge is being passed onto new recruits, both normal and witch, thus allowing a chance for common humanity to strike back.
Thinking about it now, the very maneuverable Zero would be the better plane for the job in comparison to the Wildcats and Hellcats, since a Neuroi’s beam would make short work of anything isn’t shielded by magic.
Regardless, I think I’ll be continuing with both series under this title. They’re both very engaging in their own ways, and I find both to be enjoyable. Though I’ll be trying to cut down on screenshots. The days of exceeding 100 screenshots per episode is, for the time being, done for.