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"It's my mission and duty to guide her on her path to becoming a full-fledged Witch, for the sake of my, no, the world's benefactor, Dr. Miyafuji..."
—Mio Sakamoto on Yoshika Miyafuji

Originaly a Shonen manga then a series of Light Novels, Strike Witches became an anime series animated by GONZO and was broadcast between July and September 2008. A second season was released in July 2010 by AIC, following GONZO's bankruptcy. Both seasons contain 12 episodes, with the first half centred around the titular Witches' backstories and livelihoods, while the remainder of each season unlocking more secrets about the nature of the war between humanity and the enigmatic Neuroi. A movie has been confirmed for release in early 2012 that will be an original story.

The events of Strike Witches are set in an Alternate History; in 1939, the extraterrestrial Neuroi began their conquest of Earth. Despite lacking understanding about the Neuroi's background or motives, it was clear to humanity that the Neuori presented a grave threat to their civilization; this prompted the world's armed forces to mount a counteroffensive, enlisting the help of female magic users known as "Witches" and a newly developed weapon christened the "Striker Unit" (devices which bolster the Witches' magical abilities). Wielding spells and specialized firearms, they take to the skies and strive to repel the Neuroi invaders. The anime tells of Yoshika Miyafuji's story, a Fuso witch whose desire to learn about her missing father's fate eventually lead her to join the battle against the Neuroi and understand what being a "Strike Witch" means.

The anime series is one component of the franchise: additional materials includes eight light novels (covering the Suomus Misfits Squadron and the African front of the war), four manga series, five official doujinshi (also covering the African front), four video games, and occasional short stories released on Humikane's Twitter feed which follow the adventures of the 502nd JFW. Most of the early material is available in Japanese only, though more recent doujinshi and light novels have been receiving international releases, and fan translations exist for several of the Twitter releases.

On first glance, Strike Witches appears as little more than a Fan Service-focused series. However, it ultimately presents what is, at heart, a war story about the camaraderie between the pilots of the 501st Joint Fighter Wing (aka Strike Witches) and their battles against the unknown enemy. Strike Witches shares a superficially similar concept with Sky Girls: both series saw Humikane Shimada's contribution as a character designer. Naturally, a character sheet is included and may be accessed here.


Strike Witches contains examples of:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Mio's Katana in the first season is used to cut the wing of a Neuroi the size of a battlecruiser. She makes an upgraded sword that can bisect a Neuroi in addition to its strongest beam attack in one slice.
  • A-Cup Angst: Yoshika Miyafuji experiences this at times early on. Featured most prominently in Episode 5: "Fast, Big, Soft".
  • Alpha Bitch: Perrine is a moderate form of this towards Yoshika early on.
  • Alternate History: While the period of when history begins diverging is not known, the impact is clear, with some countries having different names and different borders. WWII is replaced with fighting off an alien invasion. However, all of the witches are based on real World War Two pilots, including General Chuck Yeager. By a curious turn of fate, screenshots of episode 5 have been posted on Yeager's Myspace page.
    • According to official artbooks, while history went normally in the BC era, the divergence began when Julius Caesar survived his assassination and went to become the Emperor of Roman Empire. More divergences in history included Chingiz Khan became the Mongol Emperor, a war between the Mongol Empire and the kingdoms of Karlsland(Germany), Oda Nobunaga escape his assassination, unified Fuso(Japan) and defeated the Spanish Armada and the Britannia East India Company battles the Dutch and their Fuso Mercenary allies for the spice routes which latter led to two Britannia-Fuso wars before both nations made peace and became allies. Read the link for more info of the history of the Strike Witches universe.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: At the start of season one, most of continental Europe has fallen to the Neuroi.
  • Art Evolution: There is a very noticeable change in the artwork between the first season by GONZO and the second season by AIC
  • Anticlimax Boss: Season 2, Episode 7's Monster of the Week is defeated when Minna tenses up and crushes the insect sized Neuroi core in her underpants when everyone rushes to pull them off her. Subsequently its larger, more armed half is destroyed. She even gets a medal, as it was her 200th kill, which she and Mio were discussing at the beginning of the episode.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: All Neuroi have a core that is their de facto Achilles heel, and only Mio can spot it when covered by the Neuroi's body. Without Mio's abilities, the witches would be forced to rip the Neuroi to pieces just to find the core, something extremely difficult considering the kind of enemy they're facing.
  • Attack Pattern Alpha: Wilcke gives orders like this in nearly every battle she is in.
  • Badass Army: The Witch regiments of every country, where a handful of them are the equivalent of several fleets of warships.
  • Badass Crew: The Joint Fighter Wings.
  • Barrier Warrior: Yoshika can put up a much bigger and stronger shield than the average Witch.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: With magic, anyone can survive the oxygen deprivation and radiation exposure of the upper atmosphere.
  • Beach Episode
  • Beam Spam: The Neuroi's weapons essentially fill the combat airspace with beams.
  • Beehive Barrier: The Neuroi seem to be made out of this. The Warlock, once it's taken over as a Neuroi, can also employ one as a shield.
  • BFG: Most of the girls have heavy machine guns as their primary armament. In Season 2 Episode 4, Barkhorn gets new (temporary) weapons. A QUADRUPLE mounted MK 108 30mm autocannon and another MK 214A 50mm autocannon.
  • BFS Yoshika picks up a glowing one of these roughly the size of her in the trailer for the film. She effortlessly slices through a Neuroi barrier and the alien's core with it.
  • Bittersweet Ending: To save Mio from being used as a living battery for a now completely-invincible Giant Neuroi, which is implied to be able to singlehandely wipe out humanity, Yoshika uses ALL of her Magic energy to power a mighty strike that defeats the Apocalyptic Eldritch Abomination. Though Romagna is finally saved, the war still goes on. And just like Mio, Yoshika's life as a witch and warrior ends as she spends the rest of her life a mundane doctor.
  • Bland-Name Product: Spem. Which as a product name sounds even more gross than the real stuff is.
  • Body Count Competition: While they aren't shown agreeing to one, both Gertrude and Erica count off the number of Neuroi they've shot down in episode 8 of the first season. Gertrude won, with 20 kills to Erica's 10.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted their heavy machineguns really do have obviously big clips but they do run out after fighting for way too long.
  • Boss Rush: the final battle against the Warlock-Akagi combined mech.
  • Bowdlerization: Inverted by Fan Sub Group Strike Subs. Because the removal of Censor Steam in the DVD version just revealed Barbie Doll Anatomy below the waistline they took the liberty to release an alternative version of episode 7 with some digital video editing to make the characters more anatomically correct in the groin area. This "uncensored" version got five times as many downloads as the unaltered one.
  • But Not Too Gay: Depending on how you interpret the girls' displays of affection, there are at least two couples, plenty of hugging and plenty of couple tropes. No actual kissing however. See No Hugging, No Kissing below. This trope is finally averted during the second season.
  • Call Back: The structure of the second season's first episodes seems to follow that of the first season. For both seasons, the first episode ends in a cliffhanger with a Neuroi attack just as Mio and Yoshika arrive in Europe, the second episode focuses primarily on fighting the Neuroi and meeting everyone else, the third episode focuses on training, with the trainees having to save the day at the end, and the fourth episode has Barkhorn almost getting herself killed. And now, the sixth episode looks to be Eila/Sanya centric. The seventh episode is base hijinks with panties stripping and lots and lots of Fan Service.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Used liberally by Mio and her Death Strike Reppuzan!. Perrine's Tonnerre and Erica's Sturm are less offensive examples than most anime as they're short and actually said in real time, and are dispensed with later on.
  • Cash Cow Franchise - Strike Witches more or less completely saved GONZO financially, to some extent, although GONZO has since declared bankruptcy. Furthermore, it's probably going to be the only the last GONZO animation to receive any consistent memetic fanbase in addition to Saki
  • Censor Steam
  • Cheeky Mouth
  • Cheerful Child/Genki Girl: Francesca.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In the second season, when Mio was talking with Minna, Minna laments on how she kept busy by their superiors and is one point away from getting a medal acknowledging her 200th kill. What better way, then, to enjoy a furo episode than have everyone chase a butt loving Neuroi and end it with Minna killing the bug by squeezing it with her butt and getting that 200th kill medal.
  • Child Soldiers: As young as 12. Justified though as Growing Up Sucks.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl:
    • Perrine seems a bit upset when Mio seems to pay much more attention to Yoshika than herself, especially if said attention is to force more training on Yoshika.
    • Eila also gets really jealous when Yoshika is assigned a mission to shield Sanya. She even gets Perrine to help her with shield training, but doesn't take it seriously.
  • Clothing Damage: During the Beach Episode, Charlotte crashes through a Neuroi, wiping out what little clothing she had to begin with.
  • Combat Medic: Yoshika
  • Combat Pragmatist: This is why the Witches are used. Word of God states that conventional weapons can and have actually defeated the Neuroi which is why the conventional armies on-screen are shown to still engage the Neuroi instead of running away and waiting for Witch support not because they're holding the Idiot Ball or setting up The Worf Effect. It just takes a whole lot more firepower and significantly greater losses compared to Witches.
  • Command Roster: See page.
  • Conspicuous CG: England's pastures never looked as plastic as in episode 09. Most conventional ships and airplanes in the show are very conspicuously CG as well. CG is also heavily used with the girls several times in the air to create more elaborate but fluid movements.
  • Cool but Inefficient: Weapons tend to differ wildly in size and caliber between Witches, some more efficient than others against the Neuroi, ranging from heavy machine guns to anti-tank rifles. However, this trope is averted in the sense that weapons with an increased rate of fire corresponds with the speed the aircraft are moving: it is easier to aim at high speeds using such weapons. Since some forms of Neuroi are Zerg Rush drones, the increased rate of fire is also useful. Finally, Charlotte lampshades the fact that they can only carry so much without being grounded or encumbered. Of course, the supplemental material points out that with so many different weapons, logistics are become challenging.
  • Covert Pervert: Several characters have these tendencies, but Yoshika and Perrine stand out. Yoshika's eyes and hands seem drawn to every bit of cleavage around, especially after her dream of 'flying in formation' with Lynette, her best friend. When Mio was putting a radio in her ear, she thought Mio was about to kiss her. Perrine has a strong attachment to Mio, border-lining on extreme proportions.
  • Crash Into Hello: Happens to Yoshika in episode 3.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Francesca
  • Chuck Charlotte Yeager
  • Department of Redundancy Department: When Gertrude is trying to wake up Erica in season one's seventh episode, this exchange occurs:

 Gertrude: "For a soldier of Karlsland, discipline comes first! Second is discipline! Third is discipline, and fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth are also discipline!"

Erica: (sleepily) "What's tenth?"

  • Dead Little Sister: Examples include Minna's boyfriend and Gertrude's little sister, Chris, although the latter is alive.
  • Death Seeker: Mio, realizing that her magic is failing due to her age and her usefulness as a soldier on the front lines is nearing its end, seems utterly determined to go out fighting. Even with Minna begging her to step down from duty before it's too late, it takes her a lesson from Yoshika to realize her mistake. As of the first episode of Season 2, she's still dead set on fighting. It's astonishing she hasn't been microwaved by the Neuroi yet.
  • Disappeared Dad: Yoshika's father.
  • Distaff Counterpart: The Witches are all Distaff Counterparts of real-life flying aces, and have similar names. The one exception is Sanya, who is based on Lydia Litvyak. Chuck Yeager's counterpart is also the first person in the Strike Witches world to break the sound barrier.
  • Dowsing Device: Eila uses one to track down the small, bug-like pants-invading Neuroi, with Sanya's sensors helping out.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Shirley, with an Army Truck. According to Takaaki Suzuki, the guy responsible for setting, the truck Shirley was driving had its engine exchanged.
  • Drum Bathing: The fourth episode of Strike Witches 2 has an example with two barrels right next to each other.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Mio
  • Falling Into the Cockpit: During an early encounter with the Neuroi in season one, Yoshika finds a Striker Unit and takes it into battle. Despite being her first time piloting one, Mio is impressed that Yoshika was able to do all the things that she does.
  • Fan Service: Prevalent throughout practically every episode, but especially so in the seventh episodes of both seasons.
  • Fastball Special: Charlotte throws Francesca in episode 12, with Francesca using her shield to protect herself and inflict damage.
  • Fetish: Yoshika seems to have one for big breasts. Fanon often plays it up to Memetic Molester levels.
  • Witch Launching Sequence: Prior to each sortie, viewers are treated to the mechanics of Witches' pre-flight preparations, whether it be the ignition of their Striker units or their magic circles.
  • Feminist Fantasy: Despite and because of this show's brand of fanservice. While the show is loaded to the hilt with fanservice, the girls make up the main cast, drive the story, and are given very strong and positive Character Development instead of being pawned off to service some generic male lead. Many of them are military officers and positive figures of authority, and those who aren't have their own unique strengths. Love interests with males (rare but there) are treated as the girls' story not the boys' and even the fanservice itself is a kind of pro-feminist Fridge Brilliance in and of itself. The trademark "pantlessness" of the Witches has become iconic, popular among women and publicly accepted because of their heroism, which is made even more significant when one considers that this is happening years before the pro-feminist movement happened in Real Life.
  • Flawed Prototype: The jet striker in season two. It has speed that makes Charlotte jealous, but absorbs way too much magical power to be safe.
  • Flying Brick: In addition to their inherent gift magic their magic also seems to grant them super strength, flight (on brooms), and increased physical endurance. If their shields are counted then they also have nigh invulnerability.
  • French Jerk: Perrine, une chienne vraimente...She mellows considerably over the course of the series, though.
  • Foreign Fanservice: Charlotte seems to think 100% of the fat a woman consumes goes straight to her breasts, and that this trait is unique to American women. Amazingly, she seems to be entirely correct about this.
  • Forging Scene: Mio when she's making her new sword.
  • Full Potential Upgrade: Yoshika needed a new Striker in season two because her power was overloading her current one. Conversely, Mio is an inversion, while her powers were growing weaker, she managed to upgrade to a Striker Unit that let her maximize what she still had.
  • Functional Magic: A mashup of inherent gift magic and device magic.
  • Furo Scene
  • Gag Dub: While not really true of the series itself, the trailer for Funimation's dub gleefully points out the girls' lack of pants at least half a dozen times. Ironically, the "They're not panties, so it's not embarrassing!" line was originally meant not as a justification, but to tell the audience to treat their underwear as if they are wearing something over them.
  • Gainaxing
  • Gender Restricted Ability
  • Girly Run: Lynette does this a lot.
  • Glass Cannon / Fragile Speedster: Mio in Season 2 can't use shields anymore, to compensate she got the Fuso Army to make her the fastest, most agile striker seen yet and made herself a sword that's practically a Game Breaker: It easily deflects energy beams and can instant kill enemies.
  • Godiva Hair: Lynne during a Shower Scene in episode 9.
  • Good Looking Privates: Taken a bit farther than usual.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Nikka Edvardine Katajainen, Suomus Witch from the novels/manga, is a spectacularly unlucky pilot that destroyed enough Striker Units to earn the nickname "Jinxed Katajainen". Fortunately, her signature magic is Healing Factor.
  • Groin Attack: Used to amusingly demonstrated in episode 3 season 2 why broomsticks are no longer used for flight. That and other things.
  • Growing Up Sucks: The Witches gradually lose their magical powers when they grow older, typically they appear at 12. By 20 their shields become so weak that they can't even stop handgun bullets. That doesn't mean they lose their powers completely as elderly witches can still use spells and fly and Mio remains one of the most powerful witches seen..
  • Guns Akimbo: Gertrude dual-wields two MG42 heavy machine guns.
  • Handicapped Badass: Lieutenant Gundula Rall, to an extent. A stray shot during the evacuation of Karlsland fractured her back, and even after nine months of rehab she had to wear a magic-imbued corset to soothe her old injury during combat. That didn't stop her from securing the title of Karlsland's 3rd greatest ace, after Gertrud and Erica.
  • Healing Hands: Yoshika, along with her mother.
  • Heroic BSOD: Mio in episode 11 of the 2nd season when her reppuzan fails against a Neuroi in an actual battle.
  • Historical Domain Character / Expy: Magical girl versions of World War II aces.
  • Historical In-Joke:
    • In episode 6, Minna comments that if the Neuroi hadn't invaded Earth, their superiors (Europe's political and military leaders) would likely be fighting among themselves.
    • Also Barkhorn referring to the division of her's and Hartmann's room as the Siegfried Line.
  • The Home Front: Even though it's an alternate universe and the enemy are aliens instead of Germans, they're still fighting the Battle of Britain.
  • Idiot Ball: You will want to slap Yoshika in episodes 9 and 10, although it is subverted in the very next episode.
    • Alternatively, you may regard Yoshika as holding this in the 10th episode, but think that Mio is holding it in the 9th episode, due to her charging in to attack a Neuroi herself, even knowing her shields are failing, because she refuses to listen to Yoshika's reasons for not attacking and even though she is quite aware that Yoshika has been alone and unharmed by this Neuroi for several minutes already and she can see that it is inviting Yoshika to touch its core, an act analogues to a human willingly tearing open its chest and allowing somebody to take hold of their still-beating heart. Even if the Neuroi are the enemy, this one was clearly acting aytpically, and prudence would have been better then just charging in blindly.
    • At the end of the first season, Trevor Maloney comes up with a plan to destroy the Neuroi den over Gallia using a prototype weapon injected with Neuroi technology. It goes horribly wrong, and the Strike Witches have to come save the day. At the end of the second season, the higher-ups come up with a plan to destory the Neuroi den over Venezia using a prototype weapon injected with Neuroi technology. You can guess how well that goes.
  • I Call It Vera: Mio names her new sword Reppumaru, a reference to the A7M Reppuu (fierce wind) fighter, which was intended to succeed the A6M Zero (the basis for Mio's Striker in season one).
  • Image Song: In response to the fans, five image song CDs were released covering all the main characters (Yoshika got two solos, though) The CDs also included duets and covers of songs from the girls' home countries from around that era. Except for the Karlslander trio, which has the lyrics rewritten, since a Nazi song wouldn't have flown in this day and age.
  • Improbably-Female Cast: It is theorized by some fans that only females can use magic. And as the main characters are the magic users...
    • The novel states that 'the vast majority of magic users are female' which, while not excluding male 'witches' completely, does show that Strike Witches is mainly a girls' party.
  • Interservice Rivalry: Between the 501st and the conventional armies. Europe's political and military elites are not too pleased about having to rely almost exclusively on Witch units.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: None of the Witches seem to have any problem going around bare-legged except Perrine. Even Muggle girls go pantless. Though they do draw the line at Going Commando.
  • Intertwined Fingers: Yoshika and Lynne engage in this when they meet again in season 2.
  • Istanbul Not Constantinople: Since Strike Witches is an alternate history, this trope is in full effect. The Fuso Empire is Japan, Gallia is France, Suomus is Finland, Orussia is Russia, Karlsland is Germany, Liberion is the United States, Italy is divided into the Romagna and Venezia Ducates, Britannia is the United Kingdom, Belgium is Belgica, Romania is Dacia, and Canada is Faraway Land (It hasn't yet gained dominion from Brittannia, which makes the name... Okay, it's still lame). For some reason, India and Egypt have kept their names the same. The show also refers to real life locations within those countries, and at least two real world currencies (Fuso's yen and Britannia's pounds) have carried over.
    • Ostmark was the official designation for Austria (Österreich) after the 1938 Anschluss.
    • A lot of the names are based on historical terms for the countries. The Nazis stole "Ostmark" from the historical name for Austria before it became its own realm in the Middle Ages, for example, and most of the European nations are based on Roman Provincial names. For (further) example, Spain is Hispania, Bulgaria is Moesia, and the many mentioned above. It seems that the convention carries over to Asia, where Fuso is based on a Chinese term for Japan: Fusang. Suomus is based on Suomi, the Finnish name for their country. Orussia just added an O to it's name, Karl was probably meant to be Charlemagne or another "Karl" who was Holy Roman Emperor (there were a few), The Italies use the Roman naming convention while not progressing in their unification past getting the North and South solidified, and Liberion is pretty self-explanatory. As for "Canada", it is mentioned as being a "Britannian Commonwealth" in the Strike Witches Wiki, which leaves the actual status of the country vague... Okay, it's still lame (Especially considering the many other cringe-worthy proposed names for Canada that the creators' could have jsut borrowed from English Wikipedia). Interestingly enough, a couple of Britannian Witches are based on Canadian archetypes, which fits in nicely with Commonwealth Air Training program IRL and Canada's contributions to the Empire's two War efforts.
  • Instant Runes: The magical circles that show up when the girls take off, and the shields. Some of these magic circles are massive: in episode 8 of the second season, Yoshika's magic circle has a radius exceeding the length of the Yamato when she activates her new unit. Consider that the Yamato is a bit under 3 football fields in length.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Mio's sword, of course. In her hands, it is "just better." (read: puts heavy machine guns and rockets to shame.)
  • Kissing Under the Influence: Mio, plastered on an oversized jug of wine, boldly kisses Minna. She faints from the shock of it and, at the end of the episode, wistfully recollects it.
  • Kung Fu Wizard: As the Witches are the front line soldiers in this war, Strike Witches is one of the rare settings in which a magic-user is also "multiclassed" as a warrior by default.
  • Last-Episode New Character: Meet Amaki Suwa! Of course, since there's less than a minute left of the final episode, don't expect a lot of character development. The implications of this was, of course, a second season.
  • Lens Flare Censor: This series makes liberal use of this Trope. It is most prevalent in episode seven of the second season. It has the glare moving around, disappearing, and reappearing as necessary. Somehow, the moon can also produce massive beams of light in all the right places.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Lampshaded.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The fiction's universe (including Light Novel, Manga, Animation and Doujin works) consists of approximately 101 Witches.
  • Lolicon: Only in the legal and partially moral sense, since all of the characters are teenaged. However, there is a degree of subversion in that, with the exception of one petty officer and one dead fiancé, none of the male cast show the slightest romantic interest in 501st. Despite the best efforts of Flying Officer Erica Hartmann. One of the mechanics says that they're not allowed to even talk to the Witches, to avoid emotionally bonding.
  • Male Gaze: An interesting thing to note is that males in-universe think nothing of the fact that the Witches and women who ascribe to the Witch fashion trend aren't wearing any pants. The lover of one Witch in Humikane's doujinshi actually pays more attention to her ample cleavage rather than her well exposed lower half. This is actually a Truth in Television as during that time culture and gender movements basically allowed women to wear things like bikinis and miniskirts which had previously been considered taboo up until the point where today such things are seen as normal but fashionable.
  • Magitek
  • Marshmallow Hell: Lynne to Yoshika in episode 3, although doesn't Yoshika really mind it. Charlotte does it to Francesca too, but that seems to be somewhat maternal.
  • Meaningful Name: Except for Sanya, the names of the characters are gender-swapped versions of those of their real-world counterparts. In a neat little bit of attention to detail, the "Ilmatar" in Eila's name refers to an ancient Finnish sky goddess, an appropriate name for a flying magic user.
  • Meganekko: Perrine.
  • Mildly Military: The Strike Witches don't act much like a military unit in a warzone. Then again, the actual military is a bit better about this so the mildly military attitude of the 501st is probably due to the fact that they are highly valuable former civilian volunteers. This is realistically applicable particularly when dealing with experienced and higher ranking Witches who have actually been training for longer. For on, they're Air Force Aces whom did actually have quite glamorous lives back then due to propaganda among other things. High rank Witches like Minna spend most their time realistically pushing papers while the lower rank Witches are shown to spend most of their time training, drilling or doing maintenance work or catering for themselves and running for supplies. Military law is also carried out such as with Miyafuji's eventual dishonorable discharge despite her heroics and strict hierarchy of command is also maintained, it's just that some punishments have to be lighter because they justifiably can't replace their losses.
  • Moe Anthropomorphism
  • Monster of the Week: Lampshaded when Mio comments that the Neuroi no longer adhere to their previously established "once per week" pattern. Early in Season 1, 2 of the girls are sunbathing, when a third calls them on not training they say "A neuroi attack isn't until 8" and then when it happens "it's too early". That's right the Mot W have scheduled, and precalculated attack times.
  • Mood Whiplash: The first season's tone becomes much more serious from episode 9 onward.
  • More Dakka: Most of the girls carry heavy machine guns into battle.
  • Multinational Team: The Strike Witches are an international military unit, with members from their world's equivalents of Japan, Germany, England, France, America, Russia, Finland, and Italy.
  • Necessary Drawback: Mio's new sword, Reppumaru, is extremely powerful - so powerful, in fact, that it gives Yoshika burns just from holding it - but as Minna explains, using the sword has accelerated the draining of what little magic Mio has left.
  • New Meat: Yoshika
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Breathe deep, and repeat with me: Mecha Fighter Pilot Animal-eared Magical Girls in Powered Armor leering over each other while being roped into conspiracy!
  • The Other Darrin: Being on maternity leave, Saeko Chiba was not able to reprise her role of Mio in the Second Season. Replacement voice actress Saori Seto gets some negative reactions from some fans.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Ok there's plenty of hugging, and lots of moments of the girls talking very near each other faces, eyes firmly interlocked, which just makes it the more odd that no actual kissing happens. Of course strictly speaking, the nature of the hugging could be simply camaraderie. See But Not Too Gay above.
  • Panty Shot: All witches go without pants (or only with really tight pants/tights/etc. leading to constant panty shots. Except they're apparently not panties, so it isn't embarrassing. The technical explanation is their legs aren't actually inside the Striker Units they wear due to the space needed for the magical engine to operate; they're instead shunted to an alternate dimension of shorts, and this can't be done with anything that isn't skintight. As the witches have to be prepared to fly at a moment's notice, they go pants-less constantly.
    • The style has even spread to the general female population, thanks to the idolization of witches. Some girls, like Yoshika, don't even know where it comes from but still follow it.
    • At present, there is exactly one female known to wear pants: Adolfine Galland, the counterpart to real-world ace Adolf Galland, who was the only pilot to fly without pants.
  • Petting Zoo People: A Witch's animal traits are a result of synchronizing with their Familiars. In the novels a Witch had her Familiar die as result of a freak accident. The anime glosses over these details, probably for time.
  • Psycho Lesbian: Perrine, jealous over the attention Mio gives to Yoshika, lures Yoshika into a duel carrying live weaponry instead of the usual practice guns, though this is mollified somewhat by the terms of the duel (no rounds -- practice or otherwise -- were fired, the winner was determined by who could stay on the others' tail for ten seconds). The appearance of a Neuroi stops it early on.
  • Pinky Swear
  • Pistol-Whipping: How about TWO BFG whipping!?
  • Power Trio: The Karsland Witches.
    • Erica is Id
    • Gertrud is Superego
    • Minna is Ego
  • Puberty Superpower: See Growing Up Sucks, above.
  • Queen Incognito: Lucchini's new friend in season 2, Maria, who turns out to be the Duchess of Romagna. The second half of the episode in which this happens is basically an extended shout-out to Roman Holiday, including the moment at the Mouth of Truth.
  • The Quiet One: Sanya.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The "Suomus Misfits Squadron" in the light novels is explicitly described as this.
  • Running Gag: There's a few relating to the girls sleeping arrangements. Sanya always seems to flop into Elia's bed when she comes off her night patrols, Lucchini seems to like sleeping in high narrow places (Tree branches and a beam in the hanger roof) and Hartmann generally seems to prefer the floor to her bed.
  • Say My Name: "Miyafuji!" "Sakamoto-san!"
  • School Swimsuit: Yoshika and Mio wear them under their other clothing.
  • Sequel Hook: Not so-subtle hints include The letter from Yoshika's father in the post-credits sequence., a novel about Anabuki Tomoko, and the Afrikakorps and the introduction of the 504th Joint Fighter Wing in the second season.
  • Shades of Conflict: Subverted It was later revealed that the Neuroi displaying its history to Yoshika was an elaborate and effective psyop tactic on the part of the Neuroi. Not that their wholesale genocide of several continents wasn't a dead giveaway, which excuses the military's unwillingness to negotiate, genuine willingness on the part of the Neuroi or not...
    • It was shown in the novels that the original plan was to capture Yoshika and learn of her reflector shield defenses ability and now that it has failed. Generally the normal plan was to capture witches and then use them against each other, but it did not work so well against them as the novel shows the best way to snap someone out of it is to rip her uniform in two.
  • Shiny Midnight Black: Francesca's hair is this way in the OVA.
  • Shock and Awe: Perrine's trademark spell, Tonnerre. Looks really cool, and messes up her hair.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The 501st could be named after several real world units, including:
      • The 501st Infantry Regiment, the first airborne unit in the US military
      • The 501st Heavy Panzer Battalion in the Wehrmacht
      • Darth Vader's own personal stormtrooper legion.
      • The Auxilary RAF Fighter Squadrons that served in the Battle of Britain, No. 501 (County of Gloucester) Squadron
    • The Warlock mech in fighter mode looks vaguely like Vic Viper especially when it opens to fire its laser...
    • Somebody in the season 2 staff really likes Gunbuster. In between the SUPER LUCCHINI KICK and the fact the first episode is basically episode 5 of Gunbuster... This may be the Kazuhiro Takamura's choice: he was in GAINAX before Strike Witches, so probably it's from that. Also, The scene in S 1 E 2 where Yoshika is on elevator on Akagi, is definetely Gunbuster reference too.
    • The second-half of Episode 5 Season 2 (set in Rome) is basically a scene-for-scene remake of/tribute to Roman Holiday starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, with Lucchinni (in the role of Peck's reporter character) even re-enacting the famous "Mouth of Truth" scene.
    • The Battleship Yamato being converted to fly as humanity's last hope against aliens. This should be familiar.
  • Show Some Leg: Subverted in episode 11, when Erica tries to get a passing truck to stop, and it doesn't even slow down. Clearly, men have been desensitized by the lack of pants of every attractive female in the world, rendering this method ineffectual.
  • Shown Their Work: Despite being a show about 13-20 year old girls fighting an evil alien threat, many WWII references were made in both moefied and non-moefied ways. The example of Erica Hartmann stealing panties was Hitler's hat being taken by Ace Pilot Erich Hartmann.
    • They had to settle for her stealing Francesca's panties since there was no Hitler Distaff Counterpart, though the ensuing chaos over the issue was done well enough to parallel the situation.
    • And in the sound department, each Striker Unit has its own piston-driven propeller airplane sound.
    • Every piece of machinery, including the Neuroi, are based on something from the era. Though the second season may have moved on to include later material.
    • Season 2 episode 6 has fan dubbed "Yuri Rocket" referencing Russian Yuri Gagarin who was the first person in space.
  • Shower of Angst: Late in season 2, Mio becomes aware that her time as a witch is running out. This is paired with rain when it becomes painfully obvious that her magic has just about run dry to the point that flight is now difficult.
  • Shur Fine Guns: Appears to happen to Lynnette in the OVA, given that it happened on her first shot it's more likely she forgot to take the safety off and panicked into thinking it jammed. It happens to Shirley, too, but she gets caught in a pincer attack with literally no time to fix it.
  • Skinship Grope: Quite a few times in the series proper, and Francesca in the end credits.
  • Sleep Cute: Quite often involving roommates, the most adorable ones being those involving Sanya/Eila and Yoshika/Lynette.
  • Small Girl, Big Gun
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The Ending Theme after episode 9.
  • Space Is Noisy: Averted, interestingly. In Episode 6 of the second series, a battle at 33,333 meters is conducted in complete silence other than a vocal insert song.
  • Spanner in the Works: Yoshika's attempt to make peaceful contact with a Neuroi prompted the high command to perform their coup on the Witches prematurely.
  • Status Buff: Gertrude's trademark spell greatly enhances her physical strength.
  • The Stinger: There was a bunch of new girls during the credits for group 504, plus the return of 1LT Takei and the clutzy Fuso messenger.
  • Super Strength: More apparent in the OVA, where a fourteen-year-old girl easily one-hands a gun so massive that it requires two grown men to carry it. Gertrude can also amplify her strength using her magic to lift and throw objects as massive as a steel girder.
  • Sword Beam: The Reppumaru.
  • Tall, Dark and Bishoujo: Mio, down to being fawned over by Perrine and Yoshika.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Not all the Witches get along, as shown by Perrine's open antipathy towards Yoshika. Charlotte and Gertrud in particular really don't like each other, and they are not exactly shy about showing it either.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Sanya and Eila's joint character song, "Sweet Duet" is played as they destroy the awesomely tall Neuroi tower.
  • Tiger Versus Dragon: Mio and Minna, respectively.
  • Three Amigos: Shows up in various character combinations.
    • The 501st has the Karlslander trio as described above; Yoshika, Lynette and Perrine are often shown together in the buildup to and actual second season; Minna (commander), Mio (combat OI/C) plus Gertrud/Shirley are the leadership figures.
    • The 502nd has the infamous "Break Witches" trio of Krupinski, Kanno and Katajainen.
    • The 504th has the Pantaloni Rossi, three thirds of one official profile.
    • The "Three Crows of Libau," Sakamoto, Takei and Nishizawa.
    • The "Three Birds of the Fuso Sea," Katou "Higashi" Keiko, Katou "Fuji" Takeko and Anabuki Tomoko.
    • After Heinrike Prinzessin zu Sayn-Wittgenstein was given an official character design and depicted as associated with Heidemarie Schnaufer, fandom was quick to put them together with Sanya as a trio of Night Witches -- Heidemarie and Sanya were already shown to be familiar with each other before Heinrike's design was created.
  • Tim Taylor Technology: Striker Units will shut down if the wearer's magical potential is or becomes too great. Yoshika learns the hard way before eventually upgrading to a model that can handle her, leading to a subversion. This may be an anime only detail, or a newer feature; in one of the manga runs, Yoshika's power ends up overloading and wrecking a two-seater unit she was merely a passenger in.
  • Took a Level In Badass: Yoshika in the eighth episode of season 2. Not only does she One-Hit Kill a Neuroi, but Minna notes that her magic power surpassed the operational threshold of her old Striker.
  • Too Hot for TV
  • Translation Convention: Most likely. Perrine and Yoshika arguing about honorifics early in season 1 seems to depend on the fact that everyone is speaking Japanese. This one's fairly easy to handwave by saying that magic also acts as a universal translator.
  • Trash of the Titans: Erica Hartmann shares a room with Gertrude Barkhorn. Contrasting the latter's side, her side is so messy that in one episode she can't find her own underwear, so she ends up stealing a pair from one of the other girls who are taking a bath at the time.
  • Treasure Map: After sorting through boxes within boxes within more boxes, Perrine, Yoshika, Lynne and Lucchini find one and go spelunking. Hijinks ensue.
  • Unusual Ears: Witches gain them when using their magic.
  • Worthy Opponent: Marseille and Hartmann. In the past, any competition would end in a draw.
  • Wham! Episode: Episode 10.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: What do you mean Minna killing a Neuroi with her underwear wasn't awesome?!
    • In a What do you mean its not sexy? variant, Erica Hartmann tries looking cute and posing for a passing truck in order to secure a free ride during episode 11 of Season 1. The truck just drives by, causing her to yell at the driver.
  • What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic: In the Season 2 finale, Yoshika pulls Reppumaru from the deck of the Yamato.
  • A Wizard Did It: Magic drives the entire plot, ranging from character development to the function of the Striker Units. From a historical perspective a lot of technology was made possible by using magic to fuel experimentation. Major religions are notably absent as well because of the presence of magic.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: From the light novels, Itokawa. Given that Tomoko fell for her, thinking she was male, when she was already struggling with her sexuality... let's just say she doesn't take it well.
  • The World Is Just Awesome: Episode six of season two has this in its closing moments with Sanya and Eila.
  • World of Action Girls
  • Worst Aid: Yoshika attempts to use her Healing Hands on a sailor in the 2nd episode that likely has broken ribs and shrapnel lodged in his torso. She's told to stop by another sailor who knows she's only making it worse probably because magical healing is might've the set bones wrongly and lets all the bits of shrapnel. She smartly settles on using her super-strength to ferry medical supplies.
  • Vapor Wear: Sanya wears opaque pantyhose and a miniskirt so to compensate in the fanservice department.
  • Yuri Gagarin: While the neither the man nor his Distaff Counterpart make an appearance, the entirety of season 2 episode 6 is one extended Shout-Out to his accomplishment. Yuri --one of them an Orussian-- are the first girls in outer space!
  • Yuri Genre: In some cases the teasing between the girls appears to be fueled by genuine romantic feelings.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Lynette, with striped socks no less. However, since barely any Witches wear skirts, the existence of Zettai Ryouiki is questionable.
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