Yo, Kadeem here again, and it’s been 2 weeks since my last Brave Witches recap. No, it’s not because I been lazy in doing them. It’s because the last episode got delayed a week, and so there was no episode to recap at all. Well, the episode is now out, and I’m here for episode 4. This one is a training episode that involves hats.
To begin, Rall and Rossmann are at Allied Forces HQ in Helsinki, Soumos, and they get word from the higher-ups there that they are planning a new counterattack on the Neuroi with a new group, with the 502nd as the primary force. The two leave out info about Takami being out, because if they knew, then Fusou’s supplies would be cut off. Plus, they don’t get told on how the 501st beat the Neuroi. Because secrets and stuff. On to Hikari, she has mastered crossing the water in 3 steps, but Rossmann shows her that she could cross it by just walking. This works with better magic control, and she’s gonna test out Hikari for a week to see if she’s worthy. If she isn’t, she’s going home.
She first gets tested on Chidori, to which because Hikari’s power is limited, making the Unit unhappy. Rossmann also throws a wrench at her, which she blocks with her shield, but Rossman can see how this affects the Unit with Hikari’s power not syncing.
After a meal, which Kanno makes fun of Hikari saying she won’t make it the full week (she knew cause Nipa overheard and told Kanno about it), it’s time for target practice. With a tiny coin as a target. Hikari misses badly the first time, and Rossmann orders her to go five steps closer. Which I couldn’t tell how much five steps were, since she’s also wearing her Unit. She keeps missing as she gets closer and closer, until she finally hits it at about ten feet away. Hikari fails Rossmann’s test, for she has too little magic and can’t change this fact. However, she still has a week left, so Rossmann gives her one more test. She brings Hikari to a big tower, and throws her hat all the way up to the top. She has to reach the top in a week, and she can’t use Chidori to get it. How will she climb up then? She will use her magic to climb up the tower, which Rossmann demonstrates with ease. If Hikari can’t pass this, then she won’t be allowed to fight the Neuroi. Hikari agrees, and well, she falls on her first try. Nipa, Rall and the others wonder if she can do it. After a long day of climbing, Hikari’s hands get very numb. So much so, she can’t even hold a spoon, and gives Kanno a face of hot soup to her.
The next day, Hikari is getting higher at climbing, but a bird distracts her cause she got near its nest, and she falls again. Ironically the bird being a chidori too. Kanno again makes fun of her, saying Rossmann is going to give up on her. Then Kanno tries climbing the tower herself. And fails badly. But Hikari won’t give up. Moving on to Days 3 through 6, Hikari steadily improves, and tries some different methods each time, like not wearing shoes, trying to eat less to be lighter, and then eating a lot to improve stamina. Each time is the same.
On Day 6, she used up too much magic, and falls asleep climbing halfway up. Kanno catches her before she goes *SPLAT!* on the surface. She later asks Rossmann what’s the point of this test, which she says is for Hikari to not die in combat. Hikari wakes up late to try again, but Rossmann stops her to talk. She asks what type of Witch Hikari wants to be. Of course, to be like her big sis and help everyone. This leads to a story about another Witch Rossman trained, who was just like Hikari. She had little magic too, but her energy rubbed off on Rossmann, and she allowed her to fight the Neuroi. Alas, she couldn’t fly again cause of this, making everyone around her sad. Hikari tells her that if she causes problems, she’ll go home. But she will stay around and get that hat on the last day. And so Day 7 arrives, and a strong wind arrives too. It pushes Hikari off the tower, but she uses her magic all in her feet to not only fall off the tower, but to not crush the bird’s nest below her. She does eventually fall off.
Nipa tries to convince Rossmann to do this another day, but she won’t have it. She does give Hikari a way to climb up it faster though. She will have her legs dangle, and focus her magic in only her hands. She use one hand first, then switch the magic to the other hand to climb up. This works, cause she doesn’t focus using her whole body, but only one spot on her. Rossmann liked Hikari enough to not give up on her. It starts to rain, as Hikari begins to feel her hands get numb from the cold rain. Then the alarm sounds. It’s a Neuroi attack, and the Witches head out with Hikari still climbing. Kanno “forgets” something, and heads back to Hikari. Hikari is out of energy, but Kanno arrives to tell her she’s a failure and will go home. Hearing this, Hikari and her go back-and-forth, and with all of her strength, climbs up the rest of the tower to the top. Kanno encouraged her by egging her on, and Hikari passes the test. Now ready for combat, she puts on Chidori, and notices that it’s different from before. Chidori sounds happy now. As the group fight, Rossmann tells Hikari that she should be herself and not Takami. Hikari fights, and like the climbing she just did with her hands, he dodges the Neuroi’s attack the same, making her body move the way it wants to.
But, when she shoots at the Neuroi, she collides with it. This causes Hikari to see the Neuroi’s core, and the group shoots and destroys it. Back at the base, Rossmann tells what happened, and apparently, Hikari has the magic of “Contact Eye,” which goes into effect when she makes contact with the Neuroi. Hikari learns of Takami’s Absolute Eye, which was able to see multiple, “Special-type” Neuroi cores, but at a cost of putting stress on the mind and body and weakening her shields. Because of this, Rall tells her to never again use Contact Eye. The good news, though? Hikari is now part of the 502nd.
This episode looks like it’s advancing the plot of Brave Witches now. With Hikari’s Contact Eye, her being able to handle Chidori, and getting better at magic, it seems the story is getting into place. I still want to see more interaction with her and the others, and not just Kanno. Who, by the way, is now this show’s tsundere. An anime like this has to have one, so congrats on becoming this, Kanno. The fanservice in this was noticeable too, with all the panty shots, with even one shot of Kanno just sitting spread eagle (from a bit of a far distance, mind you). There was even a sauna scene too. But watching this, Brave Witches does have its fanservice moments, but so far, they aren’t as bad as the original series. Yes, there are panty shots aplenty, but this is light compared to most of Strike Witches. Especially Season 2. I mean, if people had a problem with Keijo!!!!!!!!’s fanservice, go watch that season, and tell me that is any better. Plus, the tower. The rain, Hikari climbing it, and trying to do this to pass a test. It kind of reminded me of the waterfall scene in the Battle Tendency arc of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Toonami viewers will see that eventually, but that was a nice little thing that I believe wasn’t supposed to be a reference to. It just seemed like it. Overall, a better episode from the last one. See ya next week, if it’s not delayed again.
Brave Witches is available on Crunchyroll as a weekly simulcast, Wednesdays at 2:05pm EDT.