Do you want a recap that has plenty of memories for backstory? Do you want one with shape-shifting aliens? Do you want one with shape-shifting aliens who take over not only the episode, but also in one scene, the fashion world? Well, this episode of Brave Witches has just that. This may also the first episode that didn’t totally focus on Hikari for the majority of it.
The episode starts with Hikari getting some balance lessons from Rossmann, while also dodging snowballs in the process. She’s join by Nipa, who is running away from Combat Leader Sasha. She is running from her because she wrecked another Unit. Also, she trips and hurts herself, but her magic, Super Recovery, helps heal her. She can only use it on herself, so Nipa is literally the opposite of Josuke. Sasha checks out the Unit Nipa wreck, and with her magic, Image Memorization, knows everything about the Unit by memory and can fix it accordingly. Sasha’s magic works on other things than Units, but Rossmann wishes she do it on things other than repairs. At an observation post in town, there’s a bell that seems like nothing. Until it turns out it’s a Neuroi. It signals for its partner, who launches an attack on the post, destroying it.
The group sees the damage caused, as the soldiers say it came from the outskirts of town. The land-based Neuroi couldn’t get past Lake Lagoda before, but because the lake is frozen, they can. Rall leaves this in the hands of Sasha, and she has the group split up and search near the lake. Nipa, left behind at the base, finds something in the Unit she broke.
As the team finds nothing at the lake, Sasha decides to make one more round to see if she can see anything. An underground Neuroi pops up, along with the Neuroi who can shape-shift (this time it’s a car). Sasha attacks the ground Neuroi, but it disappears. However, Warehouse #1 in town got destroyed in the commotion. The Neuroi are hitting the supply routes of the 502nd with ultra-long range, pinpoint attacks. But Neuroi aren’t this good from that far. A team found a electromagnetic signal given off from Warehouse #1, so they believe one Neuroi is a marker, while the other is use for the long-range attack. Rall splits the team in two, with Kanno, Shimohara, Waltrud, and Rossmann going after the artillery Neuroi, and Hikari, Nipa and Sasha find the marker Neuroi. They give Nipa and Sasha the marker Neuroi since they know the city, but Sasha was born in the South, so she actually doesn’t (and Nipa doesn’t either, since she only went shopping in town once as a kid). Hikari asks Sasha about this, and she says her Grandma maybe used to live here before it got evacuated, but it’s now an empty town. She has no memories or reason to protect it or her Grandma’s house. They can only focus on destroying the Neuroi as their job as Witches. This reasoning worries Nipa and Hikari.
Another signal emanates from Warehouse #2, but when they arrive, it’s destroyed. Sasha believes the Neuroi is still close, so they split up to look. Nipa runs into a statue doing this. But the statue reveals itself as the Neuroi. They know how it can disguise itself, and the three of them start chasing it through town. Sasha navigates good through the stops and allies, but Hikari and Nipa crash into a lot of things. It’s all Sasha as she chases the Neuroi down, but going down a street, she gets a weird childhood memory of herself running down said street. She doesn’t know what it was, and loses the Neuroi. She now thinks she knows this town. She apologizes to Rall and company for failing to catch it, but they do know that the Neuroi can only fire 3 rounds per day. As she wonders why she has a memory that she didn’t have recorded before with her magic, she finds Nipa scribbling on her Unit.
Nipa tries her best to explain, but Sasha gets very emotional, believing this is payback for being so hard on her, even though it’s her job to do so. The next day, Sasha tries to memorize the whole town for place the Neuroi might hit next. As Nipa and Hikari are scouting, Nipa runs into another statue. But this one is on the roof of a building. The marker Neuroi turns back into itself, and another chase is on. Unfortunately, when Sasha catches up, Nipa and Hikari both crash into poles and trees. But luckily for Sasha, the Neuroi tries to disguise itself as a statue again, but only this time taking the form of a person. She gives chase but after a bit, she gets blinded and knocked out. The others in 502nd fight the artillery Neuroi themselves and try to finish it.
Sasha wakes up and has more memories of the town. She was with her mom as a kid visiting her grandma, and playing with other kids. Also she found out she had magical powers. By almost getting run over by a car she stopped.
The kids she saved all get scared. No, not because of the person who nearly ran them over, but because of Sasha. In Orussia, they are very superstitious of these powers, and this made Sasha scared of being treated like/being a Witch. So she ran to her grandma’s house crying. She sealed off those memories she had, as she gets back to the same house and finds a photo of her, her Mom and Grandma. As she recovers from this, she gets back in the fight as they get informed the others are fighting the other Neuroi. From Sasha’s returned memories, she sees the church ahead with a weird steeple. It’s weird because the church never had a steeple. It’s the marker Neuroi trying to disguise itself. Sasha destroys it finally, but not before it marked the area. The other girls find the artillery Neuroi’s core, but as they’re about to destroy it, it fires an attack to the marked area. They only have 50 seconds to evacuate, and even though Sasha says they will leave a place that has no meaning to her, Nipa can see it’s special to her. She stays behind, and puts up a shield to prevent the attack from hitting. It explodes, getting Nipa. Luckily, Nipa is okay, and does heal herself. She tells Sasha why she did it, and also about what she scribbled on her Unit. She saw “Good Luck” written on the Unit from earlier, and because ladybugs are good luck in Europe, scribbled a ladybug drawing on Sasha’s Unit. Sure, Nipa got hurt protecting her friend, but she do whatever it takes to do it, which reveals a flashback of Sasha’s Grandma saying the same thing. Sasha cries into Nipa as Hikari happily watches. Sasha will protect the town now.
This was a nice change of pace as we mostly had Hikari-centered episodes so far, but seeing one focused on a character we didn’t get to know until now was nice. Sure, the whole Brave Witches thing so far has been that it’s a bit too serious unlike Strike Witches. And yet, I’m okay with that. Strike Witches, while know for its fun, also at times forgot that this was a show about girls fighting aliens, and it sometimes went far away from that. Like far, FAR away. (Season 2 had some fights in-between, but most of them happened during the last 3 episodes). So yeah, I’m glad to see people fighting, knowing this is what their job is, while also seeing some good character development from them as well. Sasha did this, and her relationship with Nipa was also nice to see. But let’s be real. Even though Sasha was the main point of this, I believe the marker Neuroi was the real star with how it shape-shifted into whatever it wanted.
Marker Neuroi was a hit for me this episode, and for Nipa too. Mostly because she kept running into it. It seems Brave Witches is taking a step in how these Neuroi are with the weather one last episode, and the shape-shifting one on here. The downside to this episode though was the animation. Oh boy, it was bad. There we’re a lot of shots where it looked bad, and not just the CG I pointed out in episode 3. That was bad too, but the overall animation just looked bad throughout. Actually, the animation may have been a problem throughout the show’s run. So much so, the Japanese Blu-Rays of Brave Witches have been delayed for each volume for 2 months. That’s not good at all. Overall, this was an okay episode, animation aside, as a less Hikari-focused episode does a lot of good to the girls, and aliens, for everyone.