Brave Witches – Episode 12 – “Shining with Light…”

And so, we are here. The finale of Brave Witches has come, and I’m here  to recap it for one last time. I have my own thoughts on this show and how it compares to Strike Witches, but that will be at the end of this recap. For now, let’s get on with one last episode with the 502nd Joint Fighter Wing.

As the group is still seeing Grigori recover, Hikari is trying to make her way to the battlefield across the frozen sea. The Fleet tries their best to hit Grigori with their normal attacks, but those don’t work and the Neuroi uses its lasers to wipe out the fleet. Its own outer core is acting as shield too, to block out Takami’s Absolute Eye. She knows how to beat it, she has to use Absolute Eye’s full power, and Hikari knows this too, which is why she is rushing to stop her. She makes it to the sea that isn’t frozen, but uses her magic to cross it easily. She’s a lot better now than she was at the beginning. Even the fleet sees her entering the battle. The others try to stop Takami from using her Absolute Eye, but she goes ahead and transforms. As Grigori shots numerous lasers at her, she tries to do her best to find the core.

Her shields are failing as the lasers go, but the 502nd come in to help. Rossmann briefed the team on what Takami’s magic does, and since she’s Hikari’s sister, they knew she would do this. As they help, Takami uses Absolute Eye again to finally finds the core of Grigori. But a laser hits her as she gives the fleet the location. She falls and Georgette saves her and heals her. The others follow her as Grigori moves on. The fleet uses Gustav again, and fires another AP round at its core’s location.  However, Grigori has the clouds surround it and uses it as a barrier to not only stop the AP round, but destroy it in the process.

The fleet is now out of options, and orders a retreat. Hikari finally arrives to the the surprise of the others, but she only cares for her injured sis at the moment. She’s fine, and this makes Hikari happy. Takami does wake up and apologizes for not beating the Neuroi. Grigori then wipes out the railguns and moves on to Petersburg. Hikari still wants to fight, and will use her Contact Eye to do so, even if it’s a suicide mission. Kanno says she’ll fight too, and do everything including punching it. Rall senses something and they find the AP round that was destroyed. The broken core of it still has some magic left, and even though the fleet tells them to withdraw, Rall has a plan. It involves Kanno punching the Neuroi. How does this work out? That AP round’s pieces will be transferred into Kanno’s gloves. However, Kanno gave up her gloves to Hikari as a gift to send her off. Luckily, Hikari still has them, and gives them to her. The pieces are put in her glove, and her right hand is now an AP round.


Not only that, Krupinski found a part of the HE round to boot. Kanno has only one chance to strike it, and she can’t do it without “her partner,” Hikari. She finally says it, and after a brofist (sisterfist?), Takami tells Hikari they can’t fail here. They won’t know until they try, right? Takami gives her Chidori, and the 502nd take off. Rall reveals to Hikari that even though Takami was more faster during that contast, her Contact Eye was much more accurate. So like the idiot she is, she’s gambling on Hikari as the only hope they have. While Rossmann tells her to show all the progress she got from the training. They got 15 minutes until the Neuroi hits the city, but why not do this in 5? As Grigori attacks them, remember that HE round part I mentioned? Rall has it on her gun/grenade launcher, and she launches the HE round at the cloud. It causes a hole to be form, and the group enters it to the main body. It fires more lasers at them, and they counter, giving enough room to make way for Hikari and Kanno. Hikari touches the main body, and finds its Real Core. It tries to attack them, but Hikari shows how well she has gotten with her flying and shooting. Kanno lets loose her AP round-influenced Tsurugi Issen on it, and punches it, breaking through to the core.

She needs one more punch, but that’s all the magic she has left. Hikari grabs her, and then something falls out from her. Remember that “Good Luck Charm” that Krupinski gave to Hikari with the magic bullet put in for actual luck? Well, Hikari takes it, outs all the magic into her hand she’s holding the pistol with, and fires the bullet into the core.

It destroys the core, destroying Grigori with it. Hikari did it, as she gets to the ground, her big sis finally gives her the big hug that she wanted to give. The rest of the 502nd celebrate, along with the fleet too. They thank the 502nd for what they done. The group heads home to celebrate, eat, and fix their units that are breaking. In the end, Takami leaves to join another fight, but Hikari decides to re-join the 502nd and fight with them. She has now become a real 502nd member.

To begin my final thoughts, let’s start with this episode. It was an okay episode, with a happy ending. If this is how the sequel series ends, I’m fine with it. Even though it isn’t ending just yet, since there will be a 13th episode to go with the Blu-Rays/DVDs. It was finally great to see Kanno call Hikari her partner, and not be all tsundere about it. It was also good to see Takami place her hope in her sis, and give her that big hug that was needed. And for Hikari? Seeing her just go along with all she had to do, to train for all of this, and to see like it’s now second nature to her when she could barely do it in the beginning? Well, it was coming, sure. But it was nice to see her get this all done and excel at it like it’s nothing now. The finale was an overall good episode.

As for my thoughts on the overall series, I will give Brave Witches this. It’s pretty different than its original counterpart. Yes, the theme of war, and fighting, and getting stronger and being brave is all there. But the main difference is that Strike Witches was more fun in its approach, while Brave Witches is a bit more serious here in handling the war. Don’t get me wrong, Brave Witches still has some fun moments, and Strike Witches does take it seriously, too. The group handled this was with the Neuroi with more carefulness, and knew what they were fighting for. In Strike Witches, they had a lot of characters on there that didn’t give a crap, and would sometimes make it a game throughout. I think that’s why a lot like those characters more than on here because of how cheerful and energetic most were. That’s what I think, and that’s why I was excited to see some of the original cast. (Although, they weren’t my total favorites to appear. That energy and flare? Now Francesca and Shirley had it, along with Hartmann too). Again, this isn’t to discourage the characters on Brave Witches. Hikari and Nipa were fun characters. Krupinski had her moments, and Kanno turned out okay at the end, when she wasn’t a tsundere. But if there is another season, I hope they can focus some more of the cast. That’s what Strike Witches did so well. I really didn’t get much out of Rall and Rossmann, other than they were both the hard-nosed leaders. Georgette and Shimohara I only got to know for one whole episode. Most of what I know for Krupinski is that she is a full-on lesbian who likes to fight. I think this show would benefit with another season. As long as it doesn’t go the way season 2 of Strike Witches did.

Which brings me to another thing: the fanservice. It did have panty shots aplenty on here. What can you expect with girls that don’t wear any pants? But compared to the original, and especially season 2, this was pretty light in the fanservice department. And I’m fine with that too. Season 2 of Strike Witches really had me questioning what I was watching at times, as there was a bunch of moments that were nothing but bathing scenes, ass and boobs shots, and that one scene with the training on the broom. Look that up yourselves, if you haven’t seen it. They did dial it down, which is okay. Some get turned off by that, and this being a different show, they can stay with this route. As for some other thoughts: The OP is ehhh. The ED is pretty nice with everyone of the cast getting to a chance to sing it throughout. I gave you my thoughts on the animations, which varied from very bad CGI to looking pretty good being as it is. To close this out, is this show a good sequel series to Strike Witches? For me, I think it is. Fans have enough to go with that they will like, and the fights are good. Plus, there are some original members that show up, with a bunch of callbacks to the original cast. Now, for someone that hasn’t seen Strike Witches? That’s a different story. To be honest, if you weren’t a fan before this, I really don’t know if you would be frilled by this one. Again, it’s okay. But for those that don’t know it, they just pass it up as some weird military show about girls fighting aliens. Plus, there are other girls military anime out there, so they might look that way instead. Mostly, I have no idea what they would think of this show. So I’ll say that if you liked Strike Witches, check this out. And if you don’t, then maybe watch something else. That’s it. I’m done with Brave Witches recaps. Tune in for my next recap on here, for I take on another popular returning series. It will be out soon enough.

Brave Witches can be seen on Crunchyroll.

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