Brave Witches – Episodes 9-11

I had a big catch up on this show. Only one more episode left before it ends, and then the sequel series is all done. I’ll have my thoughts on it when I get to that point. But for now, I am doing 3 episodes for this recap. On to them all.

Episode 9 – “Break Witches”

The girls are fighting a Neuroi, and Kanno punches the alien to death. However, her Unit gets hit by Neuroi fragments and she breaks another one. This is where Hikari learns of the “Break Witches,” a group of three that usually breaks their Units by doing reckless stuff during battles. Those three are Kanno, Nipa and Krupinski. Speaking of Krupinski, she gets thanked by Rall for protecting the supply line, who in turn thanks Hikari because her “good-luck charm” actually saved her during it. Also, a large scale operation is approaching. Later on, Hikari talks with Chidori, wondering about her big sis. Kanno sees this and talks about her, saying how she saw Takami first at the naval academy and wanting to be her partner then and there. So, Hikari has a proposal to her.

Kanno scoffs at this since she isn’t as strong as Takami. Plus, Kanno tells of why she fights. Because she hates seeing the Neuroi destroy stuff.

The team gets their first plans to beat Grigori. Beat the Neuroi near Petrozavodsk. If they don’t, their supply line gets cut off. They find the Neuroi there, and commence an attack. The Neuroi is powerful, and protecting its core by using its front to shoot tons of lasers. Kanno, wanting to get more stronger, heads into the attacks. The Neuroi then fires a combined laser attack. Or as I call it, a “Mega Laser.” The first one hits Kanno, then as another one heads her way, it gets Sasha, who protects Kanno from it. She gets injured, and Kanno blames herself for it. As Sasha wakes up, she’s happy that Kanno is okay. Kanno apologizes for her actions and promises, with Hikari’s help, to beat the Neuroi.  During a meeting, Kanno learns she is now the highest ranking officer left, but Rossmann will lead the charge. They will split into two groups to beat the Neuroi. Rossmann, Shimohara and Georgette will take the front/laser beams, while Kanno, Nipa and Hikari will surprise the back part and take out the core. They do this, and it looks like it works. However, the Neuroi splits into two, with the front half splitting into 4 mini parts, and the back half changing shape to reset its core location. Plus, it’s back half can attack too. Rall tells the group to withdraw and forget about their supply lines. Hikari won’t give up. She asks to use her Contact Eye, which most didn’t know about because of it being secret. Rall allows it, only with Kanno backing her up. Hikari will find the core by touching it, and Kanno will fist it to death. However, Kanno starts to get scared, and seeing how she doesn’t want her friends to get hurt, she decides not to do this risky stunt.  But Hikari won’t give up. She goes in a tearful, angry plead about everything they done, the supplies, and the friends who got hurt. She even tells Kanno that if she’s like this, she won’t be good enough to be Takami’s partner or even a member of the Break Witches.

Hearing all of this, what does Kanno do? Why she headbutts Hikari in the face, of course.

This does fire her up, and makes her ready to fight. As Hikari gets ready to go in, the Neuroi fires another Mega Laser. But, Kanno punches it away. Hikari goes in, touches the Neuroi, and finds its core. The Neuroi splits into four parts again after being shot, but knowing where the core is, Kanno uses “Tsurugi Issen” to punch its core, destroying the Neuroi. Afterwards, Kanno calls Hikari “her partner,” then being the tsundere she is, denies it immediately. Also, both of their (and Nipa’s, too) Units break. Out of this, Hikari is now a proud Break Witches member. Not only that, she has now been fully accepted as a part of the 502nd. After the closing credits, we find Hikari’s sister, Takami, finally wakes up after 3 months. Someone is healing her. Who is it?

Why, it’s none other than the main character of the original Strike Witches series, and 501st member, Yoshika. Yoshika tells her the details of what happened.

Episode 10 – “Big Sister and Little Sister”

It’s been three weeks since Takami woke up, and she’s ready for the operation the troops are launching. The 502nd are still fighting Neuroi, and Hikari is now using her Contact Eye more and more. Also, she still isn’t over the fact that Kanno called her “her partner,” as Kanno is still denying it. As they prepare to head back, a plane heads their way. On it is Salute Field Marshal Manstein. He tells them about “Operation Freyja,” the plan to take out Grigori. Rall thinks they will be sing the Neuroi tech that gave the 501st problems before, but Manstein says that’s too powerful. They got a new plan. The Petersburg troop will strike the Grigori themselves, and they will do it by using a railgun.

No, not THAT Railgun! One of these railguns.

And yes, I said “these” for they have two. They will use them to hit the cores. But they will need help locating the cores with a Witch. Everyone there thinks they will use Hikari for this job, seeing as they may know she can use Contact Eye. At least they got a month left to train her for this. Except they don’t. Grigori began to move, and since they don’t want to lose more supply lines, they only have 7 days. All the 502nd members are opposed to Hikari doing this, but she agrees to do it herself. However, Hikari is not the Witch they had in mind for the job. The Witch they did arrives at the base. Seeing who it is, it makes Hiakri happy. Takami is back, and Hikari can’t wait to tell her how strong she has gotten. However, all that happiness disappears when Takami wonders what Hikari is doing there. It gets worse when she says this.

She tells Hikari to pack her bags and head back to Kauhava, as it’s an order. The others are happy that Takami is rejoining the 502nd, but Kanno sees Hikari is not there to celebrate. She finds her depressed.

Hikari stays depressed during training, and again during dinner as Takami made some food. She can’t say her feelings as she leaves and climbs the tower yet again. Sasha spills the beans in the sauna about Hikari transferring. It only makes sense since she wasn’t suppose to be there in the first place. And Contact Eye is dangerous, so it might be good for her since she isn’t as strong as Takami. Also, higher-ups orders. They can’t change that. Hikari makes it to the top of the tower, only for Takami to make her way to her in her own style.

You only use two hands to climb, little sis? PFFFFTTTTTTT!!! Watch this!

She tells her again to leave. Hikari doesn’t want to, telling Takami how hard she worked to get into the 502nd and how that they accepted her now. It’s no use, though. Takami then meets with Rall, and she tells her why she is doing this. Because she doesn’t want to see Hiakri hurt. In fact, she was the one who made a deal with Manstein to have Hikari return. She is proud of how hard Hikari has worked, and really just wants to give her a hug. Yeah, they suck at expressing their own feelings.  The next day, the team learns about the recon team being wiped out by an orb-like Neuroi, the same one Krupinski destroyed a couple episodes back. It regenerated and has her Unit. Rall is going out with Takami to defeat it, until Hikari barges in to say she wants to fight. Rall likes this, and decides to make a contest. If Hikari finds the Neuroi’s core first with Contact Eye, not only will she do everything to have Hikari stay in the 502nd, but it’s Takami who will have to go to Kauhava in her place. In any case, the two sisters won’t be fighting together.  They both agree to this. The group knows that Takami has the huge advantage, because she can locate the core with her own vision. But Hikari is doing this to prove her worth to the group and Takami. As they spot the Neuroi and it attacks, Takami uses Absolute Eye to find the core, and Rall shoots it. However, the Neuroi regenerates after the core is destroyed. Takami sees that there is another core inside the core. It is called Core-ception the “Real Core.” The Neuroi splits, shooting all its tiny Neuroi parts everywhere. Hikari goes in to touch it, but there are too many Neuroi parts. Rossmann tells her to remember her training, and she uses it to her advantage, dodging every attack. She and Takami move in, with Takami using her magic to find it, and Hikari touching the Neuroi. They both tell where to shoot, and Rall shoot the Real Core, destroying it once and for all. But like before, after it’s destroyed, it fires a part, and it strikes Hikari in the back. Her sister saves her, giving her a much needed hug in the process. In the end, even though both were accurate in locating the core, Takami was faster. She stays, as Hikari leaves. Hikari lets it all out after this decision.

Episode 11 – “We Won’t Know Until We Try”

As Hikari says goodbye to her Unit and Chidori, and tells her to do well with her sister, Kanno tries to cheer her in her own tsundere way, and give Hikari her gloves as a parting gift. Everyone else says their goodbyes and gives gifts to her, too. Krupinski gives her the “charm” back, which Hikari now knows is a weapon. She loads one bullet in there, for her own good luck. As Hikari leaves, Nipa ask Kanno if she’s gonna stop her. She doesn’t.

At least the guy driving Hikari back feels honored doing it for a 502nd member. Even if she isn’t one anymore. Takami sees all the scratches Chidori got from fighting with Hikari, and knows that she worked harder than most. She promises Rall to complete the mission at hand. As said before, Grigori is moving, and moving towards Petersburg and the 502nd base. “Operation Freyja” is to take out the main Neuroi body hidden in the clouds. It is a “Neuroi factory” in a sense with all the Neuroi made. They will use their two railguns, Gustav and Dora, with their large 800-mm cannons, to attack Grigori. Gustav will destroy the cloud with a HE round, while Dora will use an “anti-Neuroi, magic AP round” made of the powers of the ground Witches.

Didn’t I say the Ground Witches look badass? They back it up by being badasses as well

Of course, they have to get really close to do all this, so it’s the 502nd’s mission to escort them, with Takami finding the core. Hikari arrives in Suomus, and her escorts arrive too. It’s none other than Eila and Sanya from the 501st. Nipa wanted them to meet up with her cause she was worried. What a nice friend. While on the train, Hikari sees the 502nd take off, and even though she wishes them all good luck, she’s still sad about not being with them. Eila cheers her up with something called Salmiakki. I have no idea what it is, but whatever it is, it’s not chocolate. The 502nd arrive, as the fleet launches “Operation Freyja” into motion. They fire on the Neuroi, as the Neuroi counter this.

Sanya with her magic senses the battle has started, and Eila has a radio so that the three of them can hear what’s happening. The 502nd get into the battle themselves as many Neuroi are attacking. Them and the fleet do good enough to wipe out half the Neuroi, even if a bunch of the fleet gets killed themselves. But they’re ready to fire Gustav. The Neuroi try to destroy it, but Kanno and Takami protect it. Gustav gets set, then fires the HE round at it. The powerful impact of it is felt by the Witches, as the round does destroy the whole cloud, showcasing the massive main Neuroi body. As soon as this happens, the frequency on the radio jams, so Hikari can’t hear. Normal weapons don’t work on the big Neuroi nest, so Takami goes in to find the core. It launches tentacles (I think?) armed with lasers to defend itself. Even with all the beams, Takami finds its core, as Dora readies to fire. But the Neuroi combines its tentacles to make a Mega Laser. The Witches try to stop it, but part of it goes through and hits Dora’s barrel, melting it. It can’t fire the weapon now, and will take 20 minutes to prepare it again in Gustav. Plus, Grigori begins to move out of firing range, so they will run out of time before they are ready again. Takami decides to use the AP round on the enemy herself. She tries to lift it, but it weighs almost a ton. This is what Hikari would do, so because they are “idiots like her,” the group decides to help Takami as well. They use their magic to lift the massive magic bullet and fly it to the Neuroi.

Can they lift? Yeah, they can lift.

They get above the enemy, and they drop it and leave, except for Takami, who wants to see this through. Kanno assists her from getting hit by a laser. At close range, Takami lets it go and the AP round hits the Neuroi, destroying it. It’s all over now, right? Nope. Like the orb Neuroi, the main body regenerates because it has a “Real Core” as well. Unlike the orb Neuroi, the main body’s Real Core disappears from Takami’s Absolute Eye. Hikari and co. hear on the radio (it’s unjammed now) about this, and Hikari decides to go join them. But she doesn’t have her Unit since they’re on a cargo train. That won’t stop her from jumping off the train and runn-

That will sting a bit. But after recovering, it won’t stop Hikari from running all the way to the battlefield.

This was a long recap, so I’ll try to keep my thoughts short for each episode. Episode 9 was a nice step-up to see Kanno and how she views Hikari. She finally warmed up to her, and she does now accept her for how hard she works. Plus, it was interesting seeing her get caught in the moment being scared and caring for her friend’s safety. It was a lot different than her usual beat-down-everything attitude. Of course, she is still a tsundere, and that tsundere-ness has to show up in denying she acknowledged Hikari as a partner/friend. Also what was good? Yoshika! I’m glad we got to see her again, even if it was very brief. Now, if we can see Lynette with her as well. Episode 10 was both hard to take, and kind of maddening. It was hard seeing Hikari finally prove all the hard work she accomplish being in the group and getting accepted by them, only to see it get flushed down so quickly by her sister. I know it’s for the story, but it’s still not any less annoying this happened. Plus, why is it that they can’t say what they want at all? Why can’t Takami just say she doesn’t want to see her sister in danger? She knows Hikari won’t change her mind, so why do all this if the outcome is still gonna be the same? Sending her back was just a thing to set-up all of this, and even so, the emotion from Hikari getting sent back was real. It was a well made moment to see how far she came, only to now go back to the bottom. One more thing I will point out is that I thought they would do something with the Unit in the orb Neuroi. Like maybe use it for its own advantage. Instead, it just was to point out it was still around. So, that went nowhere. As for episode 11? It was basically set-up for the last episode and how Hikari will join it. The final boss battles in any form of media aren’t usually so quick and easy, and as they showed, it will be a two-part battle with Hikari in some way fighting.  The only bad thing I will point out from all 3 of these? The horrible CGI. It has been kinda noticeable throughout the series, but that was more during the fights. It was more prevalent this time around when the girls were flying and NOT fighting at all. I have no idea why the Sliver Link’s staff would make them CGI for not facing off with the Neuroi. But I guess they had a plan for it. It’s just that the characters looked really different from their usual drawn selves, and it threw me off a bit. The finale will be my last recap of this show, and I will have my final thoughts on the series as a whole and how it stacks up with the original. Stay tuned for that real soon.

Brave Witches is simulcast on Crunchyroll. It can be seen Wednesdays at 2:30 PM.

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