Strike Witches (ストライクウィッチーズ, Sutoraiku Witchīzu) is a multimedia franchise that originally began as a series of magazine illustration columns by Fumikane Shimada. The franchise has been developed as several light novel, manga, and anime series, collectively known as the World Witches series.
The franchise's work are set in an alternate universe and feature the military science fiction genre, with mechanized magical girls, called Witches, fighting against mysterious enemies.
An early short OVA was released in 2007. The fist TV anime series was aired in 2008. A second season aired in 2010. A film adaptation was released in 2012 and three OVA series was released between 2014 and 2015.
A third TV anime series "Brave witches" aired in 2016, which was a spin-off featuring a different protagonist and characters from the previous series.
A third season of the main series, which ran until 2015, aired in 2020.
A fifth TV anime series and the second spin-off, "Luminous Witches", aired in 2022.
On an alternative earth, similar to our universe but where 'magic' is real, in 1939, humanity invaded by the 'Neuroi', a strange-looking alien enemy that suddenly appears. The new calamity, spreading a noxious miasma and taking the form to resemble an aircraft or a giant insectoid tank, could not be defeated by conventional weapons, expect for attacks with magical power. The majority possessing this magical power are women, especially young teenage girls, and inevitably they are the only ones who can fight effectively.
The armed force of the world have united to the counter the threat of the Neuroi invasion, and have decided to entrust the future of the world to the only entity that could counter Neuroi forces, the 'Witches', teenage girls who had contracted with familiar spirits and could use magical powers and fly through the sky wearing special magical flying device, the 'Striker Unit'.
- The event, characters and weapons in the story are mainly based on real-world World War II, and the Striker Unit is also inspired by military aircraft (especially fighter planes) used in the same period. Many of the Witches are modelled on flying ace in the real world.
- The countries in the world appear under different names from the real world and have been arranged based on the period before the start of the World War I in 1914. For example, the Empire of Karlsland is a country with a territory similar to the German Empire, where the real-life Hohenzollern dynasty still survives in the mid-20th century. In general, it can be said to be a world with a relatively delayed timetable for the formation of self-determination and nation-states due to the invasion of alien enemies.
- Because magic has been used in this world since ancient times, Europe in the story differs from reality in that it has a distinctive culture and atmosphere that retains the ancient Roman style of culture and beliefs before the widespread of Christianity (for example, Christmas culture in the world is practiced as a "Saturnalia", a festival to celebrate the winter solstice).
- There has also been long-standing scientific research into magical powers, and the Striker Unit, a mechanical flight device for witches, is an invention developed in such a climate.
Since 1940, the nations of the world have united in response to the common human crisis of the Neuroi invasion and formed an allied force on the European front to hold off the Neuroi. Among the Allied Forces of Humanity, the role played by witches, who can deal direct strikes to the Neuroi, is significant, and without witches the frontline would not be viable (although the war situation would still be severe even if witches were present).
In this situation, the Allied Forces' Joint Fighting Wing (JFW) was formed with the idea of gaining victory by recruiting excellent elite witches from various countries and deploying them intensively to a particular battle front.
Initially established in Britannia in 1941 (the 501st Joint Fighter Wing), the success of the 501st JFW led to the establishment of other JFWs around the world.
As of 1945, a total of eight units from the 501st JFW to the 508th JFW have been formed.
Each of these wings has been given a nickname such as '_____ Witches' (e.g. 501st Joint Fighter Wing = 'Strike Witches') and has become an emblematic unit of the Allied Forces.
Suomus Misfits Squadron
On the occasion of the 1939 Neuroi invation of the Nordic country of Suomus, it was decided to organize a new unit, receiving support in the armament and personal from other countries.
Second Lieutenant Tomoko Anabuki, who became a heroic witch after her exploits in the Fuso Sea Incident, was excited to be on a new stage of activity, but she was dispatched to Suomus, a outlying country far from the frontline. The heartbroken Tomoko is roused to show the military what she can do. However, the witches gathered at the Suomus Volunteer Independent Flying Squadron, where she was transferred, are all outcasts from various countries.
With no motivation, no ability, no guts, the girls called 'misfits' begin their fight to protect the world--.
501st Joint Fighter Wing 'Strike Witches'
The franchise's main media, "Strike Witches" series, features Yoshika Miyafuji as the protagonist and focuses on the story of the 501st Joint Fighter Wing, also known as Strike Witches.
Set in a unit where top-class ace witches from different countries have gathered to liberate Gallia, the story follows a young girl Yoshika Miyafuji, who is a rookie but has strong healing magic, as she fights alongside her companions.
The first season focuses on the defense of Britannia, which is parallel to the Battle of Britain, and the second season takes place mainly in Romagna, which is located on the Italian peninsula in real life.
502nd Joint Fighter Wing 'Brave Witches'
An animation series "Brave Witches" features Hikari Karibuchi as the protagonist and focuses on the activities of the 502nd Joint Fighter Wing, also named 'Brave Witches', which defends Petersburg in Eastern Europe's Orussia.
506th Joint Fighter Wing 'Noble Witches'
The novel series "Noble Witches" tells the story of the 506th Joint Fighter Wing, a unit of 'Witches of Noble Blood' established at the initiative of the Allied Forces to defend Paris after the liberation of Gallia.
LNAF Aviation Magic Band 'Luminous Witches'
The spin-off anime "Luminous Witches" is the story of a musical band of witches who are branded as useless and unable to fight, but instead work to protect people's hearts not through fighting but through the power of song.
The protagonist is a mysterious Witch girl, Virginia Robertson, and the setting is the League of Nations Air Force Aviation Magic Band, or 'Luminous Witches'.
Refer to the article List of Strike Witches Characters.
Strike Witches (2008)
The first season of the TV anime broadcast from July to September 2008.
The protagonist of the story, Yoshika Miyafuji, is a young girl in Yokosuka, Fuso, who with her mother and grandmother, runs a medical clinic that uses healing magic.
One day in 1944, Yoshika receives a letter from her father, who is supposed to be dead already, and she decides to go to the Commonwealth of Britannia to find out the truth about her father's death. There, her abilities as a witch are recognised, and she joins the 501st Joint Fighter Wing 'Strike Witches'. She throws herself into the battle to defend Britannia and recapture the Republic of Gallia.
- Opening Theme
"STRIKE WITCHES 〜Watashi ni dekiru koto〜"
Lyrics by - Natsumi Tadano, Kazuhiro Takamura / Composed and arranged by - Masanori Takumi / Song by - Yoko Ishida
- Ending Theme
Lyrics by - Natsumi Tadano / Composed and arranged by - Yukari Hashimoto / Song by - Strike Witches
- Insert Song
Lyrics in Japanese by - Takaaki Suzuki / Lyrics by - Hans Leip / Composed by - Norbort Schultze / Arranged by - Seikou Nagaoka / Song by - Minna-Dietlinde Wilcke (Rie Tanaka)
|No.||Episode Title||Original Title|
|2||That Which I Can Do||私にできること|
|3||You're Not Alone||一人じゃないから|
|5||Fast, Big, Soft||はやい・おっきい・やわらかい|
|6||We're the Same||いっしょだよ|
|7||Nice and Breezy||スースーするの|
|8||I Won't Forget You||君を忘れない|
|9||What I Want to Protect||守りたいもの|
|10||I Want You to Believe||信じてほしい|
|11||Into the Sky...||空へ…|
Strike Witches 2
The second season of the TV anime broadcast from July to September 2010.
Sequel to "Strike Witches".
Strike Witches: The Movie
An animation film which was released in theatres from 17 March 2012.
It is a sequel to the first and second TV seasons and takes place in Europe in 1945. In addition to the 11 witches of the 501st Joint Fighter Wing, this film also features a new character, Shizuka Hattori.
Operation Victory Arrow (O.V.A.)
Original video animation (OVA) series released from December 2014 to the following July 2015. 3 volumes in total.
The story is a bridge between the second TV anime season and the movie film edition.
A TV animation broadcast from October to December 2016. It is the story of another squadron, the 502nd Joint Fighter Wing 'Brave Witches'. Hikari Karibuchi is newly featured as the protagonist.
501st Joint Fighter Wing Take Off!
A short TV animation broadcast from April to June 2019. A comedic slice-of-life piece animated from a spin-off four-panel manga by Makoto Fujibayashi.
501st Joint Fighter Wing Take Off! Movie
A film adaptation of the short animation , which began screening on 4 October 2019.
Running time 30 minutes.
Strike Witches: Road to Berlin
The third season of the TV animation broadcast from October to December 2020.
The story follows the battles of the reunited 501st Joint Fighter Wing in the lead up to the liberation of Berlin.
World Witches Take Off!
A short TV animation that broadcast from January to March 2021. Sequel to the animated adaptation of the manga by Fujibayashi.
It is a collaboration between the 501st and 502nd Unit, and is a follow-up to the original "The 501st Unit Take Off! Sequel☆" and "The 502nd Unit Take off!". The programs are broadcast alternately on the 501st side and the 502nd side.
A TV animation broadcast from July to September 2022.
The work is entitled "Even if we don't fight, we are Witches!" and depicts the story of the Music Band Witches who engage in musical activities instead of taking part in combat.
Also refer to the article World Witches.
Strike Witches: Suomus Misfits Squadron
A light novel series by Noboru Yamaguchi, published between 2006 and 2008, and is the franchise's very first work.
It is set in the Suomus Misfits Squadron in 1939.
Three volumes already published.
Due to the author's death, the four volumes scheduled for publication in spring 2009 were never actually released.
However, a reboot was announced in 2018 and was to be written anew by Toshihiko Tsukiji. The reboot series is titled "Silent Witches: Suomus Misfits Squadron ReBOOT!" and has been published since October 2018. Four volumes have already been published.
It is the story of the Suomus Volunteer Independent Flying Squadron "Misfit Squadron", which would later be known as the Silent Witches.
Strike Witches: Maidens' Volume
Novelised works of the first season of the TV animation series by Hidehisa Nambou.
Strike Witches 2
A novelisation of the second season of the TV animation series by Hidehisa Nambou.
Strike Witches: The Witches of Africa - Kei's Report
Novel series by Takaaki Suzuki, set on the African battlefield. It follows the exploits of the 31st Joint Fighter Squadron "Africa", later to be known as the Storm Witches.
Three volumes in total.
Strike Witches the Movie: The sky I want to return to
A novelised adaptation of the 2012 film version of the animation series.
Noble Witches: The 506th Joint Fighter Wing
Novel series by Hidehisa Nambou, set in the 506th Joint Fighter Wing "Noble Witches" in Gallia.
Total of 8 volumes.
Brave Witches Prequel
Novel that is a prequel to the anime series "Brave Witches". The author is Toshihiko Tsukiji.
Strike Witches: Memorial Episode "We're the Same"
Published to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the series' television broadcast, the novel published in 2018 is a novelisation of the first season's episode 6 by Shouji Saeki, who wrote the script and storyboard for the episode 6 of the first season in 2008. Featuring Sanya V. Litvyak as the main character.
Silent Witches: Suomus Misfits Squadron ReBOOT!
Novel series by Toshihiko Tsukiji. Reboot work of Suomus Misfits Squadron series.
The first volume was published from 1 October 2018. A special edition containing a new drama audio CD was also released at the same time.
Strike Witches: Sōkū no Otometachi
Strike Witches: Tenkū no Otometachi
Strike Witches: The Sky That Connects Us
Strike Witches: Chii Sanya
Strike Witches Zero: 1937 Fuso Sea Incident
A work presents young Mio Sakamoto and others in their early years.
Strike Witches: Official Comic à la Carte
Strike Witches: 501st Joint Fighter Wing Take Off!
A comical slice-of-life spin-off four-panel manga series by Makoto Fujibayashi.
Strike Witches: One-Winged Witches
Set on the Isle of Wight Detachment Group.
Strike Witches: The Witches of Africa
Strike Witches: The Witches of Andorra
Strike Witches the Movie: 501st Joint Fighter Wing Take Off!
Manga by Makoto Fujibayashi.
Strike witches: Chii Size
Strike Witches: The Witches of Aurora
Featuring witches of Suomus Air Force in 1942.
Strike Witches: Crimson Witches
Featuring the 504th Joint Fighter Wing "Ardor Witches".
Strike Witches: The 501st Joint Fighter Wing
Strike Witches: Erica Hartmann 1941
Brave Witches: 502nd Joint Fighter Wing Take Off!
A manga series by Makoto Fujibayashi.
World Witches: Contrail of Witches
Brave Witches: 502nd Joint Fighter Wing
Brave Witches: Official Comic à la Carte
Brave Witches Prequel: The Vast Land of Orussia
A comicalised version of the first volume of the novel "Brave Witches Prequel".
Noble Witches: The 506th Joint Fighter Wing
A comicalised version of the novel series of the same name. 3 volumes in the series.
Strike Witches: 501st Joint Fighter Wing Take Off! Continuation☆
Sequel of the "Take Off!" series.
Strike Witches: 501st Joint Fighter Wing Take Off! Road to Berlin
Not updated since the release of the first episode.
World Witches: United Front
App game for smartphones. Service launched in 2020.