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The Winter 2021 Preview Guide
World Witches Take Off!

How would you rate episode 1 of
World Witches Take Off! ?
Community score: 3.5

What is this?

Like the previous Strike Witches: 501st JOINT FIGHTER WING Take Off! anime, this series of shorts will follow the humorous daily lives of the Witches when they are not in battle. However, the new anime will not only feature the 501st Joint Fighter Wing (Strike Witches), but also the 502nd (Brave Witches).

World Witches Take Off! is part of a mixed-media franchise based on illustrator Humikane Shimada's mecha-girl illustrations and streams on Crunchyroll on Tuesdays.

How was the first episode?

Theron Martin

This series of 13½ minute episodes is effectively a sequel to 2019's Strike Witches: 501st JOINT FIGHTER WING Take Off! (and its late 2019 movie). It is scheduled to have six episodes which focus on the 501st Joint Fighter Wing (and thus will be referencing the most recent season of the main series, Road to Berlin) and six episodes which focus on the 502nd Joint Fighter Wing (and thus will be referencing Brave Witches). Hence a very high degree of familiarity with the franchise is expected. Those who are not dedicated franchise fans, or simply not completely caught up, might still find the content here entertaining, but they will miss half the jokes.

The first episode focuses on the 501st and deals in part with events in the first couple of episodes of Road to Berlin. This is framed against the supposition that Barkhorn is attempting to make a promotional movie starring Miyafuji, likely in the spirit of actual World War 2 promotional/propaganda films. The first problem is that Miyafuji is not really cut out for doing this kind of thing, and the second problem is that Barkhorn's approach – while definitely in line with classic promotional videos – is too by-the-book for this pack of eccentrics. Along the way it regurgitates common jokes from the previous Take Off! series, such as Hartmann being an utter slob and Barkhorn bloodily pummeling Hartmann over one misbehavior or another, but adds in a few fresh ones, too. My favorite was probably how one of the things Miyafuji most misses about not having her magic shields is how she used to use smaller versions as a grease splatter guard while cooking; as someone who's been splattered by grease more than a few times over the years while cooking, this is even funnier because it entirely makes sense.

On the whole, the first episode is quite funny. Its humor style and more simplified art are entirely in line with its predecessor, so if that one entertained you then this should, too. The Next Episode preview shows that the second episode will focus on Brave Witches instead, so the producers may be looking to alternate episodes between the two. Though this means that I will have to back and do some Brave Witches review to be able to catch all of those jokes, it is an approach that should work fine.

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