Strike Witches: Road to Berlin Ep 10 Impression

Road to Berlin is on a roll now because episode ten was the perfect follow up for last week’s episode. The witches finally begin their assault on Berlin which allowed the episode to give us some awesome action scenes. The suspense and drama were kicked up a notch and really carried some weight after the high stakes battle from episode nine. At the center of this drama is Yoshika and Shizuka, where the consequences of their actions don’t really hit you until the last few seconds. The cliffhanger ending continues to raise the bar for episode eleven because not only was the assault on Berlin a failure, but also two witches are now possibly unable to fight.

The episode doesn’t waste any time in taking us straight to the action as the witches are dropped into the skies of Berlin within the first few minutes. The air force have destroyed the clouds surrounding the Neuroi nest leaving it vulnerable for the witches to destroy the core. I knew something was up because witches were about to win this major battle too easily and it turns out my gut feeling was right. In fact, this goes very poorly for the witches as a swarm of mini Neuroi surround them and begin destroying planes left and right. Yoshika used up a lot of her magic in protecting a few planes which leads to a dilemma for her. She is ordered to leave the battle in order to conserve her magic while watching the planes she can’t protect explode out of the sky. The episode begins to play with this idea where no matter whether Yoshika follows the order or not, there is no good outcome.

The Neuroi once again attacks the base at Kiel as it tries to keep the witches out of Berlin. This battle adds more pressure on Yoshika in making her choose between two bad decisions. While Yoshika chose to obey the order to head back to base in the last battle, her decision this time will determine whether Shizuka lives or not. After a miscalculation, Shizuka is left bleeding on the wing of the Neuroi. Not only that, but halfway through the battle, the Neuroi decides it is going to kamikaze itself into Kiel just to win the battle. Yoshika was told to not engage in battle because her magic power is needed at 100% for the next assault on Berlin. Yoshika is struggling to obey this order and even received a scolding from Sakamoto before the battle occurred. As soon as Shizuka goes down, Yoshika disobeys the order and engages the Neuroi. I really like the tension presented in this scene in forcing Yoshika to make a difficult decision. I knew what she was going do, but what caught me off guard was the consequence that came with it.

The other witches are struggling to hold the Neuroi back from crashing into Kiel, which would not only destroy their supply base, but kill the troops stationed there as well as Shizuka onboard the Neuroi. Yoshika uses her magic and holds back the Neuroi with her bare hands, which gives the other witches the time needed to save Shizuka and destroy the Neuroi. So all seems good until Yoshika ends up fainting with the medical team saying they no longer feel any magic power from her. Shizuka feels responsible for Yoshika’s condition and she faints as well.

This was a great ending, but very unexpected for me. The drama was excellent and it really put Yoshika in a situation that I’m not used to seeing her in. That’s not to say there hasn’t been important moments in the previous seasons, but this one seemed to carry the most weight. The other witches as well were put in a difficult place as they struggled to hold back a Neuroi that was crazy enough to be willing to kill itself just to take out Kiel. Drama aside, the action was great and pretty lengthy where the assault on Berlin was about half the episode. I really hope this trend continues because Road to Berlin really shines when it tries something knew. I’m looking forward to see what happens to Yoshika and Shizuka now that they are potentially out of the fight.        

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