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Strike Witches (ストライクウィッチーズ, Sutoraiku Witchīzu?) is a mixed-media project originally created by Humikane Shimada via a series of magazine illustration columns. The franchise has since been adapted into several light novel, manga, and anime series and various video games. The series revolves around teenage girls who use machines attached to their legs to do aerial combat. The OVA preview episode was released on January 1, 2007. The televised anime series later aired between on July and September 2008. A second season aired between July and September 2010. A film adaptation was released on March 17, 2012 and a three part OVA series was released between September 2014 and May 2015. A spin-off anime series, Brave Witches, began airing in Japan from October 2016.
Set in an alternate Earth in the mid twentieth century, Strike Witches tells the story of a fight to protect that world using a combination of magic and technology in a fictional recreation of events occurred in the World War II with the national armies joining forces to confront an overwhelming alien threat together instead of fighting among themselves. The titular Strike Witches are young women with high magical potential who are recruited into military organizations around the world to fight against the enigmatic Neuroi, which began an invasion of unprecedented scale on human territory in the year 1939. This puzzling enemy force has appeared frequently and without warning in many areas across the world throughout history. The weapons of the Neuroi mostly take on forms similar to aircraft, but their most troubling tactic is the spreading of a corrosive miasma. Not only do normal humans have no defense against this miasma, but the remnants of the land affected by it are processed by the Neuroi into new weapons, crumbling huge sections of former nations into the sea. As the miasma seems to be unable to spread across large bodies of water, humanity has designated such areas as their main lines of defense.
In order to bring out their potential for use in battle, each Witch equips a unique machine onto their legs: the Striker Unit. With the Striker Unit equipped, they gain the ability to fly and their tapped magical potential provides the strength to utilize weapons far too heavy and powerful for a normal person. A defensive field is also created that can protect the Witches from the Neuroi's miasma, as well as other physical weaponry, making them humanity's trump card in the war. The franchise's main media focuses on the 501st Joint Fighter Wing, defending the Britannian home islands, in the first season, as a parallel to the Battle of Britain, and struggling to retake an occupied Italian peninsula in the second season as a parallel to the late stages of the Adriatic Campaign.