Strike Witches – Kuroi Hitomi 黒い瞳

It’s been so humid I’ve had to take like four showers today. -.-

So I watched Strike Witches. Partly because I am watching Shangri-la, loving it (same studio: Gonzo), and partly because I heard it was so bad (it’s infamous). Once you get past the "O.O none of the girls are wearing pants O.o – Why…?" It’s actually a nice show. It’s not like the plot is really intriguing or anything, or that the animation is really spectacular, but it’s cute, and you get attached to some of the characters. More interesting is really the concepts behind the characters. The sheer level of fanservice-y bits is enough to make you laugh too XD – but it’s really not near as horrible as people make it out to be; maybe my level of tolerance has just grown too high?

Liking the concept of it all, I heard that the series was based on novels. This is a (fairly blatant) lie. It is instead, based on an Anime OVA by Kunihisa Sugishima (25 minutes and only loosely informative) that’s based on a series of illustrations by Humikane Shimada done in Compatiq Ace. You get the "based on novels" bit because there are three light novels that are based on that same series of illustrations. (here’s an interlinking web of characters that relate the characters of the light novels to the original characters in the illustrations), then there are currently two light novels that are a basic novelization of the OVA+Anime – along with some fan-novel. As the Anime was done by Kazuhiro Takamura and Tsuyoshi Tamai, you have a completely different set of people working on every single separate component, and therefore it’s very disjunct. (Although Humikame Shimada, the original illustrator, provided light novel illustrations to both the first light novel and the novelization.) However, I heard that either the novelization or the other light novel were pretty good, so – I might read them if I get the chance to.

As for the characters, I liked most of them by the end of the series, even the American. In fact – I believe she’s the first Anime American that I haven’t fully disliked. Maybe I connected with her longing for speed – impressive because I have a disposition to dislike characters with oversized breasts – but I got past that, (at least they weren’t big enough to break my suspension of disbelief XD.) As a night owl and not really buying into that no-pants = win, my favorite character was Sanya V. Litvyak (who is the only character ever to be seen wearing a skirt), and thus by extension I had to like Eila Ilmatar Juutilainen. (I still have to think of the Japanese pronounciation stuffs to figure out how to say her name.) I also liked Gertrud Barkhorn, and there by extension liked the other two original German pilots: Erica Hartmann and Minna-Dietlinde Wilcke. Then, because her gun is cool and perhaps I have a strange attraction to British women o.o – Lynette Bishop. Yeah… I put the main character around the bottom of my list.

If I had to rank them:

1. Sanya V. Litvyak
2. Gertrud Barkhorn
3. Eila Ilmatar Juutilainen
4. Lynette Bishop
5. Minna-Dietlinde Wilcke
5. Charlotte E. "Charlie" Yeager
5. Erica Hartmann
8. Mio Sakamoto
9. Francesca Lucchini
10. Yoshika Miyafuji
11. Perrine-H. Clostermann

-.-: Perrine annoyed me to NO end. (X-x the french) | Yoshika… was too optimistic and had no redeeming qualities. | Lucchini was cat-like which I like… but no other redeeming qualities. | Once you get past Mio’s kind of annoying laugh and obstinate kamikaze attitude, she’s got this teacher attitude that’s nice – plus she’s old (~20) and thus has a bit of a head on her shoulders at least. The three-way tie for 5th has partly to do with the fact that I want to keep all of them in the upper half – and that although that’s the order I’d put them in, they’re pretty close anyway. Lynette I like again because she’s nice and a sniper, and British. Eila makes me laugh and I like her semi-deep voice – plus she’s like Sanya’s talking counterpart. As for Gertrud, I like pretty much everything about her character, especially after you learn more about her – and I think she’s pretty ^^. Sanya, I like everything about her – her ability, her habits, and her animal, her country, the fact that she wears… clothes — everything really, but I wish sort of that she would talk more, though that would violate part of her character… So 1&2 are pretty close :d

So anyway I got hold of Sanya and Eila’s character album, and I like it ^^. One song that caught my eye (ear?) was Kuroi Hitomi ("black pupils") – which is basically a song of Japanese lyrics placed over a common Russian folk tune. It’s pretty ^^. It’s an extremely simple song, so maybe the translation’ll sound a little strange.

Translation Notes: as for the "particle" なりし – I can only guess what it means through context, as well as the only other phrase I found when I googled it 夢なりし空中庭園 – this is similar to the time when I came across にす – of which I couldn’t find any results >.> – Also, everytime you see "eyes" it really should be "pupils" but in English, you usually say eyes regardless… – but "black eyes" (lit) sound odd, so I made it "black"->"dark"

(・x・) I need to get better at translating songs – then it would be just beautiful regardless. In Japanese it’s beautiful, I promise :D

The drama tracks on this CD are cute, Eila is always mildly jealous of anyone that might take Sanya’s interest. – I’ll give her that right, after all Sanya always hops into Eila’s bed whenever she gets back :x


黒い瞳
作詩:鈴木貴昭
ロシア民謡
編曲:長谷川智樹
歌:エイラ・イルマタル・ユーティライネン(仲井絵里香)&サーニャ・V・リトヴァク(門脇舞以)

燃えさかる炎よ ああ黒き瞳よ 美しき炎よ 素晴らしき瞳
愛しき 悩ましき その瞳 あなたを一目見て 私はあなたの虜

Burning flame; ah such dark eyes; beautiful flame; splendid eyes
Lovely, seductive, those eyes – with a single look I am your captive

闇なりし焔よ ああ黒き瞳よ 凍てつく焔よ 底知れぬ瞳
勝ち誇り 焼き尽くす その瞳 あなたの炎で 私の心は痛む

A blaze inviting darkness; ah such dark eyes; frozen blaze; bottomless eyes
Triumphant, burning out, those eyes – by your flame my heart pains

私の幸せは あなただけに

My happiness depends solely on you

燃えさかる炎よ ああ黒き瞳よ 愛しき瞳よ 美しき瞳
とこしえに 魅惑する その瞳 私を連れ去り 破滅へといざなう

Burning flame; ah such dark eyes; lovely eyes; beautiful eyes
For eternity captivating, those eyes – take me away and invite me into destruction

あなたの面影を 夢に見る

I see your face in my dreams

夜中に歌う声 私は手を伸ばす 夢へとみちびく 黒き瞳
私はあなたと 共に飛び立つ

Singing at midnight, I extend my arms to your dark eyes, leading me into dreams
Together with you I leap into the sky
 

    • Masato
    • April 7th, 2012

    Hey, thank you for this awesome review! It was great reading and it was spectacular.

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