Kadokawa released a short promotional video, or PV for short, on YouTube giving us details about the new Luminous Witches anime, coming in 2021.
On April 9, 2020; Kadokawa posted a new promotional video for Luminous Witches: a new anime set in the Strike Witches universe and produced by studio Shaft (famous for Monogatari series, Nisekoi, March Comes in Like a Lion, etc.). Sadly, it’s just a shorter version of a much longer PV they previously uploaded. For reasons unknown, they took down the original PV. The new PV has bits and pieces of the original in it, but it’s hard to grasp the meaning of those clips without watching the original.
That being said, the new PV still contains interesting info about Luminous Witches. For starters: the official name for the anime translates to “League of Nations Air Force Aviation Magic Band: Luminous Witches“. Since it’s quite the mouthful, most fans just call it either Luminous Witches, or Idol Witches. The new PV still shows scenes depicting the witches’ familiars: something which hasn’t been seen onscreen since the original Strike Witches OVA aired back in January 1, 2007. Lastly, the PV also lists the cast and the voice actresses playing them.
- Virginia Robertson (Britain): voiced by Mai Narumi
- Inori Shibuya (Japan): voiced by Minako Hosokawa
- Lyudmila Andreyevna Ruslanova (Russia): voiced by Ami Aimoto
- Aila Päivikki Linnamar (Finland): voiced by Ryou Mamiya
- Éléonore Giovanna Gassion (France): voiced by Sayaka Tsuzuki
- Maria Magdalene Dietrich (Germany): voiced by Momo Hanae
- Manaia Matawhaura Hato (New Zealand): voiced by Misaki Yuuki
- Sylvie Cariello (Italy): voiced by Miu Kotosaka
- Joanna Elizabeth Stafford (USA): voiced by Kyou Tachibana
No word yet as to who will be voicing the cast in the English dub. It would be nice if the VAs did their best to say their lines with an accent appropriate to their character’s nation though. It’d really help sell the feeling that this is truly a multinational unit using English as a common language.
Luminous Witches seems to offer a unique take on the world of Strike Witches. Instead of being a military sci-fi show featuring magical girls fighting aliens, Luminous Witches seems to be a homage to the idol genre of anime. It also seems to abandon the military genre entirely for the comedy and slice-of-life genres. To be honest, I’m not entirely certain about this new direction. I really liked the military aspects of Strike Witches, and taking out the combat entirely is a bit of a downgrade, really.
I can see why this could exist in-universe. To these witches, getting assigned to a music band as far from the fighting as possible must seem like they’d won the lottery. It’ll be interesting to see how the combat will follow them into the world of music though, even if no actual fighting happens. After all, PTSD is a thing too, even in-universe.
The one thing I really liked about Luminous Witches though is its portrayal of familiars. Familiars have always been an integral part of the witches’ identity. I mean, every single witch has her familiar right in her insignia, and yet, we never see the familiars. Luminous Witches is the first series to actually show the familiars outside the witches and interacting with both their witches and each other. I discount the original Strike Witches OVA due to it being a single episode OVA that never went anywhere, and is now non-canon anyway. It’ll be interesting to see more of the familiars come 2021.
Luminous Witches could potentially be an interesting addition to the world of Strike Witches. However, it could also be a bit on the boring side for those of you who’ve come for the military sci-fi portions of the show. We’ll just have to wait and see in 2021.