Okay! Strike Witches, season 1. I enjoyed it, but it was far from perfect. Let's recap.
The plot is a bit thin, but pretty nice. I like how it blends history with fiction, in order to make Witches from all different factions from the WWII fight together. An American, two Japanese, two Germans, a Frenchwoman, a Brit, Italian, Russian, Finnish, and one I'm not all sure of.
At the beginning the story is very straightforward, but in the last two or three episodes thankfully there was some attempt at a plot twist that was pretty welcome, for the lack of progression at first. However, unfortunately it leaves a great plot hole about the true intentions of the Neuroi. (When it is implied that they may not be so hostile, one has to wonder "then why did it destroy Europe and plunge the world into chaos?")
That's a fairly ugly and obvious misser there, and I'll have to subtract from the score, but to be true, this is not a very story-driven anime at all, so the damage is limited.
Eleven Witches from all over the world, standard issue without pants on. They follow the predictable patterns of any anime involving an international company: a clumsy shy one, a happy-go-lucky energetic one, a haughty megane with a bad attitude, etcetera etcetera.
The interpersonal relationships are as always in such animes very important: the main character, newcomer Yoshiko, has to gain the group's trust. Then there are some emotional barriers within and between some of the characters to overcome, such as insecurities and the unprocessed loss of loved ones. It's fairly standard and it doesn't go too deep, so you can't expect to be crying in front of the screen, but sure - it works.
This is the best part of the anime, probably. Each episode features some extremely brutal combat with teenage girls operating huge machine guns, rocket launchers and gunboats. The battles are fast and hard, and because of the Striker Units the Witches fly with, there's a lot of stunt flying. It's all brought onto the screen in a very smooth and attractive way, with the camera panning left and right, (into this crotch and that). Bringing us to...
Well, plenty of ecchi here, and to be true I found it to be among the "harder" ecchi among what I've come across.
Of course, part of the premise of the show is that Striker Units are machines for flying that are put on like metal boots up to the thighs. Which is a clever way of making sure the characters can not be wearing pants - you couldn't put on those Striker Units in a hurry if you are, can you now? This makes for panty shots panty shots panty shots all the way from very beginning to very end. By the way, why is Yoshiko not wearing any pants from long before she joins the Witches? And why didn't that nurse wear any? Oh well, let's not complain.
Then there are bathing scenes featuring much nude, including nipples, something that's often censored away otherwise. I had not expected to see that. Yoshiko continually ends up with her face between her friends' boobs, and at some point even seems to have an erotic dream about it. Francesca Lucchini, the young Italian girl, also has a love for breast fondling. Implied lesbian relationships are galore throughout, almost all the Witches at some point seem to pair up into possible couples. Contact with the male personnel is forbidden.
By the way - this is not loli. The youngest of the Witches are probably 13, 14 at their youngest. True lolis are elementary school age. In my opinion, at least. :)
What I didn't like was, when operating magic, the Witches sprouted animal ears and tails. I am not a furry and I thought this was very unnecessary and it kind of rubbed me the wrong way.