“Grief does not change
you, Hazel. It reveals you.”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
Strike Witches and
There’s more to Strike
Witches than fanservice. In my mind, no one illustrates this better than
two of the oldest members of the cast and my OTP: Gertrud and Minna.
A big reason I love them—as characters, as friends and as
a couple—is their past. On the surface, this really doesn’t seem all that
special; tragic backstories have been done many times and I doubt theirs is
unique in any way.
Instead, what I appreciate about their story the most is the theme of mourning throughout, and how it’s handled. When I started looking at how grief works, I found out there were different stages to it. Surprisingly, I feel like Strike Witches incorporated all of these stages rather well. It even shows us that everyone handles loss differently, because mourning is in and of itself a highly personal matter.
I’m not sure if that was entirely intentional. This show is a fanservice anime at heart, after all. There’s a reasonable chance I’m reading way more into this than the author did. But I see it, and I believe that’s enough.
And so we come to the central theme of this gifset: Gertrud
and Minna’s entwined, emotional and psychological journey, focused mostly on Season 1.
The idea is that every pair of gifs represents a
different phase of their character arc. From top to bottom, I decided on loss,
grief, healing, life and balance.
If you’re curious about my reasoning for these choices, check
under the cut for a lengthy explanation.