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Luminous Witches - What We Know So Far

"Luminous Witches" is an upcoming spin-off anime series based on the original 2008 anime "Strike Witches," created by Fumikane Shimada. Like the original "Strike Witches," "Allied Air Force Magical Idols Luminous Witches" (or just "Luminous Witches" for short) focuses on a group of magic-wielding girls equipped with flight-capable machines known as Striker Units. Using these Striker Units, the witches combat the Neuroi, an invading alien threat that poses a serious danger to humanity. "Luminous Witches," however, sets itself apart from its action-oriented origins. Instead of fighting the Neuroi through magic and mayhem, the "Luminous Witches" do it through music.

Fans have known about "Luminous Witches" for several years now, but it wasn't until recently that many important details have been released to the public. Now, fans know more about the release date, characters, and plot of "Luminous Witches" than ever. With its debut episode releasing just around the corner, there's no time to waste in discussing what fans can expect in this upcoming show. Here's what we know so far.

When will Luminous Witches release?

According to Anime News Network, "Luminous Witches" was first announced at the franchise's 10th-anniversary event in 2018. At the time, it operated under the working title of "Idol Witches," and was planned for a release in 2021. Two years later, producer Kadokawa released an official trailer for "Luminous Witches" on its official Youtube channel. The franchise has not delayed or dropped its 2021 release date, and fans can still expect to see the show before the year wraps up, just in time to get excited for the most anticipated releases of 2022.

Though the minds behind "Luminous Witches" have been forthcoming with the release date and schedule for the show, neither its animators (Studio GONZO), nor the franchise's North American licensors (Funimation) have pointed to an international release of any kind. The trailer posted by Kadokawa is only available in Japanese. However, it does feature English subtitles. Previous entries in the "Strike Witches" franchise have received syndication outside of Japan, indicating that "Luminous Witches" could follow suit should it succeed. The only caveat is that fans in the West may have to wait a bit longer than their Japanese counterparts.

Who are the characters in Luminous Witches?

One of the main focuses of "Strike Witches" has always been its characters. Each full anime series, including spin-offs like "Brave Witches" places a large emphasis on the team of witches from which each series gets its name. "Luminous Witches" is no different, and the show's creators have already shared the team of witches fans will get familiar with when the show is released.

Anime News Network released some casting information for the upcoming anime, reporting that the show would feature characters like Eleonore Giovanna Gassion (voiced by Sayak Tsuzuki), Lyudmila Andreyevna Rouslanova (Ami Aimoto), Virginia Robertson (Mai Narumi), and Inori Shibuya (Minako Hosogawa), among others.

Since the premise of "Luminous Witches'" involves a group of magical musician girls, the cast of the show has performed together as an idol group since 2019. As of March 2021, the group has released three singles that are likely to appear as part of the show's final soundtrack. All but one of the cast members of "Luminous Witches" has worked with the group from the beginning. The role of Maria Magadalene originally belonged to actress Momo Hanae, but was given to Furunaka in 2021 due to issues with Hanae's health (via Anime News Network).

What is the story of Luminous Witches?

Like the actresses who portray them, the protagonists of "Luminous Witches" are part of an idol group of the same name. As such, "Luminous Witches" is departing from the franchise's focus on violence and action, and instead reinterpreting its universe as an idol anime (which conveniently still provides an avenue for the franchise's trademark fanservice). Instead of fighting the Neuroi with guns and magic, the group sings out to those risking their lives on the battlefield.

As such, the climactic moments of "Luminous Witches" likely won't be battles, but concerts. Aside from that, details on the overarching narrative of "Luminous Witches" are sparse. "Luminous Witches" can be hard to categorize into any one anime genre, guaranteeing that fans will have something interesting to look forward to when it finally arrives. Fans are sure to learn more about the witches and their musical war when "Luminous Witches" releases later this year.