>>And I also feel the urge to talk about the strange melancholy that
>>comes over me as I read it. The story of these particular girls has
>>never been as grim and cold as it is here
>It's true. Petrograd is quite a bit less wacky than the later
>campaigns we're used to. But there are echoes of it, in the TV
>episodes that look specifically at Sanya and Eila. It's one of the
>odd contradictions of Strike Witches that on the one hand, it
>largely is what one reader summarized as "an excuse for moe and
>panty shots," and yet at the same time, it's got a terribly serious
>premise—one that has a lot of mostly-unspoken but never-deniable
>tragedy woven into its backdrop.
>Safe to say that if it were an actual movie, it would not be to every
>main-series fan's taste.
I didn't think about it in so many words before, but one of the biggest strengths of fanfic is simply being able to explore themes the original can't or won't, for whatever reason. Obviously a canon, sold-for-profit Strike Witches story with the kind of grim tone required for this look into Sanya and Eila's past wouldn't work well without a hell of a lot of whitewashing. After all, the list of people interested in moe and panty shots, and the people interested in hard bitten, tragic war stories together make for a rather limited Venn diagram.
And yet, I feel like ignoring a story like this IS whitewashing, of a different sort. As you point out, Gryphon, much of the backstory is simply implied, and it smacks of trying to take advantage of the kind of pathos those stories can generate without having to go through the trouble of actually telling them.
This seems like a kind of superset of something we discussed earlier, the ability to go back and fix the Neuroi-chan story the actual series creators dropped. Don't get me wrong, I'm 100% for capitalism, but I have to admit there's plenty of stories that might not get told if everything is about making a profit.
Fearless creatures, we all learn to fight the Reaper
Can't defeat Her, so instead I'll have to be Her