Eila Ilmatar Juutilainen (エイラ・イルマタル・ユーティライネン, Eira Irumataru Yūtirainen) is a witch of the 501st Joint Fighter Wing, originating from Suomus and affiliated with the Suomus Air Force. She is referred to as "Illu" by her Suomus friends, and is also known as "Ace of diamonds" due to the ace of diamonds marking on one of her Striker Unit. Eila is the highest-scoring Suomus ace and the little sister of Aurora E. Juutilainen.
Before her transfer to the 501st, Eila was in the 24th Squadron,an elite unit of the Suomus Air Force. Her rank used to be Warrant Officer, but when she was transferred to Britannia, she was promoted to Pilot Officer, and then promoted again to Flying Officer at the beginning of Season 2 (although the three roses on her collar would indicate the rank of Flight Lieutenant). She is one of the recipients of the Mannerheim Cross, the highest possible honor Suomus army can give to its most distinguished witches, like Hanna Wind and Laura Nissinen.
As already mentioned, Eila originally belonged to the Suomus Air Force's 24th Squadron. She was stationed at the base in Immola for a while, and fought the Neuroi there. It didn't take long until the Luukanen Detachment Squadron was formed, and Eila was transferred to the base in Berechire. After that, they moved around a lot, sometimes even making temporary bases on frozen lakes.
She became friend with her fellow squadron member Nikka Edvardine Katajainen, under the command of Elma Leivonen of the 507th. Guileless, trusting and often serious, Nikka was Eila's main target for her pranks, but despite the torment and sometimes clashing personalities, the two grew very close, and think fondly of their time as squadmates. Eila called Nipa "Crasher O'Hare the Second". While serving in Suomus 24th Squadron, Eila earned a reputation as a great fighter ace, and tied close friendships with many famous Suomus witches. She had many fans in her homeland.
Since volunteers from various countries came to Suomus to help, they said they would send their top ace witch in return. Therefore, Eila was suddenly transferred to the 501st Joint Fighter Wing. She began to accompany the Night Witch Sanya Litvyak. The interaction began with helping her obtain spare parts for her Striker Unit. She became very attached to the Orussian night witch, and they became close friends.
After the 501st was disbanded due to the liberation of Galia, Sanya and Eila were assigned to Kauhava, a Suomus base used by the 507JFW. They took a vacation and headed for Orussia together in search of Sanya parents, but they were blocked by the front line. Eila maintains close contact with the witches of the 502th and 507th wings, both of which contain some of her old friends, paying them a visit at the occasion. After that, she was led by a divination and headed to Romagna because Yoshika was in danger.
Eila is often partnered with Sanya, and perhaps as a result (or perhaps it is simply chemistry) the two have become very close; Eila is often portrayed as fiercely protective of her younger squadmate and takes on a sometimes awkwardly nurturing role during down-time. While the nature of Sanya's feelings towards her is still open to interpretation, Eila's actions and motivation are usually noticeably more ambiguous-romantic and often look like a one-sided crush.
Eila's hobby is fortune-telling with tarot cards, although the accuracy of her predictions is questionable at best. Similar to stereotypes of her familiar (the black fox), she has a reputation for mischief, being fond of pranks amongst her colleagues and is somewhat mischievous. She has a talent for analyzing the thoughts and feelings of her companions, and this skill translates well to the battlefield where her judgment is used to consistently outwit her opponents. Eila is always together with Sanya, who is very attached to Eila, and Eila loves her dearly.
She is a bouncy and restless girl who is always full of energy and enthusiasm. Open and friendly, Eila keeps very relaxed in nearly any situation. She has a reputation as a cheerful and carefree prankster. Due to her carefree nature, as well as her skill, she's seen by many as very reliable and easy to count on.
Eila also has an older sister named Aurora E. Juutilainen, who is a veteran land witch. She loves saunas and is on junior/senior terms with Elma Leivonen. Eila likes sleep during the day, and she's been paired up with Sanya a lot, so she's gotten a lot of experience with fighting during the night.
Her magic ability Foresight (未来予知, Mirai Yochi) grants her a limited ability to predict the future. Classified in the detection system, she can sense and dodge enemy fire with relative ease and anticipate their movements. However, the ability seems to be focused on the near future, and her projections on more complicated issues have been imprecise.
Like Laura Toth of the Isle of Wight Detachment Group (and former member of 501st), she can dodge the enemy’s fire easily. When compared to Hanna Wind, the number two super ace of the Suomus Air Force, they are often referred to as "Hanna the Marksman" and "Eila the Evasive", although in Hanna's case her talents are more broad-reaching.
In practice, Eila's unique style presents a fear for her superiors: there is some concern that, being effectively untargetable by enemy weapons, she has grown out-of-practice or careless with regard to other combat essentials, such as use of her shield. Lacking the same sense of danger, she can forget the vulnerability of her squadmates and the importance of teamwork. This is proven to be at least partially incorrect, at least in regards to Sanya, as she has shown the ability to still use her shield effectively when protecting her squadmate.
Strike Witches “What If?” — 1947
In 1947 Flight Lieutenant Eila Ilmatar Juutilainen is the first witch in the Suomus army to be awarded third Mannerheim Cross.
- This shouldn't be considered entirely canonical, because it was only tweeted by Humikane. It also differs from what happened to the pilot she is based on: Eino Ilmari Juutilainen never got more than two Mannerheim Crosses.
- Himegoe Voice Albums
- Hime Uta Song Albums
- Himebana Drama Albums
- Himeroku Drama Albums
- Strike Witches Gakuen
- Himegoe CD 2 Voice Albums
- Starlight Stream
- Strike Witches Otome no Maki
- Strike Witches 2
- Strike Witches 2 Visual Short Story
- 500overs in Africa
Eila's Comments About Other Characters
- "Wing Commander Minna? She's one of the best superiors ever. After all, she let me build the sauna right after I asked her. It's also thanks to her Sanya is here now, but she's probably the one who's scariest when she's angry. All I did was measure how big her boobs were... This is just between you and me but... they were actually quite big!"
- "She's our expert sniper. There are a lot of skilled hunters in my homeland, Suomus, and with her skills, she would do just fine as one! She doesn't seem interested at all in that though. Ah, and she good and brewing tea! And as you can see, her size is enough to compete with the largest in the unit."
- "Although she's new, she tries to do her best no matter what she does. I guess that's an example to follow. It's guess it's good she's getting along well with Sanya, but I can't believe they have birthdays on the same date... I'm a little envious. And I really wanted the thing with the radio to be only mine and Sanya's secret, yet... Also, Lucchini said her breasts were worthy of a "consolation prize". Let them grow a little bigger and might feel like touching them.~ But please, no more cod-liver oil."
- "The Squadron Leader is a good person. She's strict, but not overly fond of formalities. I like her. I wouldn't mind it if she were a just a little bigger though. What? All I'm talking about is breasts? Hehe. Oh, but that's what you want, right?"
- "That stuck-up four-eyes? *sigh* Miyafuji is having a hard time with her as well. It's like she's getting targeted just from being from the same country as Squadron Leader Sakamoto. According to my fortune-telling, her future with the Squadron Leader is... something I will keep secret. Ah, but she's fun to tease. She's extremely serious and stubborn you know? As for her breasts, well, a consolation prize, just like Miyafuji."
- "She's a quite lively girl, isn't she? She often causes mischief and gets yelled at, but when people like her are around, military life will never get boring. That we're competing about who is first to measure the newcomers as they come is a secret, just so you know. Hm? Measure what? Aren't you listening?"
- "Oh she's big! Where? Oh you know what I'm talking about. Hehe. I'd like to try touching them some day. Seems like Sanya looks up to her a little. Well, she's a fun person to be around so... S-sanya is just fine the way she is now!"
- "She's the kind of person who never lets her guard down. I had to make quite an effort before I finally got to touch her! She's never gets jokes and is quite stubborn, so I didn't really like her at first, but she's changed quite a lot recently. Teasing her over Miyafuji was quite fun. Although she's usually really stiff, she has a weak spot for little sisters. Wait... She's kind towards little sisters...? Sanya's in danger! Ah, right. And she was bigger than expected."
- "You never know what this one is thinking... Her breasts are smaller than what you'd expect, you know? When I grabbed her and was surprised over that, she just turned around and laughed “Fu fu fu...” That's not how you're supposed to react! What? I'm not the one to talk? And why is that? But she's really amazing when she's flying! I won't lose to her when it comes to dodging maneuvers though!"
- "Sanya? ... Sanya, huh? hmm... ah, sorry. Thinking of Sanya sort of... makes my heart ache. I wonder why? ... eh? Her breasts? Sanya's!? What the hell are you looking at!? I wouldn't talk about that, idiot!"
- Eila is based on the #1-ranked Finnish flying ace (and #1-ranked non-German flying ace) Eino Ilmari Juutilainen. Like Eila, he bore the nickname "Illu" amongst his friends. Her magic ability, Foresight, is a reference to Eino having never been hit by enemy fire.
- She is committed to a healthy diet and eats everything from reindeer, elk, cod, salmon, rye bread, dairy products to Suomus dishes. She also eat sashimi, but only herring as she has bad memories and is not good at it. Her specialty is sandwiches.
- She started a radio program called "Eila Ilmatar Juutilainen's Life Consultation" and was trying to get help from team members.
- She tends to grope her friends chest, similarly to Francesca Lucchini, and actively take action against anyone other than Sanya. In particular, Sergeant Bishop is likely to be targeted. When she was asked her impression on the other members, she mentioned the chest size of all members except Sanya.
- Once, she used tarot cards to try to get along with Sanya, but was unable to flip the card under the pressure that it may have bad consequences.
- Her familiar is officially titled as a "black fox", though as no such animal exists, it is mostly likely referring to a silver fox, which are known to sometimes be black in color, especially around the ears and tail.
- Eila's middle name, Ilmatar, is not only a play on "Ilmari", her archetype's middle name, but is also a reference to the air goddess Ilmatar, from the Finnish mythological epic the Kalevala. The thematic connection between the witches and wind spirits is strong, but not confirmed.
- Aside from using the gender-neutral "watashi" to refer to herself, Eila uses exclusively masculine vocabularies and syntaxes in the Japanese version.