12 Days of Anime #11: Girls und Panzer

Girls und Panzer surprised everyone. People were expecting a sequel to the much loved Upotte. What they got was a far better, more tight anime.

Girls und Panzer doesn’t rely on great characters to suck you in. If anything, the characters are kind of ordinary. Sure, some of them are cute and do cute things like falling over in cute ways and some of them say a few cute things, but that’s about it. There is nothing extraordinary about the characters, in fact, some of the characters like the student council kids are such good clones of their archetypes (archetypes that I dislike), that I can’t help but dislike them. And yet, I love the show.

I like the girl with the large boob...errr, blond hair the most.  I am also impressed with the photographers use of an aperture of F5.6. It is not so small as to let no light in, but hopefully small enough to get a wide depth of field.

I like the girl with the large boob…errr, orange hair the most. I am also impressed with the photographers use of an aperture of F5.6. It is not so small as to let no light in, but hopefully small enough to get a wide depth of field.

For many people, the allure of Garupan is the military stuff. The tanks all have proper names. They throw in random jargon that makes it sound swell and cool and the battles do involve some level of tactics.

As a young man who grew up in an era where boys are encouraged to like guns and tanks, I can certainly appreciate a good anime built around tanks. The fact that the military warfare is augmented by cute girls only makes everything better. That certainly increases my appreciation of the show, but that isn’t the primary reason behind my adoration of this show.

If you were to ask me what that primary reason is, I don`t think I`d be able to give an answer other than: “This show just does everything well”. Sure, the characters are just the standard moe archetypes, but they are implemented well and other than a few of them, they are quite likable. More importantly though, the relations between the characters is great. These girls get along and bounce of of one another quite well. The tank stuff, as I mentioned earlier, is great as well. The soundtrack is great. The animation is pretty good and the setting is excellent. This show also has energy.

All in all, Girls und Panzer is a great anime because it has many good things that just work well together. With that said and done, let us move on to the best moments.

Most memorable moment

Suddenly Russian singing

I don’t think anyone familiar with this anime would be surprised at seeing this here. This moment…this moment was incredible.

The first awesome thing about this moment was the timing of it all. You see a bunch of high school girls driving tanks. They talk about victory and all that. Then, almost out of nowhere, the music starts and the singers begin singing. It came out of nowhere. I was not expecting that. It is such a OMG moment, you can’t help but drop your jaw.

The next great thing about this was the singing itself. The song was very well sung or well, that’s what I assume (I don’t understand Russian). I guess it was also cool that Katyusha was singing Katyusha.

Anyway, it was a great moment. At the time the episode aired, I was on a hiatus from Twitter, so I have no idea how the community reacted but given what I know, I bet everyone was in awe. It was one of those rare moments where everyone that watched the show likely took a bow because of its genius.

Other memorable moments

Establishing the Setting

girls und panzer 1

girls und panzer 7

girls und panzer 6

girls und panzer 5

girls und panzer 4

girls und panzer 2

girls und panzer 3

Scamp already covered this scene and in doing so reminded me to cover it as well.

Girls und Panzer has a very cool setting. The schools are on warships…why? There is no reason for it. Girls und Panzer did not explicitly need to do any weird explanations about the setting, no narrating, it just went with it. Later on, we got a bit more information, but none of it was presented in a “WE ARE ESTABLISHING THE SETTING” kind of way.

All in all Gapuran did an excellent job of establishing the setting.

Oorai beats Saunders

As many have said before, Girls und Panzer is just another cute girls play sports anime at heart. In order to succeed in the sports section, it needs intense matches. Fortunately, Girls und Panzer definitely delivers on this front.

garupan 1 garupan 2

The ending of the match against Saunders was intense. The Oorai team was outnumbered and at a disadvantage because their radios were being intercepted. Then, once they realized that they had been bugged, they tricked the enemy and it was glorious to see the Saunders team struggle when their own secret plan backfired.

Then, when the Saunders team captain realized that they had been bug tapping, she immediately stopped that and gave the enemy a handicap. The match was even now, but Oorai managed to win. It was a very close win and it all came down to smart tactics and quite a bit of luck. I really like such intense matches.

Oh and I am sure the ending against the Russian team was just as intense, but I haven’t seen episode 10 yet so I can only claim that the cliffhanger at the end of 9 was very intense.

Like I sad before, for the most part, Girls und Panzer has been a very consistent show. So, I don’t actually have many moments to share and hopefully that’s fine.

Merry Christmas everyone and happy holidays!

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  1. #1 by Highway on December 25, 2012 - 2:15 am

    I think you’ve done a great job both in describing the things that make Girls und Panzer great, and in getting across just how surprising it is that it’s as great as it is, which somehow makes it even more great. I know I certainly had no idea what to expect, and when our site’s writers picked shows for this season, I picked it as a lark, because the poster looked different, and the whole idea was somewhat ludicrous. I kind of thought they’d treat the whole thing as a joke, and make silly sitcom style jokes about it the whole time, and show that nobody took any of it seriously.

    And I think that’s part of what makes the show so awesome: They took it seriously. Not serious as a heart attack, but serious as in “This is the world, this is what people do, this is how they do it, and that’s how it is.” Yeah, things are ludicrous: Oarai school is on a giant carrier that people figure is 5km long. The other schools are on carriers that are twice as big. Girls restore, maintain, drive, and battle with tanks. It’s not a joke that these girls are doing this, it’s what they do, just like playing volleyball, or researching history, or arranging flowers, or getting together to share dinner.

    Thanks for a good post about one of my favorite shows.

    • #2 by Reiseng on December 25, 2012 - 2:20 am

      Thank you so much for the kind words!

      And you are most welcome. Writing at least one post on Girls und Panzer felt like an obligation given how good it is. 😛

  2. #3 by 5Cats on April 29, 2013 - 8:54 pm

    Nice review! The show ended in March and with a bang too! I love it, and cannot wait for more!
    Oorai school is 7.6 kilometers long… just fyi.
    I was impressed at just how many characters there were. Sure most are stereotypes, same with every anime, but they all were cute!
    Girls + Tanks = Win!

    • #4 by Reiseng on April 30, 2013 - 3:09 am

      I have been meaning to watch the last couple of episodes for a while now. I have them downloaded and everything!

      But yeah, I have heard great things about the ending. I can’t wait to see it.

      7.6KM is HUGE. I want to go to Oorai School.

      The characters were indeed quite cute. I really like most of the main cast, especially the Orange haired one and the ever-sleepy driver. 😛

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