Girls und Panzer: I’ll take up Panzerfahren!

Spoilers Ahead

And so begins my hopefully series-like posts on the anime I’ve decided to follow through this season. Girls und Panzer.

As a disclaimer, I understand that Random Curiosity has brought out the first impressions for the series, and still quite unsure if it’ll be followed on. It isn’t exactly a series like Jormungand or Sword Art Online, which is to draw a huge following. You can honestly say it’s a niche anime.

The show starts off with a very very good hook. The protagonist crew and their team seemingly going head to head against a an armored wedge of Matilda IIs with a Churchill Mk. IV as lead vehicle. The Stug III, M3 Lee (or Grant), Panzer 38(t), Type 89 I-Go, alongside the Panzer IV of our main protagonist crew, were to employ a rabbit and trap sort of ambush on the Matildas and Churchill.

Something we don’t see as the Panzer IV suffers a direct hit to the commander’s tube from the Churchill.

Thoughts I had as it were happening mainly strayed towards:

  • How was it possible to obtain such a degree of accuracy whilst on the move.
  • How the hell did the main character not die from a direct hit?!

The cut off ended in the blinding light to simulate the explosion, but we then cut to said tank commander, Miho Nishizumi, as she begins her day at a new school, where we see her become friends with two other classmates, Saori Takabe and Hana Isuzu.

Now, why exactly are girls playing with tanks? It would seem in this timeline, Japan has never been graced (or cursed if you’re looking for a Hawkish interpretation of history) with Article 9, and tank warfare is an amazing after-school activity. Much like in the days when Rifle Club/Teams were prevalent even in Washington D.C.

So basically Miho, who seems to be running away from this activity, had been coerced into it by the Student Council team (golden Panzer 38(t)). Shocked, with the three of them in the nurse’s office together, Miho explains that she came to the school specificially to avoid Panzerfahren, even though she has had a a family history with it. With her two friends going to agree to follow her regardless, the scene cuts to a school-wide meeting.

Good Tanker = Good Wife

No, the caption doesn’t lie. The introduction to Panzerfahren boasts that the ‘martial art’ of Panzer Warfare build’s up a girl’s character and enables her to become a good wife, mother, and successful in business. Now I understand electives are a requirement (I certainly couldn’t make a free period for myself in middle and high school), but the overall glorification of Tank Warfare seemed a little, crass. Or direct (like me eating an 8,8cm shell). Apparently in this world, warfare has been made obsolete, or maybe even more dangerous, but to the point Tank Warfare becomes a nearly universal elective? Amazing (although I imagine a crapton of people would not care for it. I don’t care for it considering it’s a primarily female-only elective).

Naturally there will be incentives. 100 extra meal coupons, pardons from tardiness, and triple credit? I took Advance Placement and only got a .5 bump to my overall GPA. This is one friggin hell of an elective. Naturally her friends were enamored by the film, and with the incentives, I wonder if any of the clubs would even manage to draw people into their activities. Of course in keeping with their newly forged friendship, Saori and Hana stick by Miho’s reluctance to go into Panzerfahren. The Student Council president though, does not approve of this.

Naturally, best buds stick together, and already, even as they were enamored with the whole Panzerfahren elective, Miho and Saori repeatedly implore to the Student Council trio that Miho wants nothing to do with the elective, even going so far as to face expulsion from the school, which leads to this VERY interesting tidbit.

Say what? Now, I can now see where Moomba from Random Curiosity was coming from with his impressions. I do want to get more into the history of the series. Strike Witches gave me enough of its history where I was alright with it, so I might pick up the Manga so I can get a grasp of it. But I’m not too sure about Student Councils in Japan, but the ones here in the United States do not get such amount of leeway, EVEN WITH very dedicated and active officers and advisers. But then again, this is anime. Of course her two friend’s  defense is overriding the emotional trauma Miho is going through, and in true ‘crap we’re hitting the deadline’ fashion, she finally caves in, knowing at least she has two friends willing and able to stick by her.

Impressions:

  • They’re gonna have to explain fatality and wounding in the universe. Strike Witches have barriers and magic, but the main tank (Panzer 4) got a direct hit from the Churchill’s main gun in the beginning of the episode.
  • The power of the student council. It seems like something that needs to be looked into. Not in-universe, but I’m curious at the actual, real-life extent of powers a student council has in Japan. I had passed such strong councils as a plot point, but now, not too sure.
  • The animators have got to fix the scale, or it needs to be explained, but if the carrier the city resides on top of is really that huge, then hell, the railings underneath the main deck are as tall as the mountains.
  • And yeah, gonna have to agree with moomba, the plot structure is similar to Saki.

Also, the ending theme is nice, and seems a bit of a bouncier compliment from the marches playing in the background. Also shows what I think the team breakdown for the championship. We got the protagonists, which uses a variety of early-war designs (M3 Lee/Grant, Stug III, type-89 I-Go, Panzer 38(t), and Panzer IV Ausf D.). We then got a UK-based school, which uses the Churchill and Matildas, an American school centered around the M4 Sherman, Russian around the T-34, and what seems like a Germany based one with the Tiger tank as its main vehicle of choice. Thanks to Moomba, now understanding that this is Miho’s sister, Maho, and quote him, quite evil. *(As if the lightning strike, silhouette, and crew at attention didn’t do that already). Certainly going to be wondering how this will work out in terms of damage and wounding/deaths.

Also unsure if the ED was truly the ED, or the OP, since youtube has the uploader list it as the OP.

And for some odd reason, this happened.

[19:28] <+Jusu|ODST> hrm, also thanks for Tanks
[19:29] <@Orcus> Also, you’re welcome
[19:29] <&jdp> oh hey it’s gun guy
[19:29] <@Orcus> Enjoy inappropriate German words
[19:29] <+Jusu|ODST> blegh
[19:29] <@Orcus> And Nazi jokes
[19:29] <+Telepathicdragon> gun guy?
[19:29] <+Jusu|ODST> I was gonna ask about that
[19:29] <+Jusu|ODST> but more facepalming at the Stug III
[19:29] <+Jusu|ODST> I can take Pink M3, but the Stug
[19:30] <@Orcus> You can be our tank expert

Damnit commie.

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About Jusuchin (Military Otaku)

Conservative, Patriotic and an Otaku. Recent grad of George Mason University. I am interested in firearms, politics, Japanese Anime, and military tech.
This entry was posted in Anime, Girls Und Panzer, Video Impressions. Bookmark the permalink.

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