So the ED last episode really was the OP. Ah well. Also holy hell the size of the carrier city.
So the trials and tribulations of a reformed Tank warfare club starts this episode. After only finding the Panzer IV in the garage, the student council president suggests those assembled go out and find the missing tanks, Saori comments this wasn’t what she signed up for, but the president, playing on her want to be popular, did explain to her that ‘handsome’ instructor will be arriving the next day, leading her to be fired up.
So, tank searching. Since the program was disbanded years ago, the tanks more or less were left in places around the ship. So one by one, the protagonists search for tanks, and in here we are introduced to a new member of the main team Yukari Akiyama, a bashful, shy -stalker-. I meant tank expert. The fact she addressed Miho with the suffix ‘dono’, well, we can tell she’s a fan I would say. (lol) The M3 Lee team comes in as they start researching what tanks were used prior to the club’s disbandment, and this brings along a very interesting bit of shout-out.
After that short bit of background, Hana’s background in flower arrangement leads her, like a bloodhound, to smell something was amiss. The fragrance of flowers with the smell of metal and oil. Later backed up by Yukari’s proclamation of “Panzer, vor!” I did like Saori’s interpretation of the phrase.Granted, ‘Panzer’ does sound like ‘Pantsu’.
So the group finds the Panzer 38(t), and suddenly we see Yukari’s true nature. It’s not everyday we have a character like her, the closest I could think of in terms of obsession and being an encyclopedic wealth of information was Rally Vincent from Gunsmith Cats. Granted, I do gawk over and basically go ‘MINE’ and whatnot when it comes to firearms (particularly various models and makes of the venerable M1911 design) but I…I wouldn’t press my bare skin against the rusted hull of a tank. Snuggling it as if it were a precious plushie, blushing and probably coming close to an orgasm, while sprouting the general history of the machine.
After the tank was recovered, we can see how the other tanks are found. All in various states of disrepair and abuse, as well as being in practically impossible places to reach. Volleyball team discovered the Type 89, at the side of a cliff. The military fanatics found the Stug III at the bottom of a pond. While the underclassmen found the M3 Lee being used as a nesting area for rabbits. Which I find somewhat ironic, or something.
As for team breakdowns upon the recovery of the war machines, they are as such:
With the instructor coming soon, the teams are instructed to clean their tanks, and the reactions of each team to their assigned tanks were priceless, but none more so than ‘General Rommel’ berating her fellow commanders on the Stug III’s performance during the Winter War, and instructs them to apologize to the Finnish Army, or rather the Finns themselves.
In 1943 and 1944, the Finnish Army received a total of 59 StuG III Ausf. Gs from Germany and used them against the Soviet Union. Thirty of the vehicles were received in 1943 and 29 in 1944. The 1943 batch destroyed at least 87 enemy tanks for a loss of only 8 StuGs (some of these were destroyed by their crews to avoid capture). The 1944 batch saw no real action. After the war, the StuGs were the main combat vehicles of the Finnish Army until the early 1960s. These StuGs gained the nickname “Sturmi” which can be found in some plastic kit models.
Moving ahead, I did wonder at the ability of a group of girls being able to do in an afternoon restorers normally take months to do, granted, they’re merely cleaning a few year’s rusts and grime off, rather than several decades and combat damage.
Now, the girls do acknowledge they are on a floating city-carrier, and visit a shop practically selling tank warfare/tankwondo stuff and models. While the useage of live ammo has so far been handwaved away, we do get to see Maho (in a TV interview), Miho’s elder sister. It seems she’s quite a
bitch character, who talks of never giving up and never retreating. Easy for her to say, driving around in a friggin Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf E. I’m going to be excited when the plot inevitably leads to carrier-city’s teams dueling with Maho’s teams. This of course leads to uneasiness which Saori kills with an idea to hang out.
An apartment visit and a dinner later, we further dive into each girl’s personalities. Yukari carries around a squad-sized mess kit, indicating she is not only a Tank Otaku, but more a military otaku in general. (Maybe I’ll achieve this level some day?) Saori is the flirter, the type to look for a good man and apparently has boyfriends in every port town, whilst Hana’s background in flower arrangement does leave her in a bind when skinning potatoes. The night over, we are then introduced to the last member of Team A. And well. Quite a gloomy girl, the smart yet ever-tardy and emo-ish Reizei Mako. A nice rounding to the team I say. The ever graceful Hana, flirtish Saori, Mil/Tank Otaku Yukari, Emo girl Mako and being the center pillar of this, would be the girl running from her past and yet confronted with it, our main character Miho.
THE INSTRUCTOR ARRIVES.
Now, I don’t claim to be an expert, but I don’t know how a C-1 or the newer C-2 can do that….but it’s still fucking awesome. I knew the M551 Sheridans I believe could be dropped this way, and cargo definitely, but a modern main battle tank? What’s the thing made out of?! Aluminum? 😄 Please someone prove me wrong.
Regardless, the instructor, Captain Chouno, instantly recognizes Miho and talks on how great her mother and sister was, not understanding, or seeing, her displeasure at it. Saori jumps into the rescue and the first lesson is revealed.
A mock battle, practically tossing the crews into a trial by fire. Much like how G.I.s were introduced to the first batches of the M16. To take it out to the fence line, shoot at the jungle, and watch it work. The girls try to understand what to do, and so far it seems only Miho and Yukari knew what they were doing. The bespectacled twintail underclassman in the M3 Lee also faced the wraith of the intrawebs with replies ranging from helpful (“Tell us what tank it is”) to idiotic (“Google it, noob.”) to downright creepy (“First take off your clothes.”). I was laughing hard at that one.
Now, I’m very giddy about tanks, especially if I get to be in one, and I’m putting all my emotions and desires to be in Yukari’s position right now. Hell, my roommates/friends would probably think of the same way:
Now, the rest of the episode is merely the girls getting used to their vehicles, and I’ll leave it there. I seem to have droned on and on and on at this point.
- Besides nearly drowning, Miho also ran from the battlefield? Granted, her sister comes off as a total jackass, but still. I’m sure this source of inner conflict will be shaken before us every chance.
- I don’t know if the Type 10 can be airdropped, let alone transported. I need to find out.
- The episode was long-winded, but flowed nicely. It was an infodump but nicer.
- The characters aren’t one dimensional. Sure they fit into certain character profiles, but nevertheless relatable or understandable. It’s why I prefer slice of life at the moment. Although to call Girls und Panzer as an accurate depiction of modern Japanese schooling is kinda like saying the moon is made out of cheese.
- The CG isn’t as smooth as some anime, but the standard I’m comparing it to is Macross Frontier, so it’s quite, well, unfair I guess.