So on my Facebook wall, friends started to post translated stuff from the fifth Girls und Panzer Drama CD. Translated by user Dàxīng Dàn on Vimeo, he/she did say they might be rough, but I thought it helped flesh out some little niggles and added more dimensions to the movie. Timeline wise, it’s set after the movie. So I thought I’d give some thought to it. Of the four translated dramas, I had the most fun with St. Gloriana’s drama, but went full on cringe with Chihatan. Anyways, my short little quick thought.
“Elegance is the Heart of St. Gloriana’s Senshado”
The first track of the Drama CD features Assam, Orange Pekoe, Rosehip, and Darjeeling. In it, Darjeeling tries to impart the nature of St. Gloriana’s Senshado tradition to the speedster of the school. Assam and Orange Pekoe tries to impart some Lady-like table manners into the quick and impulsive Rosehip under Darjeeling’s observation, and seems to have given her a clue on their expectations for her as a tanker in St. Gloriana. Done in a way reminiscent of the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw (or more well-known as the musical My Fair Lady), Assam and Orange Pekoe though realize what Darjeeling was trying to do.
It is amusing as well, and reminds me of the difference between the ‘elegant’ form of St. Gloriana senshado versus the ‘inelegant’ form. Basically the difference between Infantry Tank school and Cruiser Tank school. Rosehip somewhat explains that her rough and tumble, scarf down her food lifestyle came about from her large (18 member!) family in which food left over will be quickly eaten by those who are quick enough to get it. This is in comparison to no doubt the other three, who may have come from smaller families. Or at least have taken to heart the ‘elegance’ and ‘grace’ of their school.
Summing up their little exercise, Darjeeling says Rosehip’s ability to charge and not care if she’s considered a failure compensates for what St. Gloriana’s style lacks. Tradition must take new things, things that it lacks, in order to survive into the future. That and to teach Rosehip some proper manners, though her actions at the end was more like treating her like an over excited dog to which her subordinates chastise Darjeeling for.
I found this one to be the most ‘tame’ of the schools, if only because I quickly picked up the little nuances and got to learn a bit more of the characters, compared to the rather cringy Chihatan one, or the lulzy Continuation and Pravda tracks. And I did find it peculiar that Rosehip was denied participation in the friendly match prior to the tournament, even when they had the Crusader aboard their ship. As was said, Rosehip (and no doubt the rest of her platoon) lacked the ‘grace’ that was consistent with the rest of St. Gloriana’s team. But of course, if the Infantry Tanks are emblematic of the UK’s aristocratic class, than the Cruisers are of the lower classes. Darjeeling treating Rosehip like a dog in the end of the ‘obedience’ training and Orange Pekoe calling her out on it without Rosehip realizing it kinda amuses me. And also reaffirms my belief that Orange Pekoe will end up in charge when Darjeeling and Assam graduate and will be a bit less random quotes and more straightforward stiff-upper-lip.
The second track continues on Katyusha’s annoyance with Clara and Nonna’s preference to communicate in Russian. Knowing full well that Clara knows and speaks Japanese, she has Nonna translate for her with hilarious results. While Nonna obliges, she spins a tale out of whole cloth to assuade the increasingly annoyed Katyusha, while becoming deep friends with her counterpart for their praise and fangirling over Katyusha. This includes knowing random facts about their petite commander and even having her father ring up intelligence services to get Katyusha’s baby pictures.
In the end, Katyusha calls in Nina and Alina, members of the KV-2’s crew, and at first threaten them and then Clara and Nonna with punishment. The two refuse, realizing not only do they not care what happens to them, they’ll get punished in return afterwards. Nonna reminds Katyusha it’s time for her nap, and the two leave. Clara merely answers a question from the KV-2 crew that they were merely talking about how wonderful Katyusha is, before leaving. Nina and Alina decide that Clara is much like Nonna, and not pursue the matter further else they get punished as well.
In all, it was a bit funny that Clara and Nonna are clearly madly in fangirl stage for Katyusha, but are keeping it a secret from her by speaking in Russian. Granted they don’t speak Russian all the way through in the Drama, but in-universe they do. Katyusha’s attempts to try to figure Clara out only leads to a deepening of a bond between the two tall Pravda subordinates, and Nina and Alina deciding Clara isn’t one to be messed with.
“Summer Vacation for Continuation!”
Another lulzy drama, the members of Continuation High School’s BT-42 has seem to have set up a camp to continue in their summer vacation. Aki bemoans having left the match with Selection University and also annoyed with the attempt to start a fire with what is supposedly a magnesium and steel fire starter. Mika once again speaks calmly and with a touch of mystery which only confuses Aki. It seems Mikko was out fishing, and it is through their discussion on how to cook Mikko’s catch that Mika has seemingly eaten anything from a potato they found (which she says “The potato asked me last night. Eat me, he said.”) to rations that had fallen into their hands. They also talk about having found another tank on the beach though they are unable to recover it for the time being.
It is revealed in the end that they aren’t exactly having an enjoyable camping experience, but their Uisko-class Landing Craft (Civillian: Marine Alutech Watercat M11) has suffered malfunctions when they got to the deserted island, and maybe someone from their school will come looking for them in 6 months.
I found the whole thing funny. If Darjeeling being chastised by Orange Pekoe was the highlight of comedy in their drama, Mikko constantly cryptically dodging her teammates in the matter of who ate what or not was the thing that carried the drama. I was also amused that the girls considered -2* Celsius to be ‘warm’, and probably fits with the fact they’re emulating Finland and possibly based up in Hokkaido, the GuP Wiki stating that a Finnish Icebreaker purchased by Japan to open a northern trade route between Finland and Hokkaido became their School Ship.
“All Quiet at Chi-Ha-Tan Academy!”
The drama goes through the standard life at Chi-Ha-Tank Academy, which is run more like a military boot camp than a high school. The tankers at Chihatan can only think of one thing, to charge forth to crush their enemies. Starting with morning exercise and breakfast, the girls are treated (authorized in their words) to a meal that is just slightly above in quality to field rations. This goes along with their studies in which they fail the foreign language portion of a test. The method Nishi introduces to help them with foreign languages seems a bit peculiar if not wrong, but I don’t know the nuances of Japanese, having only done a casual study of it. Lunch is just as ‘luxurious’ but then go into Senshado training.
Every single action is a charge, even when recounting the lessons from the match with the other schools. Though it isn’t helped that their last resort to all the failed charges would be to charge in like Duck Team, but with GUTS! In the end, after a very impressive (read: normal for us) dinner, Fukuda can only think more charging the next day.
I had said that it would be nice to try to see Chihatan’s growth from a banzai-charge-is-the-only-tactic school to one that diversified themselves, but it seems much like St. Gloriana and their ‘elegance’ and ‘grace’, to pull that off Chihatan will either have to change as a school, or incorporate even more elaborate tactics that involve the word charge in them. While they seem to be learning from Ooarai’s Duck Team, Isobe and the rest of the volleyball players might be a poor example on how to run a Senshado team. Granted, if they were to charge with some thought and not just blindly, they could be a force to be reckoned with.
Just a quick observation of the four currently translated schools from the fifth drama CD. I always love it when stuff like this is translated and we get to glean a little bit more into a series’ back story.