Hey, you there?
Do you like slice of life anime, especially the ones that involve cute girls doing…..something? Well, have I got the show for you. It has that and tanks!!!
OK, getting back to reviewer mode…….
Ever since I started doing anime reviews, I have noticed a certain disdain towards anime like this or at least because of the moe factor or just cute girls in there to lure otaku into buying their shit and it work sometimes, which does anger a lot of anime elitists out there. Me, personally……I’m fairly neutral on this as sometimes I think this stuff is mostly harmless and the worst thing they can do is just be annoying with its only premise and can bore the hell out of you or pretend it’s something it knows it’s not and I immediately get bothered by that. Oh, and the other thing is when it comes to the type of anime that annoys me, moe anime is nowhere near on that list. Yeah, that list goes to crappy fantasy anime, irritating video game MMO anime, over-hyped pretentious critic picks that’s all talk and bullshit and worst of all, unbearable romance anime with terrible and annoying leads.
Anyway, I’m getting off topic. Girls und Panzer. High school girls with tanks. Let’s see what this is all about. Did I mention I got this on DVD for 5 bucks on RightStuf? It was during a Sentai Filmworks sale they were having.
The story takes place in a universe where historical World War II–era tanks are maintained for sport-style warfare competitions and large carrier ships known as Academy Ships support mobile sea communities. Of the many activities high school girls can participate in, one of the most popular is “sensha-dō” (戦車道?, lit. “the way of the tank”), the art of operating tanks, which is considered a traditional martial art. Miho Nishizumi, a girl from a prestigious family of sensha-dō practitioners who became traumatized by a past event, transfers to Ōarai Girls High School to get away from sensha-dō, as she presumed the school was no longer practicing the sport. However, shortly after Miho begins her new school life and makes some new friends, the student council announces the revival of sensha-dō at Ōarai and coerces Miho, the only student with prior experience, to join. While reluctant to join at first, having practically been forced, Miho soon warms up to sensha-dō again and comes to enjoy it, after which the school prepares to enter a national sensha-dō championship, facing off against various other schools.
Wait, so operating tanks is considered martial arts? So is this show considered a sports anime then? I mean, I don’t watch them a lot but I do get some traits of that with some of the usual slice of life/moe girl tropes I find in anime with the bizarre feel of……well, you know, tanks. But yeah….this is merely OK at best. You get some old-fashioned traits in there such as the old “I don’t do tankery anymore because of shit that happened in the past” or “How dare you do a dumb-ass sport like that? You’re going against family code or some shit like that” or “We got to save the school from being shutdown and win the championship!”
OK, that last line reminded me of something from Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo……but yeah, the plot and development of it is very standard for the most part. You do occasionally get a tense moment here and there and an emotional one, too, although that does fall into the slice of life trope but honestly, it does the job well here.
Uh……there are too many characters for me to recap: There are 8 teams in this school and 32 girls overall in the sport and I admit, I lost count of who’s who and yet that’s just Oarai Girls High School, you got a lot of rival teams and girls in there, too, but I’m just going to focus on the main team, Team Anglerfish as we do get background on them as characters, mainly the main character Miho considering she didn’t want to do tankery in the first place but she loved having so many friends, she thought ‘fuck it’, I’ll do it.
Animation-wise…..this got some decent animation with some CG with the tanks, which I do get and yeah, I don’t know if it being 2D would change anything but yeah, this is alright animation with the usual moe character designs although I think one of them got too big of a head or that might be the hair and that is brought to us by the studio…..Actas? Who in the hell are they? Apparently they did some Transformers series and….oh, Regalia aka that show I dropped during the summer season of last year. Oh…..
For the opening and ending credits, they are exactly the happy, bouncy, bubbly type of music that plays throughout here with some military boot-camp sounding music as the main score. I don’t have much to say on any of this except that I probably wouldn’t seek out the music of this.
Why, yes, I watched the Sentai Filmworks dub of this and this is……actually OK with few flaws in them like sometimes I do find some actresses in here do sound slightly older than the character they are voicing yet oddly it sounds less irritating than the Japanese version because their cutesy moe-kyun voices can often be annoying as hell. There wasn’t any standout voices I can comment on but the rest of the dub sounds competent.
FINAL VERDICT: Girls und Panzer definitely delivers to its intended audience wants and they will enjoy the hell out of it and for those outside that audience, they might give this a shot as most of the content is likable enough to be watchable although replays of it may be slim.
Oh, and if you got this at a discounted price, you wouldn’t mind at all.
I give this tankery a grade of….
GIRLS UND PANZER is available on DVD and Blu-ray via Sentai Filmworks. Streaming options are available on Crunchyroll and The Anime Network. (Although I bet the dub might be on Anime Strike soon….anything Sentai happens to be there nowadays) A couple of OVAs has been released after the show’s run and a movie Girls und Panzer der Film was released in Japanese theaters on November 2015. After that, a 6-part movie series (DAMN! 6 PARTS!) will be released in Japan starting December 2017 entitled Girls und Panzer das Finale.
I’m MAK2.0 aka The Blue Hybrid and I got no clever segue out of this. Bye.
GIRLS UND PANZER – animated by ACTAS / licensed by SENTAI FILMWORKS