Get your tank on!
I first heard of this show when there was news that it had a connection to one of my all time favorite anime, Strike Witches. Takaaki Suzuki (military history adviser) and Humikane Shimada (character design) are involved with both shows. Basically, I was required to watch this.
I am impressed with the job they’ve done. Every episode of Girls und Panzer so far has not disappointed me, nor does it get boring. There is enough action to get military otakus interested. But there is also service to the moe fans too. But it’s more like a mix of both with one not overpowering the other. Every episode feels different from the last, having a more dynamic storyline than your typical and, I hate to say it, mundane s-o-l.
As the title implies, the story revolves around a tank crew made up of schoolgirls as they advance through competition with other schools. In this this world, taking a class in “tank-fu” is seen as a positive cultural enhancement for young women. Much of the character development centers on the commander, Miho, who has great knowledge of this art but is also hesitant in fully participating. There is a troubling past with her sister that will likely creep up on her. The other crew members have unique traits too, from a lazy genius to a tank nut. But that’s scratching the surface, we have other tanks and crews too. Not to mention other school’s crews they will eventually go against.
Now there are a few technical things serious military guys criticize this show for. Like how tank battles take place in a live city or that shelling a tank doesn’t kill its crews. The show isn’t likely to answer this question, unless it becomes a plot device near the end. It’s all part of the world the creators are trying to make. So far I am immersed, especially at the end of the first episode where their whole town sits atop an aircraft carrier!
As for comparison, it ain’t no Strike Witches nor could I say it is similar to Upotte, it’s just an entirely different show. Many cite a setup similar to Saki, but with more emphasis on the matches rather than the “cute girls doing cute things” thing. Or so I’ve heard. Stay tuned because I’ll watch Saki soon.
Girls und Panzer is one of the gems of this season, here’s hoping for more seasons, soon as they can sort out the production issues.
My favorite character btw.