OP: 「DreamRiser」 by ChouCho
「戦車、乗ります！」 (Sensha, Norimasu!)
“I’ll ride the tank!”
The few who complained at the lack of time spent on tanks last week certainly won’t be disappointed this week! Let the search for tanks begin! As you might expect from Mizushima Tsutomu, Girls und Panzer pulls no punches when it comes to being over the top. It’s one thing to find a rusty 38(t) hidden away in the woods, but rappelling down the side of a cliff to find a Type-89 I-GO? I don’t even think I want to know how it ended up in that cave! Of course, if this was the extent of the brilliant craziness, it would hardly be deserving of that reputation. But it doesn’t end there – oh no, it most certainly doesn’t. How does the tank instructor, Chouno Ami (Shiina Hekiru), make her entrance? Why, by dropping out of the back of a carrier aircraft and proceeding to flatten the principal’s car in a Type 10 of course!
Girls und Panzer has a rather distinctive cast of characters, particularly when compared to certain other series this season in which characters lack any particularly notable traits. This week, in addition to getting to know some of the previously introduced members a little better, we had the proper introduction of Akiyama Yukari (Nakagami Ikumi) – a rather excitable girl with an extreme tank fascination who serves as the fourth member of Miho’s tank crew. While not introduced properly, we also have the extremely lazy Reizei Mako (Iguchi Yuka) who Miho bumps into on the way to school and later proceeds to find sleeping right in the middle of a live ammo mock tank battle. Even the massive first year team – mostly voiced by first-time seiyuu – gets some proper screen time this week, consisting of Sawa Azusa (Takeuchi Hitomi), Yamagou Ayumi (Nakazato Nozomi), Maruyama Saki, Sakaguchi Karina (Tada Konomi), Utsugi Yuuki (Yamaoka Yuri), and Oono Aya (Akina).
So far, I’m really enjoying how each of the characters is patterned for their particular role – while the main and first year crews are made up of a wide variety of personalities, the volleyball club, student council, and historic studies club all have their own particular conventions. There’s quite a bit of entertainment value to be found in the ‘subtle‘ political hierarchy of the student council, the volleyball club’s constant use of volleyball terminology for everything they do, and the historic studies club’s insistence on talking in historic tactical manoeuvres and classical adages. I’m already pretty much decided that I’m going to root for Team C in this mock battle (though I suspect Miho’s team may turn things around and secure a win) and possibly even further on down the line!
What better way to teach young girls the way of the tank than to immediately throw them into a mock battle with live ammunition? We have Yukari’s assurances that there are special safety precautions in place and I find myself really curious as to what they are. There’s nothing immediately visible and they seem to have been very careful not to show us, cutting just before impact during the opening sequence of episode one. I wonder if it’s something that will actually be explained, or just a detail we have to deal with through suspension of disbelief. I’m sort of hoping for the former, but if they chose to go the latter route, I doubt it will impact my enjoyment much. It seems pretty likely that they will explain it though. For their first battle, some of the teams certainly seem to know what they’re doing, though I suspect the historic studies club’s knowledge of tactics is proving a great help. I do wonder if this decision to gang up on the only team with experience is going to cause some sort of resurgence of Miho’s apparent PTSD though.
tl;dr: @MoombaDS – A diverse cast, a badass instructor, and a live ammo mock tank battle… what more could you possibly want? #garupan
- No fanservice they said! No fanservice! I guess it’s pretty tame compared to certain other military girl anime though!
- I’m quite glad this trope didn’t happen to me the first time I ever drove a car!
- Team D (the first year team) is so big they can’t even fit everyone onscreen properly!
- It’s good to see that despite the alternate history, the internet hasn’t changed at all! Nobody ever reacts well to questions on the internet.
- I may not know a great deal about tanks, but I’m aware that the instructors tank – the Type 10 according to the official website – is a rather new tank. I wonder how long it’ll be before we start seeing upgrades to the others (or if we ever will)!
ED: 「Enter Enter MISSION !」 by 渕上舞、茅野愛衣、尾崎真実、中上育実、井口裕香 (Fuchigami Mai, Kayano Ai, Ozaki Mami, Nakagami Ikumi, Iguchi Yuka)