「試合、やります！」 (Shiai, Yarimasu!)
“I’ll be part of the match!”
Girls und Panzer seems to be the very definition of what you would call a ‘sleeper’ or a ‘dark horse.’ Compared to most other shows this season it had next to no hype in the lead up to airing, yet it has so far managed to surpass most of them in terms of pure entertainment value. I think part of this can be attributed to the pacing, which feels swift enough to bring something new to the table each week, but not so fast as to feel like it’s rushing. We also have a large cast of characters, all of whom have their interesting quirks, an entertaining premise, and some pretty damn cool tank battles. Oh, and that general over-the-top vibe that comes about multiple times in each episode.
What do you do if you come across a narcoleptic girl in the middle of a battlefield? Why, you take her into your tank and make her one of the crew of course! Despite managing to learn how to drive the Panzer IV almost immediately after reading a primer, it seems like Mako will probably be the biggest handful of the Ankou team. Her low blood pressure means she’s constantly staggering about, barely paying any attention to anything, and getting her to participate is a challenge in its own right. I’d say that I’m currently torn between picking her and Rommel as my favourite character. She’s hardly the first person to have trouble waking up at five in the morning, but she may well be one of the first to have been woken up (along with the rest of the neighbourhood) by tank fire from the group who arrived to pick her up. Funnily enough, seeing tanks on the road (while brilliant and crazy) is not completely unheard of – it’s actually perfectly legal here in the UK so long as the tank meets regulations. Have fun shelling out for fuel though!
Despite her previous bad experiences with tanks (which I’m still positive will have a negative effect at some point), Miho is quite clearly a born leader. It’s not just the experience and strategic thinking that makes her the most suited for command, but the way she acts quickly on what needs to be done. I doubt any of the other members of the Ankou team would have been willing to leap from the tank and guide it across that bridge without a moment’s hesitation, especially given that there were four hostile tanks hell-bent on taking them out at the time! As predicted, they managed to win despite being outnumbered four to one and that was mostly thanks to her guidance. She was also the only one completely unmoved by their first shot – unlike the rest of the crew, she’s experienced it in the past and makes nothing of it. It’s funny to think that Hana was so moved by it she insisted on becoming the gunner! With Saori taking on the role of radio operator, Yukari becoming the loader, and Mako’s skilful driving, they’re going to be a force to reckon with!
There’s something really visceral about the directing during the combat this episode – there was a power to that first shot by the Ankou team that stood above what would’ve been accomplished without the shifting focus. Going hand in hand with this, while the music up until now has been good, it’s been nothing spectacular. The emphasis as they moved out onto the terrifyingly dangerous bridge, however, worked wonderfully in increasing the tension. So far, Girls und Panzer has proven itself as an anime that manages to do a lot of things really well, from absurdity, to humour, and even down to serious tension and cliff-hangers. I can only look forward to seeing where it plans to go – it has the potential to unite the beautiful camaraderie and strength in the face of hardship of STRIKE WITCHES with the diverse cast and tournament setting of Saki.
The episode closes on the advent of the battle between the newly introduced and meticulously organised Saint Gloriana school and our overly-colourful Miho-led Japanese batallion. This brings us some new additions to our already large cast, including Darjeeling (Kitamura Eri), Assam, and Orange Pekoe (Ishihara Mai). Yes, the British characters are named after teas and have tea emblems on all their tanks. It’s probably fair to guess that the experienced and disciplined British team, made up of a Churchill Mk.VII and four Matilda II Mk.III/IV, is going to end up losing to the rookie underdogs, but we should finally see the conclusion of the cliff-hanger from the very first episode and maybe get some more insight into what safety precautions are actually in place.
tl;dr: @MoombaDS – #GaruPan remains one of the more entertaining options this season with all its absurdities, humour, and even a serious moment or two!
- And here I thought the Japanese carrier was large… I have no words!
- I wonder if the layout of the central part of the British ship is coincidental or if it’s actually meant to look somewhat similar to the design of the Union Jack.
- Is that a variation on The British Grenadiers I hear during the appearance of the carrier?
- Hana was knocked out by the blast or maybe just fainted from shock during battle. Either way I really wonder how safe this is supposed to be. Where are the safety precautions that were spoken of? Is it just those white flags that appear to pop up after a direct hit?
- The history club members continue to quote their respective namesakes with things such as an alteration of Veni, vidi, vici (I came, I saw, I conquered).
- Poor first year team can’t even run away successfully!
- The way the student council team’s 38(t) practically glows is pretty damn funny. As is their training for hiding when they completely lack any sort of camouflage.
- The rage of a thousand suns burns within her right now.
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)