「絶体絶命です！」 (Zettaizetsumei Desu!)
“Driven into a Corner!”
This week on Girls und Panzer: The Musical… I don’t know how they keep managing to do it. How is it feasibly possible that every episode is more entertaining than the last? Is there no upper limit here? There’s no way it can keep following this pattern – every week I feel like it’s peaking and yet it continues to climb ever upwards. We may not have had the incredible singing we had last week, but Nonna still delivered a Cossack Lullaby and Miho’s PTSD finally kicked in causing her to start singing and doing the anglerfish dance (okay it wasn’t really her PTSD, but the abruptness of it made it seem momentarily like she’d finally snapped). And then there was the dancing. Oh Saori, earlier in the series you were so concerned about being seen performing the anglerfish dance, and yet here you are doing so in front of an audience at the tank nationals where we can practically see the shame radiating off Shiho. If Miho being disowned wasn’t set in stone before, it most certainly is now! As brilliant as that was all by itself, there was also the Cossack dancing, done to the tune of an instrumental Polyushko-polye. The only thing that could possibly have made it any better would have been some Kalinka! The song and dance doesn’t stop there either! While scouting in the snowy wilderness, Rommel and Yukari even began to sing Yuki no Singun. There’s an instrumental version of Katyusha too! Truly a musically spectacular episode!
Everything relating to the closure of Oarai is pretty much as I guessed last week – they’re being abolished due to funding problems and participating in the nationals is a last ditch attempt to save the school by becoming the champions and gaining some prestige. No-one’s going to close down the school that hosts the reigning champions after all! We also learn why their tanks are not up to the level of many of the other teams – all the good ones were sold off long ago leaving behind only the ones no-one could even be bothered to find.
Last week, many people told me that the Russians were jokingly known for always missing their first shots. By this point, I think we can safely say we’ve escalated far beyond that. Their accuracy rating seems to be very low indeed. Instead, I have drawn a different conclusion: being the good Russians these girls are, they’re all ludicrously roaring drunk. Not even Stilts can boast the heights of these continuous blood-alcohol ratios! All the vodka they likely consumed, shrugging off the cold as if it were nothing while waiting for the match’s time limit to expire, resulted in an inability to maintain sufficiently high accuracy. Oarai’s tactics were solid – choosing to try and break through the most heavily defended spot rather than taking the bait – but the volleyball team only survived as long as they did, allowing the masterfully hidden StuG to take out the enemy flag tank (that ambush was brilliant!), because of Nonna and her group’s sudden dip in accuracy.
While it didn’t seem like there was any real way Oarai could escape the predicament they’d landed themselves in last week without resorting to contrivances of plot, they somehow managed it. We all knew Anzu was a genius, though not to what extent. Until now, she’d always sat back and let the rest of her team carry her, playing the role of a lazy student council president who delegates everything to her subordinates. The moment she actually steps in and takes control herself, magic happens. Of course, they were taken out by Nonna in the end – they didn’t even see that shot coming! Pravda’s general overconfidence is really what led them to lose their flag tank – a rather ironic reversal after the events of the last episode. Katyusha saw her plans as infallible which led to Oarai’s escape and the Pravda flag tank obviously never expected to be found given how relaxed they were up until the chase began. But it’s not fair to give them all the credit for their own loss – in addition to Anzu and some clever thinking from Miho, we even got to see just how much the first year team has grown. It wasn’t all that long ago when they would flee from a battle when things got tough, and yet here they are, willingly taking a shell to protect the Oarai flag tank. The Sodoko clones took one too of course, but that wasn’t quite as dramatic a development.
In the end, everything comes down to one of the few resolutions I feel like I can actually be happy with. Pravda were a formidable foe – an outright victory would have felt wrong, an obvious contrivance of plot. But instead, we have what appears to be a draw, with both flag tanks being taken out simultaneously. I imagine Oarai is going to be declared the winner here so that they can move on to face off against Maho, but it’ll be interesting to see how the decision is made. Will it be judged that the Pravda flag tank was taken out a miniscule amount of time before Oarai? Or will they decide it’s a draw and send Oarai forwards based on the comparative firepower of each team? The latter certainly seems like a promising option in my eyes.
At the very end of the episode, the ED introduces our next new team who I imagine will make their proper debut next week. Contrary to expectations, the tank the rather mismatched literature team will be using is not the Tiger P. Their tank, I’m told, is the Type 3 Chi-Nu, another Japanese tank. Looks like it’s going to be a different team altogether – the mechanics maybe? – taking control of the Tiger P! It’ll be interesting to see where the Chi-Nu comes from in the first place – I have a feeling that they may not find it lying about like the others.
tl;dr: @MoombaDS – #GaruPan the musical! With additional awesome tank battles!
- I love the way the flag comes out of the bottom of the tank. There’s apparently a hatch there so it’s feasible, but there’s also something ridiculously silly about the idea that makes it awesome to contemplate.
- I’m starting to warm to Maho more as time goes on – we see very little of her, but the faith she shows in Miho when Shiho expresses a desire to leave certainly raised her in my eyes.
- The juxtaposition of Oarai gradually losing hope inside the building while Pravda revel in the blizzard outside is a nice touch.
- This shot is so perfect for exploitation! (Thanks to Stereoman for making the awesome edit!)
- Watching Mako evade by essentially just falling over is always hilarious.
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)