Time Enforcer Anubis here with a fresh review!
Is it me, or has there been a surge, of sorts, in shows that mix moé with military themes? Not that I’m complaining. With Upotte!! back in Spring, and the Strike Witches movie’s recent disc release, the moé military charge continues with Girls und Panzer.
Bear with me.
“Sensha-do,” or tank-fighting, is an international sport for women, seen as the feminine thing to do. Women who take up tank-fighting are destined to become better wives, mothers, and businesswomen.
The high schools that teach tank-fighting are all situated on large aircraft carriers that not only house the school, but the city and surrounding landscape as well, including lakes and mountains.
Still with me? Awesome.
While the premise might require some suspension of disbelief, there’s a lot to love in Girls und Panzer. As would make sense for an anime based around tank crews, there are a lot of characters, and each character has her own personality quirks that make her unique. In addition, the collective personalities of the characters come together to form a sort of personality for each tank and crew.
The show itself is a mixture of intense combat action and less-intense, more lighthearted segments inbetween tank fights. The show is slow to start into the action, but once it gets going, the tank battles are very fun to watch, as well as the character interaction, both in and out of the tanks.
Combat is depicted using a mix of CG (for the tanks) and traditional animation (for the characters). It’s a difficult thing to do well, but I think Girls und Panzer really manages to pull it off, for the most part. When we see both characters and tanks onscreen, the difference between the two isn’t jarring at all.
Both the character animation and the CG tanks are very strong visually. Personality flows from the characters’ movements and demeanor, reinforcing their character traits. Meanwhile, detailed CG tanks thunder across the battlefield, give and receive battle damage, and even exude the crew’s personality in their movements. When put together, the CG and character animation create a show that’s exciting to watch, no matter what’s onscreen.
If it keeps shows like Girls und Panzer coming out, I’m hoping the “moé military” trend continues strong for years. What we get is not only a great anime for military otaku, but an all-around well-produced show with a potential for wider appeal because of its quality. Obviously some people will be turned-off by the art style or the sheer premise, but chances are, they never would have liked the show anyway. If you’re into tanks, watch Girls und Panzer. If you’re a moé lover, watch Girls und Panzer. If you’re a fan of both, I don’t know why you’re here reading this instead of watching Girls und Panzer.
‘Till next time!