Girls und Panzer

Genre(s): Action, Sports, Military, School, Comedy

Age-Appropriateness: 10+ (Dangerous situations, minor language)

Platforms: Netflix, Hulu, Crunchyroll

Episodes: 14 (2 are recap/character-bio/game-rules episodes) (+6 OVA with DVD/Bluray bundles)

TheAwersome Rating: 7.5 / 10 (Nothing unique, just good solid fun)

Premise: Tankery is a traditional sport using WWII era tanks in elimination-based matches. In today’s age, it is advertised as an art form geared towards making ladies more prominent in culture. Miho Nishizumi, who comes from a lineage of well-respected Tankery specialists, is at odds with the sport after a traumatic event led to her retirement and eventually a rift forming between her and her family. She transfers to Ooarai Girls’ High School where the Tankery program has been abolished. However, with the news of the upcoming championships, the school revives their Tankery program, and Miho is pushed into joining.

TheAwersome’s Thoughts: This is a surprisingly feel-good piece that I confess I enjoyed a lot more than I wanted to/expected to. Clearly written by a huge WWII history buff (read: Nerd) it goes into tremendous detail about the differences behind certain tank models, why they were built the way they were, etc. Which is stinking fascinating if you ask me. Each school the girls go up against has their own theme of tanks/strategy, be it American, British, Japanese, Soviet, or German (Italian got skipped in main series, got its own mini-movie). The plot is pretty simplistic; themes of “Carve your own destiny, but respect your family” are the main takeaways, with your usual anime dose of “Having the right/better motive for winning something is the ultimate way to victory.” The matches themselves are pretty interesting with each presenting different strategic obstacles to overcome.

TLDR: Feel-good sports anime starring cute girls and feels like a war tactics game, a la Valkyria Chronicles or somesuch.

I accidentally stumbled upon this a mere day or two after we played through “Panzermadels: A Tank Dating Simulator” which was a hoot in itself, so if you got any kind of kick out of that, go ahead and pick this one up. I certainly enjoyed this show more having gotten any flavor of tank history.

A short film, “This is the Real Anzio Battle” covers the match against the Italian school that got skipped in the show. There are apparently like, at least two other movies that were made: “Girls und Panzer der Film”, “Alice War!”, and then like, a 6 part series called Girls und Panzer das Finale and then some other ones? There’s a bunch, I haven’t bothered with any of them, don’t really plan to until “der Film” is available on Netflix, which won’t be until the end of the year.

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