Greetings! Welcome to another review, and this time around we are doing the anime Girls Und Panzer. Before we dive in, first a quick apology for the delay. Pokemon Sun and Moon came out a little more than a week ago, and between that and Thanksgiving, I was held up in writing the review. Also, we are marking the return of B-Ro! With that out of the way, beware of minor SPOILERS as always.
Now without further ado, let us begin the review!
Summary: In this world, Sensha-do, the art of tank-combat, is a traditional Japanese martial art for girls. Miho, a girl who just transfered into the Ōrai Girls’ Academy in Ibaraki Prefecture, has been ordered by the academy’s student council chairperson to join the school team and compete in the national Sensha-do championships. -Anime News Network
Now, the plot for the series is without very strange seeming. Girls mixed with military strategy and armored vehicles seems ripe for someone to announce, “Only in Japan!.” That being said, and probably true, a strange plot does not mean a bad plot. The plot of itself is very straight forward, and ignoring the tanks, seems pretty typical any sports anime. The anime teeters heavily on the boundary of being a cliche and traditional plot. Nonetheless, it accomplishes exactly what sets up to do, and aside from being predictable, is a relatively pleasant to watch. The show does do an excellent job into looking into the tanks and their history.
Much like the plot, the characters are pretty cookie cutter with some qualities added in to just past them beyond cliche for a sports anime. There is the hesitant yet talented protagonist with some mysterious backstory, rich girl, genius girl, and so on. One annoying thing is that the entire cast is almost exclusively female, and all the girls have personalities (and appearances, but more on that later) that render them as moe. This leaves them feeling unrealistic despite the standards set up by the world. Additionally, the large cast makes several character just superfluous. However, the characters aren’t really bad, just annoying at times.
The animation was excellent, even despite the repetitive appearance of moe girls. Of particular note was the rendering of the tanks themselves, which were done to be as realistic as possible it seemed. Whether standing still or mobile, they were animated very well.
The soundtrack was not particularly standout. The soundtrack is serviceable though. The opening and closing were acceptable overall.
While the show covers many of the general themes common to its genre, such as friendship and teamwork, it extends beyond it. Learning to overcome personal tragedy or feelings of hesitation are a running challenge for Miho throughout the anime, something that allows her to show genuine growth. The most interesting theme present within the show, in my opinion, was giving an appreciation of history. This is not directly stated outright, but rather can be seen in the detailing of tanks and explanation as to their purposes and abilities. The show does not really bring out any sort of challenging themes, but it does at least bring interesting things to the table.
Final Score: 8.0/10
Final Grade: B
Girls und Panzer has always held a special place in my heart. It is an anime I found one day at random and I instantly was hooked on the odd concepts of girls competing with each other in tank battles. The idea is really unique and is pulled off well. It has a lot of moe, but that was to be expected when I found out it took place at an all-girls school. The characters are not too deep but they are able to keep the plot moving and are able to keep you interested. The animation is pretty standard for a moe anime. Out of 10 I would give this anime an 8. I would recommend this anime to anyone who wants to see something new or unique. – B-Ro
Girls und Panzer… now this is a something I wish I was present for the writing process of. I really want to see whether the original creator immediately thought “I got it! Girls and Tanks!”, or just wrote a standard High School sports story, only to have someone go “Too generic. Needs more tanks”. Both are pretty crazy options. As I started watching, I was more confused than anything else. I couldn’t tell if the whole tank thing was being used just because it was creative/wacky, or if there was some sort of deep anti war message with their usage. With how the tank battles actually work, I’d go with the former option. I found it interesting that they went for this crazy tank concept, but the actual plot seems pretty standard if you replaced it with another sport. I didn’t dislike the overall plot, I just wasn’t expecting it to be that way. They did do a great job at establishing the rules of tankery, and doing their historical research. It was pretty cool to see actual tank models being used in the show, and the battles themselves were fun to watch. The animation is pretty great in general. Its a pretty show to look at, and the music is definitely fitting for the show’s concept. I would like to note that the director of this show also directed Another and The Lost Village. How you go from girls and tanks, to a fantastic horror/mystery show, to a pretty bad mystery show is beyond me. While I wasn’t into Girls und Panzer as much as I was hoping I’d be, it’s still a pretty good watch, I appreciate them shaking things up a bit conceptually.
Final Comments: Girls Und Panzer expands on the generic moe and sports anime formula to give a more unique experience with admirable detail to animation and themes. It is hindered by the more cliche elements it presents.
Thank you for reading! What did you think of this anime? I’d like to apologize for the slow posting we’ve had over the past few months, which is mostly in part to our busy school schedules. However, we will be kicking it up a notch in December, where we get to celebrate Christmas and our one year anniversary of the blog! In the mean time, be sure to follow our Facebook and Twitter pages! Thank you! Our next review will be specially for the Christmas season, Winter Garden.