First Impressions – Girls und Panzer

Don’t anger Tank-tsun!

Cute girls doing cute military things is not a new concept to the world of anime I mean we have Sora no Woto, Strike Witches, Upotte and Gunslinger girl. So will Girls und Panzer roll out and explode as the next big hit in this strange line up? I certainly hope it will do more for me than Bousou Shiki’s first episode…anyway time for a first impressions post with Kara and Hawte! Stay tuned for some hilarious fun!
What I learned in these 24 or so minutes is the following: learn how to Panzer and you’ll be a REAL woman. Bitches love Panzer. Everyone does. We need Panzer in our lives to fulfill that void we wouldn’t have even known was there if not for this anime. Everything makes sense now. Forever.
“Girls”? Psh. German conjunctions? So what. “Panzers”!? I’M IN. With so many incredible shows airing this season Girls und Panzer will probably go unnoticed, but that’s a shame because it’s actually pretty entertaining and has a promising premise, albeit a a crazy one.


This series has some interesting looking characters! Just like Strike witches we are dealing with girls from various counties; however since everyone speaks Japanese in this series it really was tough judging what country the girls represented! I am pretty sure that one of the main characters is from Germany? So who makes up our team of main characters? Just from the first episode we only got to see three of them starting off with the clumsy and accident prone Miho Nishizumi voiced by Fuchigami Mai, but I only know her as Maekawa from Denpa Onna. Next up we meet the always positive Saori Takebe who made me automatically think of Yayoi from Smile Precure because they have similar hairstyles; however she is voiced by Ai Kayano who I will always refer to as Inori from Guilty Crown or if you want someone new to compare her to you could go with Mashiro Shiina from that new Sakurasou no Pet na Kanjo. Finally we have the token girl with long black hair aka Hana Isuzu voiced by Mami Ozaki who is really fresh to voice acting! Overall the acting is great even though I have to give Ai Kayano a shout out for doing a good job as the ultra-cute-Saori! I think I found my official favorite character or until I hear Yuka Iguchi aka Index or Tsukihi Araagi pop up anyway and rounding off the cast of big names with Eri Kitamura from Nisemonogatari as Karen Araragi and Misato Fukuen aka Miyuki from Smile Precure.

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Ah, yes. The all important ‘und’ in the Girls und Panzer anime. So what is this und? Some might call it a simple word, connecting together the idea of girls and Panzer, but clearly they meant it as a symbol for the production team behind the making of the anime. Clever. Very clever. Anyways, the animation team behind this was Actas. …If you’ve never heard of them before, don’t worry. I’ve never heard of them before either. The animation wasn’t all that bad though, so I’ll give them that. The director for this is Mizushima Tsutomu and he recently directed… Another and Blood-C. Lord knows how he got this job. On the other hand though, he also did Joshiraku just last season so I guess he’s out of survival horror and into comedy now. Also on board is the military history advisor who worked with Strike Witches and Upotte, Suzuki Takaaki. With people who worked on Strike Witches -which was the most historically accurate and focused anime EVER, (flying lolis in their underwear with animal ears. You can’t go wrong.)- in on this anime, there’s no way it could turn terrible, right? Right.

Tanks, very useful when you’re in the middle of the ocean.


Girls und Panzer isn’t the show you’d ordinarily start watching in hopes of an intricate plot, or even strategically interesting battles for that matter. After all, the show is clearly not being advertised as a socio-political war drama, but rather an SoL-comedy with some tanks and melodrama thrown in for good measure. (And yes, tanks are of the classiest good measure!) That being said, Girl und Panzer delivered where I expected it would, introducing some well-rounded characters with defined intentions and enough obscurity to develop further stories, as well as a rudimentary premise to push said stories along. In this case the premise revolves around a Panzer-tournament between schools, which sounds both disturbingly cruel and weirdly exciting. Now in my eyes this presents a possibly huge problem, will the show cover the tournament? Something tells me that a large amount of SoL distraction combined with Panzer training stories will eventually lead to an open-ending.

Anyway, aside from a promising introduction to the main conflict, the last seconds of the episode revealed a quick look at the setting of Girls und Panzer, a huge ship. I’m unsure if this will play into the story somehow, but that was an awesome reveal especially in the way that it was done, panned back from the girls and their new tanks. The tanks themselves, mostly shown in the opening to the rest of the episode, are all CGI. This gives them a clunky, off-putting appearance, though the bright colors and varied designs are a nice distraction. Still, it wasn’t terrible and I rather enjoyed the tank action this week (as short as it was). There are a lot of ways this show could turn into a horrible mess, but with enough tank action and more of the creativity displayed in the production this week, Girls und Panzer might turn out to be an enjoyable weekly break!

The strategy: Too cute to shoot.


Well that certainly was an interesting first episode for me! The opening scenes were a little weird for me but the use of CGI looked decent even though I would have preferred hand drawn, but budget wise not a bad job from Actas overall…so what did I have the most fun with from this episode? I guess I really enjoyed hearing all the girls talking and hanging out together even though I spent most my time trying to figure out where the girls were from originally, but I loved seeing all of the different tank teams and the different colors? That was kind of strange I mean who paints their tank bright neon pink? Then again that is probably the fun part of this series! So what did you think of this first episode? Was it filled with everything you were wanting? I know it has me sold right now.

…So, uh what nationality are these girls exactly? The subs I watched were absolutely full of German words thrown in with English… while the girls were speaking Japanese in reality. Are they German and speaking Japanese through some sort of convenient language filter? Are they Japanese Germans? I was more than a little confused by all of that somewhere in there. I have no complaints about production, but… uh… that plot. Who in their right mind decides that high school girls taking part of tank battles is THE highest form of extracurricular activity (also, how the hell does that count as a martial art)? This has handed me a bigger mystery than trying to figure out K’s plot. This is even bigger than figuring out Who is Imouto. I… I can’t even begin to comprehend. …I should probably find out wtf a Panzer is now. If what I watched is any indication, it’s something to do with moe lolis and German vocabulary. …Also, tanks.

As I said above, Girls und Panzer’s playful premise is a welcome addition to the handful of plot-heavy, intense shows I’m watching this season. It’s clearly not trying to be taken too seriously, much like Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, and as long as the story stays on the right track (focusing on the Panzer tournament and combat in general) then it shouldn’t bore. As a purely SoL/comedy this show definitely would have fallen flat with its characters, but thanks to the added plot devices in the form of hulking, German Panzers they should be able to carry the story well enough. I completely agree with Kara that the plot is beyond realism at this point, but I came into this with my disbelief suspended and as long as it stays up there I don’t think there will be room for disappointment. Will I be blogging this show weekly? Well, I’ll leave that up to episode two. ;D



We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
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28 Responses to “First Impressions – Girls und Panzer”

  1. Highway says:

    I really liked this show, it was just so loopy and fun. It certainly isn’t any sort of Tour de Force, and if you think too hard about it (like are they really using live ammo, or why the hell is Miho standing up in the tank turret, or why the hell it turned into Mario Kart with the tank passing all the other tanks…), it’ll fall apart completely. So don’t think too hard about it. My motto for GuP is “just go with it.”

    My favorite part was that propaganda video. That was just so over the top, and yet in perfect style for those things.

    The sub releases are a different story. I’ve watched three different versions of this: Commie, Hiryuu, and Crunchyroll. And I don’t like the name ANY of them came up with: Panzerfahren, Tankwondo, and Tankery. Really? So in my posts on this, I’m just going to go with “Sensha-do”. If we’re going to introduce a silly new name, I don’t see that it’s any better than just using the name they’re calling it in the show (although I’ve come to like Tankwondo best of those three). And Commie’s comments are aflame with bad reaction to their gratuitous german (no, the girls are all Japanese so far, Kara) that they put in. Yeah, I’m working on studying Japanese, but there were times that it saved me from not understanding something.

    The animation was ok, although the girls don’t necessarily seem like part of the world all the time, just on top of the background. And after the first minute was full of that horrible turn around that CG texture, the rest was better. Let’s hope there’s no more of that.

    • skylion says:

      It’s another variant of “eighth grade syndrome” as far as I am concerned. Just let us get used to the concept as the Japanese present it please?

    • Foshizzel says:

      Yeah this is another “turn off mind and enjoy” series because i don’t really expect a whole lot from this, but hey it is entertaining and that is all that matters in the end right?

      Ahahah yes THAT video was quite hilarious and so over the top…piloting a tank makes you a better waifu? Uh sure…why…not…

      OH GOD the commie subs were TERRIBLE! What the hell were they even trying to do in the first place? I suppose they wanted to add their own flair to the subs or something? Sadly no one can ever top the insanity of GG subs! Seriously they need to do this series…oooooh so the girls were not from other countries? LOL thanks subs!

      Ehhhhh yeah the animation was quite interesting…it felt like a CGI cut scene from a old playstation one game or two? I hope the rest improves xD

      • Highway says:

        Well, they haven’t said that anyone is from another country. Given that there’s supposedly a World Cup coming to Japan, I would imagine it’s not anything like the setup for Strike Witches (or even IS, where all the people from other countries were sent there to figure out how Ichika could pilot an IS). If you were training for a World Cup, why would you send your candidate to a school that doesn’t even have the program?

        Maybe some of those girls are expats from other countries, but I don’t think that’s the setup. I did think the volleyball team was amusing, tho.

        • Foshizzel says:

          True! I just hope we get decent subs next time and yeah that could be a lot of fun to see in the future and LOL volleyball tank team that just sounds all kinds of awesome.

          Nope! I just checked the comments and I don’t see any spams

      • Highway says:

        Hmm, I think I have a comment eaten by spammy here…

  2. skh says:

    I certainly wouldn’t put Gunslinger Girl in the same sentence as the other titles you listed.

  3. BlackBriar says:

    Kudos to Hawthorne for protesting that this show go unnoticed. Seriously, I’m cursed. I can’t stop comparing animes. Why am I getting AKB0048 and Senki Zesshou Symphogear vibes from this? I mean, we have young girls who look like they’re barely in their teens operating tanks. This series adds another interesting pairing with girls in the anime universe.

    With so many girls here from different places, one has got to be German. She’ll probably come along later wearing an eye patch. German animes girls wearing eye patches seems to be a trend like Laura Bodewig from Infinite Stratos and one of the teachers from Upotte! The whole setting feels like German military boot camp to me. Even the girl’s speech indicates as much.

    The kicker in all this was the revelation that the whole town is just the deck of a huge aircraft carrier. I saw that and immediately went “WTF!!” What country had the ridiculously huge budget to create such a monster?!

    • skylion says:

      What budget creates Academy City from the To Aru universe? Might be a similar vein.

  4. skylion says:

    I don’t know why this show has my name all over it, but it does. Cute girls discussing whatever comes to mind, an absurd but “workable” premise (given the value of the word workable), and enough fluff to sit back and relax with.

    You mention Strike Witches, one of my all time favorite shows. This isn’t quite that. It shares a military vibe, but where-ever or when-even this show takes place, the state of warfare is unknown. And this is just hard working girls and their machines; no mimmi, or mahou. I think we can dismiss connections to Sora No Wato as well, given the slice of life vibe it gives off is to dissimilar. It is it’s own animal.

    But what do we have? I enjoy the main character. She is hesitant about joining Sensh-do (my preferred term as well), but when confronted with rusting tanks, sees them for their worth, and is looking forward to a positive outcome. And that loli Student Council President. If she commands a tank as well as she manipulates people, we could be seeing some cool moments coming out.

    And that carrier? I got nothin’ folks. Nothin’. But it looks cool.

    • Highway says:

      Yeah, it looks cool, but that’s one of the things that tiny corner of my mind is rebelling against. If the deck is miles wide and tens of miles long, why does it have such a big hull?!?!?!

  5. Moni Chan says:

    For the longest time I thought “und” was a spelling error. In my mind it till is

  6. Liza says:

    More shows with girls doing something in the military! When I started watching it, it reminded me so much of Upotte. A nice break from everything else I’m watching pretty much with deep plots and such. Hopefully this one will stay on the comedy tracks but that hinting from Miho’s past will mean there might be a semi-depressing episode popping up somewhere.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Agreed Liza! It is nice to find a series to watch just for random fun, but yeah Panzer is a lot like Upotte in a few ways and I always enjoy seeing the crossover of moe x military because we never know what is going to happen xD

      Ahhh yeah Miho’s flashback was strange and yeah there is option for drama later on xD

    • akagami says:

      Upotte with tanks and lolis! Actually Upotte had me laughing everytime I watched it, guns in girl/human form? ahhahahahaha.
      The horrible puns/jokes with weapons and girls had me cringing (yet I continued watching it orz). I’m a sucker for punishment when it comes to moe.

  7. akagami says:

    Aside from the horrible cg animation (omg so much stuttering, it’s like I’m playing COD with an onboard vido card), it was pretty fun to watch. I love the different tank teams – it reminded me of the different squadrons in Strike Witches (I’m with you skylion, Strike Witches was highly enjoyable to watch).

    Can’t wait to see them in action (and if they start some inter-school tank battles… I’m getting so giddy).

  8. HannoX says:

    As a tank buff this show had me hooked as soon as I read about it. Girls & tanks–yeah, man! And since it involves a tournament rather than battle, we shouldn’t have to deal with any of them getting killed (with the possible exception of an episode dealing with Miho’s flashback in more detail–was she the only one to escape from that sunken tank?) or the unrealistic bit of them going through battle with none of them killed.

    I’m looking forward to seeing all the different tanks they come up with. I liked the opening with a Churchill and the Matildas. Let’s see more of the less well known tanks! I did like the fact that their school had PzKw IVs rather than the better known Tiger or Panther, although I’d have prefered the long barreled version rather than the earlier short barreled one.

    In the Navy I was onboard the USS Enterprise, which was a pretty damn big carrier (I joined it while it was out at sea and when I first saw it, it looked like a big gray island), but it was nothing compared to the carrier in this anime! Since I was nuclear trained and down in one of the engine rooms I couldn’t help but wonder how many reactors that monster needed to power it.

    I do have one beef with this show, though. “Panzerleid” should be the OP or ED song.

  9. MikADo says:

    PZ IV!!! PZ IV!!!!!!!!!!! PZ IV!!!!!!!!!!
    eeeeeeeeehaaaaaaa yes the fact there is an actual tank, and the fact that it actually looks like one gives this show enormous plus in my book. i dont give a **** about anything, i just want to see those tanks move!

    oh and a side note, there is an analysis on the size of the ship, and its funny XD its like 4.5 km in length, which is like 3 times bigger than a imperial class destroyer from starwars

  10. Highway says:

    My biggest problem with the carrier was why was it a single hull? If the deck is 500 meters wide, it should have been a multi-hull, and then you don’t need to make it be a skyscraper tall (seriously, that hull is over 1000 feet tall, above the waterline?).

    *deep breath*
    Just go with it…

    • HannoX says:

      Yeah, multi-hulled would have been the only realistic way to go, but why are you expecting reality from an anime where crewing a tank is considered the ultimate femminine skill? This is one of those anime where you’re supposed to turn off your brain and just enjoy. For that matter, don’t most animes fall apart if you try to apply logic to them?

  11. Highway says:

    Ok, you have to RUN! Not walk, not even trot, but RUN to see the second episode of this show.

    OMG so hilarious.

    • skylion says:

      With a premise so absurd, what other training method do you expect other than “get in there and tank it up”?

      Ducks and chicks and geese better scurra, when I tank you out in my sensha, when I take you out in my sensha with a loli crew!

  12. Highway says:

    I hope you guys are still watching this show, because it’s gone from “haha, girls around tanks is humorous” to “this show is tons of fun, and is actually making a good attempt at plot progress”. Yeah, it moves unrealistically fast, but it really doesn’t feel like a throwaway stupid show that they just glommed a whole bunch of ideas onto (girl + tanks + giant ship + whatever). It seems to be coherent and amusing, provided you’re ready to just accept the premise and the fast pace of development (Practice match on your first day, when nobody knows how to even drive a tank? Suuuuure! Set up a friendly with another school for the coming weekend? Suuuuuure!).

    Honestly, I think this show might be the best surprise for enjoyment that I’ve had in anime. And the end animation is soooo cute! Even a chibi-loli seitokaichou for skylion in Ep. 3!

    BTW, I’ve settled on Hiryuu’s subs, I haven’t tried Commie’s since ep 1 (although they indicated they got the message, but still in ep 2 “Panzer Vor means Panzer Vor” ? *shakes head*)

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