Girls und Panzer – 07

Saori’s going for the harem route!

A show needs to pull back from the action every once in a while to prevent audience fatigue, so naturally after 3 straight episodes filled with tank combat, Girls und Panzer went for a quiet episode of the girls back home, preparing for the next round. Unfortunately, the show isn’t very competent at building its characters or creating human drama, so this episode was rather ho-hum compared to the ones preceding it. That said, it still had some great scenes that showed off the production staff’s skill in cinematography, so it was not all a loss.

Considering how much this society loves tanks, I’m surprised that they can get abandoned like this. Shouldn’t they be in museums?

I wasn’t paying much attention when they were picking up the 1st round of tanks, so I’m actually unclear on why they have to keep finding them around the ship, or why there’s an undiscovered batch now. This also means a new batch of girls, which actually doesn’t mean much, because the sheer volume of girls in this show has meant that only the main team has gotten any development. Miho’s back story was expanded a bit here, continuing the thread of the girl from the super intense family that puts too much pressure on her. The show makes her very easy to sympathize with, so I can’t help but like the girl. I wonder if the flashback is foreshadowing for Miho taking a similar action in a future match, perhaps costing her team victory again, but strengthening the bonds between her and her mates. Either victory or defeat can be satisfying, and losing that way to set up a 2nd season is one good way to end the season. Or perhaps Miho will save someone, get back into her tank, then kick her sister’s ass, showing that you can be a decent, sympathetic human being and still win. Yeah, that would fit right in to this cynicism-free world.

One nice touch with the world building was showing the sailor girls on the Oarai ship. We’ve been exposed to a decent amount of the city on top, but it’s easy to forget that the ginormous ship under it probably needs a sizable staff to keep running. The fact that those sailors were also young girls has me wondering if that’s a female-specific role as well in this world. So besides Girls und Helis, another possible spinoff might be Girls und Battleships.

This was also a truly wonderful shot, though the gif (click image) doesn’t do it justice.

While the combat was limited to just the final 10 seconds, there were still a couple of well constructed scenes within the episode. One was this voice over montage when the main girls were leaving the hospital and going back to their ship. Usually scenes like this will jump to the conversation to show it in real time. That’s a fine and standard technique, but such scenes have a tendency of feeling disjointed due to the fact that they’ll just jump from the start of the trip to the conversation, then to the end; showing all the steps of the trip and the real time conversation would extend the scene too long. In this case, we got to have our cake and to eat it too, by having the conversation layered over the slow montage. That’s efficiency! This also conveyed the passage of time very well, and the way the bus ride portion was shown all from the outside gave us a good view of the city surrounding their ship.

The training montage was short and sweet and felt very much like the classic training montage you see in sports movies. Except, of course, with girls in schoolgirl uniforms in tanks. I’m still unclear on the schoolgirl uniforms. It’s not that it breaks suspension of disbelief – okay, it kinda does, but hey, I’m a Strike Witches fan – it’s that military uniforms would actually make sense while still providing plenty of fetish fuel, as well as showing something different from what a dozen other shows do every season. Perhaps uniforms are not as glorious as tanks, but I’m sure World War 2 otaku would enjoy them as well. It’s such a missed opportunity. I do like the touch with the volley ball team uniforms, since athletic clothing at least somewhat makes sense, even though the short sleeves and pants don’t make any. It’s just another way in which this show of girls and tanks just isn’t as good when it’s about the girls.

These girls are clearly too weak to handle tank loading, another crack in the suspension of disbelief. It would be neat if it came up later in battle, along with the limited number of shells per team.

Girls und Panzer has earned a long leash by establishing itself as by far the best show of the season in the previous 3 episodes. So I’m not going to be as harsh on a transition episode as much as one in, say, Medaka Box Abnormal. The worrisome part is that the following episode will also start right after a victory, and the production team probably sees no problem with this. Come on, I would’ve preferred to be trolled by having the battle start in this episode then finish within 30 seconds in the next one. It’s the chink in the show’s armor: as much as the people behind it are on top of things with the action, they’re clueless to the same extent with regards to the drama and characters. Still, the density of action of episodes 4 through 6 was perfect, as was the pacing, and for more of that, a couple episodes like this is admittedly a small price to pay.

Hearing so much of the star of Strike Witches and the title character of Saki helped make this episode more enjoyable, no doubt. The student council prez’s confident nonchalance makes so much sense if you consider that she saved the world from Neuroi no fewer than 3 times in less than a year.

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A math/science geek and a self-dubbed cynical optimist. I don't care if it's deep, if it can make me feel something or laugh, it's fine in my book. @lvlln
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24 Responses to “Girls und Panzer – 07”

  1. skylion says:

    She’s prez for life!

  2. Highway says:

    I blocked out what I thought the last 5 episodes would be since we’ve got at least 2 battles to go (Pravda and Black Forest Peak) and maybe a third, because Saint Gloriana’s has been such a big part of the show so far, I think there’s a possibility that the show won’t just gloss over their match with Black Forest Peak. Using the same basic pattern of spanning a fight over two episodes, that gives us 4 of the 5 episodes with significant action, and possibly a good amount of the 5th. While I thought this episode was really nice (again, I’m much more invested in the show’s world than you), I don’t think they need a lot more show time like this to get through the end of the series. There will definitely be some introduction of the new crews (speculation is that we’ve already gotten some introduction on one of the girls, “Sodoko” the gate monitor), and some showing the capability of the new tanks, but I expect that to go pretty fast, like everything this show does.

    I really do think the character development has been pretty appropriate for the show. It’s not very deep, but I think it’s significant, and spread around well. It doesn’t spend much time getting angsty or taking long probing looks at the characters, but it never really seems too rushed to me. It just gets it done with and moves on. There’s quite a bit of discussion going on about “Nishizumi Style” and what it really means, because the show has been a little vague about it, but I think that’s part of the plan. This show gets a lot of discussion because it doesn’t tie everything down super tight. And I don’t know if we’ll really get resolutions for all the things that are up in the air, like Hana’s being disowned from her family. But I hope we’ll get an answer about what Nishizumi Style is supposed to represent. I personally think that the conflict is solely Miho’s decision to quit Sensha-Do at Black Forest Peak and transfer schools to get away from it entirely. I don’t think that her mother’s talk of “sacrifice” means that she should have let the girls in the other tank come to more harm, but more that moving on would require sacrificing her feelings and embarrassment to move forward and not wallow in the loss. I just think that Miho’s understanding of it was focused only on the match wins, and wasn’t a complete understanding of what her mother was trying to teach her.

    • PanzerJäger says:

      I think that the Nishizumi style is based around SS panzer battalion traits. These sort of traits included leaving behind crews who had their panzer knocked out and also pushing on regardless of their losses. I have one example, it was that of Joachim Pieper. He was tasked with retaking some towns at the late stages of WW2. In this mission, Peiper complained to high command that the roads where stalling his advance, and the reply from the Chief of Staff of the 6th panzer battalion was “I don’t care how and what you do. Just make it to the Meuse. Even if you’ve only one tank left when you get there.” He did so, and he lost numerous panzer in an airstrike, and he also contained regardless even the only bridge though back to German lines was destroyed. Peiper also had an aggressive command style, and pushed his men on regardless of the casualties. In one operation he recorded huge losses and failed to reach his objective. I believe that the Nishizumi style will be based on the belief that they are to push on regardless of their losses, no matter who got hit just keep moving, to push past emotions on the field of battle to ensure total victory. But I agree with what Miho did in saving that crew, it was an act of valor that could only be acheiveed through emotion. I’m probably wrong on the whole Nishizumi style and its ideology though.

  3. BlackBriar says:

    It’s gotten better with a nice amount of character development and Miho being more confident and enjoying her work. For a society that revers tanks to the point of them being an essential part of their lifestyle, it’s surprising that the girls don’t feel insulted finding discarded tanks lying around in random places or their attachments being used for something as basic as drying wet clothes.

    I wish, however, that they could have shown us the complete battle toward the end of the episode. The opposing team looked as fierce as the previous ones.

    • Highway says:

      You think? I thought they were going for more of a comic feel with the Anzio team, given their Pizza symbol, the ojou-curls of the leader, and their even-less-capable tanks than the Oarai ones, including a tankette that is probably quite inferior to even the Type 89.

    • lvlln says:

      Yeah, in a show that’s this far ahead of the pack in action, it’s always disappointing to see a potential extended action sequence cut short. Basically what we saw was the equivalent of the ending of the previous episode that showed the 2 evil-looking teams beating the other team. Just the aftermath. They could have and should have cut out a few minutes from the middle of the episode and animated a montage for the victory.

      • PanzerJäger says:

        There was no real potential for action, they went up against a team with Italian tanks. These tanks where so poor that one was fully armed with just 2 machine guns, and their heaviest tank, the Carro Armato P-40 didn’t have a commanders cupola, used riveted armour(riveted armour is quite weak when compared with welded armour. It has a tendency to collapse when hit at joints in the armour, and when hit the rivets can become lethal projectiles in the crew compartment.) and was hardly comparable to any allied or axis tanks. Also the Fiat M11/39 had such poor armour that it was common practice to put sandbags in front of the driver for additional protection from high velocity projectiles and debris. I also have a strong inkling that they will put that 75mm into the Panzer IV, which will significantly increase the anti amour effectiveness of the Panzer IV(I hope they also weld the external armour plates onto the IV). Also the Char BiS that they found will probably replace the Type 89 as it is far superior and can actually penetrate armour. And they also found a Tiger tank, so I’m excited to see that in action with the Oarai team. I hope they also include tank destroyers like the Jagdpanther or the Jagdtiger, the StuG with its 75mm just isn’t enough(it’s classed as an assualt gun, it does not have an assault gun, if it did it would have 105mm howitzer for infantry support). Sorry if I blabber, I’m just interested in this field and what to design tanks for a living

        • lvlln says:

          Wow, you must know a lot about tanks. I’m afraid a lot of it goes over my head. I enjoy them at a superficial level, but I don’t like them enough to look up any knowledge beyond what the show presents us. Even if the opposing team would have been no challenge due to their equipment, the battle could have been plenty fun to watch. Whether Oarai goes on a rampage, going through the opposing tanks like a steamroller, or the other team comes up with some crafty plans to make up for their equipment disadvantage, there are plenty of fun stuff that are possible.

          • PanzerJäger says:

            Yeah, I must admit it would be nice to see Oarai have the advantage for once and do the steamrolling, plus at the end there was an interesting pile up between the enemy tanks and I would love to see how that happened. I also loe the action sequences, they are done beautifully and the close ups of the panzers is great, I just love the show in general, I suppose I’m like Akiyama, a huge knowledge in armour. I also have a large knowledge in the field of aircraft as well, and could tell you all the difference in WW2 aircraft and beyond. For example the ME-109 seris, I could tell you how each variant was different and the advantages it had. Also on a historical note, during the battles in the pacific, allied Sherman’s would actually use HE rounds to destroy enemy tanks, as the AP rounds they used assed straight through the enemy tanks because their armour was so thin, and would have no effect unless it hit a vital part or crew member.

        • HannoX says:

          I’d like to see them strip the Pz 38(t) down to its chassis and rebuild it as a Hetzer. I have to disagree that the StuG III just isn’t enough, unless you meant it’s not enough by itself. Germany built over 8,000 StuG IIIs in WWII. They wouldn’t have built so many if it hadn’t been effective as a tank destroyer. Yeah, it’d be nice to see them with a Jagdpanther. The Jagdtiger I’m not so keen on to have Oarai have. Storywise it’d be better for Black Forest Peak to have a Jagdtiger that Oarai has to take out.

          • PanzerJäger says:

            I mean as in its the only superstructure tank they have, so yeah by itself it just isn’t enough! I would also like to see them weld the external armor to the StuG III and the Panzer IV. A Hertzer would nice to see as well, that was quite a nice tank, even if was cramped. It could was concealed so easily. The Jagdtiger yeah,, nice to see one but the running gear failed and it was a waste of resources but a marvel of engineering, to get 60tons of steels to move like that. If Black Forest have one, that would be interesting, even just a king tiger that they unveil just for that match. I also think that when they go toe to toe with Pravda we might see an IS-2 which is even more powerful than the firefly, and had extremely thick armour. They would need real tactics to knock that sucker out, they would have to either flank it and hit its rear or smack some rounds into the tracks. That would be the biggest threat, possibly the T-34 with the 85mm gun, but apart from that if they up gun the panzer IV with the 75mm and get their own tiger going they should be fine.

            • HannoX says:

              Yeah, the Hetzer was a nice piece and it was easy to conceal. That’s what would make it a good ambusher for Oarai and with its lower profile without a turret it’d be an even better flag tank than the 38(t). It’d be pretty hard to find and hit.

              An IS-2 would be a major threat, but that’s where a Hetzer could come into its own. Lure the IS-2 pass it waiting in ambush and go for the treads. And Momo could finally hit something.

              I’m aware that the Tiger and the Panther had a lot of mechanical problems, but they should function without difficulty for the length of a match. It’s not like they’re in an actual battle situation where maintainence may have to be forgone for an extended time. Still, you never know. The anime team might have Black Forest Peak show up with a King Tiger which puts Oarai in a real bind, only to have the Tiger break down.

            • HannoX says:

              It’d also be nice to see someone field a Super Pershing. Two of them were issued to a couple American armored divisions very late in the war. The one issued to the 3rd Armored actually took out a German that fired on the column it was in. They didn’t stop to see what it was so they don’t know if it was a tank (and which one if it was) or an artillery piece. But it made for a very nice explosion.

  4. AllenAndArth says:

    new panzers *0* *i’m drooling rainbows*

  5. HannoX says:

    It’s good that this show finally got around to mentioning how most of the Oarai tanks aren’t very good. The StuG III is the best they’ve got, but the rest aren’t going to be much good going up against Pravda and Black Forest Peak. Hopefully they’ll have the new tanks in action in the next episode or the one after and the cannon they found is a KwK 40/L48 that they use to replace the Pz IV’s short 75mm.

    A stand down episode is good after all the action in the previous episodes, but it would have been nice if there had been 2-3 minutes of action at the beginning showing Oarai defeating Anzio. Hell, even a minute would have been nice. This series is at its best showing the girls in action in their tanks. What it shows of the characters, their personalities and backstories is okay, but those are not the strong points of this series.

    • Highway says:

      I’m kind of thinking that the inclusion of a small amount of action like that would have not forestalled the exact same complaints from those who don’t care for the “Girls” part of the show but love the “Panzers” part. “Why did we only have a minute? Why not 5 minutes?” So while maybe some is better than none, the complaints will still be there, and they’d have had to leave out some of the storytelling that they did. If they consider that important for the future, then they’d have had to do it later, and it might not fit in later.

      The PzIV is definitely getting the new gun, and some have said that they’re going to upgrade it to an Ausf.F or G given the new Bouncy Chibi tank in the end credits. I don’t know how you exactly upgrade a tank that much, but that’s what it shows. The hatches and plates on the chibi tank are definitely different from the Ausf.D that we’ve been seeing.

      With the upgrade on the IV, and the addition of the Tiger, Oarai will have 4 guns (StuG, PzIV, M3, and Tiger) that can at least compete with the T34′s of Pravda and the Black Forest Peak tanks.

      • HannoX says:

        I know the action junkies wouldn’t be satisfied with anything less than a complete episode of action, but it would still have been nice to see Oarai take out Anzio and 2-3 minutes devoted to that wouldn’t really have needed to take much from the rest of the episode. They could have trimmed elsewhere without affecting it.

        The Lee really isn’t that good. There’s a reason it was replaced by the Stuart. The hull mounted 75mm meant it couldn’t take a hull down position in battle, the short 75 lacked the necessary armor piercing capability and its high profile made it easy to spot. Plus all American tanks (until the Pershing) had about twice the footprint of German tanks, meaning they bogged down easier in mud and snow.

        Oarai should ditch the Lee and Type 89 and rebuld the 38(t) as a Hetzer. Then they should use the upgunned PzIV, the StuG III, the Hetzer and the new tanks as their match vehicles.

        • Highway says:

          Well, given that a numerical disadvantage is also a problem, and that Miho seems to be good at using the tanks to their capabilities (like Ahiru’s Type 89 for recon and as a lure), and there doesn’t seem to be much disadvantage to having the extra tanks, since they’re not at the match limit anyway (where they’d be taking spots from other more capable tanks), there’s really no reason to ditch the other tanks.

        • PanzerJäger says:

          Sorry for replying down here, the button wasn’t present in our last convo. Yeah a Hertzer would knock an IS-2 out from close up, and if Pravda only have T-34 with the 75mm turret, they have it easy. The reason being that the 75mm turret has the biggest shot trap right under the gun where the turret joined the body. I also think that Pravda may have either a KV-1 or even a KV-2 which would pose so,e form of difficulty but ain’t impossible to knock out, just have to flank it or smack it in the tracks.

          I would love to see a king tiger make an appearance, that would be great, 7in of armour and 70 tons of brute strength, it would make for quite the episode. A super perishing would make it OP, but nice to see one, even just a normal perishing. Another tank that could make an appearance is the Marder series of tank destroyers. Also, I think we may see a British crusader tank next time St Glora’s hit the field. It was on their carrier deck at the end of the 4th episode.

          • Highway says:

            For future commenting, when the nested comments reach their limit, you can put a comment under the previous one (i.e. “reply” to that comment) by using the closest reply link above it. So for instance, in the last thread up there, if you replied to your own comment, it would put your reply under HannoX’s second comment, just like he has two comments there.

            I would imagine that given the regulation by the Sensha-Do Federation that has been hinted at, it would likely be disallowed to get to too much variant and bolt on / weld on stuff. Maybe fun for us to talk about, but unlikely they could use a tank that, for instance, only had 2 copies go into service in WWII (guessing that’s what the time frame of homologation is).

            • PanzerJäger says:

              Thanks, nice to have someone to help the noobs.

              I suppose with the bolt/weld on armor could give the advantage, as that’s an extra layer of metal that could slow a shell enough to prevent it from disabling the tank. Yeah I don’t think the Super Persihing would probably not make an appearance, but they did mass produce the Persihing and deployed quite a number of them, so it’s a slim possibility but highly unlikely that we’ll see on as the only American team is eliminated.

            • HannoX says:

              Highway, when I read the Sensha-Do Federation’s rules that were posted online, they stated that even tanks under development before the end of WWII were eligible to be used. So since two Super Pershings were fielded at the end of the war in Europe and one actually engaged the enemy, it would be eligible.

              PanzerJager, only 20 Pershings went into action in the ETA. Others did go into action in Okinawa.

              But all that said, since Sanders has been eliminated I don’t expect we’ll see any Pershings in action. Too bad.

            • PanzerJäger says:

              Well, ep 7, I saw the tanks I exepected to see from a Russian unit. And why must St.Gloria’s be eliminated! I wanted to see the Crusader in action! I won’t say anymore, don’t want to spoil for people.

              And Hanno X, I’d say that 20 Pershings is pretty good, considering the time it was deployed. Also I had a brainwave which is pree rare, what about the Cromwell series of British tanks? They would be nice addition in the future. But I wanna see some superstructure tanks, especially the Hertzer or the Jagdpanther!

            • PanzerJäger says:

              How stupid of me, ep 8.

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