Girls und Panzer – 10

Girls und Panzer 10 c (1)

Mako can feel the electricity in the air.

Let’s get the bad news out of the way: as you’ve probably heard, this is the last new episode of Girls und Panzer we’re going to be seeing for a while, as we’ll be getting a recap episode 10.5 this coming Monday, with the final 2 episodes airing some time in March. It is a damn shame that production issues are delaying this; seriously, we don’t need more studios ripping off Shaft. Still, Code Geass, Bakemonogatari, and Magical Girl Madoka Magica did fine, so I’m sure Girls und Panzer will too.

Girls und Panzer 10 CR (11)Girls und Panzer 10 CR (10)Girls und Panzer 10 CR (9)

Probably a good thing that the mechanics got this one.

Predictably enough, the previous episode’s cliffhanger was resolved almost immediately by Oarai coming out on top. With just one more hurdle in the form of Miho’s own former team standing between Oarai and survival, this was very much another transition episode, in the same vein as the 7th episode or all of the first 3 episodes. And though there were some missteps, this was as good of a transition episode as we’ve gotten from this show.

The show’s clumsy peacetime character building sequences have generally been boring, but it has also had moments of excellence with its camera work, such as Yukari’s espionage film in the 5th episode. This time, we got the classic one-shot gag of Yukari explaining their newly reconstructed tank’s weaknesses as it broke down in one smooth sequence before our very eyes. Like in that espionage film, the CG was used subtly to great effect. The 2nd new tank making an early appearance in the parking lot was a nice bonus for observant viewers. Anticipation was the word of the day, and the wide long range shots of the tanks being moved via train or parked in their garages on the day of the match helped to kick that serene tension up a notch.

Girls und Panzer 10 CR (8)

Hey girls, notice something in the corner over there? (Turns out they already knew about the tank)

The big payoff for the first half was the montage of the Oarai girls spending their last night together. These girls have earned our love and respect through their actions on the battle field, and now is the perfect time to start cashing those chips in. The student council has gotten the most attention out of all the side characters, and watching them eating chicken katsu together like the old friends they were was particularly poignant. On the other end were the hyped up 1st year girls watching tank movies, not unlike athletes watching Rudy together before a big game. It didn’t make any sense that the films starred men, and this seems like a very odd oversight for this show. The whole montage was mercifully short, giving us a taste of the mood of each of the groups (we didn’t even directly see the volleyball club) without being overbearing. This is efficiency in directing.

Girls und Panzer 10a (6)

Psh, men driving tanks?

Unfortunately, some of the directorial decisions left me scratching my head. The conveyer belt of enemies-turned-friends immediately before the match was eye-roll-inducing. This particular shonen trope often plays out in sports tournaments, but they didn’t have to practically line up to take turns, literally in order of appearance. And the Anzio team, about which we know virtually nothing, got double-shafted, first with their match in the 7th episode, and now in this one. It seems odd and perhaps needlessly completionist that they were in the show at all; Girls und Panzer would be a better show if they had been cut altogether.

The online nerd crew that makes up the Anteater team could have been cut safely as well. Their character designs might be pleasantly oddball – even if Momogawa means that the count of eye patch girls in anime this year has reached triple digits – and Nekota’s voice might have that perplexingly erotic Frau Koujiro quality, but they were given literally a minute of screen time before being thrust into battle where they got even less before being knocked out. The bumbling-into-taking-one-for-the-team gag didn’t elicit more than a smirk out of me, and the best I can say about it is that it was short. It’s clear that they and their tank were put in just for comedic relief, but time spent on them would have been better spent showing more of the characters we’ve already come to know and love. For example, this could have been the automotive club’s turn to shine. Them getting their own tank made me smile, partly because it was giving them their moment in the spotlight, and they didn’t disappoint by becoming a non-factor in the match almost immediately.

Girls und Panzer 10 c (2)

Aside from the Anteater team, the battle got off to a fine start, with a seamless transition from conversation into the first volley of the match.

Again, we’ll have to wait a few months until we find out which of the Nishizumi sisters ends up on top, and whether or not Oarai gets to continue to exist. My money is on an Oarai victory; the show is just too hopeful not to do that. Even if they were to lose, I’m sure some wealthy entity would swoop in to save the school; it’s just that positive a show. The matches in this show have only gotten better with each round, so I’m expecting great things in the final 2 episodes; indeed, the major production delay means that we should expect only the very best.

Girls und Panzer 10 c (3)

You know shit’s about to get serious when the main characters get to be the flag tank.

Tags: ,


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
Blinklist BlogMarks Delicious Digg Diigo FaceBook Google MySpace Netvibes Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter

39 Responses to “Girls und Panzer – 10”

  1. Highway says:

    I think you got some of the girls transposed: Nekota is the geeky girl from the online tank game who starts the Anteater team, and Gomoyo is the driver for the Kamo team (the Discipline Committee). Nekota does have a very Frau Kojiro voice, tho. Hopefully she doesn’t share all of her other… proclivities.

    I wonder if competitors in Japan really do have katsu for the pun-factor of ‘winning’ as a pre-match meal. I thought it was cute that they all did.

    • Cytrus says:

      They do, believe me. They also eat the Kit Kat sweets, since those are called “Kitto Katsu”/”Certain victory” in Japanese. Generally, the Japanese are complete suckers for any kind of superstition, and they even have a collective term for “superstitious actions carried out to bring good fortune”, which is genkatsugi.

      • lvlln says:

        Yeah, not that they’re unique in having superstitions, but Japanese superstitions are quite something. What really gets me is the apparent obsession with blood types. They have literally zero effect on personality… :/

    • lvlln says:

      Ah, thank you. I miscopied while looking it up on Wikipedia. It’s been corrected now.

  2. Cytrus says:

    Regarding the males in the videos, I thought about it like that: normally, it’s guys riding tanks, but we’re watching a crazy fictional world where girls ride tanks and nobody minds. Makes sense that the girls in that world can watch a completely fictional show involving guys riding tanks and don’t mind it one bit. Not sure if that’s what the director was getting at, though.

    • lvlln says:

      That’s not a bad theory, but considering how Girls und Panzer is a rather unusual show in this respect, and that every single character in the movies they watched and on the covers of those movies was male, I don’t think it’s a good enough explanation.

    • HannoX says:

      I figure it was done to give a shout out to various tank movies, especially Kelly’s Heroes and we shouldn’t get hung up on their movies having men driving tanks. It’s just one of those things you’re supposed to let slide.

  3. Highway says:

    I think it’s not out of the realm of possibility that if there’s actually a war, then guys would be driving tanks, but in Sensha-do (where it’s not war), it’s something that only girls do. The war movies were from WWII, and they developed these tanks in WWII (and development continued after that, as Chouno Ami’s tank is a Type 10 Main Battle Tank). Plus, who knows, maybe the women fight in the wars instead of men. They do Cossack dances…

    As far as Nekota and Team Anteater goes, it was probably about the best use of their team to have them take a lucky shot for Team Ankou. Almost no practice, not really capable and not much time for character development, this makes them important to a small degree without making them key factors in the battle to come. I think I’d have disliked it more if they had new characters show up and play a more significant role in the battle. It was justified a bit with the Sodoko and the Fuukiin that they joined up, and played a bit of a role, and that was mostly Sodoko clones and referencing their lack of practice (with Gomoyo trying to keep up with Mako’s driving) and getting blown up (the same way that Anteater did).

    And yeah, I was trying to contrast the positivity of the show with the virtual forest of death flags they ran up in this show. Miho talking about how much she loves everyone, and that she loves Oarai, and talking about safety, and the person Miho saved coming and thanking her… In any other anime, half of Oarai would die on the battlefield with that many death flags set.

    • lvlln says:

      Well, it’s certainly in the realm of possibility that these girls are watching very old movies, but on its face it’s odd that not a single movie featured girls or women riding the tanks. And I think if characters aren’t going to have any impact in the match, I think the right thing would be to cut them out entirely. The show has its hands full with its massive number of characters already.

  4. CarVac says:

    I remember reading somewhere (it may have been speculation) that guys riding tanks is limited to war, and girls riding tanks became a sport after WWII. If guys rode tanks they would be too violent, so the sport was limited to females only, and in recent years the sport has become a girly thing to do.

    The movie could have been made before the sport was established as a female only activity, and so features men operating the tanks.

    • lvlln says:

      See, that seems incongruous with the girls joking in the 1st episode about the idea of men eating meat (or something along the sort). It very much seemed to be implying that the idea of men fighting like that was ridiculous in this world.

  5. BlackBriar says:

    It’s ridiculous to have such a huge gap between episodes. That’s waiting almost an entire anime season to see it come to a close. Worse, the show has currently reached its best. It’s going to be an irritating wait.

    So Miho is going against her former school. I wonder if she can handle the pressure of the match especially with her former opponents backing her up.

    The girls sure are enthusiastic about their tanks. I would’ve called that new one they found a lost cause because it seems more trouble than it’s worth. Nekota is an interesting new character. She really reminds me of Robotics;Notes’s Frau Kōujiro not only in voice but also appearance.

    • Highway says:

      I’m betting the reason it’s pushed back a whole season is that’s the only time they could fit in two episodes week to week. At this point, the schedule’s already full. They probably were pushing things around to get the initially delayed ep 12 in, but when 11 started to fall way behind (and 10 was behind as well, note the QUALITY portions that have been apologized for), they figured they’d have no choice but to push both 11 and 12 back to maintain any level of quality control.

      • BlackBriar says:

        Whatever upgrades in quality they doing better be worth the wait for such a big gap in time because it’s ridiculous. I haven’t heard of any other anime with this kind of break period.

        • lvlln says:

          Might I introduce you to Code Geass (episode 23 on 3/29/2007, 24 & 25 on 7/28/2007) and Bakemonogatari (final 4 episodes were on 9/25/2009, 11/3/2009, 2/23/2010, 6/25/2010)? It’s definitely unusual and always unfortunate, but it’s happened before in high profile cases.

  6. HannoX says:

    YES!!! Almost from its first appearance I’ve been wanting them to convert the 38(t) into a Hetzer! Now they’ve got themselves an agile little tank killer that’ll be relatively easy to hide and hard to hit. I expect the anime team to take advantage of that.

    And a Porsche Tiger! They really dig up the lesser known tanks for Oarai.

    It’s going to be a tough wait until March, but hopefully the animation team will use the time to make it worth our wait.

    • lvlln says:

      I didn’t catch it from the show; what advantages does the Hertzer upgrade give to the student council team?

      • Highway says:

        A bunch more gun (remember that Anzu couldn’t really do anything but blow off tracks and a point blank shot right on the turret ring for the T-34) that’s about equal to the StuG, a much lower profile (easier to hide and harder to hit), and lighter weight for the chassis that should make them faster and more maneuverable.

      • Myssa Rei says:

        Angled armor and low profile plus the Pz38(t)’s tracks and engine make for an agile tank destroyer that can shoot, then relocate on the fly. As much as I HATED the grind involved when I had my Hetzer, I actually had some of my best matches on it.

        The issue here though is that despite the upgrade, the Hetzer’s default gun (which seems to be the 75mm here in this episode) can at best only penetrate Black Forest’s units from the side or the rear. Heck, even their opposing TDs, the Ferdinand, the Jagdpanzer IV, the Jagdpanther all have hilariously thick front and side armor.

        • PanzerJäger says:

          I must say, the jagdpanzer IV shouldn’t be much of a problem. This td had really low maneuverability, even in the best of times as it was so top heavy thanks to the massive gun on it. German crews gave it the nickname of guderian’s duck. If Oarai stay mobile they can easily flank it and then hit td rear armour. It will just be a case of flanking them and using black forests super structures and also limited gun traversability to their advantage. Everything can be taken out, it’s just a case of using the disadvantages to your advantage, like when they face off against the tigers, I would get them over snowy or muddy ground where they would get struck and break down, which was a common problem for tiger crews in Russia and some parts of France when it was wet and snowy.

        • lvlln says:

          Well, looks like the student council team will be even more effective then. I hope Miyafu- I mean Anzu gets a chance to shine again, finding ways to make up for the firepower disadvantage.

          • PanzerJäger says:

            Yeah, Anzu seems to have the knack of firing on the move in just the right spot. And it’s great that Miyafuji’s voice actor is staring in this anime, adds a touch that can’t be beaten. I’m actually hoping for a 3rd season of strike witches, see what aircraft they use next. It should be noted that the J7W that Miyafuji uses had a strong right pull due to the rotational torque due to the propeller spinning. It was never resolved and would have been when the jet engine would have been fitted. Enough of that more tank talk! I wanna see the Crusader that was present on St. Glorinana’s flight deck at the end of the 3rd ep!

    • PanzerJäger says:

      Can you believe it Hanno!? You finally got your Hertzer in the show! I got to see the upturned panzer IV with its armour skirts and also the Jagdpanther operated by Black Forest! This show just reached a whole new level! Too bad they didn’t turn the Porsche tiger into a Ferdinand td, that would have given them an excellent long range td. Now all we need to see is the insanely powerful Nashorn td. This thing is the only ever tank credited with destroying a Persihing. Also I was just recently in France, and I saw a real Hertzer parked outside a museum. Wanted to steal to bad.

      • HannoX says:

        I was also thinking they needed to have a Ferdinand. Now, if they’ll just use the Hetzer to ambush Black Forest (and take out the flag tank!) I’ll be delirious.

        • PanzerJäger says:

          Hahaha yeah! Use the low profile Hertzer on a stand alone mission to take the flag panzer! I suppose they won’t use a Ferdinand as Black Forest has one, but it doesn’t matter, I’m just so happy I got to see the Jagdpanther in action. It’s regarded as one of the best tanks of middle era design. It will be interesting to see how they use their Porsche tiger and also the terrain advantage they will have in the snow and mud.

          • HannoX says:

            The best thing about the Hetzer taking out Black Forest’s flag tank is that it will mean the student council fired the shot that saved the school they love so much.

  7. KLACMAN says:

    this series quite the show stealer give wait til march madness for remain 2eps?

    wonder more delay on wonder make it more YES to point all this delay will reveal a s2 of it?

  8. xxxoooxxx says:

    And the Anzio team, about which we know virtually nothing, got double-shafted, first with their match in the 7th episode, and now in this one. It seems odd and perhaps needlessly completionist that they were in the show at all; Girls und Panzer would be a better show if they had been cut altogether.

    I’ll just point out that the Italians are more prominent in the manga. The Saunders school was the one that got shafted in that version. You could say that this is a marketing tactic so fans will buy both media (anime and manga) to get the full experience.

    • lvlln says:

      Yes, I can see what they’re doing, and it’s annoying. One way the show could make up for it and more would be by having one of the OVAs just be that missing battle. The 1st one was just a fanservice episode.

  9. HannoX says:

    Just read that a sequel to Girls und Panzer is tentatively planned. Also, first BD sold just over 13,500 copies its first week in Japan, placing it at #3 for the week. Anyone know how those sales figures stack up? Is that pretty good? Continuing good sales for the BDs will mean a sequel for sure.

    • lvlln says:

      13,500 is excellent for an otaku anime. Not groundbreaking, since the best-selling ones hit 60,000 per volume, but only shows named Bakemonogatari and Madoka have ever hit that, at least among late night otaku shows. But not many shows actually make it past a few thousand per volume. Check out this list for a rough guide. 13.5k is actually right in line with how much Strike Witches sold, which did get a sequel, so there is reason to have hope.

      • HannoX says:

        And this number is only for the 1st week. If this is an example of how the others will do, then we can expect a sequel.

        • lvlln says:

          Keep in mind that, historically, anime sales don’t have fat tails. The first week likely accounts for at least 80% of all total sales.

          • HannoX says:

            True, but even a 1,000 more in sales can only help.

            • Cytrus says:

              Garupan was actually completely sold out in most places on its initial sale date, making further sales more or less impossible until late January, where we should see one more jump in the numbers. They didn’t expect the show to succeed that much, so they didn’t prepare enough discs. Under normal circumstances, the first week is indeed 80%+ of the total sales, and enough information to rank shows.

      • PanzerJäger says:

        So Ivlin do you know when this anime will recommence it’s airings? Even a guesstimation would be helpful as I would like to see more out of this anime. The best idea I have is late January possibly early February.

        • HannoX says:

          It’s been announced that it will be March, but I don’t know of any set dates yet.

          • PanzerJäger says:

            Really, that late? Ah well so long as it continues I’m happy. Hey Hanno, did you see that Jagdtiger in ep 10? That’s going to be a hard sucker to knock out! It will be interesting to see.

  10. […] Eri Kitamura said in Engrish, all’s fair in love and war. If you recall, episode 10 ended with the tournament final starting between our heroines of Oarai Academy and our […]

Leave a Reply