Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 9, 2012 to Mar 25, 2013
24 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.811 (scored by 16419 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisYou may have heard of kung fu, but the girls at Oarai High School practice gun-fu—really, really BIG 75mm gun-fu, in fact. It's called Sensha-do, and it's the martial art of operating armored tanks! They take it seriously too, and since winning the national Sensha-do championship is such a huge deal at Oarai, they sometimes go to extreme ends in order to get the best students from Panzer class to sign up. Which is how Miho Nishizumi, who HATES operating tanks, gets drafted to join doomsday-driven driver Mako, even-triggered gunner Hana, highly receptive radio operator Saori and combustible tank-fangirl and loader Yukari as the incomparable Anko Team. They may not be on the half-track to fame and fortune, and maybe a few of them would rather shop for tank tops than become tops in tanks, but once their focus is locked and loaded, they're absolutely driven.
(Source: Sentai Filmworks)
Related AnimeAdaptation: Girls und Panzer
Side story: Girls und Panzer Specials, Girls und Panzer: Kore ga Hontou no Anzio-sen Desu!
Summary: Girls und Panzer: Shoukai Shimasu!
Other: Girls und Panzer: Fushou - Akiyama Yukari no Sensha Kouza
Sequel: Girls und Panzer Movie
Characters & Voice Actors
There’s a reasonably well-justified tendency among anime fans to hastily dismiss the potential merit of any permutation of the whole “cute girls doing cute things” motif that’s so nauseatingly ubiquitous in modern anime. In recent times, we’ve had a spate of these lusterless shows - whether it be “cute girls climbing mountains!” or “cute girls that are actually anthropomorphic guns or something!” - and the results are nigh-invariably uninspired dreck that’s not worthy of anyone’s time. With this in mind, it’s only natural to approach the simple premise of “cute girls driving tanks” with caution. It is against all odds, then, that Girls und Panzer manages to not only be worthwhile, but also one of the most consistently entertaining shows in recent memory.
Girls und Panzer’s story is a simple one. Schools from around the world compete in a sport called Sensha-do, or “way of the tank.” In this universe, "tankery," as it is colloquially known, is seen as a dignified martial art that helps girls hone their grace and femininity. Miho Nishizumi, the protagonist of this story, was a very capable captain of Sensha-do in her previous school, but due to a traumatic experience in the semi-finals of the previous Sensha-do tournament, she distanced herself from the sport by transferring to a school that doesn’t participate in the Sensha-do, Ōarai Academy. Unfortunately, her new school takes up Sensha-do soon after her arrival. Even more unfortunate is that the school council is aware of her accomplished past as a commander and coerce Miho into being the captain of this newly established Sensha-do unit. While the sheer implausibility and silliness of this premise can be seen as the show’s greatest detriment, it is simply a plot device necessary to get the girls into some tank battles, which is definitely where this show shines brightest.
The tank battles, simply put, are amazing. Takaaki Suzuki, the military adviser for Girls und Panzer, shows a great understanding of the ins and outs of tankery. As the rules specify, each tank needs to be of World War 2 vintage or older. These tanks are presented with great accuracy and attention to detail, each one having their strengths and weaknesses based on their real life counterparts. The battles themselves are often loosely based on real historical battles, generally involving Ōarai playing the underdog, and each one taking place at various unique environments. The many distinct and varied locations coupled with the accurate depiction of each tank lends itself well to some genuinely engaging strategies, both from Ōarai and their opponents, and are genuinely exciting to watch. As these battles are loosely based off historic events, many of Ōarai's schemes mirror well-known strategic maneuvers and consequently remain both entertaining and satisfying to witness unfold.
With that said, this is hardly a serious anime about battling tanks; the excitement incited during these battles is enhanced twofold by how infectiously silly and fun the different girl's personalities are. In stark contrast to their competition, the girls of Ōarai Academy are a convivial bunch. They paint their tanks pink, do an embarrassing dance to improve morale, and cherish friendship over winning the match. Cheesy, right? Well, it is, but the show embraces this cheesiness in a way that makes it feel genuine and endearing. What makes Girls und Panzer’s comedy so special is that it’s never afraid to laugh at itself and how preposterous its premise is. Each tank on Ōarai’s side has a team of operators amusingly framed around their unique clique. For example, one team is composed of gamers who approach Sensha-do in a similar way that one approaches a video game. Another team consists of history buffs who romanticize past historical battles and leaders, attempting to emulate them with their hilariously over-the-top antics. Ōarai’s opponents are similarly depicted as caricatures of their respective nations, such as the British team being refined in composure and perpetually drinking tea during the match, or the cocky American team that stoops to utilizing underhanded tactics. The battles contain a fair share of unorthodox stratagems that contribute to this pervasive sense of fun as well. Even when the girls of Ōarai are up against seemingly insurmountable odds, the show never loses touch of its deft sense of humor.
But Girls und Panzer isn’t all fun and tankery. During the time spent away from Sensha-do, the show does attempt to have a few more serious plot lines, which generally yields poor results. The show spends an inordinately long time attempting to set up its admittedly silly plot in a comparatively serious way, and falls flat on its face in doing so. Thankfully, this is only an issue for the first episode and a half, as the show picks up steam once it gets to the Sensha-do tournaments and generally takes itself less seriously. Due to the massive size of the cast, minor conflicts are dismissed almost as soon as they’re introduced. For instance, one minor arc involves a character who gave up the family business of arranging flowers to take up Sensha-do. This is met with harsh disapproval from her family, but is soon after entirely dismissed after her parents watch one of her matches. There isn’t any character development as the result of this, and the parent characters are never seen again in any meaningful context. It only serves as a shallow feel-good moment that slows down the momentum of the show. Most characters, while entertaining enough in the context of the group, are relatively two-bit and characterized solely by their unique quirk when looked at on their own merits. Miho is the only character to receive any real development, and even that plays out in a fairly predictable manner. However, these breaks from tankery only compose a very small fraction of the show. Most of Girls und Panzer’s episodes are dedicated to their engaging tank battles and, provided one is enjoying the ride, it becomes possible to overlook their fleeting, minor flaws in storytelling.
The animation and soundtrack are generally excellent and complement each other appropriately. The soundtrack marches with militaristic tunes that fit well with the action taking place on screen while the tanks are rendered using very detailed CG that looks great in motion. Unfortunately, some of the CG environments during the battles aren’t as well-realized as the tanks are, often appearing flat with repetitive textures. This is most apparent during the earlier episodes, where it’s clear that the production staff had a limited budget; CG heavy scenes are marred by a poor frame rate and the environments are at their worst. Fortunately, this is remedied as the show goes on and, by its final episodes, the show is an absolute delight to look at.
In the end, Girls und Panzer won’t make you re-evaluate the way you view anime or present you with a profound take on life, but what it does do is present a thoroughly entertaining and refreshing variation on the whole “cute girls doing cute things" theme. Despite its flaws, Girls und Panzer’s infectious silliness and engaging battle scenarios should have any viewer plastered with a permanent grin on their face, screaming “Panzer Vor!” for the duration of any given episode. It’s a simple pleasure, but one well worth the time. read more
Something that I have discovered whilst watching Girls Und Panzer is that trying to convince people that it is genuinely a fantastic show is nigh on impossible. I don't blame them, if someone had told me before I watched it that I'd be rating it an 8 and calling it a highlight of the year then I would have greeted them with a doubting look, wondering whether they were joking or whether they just had bad taste.
It's obvious why there's so much doubt, it's the premise. Cute girls driving tanks immediately brings up memories of shows of "cute girls doing cute things" or of "Cute girls doing [insert unusual activity here]", both have which rarely produce anything other than mediocrity at best. With this overwhelming abundance of poor shows, the ability to believe that Girls Und Panzer could be anything other is incredibly difficult.
Believe me though, Girls und Panzer is really the diamond in the rough.
The natural question here is what sets it apart from the rest? To put it simply, it is its comedy, its earnestness, its action, but above all its execution.
Girls und Panzer is a show with a ridiculous premise and setting, the show acknowledges this and embraces it to deliver great comedy. No matter how ridiculous the happenings or plot points, like friendly tank battles being held in town centres, or a man thinking it's good luck that a tank crushed his shop, it plays it straight and just lets you enjoy it, without it pointing the joke out to make sure you got it. It mocks clichés by putting them into stupid contexts and then blowing them completely out of proportion. There will always be something there to make you laugh, the humour of the show is very consistent, and though it's not the biggest draw of the show, it's what helps to make the show so enjoyable.
The characters are incredibly likable and work perfectly within the context of the show. There are a large number of characters, but every single one, whether it be someone on the Panzer squad or someone on the opposing team, will bring a smile to your face at some point. These aren't deep characters, but they don't need to be, they often have stupid and ridiculous traits, but that's the point, whether it be the girl who also sits on her lieutenants shoulders to put her above everyone because she's got a complex about being childlike, or the vice president who's usually calm and collected who goes crazy when she's battling in the tanks, they bring enjoyment by being so stupid.
The really surprising aspect about Girls und Panzer is how realistic yet still ridiculous the tank battles are. The people who choreographed the battles obviously knew the tanks involved inside out, providing startlingly realistic battles, all whilst the tanks are running around coloured bright pink or with Edo period flags. The battles are amazing in how much the intelligence of the realism and tactics conflicts with the bizarre and absurd nature of events. You will be entertained, and there is sometime genuine tension in the battles, especially the later ones. The animation of the battles improves greatly as the series progresses, in earlier episodes the CGI looks awkward, but by the end it's much better and used very well with solid animation, providing fast exciting action. The camera angles are done very well, particularly in the last showdown where I can only say they were perfectly done.
The animation as a whole started off fairly average, but as the episode count increases it's obvious that the budget increased significantly, by the end the animation was excellent, it's visually appealing and there are no mistakes or off model characters. The soundtrack was strong on the whole, with some great military marches and themes that really added to the scenes and battles. The voice acting was strong, making sure to keep everything straight (and often hilariously over the top) so that the humour was conveyed correctly. The opening "Dream Riser" is an uplifting track which suits the series well, and the ending "ENTER ENTER Mission" is generic but rather catchy.
Overall, I'm not saying that Girls und Panzer is the best show out there, but it executes what it's trying to do flawlessly. The show plays everything so honestly and with such earnest that you cannot be cynical about it, but wish to enjoy the show like it wants you too. This show is really the height of entertainment, and during the weeks that I watched it, despite myself I grew to love the show more and more.
You may still be doubtful that Girls und Panzer is the brilliant show I'm painting it to be, but I whole heartedly recommend you go and give it a try, as it really is pure and enjoyable entertainment at its best. read more
Some of the main characters look, feel, and act similar. Also, in both shows, the main girl leads the team with her great skill. She also feels inferior to her mother and sister who lives separate from her. Her sister is very well known, and at the end of both series, the main character finally has the courage to face her sister. Also, both clubs are being resurrected by upperclassmen, and there are other members that are extremely talented as well.
If you like GuP, you'll adore Saki! And if you liked saki, you will appreciate, and probably love GuP as well :)
Both protagonists are drawn back into an activity she had come to dislike while growing up, finding new friends and a renewed interest. Both look up to their older sisters but do not have a good relationship with them.
1. FMC (Saki, Miho) is genius at said activities, but refused to do it first due to dramatic past that has something to do with water.
2. Their girl friend (Nodoka, Yukari) is a fan of said club activities.
3. Both have 'estranged' older sister (Teru, Maho).
4. There were similarty between Saki's chars and GuP chars.
Both leads in these two animes hated their 'respective roles in which they had alot of potential for, they had exceptional skill yet they refuse to take on that role because they both went through traumatic events of it in their past(s).
Both are battle anime featuring groups of girls competing to be the best in the nation.
Tanks with Girls und Panzer and Mahjong with Saki.
The main protagonist's rival is her own older sister who is more experienced in the craft. A member of the group is obsessed with tanks/mahjong. I'm sure there are other parallels but basically Girls und Panzer is Saki with tanks.
Tanks not your thing? Saki is Girls und Panzer's mahjong equivalent. Not only is style and execution similar, they mirror each other in both plot and character.
Both series features a young group of girls together in an activity that they embrace and are skilled at.
Both series has a school life setting where there is comedy, drama, and competitions. These competitions puts the girls' skills at test against other competitors.
Friendship and strategies are involved in both series that allows the characters to stay one step ahead of their opponents.
Both series also features some nice soundtrack.
Similar premise. Main characters have same backstory.
Both MC a reluctant to play in something they're good at because of something that happened in the past. Saki- Mahjong, GuP- Panzers
Both the girls also have a somewhat strained relationship with their older sisters.
In both series, the club tries to reach nationals
Both are entertaining to watch with all the action, so have fun!
both protagonists are child protegees of their games. both have sisters that they look up to that are relatively famous for the games, but do not have a good relationship with because of an incident. both do not like the game at first because of their childhood, but are pulled into it and realize how fun it can be. both are a team aiming for the nationals to face their sisters. both are about how the team works together and their motivation. both have some yuri. only difference is that saki is mahjong and girls und panzer is panzer (tank martial arts)
- main characters really good at the sport they're playing
- have sister who are at the level of pros, and are on bad terms with them
- aim for national tourney with friends
- main characters are pretty much all girls
-Both are enjoyable to watch
Opening Theme"DreamRiser" by Choucho
Ending Theme"Enter Enter MISSION!" by Miho Nishizumi (Mai Fuchigami), Saori Takebe (Ai Kayano), Hana Isuzu (Mami Ozaki), Yukari Akiyama (Ikumi Nakagami), and Mako Reizei (Yuka Iguchi)
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