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Inspiration Viewing – Girls und Panzer

10 March, 2014

Girls und Panzer!So, because I simply could not resist, I purchased the Girls und Panzer: TV Collection [Blu-ray] and it was everything I had hoped it would be and more.  At its core, Girls und Panzer is a sports anime, a traditional genre of anime where a group of misfits come together and through hard word, team spirit and luck, manage to do well.  The hook here is that the sport is Sensha-do (the Way of the Tank) which involves all girls teams (as Sensha-do is designed to refine the qualities of young women -no really-) competing in World War Two-era tanks in elaborate matches.

The characters are engaging and cute, with almost no fan service, and the main characters given considerable depth surprising given the short length of the series (12-episodes) and how much of that is devoted to the Sensha-do matches.  The tank animation is occasionally obviously CGI but overall is quite fun and covers a variety of models (including some that were just prototypes or otherwise never saw combat) from most of the major nations that fielded tanks during the Second World War.

There are challenges, tactical choices and heroism, all the hallmark of warfare without the injury and blood (though the tanks get pretty messed up).  As such Sensho-do is a good model for conflict within a story (or game) without the losers being destroyed, indeed friendships are formed because our main characters are good sports and spirited competitors.   It would be fun to try a sport anime styled campaign with this as a model, perhaps with a scrappy dungeon exploration or magic team.

Highly recommended if any of the above appeals to your sense of fun.  (More information on Girls und Panzer from Wikipedia if you are interested.)

There is also a set of shorts that give a bit more information on the secondary characters involved, and actually has one episode that contains all of the fan service you are getting out of this series, and a bit more information on the ‘school ships’ which is pretty fascinating.  (OK, there is also the full goosefish song and dance which is a little fan-servicey.)  There is some fun stuff here but it is mostly fluff and probably only worth the price tag for Girls und Panzer completist (which I supose I must be as I have a copy *sigh*).  Girls und Panzer OVA Specials [Blu-ray].

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