Girls und Panzer, combining art of war with moe in one package

Girls und Panzer was aired from October 9, 2012 to March 25, 2013. The total number of episode is 14, with 12 episodes of main story and 2 recap episodes. Due to production delay, the 2 final episodes was aired in March 18 and March 25 2013. In addition, there are one OVA released in July 5, 2014. Other than that, we also got a movie released later in 2015. This post only covers my thoughts for the TV series and OVA.

GuP - Screenshot 1 GuP - Screenshot 2

The story takes place in alternate universe where Tanks used as sports competition. So, the story is not about war but about sports competition. Back then, I was reluctant to watch this anime because I mistook the story as a war story. Fortunately, it is not. It’s quite lightweight, entertaining, and inspiring. The sports where people (specifically, girls) compete with their tanks is called Sensha-dou, literally means “The Way of the Tank”. The story will follow the activities of girls in Ooarai Female High School with Nishizumi Miho as the lead character. Miho is not alone of course. There are so many characters in this anime.

GuP - Chara All 2

In the story, we will see how Miho adapts to many different situations where the conditions don’t favor her or her team. But she shows her capability to adapt and analyze the situations quickly and make decision to turn the tide back. She is a very smart girl with superior combat ability. The team on Miho’s tank is Takebe Saori, Isuzu Hana, Akiyama Yukari, and Reizei Mako. Other than 5 of them, there are so many more female characters. The story itself will follow the journey of Ooarai Female High School in tank competition.

GuP - Screenshot 5

The animation is very superior. It uses 3D anime shader for the tanks and plain 2D for the characters and environment. Although I mentioned plain 2D, the animation quality is not plain at all. The quality is excellent, more than just what I can call very good. However, sometimes I see that the movement when we see from tank point of view feels a little bit choppy. But I can easily forgive that.

GuP - Screenshot 7GuP - Screenshot 6

The music part is excellent and the sound effect is probably second to none until now. I really pay attention to the sound of tank engine, the movement when the road is not smooth, the sound of the cannon and machine gun. Everything is so excellent and I have never heard something as excellent as this before. The theme songs are also very nice. The opening theme is DreamRiser by ChouCho. A very nice song that fits the opening animation and the concept of the story in this anime. The ending theme is ENTER ENTER MISSION by Fuchigami Mai, Kayano Ai, Ozaki Mami, Nakagami Ikumi, and Iguchi Yuka. The ending theme is very fun to listen. I am very addicted to this song. It’s been quite sometimes since I became addicted to a song as much as this one.

GuP - Ankou Team GuP - Kame-san TeamGuP - Ahiru-san Team  GuP - Kaba Team GuP - Usagi-san Team

Moving to the character part, I found out the character design is Shimada Humikane, the one behind Strike Witches and Skygirls. I really like his artwork, but the characters in the anime is not design by him. The one who designed the character in the anime is Sugimoto Isao and really like his artwork as well in this anime. Since there are too many (minor) characters in this anime, I won’t go deeply to all of them. Just the 5 main characters and 3 supporting characters that have more affection in this anime.

Main Characters

GuP - MihoGuP - Fuchigami Mai
Nishizumi Miho, voiced by Fuchigami Mai. Voice Acting Score : 10
The lead character. The leader of Ankou Team and commander of Ooarai Female High School. She is very smart and can adapt to the situations quickly. She is the only one who has experience in Sensha-dou in Ooarai Female High School. Actually, she moved to Ooarai Female High School to avoid Sensha-dou, but the situations forced her to show his talent again in Sensha-dou. The first time I listen Fuchigami Mai’s voice is in this anime. I check Maimai list of roles before and found out that this anime is also the first time she voiced main (lead) character. I am very impressed with her voice acting. Not in the level where I was impressed with Suzaki Aya’s voice acting Tamako Market but quite close. It really fits Miho’s personality in an outstanding way.

GuP - SaoriGuP - Kayano Ai
Takebe Saori, voiced by Kayano Ai. Voice Acting Score : 9
The radio operator of Ankou Team. Saori is one of the two first friends of Miho in Ooarai Female High School. Saori is a cute girl who obsessed with a good looking man. She likes to talk and probably that is the reason she choose the position of radio operator. About the voice actress, I have listened to Kayanon’s voice acting in several other anime. Although she can handle different role with different type of voice, this is the first role where I feel her voice acting sounds impressive. Saori has a cute appearance and personality. Personally I like Saori more than the others. That is partly thanks to Kayanon’s voice acting that makes my impression of the character gets stronger.

GuP - HanaGuP - Ozaki Mami
Isuzu Hana, voiced by Ozaki Mami. Voice Acting Score : 9
The gunner of Ankou Team. Hana is a gentle girl. She always speaks softly, politely, and kindly. Just like Saori, Hana is one of the first friends of Miho in Ooarai Female High School. Hana comes from the family that practice the art of flower arrangement which suits her gentle personality. About the voice actress, to be honest, I don’t know anything about Ozaki Mami. It seems she mainly voiced character in eroge. However, she also did very impressive just like the other voice actress. The way she speaks really fits her role as a gentle and kindhearted girl. Voicing this kind of character can be very challenging after all. But she did flawlessly.

GuP - YukariGuP - Nakagami Ikumi
Akiyama Yukari, voiced by Nakagami Ikumi. Voice Acting Score : 8
The loader of Ankou Team. Yukari is no ordinary girl. She is a tank nerd. Her knowledge about tanks surpasses other characters, including Miho. Personally, I found her knowledge of tank is kinda similar to my knowledge of computer. Know what’s inside and what’s good for it. But don’t know how to operate it effectively. She was following Miho quitely until Miho noticed her and ask her to join Miho’s team. The name of Yukari’s voice actress, Nakagami Ikumi doesn’t sound familiar to me. And after I checked, the only role of her I know is Mizusawa Io on WHITE ALBUM 2. Nevertheless, she did very good as Yukari. While I think she is not as impressive as the other voice actresses, she still did her job nicely.

GuP - MakoGuP - Iguchi Yuka
Reizei Mako, voiced by Iguchi Yuka. Voice Acting Score : 8
The driver of Ankou Team. Mako is also no ordinary girl. She is very smart and able to learn new things quickly. However, she has low blood pressure that makes her physical condition less fit than normal girls. Mako is Saori’s childhood friend. Miho met Mako for the first time in her way to the school. Mako was sleepy and powerless and Miho decided to help her walk to the school. Iguchi Yuka’s voice is already quite familiar to me. But this is the first time I heard her voicing this kind of character. She did very good as Mako just as good as in her roles.

Supporting Characters
GuP - Kame-san Team 2
Kadotani Anzu, voiced by Fukuen Misato. Voice Acting Score : 8
The student council president and the commander of Kame Team. She is a manipulative, childish, and easy-going character. Fukuen Misato’s voice is different than her usual. I didn’t notice that she was voiced by Fukuen Misato until I saw the ending credit. Moreover, she can fits her role nicely here.

Kawashima Momo, voiced by Ueda Kana. Voice Acting Score : 9
The Public Relation Representative and the gunner of Kame Team. She is looks like calm girl but actually a hot-blooded one. She gets angry easily and her aiming skill is terrible. Ueda Kana also surprised me here. I didn’t expect Ueda Kana to voiced a hot-blooded character but she gets the job done impressively.

Koyama Yuzu, voiced by Takahashi Mikako. Voice Acting Score : 8
The student council vice-president and the driver of Kame Team. She looks to be the only kind-hearted girl in student council. I already know Takahashi Mikako’s voice and Yuzu is no expection. Yuzu sounds just like the normal way Takahashi Mikako speaks in her radio show but her voice still fits Yuzu’s character nicely.

GuP - Screenshot 4

Final Thoughts
I have never seen anime as excellent as this one. While the story is not the best I’ve seen, it is still in excellent category. The way Miho’s act is backed with logic and I really like it. The image quality is excellent. Combination of 3D anime shader and 2D is beyond very good. The sound effect is so amazing that makes me really pay attention to the sound in this anime. The music are superb as well and built the atmosphere excellently. The character design is so cute, cool, or beautiful depend on the characters. I really like the character design more than other anime(s). The voice acting is also excellent most of the time. Overall, this anime almost lacks in nothing except the existence of male characters.

GuP - Chara All

Story 9
Character Design 9
Visual 9
Sounds & Music 10
Characters 10
Voice Acting 9
Overall 9
Rated as Outstanding
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