Girls und Panzer Episode 1 [First Impression]: I’ll Take Up Panzerfahren!
Seriously, where would I be without my obligatory all-girl cast show?
Nishizumi Miho comes from a family well-versed in the art of sensha-do, however due to a past incident she prefers not to have anything to do with it and enrolls in a school not offering Panzerfahren. However with the world championship looming over Japan, the school restarts their Panzer courses and Miho is immediately scouted to join, to her chagrin.
First of all – [Commie], I see what you did there. Actually, I saw what you did throughout the entire episode, and if I didn’t take German classes a couple of years ago, I would have been as confused as hell. I mean, true the title is partly in German (und Panzer = and tanks), so I was expecting a few phrases here and there but it was hilarious to see every few words translated into German as if they were all legit. Not quite a set of trollsubs, but still pretty entertaining nevertheless.
What they’re referring to as “Panzerfahren” would literally translate to “tank-doing” I suppose, but in this context tank-driving or tank-operating would be more appropriate. It’s certainly an…unusual setting, anyway. Putting aside the fact that the entire city is literally on the back of a giant ship, it’s pretty strange to have girls traditionally drive tanks as a rite into adulthood and maturity. I mean, for shows like Strike Witches (which was admittedly the only reason I decided to watch this) you have the plot point of magic powers and those powers being used to operate Striker Units to defeat an alien enemy, which is why teenage girls were conscripted into the military in the first place. While this isn’t exactly military-based, driving tanks just don’t seem to be something women usually take up, let alone teenage girls. Oh well, I’ll assume that’s the norm for now and leave it at that. How it implements into their real life (i.e. whether some girls go on to drive tanks as a military profession) is unknown, though I don’t think it’s as drastic as that.
They have to get off their boat-island in the first place. I actually have no in-depth knowledge of tanks other than the fact that they blow stuff up, so perhaps this show can actually teach me something, like how Strike Witches had WWII easter eggs for literally everything.
Our protagonist, Nishizumi Miho, is a girl who is conveniently afraid of Panzer, and went to a school specifically to avoid the possibility of taking up Panzerfahren – probably because of a past traumatic incident that resulted in an injury of some sort. I love her quieter attitude to things and worries with being at a new school – these things happen in real life, but aren’t usually expressed on at all because characters either are already best friends, or their best friends-to-be turn up and help you pick up a piece of stationery you dropped. Miho isn’t the most extravagant MC, but she’s cute enough and likeable enough, which is what matters in this kind of show.
Girls und Panzer has an all-girl cast, which isn’t something I have yet on my watch list for this season. However apart from Miho, none of the other girls really stood out to me that much apart from the Student Council President, who here is a Shirai Kuroko-type girl, except flanked with two bodyguards and being rather demanding towards Miho and her involvement in the Panzerfahren. Though rather bitchy, I can understand that in a school full of newbies, finding an experienced girl whose family has a Panzer tradition is a catch that’s hard to let go of.
I confess – I mentioned Strike Witches earlier, and yes, I turned up for the fanservice. I’m sorry. But hey, I was actually pleasantly surprised, because it wasn’t a bad show. There are clearly no shortage of pants in the Girls und Panzer world, nor is there any need of not-so-subtle white censor bars apart from perhaps a future beach or hot springs episode, which I will look forward to in earnest. Yuri undertones is another thing - there may not have been first episode kisses like with some shoujo series this season, but an indirect kiss will have to do for now. It’s all very cutesy and moe too, which is also another thing I turned up for. In exchange for the expected fanservice we have a semblance of plot, and perhaps it’ll turn out to be something like Sora no Woto, though I don’t expect it to have the same bittersweet tone that show had. The whole genre of military girls seem to be having some kind of effect on me, and I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing. I don’t know how this show will turn out either, but I was happy enough with this opening ep and will be happy enough to stick along for the ride.
Possibility of Watching: High
Possibility of Blogging: Very Likely