Girls und Panzer Episode 10: Black Forest Peak
“I will smash your heresy.”
After managing to secure a victory against Pravda, Ooarai return to their warship and decide to modify and boost the tanks they currently have, finding two new tanks in the process and adding team members to the Panzerfahren class. The finals of the tournament start, with Miho’s old school Black Forest Peak proving their superiority and taking out an Ooarai tank easily, leaving everyone in a predicament.
Well, they won! It wouldn’t have been much of a lead up to the series finale if Ooarai ended up losing to Pravda, but there was still that element of suspense there, as both flag tanks were hit nearly simultaneously after all. Ooarai’s hidden tank under the snow managed to pull off a critical hit at a much closer range, which is why their chances of taking out the opponent’s flag tank were higher. It’s nice to see that despite being a bit of an arrogant little girl to begin with, Katyusha knew when to accept her defeat as well as recognize the skill that Ooarai have, even though she was slightly tsundere over the whole issue. Maho is also not underestimating either Ooarai or Miho’s skill at adapting to the situation at hand – she will take nothing for granted and aim to dispatch Ooarai easily, as she recognizes them as a threat unlike her mother.
I think Ooarai picked up a couple more tanks this episode – one driven by the automobile team, and the other by the group of online tank nerds that I’m surprised didn’t kick it off with Yukari immediately. There were also ventures towards modding and boosting the various tanks they have right now, including converting the Anko team’s tank from a Panzer IV to a Panzer IV Special. Even so, I can’t help but feel that this ragtag group of tanks are already at a heavy disadvantage against the 20 tanks Black Forest Peak will no doubt be using, with a fair number of them being Tigers – heavy German tanks that can dish out a lot of damage. The strength in power and numbers is already overwhelming, then you add in the fact that this is the Nishizumi school you’re going up against and Ooarai are clearly fighting against the odds.
In the run up to the final battle, there were some loose ends that ended up being patched one way or another, including a girl from Black Forest Peak that came up to Miho and thanked her for saving their tank, throwing away any chances of a victory against Pravda to save her teammates. It just goes to show that not everyone in the Nishizumi school is as cold and bitchy as both Miho’s mother and that second-in-command (while conversely I’m growing towards Maho as a person now), who seemed to be very intent on smashing the heresy that is Miho – perhaps it might be heresy towards the Nishizumi name and its values, but personally I’m not too sure that victory and striving to achieve only victory is the singular value one should aim for in taking up Panzerfahren. Sure, their strict methods are a likely factor of success, but as we’ve seen with Ooarai, there’s more to Panzerfahren than just simply winning. We saw a conclusion with Hana’s mother as well – she actually decides to support her daughter’s choice in taking up Panzerfahren, instead of condemning her like we initially thought she would. Everything just feels like it’s ending – from the team gatherings at Ooarai as they do random things, to all their past opponents coming to watch this final climax. Except we won’t get this final climax any time soon.
You see, the last two episodes (11 and 12) are being delayed for some unknown reason until March, which is far too long in my opinion. Basically, they’re doing what they did with E7 AO and Madoka Magica, though those were two massive titles and received a lot of hype, which is not something Girls und Panzer generally has. I do think this show is severely underrated and passed off as something stupid though. The worst thing about this probably is that we got a teaser of the very start of the match – with Black Forest Peak proving themselves to be a massive powerhouse straight away and taking out (if only by accident) one of Ooarai’s tanks. I don’t know whether I can stand the suspense for 3 months…though I suppose I’ll have Vividred Operation to tide me over till then. Panzer vor!