Girls und Panzer Episode 12 [Final]: A Battle Without Retreat!
“This is our final move.”
Ooarai’s remaining tanks do battle with the Maus, managing to disable and defeat it at the cost of Anzu’s Turtle team. As Black Forest Peak’s other tanks catch up, Ooarai employ a series of urban warfare tactics, taking advantage of the many narrow spaces to confuse the enemy. Meanwhile, both flag tanks end up encountering each other in a closed compound area, with Miho and Maho finally engaging in battle at last.
“How is that massive thing a mouse?!”
I’m sure Sodoko was very happy at what eventually became of the Maus – which was, to be fair, an obstacle that Ooarai had to bypass if they were going to have any shot at winning. The Maus wasn’t as slow as I thought, and could follow them around at a decent speed, meaning that Ooarai’s best chances of beating it was when they had the advantage in numbers, i.e. when there weren’t any Erika-led Tigers or Jagdtigers hunting them down too. After the over-confident Panzer III was taken out (ha, ha, ha) it really was hilarious seeing Anzu’s Turtle team so casually ram straight into the Maus, and somehow manage to elevate it up while another tank blocked its gun barrel from rotating. After all the trouble its given Ooarai, it was satisfying watching Hana happily aim at the Maus and take it out without any fear of getting shot back. Katyusha was definitely very impressed ^_^
Going into urban territory and using tactics of urban warfare turned out to be a really good idea – in a flat, open area it’d be beneficial to have many tanks like Black Forest Peak does, yet in narrow spaces that works against them. Speed and size become even more important, like when Miho was being chased by a couple of large tanks – all the other Black Forest Peak tanks behind the first one couldn’t even see past it, because it’s width took up the entire road space. Faster tanks are able to get behind heavy ones easily by driving round a square, which is how the Elefant ended up losing to Ooarai’s M3. And meanwhile, the Rabbit team manage to take out the Jagdtiger by having it fall off a cliff in exchange for getting shot down themselves. Black Forest Peak may have high-grade tanks that are stronger, newer and better – but that doesn’t automatically make it a good thing.
I think the final battle was everything it should have been – a one-on-one battle directly with Maho, no interferences allowed. Ooarai have already succeeded beyond expectations for managing to survive Black Forest Peak’s onslaught up until now, managing to take out a good chunk of their tanks while having less than half of their starting total. Miho vs Maho seems like the best way to end it – a direct confrontation between the two commanders, providing both a sense of closure for Miho as well as both schools presenting the best they have to offer. And their battle was certainly an expert display of manoeuvring, from blowing up paths and restricting movement to shooting at each other from opposite sides of the building walls. I did consider the possibility that there would be a trap waiting behind one of the turns that would have taken out Miho’s Panzer IV, but really, that would just be cowardly for a shot that will decide the entire match. Miho’s decision to risk everything on one final stand is a much more intense way of doing things, and there was a minute where I genuinely thought that Ooarai would lose – but sometimes the most simple of moves can be pulled off most effectively, and this is a good example of that. Also, LMAO Erika spent ages trying to get through the Porsche Tiger, which withstood all their attacks for ages, then still refused to move once they were taken out. Couldn’t have done it without you, guys xD
“I admit utter defeat.”
So Ooarai won, and it was well deserved! They overcame all odds and truly pulled off a spectacular victory. Even Miho’s mother agrees – but more importantly, so does Maho. Her accepting defeat graciously and recognizing Miho as a formidable opponent (though she secretly never underestimated her) means a lot, and you could see their relationship start to repair itself as they spoke. Miho’s found her own Panzerfahren, and although it’s different from Maho’s, it’s one that she can accept, and one that Black Forest Peak can look forward to the next time they battle. I love how Ooarai has this habit of befriending anyone they beat – from Saunders to Pravda, it looks like even Erika’s stopped antagonizing Ooarai now that they’ve beaten Maho. And so Ooarai head home triumphant, with their school saved and a national title gained. It’s a wonderful ending.
Much speculation over the whole delay revolved around the idea that there would be a Season 2 – and I would very much like one in the near future. I don’t know where they’d go from here now that this year’s Nationals are over, though I’m sure Panzerfahren life has more to it than just yearly championships. And if Freezing can get a sequel, then this can too. Although Freezing is awesome too xD An announcement was made about an S2, but it was withdrawn later…so the notion isn’t too far-fetched especially with Garupan’s popularity in Japan.
With this we have arrived at the end of our Girls und Panzer journey – 3 months late, but better later than never. I have to wonder what they changed during those 3 months, and how much would have been different had they gone ahead with what they had originally – but I’m satisfied with the ending, so there’s no need to look this gift horse in the mouth. Anyway, I feel that Girls und Panzer is a strange series…it’s underrated and written off as a niche show by many fans, yet when you actually try it out you realize the show’s got more substance than simply displaying high school girls driving around in tanks. It’s like saying Tsuritama is about guys who go fishing. It is, but it’s so much more at the same time and shouldn’t be discarded at face value. I will admit that at first, I thought it would be funny to blog something like this and thus picked it up – but I’m glad I chose to. From its detailed artwork and extensive portrayal of tanks to a funny, compelling and exciting story, I can honestly say that it’s one of the most enjoyable shows I’ve watched in a long time. It may not be a work of intellectual brilliance like Shin Sekai Yori was, but it’s fun! And sometimes, that’s what matters the most.
“Say something, Commander!”