Review of Girls und Panzer der Film

girlsundpanzerderfilm

Good things come to those who wait. That saying rings especially true for the Girls und Panzer franchise. Given that I reviewed the anime way back in May 2014, there has been over a three-year gap between the UK release dates of the series and movie. Either the folks at MVM Entertainment were in no rush to capitalize on the show’s popularity or the Japanese licensors were once again playing hardball with selling off rights to the international markets. One can only imagine how much profit was lost to piracy due to the slow ass localisation. Now that the Blu-Ray is finally out I can reveal if the movie “tanked” or if it is a hit. Read on to find out.

OVERVIEW

Girls und Panzer der Film kicks off with a 2v2 match, which pits Oarai High and Chihatan Academy against the alliance of Pravda and St. Gloriana. It’s an action packed opener featuring a team who brazenly charge into battle and a squad of British infantry tanks, whose pilots stereotypically love to drink a good cuppa… even in the midst of combat! After the encounter the students of Oarai return home only to discover that their school has been shut down. It appears that the Ministry of Education have reneged on their promise to keep the institution open, on condition that the school triumph in the last Tankery tournament (which they did as chronicled in the series.) Going back on your word is heinous, but in the ministry’s defence you can’t blame them for wishing to cut down on costs. Maintaining a school based atop an aircraft carrier can’t be cheap.

All hope is not lost though. Oarai High’s student council president convinces the ministry’s bureaucrats to sign a legally binding contract that will force them to reverse the closure, should the school’s Tankery club manage to beat a university team in an exhibition match. Victory won’t be easy however, as Oarai’s opponents are led by a child prodigy who is fighting to secure funding for the refurbishment of her favourite teddy bear museum. To make matters worse the university team’s armoured core division outnumbers Oarai – thirty to eight. Not good, when you consider that the rules stipulate that you must eliminate all of your opponents in order to secure a win. Thankfully aid arrives from an unlikely source. All the rivals that Oarai bested in the series join our heroines’ cause and thanks to their inclusion in the Oarai ranks the stage is set for a fair 30v30 brawl.

VERDICT

My rating for Girls und Panzer der Film is a four out of five. I’m surprised by how much I enjoyed the movie, given how little story it has. Most of the two hour running time is made up of two lengthy battles, with only a smidgen of plot sandwiched in between. Usually when a motion picture goes overboard with action I begin to suffer from fight fatigue, but in the case of Girls und Panzer the time flew by. I think Girls und Panzer was consistently entertaining because the onscreen warfare wasn’t just an excuse for mindless explosions. Tactics play a key part in deciding how the skirmishes play out and everyone, from the huge cast, is given a moment to shine. Another thing that kept things fresh were the varied environments where the action was set. During the decisive match tanks traded fire on a rural hillside, a hedge maze and even atop a rollercoaster!

I am usually a vocal critic of CG in anime, but in the case of Girls und Panzer I must concede that the 3D visual effects enhanced the viewing experience. Although I am no expert on the subject, others sources have informed me that the animators did a good job of authentically recreating the look of the WII era tanks that feature in the movie. In terms of character moments, there isn’t much to write home about. What we get however does the job. The manner in which the student body reacted to their school’s closure succeeded in getting me to root for the heroines. I also appreciated the scene were protagonist Miho returns home. After being forced to compete against each other, in the series, I expected that there would be some friction between the Nishizumi siblings. It was sweet to see that I was mistaken and that their family bond remains strong.

Cute girls and armoured vehicles is a strange combination, but somehow Girls und Panzer makes it work. After enjoying both the series and movie I can’t wait to check out the upcoming six-part Girls und Panzer: The Final Chapter. Hopefully the UK won’t be made to wait too long for that release. What do you guys think of Girls und Panzer? Let me know in the comments section below. Until next time – “tank” you very much for reading. Panzer vor!

24 thoughts on “Review of Girls und Panzer der Film

  1. Another anime that I have yet to watch (yes, I am not even going to think of excuses anymore lol). Still, having just finished an animeseries, I am still debating over which one to watch now (besides the ones that I am currently watching). This is a series that I have clicked on quite a few times but for some reason never started on. Seeing your enjoyment for the film, I might finally give a go at the series. As always a great review, and I hope that the upcoming final chapter will be released very soon for you πŸ˜€

    • You haven’t watched this anime because your dog ate your homework… oh wait that excuse makes no sense! Glad to hear that this post has put Girls und Panzer on your “consideration to watch” list. Okay, enough typing. I need to check out that anime review you recently uploaded.

      • Haha lol…nope, that really made no sense, but it did make me laugh, which was also a good result πŸ˜‚
        Yeah, for some reason like I said I keep passing it up when browsing through Crunchyroll…so maybe this is a sign I need to start watching this one now 😊

  2. Even though some scenes during the battles were questionable regarding the realism, I simply just went with it and I still had a ton of fun with the mind-blowing moments like when Ooarai believed that tanks can fly.

    That can totally happen, right? πŸ˜›

    • People who know better have told me that the show is realistic in terms of the tank designs. Obviously the realism doesn’t extend to those gravity defying maneuvers haha πŸ™‚ I wasn’t expecting a 100% realistic experience though, given that the show features a battleship for a school and people drinking tea during a firefight hehe.

      • GuP definitely has a nice and enjoyable blend of realistic content like the tanks and the war songs, alongside the questionable aspects like the examples you mentioned. That’s one of the reasons why I love this series!

        And I can’t wait for that six-part final chapter πŸ˜€

  3. Do the tactics deployed get a fair amount of focus, out of interest? My worry with this as a series was that it looked like it would be more to do with ‘cute girls’ than ‘tank warfare’.

    • The series is a nice mix of cute/lighthearted moments and strategic warfare. With a few tweaks the battle scenes wouldn’t look out of place in a World War II anime. A big part of the show is Miho using her smarts to overcome opponents who have superior numbers and mightier weapons.

  4. Between this and Kantai Collection it seems like Japan is intent on inserting cute girls into every aspect of military history. I want to see an all anime girl version of the Battle of Thermopylae.

    • Cute girls with a military theme – don’t forget Strike Witches (although that series is too weird even for me.) 300 meets cute anime girls would be interesting. THIS IS SPARTA!! Cue moe girl then clumsily falls down the hole.

  5. Good CG in anime? sign me up plz

    But really, this post is putting Girls und Panzer on my radar. All I know about the show is some meme about tank drifting??? So it’s cool to hear that the series is pretty solid on its own merit! And hey. Combinations like these are a part of what make anime great–nice review man! πŸ™‚

    • I’m not familiar with any Girls und Panzer memes, will have to look them up later. The CG in Girls und Panzer is acceptable because they only use it to animate the tanks. What I dislike about computer effects is when a series switches the characters from 2D to 3D, such as the Berserk movies.

    • Valkyria Chronicles would have been so much easier to complete if they allowed me to command thirty tanks per mission πŸ™‚ There’s actually a Valkyria Chronicles anime out there, but I haven’t watched it so I have no idea if the series is any good.

  6. At first look, this seemed really girly πŸ™‚ I find to so hard to enjoy girly anime (or girly anything), but this actually sounds really decent.
    The UK release thing, can be so annoying somethings. Especially with the likes of Netflix.

    • The characters are girly, but guys can still enjoy the movie as it is loaded with action. It sucks how long the UK has to wait for anime sometimes, but we have to accept that the market for Japanese animation is tiny over here.

      • Haha, I am not a guy, but I think I would enjoy the action a lot better, then the girly characters hehe πŸ˜€
        So true πŸ™‚ It’s really not that big. But on the bright side, they’ve started holding anime conventions here.
        Considering how backwards people can be in the north of Ireland, its a massive step in the right direction and a pretty awesome one at that πŸ˜€

    • I think it is a case of studios not having the budget and time (when having to adhere to strict TV deadlines) that causes CG in anime to look rough. Japan can match the US, in terms of visuals, if they dedicate sufficient resources to a project. Look at the Final Fantasy movies for example. That’s more impressive than a Pixar film in my eyes.

    • Anime needs more tanks. Back when Syfy aired anime I enjoyed watching Dominion Tank Police. I am also a fan of the Tachicoma’s from Ghost in the Shell (I guess you could class them as tanks.)

  7. Pingback: Special Features Presents: Coming up next…… | Raistlin0903

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