Thursday, 8 November 2012

GIRLS und PANZER - Episode 5

The luck (or lack thereof) of the draw has given the girls of Ooarai Girls Academy's a tough start to their appearance at the national Tankery tournament - a depressing realisation that simply won't let go of Miho, and that even a visit to a tank café (of course they have tank cafés in this show!) won't solve.

Things certainly aren't helped by the appearance of Miho's high-flying sister to cast further aspersions upon Miho's ability, suggesting that Ooarai's appearance in the tournament is going to be an embarrassment to all involved.  It's great to have a supportive sibling, right?  With the match against the super-wealthy Sanders College High looming, Miho starts to ponder how to take on a team with a wealth of hardware to choose from and, with a maximum of ten tanks allowed in a match, an obvious numerical advantage.

Thank goodness then for Yukari, who goes on a little "excursion" to inflitrate the rival school and derive as much information as she possibly can from her visit.  With news of their exact line-up of tank hardware, their formation and even how their flag-carrying tank will (or in this case, won't) be defended, Miho has everything that she needs to cook up a plan.  After some surprisingly friendly pre-match banter between the two teams, as the match begins Ooarai's opponents seem to have an almost clairvoyant knowledge of what they're doing, for reasons that become clear and are soon subverted once Miho clocks what's going on.

As per last week's episode, there's something joyous and wonderful about watching GIRLS und PANZER - its positioning of so much military might so far away from any semblance of reality allows it to pull off its concept of girls driving tanks for fun flawlessly (and occasionally hilariously, see the aforementioned tank café), and once it gets down to business and puts the girls into those tanks it really does make for a compelling, occasionally nerve-wracking and frequently exhilarating affair.  There's no way this series should be so good, but it's genuinely vying for a place as my favourite of the autumn season at the moment - no mean feat considering the competition involved.  A shame then that production difficulties mean that we'll have to wait two weeks for episode six proper to reach our screens.

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