Last week's GIRLS und Panzer left us with the cruellest of cliffhangers... although given that there were still three full episodes to go, it perhaps wasn't quite as much of a cliffhanger as it might have been, and it's still nothing on the several months of waiting we'll have to do before we can see the climax to this series.
Anyhow, as you might have guessed, Ooarai have managed to see off Pravda's threat against the odds and by the narrowest of margins to book their place in the final, and a showdown against Miho's old school, Kuromorimine. With up to twenty tanks allowed in the final however, Ooarai are at a massive disadvantage (what else is new?), meaning that their preparations for the big match involve seeking out more tanks and upgrading what they can of their existing firepower. With a cool (yet hugely unreliable) Porsche tank run by the Automotive Club and another vehicle to be put in the charge of a trio of online tank game-playing friends, Ooarai's arsenal is suitably bolstered. But will it be enough?
With Saori passing a communications exam, Hana and Mako both resolving their personal family issues and the entire school getting behing and rooting for their Tankery team as much as possible, Ooarai are as well-prepared as possible - but are Miho's plans for the match about to become quickly undone under the sheer firepower and know-how of their opponents? Find out next March!
Light on action it might have been aside from its closing minutes, but once again this a hugely fun episode of GIRLS und Panzer - its sense of comic timing remains impeccable, its characters might be shallow but they work perfectly well in their given setting, and you can feel the love the show's production team has for military hardware oozing out of every relevant scene but without ever becoming over-bearing upon the wider entertainment value of the series. It seems ridiculous to call this series one of the best of the year, but.... well, it is, even factoring in the technicality that it now won't be finishing until some way into 2013.