Girls Und Panzer Der Film: Tank Top

I’ve made it no secret that I am an abashed fan of the series Girls und Panzer, however it is a show I have only really covered once on this blog. While I knew there was a movie follow up, as well as a now in production series of 6 “mini films” serving as the finale, I just haven’t really gotten around to talk about it. That changes today however, so join me as I take a shallow dive in the theatrical film: Girls und Panzer der FILM.

Girls & Panzer Movie
Better than World of Tanks

I’ve said this before, but it is worth saying again, and I fully believe this.

Girls und Panzer is the perfect representation of the Anime and Manga industry.

Why?

Because to me, what makes Anime and Manga so great, is that when other industry say “Why.” They probably say: “Why not?”

And that is what Girls und Panzer is, a show that takes it’s insane and frankly stupid premise and proudly, boldly says: “Why not?” Schoolgirls in tanks? Why not? Treating tank fighting as a sport? Why not? Having a solid and coherent story involving both of those things? Why not?

Whatever you think of Girls und Panzer, love it or hate it, it is to me, the absolute perfect example of the greatness that Anime has, that freedom to make a story around just about literally anything and have it work, and happy to say that der FILM is more the same.

A continuation from where the first anime season left off, der FILM sets the stakes early and quickly as it turns out the girls’ deal regarding the closing of their school was only a verbal agreement, and not a binding statement. Faced with the fact that both their school and the aircraft carrier (yes a fucking AIRCRAFT CARRIER) they live on is going to be shut down, the girls band together with old enemies and allies to secure one more shot at saving it all: A last man standing 30 on 30 tank battle against a pro team, and their loli super genius captain.

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She’s not a “villain” in the sense one would expect, but Alice serves the plot well enough.

And that’s the story. Literally, that’s it. der FILM is pretty much a two hour movie consisting a tank battle, plot setting up the next tank battle, then another tank battle, and while it may be considered a simple story, I found that it serves the exact purpose it was meant to, and lets the real gem of the movie shine: said tank battles. There isn’t any bullshit philosophizing, no trying to cram a “message” in, no attempts to rationalize or justify the plot for skeptics. It just sets up the stakes, introduces the story and then lets itself just be, and that is extremely refreshing when so many other shows, anime and not, often spend time trying to explain how things makes sense.

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Despite not being a plot heavy show, each of the tank crews of the main school get some time to shine.

In terms of the tank battles themselves they are just as action packed, funny and ingenious as they’ve always been. While der FILM does throw logic firmly out the window in some scenes, everything is done with such passion and commitment to it’s premise that you just have to respect it. All the characters get at least one moment to shine. Everything is well animated, fast paced where it needs to be, and slow where it needs to build up tension. The set pieces are also used extremely well, ranging from bridges, railways, to a bloody Ferris wheel. You can just tell the animators and writers had a blast thinking up one insane thing after the next, and it shows. I don’t know a damn thing about tank warfare, but I doubt it was anything this exciting, but again I just didn’t give a fuck.

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These girls have a tank on a ROLLAR coaster and then engage in a chase scene on said coaster. I mean come ON.

Girls und Panzer der FILM is not a show for everyone, but again, it is that perfect example I point to when I wanna talk about why anime is so loved. That bold attitude to place ones feet firmly on the ground and say “why not?”. The fact that no idea is too stupid, too silly, or too impractical to work. This series, and this film truly encompass that spirit of what makes anime so significant and so well loved. Plus it’s got adorable girls fighting in fucking TANKS.

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Hey, it makes more sense than Evangelion

 

 

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