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Girls Und Panzer OVA Collection [Blu-ray]
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All six OVA episodes from the Japanese anime series following a group of schoolgirls who participate in the martial art known as tankery. In this collection the Oarai students head out on a camping trip, the girls take a closer look at the interiors of the school ship and Yukari (voice of Rebekah Stevens) and Erwin (Luci Christian) encounter some trouble on a reconnaissance mission. The episodes are: 'Water War!', 'Survival War!', 'School Ship War!', 'Anglerfish War!', 'Snow War!' and 'Banquet War!'.Technical Specs: Languages(s): Japanese, EnglishSubtitles: EnglishInteractive MenuScene AccessScreen ratio 1:1.78Dolby Stereo Extras included: Clean opening and closing animation
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The idea of a load of huge aircraft carriers, modified into schools for girls was a stretch. Adding to this the idea that as one of the curricular choices is 'Tankery' is a stretch too far. Although it's done quiet well.
All the tanks involved are lovingly detailed so fans of the tank world can recognise them straight away. War tactics are genuine also, so the action is believable and easy to follow.
However I would have liked for there to be a greater emphasis on showing more tank training and battles. The series is a short twelve episode collection, following a group of girls who take up Tankery and enter a tank tournament. However there is a lot of moments in the series where they seem to spend more time looking at the girls and their lives, rather than the tanks, which for me become the stars.
If the series were a few more episodes longer, maybe the spotlight on the girls would be entertained. Unfortunately the series is a little too short and leaves me thinking I wanted to see more of the tank battles.
Of the battles they show, you should not be disappointed though. Strategies on the fly and a good mix of tanks on display make for interesting set pieces.
This isn't a series where you get flashes of skin constantly from the girls by the by. Don't expect to see schoolgirl panties and other sexually provocative moments every five minutes. However there are a couple of scenes that are in there for the boys to enjoy.
This show in my opinion should have been longer and had more emphasis on the tanks. However what is on show is a very good mix and would in my opinion be a recommended series.
Don't expect Amazon/LoveFilm to send out the 5hr multidisc series.
Despite sending links and details to customer support, Amazon/LoveFilm will insist they have dispatched the full Girls Und Panzer Collection.
Plenty of concise reviews for the full collection, this is just a heads up for LoveFilm customers
This first season of 'Girls und Panzer' was the surprise hit of the Autumn 2012 anime season that despite a somewhat troubled production managed to become popular enough to get a second series announced as well as a movie. The series is very entertaining with some very nice tank battles mixed with some good humour and an entertaining, if basic, plot. There are also a few moments throughout the series where the makers show their knowledge of World War II tanks and although there are some moments where realism takes a little knock these are generally forgivable due to how entertaining they are (such as the tank drifting). The characters in the series are all very good with my favourites probably being the history obsessed Hippo Team.
The animation of the series is generally good even if the CGI tanks don't gel well with the more traditional animation in places but even this is better than in some series I have seen. The battles are all very good with the battles against the British themed St. Gloriana and the second half of the fight against the Soviet themed Pravda being especially entertaining. The final battle against the German themed Kuromorimine (Black Forest Peak) is also extremely good and a great way to end the series.
Both English and Japanese versions of the soundtrack are included of course and while I would say that the Japanese version is better, the English dub is still good despite having a few issues. For the most part the English dub does away with the original Japanese honorifics but strangely retains them in some places (using sempai at one point and a couple of others). As well as this, the term Tankery doesn't sound quite as good as the original Sensha-do (although it is better than Tank-Fu or Tankwondo that I have seen used in some places). Other than these minor issues though the English dub is relatively good with all the voices generally suiting their characters, although some took some getting used to, especially Rozie Curtis's performance as Student Council President Anzu Kadotani. Of the English voices my favourites were probably Caitlynn French voicing Hana Isuzu and Molly Searcy as Mako Reizei.
The music used in the series is very good with a good opening and ending song as well as nice versions of the British Grenadiers March and he Battle Hymn of the Republic. Unfortunately due to copyright issues Pravda's brilliant rendition of the Soviet song Katyusha had to be replaced with an instrumental version of the traditional Russian folk song Korobeiniki (best known from Tetris) which isn't quite as good.
For extras the set contains the usual clean opening and closing sequences, as well as a number of trailers. Also included in the extras are episodes 5.5 and 10.5, introductory clip shows that were included in the original run of the show due to the trouble the animation studio were having with the series.
The closest series that I would compare 'Girls und Panzer' to is probably the mah-jong anime 'Saki' (one of my favourite series). Both series have a main character who is disillusioned with a sport/game only to rediscover their love for it with the help of friends and take their team to the national championships to have a showdown with their estranged older sister. 'Girls und Panzer' just has tanks instead of superpowered yuri mah-jong. While I still think 'Saki' is the better series (due to having more time to develop its characters) 'Girls und Panzer' is still extremely entertaining and is probably one of my current top ten anime series and as such is more than worthy of a full five stars.
Thankfully without the over the top "fan service" that lets Stike Witches down. However, if you're going to have nationally themed schools using their own nation's tanks then you should make sure you get your facts right!
The US school 'Anzio' have their most dangerous tank the Firefly, this may be a variant of the M4 Sherman, but these tanks had their turrets removed and modified in Britain in order to fit the potent British 17 pounder gun that enabled British and Commonwealth forces to take on the German Panthers and Tigers!
So, a British tank and only four stars, ha ha!
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