I hate to be a Grinch or kill joy, but I am troubled at the amount of praise Girls und Panzer has been receiving. Some have even gone to great lengths to proclaim it as the best anime of the season, to which I must disagree. Out of general principle, I was never going to watch this anime, but after all the praise it has received, especially episode 8, I decided to watch a few episodes (4 and 8) to get a feeling of what it is all about. Suffice it to say, it’s not a masterpiece. Further, it doesn’t even measure up to its spiritual predecessors, i.e. Strike Witches and others.
The first problem with the show is its lack of any characterization. Every character, or every tank grouping, is a cliche. From the student council to a sports team to a moral committee. Having a cast full of cliches isn’t that big of a deal, as long as you give the characters some detailing and background. Unfortunately, this show has so many characters that I have no idea how anyone could remember all of their names. As a result of this nameless mass, no character seems to get any characterization, and instead we get more character introductions, as that will suffice the otaku masses. As a comparison, the titular Panzers seem to get more characterizations than the girls. In the two episodes I watched, the girls, on multiple occasions, would describe their Panzers with some detail, and then give reasoning as to the names of the Panzers. If nothing else, the title is apropos, as the girls are treated the same as the Panzers in the story. If I was going to go into a full on rant, I would say that this show is sexist, but I’ll let it go.
Then, there is the story. Granted, it isn’t the worst thing of all time, but it is, at best, elementary. Its overarching plot is relatively simple and could easily be found in a Muppets movie meant for 8 year olds. Further, the mechanism for the plot is a tournament of schools. Are we really prepared to call a tournament show a great show? Really? Some may say that the story and the characters aren’t important, but that they watch the show for the tank battles. Granted, the tank battles are all right, but they aren’t fantastic. They certainly don’t display strategy in any depth as some have proposed. Tell me, when has a battle been fought purely with tanks. Has anyone ever heard of airplanes, scout towers, infantry, or any of a hundred other military units.
So if anyone ever tells me that they like the show for any of the above reasons, then that person is full of shit. Nobody likes this show for any other reason than girls and military porn. Don’t try to fool yourselves, or make yourselves feel better by saying anything otherwise. I would have you all look up cognitive dissonance, but if you like this show you are probably too much of a moron to understand the concept.