This time I’m taking a look at an anime series that could be described as being in an alternate universe – but one which I wouldn’t by any means call “dystopian”.

Cast & Crew

Ai Kayano as Saori Takebe
Ikumi Nakagami as Yukari Akiyama
Mai Fuchigami as Miho Nishizumi
Mami Ozaki as Hana Isuzu
Yuka Iguchi as Mako Reizei
Ayuru Ōhashi as Oryō
Chuna as Aya Ōno
Eri Kitamura as Darjeeling, Tsuchiya
Eri Sendai as Caesar
Hekiru Shiina as Ami Chōno
Hisako Kanemoto as Hoshino
Hitomi Takeuchi as Azusa Sawa
Ikumi Hayama as Nekonyaa
Kana Ueda as Momo Kawashima
Konomi Tada as Karina Sakaguchi
Mai Ishihara as Orangepekoe, Suzuki

Directed by Tsutomu Mizushima
Written by Reiko Yoshida
Music by Shiroh Hamaguchi
Character Design by Isao Sugimoto
Animation by Actas

Available on DVD & Blu-Ray from Amazon.com

The Premise

In an alternate now, the pinnacle of the feminine arts is Sensha-Do, or Tankery. Miho Ishigami has just transferred to the Oorai Girls Academy in Ibaraki prefecture specifically because she had a bad experience with the Tankery club at her last school, and she wants a fresh start at school that doesn’t have a Tankery club. However, after her arrival, the student council president rops Miho into being in charge of the school’s brand new Tankery club, where she is tasked with winning the nationals in the club’s first year. If they don’t, the school will be shut down.

High Points

Each of the tankery matches are very well animated, with very well paced action and dynamic camera work.

Low Points

If slice-of-life antics aren’t your thing, you’re not going to like the episodes that aren’t Tankery matches. Also, the CGI tanks can feel like they’re missing weight at times, particularly all the times they flip.

Scores

Originality: I’ll bet you’ve never seen a sports anime quite like this. 5/6

Animation: The 2D and 3D animation meshes fairly well, and aside from a few moments where the tanks feel too light, it all looks great. 5/6

Story: The narrative itself works well, though it does take a turn to the Win the championship to save the school/rec center in the latter half of the show. 4/6

Emotional Response: A great mix of nail-biting action and comedy. 6/6

Production: The level of detail on the tank designs is fantastic, and I can’t understate the power of the sound design – especially the sound of the tank cannons firing. 6/6

Acting: Each of the characters outside of the student council and Miho’s tank crew are pretty two dimensional (no pun intended), but considering the size of the show’s cast, it’s a necessary choice, as it allows the cast to make each character recognizable not only through their character design, but through the performance. 4/6

Overall: This is the rare case of a sports anime and SF crossing over to great success. 5/6

In total, Girls und Panzer gets 35 out of 42.