This is a show about girls and their panzers. What else did you expect?* Pictured above: Anglerfish Team taking tea on top of their Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausführung D. Clockwise from top left: Hana (gunner), Miho (commander), Saori (radio operator), Yukari (loader), and Mako (driver). In the background: The schoolship of Ōarai Girls' Academy.
In Real Life, certain Japanese martial arts are considered highly compatible with traditional womanly ideals, including kyuudou and naginatajutsu. In this show, one of those martial arts is sensha-do — the "Way of the Tank", or Tankery for short.Miho Nishizumi is a sixteen-year-old scion of a legendary Tankery family who, due to a past trauma, has become reluctant to pilot tanks and transferred away from Kuromorimine Women's College, where her family has made a name, into Ōarai Girls' Academy, a little-known school ship docked in a little town of the same name, which has not fielded a Tankery team for the last twenty years. As fate would have it, the Student Council decided to take advantage of the buildup to the upcoming National Tankery Championships to revive their Tankery elective... and push Miho into leading Ōarai's first Tankery class in two decades, whether she likes it or not.Fortunately, she has new friends who are more than willing to help — boy-chasing Saori Takebe, gentle Hana Isuzu, tank fangirl Yukari Akiyama, and lethargic Mako Reizei. Together with them and a crew of over two dozen girls — including the Student Council, members of the recently-disbanded volleyball team, history buffs, and a group of freshmen — Miho will have to learn to love her sport once more and lead Ōarai to victory — because, as she will eventually learn, there's more at stake than just the school's prestige or her reputation.Girls und Panzer, animated by Actas (Of Transformers Armada/Transformers Energon, Yutori-chan and éX-Driver fame), is an Anime First series that ran as part of the Fall 2012 Anime lineup. Expected to only be a niche anime, it has turned out to be the sleeper hit of 2012 and was a consistent Top 5 performer in Japan. Viewers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Scandinavia and South Africa can watch it legally on Crunchyroll. Due to variousunforeseen circumstances, the last two episodes didn't air until March, during the Spring 2013 season.Besides the anime, it also has print-media tie-ins, specifically in the form of four manga and a Light Novel adaptation (with art by Shimada Humikane of Strike Witches fame). Both the main manga and light novel tell the same story, except with different viewpoint characters: Yukari and Saori, respectively.The second manga, Little Army, is a Prequel, and tells the story of Miho's grade-school years, six years before her arrival at Ōarai. Much more than the two other tie-ins, the prequel gives important context to a lot of character interactions in the anime, particularly the secrets held by Miho's older sister, Maho, and a peek at the inner workings of both the Nishizumi School of Sensha-do and Kuromorimine Women's College.After the series aired, a third spin-off manga was released, entitled Girls und Panzer: Motto Love Love Sakusen desu (which translates to "It's the More Love Love Operation"). This manga eschews tank action for cute and funny 4-koma style strips.The fourth manga spinoff called Girls und Panzer: Ribbon Warrior was released in September 2014, and is a sidestory/sequel featuring a new protagonist named Shizuka Tsuruki, who practices a different type of tank sport called Tankathlon focusing on light tank battles.A movie has been announced for release in 2014, in addition to a special OVA separate from the ones bundled in with the Blu-Ray releases. The OVA, released in July 2014, finally expands Ōarai's match against the Italian-themed Anzio, which was never shown during the TV airing.In a move that surprised no one, the makers of World of Tanksand Studio Actas cooperated in creating in-game exclusive content related to the anime in celebration of the creation of a Japanese server cluster for the game. On September 6, 2013, Hajimete no Sensha-do: WoT for Beginners, a short manga on how to play World Of Tanks narrated by the Anglerfish crew, was released. They can be found on Wargaming Asia's site in English. Japanese voice packs starring the cast will also be released, and there is a video of Mai Fuchigami, Miho's seiyuu, getting a crash course in the game. Another video from Wargaming recreates battles from the anime in the game. In addition to the World of Tanks tie-ins, on January 6, 2014, there was an announcement that in late spring of 2014, there would be a Japan-only PlayStation Vita game based on the series.An official north American release occured on December 3, 2013, with the OVAs released a few months later on Febuary 25th, 2014, along with an English Language Trailer at AnimeExpo 2013.Don't mistake it withPanzer Fraulein Alteseisen from the same character design artist. Don't mistake it withTank Girl either, you'll be happier. For the spiritual ancestors of this anime, see Moeyo Sensha Gakkounote "Moe Tank School" and Sailor-fuku to Jūsenshanote "Sailor Suits and Heavy Tanks", both of which were drawn by the character designer for Girls und Panzer.
Played straight (of the bikini top underneath variety) with Yukari when she unzips her diving suit in OVA 1.
Downplayed with the way all three Anteater girls wear their uniforms without the green undershirt. The shirt's V-neck doesn't reach all the way to the belly, but even the less buxom Nekota certainly shows some assets◊.
Absurdly Powerful Student Council: One that can expel students for choosing an elective different from that imposed by the Council upon them, or erase conditions that would lead to expulsion if students play along. Lampshaded by Saori and Hana, who outright accuse the President, Anzu Kadotani, of being a petty tyrant abusing her powers. It shows how desperate Anzu is to save Ōarai from closure, going so far as to strike a deal to keep Ōarai open were it to win the upcoming Nationals, and if they fail, Miho won't be at Ooarai for her third year because the school ship will no longer exist. It wasn't an expulsion threat after all. This is justified in OVA 3, which shows that each School Ship's Student Council are in charge of the crew, itself entirely made of students, giving them higher seniority than a normal Council.note A good simile would be a big university's top level student's representatives, which also explains why they get to negotiate directly with MEXT on matters pertaining to the whole School Ship
Acceptable Breaks from Reality: In-universe, tankery teams seem to use modern radios and throat mics, rather than the far more varied systems of the time. For instance, the volleyball team's Type-89 I-Go shouldn't have a radio at all! Supplemental material point out that this is part of the partial modernization of the tanks to make matches safer and more even.
The History Club team definitely tries to invoke this with their StuG. The custom paint job and extra banners have their uses, but it ends up biting them in the ass.
A less cosmetic example is the Panzer IV commanded by Miho, which is outfitted with a longer gun in Episode 8 and extra armor in Episode 10. note That said, while narratively it's treated as an Ace Custom, the upgrades were mass produced in the form of the final marks of Panzer IV
Appears to be played straight by the spinoff Ribbon Warrior, as Shizuka's Type 97 Te-Ke has a custom red color scheme.
Action Prologue: The beginning of Episode 1 shows the start of Ōarai's practice match against St. Gloriana. However, not much is seen. Episode 4 shows it again and continues where the prologue left off.
It's fairly common for fanfiction writers to imitate this, whether an alternate telling of the canon, a Continuation Fic or a new story at another school. The quality of the results varies, and some argue that it was more necessary for Girls und Panzer to show the tanks immediately.
Adaptational Angst Upgrade: There's significantly more angst in the manga. When victory seems impossible against Pravda, Yukari's initial reaction, rather than going along with Miho's decision to surrender, is horror and sadness that Miho would willingly accept being disinherited. Miho also sees the incident in which she had to leave her old school as more than a case of her personal style of tankery clashing with that of her family, but also believes that she couldn't truly "save" her friends from being ostracized by the rest of her school.
Adults Are Useless: We've seen none of the adults help in running the school, or the ship for that matter. This goes for all the other School Ships as well. It's downplayed in that adults not directly related to the schools, such as MEXT representatives, tournament judges, etc., seem to be doing their jobs.
Ami's role as Tankery teacher consists of giving the teams a pep talk and sending them, wholly untrained, into their first battle and telling them to text her if they have further questions (justified in that she is not a full-time teacher, but a professional tanker on a part-time shift) before dumping all training into Momo's and Miho's hands and only making two appearances later — as a spectator during Ōarai-Saunders and as judge at the finals.
OVA 3 shows that Academy Warships are mostly crewed by students.
A lot of details of the setting, such as the rules and procedures of Tankery (like how only prototypes and production models made prior to the end of World War II are allowed, and how the ammunition is rendered "safe") and world history, are only found in supplementary materials, and never mentioned in-show.
The single most controversial battle scene, the rope bridge of episode 3, is explainable only with information found in the manga.
Everything about Maho's motivations or her personal opinions can only be found in Little Army(While she acts warmly toward Miho in the last episode, only the prequel indicates that this is her actual personality). The same prequel also reveals the less-than-rosy relationship Shiho has with her daughters, and just how strict the Nishizumi school can be.
The series never mentions the different schools of thought practiced by Sensha-do. The one showed by the anime is the "traditional" version, which is also practiced by mainland Europe and the United Kingdom. Another, the "unlimited" type, is practiced entirely in the US, and focuses on heavy customization. Proponents of the opposing practices generally don't get along.
Safety during matches is apparently guaranteed using teams of marshals who rescue stricken tanks and crews if they come to serious grief.
Due to Miho's role in the story, and the proxy conflict she has with her family as a result, only the Nishizumi style (which is said to focus on breakthroughs) gets focused on by the anime. However there are also other styles mentioned in the supplements: the Shimada style (which focuses on mobile warfare and recon), as well as the Murakami and Kumano styles (which focus on amphibious and siege assaults). There are also styles native to Europe, but these are not named and are just mentioned in passing.
Female-dominated chariot sports have been held as early as Ancient Greece and Rome, with women's smaller builds giving them distinct advantages. Note that the Japanese word "sensha" could also mean "chariot", which is why modern sensha-do considers female chariot racing as a spiritual ancestor.
City-ships have existed since antiquity, with the earliest example being a ship dating to Emperor Caligula's reign. It's not as far-fetched as one might think, with the existence of gigantic vessels like the Nemi ships designed as floating palaces.
Modern sensha-do was founded as an all-female martial art during the 1920s, then later spread worldwide as a competitive sport.
Before sensha-do, there was cross-country tankette racing, which traces its roots to Bertha Benz, wife of Karl, founder of Mercedes-Benz, and other noble ladies, who used said tankettes as personal cars. The races in turn inspired the Monte Carlo Tank Rally (think the real-world races, except with tanks).
The Type 89 was designed solely for fighting light infantry. It is painfully slow, carries the anti-tank equivalent of a BB gun as a main weapon, and its armor is paper thin. In Episode 12 they run circles around three of Kuromorimine's large tanks, speeding in and out of their formation to harass them but their weapons do nothing against their tougher targets.
The Tiger(P) is downplayed. It might have the best gun and armor of all of Ōarai's tanks, but it's horribly prone to mechanical failures. In its first test run, it gets stuck in mud, overheats, and catches fire in quick succession. The Automobile Club's reaction says it all. In an actual match, it only starts breaking down once, despite all the high speed maneuvers it's put through.
Amazon Brigade: Crosses over with One Gender World. Males are rare because even once everything is said and done, the number of males to show up on screen (at least the named ones) can be counted on one hand.
Amazon Chaser: The Tankery advertisement in the first episode said that tankery would make a girl popular with guys and, sure enough, a background character said her guyfriend was eager to see her in military uniform. Ami, a professional tankery practioner, claims that her "kill ratio" with guys is "120 percent".
An Offer You Can't Refuse: In Episode 1, the Student Council orders Miho to take up Tankery, which they conveniently revive upon her arrival, and state that "she won't be attending school here" were she to refuse. Miho, who transferred in because it didn't have that class for years, was unfazed by the threats, but ultimately accepts after seeing Saori and Hana's passionate arguments in her defense. As it turns out, Anzu's pressure is wholly justified.
Artistic License - Engineering: All of the tanks seem to drive the same speed. The best example happens in the battle with Pravda, where Oarai can't outrun the persuing Soviet tanks, but Pravda can't catch up with them. In reality, most tanks have vastly different speeds given their horsepower to ton ratio.
It's not clear if ships the size of the school ships are actually feasible to build in real life - and certainly, due to the Square/Cube Law, it's monumentally unlikely they'd look like carbon copies of WWII carriers.
Artistic License - History: In the Anzio OVA, Anzio's CV-33 tankettes are portrayed as being so light that, when flipped by the Type-89's 57mm gun, their crews can simply exit the vehicle and right them, driving on. The CV-33 was extremely light by the standards of armored vehicles, and they could, in a pinch, be recovered by hand, but they still weighed 2.7 tonnes (about the weight of a mid-size SUV), which probably puts them beyond the abilities of two schoolgirls to just push over. Unless Anchovy is putting steroids in Anzio's pasta...
Arrow Cam: Dramatic gunshots, like the first time Team Anglerfish fires the cannon, or Hana taking out Saunders' flag tank, are given this treatment.
The Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu canonizes several memes that only previously appeared in Nanashi Gorou's Pixiv fan-4komas including but not limited to: Hana's lesbian fixation on Saori, Darjeeling appearing without warning, Nonna literally babying Katyusha, Naomi being a chick magnet par excellence, everyone getting blank expressionless eyes whenever they react to something unexpected...
Jagdpanther's commander shows up late to a holiday party held by Maho, and is told that she's late by one of her colleagues.
Aside Glance: Done by Duck Team's Type 89's turret after surviving a intense barrage from Pravda's tanks. See here, starting at 8:40. The tank aims at the camera, as if saying "Did you see that?"
The practice match between Ōarai and St. Gloriana sees few shots connect. Justified for the former because most of its members are inexperienced and that both sides engage in a high-speed chase through the maze-like city while firing at each other with unstabilized guns and World War II-era gunsights, so misses are almost guaranteed. (Try fighting in Himmelsdorf to get a feeling of it).
This happens a lot in Episode 5, but it's justified as the Saunders' Shermans are firing on the move, which results in terrible accuracy... though it is something the Sherman, with the only semi-stabilized gun (elevation only) of World War 2, would be better at than its opponents.
Also happens in the battle with Pravda, who somehow fail to obliterate Ōarai's tanks trapped in a killzone and let them escape into a building. It happens again when they exit the building, through the second case is more of the intentional "don't want to kill them yet" variety as they are trying to lure Ōarai into another killzone.
Yukari can pick out a Firefly's 17-pounder cannon just by hearing it. Its sound is very distinctive, but she still had to have memorized it at some point in the past to be able to make it out so quickly.
Miho deduces the location of the enemy flag tank just by looking at the map. Usually, she wins (or narrowly loses) by analyzing the situation with just a glance and adapting The Plan to it.
Kuromorimine's lineup of heavy tanks and tank destroyers means they're virtually invincible to Ōarai in a head-on fight. However, the tanks' weight make for poor off-road traction (Erika throws a track onscreen while pursuing Miho, and another is lost off-screen), and the tank destroyers' fixed guns mean they can't fire on Anzu's Hetzer parking in their midst. The Maus is so slow and heavy, it can only be effectively used in the town area since Ōarai could easily outmaneuver it in the field.
In the BD supplementary materials, mention is made of an M4 Sherman in the US "Unlimited" League... that had been modified to carry the 120mm smoothbore gun from the M1A1 Abrams. Unfortunately, it didn't perform well, since there is no Senshado-legal ammo for that gun (APFSDS is banned), and because smoothbore guns lack rifling, normal AP rounds they fire will not spin in flight, and therefore have unstable flight paths and poor accuracy.
In the OVAs, Pravda's "KV-2-tan" is given this treatment. Yes, it's got a terrifying 152mm howitzer. Yes, it looks badass. But it's slow, the turret is so heavy and its motor is so weak it can't turn the turret against gravity, which means it always has to stay on the level, and the controls are so stiff that it exhausts its crew of teenage girls very rapidly (the ammunition used in the historical KV-2 weighed around 40 kilos per shell; meaning it likely weighs almost as much as they do). This is borne out in the anime, when Katyusha relies on it to stop an Ōarai advance, and it fails miserably. The OVA reveals that the only reason Pravda ever deploy it is because Katyusha loves it. Because it's very tall. In another example of how the creators have Shown Their Work, all of these problems are what limited the KV-2's operational utility in real life.
Since all participants are actually Japanese civilians, they can't be actually named "Erwin" or "Caesar" outside Tankery. Then, of course, there's Katyusha.
It's surprising that the German-themed tank school doesn't go the expected path, and keeps its native name (Kuromorimine) rather than the obvious choice (Schwarzwald). Then again, the Nishizumi family name connected to it invokes enough Badassery on its own.
Back for the Finale: Most of the teams Miho fought against, as well as various family members, promise to attend the tournament finals to cheer Ōarai on except for Anchovy and the entire Anzio tankery team who manages to party so hard in anticipation for the match the night before that they sleep through the entire match the next day.
Turtle Team's Yuzu rivals Mako when cornered. Her exploits against Pravda when her team singlehandedly takes on four tanks, including an IS-2 — and almost wins qualify as Battle Dancing more than just driving.
Duck Team's Shinobu starts as Ōarai's worst driver. She ran her tank against a tree while not yet in combat, but after training hard during episodes 4 and 5, she is able to make the Type 89 keep up with faster tanks, and even manages to keep her tank balanced on its front sprockets when running away from Pravda; in the snow.
Leopon Team's Tsuchiya would qualify as a given and then she revved up her 59 ton tank for a wheelie, followed by taking a hint from Shinobu's driving style and overtaking Miho's faster Panzer IV.
Rabbit Team's Karina graduates from destroying her own engine through overstraining the drivetrain in their first battle, to using her own flavor of Jackie Chan-esque Tank-Fu during the finals.
The nameless driver of Pravda's flag tank qualifies, given how she was able to play peekaboo in and out of cover under fire from all of Ōarai tanks while drawing them into a carefully planned trap without being hit once.
Battle Discretion Shot: After Ōarai's battle with Saunders ends, the Student Council discusses the other opponents they'll likely be facing in the coming rounds. It then shows Pravda and Kuromorimine standing over the remains of other schools they just fought.
Beach Episode: OVA 1, "Water Wars", which is also included in the first Blu-Ray disc. It's a Shaggy Dog Story, because it starts raining as soon as they finally get to the beach.
Bechdel Test: With over three dozen female characters discussing everything from tank combat to Ōarai's survival, the series handily passes, but nearly fails the reverse test. There are only a few male named characters, who don't interact with each other (Yukari's father and Shinzaburou). The only males who converse are some old men in the stands who applaud when one's shop is taken out by a tank.
Bigger Stick: Kuromorimine's plan for defeating Ōarai. They already had a sizable force of powerful tanks last year, but this year they brought out the Panther, Tiger and Tiger II tanks, along with Jagdpanzer IV, Jagdpanther, Elefant and Jagdtiger tank destroyers. Any single one of these machines outguns Ōarai's tanks and are much better armored than all but the Tiger(P). All this is before they bring in the Maus.
Kei lets out a big "WHY?!" when the StuG ambushes one of the Saunders tanks.
One of Kuromorimine's tank commanders lets out a Big "WHAT?!" when she realizes Ōarai's Hetzer snuck into their ranks.
Bittersweet Ending: Little Army ends with Miho's friends going their separate ways, but Miho finds a reason to persist in Tankery, albeit one that is challenged years later, shortly before the start of the anime.
Bling Bling Bang: Initially, the Student Council paints their tank in shinygold, the freshmen go for girly pink and the Historical team compromises in a smattering of styles, but mostly bright red with sashimonos (banners). Having learned their lesson, they go back to standard colors (without sashimonos on the StuG) after the first battle, save for emblems of their callsigns.note Brilliant choice by the producers: the silly and garish colors help those who aren't tank experts to know a team and their tanks. By episode 5, it's not needed anymore and they get rid of them.
Blood Knight: Shizuka from Ribbon Warrior appears to be this.
Book Ends: Episode 1's Cold Opening features Miho explaining a detailed plan to the inexperienced Ōarai teams; it is a Flash Forward to their practice match against St. Gloriana, only for The Plan to fail due to their inexperience. Among many other Call Backs, the last episode features Miho explaining a more detailed plan to a now-matured Ōarai, which they execute flawlessly against even greater odds. Down to pulling the same finishing move they tried against St. Gloriana — except this time, it succeeds.
Boss Battle: A rare but completely straight non-Video Game use. Placing a huge, overpowered, lumbering, one-shot-one-kill monster that shrugs off all of your fire in a small area that limits your movements for the Final Battle? Check. Ōarai, meet the superheavy Maus, the largest and heaviest tank ever built.
Anzio fell victim to this treatment, as their entire match is skipped in the anime, except for its end, where they are shown to have been wrecked by Ōarai. No one talks about them for the rest of the series, save for a brief mention during the Episode 10.5 recap.note In the manga, it's Saunders that gets the ax, in exchange for showing the Ōarai-Anzio match in its entirety.
Kuromorimine's unnamed Jagdpanther commander has her tracks wrecked twice in a row by the same tank — the second time minutes after repairing them in record time to return to battle. She complains that those tracks are HEAVY. In "Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu," while she doesn't get lectured like she thought she would, she does get a Hetzer model for Christmas.
Sodoko. It's clear no one takes her efforts to enforce the rules seriously, albeit because she goes against what virtually everyone else is doing. In Chapter 3 of Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu, while in the middle of trying to get everyone else to wear the School Swimsuit, she finds out that it has her nickname instead of her last name on it. In a later chapter she goes mad with power after being granted carte blanche authority to enforce the rules. The History Buffs get even with her rather creatively.
The Type 89 is often treated like this despite not actually being a character. In the OVAs the Leopon Team performed a magic trick where they "transformed" the Type 89 into a Porche Tiger, only the Volleyball girls protested. In Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu, the Diet Club use the Type 89 as an impromptu sauna and again the Volleyball girls stand up for their tank.
Cannot Spit It Out: The Student Council invites Miho to dinner to tell her that the school can only stay in operation if they win the tournament, but they can't bring themselves to say it.
Captain Morgan Pose: Mako briefly makes this pose near the end of Episode 4, while waiting for her teammates at the docks.
Cast of Snowflakes: They made sure that everyone in the humongous cast — 32 main characters in Ōarai alone, a similar number of important support characters, and another similar number of minor characters which still have enough distinctive traits to be noteworthy even if they don't say anything. The only (intentional) exception is the Wild Duck trio.
Casual Danger Dialogue: When the Tiger(P) is acting up as Ōarai breaks contact with Kuromorimine, Suzuki calmly climbs out and starts babying it... while being pursued by Kuromorimine... while the Tiger(P) is moving.
"There there, you'll feel much better now."
Earlier, when the Tiger (P) breaks down and burst into flames on the proving grounds, Nakajima is remarkably nonchalant.
Anzu's "They got us!" every time they get knocked out of the match and "Commander, say something," to Miho before and/or after a match.
Cloudcuckoolander: Hana in OVA 2. While everyone is busy helping put up tents, Hana sits in a corner and swings a string around with a spaced out expression. Everyone even lampshades how strange it is to see the resident Cool Big Sis look like that.
Crowded Cast Shot: About once per episode, we get a shot (sometimes, more than one) of all the teams (usually formed up after or before training). Episode 10 tops it with a shot of all of Ōarai's teams and 91-girl-strong Kuromorimine, as well as Ami and the other judges.
The Cast Showoff: During Episode 8, Nonna, Pravda's XO, leads The Team in singing the Russian song "Katyusha"; her voice actress, Sumire Uesaka, is a Russian language major. Unfortunately, the song was removed from Crunchyroll's stream due to copyright issues. It's replacement with an instrumental version of "Korobeiniki"note You know it as the theme from Tetris., while Katyusha and Nonna just stare silently forward like a couple of spare pricks was not massively well-received.
Character Development: The show is as much about Miho overcoming her insecurities about Tankery and life as it is about the Panzers themselves. True to the title, the girls' struggles are treated with just as much reverence as the tank battles, and by the end of the show a good chunk of the named character have learned something about themselves and overcome it. Even Erika
Chekhov's Gun: Girls und Panzer plays so many subtropes of this, that is easy to joke that Tsutomu Mizushima is reading from its TV Tropes entry (Subtropes intentionally quoted here out of alphabetical order due to Rule of Cool).
Shinzaburou looks, acts, talks and hams it up like a one-dimensional joke character. Then he becomes instrumental for Hana's reconciliation with her mother.
Inverted with Ami Chouno, who looks to be important, but becomes instantly irrelevant. Subverted, when she turns out to be the judge for the finals (Ōarai-Kuromorimine).
Chekhov's Army: Like Chekhov's Armoury above, both straight (see above for some examples) and literal in that the ten crewmen from Ōarai's three expansion teams are introduced as background characters in the opening.
Another of the school's electives is magic, which gets used to find the Char B1 bis (in the form of a Dowsing Device) and is possibly how Caesar figured out how Rabbit Team is west of Yukari's position, both in Episode 7.
That spin turn drift Miho tried to use to defeat Darjeeling (to no avail)? Guess how they eventually beat Maho...
Christmas Episode: Chapter 8 of "Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu". Ōarai has its Christmas celebration, while Maho tries to put one on for her fellow tankers from Kuromorimine.
Cliffhanger: The series likes cliffhangers, usually starting a match mid-episode and finishing it in the next.
Episode 5 ends with one of Saunders' tanks taken out in an ambush improvised by Miho. The match is still ongoing when the episode ends.
Episode 9 ramps it up further with both Pravda's and Ōarai's flag tanks taken out near-simultaneously, but with no indication which was taken out first. It's only revealed in Episode 10 that Duck Team, Ōarai's flag tank, lost a track and several other pieces, but is still running.
When Mako rejects the crew's offer to be the official driver and finishes the conversation by closing the bathroom door behind her, Saori reminds her of the benefits of joining. After a beat, she returns and grumpily agrees to join the crew.
This happens in Little Army, when, in the last chapter, Sakuyo, Hitomi and Chihiro speak to Miho while she is hiding in a tank, and remind her of reasons to not give up on Tankery.
Companion Cube: Ōarai's tanks are treated like characters. While they are inanimate and perform noactions of their own, some tropes are prominently used in their portrayal, as opposed to the opposing tanks (which get a less detailed portrayal).
Maho does this once in Little Army when talking to Miho about a tank they used to play on in their childhood that will be donated to a primary school, a development that upsets Miho.
"Don't cry. Rather than being here without fighting anyone, I think it'll be happier this way."
Confusion Fu: This and Tank Fu is Ōarai's specialty and gloriously used in Episode 12. Name one other anime where little girls use tanks to ram a Maus and block it from moving so that they can take it out with one precisely aimed shot.
Cool Boat: The various school "districts" participating in the high school Tankery tournament in the show are all located on gigantic aircraft carriers. Ooarai's carrier, which has a length of 7.6 kilometers, is one of the smaller school ships featured, and the carriers of their rivals in the tourney are usually much larger. For comparison, a real life Nimitz-class nuclear supercarrier is only a third of a kilometer in length. Each school's carrier corresponds to their "national" tank theme:
Kuromorimine ride a giant version of the aborted Nazi carrier project Graf Zeppelin.
St Gloriana sail a giant version of the 1938 British carrier HMS Ark Royal, which was sunk off Gibraltar in 1941.
Saunders have the largest ship, the modern Nimitz-class carrier USS George Washington.
Anzio have a giant version of the Aquila, a never-completed WWII Italian project.
Ōarai sail a giant version of the Zuikaku, a WWII IJN carrier which participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor and which was sunk off Cape Engaño in 1944.
Cool Car: All the cars in the parking lot are non-generic, with some interesting luxury and sports cars. Then the headmaster's Ferrari F40 is run over by a tank.
Conspicuous CG: The tanks. They're very detailed and accurate, but they're not blended with the more traditional animation used for everything else.
Cosplay Cafe: Episode 5 the Anglerfish team dines at a Tank Cafe. The cafe is decorated like a military barracks, and features waitresses in military uniforms. It serves cakes decorated as tanks, served by motorized miniature tank recovery vehicles. Waitresses are summoned by pressing a button that makes tank cannon sounds.
In Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu, Darjeeling inverts the trope by dressing up as one of the waitresses apparently thinking this is a good idea. Luckily, Nonna spots her before she gets into any trouble.
Saunders, one of the favorites to win the tournament, loses against Ōarai, a school that hasn't had a Tankery course in 20 years and doesn't have the money to field a full team. It's all because their flag tank commander had to cheat and it backfired horribly.
Pravda, the defending champion possessing superior numbers and equipment, as well as General Winter at their side, loses because Ōarai's Type 89, a notoriously fragile tank running on nothing but its crew's sheer determination, refused to be knocked out, thus buying enough time for Anglerfish and Hippo Teams to ambush Pravda's flag tank.
Kuromorimine, last year's runner-up and previously the champion for nine years straight, boasting a twenty-strong tank lineup dripping with overkill (including the Tiger II, Jagdtiger, Elefant, and Maus), loses to the heavily outnumbered and outgunned Ōarai, which relied on solid teamwork and clever, (if sometimes crazy), tactics to even the odds. Furthered justifed by Ōarai having a major advantage when it came to intelligence: their CO was a tank commander in last year's Kuromorimine team, so she knew most of their strategy and tactics, while her own strategy differs vastly from Kuromorimine's.
Crazy Enough to Work: Miho gets an idea on how to take out the Maus in Episode 12 after Saori reads up on it and laments that it's like a tank on top of a tank.
Crazy-Prepared: In OVA 5, when sent out on a impromptu scouting mission with Erwin, Yukari produces hand warmers, an entrenching tool, a lantern, and some food, that she carried "just in case". She also carries a fully stocked rucksack with mess gear walking home from school. Hana and Saori lampshade this fact while talking about Yukari.
Crippling Overspecialization: Kuromorimine's focus on heavy hitters and traditional tank-on-tank strategies makes it a force to reckon with in a face-to-face fight. Since they would lose badly in a battle of attrition, Miho utilizes some unconventional tactics, such as having the Hetzer take potshots at their flank, as well as weaving in and out of their formation while the other Ōarai tanks maintain fire. It works well, as the Kuromorimine tanks become confused in the battle, allowing Ōarai to escape an attempted entrapment.
Creepy Doll: Blink and you miss it, but every time we see Miho's room it's filled with dolls which are all injured, bandaged, amputated or some variation thereof.
Averted, because it takes five to crew a Panzer IV, all the time. Exactly like Real Life!
Ami seems to be the only crew of her conspicuously modern Type 10. Given that the only thing the tank does is move and seeing as she climbed out of the Tank Commander's hatch (the driver can't access the turret compartment), she probably has a dedicated driver who remained inside the tank.
Downplayed with the Student Council's Panzer 38(t). It can't fight effectively with only three crew, but Momo's massive ego allows her to double as both gunner and loader, and Anzu does nothing to help, leaving Momo and driver Yuzu with the work... until Episode 9, when Anzu finally steps in and mans the gun against four Pravda tanks, and takes two of them out with point blank shots and Multitrack Drifting.
Another aversion is in Little Army. Miho, Chihiro and Emi set out in a tank, and when Chihiro, the only one besides Miho who can drive, sprains her ankle after they get out, they're left stranded until Emi shows up.
Miho: There's actually supposed to be a window you can stick your head out of to drive by yourself, but our tanks are supposed to be used in real battles, so it's harder than it has to be. And since it's an old model, there's not even a periscope.
Several of Ōarai's tanks are understaffed. Anteater's Type 3 Chi-Nu should have two more members, while Leopon's Tiger(P) and Mallard's Char B1 bis need one more.
Crowd Song: In Episode 9, Miho starts performing the embarrassing Anglerfish Dance out of nowhere to raise Ōarai's morale. Every one of the girls soon join in to perfect singing and dancing sync.
Cryptic Background Reference: Saori talks about how nice it was back in the time when schools were built on land, and not on humongous carriers. She does this again in a later episode, when she posits to the curious members of the Rabbit team how the school ships came about as a kind of challenge to the established educational system of the (unspecified) era, as well as to give the students studying in them a sense of independence.
Kuromorimine and Pravda are shown to have demolished their competition in the first round.
Ōarai against Anzio. The latter loses so hard that only their defeated state is shown.
The Anzio OVA averts this for the latter school. They still lose, but not in a one-sided fashion.
Not really, Ōarai manages to knock all 10 of Anzio's tanks before taking out the flag tank. Granted that 5 of those were tankettes that can't do any real damage to any of their tanks, but they're still the only ones that Ōarai has managed to do this to — every other team forces Ōarai to take out to enemy flag tank to survive
Defied by Kei in the Saunders battle when she chooses not to steamroll Ōarai with all her forces — a fact which is later acknowledged by Miho.
The Maus knocks out two of Ōarai's tanks in Episode 12, while they can't make a dent in it. It is only stopped by a wild plan involving pinning it with both the Hetzer and Type 89, allowing Hana to fire through its one weak spot — the air vents normally hidden by the turret.
Darkest Hour: During the match against Pravda, Ōarai is cornered into a building, and Miho is mulling surrender to avoid further damage, only for Momo to blurt out that if they lose, Ōarai will be disbanded.
Dangerously Short Skirt: Part of the attire for almost every school, both in regular school uniforms and their Tankery uniforms (Saunders uses shorts for the latter instead).
David Versus Goliath: Ōarai is fighting an uphill battle against better-funded, better-equipped schools, especially with their mismatched lineup of vehicles. In all the important battles (all the Tournament Arc ones), they're severely outnumbered as well. Boiled down to its essence in the Final Battle, a duel between Miho in a Panzer IV — a prewar medium tank design that soldiered on — and Maho in a Tiger — a late-war design considered to rank among the best heavy tanks.
Death or Glory Attack: Anglerfish Team pulls one in the finals, during their duel with Maho's Tiger. They pull a drift to get behind the Tiger that, as Mako warned beforehand, destroys their tracks, which would have left them a sitting duck for the Tiger had their shot not struck the Tiger down.
Mako: The track'll snap. Miho: It's fine. We're ending this here.
Decoy Hiding Place: A Matilda sees the flashing indicator lights on an elevator and calmly positions themselves to blow up the occupants, only for the Duck Team to lift up from the elevator behind them.
Inverted with St. Gloriana's, which befriends Ōarai after defeating them, because they made such a good show.
The straight version of this trope is Lampshaded by Darjeeling in Episode 10, after some of Miho's former opponents come to greet her and wish her luck in the finals of the tournament.
Darjeeling: You're a fascinating person, you make friends with everyone you defeat.
Miho: That's because everyone are such wonderful people.
In Little Army, the students of the Nishizumi school who crewed Maho's tank in her practice battle against Miho's crew later train alongside Miho and her friends, in yet another inversion, since Maho won that battle.
Maho making up with Miho at the finale, dropping her Jerkass Façade to congratulate her on winning her own way.
Anglerfish Team utilizes this against St. Gloriana near the end of Episode 4. Since they were outnumbered four-to-one, after the Student Council tank takes the hits intended for them, the Anglerfish girls knock out a unit as they flee, then lures others into a narrow area, knocks out another one, then flees, only to return as another unit comes out from the narrow street, knocks that one out, then attempts to take out the Churchill as well. Despite getting two solid hits in, the Churchill was able to absorb both, and knocks out Team Anglerfish's tank after yet another daring maneuver.
Pravda, in keeping with its Russian/Soviet theme, willingly sacrifices several tanks to successfully draw Ōarai into an ambush.
Kuromorimine utilizes this with a retreating Panzer III leading Ōarai to a Maus.
Deliberate Values Dissonance: The Isuzu household has their own personal rickshaw puller. Historically, it's one of the most dehumanizing jobs one can find in the classical Far East. The story supposedly takes place in the present day (2010 onward), so it's most likely just for style and the guy isn't actually working to death.
Demoted to Extra: In the manga, due to the focus on Yukari, we see less of the other members of Team Anglerfish and their families. For example, the group's encounter with Hana's mother is never shown, nor are Hana's efforts to reconcile with her.
One of the things that makes Student Council team work is that they don't like losing — not if they want Ōarai to see another school year. Their tracks are shot off in Episode 4, and they work like hell to fix it and get back in the fight.
The nameless commander of one of Kuromorimine's Jagdpanthers tops them by repairing her tank destroyer's tracks in time to reach the battle twice after Turtle's Hetzer breaks them. Also twice.
Maho herself implies that this is one of the tenets of the Nishizumi School.
The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: The little white flags that pop up to indicate when a tank is knocked out are mounted not just on the top of the tanks, but also on the bottom and the sides just in case the tank is flipped. Twin-turreted tanks seem to have one flag per turret, and apparently the tank isn't knocked out until all of them have been raised.note Said tank is the MG-armed version of the Polish 7TP. Had that poor tank been a Russian T-35, then we'd have seen five white flags.
Firing the tank's cannon for the first time is shown to be intensely pleasurable for Saori, Hana, and Yukari.
Similarly, Anzu's and Yuzu's pose after getting knocked out by Anglerfish team in the practice match. And Anzu stating "They done us good."
The opening stages of the semifinals. The Ōarai teams are flush with their success against Anzio. Planning for a decisively short battle, they chase Pravda on their home turf against mild objection, take the battle to an unfamiliar urban setting and find themselves heavily outnumbered, completely surrounded, and held under siege while they starve and freeze due to being woefully unprepared for the conditions. Lampshaded by the Hippo girls:
Erwin: When I hear snow, battle, and Russia, I think of...
Dodge the Bullet: Mako drifts the Panzer IV enough to dodge an incoming Firefly shell.
Don't Try This at Home: Obviously, real life tank combat is not a sport. Less obviously, it is very dangerous to climb into a confined space that has been rusting (e.g. a tank that has been unattended for twenty years) without first checking the oxygen levels to verify that there is enough oxygen to support human life.
Darjeeling drops her tea after hearing of Ōarai's successful ambush. This is after she swore to never drop her tea, no matter what.
Saori's reaction to learning that losing the match against St. Gloriana would be punished by making them perform the Anglerfish Dance.
Mako drops her cell phone after receiving ominous news. Saori notices that this is a sign that she is not all right, as she claims to be.
Dreaming of a White Christmas: Defied in Chapter 8 of Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu; Saori complains about there not being any snow where they are for Christmas (according to where Yuzu is pointing, off the northwest coast of Australia), but Anzu points out that one advantage of a school ship is that you can go somewhere warm for the winter.
Dwindling Party: The Final Battle, in which Ōarai's tanks are taken out one after another by the numbers and sheer power of Kuromorimine's machines until only Anglerfish Team is left to duel with Maho.
Dynamic Entry: Ami paradrops with a tank as her very first scene.
Eagleland: Saunders is Type 1. Friendly, gregarious, boisterous, rich, and with high technical prowess.
Earn Your Happy Ending: Miho's Panzer IV narrowly wins the final duel with Maho's Tiger, securing victory for Ōarai and its continued existence as well as validating her own Tankery style. It also doubles as a Win-Win Ending for Maho. Even if Kuromorimine narrowly lost for the second time in a row, she went down realizing the fulfillment of her secret Goal in Life — to see her little sister succeed in her own style, free from the restrictive rules of their own family style for which she made many sacrifices.
Enemy Mine: During their first mock battle at the end of episode 2 and first half of episode 3, all of the Ōarai girls team up against Miho's team right away, even though they're supposed to be in a free-for-all battle.
Saunders' Captain, Kei, doesn't condone cheating, even if it's Loophole Abuse. She punishes Arisa for intercepting Ōarai's radio transmissions without her knowledge, and decides to relinquish her numbers advantage by holding back half her tanks so the fight would be more fair.
Even though she generally acts cold and uncaring toward Miho and her friends, even Maho is shocked when her mother announces she is disowning Miho from the family name.
In Little Army, when Shiho dismisses Miho's question to her about the necessity of Maho shooting down an enemy tank that was trying to save her teammates as "foolish", Maho and Kikuyo, one of the family maids, look displeased, and Maho even felt uneasy when Shiho called her decision a way of upholding the family honor. While Kikuyo begs Miho and her friends not to blame Maho, and Maho apologizes to Miho for her aloof behavior and tells her to choose her own path, neither says a word in defense of Shiho.
Excuse Plot: The first Beach Episode OVA (fan nicknamed "Girls und Panzervice") has the girls planning to go to the beach, and buying swimsuits, so they can wear swimsuits, so the showrunners can animate them wearing swimsuits. Momo Kawashima lampshades this:
Momo: When [Anzu] said "that's why we're going to the beach", she didn't actually give a reason.
Some of the nom de guerre are questionable. St. Gloriana's "Darjeeling", "Assam" and "Orange Pekoe" invoke typical British refinement, but there is little incentive to pick names like "Anchovy" (participant), "Waffle" (school) or "Yoghurt" (school). No wonder those last two don't make it past the quarterfinals.
Pay attention early on in Episode 1 to the sound of the PA system. Rather than the tones played before an announcement on a standard anime school PA, it sounds like the alarm on a naval vessel. It's the very first indication of where Ōarai Academy is located.
In Episode 1, when Miho remained adamant to her (initial) decision not to take up Tankery, Yuzu hysterically cries out that their school's "finished". Miho, Saori and Hana never understood what she meant, and thought she was just exaggerating. Eight episodes later, Miho learns what Yuzu meant.
In Episode 2, the girls find only five tanks from the previous Tankery class, which are numbered in kanji from 1 to 8, with 2, 3 and 5 missing. The other three are eventually found: two after the Saunders battle (a Char B1 bis and a Tiger(P)), and one before the finals (a Chi-Nu).
On a blink-and-you-miss-it moment during Arisa's rants, she mentions that Ōarai is going to be shut down. While it can be easily dismissed as part of her mental breakdown once her plans get derailed, it is nonetheless verified as the truth a few episodes later...
Arisa: Who the hell do these girls think they are? They can't do squat and they're trying to come after us? Their school's getting shut down soon anyways! They should just come in and shut them down now!
Ōarai's club houses being in general decay and semi-abandoned turns to be a clue that the main threat to the school's future is not political, but financial.
When Miho and Yukari talk about the tournament and the latter says it doesn't matter if they lose, the Student Council walk up and say they need to win. Yuzu is about to add something, Anzu silences her, indicating that they are keeping the actual stakes of the tournament secret. The secret is referenced twice more early in Episode 8, when Momo is about to blurt it out for a moment, and the Student Council originally invited Miho to dinner to tell her.
Played with in OVA 2, which shows the girls going camping in the place that Episode 10note (chronologically set after OVA 2, but aired months before — which makes it a Continuity Nod, rather than foreshadowing) showed to be the site of the Final Battle. Small wonder that Episode 11note (aired a week after OVA 2 was published, making it straight foreshadowing) shows the girls have considerable knowledge of the terrain...
Episode 8 (showing that the Student Council's offices are located in the main con tower) acts as such for OVA 3's reveal that the school ships are crewed wholly by students and that the Council is in charge of all of them.
The girls of Rabbit Team spent the night before the finals watching Kelly's Heroes, specifically the scene where the Tiger tries to shoot Oddball's tank, but the gun is blocked by a house. A similar thing happens when the Maus shows up; it tries to aim at the girls, but its gun is blocked by an apartment building, and it takes time to get itself oriented. Unfortunately, it's not enough time for the girls to escape. They also invoke the same situation on the Elefant by circling around it in cramped alleys, where the Elefant can't turn around to face them. Unlike Oddball, they remember to load live ammo instead of paint.
Careful counting of Kuromorimine's tanks in Episode 10 indicates that they have eighteen tanks out of a supposed maximum of twenty. The remaining two tanks are the Panzer III and Maus that show up in Episode 11.
In Episode 5, Erika acts arrogant and haughty until Mako snarks out that it would be humiliating for a school like Kuromorimine to be defeated by so "unworthy" a school as Ōarai, to which Erika can only glare in response. When Ōarai starts outwitting Kuromorimine, Erika goes into a Villainous Breakdown.
In an early demonstration of Miho's "Nobody gets left behind" credo, Miho stops to help Mako in Episode 2, when Mako is having trouble making it to school. Sodoko tells Miho to leave Mako behind next time. As we see later, that just isn't going to happen.
Emi does a double example in the first chapter of the Little Army manga, when she bitterly remarks that the Nishizumi school is stronger because of its German tanks. This indicates that Emi is an expert on tanks, and one factor in Kuromorimine's advantage over other schools.
In Episode 5, after a shot of a photo of Yukari with her parents, you can see a brief closeup of Mako looking at the picture, surprisingly touched by seeing it. This gives a subtle indication of what happened with Mako's parents.
In both recap episodes (5.5 and 10.5). In the former, the names of the various girls in Ōarai's Tankery class are shown, but there are quite a few, so you may have to pause it to see their names. It also shows the tanks they drive and some trivia about them, where pausing will also give you time to read it, as well as to look at the tanks. The latter gives this treatment to the members of the various schools that Ōarai battles and adds some random trivia on them as well, like their favorite flowers or hobbies, some of which are pretty surprising — like Katyusha's favorite activity being hanging from a horizontal bar (one assumes to get taller) and Nonna... keeping a "Katyusha diary".
On a more minor note, when the freshmen girls find the Lee, there is a rabbit nesting on the fender.
Saunders. When the match starts in Episode 5, Kei (their Student Council President and squadron leader) is on friendly terms with them, and jokingly calls out Yukari (who inflitrated them earlier) when she's seen. In Episode 6, she limits the number of tanks fighting after she finds out one of her teammates "cheated" by intercepting Ōarai's radio communications. She later explains that they were participating in a tournament, not fighting a war, so it wouldn't be fair if they still maintained numerical superiority.
Maho in Little Army, since her involvement in the training match against Miho's crew was for the purpose of helping Miho and Emi reconcile, and helping the latter learn more about her; after the initial formalities, Maho walks over and asks Miho about how things are going with Emi. Maho's crewmates are later shown training alongside Miho and her crew after Maho goes back to school.
Friend or Foe: In Episode 4, Miho's Panzer IV lures British tanks through a small ravine and lets the other teams know she's approaching. However, they accidentally open fire on her when she reaches them. Thankfully, none of their shots hit, although none of their shots hit the British tanks either.
Gratuitous German isn't used that much in the original, but that didn't stop a certain fansub group from adding subtitles which are approximately 80% English and 20% German for no apparent reason.
"Girls und Panzer" is 33% English, 66% German, and 0% Japanese by word — if anything, the original is lacking Gratuitous German!
Some fan subs would replace mention of "video games" with "World of Tanks" for obvious reasons
Gallows Humor: The Hippo Team girls are fond of it. During the fight against Pravda, they refer to Stalingrad. Since they are, obviously, history buffs, they know very well what they are talking about.
Geo Effects: Sniping from elevations is risky but effective.
Germanic Depressives: Virtually everyone in Kuromorimine, save for Miho and Koume (the girl Miho saved from drowning), has a difficult time lightening up. Hilarity Ensues when Maho calls them in for a holiday party, and they think that she's going to take them to task for their mistakes.
Got Volunteered: Miho is forced to take Tankery, even after she tries to explain to the student council that she transferred to Ōarai because it didn't have Tankery.
Graceful Loser: This being a combat sport, sportsmanship in victory or defeat abound in most cases.
Saunders' Kei embraces Miho and congratulates her while lecturing her about her Badass Creed.
Katyusha shakes hands with Miho after narrowly losing to them, promising to watch them in the finals.
Maho finally makes up with her younger sister Miho after the latter wins against her in a duel, complete with a handshake. Little Army adds a deeper meaning in this, in that this signifies the fulfillment of Maho's secret wish — to see Miho succeed on her own terms. Even Shiho, who spent most of her screentime dismissing Miho, could only clap with a faint smile of resignation on her face.
Averted by Anzio's Anchovy, who went on raving about how they could lose to a "nobody" like Ōarai. They did at least send Ōarai a shipment of canned anchovies for their victory party after the tournament finals. That being the sign of a good or bad loser depends on whether you like anchovies. completely turned around in the Anzio Battle OVA, where she personally congratulates Miho and invites the rest of Ōarai's tankery team to a fancy Italian dinner party courtesy of Anzio.
Miho herself, on two occasions. She politely and graciously accepts defeat against St. Gloriana in the anime, and against against Maho's team in their practice match in Little Army. Even Emi, who bore resentment against Maho, took her defeat fairly well.
One particular fansub group adds this, particularly in stock responses like "Yes", "Understood", "Thank you", or "Amazing!"
Erwin's tank graffiti says "Vergießt Schweiß, aber kein Blut" (Proper German for "Spill sweat, but not blood").
Panzer Vor! (Tanks forward!) as traditional command word. Justified per the obvious German orientation of the Nishizumi school, in an amusing parallelism of any Real Life German dojos using Japanese commands.
Maho averts it when she quotes Guderian's famous "Kick them, don't spit at them"... in Japanese.
Kuromorimine is most often called by its Japanese name, rather than the English “Black Forest Peak” or the German “Schwarzwaldspitze”.
In the English dub, Yuzu still calls Momo “Momo-chan,” and while “Senpai” is often omitted, there’s the scene in which Saori tells Mako that she’ll have to call her “Saori-senpai” if she gets held back.
Nonna: Do svidaniya. ('Til we meet again.)note Bonus points for her voice actress, Sumire Uesaka, being a Russia fangirl.
Gun Porn/Technology Porn: There's way less Male Gaze than you might expect from a show like this, mostly because the camera is far more interested in long, drooling shots of the many and various tanks. Even the Beach Episode shows Yukari trying several Special Forces diving suits in addition to the expected bikinis...
Unlike real tank ammo, Every Bullet Is a Tracer and sparks brightly upon any glancing hit against armor, while all direct hits cause the same large explosionsandsmall craters/property damage, be it from a 37mm, 75mm, or even 152mm gun. This is justified, because instead of military-grade ammo, all guns use ammo specially designed to be unable to penetrate even light armor. Since Tankery is not just a martial art but also a televised combat sport, it's likely that the rounds would also be tracers (which could create the sparks) and have a pyrotechnic payload that would create the smoke.
Hand Wave: Whilst the show does try to offer explanations (generally in supplementary materials like OVA or manga - see All There in the Manual) for the enormous real-world practical difficulties inherent in making tankery viable as an actual sport, some of these are of dubious plausibility/workability.
Miho suffers through one in Episode 1 after the Student Council forces her to join Tankery. The expression on her face in the hallway is the same exact one a few moments later in her classroom.
Miho suffers one again in Episode 6 after Saunders' reinforcements arrive to help their flag tank. They take out two rearguard tanks, and are closing in rapidly on the remaining three. However, she snaps out of it when Yukari and Hana hold her hands for support.
Before the show even begins, it is implied Miho suffers one when she causes Kuromorimine to lose their final battle against Pravda last year, because she abandoned her flag tank to save the crew of another sinking tank. This ended Kuromorimine's nine-year tournament winning streak. This event causes her to transfer to "a school with no Tankery"... which so happens to revive it that year.
In Little Army, Miho has one when she doubts her chances of winning against Maho's tank, until Emi snaps her out by telling her that she wants to win. She has another when Maho confirms that she did shoot the enemy's flag tank when it went to rescue one of her teammates, and begins acting cold and distant toward her.
Team Anglerfish does this in Episode 6 in a last-ditch attempt to take out Saunders' flag tank. When their tank goes up a hill for a height advantage, Saunders' Sherman Firefly chases after them, which also saved Ōarai's flag tank from getting hit. Although they're taken out, they land a disabling blow on the Saunders flag tank.
The Student Council does this to ensure Miho's plan of knocking out the Maus in Episode 12 works. While their Hetzer is able to pull away, the damage they sustained eventually causes their tank to sputter out.
In a wider scope, extending way back to Little Army, Maho is revealed to have volunteered to become the perfect Nishizumi-style Tankery practitioner to ensure her little sister would be free to follow her desired Tankery style, even if she has to overtly silence her own conscience and break Miho's heart.
In their first practice battle, Saori leads the team out of the forest and onto a raging river where there is absolutely no cover whatsoever. After failing to cross it, they're forced to cross a rickety rope bridge and come under attack from both sides.
Averted in the Episode 4 battle against St. Gloriana. The initial ambush is a good plan (albeit one that was expected).
Pravda's initial ambush is very well planned and averts this trope, except that it cost them several tanks and risked a lucky early hit on their flag tank, and Katyusha foolishly assigned just a KV-2 to protect the flag tank instead of the faster T-34s to serve either as backup or replacement. There's a doujin 4koma here in which Nonna blames Katyusha for everything that went wrong, partly for reasons here, partly for factors that were explained in Viewers Are Geniuses and partly because of Katyusha's general arrogance (although one note indicates Nonna has a fetish for Katyusha crying).
When pursuing other tanks, everybody fires while on the move, never stopping to aim, but even here Hana learns that her aim will improve if the tank is stationary. This is how she makes the winning shot against Saunders.
Honor Before Reason: Maho really has no business leading the pursuit of Miho's tank — putting her own team's flag tank at risk — when she has several other tanks available. During the climactic battle, she chooses to engage Miho even though her team urges her to simply avoid Anglerfish Team until they can arrive to support her.
Maho: There is no running away in the Nishizumi style.
During the finals versus Kuromorimine, everything goes according to plan for Ōarai despite a very bad start, but suddenly the Maus appears.
Duplicated seconds later as Hippo team avertsA-Team Firing by stopping to aim; clearly they are doing the "carefully aim for a weak spot" tactic they used in the last battle; Saemonza says a Badass Boast about avenging the Mallards; They fire — they HIT — a fragment of an enemy that had previously been shown to be Nigh Invulnerable goes flying into frame... then, before said fragment even touches the ground, the Maus, completely undamaged, one-shots them with extreme prejudice and we realize the "fragment" was Hippo's round that bounced back past them.
Hot-Blooded: Mako's grandmother Hisako, as seen in Episode 7 when she's yelling the entire time the girls are in her hospital room.
The entire Ōarai team in episode 8, where they throw tactics out the window and ignore their opponent's fighting style. This causes them to fall into an easily avoidable trap set up by Pravda. Miho wanted to avoid doing this, but they threw the ball into her hands with their overconfidence. This is justified in-universe because Miho agrees to go with it so The Team has more fun. It leads to an unfunny situation, so it's a double example of Idiot Ball.
Shock induced example with the arrival of the Maus. Miho should have been yelling for a retreat the moment the back end of that monster came into view. Doubly true considering that they could have run away two or three times over by the time it finally managed to get its gun pointed at them.
This and Plot Armor worn by Team Anglerfish saves them from being knocked out right away in episode 4.
Another case is when the tank volleys of Pravda fail to hit any of the Ooarai teams as they stage their breakout from the church they were trapped in, despite being at very close range. This could be explained by the gunners themselves enjoying the bonfires till the last minute, thus robbing them of night vision. It is quite possible they couldn't see the Ōarai tanks well at all.
Implacable Man: Or rather, Implacable Tank, in the form of the Panzer VIII Maus. It just will not stop, until it is taken down by a tactic no one could have seen coming.
Improbable Aiming Skills: Whenever a tank hits an enemy tank by firing on the move, they are performing a feat that very few extremely lucky WWII tankers achieved. Most WWII tanks did not feature vertical stabilizers for the main gun (the M4 Medium tank was an exception), and although the British and Soviets tried teaching their men to fire on the move (though usually at infantry) by matching the motion of the tank over rough ground, both ended up retiring the doctrine until the introduction of better stabilized weapons during the Cold War
Improbably Female Cast: There are very few male characters in this show aside from crowd scenes, and they're generally on screen for less than a minute or two.
Inelegant Blubbering: Momo tries to put on a brave face after the final match, but rapidly dissolves into a crying wreck, after Ōarai wins.
Yukari sneaks onboard Saunders' School Ship and disguises herself as a student to learn about their enemy's battle plans. She record her adventure on video. She succeeds in learning the school's plans before she is exposed and has to escape. The Saunders student council president, Kei jokingly calls her out when she spots Yukari before the match.
Arisa attempts to return the favor at the end of the third chapter of "Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu", with less success. While Yukari obtained a Saunders uniform and only drew suspicion by asking too many questions and being unable to give an actual identifiaction, Arisa opts for a Paper-Thin Disguise with sunglasses, claiming to be "an American who likes panzerkraft".
Yukari does it again to Anzio to find out the nature of their "secret weapon", but not before enjoying the Italian cuisine.
Insert Song: The popular Russian wartime song "Katyusha", adorably sung by the girls of Pravda. It was excluded from the Crunchyroll stream of the episode due to the copyright issues surrounding the song.
Instant-Win Condition: One of the two types of Tankery matches allows this, by assigning a flag tank to each of the participating teams. Eliminate the flag tank, and you eliminate The Team, regardless of any technical advantages or numerical superiority. It is mentioned in episode 10.5 that this type of win condition makes it possible for smaller schools like Ōarai to compete against better-funded or equipped academies. Indeed, all of Ōarai's wins except for Anzio are because of this rule.
The Volleyball team tries to shoot one of St. Gloriana's Matildas checking the parking lot. While the latter is opening a garage, the former is slowly rising up behind it on a car elevator. Checkmate. Unfortunately, it does no damage to the Matilda's rear, which then responds with extreme prejudice. It was inevitable when one considers how weak the Type 89's gun is against the Matilda's comparatively thick rear armor.note The Type 89's gun can penetrate a maximum of 34mm of armor; the Matilda has 55mm at the rear. The shot also just detonated a disposable external fuel tank, limiting damage to superficial armor burns.
In episode 12, Rabbit Team pulls it off against Kuromorimine's Elefant heavy tank destroyer. The first volley fails to penetrate, even at point blank range. Once Saki points out its weak point (the shell ejection port), the second volley knocks it out.
In the same episode, Anglerfish Team also pulls it off against Kuromorimine's flag tank. To get there, they had to pull a drift that destroys the Panzer IV's tracks.
Ironic Echo: While looking for the missing tanks in episode 2, one of the girls points that they can't expect to simply find them in the school's parking lot. In episode 10, they make a new search for more tanks. Three guesses for where the last tank was found, and the first two don't count.
I Will Only Slow You Down: Rabbit team invokes this when their tank's engine fails in the middle of a river in the Final Battle. Given who's the overall team's commander, it's no wonder that they are rescued anyways!
Erika, Maho's lieutenant, is nasty and generally disparaging whenever Miho is the topic of conversation. She's nicer after the final match ends in a win for Ōarai, swearing with a smile on her face that next time, Kuromorimine will win.
Shiho, Miho's mother, who decides to disown Miho from the family name because she considers her an embarrassment. She is so cold that after one meeting with her, Miho's friends from the Little Army manga are scared to see her again.
For extra Jerkass points, the manga reveals that Shiho sent one of the house servants to Miho and tell her that if Miho doesn't prove her ability and defeat Pravda, she'll be disinherited on the spot. Apparently, Miho's Confusion Fu didn't qualify as a proper victory and the threat was still brought over to the finals.
Katyusha insists everybody is beneath her and only visits the Ōarai team to gloat in front of them. She even taunts Miho about her loss to their team last year, where Miho abandoned the flag tank, allowing Katyusha to shoot it, in order to save one of her tank crews from drowning. On the other hand, it's debatable how much Katyusha knew about the spoilered development — see the WMG page. After the match, she bears no hard feelings and roots for Ōarai to win.
Anchovy of Anzio has Katyusha's attitude on winning, and also insults Miho's decision in the last tournament (first alluding to it, then outright saying she caused her team's defeat in almost as many words) without being a Graceful Loser. However, the Anzio OVA completely averts this by having her act like a cross between Kei and Darjeeling.
Jerkass Façade: Maho isn't being cold to Miho on purpose, but she has to maintain an aloof attitude as it's what's expected of the Nishizumi School heir' a role she willingly plays so that Miho can be free to live her life her own way.
K to O
Kaiju Defense Force: Ami Chouno is an officer in the JGSDF's Fuji School Combined Training Brigade Tank School Unit, which happens to be the most elite armored unit in the entire JSDF. Her job as referee for the final match makes sense in light of this.
Killed Off Screen: One of Kuromorimine's tanks disappears between episode 11 (team stated to finish with 17 tanks, all of them seen on screen) and episode 12 (team stated to start with 16 tanks, all of them seen on screen) with no explanation ever given. See the Shown Their Work entry regarding the breakdown issues often suffered by real world WWII German tanks for the most likely explanation.
Killer Rabbit: The mascot of the Freshman team is a cute, dualknife-wielding, slasher bunny. They don't live up to it until the finals, where they take out two much-heavier tank destroyers.
Hitomi rests her head on Chihiro's lap while Miho and her friends wait for Shiho to get home.
Mako in Saori's lap in Episode 7. In Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu, Mako dreams about becoming taller and returning the favor.
Saki offers hers to Karina in Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu.
Last Name Basis: Fairly common among the characters who don't know each other well, as Miho tends to use last names on her friends at first, before switching to first names. Hana gets Yuzu's last name correct when calling her "Koyama-senpai", but confuses her first name with Momo's.
Leeroy Jenkins: The Ōarai girls utilize this trope in episode 8, while simultaneously holding an Idiot Ball, when they are too eager in chasing down a lone tank into a town. IT'S A TRAP!
Leitmotif: Each of the participating schools aside from Ōarai have real-world marches as these. For example, St. Gloriana's is "The British Grenadiers" and Saunders' is "The Battle Hymn of the Republic". In Defictionalization, the Ōarai theme has been adopted by the real Ōarai High School Marching Band.
Lethal Chef: Darjeeling is portrayed this way in the 5th issue of the spin off Manga. Played for laughs.
Loads and Loads of Characters: There are 32 named tank crew in the main characters' school alone. This doesn't include supporting casts and rivals from another schools. The breakdown:
Miho's team: 5 girls.
Student Council team: 3 girls.
Ex-Volleyball team: 4 girls.
History Club team: 4 girls.
Freshmen's team: 6 girls.
Student Morals Committee team: 3 girls.
Auto Mechanics Club: 4 girls.
Gamer Girls: 3 girls.
Locked Out of the Loop: There is a reason why the Student Council wants the Tankery team to do well at all costs, but they are hiding it from the rest of the student body. They are forced to admit it when Miho considers accepting defeat in the Pravda match — which would result in the closure of the school.
Yukai diguises herself as a Saunders student in order to learn their battle plans. She explictly says this is allowed before a match.
Miho discovers that their radio communications are being listened into by their opponents. Since there's no rule forbidding that, she decides to utilize this trope by sending out distressful communications and ordering retreats, while sending real commands by texting over cell phones, which also doesn't have a rule against it, and can't be listened in on by the Saunders team.
Lover Tug of War: Parodied in Motto Love Love Sakusen, with Darjeeling and Assam pulling on Orange Pekoe. Pekoe, being their tank's loader, is strong enough to pull back and smack them together.
That's how Ōarai turns the tables on Saunders, using Arisa's unnecessary cheating against her.
Pravda does this to the Ōarai girls in episode 8, by engaging them with a small force and then having the last tank run away into a town, where Ōarai is all too eager to finish them off. Then the other Pravda tanks show up around them...
Miho improvises one for the Pravda flag tank in episode 9, when she realizes it's just running around town.
Happens against Ōarai in the climax of episode 11 when a Panzer III lures them towards the Maus.
Was Miho's plan for their practice match with St Gloriana's. Darjeeling sees right through it, thanks to Momo's trigger happy behavior, and deftly turns the tables.
Magic Skirt: The director has stated that there won't be any Panty Shot in the anime, and dared the production crew to insert one.
March: The PVs and series feature many military marches.
In the first chapter of Little Army, Maho tells Miho that Tankery is not just about combat, but about polishing oneself as a person and as a woman. In the last chapter, Sakuyo says the same thing to Miho to coax her out of her hiding spot when she doubts whether she should continue with tanks. After Sakuyo succeeds, she thinks about the original speaker's role.
Sakuyo: You finally managed to get out on your own... This is also thanks to Lady Maho.
Emi invokes this trope, when Miho is depressed. She grabs her hand, recounts a time when Miho did the same thing and she began speaking honestly, and asks Miho to tell her about what is troubling her.
Medium Awareness: Chapter 16 of the Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu manga spinoff makes a sudden Art Shift as parody of '80s Shoujo manga. Oryou complains the new art style doesn't let her recognise who is talking with Caesar.
The Panzer IV Ausf.D is upgraded into the better Ausf. F2 variant with a longer L/43 gun and additional spaced armor, and the foreshadowing (see above) proves true.
Ōarai finds a Char B1 bis that is crewed by Yukari, Aya and Erwin in Ōarai vs Anzio, and is subsequently crewed by the Discipline Committee starting with Ōarai vs Pravda. They also find a Tiger(P) in the bowels of the ship.
Turtle Team's Panzer 38(t) is upgraded into a Hetzer tank destroyer for the finals.
The Saunders Sherman M4A1(76)W is chasing the Volleyball Team's Type-89, and the music is appropriately grim... and then the Ōarai tanks show up, Arisa has her Villainous Breakdown, and the tables are hilariously turned.
In Chapter 10 of the manga, Yukari monologues about how she is no longer lonely like she once was before. Then she chances upon Kikuyo meeting with Miho, who has arrived to tell Miho that if she loses against Pravda, she will be disinherited.
More Dakka: Katyusha orders her tanks to fire their machine guns at Ōarai rather than waste their tank shells on them in episode 9.
Hana and, surprisingly enough, Momo in the second OVA. For comparison, Momo's bikini was basically two strips of cloth down her front and a collar while Hana's bottom was one string away from revealing everything.
In Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu Chapter 3, the Anteater Team girls have risque swimsuits.
In the Christmas chapter of the above, Maho wears a sexy Christmas themed dress, whilst Erika wears a rather...flattering...Anglerfish dance outfit.
What the last play of the friendly match versus St. Gloriana becomes. It happens when Miho tries to outmaneuver the Churchill.
Episode 5 has the Ōarai and Saunders tanks engaged in a high speed chase in the middle of a dense forest. With no roads, it would have been impossible for most vehicles, much less tanks, to be able to navigate through the trees at any level of speed.
Used in episode 6 to dodge a shot from the Sherman Firefly's 17 pounder gun. Very impressive, considering that the shell goes at Mach 3.5 and the shot was fired from within 500 meters.
Used heavily in episode 9 and justified since the battle took place in a snowy environment and it would be easier to drift in icy conditions.
The Automobile Club discusses in episode 10 how they're going to pull it off in a Tiger(P).
In the best example of this trope yet, The Panzer IV's final power slide against Maho's Tiger in the final episode. The Panzer IV drifts so hard it breaks its tracks in the process!Now with Eurobeat!
Mud Wrestling: The student council organized a tournament of this in the past, according to episode 8.
Other than its intended purpose, a Panzer IV's (blank) shot is the fastest means to wake Mako up.
Somebody decided to use the Panzer IV's long cannon as a laundry rack.
In the final chapter of Little Army, Miho and her friends use one of her family's tanks to catch up with Emi's train and say goodbye.
My Greatest Failure: Episode 7 finally reveals why Miho was trying to avoid Tankery since the beginning of the series. During the previous year's Tankery finals (Pravda vs Kuromorimine, with Miho commanding Kuromorimine's flag tank), one of her tanks starts to slip from the narrow strip of road they were using. Then it loses its traction and slides into the river below. Miho disregards her own safety as well as her tank to jump into the river to rescue the crew. Unfortunately the Pravda tanks were just ahead, and took out her tank, ending her family's winning streak. Yukari later comments that the tank crew she saved must have been thankful Miho came to rescue them. Before Ōarai vs Kuromorimine starts, one of the crew members she saved personally expressed her gratitude for her actions on that day.
My Little Panzer: Tank Combat in real WWII tanks is seen as an appropriate activity for schoolgirls. Miho is a sixteen year old veteran.
My New Gift Is Lame: In "Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu", the Kuromorimine tank commanders' presents are models of the tanks that gave them the most trouble against Ōarai, or in one case, the Maus that she failed to protect, Erika gets an Anglerfish Dance suit, and Maho gets a large stuffed animal. Most of the girls try to conceal their disappointment knowing that Maho is watching, but Maho and Koume (who got the model of the same tank that Miho, who saved her life, commands) like their gifts.
(Almost) Naked Apron: In OVA 2, some of the girls don aprons over skimpy swimsuits when preparing dinner.
National Stereotypes: Each team faced represents the Japanese stereotype of the nation being represented. After all, each one isn't actually from that country, but Japanese schoolgirls aping the stereotypes of that country.
The school fought in the opening match of Nationals, Saunders, is from Eagleland with their frequent peppering of English words, their leader's brash, friendly and open attitude, and very blonde hair. Naturally, their tanks are Shermans, lots of Shermans.
A possible aversion is Saunders use of the Sherman Firefly, a strictly British variant of the Sherman tank that mounts a British gun and was incompatible with U.S. tank doctrine of the Second World War.note While the US was entirely aware that the 17-pounder was a great tank destroyer, they weren't fond of the idea of having a non-American produced gun mounted to their tanks. The 76mm M1A1-equipped Sherman serving as Saunders' flag tank was essentially the American take on the Firefly. It's most likely a case of the idea of the Firefly being a Sherman anyways taking priority in the eyes of the themed schools over their historical usage.
The crest of Italian-themed school Anzio is a pizza, and they insist in using the worthless L3/35 tankettes.
Another possible aversion is Anzio's use of the Carro Armato P 26/40, which was not used by the Italians but by the Germans.note After Italy's defection to the Allies, which happened before the P 26/40 could see combat, the Germans captured all the P 26/40s and the factories that made them, and used them themselves. It's most likely done for the same reasons as the Sherman Firefly above.
Katyusha from Pravda is very big on saying she will mete out ridiculous punishments for seemingly minor offenses, such as having their tanks taken out, and considers having Ōarai's team do weeding at their school if they surrender. Her team does the That Russian Squat Dance while waiting for Ōarai to surrender.
The volleyball club awesomely ambushes one of the Matilda IIs with a point blank shot to the rear, resulting in a massive explosion and fire. Unfortunately, when the smoke clears, the Matilda II's gun is pointing at them, and promptly returns the favor.
Miho summons the nerve to question her mother Shiho about whether it was necessary for Maho to fire on the flag tank when it went to rescue her teammates, brought on by Maho's aloof behavior, and backed by her friends. Shiho calls it a "foolish question", and then proceeds to say that the Nishizumi school values victory above all else. While the question doesn't get much of a response from Shiho, the fact that Miho was able to ask it, which is uncharacteristic of her, results in Maho going to Miho to apologize and have a heart-to-heart talk.
In the Final Battle, Hippo team stops to aim; Saemonza says a Badass Boast about avenging Mallard team; They fire — they HIT — and an awkward pause follows as their shell flies into view after bouncing off the Maus, which is completely undamaged and one-shots them right after.
Nerds Are Sexy: Played with, as the Anteater team girls (who wear their uniforms in ways that show a bit more skin) are likely trying in-universe to invoke this trope.
That said, Nekota is shown to be a genuine bishoujo (standing out even amongst a cast full of them) when she removes her glasses, and Piyotan is either the most or second most buxom girl in the series (the only one even coming close to competing with her in the bust department being Nonna).
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Momo singlehandedly foils Ōarai's attempted ambush on St. Gloriana's tanks by firing too early (and on her own teammates!).
Nobody Can Die: Strictly enforced. Not just a matter of Nonlethal Warfare and safe(ish) Abnormal Ammo; the girls survive regular game-related accidentsnote things like ammo bins catching fire, tanks falling from cliffs into deep rivers, tanks doing somersaults from battle damage... without a scratchnote beyond Ash Faces and broken glasses, even if it would normally be fatal for the crew. Notice that the risk of such deaths is acknowledged, even if downplayed In-Universe; this isn't Never Say "Die". Miho's family troubles are precisely because she cared more about her teammate's safety than victory.
Kei hugging Miho after the Saunders vs Ōarai match.
The final episode, where Anzu glomps Miho after the match, and Mako glomps onto Sodoko after she erases all of Mako's tardy records.
There's also a glomp from Miho to Maho in Little Army after Maho returns home suddenly, much to Miho's delight, as she thought the tournament would keep her away all summer.
No Name Given: Even in the official website, the announcers are simply called B-ko and C-ko. It's finally averted in the official supplemental material. It lists B-ko as Remi Takashima, and C-ko as Hibiki Inatomi. The third unnamed judge is Kanon Sasagawa.
No OSHA Compliance: Even ignoring the fact that you've got teams of schoolgirls running around in tanks firing live ammo at each other, it's perfectly legal to take the battle into a town where there is nothing separating the spectators/bystanders from danger. However, they never fired their cannons when there are spectators close by.
Sodoko: What's so "mouse" about something that big?!
Non-Lethal Warfare: Invoked in-universe through the use of special carbon coating lining the interior of the participating tanks, which protects the tank crews by minimizing the force transfer of hits that would otherwise be lethal in the real world. Also, all participants have to use special Federation-made rounds (one assumes this includes the bullets for the machineguns as well) that, while not totally negating the chance for injury, are supposed to be nonlethal.
Episode 10.5 further explains that in addition to a embedded chip with a transmitter in each round, there's a blackbox installed in the tanks that computes power, location and angle of the hit to determine the damage. All this basically makes tankery akin to glorified laser tag.
Nom de Guerre: Many of the characters are known only by an alias or "Soul Name". As all of the characters are officially Japanese, those with clearly foreign names (Darjeeling, Katyusha, Anchovy, Jajka etc.) are assumed to be this.
Possibly the best example is when the Maus appears. The B1 gamely yells "Don't get cocky because you're huge!" and fires both 75mm and 45mm howitzer at it. The Maus seems to pause for a moment, before firing once and flipping the B1 on it's back
Bites our heroines in the ass twice during the match with Gloriana; first when the Volleyball team shoot a Matilda's external fuel tank (which produces a spectacular explosion and fire but doesn't damage the tank itself), and again when Miho and Darjeeling duke it out, and the Churchill IV's armor proves superior to the Panzer IV's. This is a fairly realistic scenario given the extremely thick armor of early WWII British tanks.
No Swastikas: Throughout the show, swastikas are replaced with black saltires.
Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Despite many of the opposing teams specializing in different tanks from many different countries and representing the National Stereotypes of their tanks' country of origin, none of the opposing teams speak using said country's accent. This is a Justified Trope, as the opposing team members are actually Japanese schoolgirls imitating said stereotypes and the anime's focus is mainly on tanks rather than National Stereotypes. The English dub followed suit for similar reasons.
In a fansub for the sixth OVA, Duck Team, in response to seeing Leopon's magic trick in which they replace the Type 89 with a Porsche Tiger, they angrily yell, "What the hell did you do with our Type 89? Don't fuck with us!"
Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In the anime, we only see the aftermath of Ōarai's Curb-Stomp Battle against the Anzio team. It's expanded on in the manga. It would also be great to see the match between Kuromorimine and St. Gloriana.
Miho's reaction to the reintroduction of Tankery in the first episode, having chosen her school specifically because it didn't have the program.
Mako's reaction to learning that she needs to get up at five in the morning for a practice match that's scheduled for six.
The volleyball club, when they see the tank they ambushed is still combat effective, and its gun is pointing right at them.
Hana when Yukari inadvertently lets slip that they're doing tankery together while introducing herself to Hana's mother, not knowing that Hana's mother hates tankery.
One of Saunders' Shermans when they see the hidden StuG III.
Arisa, of Saunders team, was chasing the Type 89, who keeps tossing obscuring smoke flares. When the smoke clears, she sees an ambush of all of Ōarai's tanks and has an Oh Crap moment, leading to her Villainous Breakdown
All of Ōarai when they are led into a trap by Pravda.
Katyusha, when she realizes that instead of going for the deliberate weak point for their break out, Ōarai is coming right at HER!
All of Ōarai again when Kuromorimine beats them to the point Miho wanted to set up in.
Katyusha again, in Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu when she finds out Nonna keeps a "Katyusha Diary"...and then Katyusha accidentally pokes her in the eye. She literally begins shaking, has waking nightmares of Nonna as Light Yagami tallying up grudges and dreaming of a future Katyusha purge, and comes out in a cold sweat.
Played for laughs in OVA 6, where a talent contest is held, and the History Club, Volleyball Club, Automobile Club and Gamer Girls are forbidden from using their forte, resulting in shock on their part. Amusingly inverted when Saori is relieved that they are not allowed to do the Anglerfish dance (the only skill besides Tankery that Team Anglerfish has in common).
Played for laughs in Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu, when Sodoko realizes that her school swimsuit has her nickname instead of her last name.
One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others: A double example — apart from the much-advertised tank combat, the school's mandatory electives include such wholesome feminine activities as flower arranging, tea ceremonies, calligraphy, ninjutsu, and magic.
Ironically the one tank in the Ōarai arsenal that was historically capable of being a one tank army, the Char B1 bisnote Char B1s were notoriously tough. One was known to have taken down 13 Panzer IIIs and IVs that had been laying in ambush and returned to base safely despite having been hit more than 140 times. comes off the worse of it. It's blasted in the back by the IS-2's 122mm during the final minutes of the match against Pravda. And that's not its worst battle damage....
The student council's tank takes on four Pravda tanks single-handedly in episode 9 However, they only knock out two of the tanks before they're taken out.
Episode 6, when Mako hears about her grandmother being hospitalized, she drops her cell phone while trying to say that the call was nothing important, and then she, the girl who considers quitting The Team over having to get up early in the morning, considers swimming an impossible distance in the hopes of getting to the hospital as soon as possible.
Miho summoning the nerve to ask Shiho about whether it was necessary for Maho to shoot the German flag tank when it went to rescue one of her own, is noted as being this in-universe.
Lampshaded in Little Army, when Emi saying that she hates Maho, despite never having met her, angers Miho enough for them to get into a serious fight and have a falling out. Sakuyo comments that doing this is quite unlike Miho..
In episode 6, Kei drops her normal bombastic tone of voice to give Arisa a rather subdued "We're going to go over what happened here today." Arisa's facial expression and the comforting pat on the shoulder she receives from Naomi both indicate they know what will happen to Arisa next.
In Chapter 10 of the manga:
Anzu: (not smiling) Losing is not an option for us...
Yukari: (thinks) The president became serious for once.
In "Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu", the commanders of Kuromorimine tanks Maho invited to her holiday party panic when they notice her acting unusually friendly toward them. It turns out that Maho merely wants to give them a holiday party, like the kind she enjoyed with Miho.
Open-Minded Parent: Yukari's parents are fairly supportive of her hobbies and interest in tankery. Erwin notes that her parents have long since given up on trying to oppose her own interest in military history.
The Pardon: Among the outrageous benefits the Student Council gives to promote Tankery, one is 200 tardiness excuses. Mako needs every one of them, lest she be held back. Sodoko ultimately deletes 251 instances of Mako being tardy and 12 unexcused absences after they win.
When Mako finds out her grandmother is ill, Maho offers to loan her team's helicopter over her second-in-command's protests so that Mako can go to the hospital as soon as possible.
Maho insists on watching until the end of the match with Pravda, and when Miho wins, Maho says it was not due to her opponent's carelessness, but her own skill.
In Little Army, Maho gives Emi, who had hit her head on the side of her tank, some ointment. Emi takes note of it and begins to warm up to Maho.
Chapter 12 of Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu is an extended dog-petting from Erika to Miho, as they both try to find their way back to their respective school ships when lost in a foreign port.
Plot Armor: Literal plot armor exists in-universe that facilitates the non-lethal nature of Tankery; a mysterious "carbon" lining that stops not only penetrating hits, but dampens otherwise equally-deadly force transfer from harming a tank's crew. Also, the Internet is rife with remarks that the GBRnote Great Belorussian Random, a WoTmeme works in favor of the heroines. Not only are there no fatalities, there aren't even anything beyond superficial injuries.
The Student Council's reluctance to tell the students that the school will be closed down if they don't win the championship means that the Ōarai teams get overconfident and aren't terribly concerned with winning the championship, believing they did well going as far as they did in their first year. The Student Council was planning to tell Miho during their dinner, but were unable to bring themselves to do so.
In Episode 8, Miho's meekness and inability to assert her authority causes all of the Ōarai tanks to rush headlong into a carefully prepared ambush, since they don't hear her attempts to warn them.
Circle K Sunkus, a franchise of convenience stores. Yukari even uses one of their red and blue uniforms in episode 5, with its name and logo left intact.
OVA 1 has Yukari mentioning "DUI drysuit" by name, referring to Diving Unlimited International, a company best known for making military diving gear.
Yukari carries a Assault Backpack manufactured by a certain tactical gear company.
One of the freshman team members is reading "Moeyo!Sensha Gakkou", a moefied WWII tank history book which has one of the show's character designer as an illustrator.
OVA 2 features MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) from different countries' armed forces, which are also composed by recognizable brands that can be found in many stores, specifically Tootsie Rolls (US) and Berry Combos (spelled as Berry COMSO in the OVA) from the UK. Oddly enough, the one specifically identifiable from German rations, Schokolade (a caffeine bar), is WW2-vintage, which makes you wonder about Yukari's sources...
Protagonist-Centered Morality: Downplayed. Arisa from Saunders is treated as a cheater for intercepting Ōarai's raido tranmissions during a match while Yukari is not for infiltrating Saunders to spy on their battle plans even though neither action is technically against the rules. It's downplayed because the former's commander has a Badass Creed focused on fair play while the commander of the later comes from a tradition of Serious Business and even then she was surprised and had to be assured that it wasn't illegal. Also, Yukari tried to bluff her way out with a Kelly's Heroes reference, which Kei found hilarious.
The BD booklets yield some light on the issue: Yukari did something they are explicitly permitted to do (recon before games), while Alisa used a glaring loophole ( rules forbid using "radio intercept airplanes", she used a radio intercept balloon) to do anyway something that they are explicitly forbidden to do.
Episode 8 uses the Russian folk song "Katyusha" when Pravda begins their semi-final match with Ōarai. The English dub used "Korobeiniki" instead, because "Katyusha" is not in the public domain in the West.
Pun-Based Title: The Japanese pronunciation of "panzer" is "panzu"; the Japanese word for "panties" is "pantsu". This is Lampshaded in trailers for the show. The irony of it all is that this show has no panty shots at all.
In Episode 2, when Yukari says, "De wa, Panzer Vor!" Saori thinks she's talking about panties. Miho has to explain.
Putting on the Reich: Kuromorimine's uniforms are basically WWII German tankist uniforms, only without obvious German or Nazi insignia, likely to duck legal troubles (although, as any uniform geek will tell you, WWII German tank uniforms are not black to invoke Nazism, but to invoke the Imperial era Black Hussars).
Anzio wear uniforms based on those worn by the WWII Italian Army. These ones even incorporate a red armband!
Katyusha wear uniforms based on Soviet-era Russian military uniforms.
Ōarai is a real Japanese small town, well-known as a tourist spot and for its fisheries; the Urban Warfare in episode four uses the town's layout and buildings. There is an Angler fish Festival, and it's a big producer of sweet potatoes, as depicted in the series.
The entirety of episode 5.5. It has zero new scenes and instead features Miho narrating how she gets to Ōarai in the first place, how she meets her new friends, and how she gets roped into being a tank commander again. It also has her finally introduce each of the supporting cast (like the members of the Volleyball Team and the History Club) by name, something that she's never been able to properly do in the main show. This was supposed to have been a DVD/Blu-Ray extra (in that context, the repeated content makes more sense), and not aired on TV in the first place. See Schedule Slip below for more details.
Due to even more production delays, Episode 10.5 was aired instead of the promised episode 11 on Christmas Eve 2012. This episode was much better received, as rather than just a simple recap, it added a gamut of extra information about the setting and the characters, particularly how the specifics of the rounds used for the tanks as well as the scoring system behind the flags on the tanks.
Reckless Gun Usage: Even if the rounds are supposed not to be war ammo but non-penetrating sports payloads, some of the girls are very reckless in their use.
The St. Gloriana girls aim four guns at Miho's tank at point blank while she is poking her torso out of the turret hatch.
Miho spends waaaaay too much time CEnote That's the Advanced Squad Leader wargame's parlance for Crew Exposed, that is, not buttomed up (shortened as BU) inside the tank even in the face of enemy fire. She is called out about it by Saori. She and Maho spend most of their one on one duel towards the end of the finals this way.
Arisa tops it by firing her gun at Duck Team's tank — while Isobe is riding outside the tank. Bonus points for Isobe being on the tank's rear and so between the tank and the gun. Possible aversion by Isobe in the same scene, as she doesn't order firing upon the CE Arisa's M4 until both of them are inside their tanks.
Arisa tops it again by ordering firing her tank's machinegun at the Duck team seconds later, with Isobe still exposed. She buttons up seconds before the first rounds started bouncing on the tank. Three episodes later, Katyusha tops it again, by ordering six tanks to fire machineguns against the exposed Miho.
Refuge in Audacity: Ōarai's main weapon. In particular, Turtle Team's use and abuse of their Hetzer is so prominent that every time that the German verb "hetzen"note (lit. "to agitate", fig. "to cause trouble", in normal German usage more often though "to chase down", as in "Hetzjagd" — which is probably also what the Nazis back then meant when they named the "Hetzer" tank)) is used as an English verb in a GuP TV Tropes article, it's safe to assume it means "here, Turtle Team played Refuge in Audacity straight, added to whatever else we're talking about".note Oh, and World of TanksMemetic Mutation, too.
The student council's Hetzer tank upgrade makes them look like a Kuromorimine tank. So, what do they do? They take out an actual Kuromorimine tank destroyer and calmly drive into Kuromorimine's formation. Kuromorimine's tank crews only realize that they've been infiltrated when the Hetzer parks right next to them. The reason for said infiltration was to throw the enemy team into disarray to allow the outnumbered Ōarai team to crash its way through the enemy lines.
How they defeat the Maus. To elaborate, the Student Council rams their Hetzer into the Maus's tracks from the front, using their speed and elevation to immobilize and lift the heaviest tank in the world. Teams Rabbit and Leopon then draw the Maus's attention by firing at its flank, allowing Team Duck to get their Type 89 to climb over the Hetzer and onto the Maus to jam its now fully-turned-to-the-side turret with its weight. Then Team Anglerfish's Panzer IV strolls their way up a slope next to the temporarily immobilized Maus so Hana can take it out with one shot through the now exposed air vents at its rear. Miho warned them that it was crazy and they said they trusted her enough to go with it.
Repeat Cut: In episode 4, how the StuG III takes out the Matilda is shown again from a different angle.
Rock Beats Laser: One of the ways Ōarai stays ahead of Kuromorimine is by using their larger tank barrels against them in the close confines of urban combat, forcing them to get stuck in alleys, or in some cases ramming enemy tanks so they can't line up their guns for a killshot.
Rope Bridge: The first training battle for the girls ends with Miho and crew totaling the other teams while cornered on one.
Rousing Speech: Zigzagged: due to her meek personality, Miho sucks at motivational speeches, so she raises morale in other ways.
When a tank is taken out, a white flag pops out that points straight up. No matter what position the tank ends up in (e.g. a Jagdtiger completely upside down), the flag always points straight up. Those flag dispensers must be mounted all over the tanks.
Tank combat with real battle tanks as a sport... practiced at schools... by teenage girls... Plausible? No way. Awesome? Definitely!
The instructor shows up in an airdropped Type-10 MBT. note While the delivery method is a sound concept, it's of questionable practicality for a main battle tank (averaging 70 tons), which greatly outweighs a light tank (averaging 15-20 tons), though it's certainly plausible that the Type-10 (48 tons) could be rigged for a one-off LAPES drop.
Exists in-universe. If you're a tank crew, then you are the very definition of cool. (Supported by national propaganda.)
Anime Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Ōarai's ship looks to be the size of a modern aircraft carrier, with the bigger schools having ones the size of supercarriers. In normal shots the cities on the decks appear to be of normal size, and Ōarai even has at least one river flowing on the deck, despite the fact even modern carriers probably couldn't fit one school building on the flight deck.
Justified in that the ships are not actually the carriers, just based off them. They're city ships specifically made to be massive, with Ōarai's, one of the smaller ones, being 7km long according to supplemental materials.
Schmuck Bait: That little PzIII isn't much of a threat, so let's chase it down...
Scooby Stack: Episode 12, three of Ōarai's teams hide from the Maus behind a small building. One shot from the Maus blows away the building, leaving the three teams exposed and running for cover. Counts as either Concealment Equals Covernote a 128mm gun should easily penetrate the building and knock out at least one tank or a justified case of Arbitrary Gun Powernote the special Tankery Federation rounds mandated for Tankery matches were likely designed not to overpenetrate anything for safety reasons, even for rounds of that size.
The Nishizumi Tankery school treats Tankery much like a real war, and believes in winning no matter what.
In the manga, Anchovy of Anzio Academy has a similar view, responding to Miho's belief that comrades are more important than victory by saying that it's a commander's responsibility to lead the team to victory.
In the Little Army manga, during the match between Miho and Maho's teams, Maho tells her teammates that a single loss in ten thousand matches is enough to get someone expelled from the Nishizumi school.
Miho tries to defy it at a point in the series where she has come to think of Tankery as something fun and where winning isn't everything.note In the Pravda fight she had planned a very cautious battle, but decides to go with her team's enthusiasm and go for a more risky but not so boring frontal assault with predictable results. Key word being "tries"; that same episode she is told that second place really is for losers, as their school will be closed down if they don't WIN the tournament.
Miho is often referred to as "Senpai" by the freshmen team.
One tactic Saori tries to convince Mako not to quit the team after hearing about having to wake up at 5AM is saying that if she doesn't get the credits, she'll be held back and have to call her "Saori-senpai." Mako, who typically calls Saori by her first name without honorifics, starts to stammer out "Saori-senpai", implying that she sees this as unpleasant, but it ultimately takes Saori threatening to tell Mako's grandmother to convince her.
Sentai: The "Panzer Five" skit Team Anglerfish puts on in OVA 6.
Sequel Hook: At the end of Little Army, Miho and Emi, who is returning to Germany, promise to meet again once they have found their own ways of Tankery.
Serious Business: Tankery seems to be far more important, social and legalwise, than any other sport of real world:
Miho and Hana have been disowned over their participation in tank combat (the former for not doing it according to her family's standards, the latter for just doing it), and Ōarai itself is threatened with closure unless its tank club can win the championship. The Nishizumi school in general takes this attitude, especially Miho's mother, and the Little Army manga indicates that the Nishizumi Family is recognized as very strict even among other tank combat families.
Moto Love Love Sakusen Desu shows that Tankery players can be taken as PoWs with the abducted player being freed by an armed rescue from other players.
In the first episode, the first time we see Miho is while she's halfway through her habitual morning routine with military precision before stopping and cheerfully exclaiming "That's right, I'm not at home anymore!". This alone tells tons about her family background before later episodes go into detail.
Yukari cuddling the 38(t) tells us that she's a tank junkie even before we see her room full of tank memorabilia.
We see Miho being surprised whenever anyone is kind towards her, even before her difficult family relationship is mentioned.
No one on the show points it out, but Hana is repeatedly shown to have a massive appetite if one notices how large her servings always are compared to the other girls. This is subtly subjected to Serial Escalation until it reaches Running Gag levels. By the time of OVA 3, she's seen eating a whole basket in one go.
Finally pointed out in the first chapter of Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu. Saori, concerned about her weight, resolves to watch her portions while eating with Hana, lest she inadvertently eat too much while matching her portions to Hana's. There are several panels of Saori and Hana eating side by side, such as Saori eating a small piece of bread while Hana eats a whole loaf.
Maho's Pet the Dog moment and Erika's attitude tells us a lot about Kuromorimine team politics.
Instead of telling us that Italian WWII armor was bad, we don't see Anzio.
In the Pravda fight, instead of a lengthy discussion about how to break the blockade by feinting towards the obvious weak spot, then turning towards the center of their line instead before Pravda can spring the obvious trap, we see them doing it. It overlaps with Unspoken Plan Guarantee.
A brief scene in episode 4 where a shopkeeper rejoices when his shop is trashed by a tank, since he can renovate it (obviously, even if not explicitly told, with the insurance money), answers many questions that would have taken 5-10 minutes of dry exposition instead.
The detailed explanations about the functioning of the Tankery special ammo and judging devices are left for the recap episodes; in the series proper, we only see the shells splattering against the armor and the white flags rising. Plus, in a moment of Fridge Brilliance, a dramatic slow-mo shot of a 75mm round in transit makes sure to curve to show us a little device sticking out of the projectile's rear, which is our only in-show reference to the chips they supposedly carry.
There's no foreshadowing gloating from Maho about she having Out-Gambitted Miho's likely plan of forcing Kuromorimine into Urban Warfare. Instead, we get a brief image of her checking her map, a dry emotionless pointing out of the nearby city as Miho's likely destination, and the results. Of course, this is Maho.
Kuromorimine's lineup of heavy tanks and formation-based tactics, plus how their formation dissolves when the Hetzer baits them, strongly implies that their past victories have been due to numbers, discipline and Bigger Sticks rather than brilliant tactics or individual skill.
In an interesting case of showing through telling, the exact point where Ōarai's teams graduate from "skilled amateurs" to "top-notch veterans" is when, instead of relying upon Unspoken Plan Guarantee, we get to watch how they develop said plans, which then they then execute flawlessly... or as flawlessly as a plan can be done after it comes in contact with the enemy. Even then, we get to watch how they adapt the plan.
Averted in the manga. The anime shows that in spite of Sodoko chiding Mako over her lateness and Mako calling her by her nickname against her wishes, the two get along, such as when Mako helps Sodoko with tank-related matters and Sodoko deletes all of Mako's latenesses and absences, not just the 200 she was promised. The manga provides a brief scene in which the other girls discuss Mako and Sodoko.
Show Within a Show: Instead of just showing the raw footage from her Saunders infiltration, Yukari dresses it up with a title sequence and end credits.
Showdown at High Noon: The final part of the Kuromorimine vs. Ōarai match strongly resembles this. With tanks!
Sick Episode: The main plot of the first chapter of "Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu" involves Miho falling ill after Yukari accidentally soaks her with a hose, and the rest of Team Anglerfish visiting her, with various bizarre ways of helping her to get better.
Contrasted with Momo later catching Miho's cold, and no one showing Momo any sympathy, or helping her feel better.
In this world, operating a tank is part of being a Proper Lady. It's even a women-dominated line of work!
Propaganda film voiceover: If you learn tank combat, you will become a great wife, a great mother and a great career woman.
This is explicitly Hana's reason to learn Tankery: to her, tanks are flowers too and she wants to arrange flowers with 'more vigor'.
Even the demure, polite and kimono-clad maids of the Nishizumi family have experience in Tankery; Kikuyo serves as a Combat Referee for the training match between Miho and Maho's teams, and Sakuyo mentions being once studying Tankery under her mistress Shiho.
Sitting on the Roof: Variation, as the girls of Anteater Team sit on top of their tank for that little time alone to look up at the night sky in peace and quiet.
Hana's mother is Type 1. Yuri, after learning that her daughter is doing tankery due to no longer being satisfied with the family flower arranging, something Yuri disapproves of, passes out. Upon coming to, Yuri tries to find out if something is bothering Hana, tries to convince her that her flower arranging is good, and after Hana reiterates her desire to do tankery, tells her never to come home again. Hana, however, remains convinced that her mother will come around, and Yuri does, after seeing that Hana's flower arranging has improved and taking on its own style as a result of doing tankery.
Miho's mother is Type 3 through her treatment of Miho. She belittles Miho's approach to tankery, calling her "foolish" to ask whether Maho needed to fire on a tank from the opposing team that was trying to save one from her team even when she was winning, and berates Miho for later saving a tank from her team, even though her team lost, seemingly as a result of that decision. She even goes so far as to plan to cast Miho out of the family due to not liking her approach to tankery, although, in the end, she has a moment in which she can be interpreted as accepting Miho's way of tankery. It's somewhat telling that Maho, Shiho's eldest daughter and heiress, as well as the person who seems spared from most of her mistreatment, only decides to live up to being heiress so that Miho will not have to.
Snow Means Death: The match against Pravda. It starts snowing during the latter half of the battle.
Translators can't seem to agree what the official term for tank combat (senshado, literally "way/art of the tank") in the series is. The manga scanlations call it "Panzerkraft", though various translation groups for the anime call it "Operating Tanks", "Panzerfahren", "Tankery", "Tank-Fu" or "Tankwondo". All current official translations of the show, and the translation to be used in the DVD release (according to the Anime Network streams), use "Tankery", and thus that is the term used on this page. However, it should also be noted that a small English translation on a Japanese booklet discussing the plot uses "Panzerfahren" in the tournament's name.
On a lesser note, it seems that tropers get the protagonists' school name wrong more often than not. It's Ōarai with a distinctive o-with-dash-over-it (itself properly known as macronnote Which in turn is not to be confused with macaron, macaroon, or Makron). It's not Orai, Owarainote That would be the generic name for Japanese comedy shows., or Oarai. You read it as 'Ow-Arai'. Definitely also not "Öarai" (that misuse of a German Umlaut for a long "O"-sound is particularly grating for German readers, since it stands for a completely different sound).
Spiritual Antithesis: It looks like Strike Witches with tanks on the surface, but it's not. It's a sport instead of war and it's the focus of the series, simulationism instead of magically-powered Rule of Cool, the director actively put down any ideas of Panty Shots, and there is no yuri as far as the eyes can see — one of the core cast is an out-and-out boy-chaser.
Mostly used seriously, but ocasionally used for comedic effect. In D/Rabbit Team's introduction, there are so many of them that poor Ayumi has to push against the split screen in order to fit. (See more examples up in Frame Break).
Spot of Tea: St. Gloriana and Pravda, as befitting British and Russian-themed teams. The former also gives tea to those they consider Worthy Opponents.
Spy Speak: Used in episode 5, when Saunders is listening in on Ōarai's communications. Arisa claims to Kei that she gets the info from "female intuition".
Stealing from the Till: When the student council wine and dine Miho before the Pravda match, Yuzu Koyama mentions that Anzu managed to "find the money in the budget" for a nice table/cooker. Given Anzu's love of cooking, one suspects that this particular purchase might not necessarily have been made with Ōarai's best interests at heart. In OVA 5, she buys a year's supply of her favorite food (sweet potato chips) as the first prize for a competition she both judges and participates in. You can have three guesses who wins, and the first two don't count.
Stealth Pun: Katyusha first appears riding on the back of a Soviet rocket launcher of the same name.
Stock Yuck: Darjeeling greatly appreciates the Thames delicacy of jellied eels. Absolutely nobody else in the show and probably in all of Japan does. Indeed, when she gives Anglerfish team a tin of them in Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu, they are so disgusting they are pixellated to save us from viewing their hideousness. Darjeeling reckons they are a "soul food".
It's so bad, when Ōarai is driving away, their tank's white flag deploys.
In Episode 8 and the equivalent scene in manga chapter 10, when some of the Ōarai character say they don't think they will win, striking a nerve with Momo, Momo makes a sudden angry outburst that they have to win. Silence follows, ended by an uncharacteristically serious statement by Anzu that losing is not an option.
Super-Deformed: The members of the tank crews in their tank during their turn in the ending credits.
Sweet and Sour Grapes: An interesting take on the To Be a Master variant described on the trope page. Miho, who doesn't think winning is everything, has to win, lest the school be shut down, as she finds out when she plans on surrendering rather than risking people getting seriously hurt. Maho, who follows the Nishizumi style's belief in winning at all costs, does so in order to allow Miho to live and do Tankery the way she wishes, and gladly accepts defeat against Miho, considering she's found her own way of Tankery.
Switching P.O.V.: While the manga follows the same plot as the anime, Yukari is the main protagonist rather than Miho. The Light Novel does this as well, except it's Saori who's the narrator instead.
Sword Fight: In a most unusual example, the Anzio OVA presents Carpaccio's Semovente and the Hippo Team's StuG III — both turretless SPG's — using their barrels to deflect each other's guns in close combat as they repeatedly ram into each other.
T to Z
Take That: According to Yukari in OVA #2, the US army has the shittiest military rations ever (she claimed, that during an joint military exercise, the units from the different countries would try the rations of the others, but nobody wanted to try the one from the US army. She also quoted the Real Life-backronym for MRE (field rations, standing for Meal, Ready to Eat): Meals Rejected by the Enemy* Although she does not mention the other, less politically-correct but more Black Comedy, backronym Meals Rejected by Ethiopians...
Certainly not their intent, but the Student Council's surprise intervention in Episode 4 ensured that their Panzer 38(t) took the brunt of shots from St. Gloriana that were supposed to be pointed at the Panzer IV.
Before highlighting this, make sure you've watched episode 7, or at least highlighted the spoiler under My Greatest Failure. During a flashback to the previous year's finals (Kuromorimine vs Pravda), one of Kuromorimine's tanks attempts to interpose itself between their flag tank (which Miho had abandoned to save the crew of another Kuromorimine tank that ended up in the river) and one of the Pravda tanks lining up for a shot. It couldn't get enough of its body in the way in time, leading to Pravda winning and Kuromorimine's winning streak coming to an end.
Done deliberately twice (in the battles with Saunders and Pravda) by Rabbit Team. Duck and Mallard did it once each in those battles.
Accidentally by Anteater in episode 10 against Kuromorimine, saving Team Anglerfish (the flag tank, so they also saved Ōarai by extension) from elimination.
Talent Contest: In OVA 6, the various tank teams compete in a talent show during their victory banquet, in which they are forbidden from using their best skills.
One of the "tanks" in Miho's squadron is a StuG, which is technically an assault gun rather than a true tank. This is lampshaded by the StuG crew when they point out that it doesn't even have a turret. It's lampshaded again in episode 7, when Yukari mentions the StuG is more of an infantry support vehicle.
The Student Council's Pz 38(t) is rebuilt into a Hetzer tank destroyer before the match against Kuromorimine.
Around half of Kuromorimine's lineup for the final match consists of heavy tank destroyers. This bites them in the rear when the Student Council's Hetzer starts hetzing and Ōarai moves into the city.
The girls call all armored vehicles "tanks" (sensha), but this is keeping with German doctrine, where all armored vehicles are called "panzer".
Tsuchiyanote Or was she Suzuki? uses the sheer weight of her tank to destroy a bridge... by doing a wheelie (which ends in 59 tons of the aforementioned iron tracks slamming onto it at the end) to delay enemy pursuit.
Ami runs her Type 10 over the Principal's Ferrari F40. Twice.
Episode 12 features more extensive use of the trope.
When their Kelly's Heroes-inspired plan fails to work a second time, Team Rabbit is forced to fall back upon this. It's the Jackie Chan variety with a tank. He would be proud, as it's most likely a Shout-Out.
Two much larger enemy tanks try to crush Duck Team between them.
Erika, in a vain attempt to reinforce Maho, manages to drive her Tiger II over the the wreckage of three tanks and under a very low gap.
Happens in OVA 7, between Hippo team and Cappricio's Semovente 75/18.
The Team: Tankery teams are a double layered version. Each school has a group of tanks that work together on the field and each tank requires several crewmembers (typically 5: a commander, radio operator, driver, gunner, and loader) to operate at maximum effectiveness.
Family Theme Naming The main character is named Miho, her big sister is named Maho, and their mother is named Shiho. In this case, the last part of their given names could be interpreted as 'hou' or cannon, which fits the whole tank theme of this show and the family dojo.
The History Club girls are, obviously, named after historical figures, namely: Erwin (Erwin Rommel), Saemonza (Oda Nagamasa), Caesar (Gaius Julius Caesar), and Oryou (Narasaki Ryou). Honorary member Yukari chooses Guderian (Heinz Guderian). Their real names, on the other hand, are based on the names of people who worked on the series. Caesar's real name is Takako Suziki (Takaaki Suzuki, Military researcher), Saemonza is Kiyomi Sugiyama (Kiyoshi Sugiyama, the producer), and so on.
All members of the Freshman team are named after members of the Nadeshiko Japan all-women football team, who won the FIFA 2011 world championship.
The members of the Volleyball Club share surnames with members of the national volleyball team that won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964. Driver Kawanishi seems like the odd-duck out at first glance, but in her situation it's just a case of Alternate Character Reading — Kawanishi is just another reading of Kasai, the surname of the captain of that team (Kasai Masae).
The Automobile Club are all named after Japanese race car drivers, specifically: Satoru Nakajima, Aguri Suzuki, Kazuyoshi Hoshino, and Keiichi Tsuchiya.
The Nishizumi clan is likely a reference to Nishizumi Kojiro, a famous tank hero during the Sino-Japanese War.
Akiyama may also be a reference to Akiyama Yoshifuru and Saneyuki. Saneyuki was responsible for devising the tactic that defeated the Russian fleet in the Russo-Japanese war. Yoshifuru was famous for being a strong advocate of using cavalry.
As to the Morals Committee's nicknames: Sodoko and Gomoyo are derived from Sodom and Gomorrah respectively. Pazomi refers to Italian Director Pier Paolo Pasolini, who directed the movie Salo or the 120 Days of Sodom in 1975. Although it is set during WWII, the movie is not a war movie, and it is not for the faint of heart.
Team Anteater are all named after animals: Nekota (cat), Momogya (Flying Squirrel), and Piyo (Chick).
St. Gloriana's response to the Panzer 38(t) suddenly appearing in front of them during their friendly match against Ōarai is all four tanks firing in unison.
Pravda brings a KV-2 with the 152mm short-barreled howitzer and an IS-2 with a long 122mm gun. Those guns could cause armor plate to crack in half!
Kuromorimine invokes this in the final arc, as each of their tanks (Tiger, King Tiger, Panther) and tank destroyers (Jagdpanzer IV, Jagdpanther, Jagdtiger, Ferdinand) on their team was intended to counter Pravda's heavy tanks, meaning they already outperform anything Ōarai can field barring the StuG III, the upgraded Panzer IV and the Tiger(P). Then they add an overwhelming numerical superiority on top of this. Then, they bring out the Maus.
One team brought the machine-gun variant of the Polish 7TP to a tank fight. This bears repeating. Somebody brought a tank only armed with machine guns to a competition composed solely of tanks that are immune to machine gun fire. The only thing the tank could be used for — putting exposed crewmembers out of commission — is illegal.
Anzio Academy deploys a squad of L3/35 Tankettes. This is lampshaded by Yukari in the manga, where she points out that their only real use would be for disabling attempts against their tracks or engines. This is exploited when the Ōarai girls find out that the tankettes were being used as affordable bait to lure them into a trap.
The Freshman team at first panics (causing the loss of their tanknote by breaking it when trying to flee, or by outright abandoning it to flee on foot) in both practice battles. Since the start of the Tournament Arc, they become as bravenote No, making a fighting withdrawal when outnumbered six to one does not count as "fleeing scared" as the other teams, even Taking the Bullet for the flag tank twice. The second time was deliberate, to boot. In the final episode, they singlehandedly take down Kuromorimine's Elefant and Jagdtiger in close combat duels before being taken out.
Trailers Always Spoil: This typically isn’t the case, given that most trailers are a freeze frame with the title of the episode, but Episode 6’s preview shows Mako flying away on Kuromorimine’s helicopter, giving a spoiler as to the fairly unexpected source of help in getting her to her hospitalized grandmother.
Training from Hell: The first part of the girls' training is a mock battle, despite the fact that all of them (save Miho) have zero experience operating tanks.
Troperiffic: Over 1000 tropes on this page alone, nevermind the huge characters page!
True Companions: The Ōarai girls form a large one, and each individual team is a smaller fellowship within the larger one. Outside of Anglerfish Team, they're bound together by common interests (history, volleyball etc). This is comented upon by their rivals. Some in a positive light, others, not so much.
Miho sucks at Rousing Speeches, but the first time she manages to nail one is when they learn that, unless they win the tournament, the school will be closed and the girls will likely be split up, with these simple words: "I want to keep doing Tankery. With all of you". Cue all the team springing into action.
In Episode 11, Hippo team tries to attack the Maus to "avenge Mallard Team". Keep in mind that the first time they interacted was when Sodoko complained about their costumes, only for them to tell her how little they cared for what she thought, and it says about how the teams regard each other as comrades in spite of their individual differences.
Underdogs Never Lose: In episode 5, Erika from the Kuromorimine Women's College, taunts Miho's team because of their loss against St. Gloriana in the previous episode. She also insults them by saying that a no-name school shouldn't even be in the competition, because schools with poor Tankery teams wisely stay out of it to avoid making their school look bad. Mako retorts by saying it would be interesting if a no-name school ended up winning said competition to show up those elitists who came up with that saying. Saori adds that they wouldn't lose if they fought in a match.
In Episode 4, realizing that Ōarai has no chance of hurting St. Gloriana's tanks in an open field battle (especially after their ambush failed), Miho has the survivors retreat into the town, in hopes of using the side streets and alleys to isolate and defeat their opponents. It gives them the advantage, but they still lose.
After successfully breaking contact and denying Kuromorimine a field battle, Miho leads Ōarai into the urban training town, chasing down a Panzer III in the process. Maho anticipated she would do that, and had the Maus waiting to ambush them.
Episode 9: After episode 8's revelation, the student council is seen in a flashback trying to negotiate a way out of it. It seems very strange that they are doing it, because the show shows them in the MEXT office being told, in a rather paternalistic and matter-of-fact way, what is going to happen, and Anzu devising a Zany Scheme; and the chain of events that would have happened in the real world for such cases (don't open if you don't want spoilers)note MEXT tells the school it's going to close; Principal tells student council because they need-to-know; Council goes to MEXT to ask for the details because doing that is part of their job; MEXT politely agreed -even if it was under no obligation and did so out of courtesy; on-screen, Anzu devises her Zany Scheme; back off-screen, council tells Principal The Plan; Principal, having nothing to lose, agrees to go with it and reinstates the Tankery program. Yes, in other shows, this would have been at least five episodes. is never explained on-screen.
Episode 9: Mako and Sodoko are spotted while spying on the Pravda positions, which remain unchanged hours afterwards. Cue fans complaining (with reason) that any competent commander like Katyusha would have rearranged them; a 4koma has Nonna saying that this was because Katyusha was asleep. Also, the Ōarai team manages to exit the building without being blown to bits. Cue Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy remarks. Later in the episode, Katyusha mentions that she left an opening on purpose, to lure them into a killzone and crush them utterly, which explains both things, if you know tactics.note if you leave a fake weak point, you make sure to leak it, and if you want to funnel your enemy into a killzone, you don't suppress their movement towards it.
Episode 10 & 11: Careful counting reveals that Kuromorimine brought 18 tanks & tank destroyers to the field, out of a maximum of 20 allowable vehicles. The missing two tanks are the Panzer III that was scouting for the Maus hidden in the town.
Episode 11 shows very clearly that Anzu has Maho in her sights, yet she doesn't fire. GuP fandom can be divided in two categories: those fans who remembered Miho's explanation of German optical rangefinding sights way back in episode 3, knew the Tiger I's length, and had the balistic data of Anzu's 7.5 cm PaK 39 gun handy, and those fans who were left wondering why she didn't try to end the battle (achieving her Goal in Life of ensuring Ōarai Academy's continued existence) right there.note To save you the math: a 6.5 meter tank covering six striches means Maho was well past 500 meters. At that range, Anzu's gun had only about a 50% chance of penetrating the Tiger's side armor, leaving only the tracks as a viable target. Tracking Maho would accomplish nothing, because all of her team would stop to protect her (so they would all reach Ōarai's defensive line at the same time), while tracking other tanks would make them lag behind the main force, diminishing their cohesion — Kuromorimine's main advantage. This is also shown instead of told when Anzu uses a straggler for more hetzing...
In episode 3, Team Anglerfish's tank is on the verge of falling off a bridge, but then one of their opponents shoots at them. The shot they fired is enough to push the tank back up onto the bridge while somehow failing to penetrate their rear armor at the same time.
It's unclear whether it's an example of this or Save the Villain, but in Little Army, one of Maho's team's tanks falls off a cliff, and the flag team for the opposing team — of which Emi's older sister is a member — goes off to rescue it. Maho, however, orders her tank to fire on the enemy flag tank, winning the tournament, although it's implied that she may not have known what it was doing, and is ashamed of having done so once she finds out.
In the onscreen aftermath of Maho's first offscreen battle, there's a Japanese version of the Renault FT-17 note a WWI-vintage tank; one so incredibly obsolete that even the much malignedType 89outclasses it, and which has no legitimate reason to be in a tournament battle, so we know it was drawn there for a different reason in the exact center of the screen, surrounded by knocked out tanks. The model name of that FT version? KO.
In episode 8, when the Pravda command team shows up, they pull up in one of Katyusha's namesake rocket-trucks.
Episode 8/Chapter 12 of the manga. The Team is forced into a building in its match with Pravda, the closest it's been to an early defeat in a tournament match. To make matters worse, the student council announces that if they lose, the school will be shut down.
Chapter 6 of Little Army. Miho learns that Maho shot the flag tank when it tried to rescue one of her teammates, and begins strongly considering quitting Tankery.
Chapter 10 of the main series manga. Miho finds out that she will be disinherited if her team loses against Pravda.
The student council delivers one to Miho in episode 8 and Chapter 12, revealing that if they don't win the tournament, their school will be shut down. Hence why they were so eager to force her into joining the Tankery class in episode 1.
In "Little Army" Chapter 4, when Miho comes to Emi's house to try to reconcile, only to get a cold reception from Emi.
Emi's mother: Such a helpless child... you'll be separated soon, so you should make up.
Miho: Eh? What did you mean?
Emi's mother: I'm sorry, you didn't know about it yet, right? Actually, we are returning to Deutschland next month.
Maho admitting that she shot Emi's sister's tank when it went in for a rescue in Little Army.
When Miho meets with Kikuyo, one of her family's maids, in Chapter 10 of the main series manga,
Kikuyo: Lady Miho, your current actions in Ōarai... the madam knows all of it.
Miho: I thought so...
Kikuyo: ...That I of all people has to inform you about such matters, I'm hesitant, but... In the semifinals... if Lady Miho happens to lose against Pravda High... Lady Miho... the Nishizumi houshold will... disinherit you.
What a Piece of Junk: The class's collection of tanks — the Panzer IV, a Panzer 38(t) a StuG III, a M3 Lee, and a Type 89 — are recovered in less-than-operational condition. Every vehicle they've found up to that point were literally "leftovers". All the good tanks were sold after the Tankery club was disbanded.
The students' reactions when they open up the school old garage and find a rusty old Panzer IV. Miho, however, sees that the armor and moving parts are still intact, so it has a good chance of being restored.
This was why the Chi-Nu wasn't discovered until episode 10, despite the fact it was left in the middle of the school parking lot. The girls of Team Rabbit explain that since they saw the tank sitting out in the open like that, they thought it must have been really worthless.
With a Friend and a Stranger: Saori and Hana have been friends for some time before meeting Miho. In Little Army, Miho first meets Hitomi and Chihiro, who have been friends for years, and Emi (who is acquainted with Chihiro, but otherwise strangers to Miho and Hitomi)joins the group at the end of the first chapter.
Darjeeling considers Miho to be a more enjoyable opponent than her elder sister Maho and sends tea as a token of respect. She also makes it a point to be personally present to watch each and every match Ōarai participates in during the tournament.
The Saunders captain, Kei, considers Ōarai to be worthy opponents, and holds no hard feelings losing to them.
Ditto for Katyusha of Pravda.
The final episode shows that, Shiho and Erika's declarations of heresy aside, Miho and Maho mutually consider each other to be this.
"YEAH!" Shot: Very, very deliberately Invoked (complete with Beat as they prepare to jump) by the entire Ōarai team after a certain victory.
In this world, being a Yamato Nadeshiko includes operating tanks because it is seen as a traditional and feminine form of character building.
Hana's mother adheres to the more conservative idea of Yamato Nadeshiko: she doesn't like it that her daughter is crewing a vulgar war machine when she used to arrange elegant flowers. This leads to some friction. They reconcile when she sees how Tankery has improved her daughter's ikebana skills at a formal gallery.
You Shall Not Pass: Leopon Team prevents the rest of Kuromorimine from interfering in the Nishizumi sisters' duel in an isolated battleground by jamming their huge tank into the entry way and smirking at their opponents.
Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: In Little Army, Maho is less than happy when told that shooting a tank that was trying to rescue her teammates was a good decision that upheld the honor of the Nishizumi School.
Ayumi: Eggs and *pam! Aya: Eggs, bacon, and *pam! Karina: Eggs, bacon, sausage, and *pam! Ayumi: *pam, *pam, *pam, eggs, and *pam! All (clip to Vikings): *pam, *pam, *pam, *pam!~ Delicious *pam! (insert actual footage from the sketch with "Delicious *PAM")
Zettai Ryouiki: Saori, Aya Oono, Saemonza and Kei, the last one with either miniskirt (school uniform) or shorts (during battles).
Saunders' primary tactic. The maximum number of tanks allowed on a single team in the first round is ten, and Saunders has enough Shermans to fill at least three teams. In their match against Ōarai, it's a 10 vs 5 fight. Even worse is that they're using late war Shermans, meaning that, on paper at least, their tanks are superior to Ōarai's tanks in every way. On top of that, they're utilizing the Shermans strength in numbers. This mirrors the real-life ability of the USA to not only produce enough Shermans for its own armies, but also enough to outfit Britain, the Free French, and have a few to send to Russia via lend-lease, though in actual combat, US tankers tended to prefer to ambush enemy tanks rather than swamp them — which is exactly Kei's plan: to hide her flag tank, find Ōarai, and then hit them with everything. Could have worked too, had Arisa not had to ruin things...
Pravda takes it Up to Eleven when they bring 15 tanks in their match against Ōarai's 6.
Kuromorimine tops all of the preceding examples by fielding a full complement of 20 AFVs of different types, all of which outgun Ōarai by a significant margin. See Bigger Stick above.