A list of character tropes for Necessary To Win.The page is under construction; only add tropes from the fic itself. Since characters' backstories often change or are expanded on, a brief description of them tends to help.Be warned: many spoilers are unmarked.
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An underdog school that has recently returned to tankery after more than 20 years away from it.Among the Saki characters, Oarai includes the teams from Kiyosumi and Tsuruga
Anglerfish Team/Team A
Like in canon, this is a group consisting of Miho and her friends, who crew a Panzer IV. They perform well, winning the practice battle, and eventually become the leadership for the team.
Position: Commander of her tank and Oarai’s tankery team, formerly loader
The second child of the Nishizumis, a family renowned for its skill in tankery.
Agree to Disagree: When faced with someone with strong convictions that are in opposition to hers, Miho does not try to convince that person of her point of view.
Innocently Insensitive: When Saki praises her for saving the tank, Miho says she simply opened the hatch, helping the rest of the crew to escape on their own. It later turns out that Saki's inability to swim may have contributed to Mizuho's death.
Unreliable Expositor: It’s implied that her Heroic Self-Deprecation means that she underestimates her own abilities, and as a result of the circumstances of her leaving Black Forest, only focuses on the bad memories.
"Well Done, Son" Guy: Averted. She says that while she would like her mother’s approval, she is unwilling to do
Position: Radio Operator
One of Miho's first friends upon reaching Oarai, who has also been friends with Hana for some time, and is Mako's childhood friend.
Analogy Backfire: Suggests to Rabbit team that Oarai’s equipment and team is less than optimal, but they have to make it work, just like if they’re in a relationship and they can’t get together with anyone else. Yuuki U.’s boyfriend broke up with her.
No, You: In the argument over whether to get Miho to join the tankery team, she does this, angry that Yuzu seemingly considers Anzu blackmailing Hisa acceptable.
Yuzu: "I...I think it might be best for you to apologize, right?"
Saori: "No, you need to apologize!"
Miho's loader and fan girl.
Friendless Background: Slightly mitigated, since she has met Hisa and (Someya) Mako prior to the start of the series, but it's still present to an extent.
Secret Keeper: Like in the manga, overhears Miho being threatened with disinheritance should she lose the semi-finals
The Infiltration: She does it to Anzio, rather than Saunders, in this fic. Anchovy is not amused, although she does find it intriguing that Oarai would resort to that.
Miho's gunner, and heiress to the Isuzu school of flower arranging. She becomes estranged from her mother as a result of doing tankery, but strives to reconcile with her.
Saori's childhood friend, who joins the team to erase the tardies from her record.
Hidden Depths: Not only is she Brilliant, but Lazy, but she has a fair amount of empathy for those going through difficult times with their families, like Nodoka and Hana.
Not So Different: Sees herself as this compared to Hana and Nodoka, who currently have troubled relations with their families, and urges them to resolve their problems with their family before it’s too late.
One Steve Limit: Shares her name with Mako Someya, and the two know each other.
Parting Words Regret: As in canon, and she hopes that Hana and Nodoka don’t say anything to their parents that they’ll regret, lest they risk the possibility of not being able to take it back..
Duck Team/Team B
The former volleyball team, and, like in canon, the crew of the Type 89. They struggle against their tank's limitations, but do their best.
The captain of the volleyball team, and commander of Duck Team. She’s also friends with Mutsuki Tsuyama, whose club suffered a similar fate.
A team of history enthusiasts who cosplay as their favorite historical figures.
Riko “Erwin” Matsumoto
Position: Tank Commander/Radio Operator
Takako “Caesar” Suzuki
Position: Tank Commander/Loader
Badass Boast: Makes a reference to the real Caesar's "Cowards die a thousand times before their death!" when facing the rest of Black Forest's tanks.
Black Comedy: Engages in a little of this with Rabbit Team, suggesting that they would be “decimated” for retreating. Of course, she acknowledges that Hippo Team didn’t do as well as they should have in that battle.
Bond One-Liner: Says “Veni, Vidi, Vici,” after taking out Rise’s tank.
My Greatest Second Chance: After fleeing the battle with BC Freedom, they serve as the flag tank against Anzio, a role in which their survival is required for their school's success.
Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Of all the Oarai teams, they most exemplify this. Most of the clubs are groups of friends or people with a common interest who work well together, but Rabbit Team's personalities are the most varied.
Sugar and Ice Personality: Appears somewhat aloof at first glance, but is a warmer individual than she seems, as she reveals in her interactions with Momo and her concern over Miho's situation.
A student who, like in canon, lacks presence and went unnoticed by most people until Yumi recruited her into the mahjong club. No sooner was she recruited than the club was dissolved, but Momo chose to stay by Yumi and follow her into tankery.
Foil: To Yumi. Satomi is laid-back and doesn’t think too deeply about things. Yumi, on the other hand, is analytical, intelligent, and occasionally prone to angst when thinking about uncomfortable subjects.
The loader of Sparrow Team, and a relatively cautious and nervous individual.
Octopus Team/Team G
A team largely composed of tankery veterans
Badass in Distress: They're the ones who run into engine trouble in the middle of a river.
Punny Name: Their name in Japanese, "tako", is a reference to Yuuki's love of tacos.
A girl who was talented by tankery, but often disliked it, as a result of her father not wanting her to participate, and her mother expecting her to succeed. She started to enjoy it in middle school, but as a result of an accident that claimed Mizuho’s life and nearly claimed her own, she decided to quit.Around the same time, Saki’s family broke apart, and Teru went to Black Forest. Saki hopes to reconcile with Teru through tankery.
Character Development: Over the course of several years, her perspective on tankery changes greatly. She starts out doing it reluctantly, then starts to enjoy it, then runs away because of her trauma, then gets back into it as a means to an end, then genuinely enjoys it.
Wide-Eyed Idealist: She realizes that it will be difficult to bring her family back together, but perseveres nevertheless. Nodoka finds this aspect of her to be quite inspiring.
"World of Cardboard" Speech: In an internal monologue prior to firing on Teru's tank, Saki acknowledges that there is much she does not understand and much she is uncertain about, but she has started to enjoy tankery again.
Position: Commander, Vice Captain for team.
"It might be my only chance to win the tournament, but does that mean they're any less determined? That they are any less deserving of seeing their efforts come to fruition? I don't think so, and that's why Miho and I have worked to make our team into one that can win for all their sakes."
The Student Council Treasurer, but unlike the others, she’s on H Team/Octopus Team as commander of the crew.In middle school, she was commander of her team, and defeated Mihoko in the semi-finals three years ago, but was unable to come to the finals because of her parents’ divorce. At the request of her family, she attended Oarai Academy. While there, she joined the Student Council and spent much of her time trying to re-establish the tankery team.
Character Development: Much of it happens before the fic begins, as she initially cursed her bad luck at winding up in a school without tankery, but began to take steps to fix this and be more proactive in her life.
A close friend of Saki’s, who has been interested in tankery since she was young, in spite of her family disliking it. She makes a deal with her father to stay at her current school, in hopes of being able to remain with her current group of friends.
Calling the Old Man Out: When her father appears ready to renege on his end of the deal, she reminds him that she’s done everything he’s asked of her until now, and that she believes that her desires and what he thinks are best for her are not mutually exclusive.
Character Development: While in the past, she reluctantly complied with what her father told her to do, she has started taking steps to be more proactive.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: She's not only fighting for her school's survival, but is also determined to help Oarai stand out from other schools, and be a good school for the many who end up there.
Position: Loader, Gunner until after the first round
"I was honestly trying my best, even when I was at the gun. And I think that was a petty good representation of us as a whole. We were in over our heads, out of our element, and there was nothing we could do but try our best, desperately trying to protect what we held dear..."
The PR representative, who is quick-tempered and as a result, has poor accuracy in battle.
A-Team Firing: As in canon, causing several problems (for example, enabling Sparrow Team to defeat her before she could reload in the practice battle, and in failing to defeat Kei's tank) but she gets switched out earlier.
Yumi: (thinking) Damn it... Kawashima's itchy trigger finger and atrocious accuracy are good luck when she's an enemy, but very bad luck when she's on our side.
Students telling her that they don’t think they can win or don’t care whether they do.
Hair-Trigger Temper: She's frequently described as hot-tempered, which is a large part of why she doesn't do well in battle.
Vice President of the Student Council, and the workhorse of the student council.
Nice Girl: She doesn't begrudge Anzu for forcing the work on her, and is relatively sympathetic to Miho during the meeting regarding her decision not to do tankery.
Composed of the Disciplinary Committee of Oarai, which joined after noticing Oarai’s victories in the tournament, and wanting to ensure that the school puts its best foot forward in the face of widespread media attention.
Can't Catch Up: References this problem, noting that not only are the Disciplinary Committee members behind Oarai’s competition, but they’re also behind most of Oarai.
Midoriko “Sodoko” Sono
Position: Commander, gunner for secondary armament.
Character Development: Gradually learns to compromise and put her feelings about rulebreakers aside for the sake of the school itself.
Fire-Forged Friends: Gradually gains respect for the other teammates, and accepts that she'll need their help to become able to do tankery competently, and for the team as a whole to succeed..
Gung Holier Than Thou: She finds it hard to deal with those who don't have the same passion for following the rules as she does.
A team of three gamer girls that crews the Type 3 Chi-Nu.
Tropes common with Anteater Team as a whole
Adaptational Badass: Downplayed, but in canon, they only accidentally ended up Taking the Bullet for Anglerfish Team during the finals. Here, they make some effort to escape, but are taken out by Black Forest.
Position: Commander and radio operator
Position: Gunner and Loader
The Auto Club of Oarai Academy, which also does maintenance on the tanks.
Position: Commander and Radio Operator
"Instructor Nishizumi was always strict with us. And while I became a different kind of teacher to both my civilian students and my JGSDF trainees, I believed, as you did, that her training was beneficial to me, helping me become good enough so that I could help others."
An instructor for the JGSDF who is a temporary instructor for Oarai, having been a former student for the Nishizumi school. Ten years ago, she defeated Harue in the high school tournament finals.
Ascended Extra: She has more exposure and development in this version.
Badass Teacher: In addition to being a tankery instructor, she's also the one who led Black Forest to victory 10 years ago.
Drill Sergeant Nasty: Averted. She realizes that different training methods are needed for civilian students, and considers that the members of the tankery team are volunteers.
Hidden Depths: She’s an instructor for the JGSDF and a student for the Nishizumi school, but knows that those methods are not necessarily suited to students like those at Oarai. As a result of knowing the difference between competing in a tournament and fighting for one's country, she also doesn't believe that victory should come before everything else, as she believs Miho did the right thing in saving the tank.
The Kirk: To Kikuyo and Takako. She's somewhat idealistic, but also has a realistic side that causes her to dislike unnecessary risks.
The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Averted; she is shown playing a somewhat more active role in advising the Oarai tankery crew, albeit while knowing she can only help them for a little while.
A Canadian-themed school and relative underdog among the tankery schools that suffers from relatively low crew morale, and a lack of crew members.BC Freedom plays against Oarai in a practice match, and barely defeats them. They then go on to the tournament, and lose to St. Gloriana in the first round.The named characters from the school consist entirely of Saki characters; the five members of the “Kei Arakawa Corps” and Hatsuse
Underestimating Badassery: Downplayed. She laughs at the quality and paint colors of Oarai’s tanks, but after a moment to reflect, realized that victory is by no means a foregone conclusion.
An old friend of Ako’s from middle school who went to BC Freedom while Ako went to Saunders. After noticing Nodoka at the practice match, she contacts Ako.
Foil: She’s more realistic about her aspirations than Ako, resulting in her going to a school where she could more easily make the regular team.
Position: Commander of an AMC 34.
A tank commander who's the first to be defeated in the battle with BC Freedom.
Tempting Fate: Thinks that Oarai might go down easily, but then her tank gets taken out.
"What I'm saying may sound harsh. But as you are now, But as you are now, your school doesn't stand a chance in the tournament. And neither does ours."
Coach of BC Freedom and an old friend of Hisa’s.
Brutal Honesty: Her defining character trait, whether she's giving advice to her students, her friends, or even her rivals.
Honest Advisor: Is this to Hisa, making it clear that she doesn’t think she has much of a chance of succeeding.
Jade-Colored Glasses: She’s somewhat cynical, and less than willing to believe that an underdog can win, although she is genuinely supportive of Hisa.
Noodle Incident: Hisa alludes to Yasuko being defeated by someone younger than her.
Quit Your Whining: Gives a somewhat low-key version of this to Hisa when she calls after getting into Oarai and finding out that there’s no tankery there, telling here that there will be times when she doesn’t have good choicess.
Sympathy for the Hero: As Hisa’s her friend, she expresses sincere sympathy for Hisa wanting to make the most of the only attempt she has at the high school tankery tournament in spite of her saying that she has no hope of winning.
A relative underdog with an Italian theme. According to Erika, it favors less than standard tactics, but cannot pull them off as well as Oarai, and tends to underestimate weaker opponents.Anzio faces Oarai in the first round and is defeated.Among Saki’s characters, Anzio features the five regulars from Bansei.
A British-themed school that places emphasis on teaching its students how to become respectable young women.According to Mihoko, St. Gloriana decided to change things last year, and as such, appointed Ceylon as commander. In response to Ceylon losing in the semi-finals against Pravda, they decided to go with Mihoko as commander. After defeating BC Freedom in the first round, they face Oarai in the quarterfinals and are defeated.Among the Saki characters, St. Gloriana includes Kazekoshi’s five regulars.
Position: Commander of her tank, as well as the entire team.
A third-year who is commander of St. Gloriana’s team. Three years ago, she faced Hisa in a match, and accidentally revealed her right eye to her, causing Hisa to see it as beautiful. She did not see Hisa again for the next three years. During this time, she went to school at St. Gloriana.
Anti-Villain: Type IV. She's kind to her subordinates, and hopes to win for their sakes.
Do Not Call Me Paul: Inverted. As a member of the Black Tea Garden, she has the tea name, “Masala Chai,” but prefers to go by her real name.
First Name Basis: Has to be convinced to call Kana by her first name, and later starts doing the same for Hisa
Sarcastic Devotee: She likes joking about Mihoko’s lack of expertise with technology, yet strongly approves of her as her commander.
Position: Formerly team commander
""Very well, if you are so interested in Yoshitome-san and confident in your ability to find the solution, I suggest you do it on your own time. But if it proves detrimental to your performance, Fukuji-san, please remember that you can and will be replaced should the need arise."
Mihoko’s predecessor as commander of St. Gloriana. Believing that her predecessor, Jasmine, was soft, she decides to crack down on the team in hopes of doing better than in the past. Her attempts fail, and she begins to question herself. [[spoiler:In the end, she
Bad Boss: Shows definite favoritism toward the tankers she likes, and ruthlessly punishes others for their mistakes.
Blunt "Yes": When claiming that she could not have made the mistake she’s accusing Sumiyo of. When it’s met with almost unanimous disapproval, she’s forced to retract her statement.
Death Glare: Gives one to Sumiyo after the loss in the semi-finals the previous year.
Evil Brit: A significantly haughtier, more abrasive and vindictive sort than her schoolmates.
Faux Affably Evil: On her good days, she’s fairly polite, but is quite condescending to others.
General Failure: Kana says she got through the first two rounds through luck alone, and blundered into a trap.
Heel Realization: Undergoes the start of one while watching Mihoko’s match with Oarai.
Jerkass: She's quite harsh with her subordinates and comes off as unfriendly and rude to her opponents.
Jerkass Has a Point: Most people agree that Sumiyo made a mistake, but they mainly disagree with her harsh treatment of her, as well as her claim that it did anything more than hasten St. Gloriana’s defeat.
Keigo: Speaks very formally as a way of looking down on people, and uses honorifics on people even when tearing into them.
Never My Fault: Blames Sumiyo for her being defeated; while some concede Sumiyo made a mistake, others believe that she’s deflecting the blame from herself for falling into Pravda’s trap, and Sumiyo’s mistake only hastened the inevitable.
Original Character: Because she graduated before the start of the story, the creation of one for her role was necessitated.
Pyrrhic Villainy: She gets to the semifinals, but at the end of the year, has become largely ostracized.
Rich Bitch: She even looks down on Hiroe for being of the “nouveau riche.”
"As the captain says, a leader is nothing without her subordinates in tankery. So it's up to us to do our part, to help her achieve her goals just as she's helped us."
A second-year at St. Gloriana, who is Mihoko’s loader. She befriended Mihoko while helping her do an Internet search on Hisa, and later helped Miharu get glasses and qualify for the tea. She detests Ceylon and believes
A first-year at St. Gloriana who is Mihoko’s hull gunner
All There in the Manual: Like in Saki, she collects tankery cards, but this is brought up in the second Introductions chapter, with Kana lampshading the use of this trope.
The Watson: She tends to have to ask questions about Mihoko's past, since she doesn't know her as well as her crewmates.
Pravda High School
A Russian-themed school that won the last tournament.The school features many students of the Atago school of tankery, including the head of the school’s two daughters.Among the Saki characters, Pravda includes Himematsu, as well as Senriyama’s regulars.
Tropes Associated with Pravda as a whole
Five-Man Band: Some of their ranking officers can be considerd this
Position: Commander of her tank and Pravda’s tankery team.
"Tankery's supposed to be fun and fulfilling, not just a means of crushing your enemies. The thing is, I enjoy beating people a lot, too, but only those who can put up enough of a fight to keep things interesting. But do the Nishizumis enjoy or learn anything from their victories? If they don't do either, I hardly see what's the point of doing tankery, much less being as obsessed with it as they are, and I pity them."
The elder daughter of Masae Atago, Hiroe. She was interested in tankery from a young age; not because Masae wanted to mold her into an heiress, but out of a genuine fascination with it.
Benevolent Boss: Cares a great deal for her troops, and hopes to become strong enough so that their individual failures matter little.
Berserk Button: She tends to lose her temper easily when dealing with haughty individuals who look down on their enemies and mistreat their subordinates.
Big Ego, Hidden Depths: She's believes that she can do almost anything, but as a result of that, doesn't scapegoat her subordinates for their failures. She also hopes to win against the Nishizumis because it is a great accomplishment, and to discredit the Nishizumi School's ruthless methods
Break the Haughty: Somewhat downplayed, but losing to Maho in her second year of middle school put things into perspective for her.
Cool Big Sis: She's quite close to and supportive of her younger sister, Kinue.
Fiery Redhead: She has a quick temper, and is easily set off by people who are acting arrogantly.
Foil: To Maho. She’s loud, outspoken and brutally honest while Maho is reserved and seemingly aloof. Both girls, however, care a great deal for their younger sisters.
Hero Antagonist: One of Oarai's rivals, and the technical antagonist in the match between Black Forest and Pravda, but sympathetically portrayed.
It's All My Fault: Blames herself for losing to Black Forest, partly out of a desire to exculpate her subordinates of responsibility, and partly out of a belief that she could have won.
Position:Commander of her tank, member of the strategy committee
"My sister told me that she doesn't play favorites, even for family. Her A-team only consists of those she trusts, and considers competent enough to win. Hiroko might be our cousin, but she's also been one of my sister's oldest, most faithful and most skilled supporters over the years. I hope my sister can rely on me just as much as Hiroko or any of her other trusted teammates."
Hiroe's younger sister and Masae's younger daughter. Unlike Hiroe, she took up tankery relatively recently, and seeks to help her sister.
"Well Done, Son" Guy: She wants her sister’s approval, and wants to be as much of a valued part of their team as her seniors.
Hiroko’s gunner. She is a sickly girl who had difficulty making it onto the main team, and was hospitalized in her second year, around the time of the fateful match between Pravda and Black Forest. By her third year, however, she has become one of the best gunners in Pravda.
Cynicism Catalyst: Ryuuka notes that she was significantly more cheerful before she was hospitalized.
Determinator: It’s not taken to the same extent as it was in Saki, but she’s still determined to be of use to her friends.
Friendly Sniper: In spite of being less cheerful than before her hospitalization, she is good natured and supportive of her friends.
Ill Girl: She's not in the best of health after her hospitalization, and has to take medicine.
Hiroko’s loader, and a close friend of Toki’s.
Toki and Ryuuka’s mutual friend, and a student of the Atago School.
Position: Radio Operator.
A member of Hiroko’s crew, a relatively rare first-year among the Pravda team members competing in the tournament.
The Watson: As a result of not knowing the others as well, she ends up asking many of the questions during Interlude 6.
Position: Tank commander
A tank commander for Pravda. Unlike in canon, she is not the commander of the team, but serves as a strategic advisor for Hiroe.
The Napoleon: She has a tendency to overcompensate for her petite frame, but tends to be less egotistical than in canon, as a result of the position she was given satisfying her without giving her too much power to abuse.
You Have Failed Me: Played with and ultimately subverted. She threatens to send failures to Siberia, but it's largely treated as a joke, and she doesn't like people who come down hard on those whom they scapegoat for their losses.
Position: Tank commander
A tank commander for Pravda who's an excellent shot, and is quite close with Katyusha.
Blunt "Yes": After the story of Katyusha becoming friends with Katyusha is told during Pravda's Interlude
Katyusha: "Did you have to mention that part, Nonna?" Katyusha said.
Nonna: "да"note "Yes" in Russian
Brutal Honesty: She does tend to be fairly honest with Katyusha about her shortcomings and quirks, but largely in a good natured way.
An American-themed school that is considered one of the favorites to win the tournament. Oarai faces them in the semi-finals.Ten years ago, under Harue’s command, Saunders was a relative underdog. While Harue became demoralized after losing the tournament, Saunders has come a long way since then, and is now one of the stronger schools.
"This is tankery, not war. In war, when lives are on the line, it's reasonable to use any means necessary to defeat the enemy with as few of your people dying as possible. By comparison, when you think about it, only bragging rights and trophies are at stake in tankery matches, and no one is supposed to get hurt."
Commander of Saunders, Kay has been interested in tankery since a young age, but has only been able to do tankery since high school. She’s known Yuu since their first year at Saunders, and helped play a role in getting her out of her shell.
Foil: Her belief in having fun and playing fairly coming before winning puts her in contrast to Anchovy, and Anchovy is chagrined to hear that Kay has made it to the semi-finals.
Friendly Enemy: To Miho. She even tells her about situations in which it is possible for rivals to trust each other to do the right thing.
Good Is Not Dumb: Naomi believes this of her, and Kay sets out to prove that it's possible to win while playing fairly.
Graceful Loser: She cheerfully accepts her loss against Oarai, and tells Miho that there's more to tankery than wining or losing.
"And yet, just because people are gone doesn't mean we've forgotten them, or that we haven't been impacted by them. To some, we might be fighting for the sake of mere nostalgia, but to us, Nodoka was- no, still is- our friend, and we're going all this way to see her again."
An old friend of Nodoka’s from Achiga. Unlike in canon, she is a year-mate of Shizuno, Ako and Nodoka, but in a different class.
Age Lift: A year younger than in canon, so that she can be with the other Achiga girls.
Missing Mom: It’s mentioned in passing that her mother is dead.
Mythology Gag: In her first scene, she wears a shirt with a red dragon on it, a reference to her “dora magnet” from Saki canon.
Open-Minded Parent: Her and Yuu’s father, according to her. She also suggests that her mother would be this if she were still alive.
Position: Radio Operator
Kuro’s older sister, and radio operator for Arata’s crew. After going to middle school and living on her own, she felt somewhat lonely in middle school, but met Kay.
Ill Girl: Like in canon, has to bundle up in order to stay warm.
Non-Uniform Uniform: She wears a slipover sweater under her blazer, and has a scarf in order to keep warm.
Shrinking Violet: She found it difficult to socialize with others until she met Kay.
The Pollyanna: She's quite happy to have more people on the Konishi Middle School tankery team, even if she knows that it's not a very strong one by any standard. She's also happy to do anything to help the team, even be an expendable sacrifice if necessary.
Senpai Kohai: Senpai to Nodoka and Yuuki in middle school, as well as to the Achiga girls while at Saunders.
"For a moment, I feared that my students might make the same mistake I did. The importance of persisting in the face of adversity and trying again when you fail, above all else, was the lesson I'd hoped to teach them."
Coach for Saunders, and formerly advisor for the Achiga girls’ tankery club. Harue was a rising star at Saunders 10 years ago, but after her defeat against Ami Chouno, she was hesitant to return to tankery, and as such, advised a club of young girls interested in tankery at Achiga, as a form of rehabilitation.
My Greatest Failure: Losing the finals 10 years ago. She was honestly touched by Arata’s resolving to cheer for her, but still felt unable to compete again.
OOC Is Seriousbusiness: She becomes relatively stern when she wants to impress on Achiga what they're up against.
Black Forest Peak Women's College
A German-themed school that is the reigning champion; they had a nine-year winning streak until Miho’s decision to save the tank resulted in them losing the championship.Among the Saki characters, Black Forest includes Teru and her team from Shiraitodai
Tropes Associated With Black Forest as a whole
Adaptational Heroism: Erika and the others who criticized Miho's decision to save the tank are said to not necessarily be representative of the majority of Black Forest, and Miho has several friends at and fond memories of her old school.
Germanic Depressives: Most of the members are quite serious, ranging from mildly reserved to almost completely humorless.
Germanic Efficiency: It's emphasized that Black Forest frequently drills in staying in formation and is highly disciplined.
True Companions: As a team, this is somewhat averted, as Miho notices a lack of camaraderie. Some members, however, become or have been close friends, like Miho and Koume, and Teru and Sumire.
Position: Commander of her tank, and of the Black Forest tankery team.
“Miho's freedom and happiness are still my greatest desires, as they were back then, but I've learned that helping her get them is more complicated than I thought. And while I no longer see things in black and white, I'm not always satisfied with the choices I make, or the results that I get."
Miho’s older sister and commander of the Black Forest tankery team. Despite appearing cold and aloof, she cares deeply for Miho and wishes for her to find her own path in life.
To Teru. Maho puts on a cold façade while being forced to live up to her mother’s expectations, but at heart, cares greatly for her younger sister. Teru can feign a smile on command, but is distant from Saki and cares little for her parents.
Also is one to Hiroe. Both are heiresses to the tankery schools, and care for their younger sisters, but Hiroe is brutally honest and does tankery for her own reasons, while Maho often puts up a façade.
Heroic BSOD: During the Pravda match, when she worries about what implications her winning will have for Miho. And again when she wins and is proven right.
Jerkass Façade: Lampshaded in her regretting having to put up the façade and causing other people to think worse of her, although some people see through it.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Winning against Pravda results in Shiho considering disowning Miho, believing that Miho was the key difference that caused Maho’s defeat the previous year.
Not So Different: From Teru, in that both hide their true nature and have ulterior motives for doing tankery, even if their facades greatly contrast. Maho notes that their both having facades is why she was never fooled by Teru’s Stepford Smiler act.
Open Secret: Her ulterior motive for being the Nishizumi heiress- so that Miho can choose her own path in life, involves this.
Tragic Hero: Seems to become this as her efforts to live up to her mother’s standards inadvertently put her sister in peril of being disowned.
Considers Hiroe this, although Hiroe suggests that it’s in part due to wanting to believe that Miho’s decision to save the sinking tank did not cost them a victory in a match they could have won.
She also comes to consider Miho one.
Teru Miyanaga (Unmarked spoilers)
Position: Commander of her tank, Vice-Captain.
"You want us to turn back the clock, back to the days when we pretended we were one happy family, Saki? How could we when one of us is gone and won't ever come back? When you act as though she was never part of our family to begin with?"
Saki’s older sister, who was her greatest inspiration in tankery. The two competed together in the middle school tournament, along with Mizuho, until an accident resulted in Teru having to decide whether to save Saki or Mizuho, resulting in Saki surviving and Mizuho dying. Soon afterward, their parents separated, and Teru stopped talking to Saki. In the end, however, after being defeated by Saki during the final, Teru apologizes to her and begins to reconcile with her sister.
Anti-Villain: Type II. At heart, she is a girl who was profoundly impacted by a death in the family, and her feeling as though she is responsible.
Awful Truth: Mizuho was still alive when the tank fell into the river, and thus Teru could have saved her.
Big Sister Mentor: To Saki, when they were younger, advising her to do tankery for her own enjoyment.
Byronic Hero: She’s brooding, cynical, lives life without regard for what others (especially her parents) think, and is haunted by the past, particularly the incident that claimed Mizuho's life.
Cynicism Catalyst: The death of Mizuho is this for her. She went from being a girl who cared for her biological and adoptive sister, hoping they would enjoy tankery like she did, to one who ultimately pushed Miho away. Even after they reconcile, Maho remains somewhat cynical, particularly with regards to her parents.
Dynamic Character: She has changed a great deal over the years, and does so again in the course of the story.
Everyone Has Standards: Objects to Teru chiding Hisa about her past, saying that people have parts of their pasts that they would rather not discuss.
Heel Realization: Has one after Saki defeats the Maus, realizing just where she went wrong. In the alternate ending, this happens because of different circumstances- because she realizes her treatment of Saki is not very different from Shiho's treatment of Miho.
Hypocrite: As she realizes after the finals, while accusing Saki of forgetting about Mizuho, she was the one who pushed Saki out of her life and forgot Mizuho's lessons.
I Have No Son: Refuses to admit that she and Saki are related, and discusses this trope when talking with Maho.
My Greatest Failure: In an accident three years ago, she chose to save Saki instead of Mizuho, believing Mizuho was already dead.
Walking Spoiler: It’s difficult to talk about her without spoiling her backstory, or any of her actions later in the plot.
"Well Done, Son" Guy: Averted. She has completely given up on winning her parents’ approval, and even says that trying for someone else's approval is a difficult goal.
Wham Line: "Mizuho is DEAD, Saki! Dead because of YOU!"
Position: Vice-captain, and commander of her tank.
"Someone needs to show Oarai their place, and I'll do it myself if I need to."
Maho's other vice-captain, who replaced Miho after she stepped down.
Graceful Loser: She accepts her defeat, albeit reluctantly, after seeing Miho defeating one of the few people she respected.
Hard Work Hardly Works: She wonders if Oarai winning in spite of its lack of experience is proof of this trope. Maho, however, suggests that there are other factors at play behind Oarai's success.
Hidden Depths: She confesses to Teru that part of the reason that she dislikes Oarai is fear of them upstaging Black Forest despite being amateurs. She's worked hard all her life as part of the Nishizumi School, making her wonder what it means when upstarts prevail against her.
Patriotic Fervor: She's proud to be a member of the Nishizumi School and Black Forest. Unfortunately, she takes Miho's decision to save the tank at the cost of victory as a slight against both schools.
Villainous Breakdown: Gets upset when Teru, one of the few people besides Maho she has any amount of respect for, is taken out in the final battle.
"Friends are, above all else, honest with each other. They don't hesitate to let their friends know when they do something wrong, but don't simply abandon them when they make mistakes."
The gunner of Teru’s crew, and a long-time friend of hers since Middle School.
Cold Sniper: She’s not completely cold, but is aloof and distant from most people.
Only Friend: To Teru. Interestingly enough, while Teru and Sumire are an Alice-2 and Bob-1 pair, in the past, Teru was a Bob-2 to Sumire's Alice-1.
Also known as Jagdpanther-chan, she commands a Jagdpanther.
Karmic Nod: She sees Miho having Turtle Team detrack her in the final battle as her comeuppance for failing to speak out in Miho's defense after the finals the previous year.
Named by the Adaptation: The Jagdpanther commander, along with a few other Black Forest extras, were never named in series.
Position: Tank commander.
"I only hope the day comes when I can tell her how grateful I am about what she did for us. And I promise you, I will not let you down again."
The girl Miho saved from drowning in the previous finals.
Career Building Blunder: After the accident, she vowed to never let Black Forest down again, even if that means going against Miho's school in the process; she believes that now that she and Miho are on opposite sides, they will do what they must.
Dwindling Party: She's the only remaining member of her tank crew after the finals.
Unwitting Instigator of Doom: She sees herself as this, like in canon. However, the trope is also inverted when it turns out that her thanking Miho was a catalyst for Teru's reconciliation with Saki; by performing the simple act of thanking Miho for saving her life, she reminded Teru of the reality of the situation.
"If you keep on coddling them, the performance of the team in general, and their performance in particular, will suffer. I'm sure your mother would agree with me."
Black Forest’s coach and one of Shiho’s students. She has a somewhat bad reputation for physically abusing her students when they underperform.
Disappointed In You: Her reaction to Miho resigning after the incident in the previous tournament. She doesn't like Miho's decision to save the tank, but is even less thrilled with the idea of Miho giving up tankery as a result.
Kick the Dog: Slapping a student for missing a shot on the Joghurt flag tank during the last tournament, even though Black Forest went on to win.
Pet the Dog: After the end of the tournament, she retracts her previous criticism of Miho and congratulates her, while suggesting that her subordinates use the opportunity to improve.
The Spock: Compared to Kikuyo and Ami, she's more pragmatic and thinks about results.
Shut Up, Kirk!: She shrugs off Miho’s protests and tells her that if she coddles the students, the team will suffer. Her statement that her mother would agree while not completely true, forces Miho into silence.
Saki and Teru’s parents, who are separated at the start of the fic.
Ambiguous Situation: Neither of their daughters are fully objective about them, making anything they say difficult to prove.
Dysfunctional Family: While it's difficult to say how dysfunctional they were, tankery was the root cause of many conflicts between them, even if they did not openly express those conflicts.
Kei and Reiko Haramura
Reiko: "Even proposing something like this is a first for Nodoka. So is your granting such a request."
Kei: ""To be honest, when I first made the deal, I did it because I had no expectations of Nodoka succeeding. She has surprised me, though, by making it this far; perhaps she has some skill in tankery. But does she truly think she can succeed? Does she truly think Oarai is a good school?"
Nodoka’s parents, a defense attorney and prosecutor, respectively. They do not think much of tankery, and as a result, want Nodoka to go to Reiko’s alma mater, Kitaniji Prep.
Character Development: Both of them come to respect Nodoka's resolve, and eventually allow her to do tankery and stay at Oarai.
Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Kei disapproves of Nodoka doing tankery for several reasons, including a dislike of a sport, wondering whether Nodoka can do it professionally, and thinking of it as a distraction from her studies.
Foil: Nodoka's father is one to Yuri, caring more about practicality than tradition, and being less emotional.
Open-Minded Parent: Reiko is this in comparison to Kei, but Kei gradually starts to come around.
"I believed all of my decisions while raising her were correct. So why did Hana-san choose tankery?"
Hana’s mother and the head of the Isuzu school for flower arranging.
Everyone Has Standards: She tells Hana not to come home after finding out that she’s doing tankery, but won’t cut her off.
Foil: To Nodoka’s father. She’s warm, very traditional and has a specific goal for Hana, whereas Nodoka’s father is emotionally distant, doesn’t think much of tradition, and wants her to get a good job.
Good Old Ways: She's aware that she comes off as old-fashioned, but wants to keep the Isuzu tradition alive for those who have a passion for flower arranging.
I Have No Son: Subverted; while she does tell Hana not to come home, Hana believes that it is not equivalent to disowning her.
Kimono Is Traditional: She wears one almost everywhere, and is fully aware that she comes off as old-fashioned.
Parents as People: While angry enough to disown Hana, she struggles to understand why she would do tankery.
Where Did We Go Wrong?: She finds herself asking this after Hana goes into tankery, purchasing a book on parenting. She ultimately realizes that Hana developed a great deal independently of her parents. She eventually realizes that Hana develops a great deal independently of her family and ultimately accepts Hana doing tankery.
"I'll wait for you, Miss... for as long as it takes!"
One of Yuri's servants, who serves as an intermediary for Hana in her efforts to reconcile with her mother.
Conflicting Loyalty: In his case, he has a divide between his obligations to his mistress, and his desire to see her reconcile with her daughter.
Large Ham: He's relatively calm and reserved while serving his mistress, but often yells when he's excited, or when he's not around her.
Jungorou and Yoshiko Akiyama
"Mom said she and Dad don't want to give me advice that they don't follow themselves, unless they acknowledge that what they did when they were my age was a mistake. But they don't have any regrets about how things turned out, and hope I can find a path in life I'm happy with."
—Yukari, regarding her parents.
Yukari’s parents, who run the Akiyama barbershop.
Foil: To the Haramuras. The Akiyamas don’t know much about tankery but are willing to support Yukari’s interest, while the Haramuras disapprove of Nodoka's participation in tankery.
Follow in My Footsteps: Averted. They didn’t choose the same careers that their parents did, and don’t expect Yukari to follow them into their line of work.
Good Parents: They're supportive of Yukari, even if they don't know much about tankery.
Open-Minded Parent: It’s implied that they are this way because their parents supported their desire to become hairdressers.
You Do Not Want To Know: Jungorou mentions that his guess about how many people were required to man a tank is too far off the mark that he’d be embarrassed to tell Yukari.
Miho’s mother and head instructor of the Nishizumi school.
Abusive Parents: She believes in Miho’s potential, but her methods of getting her to realize it are questionable at best.
Contrasting Sequel Main Character: As the main character of Paths Toward Victory, she contrasts with Miho in many ways. While Miho is relatively meek, wants to make friends, and has things she values more than victory, Shiho is arrogant, aloof and ruthlessly determined.
Even Evil Has Standards: She finds corporeal punishment to be too extreme of a method of discipline, although this is in part due to her belief that Takako is wasting her effort on those who are not willing to go as far as the Nishizumis expect them to.
Evil Virtues: She has quite a few of them. Her devotion to winning embodies Ambition and Determination. Her desire to uphold her school's good name exhibits Diligence, Honor, Loyalty and Passion. The fact that she keeps her word and does not make idle threats is indicative of Honesty.
I Have No Son: Following the manga, she uses this as a threat to motivate Miho into winning the semifinals.
Pragmatic Villainy: In Paths Toward Victory, she's no longer willing to disown Miho, having come to realize that it wouldn't be a solution at this point.
Tragic Villain: Shiho has been shaped by her circumstances, and because she believed her upbringing and teaching were beneficial to her, she does the same to others. As such, she cannot easily say that the way she's lived her life, or how her mother raised hers- was wrong.
A maid for the Nishizumi family, who greatly respects Shiho, but also wants to be there for her daughter. She's friends with her former classmates, Ami and Takako.
Conflicting Loyalty: Her main conflict is between her loyalty to Shiho (a mixture of respect, a debt of gratitude, and a servant's obligations to her mistress), and her desire to be there for Miho.
Founder and head of the Atago school of tankery. She is Hiroe and Kinue’s mother, Masaki’s older sister, and Hiroko’s aunt.
Arch-Enemy: Masae despises Shiho, more for her treatment of her family for than her tankery ideals. This does not extend to Shiho’s daughters, whom Masae initially regards with pity, but comes to like after learning of Miho’s decision to save the crew of the flag tank and how far Maho is going for Miho’s sake.
Ascended Extra: She made a handful of appearances in Saki, but she's a relatively significant recurring character.
Hypocrisy Nod: In "Paths Toward Victory, she scolds Hiroe for antagonizing Shiho. After delivering a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Shiho, she apologizes to Hiroe, noting that her previous remark comes off as hypocritical in light of what she just said.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: Delivers one to Shiho in the prologue of Paths Toward Victory, berating her for not only considering disowning Miho, but thinking it's at all justified.
"I personally wouldn't wish what I went through on you or anyone else, Teru-onee-chan, since pain doesn't always bring wisdom with it. But I do hope that a day will come when you see things the way I do, without having to learn the hard way."
A distant relative and foster sister of Saki and Teru.Mizuho drowned in a tankery accident in her first year of middle school, when their tank plunged into a river. Teru, believing she may have already died and pressed for time, chose to save Saki.