Panzerfraulein Alteseisen (Kōtetsu no Shōjo-tachi, "Steel Girls") is a manga
written by Tezuka Kazuyoshi and drawn by Nogami Takeshi (under the name of Shiketamiga).
The story is set in another world, where the Kingdom (which is not The Kingdom
) is fighting a hopeless war
against the powerful Federation
. In order to change the tide, the Kingdom deploys its Wölfin tank, which is still relatively new. However, because of the small size of the tank, its crew has to consist of young girls. These newly-conscripted green units are then mocked as Iron scraps for their lack of training. The story focuses on the everyday life (and more often than not, struggle for sheer survival) of one such unit.
Although categorized as a Shōnen
manga, the story has no heroes, and most of the manga depicts the everyday life of the titular girls and the the harsh battles they find themselves in. It also depicts a lot of gruesome deaths and injuries on the battlefield, as well as atrocities committed by both sides in the war.
Not to be confused with the happier Girls und Panzer
, even though they share the same character design.
This show provides examples of:
- A Father to His Men - General Anton is implied to be this.
- The Alleged Car: The Wolfin is weaker than most Real Life WWII tanks, but the Lean Wolf is even worse.
- Armies Are Evil - Apparently all federal soldiers with faces are all evil, and the Royal Army is not composed of saints either. The Imperial
Army "Police Garrison" is probably the only army which has not eaten a kitten.
- Bittersweet Ending: Most people live; some learn to kill, some invent the Blitzkrieg, and Reta switches sides.
- Black Shirt - Seems to have a big influence on the Kingdom, with most high-ranking officers joining them. They later trigger a mutiny and kill most of the government officials in the Kingdom.
- The Captain - Lieutenant Eona, the leader of the tank unit. She does get promoted to Captain afterwards. Rita, the platoon leader of the first platoon also counts.
- Child Soldier - The Kingdom employed an unit of pre-teen child soldiers as a last resort. Fortunately, they are quickly disbanded and never fight the war. All Kingdom tank crews are teenagers employed for their size, because their tanks' projection needs to be low enough.
- Fan Disservice - Most scenes with naked girls will make you feel disgusted rather than turned on.
- The Federation - The Federation might be this or The Empire.
- Government in Exile - The Dukedom of Rania after the Kingdom takeover. Implied to be a puppet regime of the Federation.
- Gratuitous German - The title means "tank lady old iron".
- Hopeless War - The Kingdom is fighting against the entire world, and the situation worsens as the story progresses.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: When World of Tanks came out, the Ltraktor bears a strong resemblance to the Wolfin. Later VK 7201 looks like a Wolfin too.
- Interservice Rivalry - Shortly between the Infantry and the Tank units of the Kingdom.
- Kaiju Defense Force - The Police Garrison Force is modeled after the Japanese SDF.
- Magnificent Bastard - The Police Inspector from the Empire. Lieutenant Colonel Clarissa Argaia might also count.
- One-Federation Limit - There are one Kingdom, one Federation, one Empire (technically part of the Federation), one Free City and one Dukedom mentioned in the story.
- Pointy Ears - The people of the dominant ethnicity of the Dukedom have them, which mysteriously still enables them to wear headphones without any problems.
- Rape as Drama - An occurring theme of the manga, mostly after some of the girls get captured by the Federal Army. Also leads to the plot of the last chapters.
- The Prince of Rania suffers from his Federation-appointed general.
- Redshirt Army - Both sides suffer from it more often than not.
- La Résistance - Formed by the locals after the Kingdom annexed the Dukedom of Rania.
- Mythology Gag: In Sailorfuku to Juusensha, Eona is seen pestered by ghosts while visiting the Sacred Valentine Tank.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism - Surprisingly slightly towards idealism. Despite all the horror on or off the battlefield, most of the protagonists and main characters are shown to be good.
- Surprisingly Elite Cannon Fodder - The Iron Scraps, later renamed as the Steel Girls, is an in-universe example.
- Tank Goodness - Most tanks in the manga falls into this.
- Trapped Behind Enemy Lines - Chapter 5.
- War for Fun and Profit -Apparently one of the reason the war is degenerating into Forever War is due to the fact that weapon manufacture is the cornerstone of the industry of the Kingdom.
- War Is Hell