Reviews: Boys Do Tankary

It\'s... unique, if nothing else.

When you go spend long enough reading fanfics from a given fandom, you tend to see the same stories repeat themselves- in the case of Girls und Panzer, boys getting involved in tankery. As such, while Boys Do Tankary is quite terrible in a technical and artistic sense, it's a bit off a breath of fresh air that hasn't really been done before or since.

The fic, published back in "boys in tankery" fics were fairly new, involves a group of four boys joining Oarai's tankery team at some point after the match with St. Gloriana. What follows is a tale of Child Soldiers struggling with painful memories of lost loved ones, alcoholism, atrocities they witnessed and the specter of war on the horizon.

...OK, I admit I am exaggerating, a little, since it's nowhere near as well done as that description makes it seem, but it does have all those parts contained within. The characters get hardly any development and seem out of place among the GuP cast, but at least they're a bit more than the "boys who are better than the girls at everything."

The characters are mostly devoid of personality, but Miho and Ami are especially Out of Character. Miho selfishly believes that the boy she likes should go out with her because she's commander, while Ami turns evil for no adequately explained reason. That said, it does avoid the common tendency to let Yukari and Erwin take the spotlight despite neither being main character material, and its portrayal of Maho as a textbook Aloof Big Sister is forgivable, since Little Army hadn't been translated back then.

The fic is quite bare-bones and doesn't really stop to describe anything, but it also avoids getting bogged down in technical details. The main characters use a "Mark III" tank, and Yukari gives a rather vague description of their shooting prowess as a way of Character Shilling, rather than specifying how far away the target they hit was. In a move that would be utterly unheard of in the GuP fandom, three tankery battles involving the protagonists are glossed over in the course of a single short paragraph!

As you can see, Boys Do Tankary is a mess, with virtually no plot, soulless characters, lack of fidelity to canon and a misspelled title. That said, it's a mess that seems to have been born out of a misguided attempt to do something unique, so I have to at least give it credit for that. It's a fairly short read that, while far from good, is occasionally worth a chuckle, so you should check it out if that sort of thing interests you.
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