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Saunders University High School

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/GUP_SaundersSmall_7264.png
A very American-themed school, representing Nagasaki Prefecture. They uses American tanks that mainly includes a wide variety of Shermans. M4, M4A1(76)W, M4A4, and Firefly models were all seen.

In the movie they assist Ōarai Academy by transporting their tanks to the mainland so they would not be confiscated. They also join the other rival schools as additional forces for Ōarai High School's match against the University Teams, bringing with them an M4A4, M4A1(76)W, and a Firefly.


Tropes for Saunders in general

  • Cool Plane: Saunders has a Lockheed C5M Super Galaxy, which they used to transport Ōarai's tanks to the mainland, as well as their own tanks during the ending credits of the movie.
    • They also have several B-29 bombers which they use for towing gliders.
  • Eagleland: Saunders has distinctive American traits, such as being rich, using Gratuitous English, and mostly relying on numbers as their Sensha-do style. They are portrayed as beautiful Americans since they are friendly and good-hearted girls.
  • Leitmotif: The Battle Hymn of the Republic
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The "Flying Tankers" Tankathalon team is in no way associated with Saunders University High School.
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  • Theme Naming: the names of the important Saunders characters have similar pronunciations in both English and Japanese; Kei/Kay, Arisa/Alyssa and Naominote 
  • The Worf Effect: In the Movie, they are twice shown to be completely outmatched by the University team's skill level.
  • Zerg Rush: Their specialty is to deploy a lot of Shermans and simply overwhelm the opponent with superior numbers. They have enough tanks to have three full Sensha-do teams.note 

     Kay 

Kay

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kay.png
Position: Squadron Commander/Tank Commander, M4A4
Voiced by: Ayako Kawasumi (Japanese), Emily Neves (English)

Saunders' leader and commander of an M4 Sherman during the Saunders-Ōarai match.


Tropes Kay finds exciting!

  • Actually Pretty Funny: While Alisa and Naomi are outraged by Yukari's infiltration of Saunders, Kay breaks down in uncontrollable giggles at her Kelly's Heroes reference and compliments her when they meet again just before their match.
  • Badass Creed: See her quote above. Let's put it in perspective: in a world where Sensha-do is Serious Business enough to justify disowning one's daughter over preferring lives to victories, she firmly believes the opposite. She utters it only once, so it could be a Badass Boast, but she then she lectures Miho about it, after having behaved that way all the battle and before and after it, making clear it's a creed and not a boast.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Saves Alisa from Ōarai's pursuit.
    • In the movie they show up to save Ōarai's tanks when the school is closed
  • Big Eater: Downplayed, but she is supposed to be American-themed, so this trope is naturally present: during the final, she is seen munching her way through a tub of popcorn roughly the size of her torso. In Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu, it is revealed she wears some sports-channel fat burner belt so she can eat more fried chicken.
    Nonna: You could just eat less...
    • Apparently shares this trait with her direct subordinates, as the end credits scene of the movie would point out: Worfing popcorn inside the cockpit of their school's transport plane, and even taking a large bite out of Arisa's burger.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Typically American boisterousness combined with a typical American 30-ton war machine leads to this.
  • Cavalier Competitor: Being spied upon? No biggie. Losing first blood to the enemy? Surprising, but interesting! For her, tank combat is fun.
    "Exciting!"
    "That's Sensha-do!"''
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Becomes friends with Miho and Ōarai's sensha-do team after losing to them.
  • Eagleland: Not actually American, but she represents the Noble variety as the friendly sportsman with a lot of firepower.
  • Expy: Of sorts to Touka Ryuumonbuchi; both have the same hairstyle, and both are Large Hams. The only difference is that Touka is a more of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, compared to Kay who is at least more open as long as she gets to enjoy the sport.
  • Foil: Nicely contrasts with Manga-Anchovy, given that she's laid-back and enjoys exciting matches, while Manga-Anchovy values victory above all else. This is nicely emphasized in that Kay's match is shown in the anime, while Anchovy's in the manga.
  • Genki Girl: Her energy during a match (or outside a match) is unrivaled in her team.
  • Graceful Loser: Embraces Miho after her loss to Ōarai, then teaches the latter her creed.
  • Gratuitous English: Liberally sprinkles her speeches with American English.
  • Informed Attribute: Darjeeling's claim that Saunders often uses "dirty tactics" becomes this after Kay is shown in action, unless Darjeeling somehow knew about Alice intercepting radio communications. She probably assumed that Saunders' foreknowledge of Gloriana's positions in previous matches was Kay's own doing, if she didn't know about Alice.
  • Irony: Saunders is known for utilizing Zerg Rush tactics to overwhelm their opponents. In Der Film, her tank ends up being ganged up, and then taken out by the Bermuda Trio.
    "Oops..."
  • Large Ham: A genki girl that loves her sport in a sherman tank? Yes, this is the result.
  • The Leader: Of Saunders' sensha-do squad. She's the charismatic type.
  • Lets Fight Like Ladies: Only pursues Ōarai with four tanks, because one of her teammates was intercepting their radio transmissions.
    "This is Sensha-do, not war."
    • In Dream Tank Match, at Saunders' Domination Battle against Saint Gloriana, Darjeeling has a small trash talk session with Kay about whether Saunders "brought their listening ear today". While Alisa gets fidgety, Kay claims that she has really good ears. When Assam whispers to Darjeeling that perhaps Kay is Sarcasm-Blind, Darjeeling simply says something along the line, "It is as expected; after all, Kay is not that kind of person."
  • Ms. Fanservice: Between her long blonde hair, ample breasts, and choice of outfit, she can prove very attractive.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: She may be named after the British Sherman Firefly driver and historian of armored combat Douglas Kay.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: While genuinely energetic, she becomes stern and subdued while telling Alice that she wants a word with her regarding her radio tapping, which ended up backfiring and costing them the match. When she first finds out about Alice's radio tapping and screams "You Fool!" at her down the radio so hard Alice cringes. She brings Alice to the final with her, though so it seems she wasn't too mad.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Munches on a nice container of the stuff in Episode 12 watching the battle with Miho and Maho. Justified because it is a sporting event.
  • Phenotype Stereotype: Like Darjeeling, she has the Anglo-Saxon blue eyes and blonde hair gig going for her. Her hair is more strawberry blonde as opposed to Darjeeling's paler color to give off the more wild American vibe.
  • Precision F-Strike: In the movie, when the University teams fully breaks through her line, and she is unable to pursue, she tosses her Periscope aside with a loud, and very American, "Shit!!"
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Believes in the concept of fair play and condemns dirty tricks like radio interception.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Kay, or Kei, depending on translator
  • Tranquil Fury: Not long after the match with Ōarai, she tells Arisa she wants a word with her in a tone that, while subdued, makes it abundantly clear that she's furious at her. Considering Arisa set up a communications-intercepting balloon behind her back, it's not hard to she why she's so mad.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: She does, and so do the rest of Saunders as part of their combat uniforms. Their school clothes are more typical, just in West Point Grey.

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     Naomi 

Naomi

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/naomi_8.png
"Yes, ma'am."

Position: Tank Commander/Gunner, Sherman Firefly
Voiced by: Mariya Ise (Japanese)

Saunders' second-in-command. Serves as gunner on the Sherman Firefly in Saunders vs Ōarai.


Tropes for Naomi

  • Boyish Short Hair: This is how it looks in comparison to her superior's longer hair.
  • The Casanova: In Motto Love Love Sakusen, she is said to have many girlfriends and in one scene, is shown to be able to charm St.Gloriana's Assam.
  • Chew Bubblegum: While blasting away, she's chewing gum. She even runs out of gum right before kicking Anglerfish's ass.
  • Friendly Sniper: Down three Ōarai tanks with her Firefly.
    • Played in an amusingyly literal sense in the movie, where she exchanges friendly, polite small tea-talk with Darjeeling right before sniping the obstacle between Darjeeling and her target, allowing her to destroy it.
  • Funbag Airbag: When she slumps back in her seat with a "sigh" at the end of their onscreen battle, her head finds some... comfortable pillows... courtesy of her startled loader.
  • Graceful Loser: While visibly disappointed by their slim margin of defeat, she nevertheless harbors no ill will towards Ooarai at the end of the day.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: Conspicuously so. Outside the tank it's not so conspicuous, due to her bosom.
  • Number Two: To Saunders as a whole.
  • Worthy Opponent: Considers Hana as this in the spin-off manga.

     Alisa 

Alisa

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/alisa_6.png
"Why are those run-down tanks driving us off?" (Turns to her gunner) "Aim to the right! Our school is on a different level than yours!"

Position: Tank Commander/Radio Operator, M4A1(76)W
Voiced by: Aya Hirano (Japanese), Brittney Karbowski (English)

Saunders' third-in-command. Commands the flag tank, an M4A1(76)W, during the Saunders-Ōarai match.


Tropes Alisa eavesdropped on

  • All Love Is Unrequited: Mentions a guy she likes called "Takashi" who doesn't like her back while her tank is fleeing from Ooarai, though considering her mental state at the time, she could have just been babbling. She also implies that Takashi likes another girl, but gives no indication as to whether his love is requited. It's a very cryptic Shout-Out: Hirano voiced Suzumiya Haruhi, and Takayuki Narumi is whom Suzumiya Haruka is in love with.
  • Ascended Extra: Gets a much larger role in the Ribbon Warrior spin-off as the leader of the "Flying Tankers" Tankathalon group.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: She might not be the best tank commander around and clearly needs a remedial course on good sportsmanship, but episode 5 shows why she's Saunders' Vice-Captain:
    • She accurately guesses Ōarai's positions at the time of the radio transmission (time-distance calculation + terrain analysis), translates the very vague "leftwards direction" into a specific set of coordinates (more terrain analysis) and accurately estimates how fast Rabbit Team would get there (time-distance calculation, and it wouldn't have worked unless she got the first two approximately right). She then coordinates the movements of two platoons so the platoon moving in the open comes into view shortly before the flanking platoon moves in through the forest and counters Ōarai's reinforcing element by moving in Naomi's platoon (latter is not quite as impressive because her team has visual contact now, but still requires time-distance calculations). She also figured out the feasibility of withdrawing two tanks back out of commitment and into envelopment ahead of Ōarai's tanks (same). Keep in mind that all this was accomplished using only a radio and a map, without even seeing the battle unfold.
  • Berserk Button: Bringing up her non-existent love life.
  • Blatant Lies: Claims her knowledge of Ooarai's positioning comes from "female intuition". Kay only doesn't notice because she's too pumped up.
  • Boisterous Weakling: For all her boasting, she's an ineffective tank commander, whose panic over Oarai catching her results in an amusing symmetry with her calling Ōarai "weaklings". This is discussed in the second recap episode (and downplayed because Miho is that nice).
  • Butt-Monkey: After her master plan against Ooarai falls to pieces, she seems to fall into this. Especially in Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu, where she gets caught trying to infiltrate Ooarai and humiliated, and later in the Christmas installment, where Kay, dressed as Santa, crowdsurfs a sled into the back of her head and knocks her into a cake.
  • Combat Pragmatist: She's willing to seek every advantage in battle.
  • Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: Saunders had numerical superiority, better tanks and more experienced crews, but Alice just had to cheat regardless. This enables Ōarai to turn the tables.
  • Evil Laugh: She lets rip with one after intercepting another transmission, getting some startled looks from her crew.
  • Foreshadowing: In Episode 6, when her Sherman flag tank was being pursued by Oarai's tanks, she stressfully asked why such a school was participating in the tournament and that she knew that it was supposed to be abolished soon. This happened way early, even before the Student Council President of Oarai stated that if they lost the tournament, the school would be abolished.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Which make her look like a loudmouth brat after tangling with Ōarai.
  • Gut Feeling: She claims that her knowledge of Ōarai's positions comes from this.
  • Hoist by Her Own Petard: The reason the numerically superior Saunders units ended up out-of-position, leaving her tank at Ōarai's mercy and convincing Kay to bring matching numbers of tanks during their counterattack? She fell for fake communications (when Miho deduced that their radio transmissions were being intercepted), fooling her into emptying her guns without informing her allies.
  • Large Ham: She's Laughing Mad as she's running for the hills and combining these mad laughs with non-sequiturs.
  • Loophole Abuse: Technically, intercepting radio transmissions isn't cheating, but it's not good sportsmanship either. To further elaborate, using radio interception airplanes is illegal in the Sensha-do tournament. She gets around this by using a radio interception balloon.
  • Mission Control: Serves as one for Saunders and helped by the radio intercepts.
  • Munchkin: Her team already had a two-one advantage in numbers, better tanks, and many more veterans, yet she still decided to eavesdrop on her opponent's communications to further increase the odds of winning. Imagine how bad she would be in World of Tanks!
  • Oh, Crap!: After realizing Kay disapproves of her actions and wants a word with her in an uncharacteristically stern tone.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: In Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu, she only uses a pair of fake sunglasses as a disguise.
  • Rank Up: Takes over as commander of Saunders's Sensha-do team in the Little Army 2 spin-off manga.
  • Revenge: In Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu, she decides to infiltrate Ōarai to steal its classified information in revenge for Yukari infiltrating Saunders. However, her disguise is... less than stellar, as Leopon Team finds her suspicious immediately.
  • Smug Snake: When she thinks her team holds the upper hand, she holds very dismissive views of her opponents, acting condescending towards them and letting loose with Unsportsmanlike Gloating when she's particularly confident of victory. But when the tables are turned or some unexpected complication happens, she tries to flee while having what can only be described as a panic attack.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Depending on the translation, is "Arisa", "Alisa," "Alyssa" or "Alice."
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Leads Saunders to victory against Pravda in Little Army 2.
    • Ribbon Warrior also shows that she's a good strategist, at least in Tankathlon, where her penchant for more underhanded tactics gives her an advantage.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Relatively minor, but she's still a poor sport and a cheater in a team known for fair play and graciousness in both victory and defeat.
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: When The Cavalry appears she goes back to her eeevil ranting.
  • Villainous Breakdown: When she finds out she was outsmarted and led into a trap, she doesn't take it well and starts babbling incoherently as her tank drives for its life.
  • Youthful Freckles: Her attitude brings to mind a Bratty Halfpint who didn't grow up.

     Loader and Gunner, M4A1(76)W 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/loader-chan_and_gunner_chan_5773.jpg
Two nameless crew members of Alice's flag tank during Saunders vs Ōarai. Left and right in the pic, respectively.

Tropes for the two


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