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Fridge / Girls und Panzer

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Fridge Logic

  • Sensha-do/Tankery/Panzerkraft is a sport dominated by women and girls, possibly even exclusive to them, such that some students think men and tanks are mismatched. ...Saori really is pretty gullible, isn't she?
    • That doesn't exclude the possibility of male trainers and and coaches, women's gymnastics being a fair example.
    • Saori's "strategy", such as it is, seems to consist of becoming the sort of celebrity athlete whom guys fawn over - think of female tennis players, for instance. The flaw in her plan is that most sportswomen show up prominently in match footage, instead of being cooped up inside a METAL BAWKS until it's all over.
      • Also, the usual player that fans will fawn over in a team sport is the team's ace/star player. In Ooarai's case, that would be Miho. Also her position as radio operator would certainly lessen her chances of being recognized, unlike Miho, who is the commander and the face of Ooarai's tankery squad.

Fridge Brilliance

  • Sensha-do/Tankery/Panzerkraft being dominated by women makes sense when you remember that girls tend to generally be shorter in height than boys. Tanks, especially those of the eras allowed in the sport tend to be very cramped. So girls are just more physically suited to working in tanks.
  • In episode 3, Miho's Panzer IV somehow manages to survive a direct hit to the rear from a StuG at close range, which normally shouldn't be possible. Then you realize that Miho had deliberately placed the Panzer IV on a rope bridge because it would act as a massive shock absorber!
    • Jossed. The battle map shown in the manga (its actually briefly shown on-screen in Episode 2) shows that the reason they went on the bridge was only to cross the river to get at the Council team. So it's not that Miho handles tank bounces better than a Warthog-launching Halo player, it's just that she is insanely lucky. Also, Mizushima said in a twitter that the round just happened to miss hitting anything vital for a few millimetersnote 
      • The above was commented upon in the Animesuki forums as "So Kampfgruppe Miho had the tank-equivalent of a bullet going through the helmet but missing the head? Neat-o."
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  • In Little Army, Hitomi is shown early on in the last chapter learning how to drive a tank from one of the Nishizumi school students. Recall in the first chapter that she was the worst at driving, and her willingness to improve on her weakest area is a sign of her Character Development and taking Tankery more seriously, which may serve her well when she does Tankery in the future.
  • Why is Erwin Co-commander in the Stug? 3 guesses what her namesake did? She's probably the only one other than Yukari and Miho who knows anything major about tank warfare in Ōarai before the series started.
  • In the manga,after the team acquire the Char B1 bis, but before the Sodoko Collective volunteer to crew it, it's crewed by Aya Oono from Rabbit team, Erwin, and Yukarin. Why those three?
    • Aya is the gunner for the M3 Lee's 37mm gun - one of the lightest guns in the team, and thus easiest to man singlehandedly, and from the tank with the most crew to pick up the slack.
    • Why Erwin and Yukari? Because as obsessive tank and WWII Otaku, they would know the most about a tank they haven't specifically trained in!
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  • Why is Mako so keen to stay on her grandmother's good side? It's because she doesn't want a repeat with what happened with her mother.
  • All the commanders that Miho faces until the finals not only contradict the Nishizumi School of sensha-do but also teach her a valuable lesson to help Miho solidify her own version of sensha-do.
    • Darjeeling of St. Gloriana presents a chivalric and cultured approach to sensha-do. Respect for a Worthy Opponent is probably irrelevant or even heretical in the Nishizumi School.
    • Kay of Saunders regards sensha-do as a sport rather than a war. Thus fair play and sportsmanship are just as important if not more important than victory.
    • Manga!Anchovy of Anzio right out states that victory is not an end unto itself, it is what a commander should deliver to her team as a reward for their efforts. Anime!Anchovy and her school instead display the value of camaraderie. Despite their loss, they are in high spirits and invite the Ōarai girls to a party right after the match, showing that sensha-do to them is fun rather than work and that they are friends before they are a team.
    • Katyusha of Pravda uses feints and tactics despite her overwhelming materiel superiority. She teaches Miho the dangers of complacency (albeit indirectly) and that the Germanic Efficiency of the Nishizumi School is not always the best approach even when you have the advantage.
  • Alisa's plan in the Ōarai vs Saunders match involved tapping into Ōarai's radio communications. Ōarai's countermeasure was to use their cell phones. This seems an odd blind spot. Given that every girl in Ōarai has a cell phone, it's safe to assume the same applies to other schools. In the end it's a difference between experience and inexperience. Saunders are experienced in Tankery, where as Ōarai are still relative newbies. Alisa probably never considered they would try to communicate with anything besides radio. Even if she did think of the method they used, she'd likely discard it as impractical, which it would have been if it wasn't for Saori's ability to text fast.
  • During the Sanders match, both Alisa and Yukari spy on the enemy and Kay's reaction to their respective attempts are polar opposites; she coldy reprimands the former and jokes about it with the later. This may seem like a double standard until you look at the wider context. Kay's tankery program is much wealthier than Ōarai's (2-1 advantage in numbers) and their members are more experienced (their opponents only have one veteran), thus their advantage is so great it's unfair and Kay will not tolerate such a thing. Thus, Yukari spying on them and supplying her commander with Sander's battle plan evens the odds. It's a handicap. In contrast, Alisa's spying is like Min-Maxing; a munchkin so obsessed with winning she resorts to overkill. That's why Kay was so mad. Alisa knew she would react this way and that's why she lied and said 'gut instinct'.
    • Also consider Kei's reaction to Yukari's 'Oddball' reference. Probably pegged Yukari as a fellow tank otaku and would more likely give her a pass.
    • Also, spying before matches seems to be seen as more sporting that radio intercepts. Likely because both teams can theoretically do it, whilst radio interception requires actually tooling up for it, which needs money.
    • The BD booklets yield some light on the issue: Yukari did something they are EXPLICITLY ALLOWED 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.
  • Gradually, it is revealed that Maho is living something of a double life: outwardly becoming the perfect Nishizumi heir and treating her sister with contempt, but internally only doing so so that Miho can have her own free future, essentially sacrificing her own happiness and satisfaction for her sister's (which goes a way to explaining why she is so humorless and robotic). So, in essence, due to the strict expectations of her parent, she must become "a mirror, reflecting the personas of those around me, that dare not be what nature made it."
  • Why is the school in dire financial shape? Well, could it have anything to do with the fact the the principal's car is a Ferrari?
  • Anteater's team is made up of gamer girls who thought they could qualify as tank drivers after minimal experience because they were all World of Tanks fanatics. Unsurprisingly, their tank is incapacitated during the first minutes of the final battle, before they so much as get to fire a shot. The tank they use? The Type-3 Chi-Nu, a Japanese tank which, just like them, never saw actual combat!
  • Miho riding "heads up" is a bit of Truth in Television. Tank commanders do ride "heads up" out of the hatch as much as possible, even under fire. Riding buttoned up using periscopes severely restricts their visibility. The fact that she's doing that in a Panzer IV, which has a cupola for the commander to ride buttoned up without restricting their view as much veers into Fridge Logic. And then in the Final Battle it's shown that Maho is doing the exact same thing with a Tiger I which has the same commander cupola. It's a Nishizumi Tankery thing.
    • Actually, NATO tank commanders do prefer fighting with their heads out of the cupola. There's still no replacement for the old Mk. I eyeball, and even modern cupolas still have a limited field of vision.
  • The audience is given indications about Miho's home life right from the start in episode 1. Miho walks around almost awestruck by Oarai, and says later to Hana and Saori, "It's just like we're real high school girls!" In most anime, particularly moe, this would be taken for granted as cute characterization. Here, it serves as the first clues that Miho's life is far different from everyone else.
  • Miho's team name and emblem is an anglerfish. Fits well with Ooarai's Animal Theme Naming doesn't it? An anglerfish hunts its prey by hiding and waving around a bait until some poor fish gets fooled and ultimately eaten. If you take note of most of Miho's strategies, most of them include misdirections, feints, and most importantly, a bait in order to succeed.
    • And one way to translate "Hetzer" is "baiter"...
  • In both the anime and the movie, Miho has been known to be a mild case of not being very good at naming things. For example, she names her first plan as "Operation: Sneaky Sneak" and in the movie, names their initial operation "Operation: Bumpy" (Or "Punchy Punch" in the dub). While not sounding badass or cool, one realizes that the operation names are what the plan is supposed to be: "Sneaky Sneak" is supposed to be an ambush and "Bumpy" is a head on confrontation. This is a reflection of Miho's Nishizumi upbringing that prioritizes efficiency about all else, right down to the operation names. The fact that Maho agreed to such a simple name in the movie is probably her way of approving Miho's more straightforward choice, after she herself tried to name their operation after her favorite opera.
  • The emphasis of the Ooarai team on somewhat unconventional tank warfare, especially their preference to bringing the fight into tight spaces isn't just there to make the show interesting, it may actually be a reflection of the real world Japan Ground Self Defense Force's tank doctrine. Japan as a whole is a country that is ill suited to tanks, with lots of forested, mountainous terrain, with large urban pockets in between. Even their current main battle tank, the Type 10 Hinomaru is designed around these - being a highly modular tank that can be made light enough to be transported to places in ways that heavier tanks cant. Ami Chono being air dropped in one in the show is just an extreme example of this.
  • During one of their matches in Ribbon Warrior, Saunders deploys their "Flying Tankers" in an elaborate display involving multiple gliders towed by B-29s at low level. While this may seem excessive, it is perfectly in line with the American style of Senshado, which places a heavy emphasis on spectacle.
  • Shizuka Tsuruki is a wannabe samurai who constantly harps about the need for "honor" in battles, but seldom lives up to her ideals in practice. She's the kind of person who'll go into a screaming fit if an ally interferes in her "honorable duel" with an enemy tank, but won't bat an eye at using spectators as human shields. This hypocritical mindset brings to mind another group of wannabe samurai who tried to practice Bushido in the modern age. Like Shizuka, Japan's military was obsessed with recapturing the long departed spirit of the samurai during the Second World War. And much like Shizuka they too weren't very good at living up to those ideals, something which countless civilians in Japanese occupied territory found out the hard way.

Fridge Horror

  • In the manga, shortly before the match with Pravda, Miho learns that she will be disinherited if she loses. After that upsetting revelation, she, in the following scenes, acts exactly as she does in the anime, as though nothing is wrong, and Yukari, the only one of her teammates to know what is going on, is deeply disturbed by this, although she doesn't say anything. One has to wonder- how much else is Miho keeping secret from her friends and the viewers?
  • With all the recent intelligence leaks involving the depth of American surveillance programs, the radio cheating by Saunders University (which was probably symbolic of how the Americans were listening to Japanese communications during WW2) becomes even more appropriate than it was probably intended...
    • Then in Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu, Alisa tries to infiltrate Ōarai, but thanks to her terrible disguise, she gets caught fairly early on and taken as a "prisoner of war", resulting in Kay and Naomi coming over and, after spending some time with Ōarai, bringing Alisa home.
  • When it is revealed that Ōarai is slated to be shut down if they don't win the tournament, everyone is naturally concerned about the implications about the students going their separate ways. However, the implications are much deeper when you consider that the entire purpose of the school ships are the schools. Shutting down the school would result in shutting down the entire ship. Not only would the students be divided by going to different schools, but this would also result in the displacement of an entire community the size of a small town.
  • Since the bureau is planning to close a ship, but the tournament winners avoid this fate, who does it fall to? Imagine being the student council of the #2 ship, which is safe unless Ōarai wins. At first that's a laughably small chance...but as the tournament goes on, it becomes more and more real, until Ōarai wins the tournament - and the #2 suddenly has less than a year before shutdown. There is an endowment for the victors, but it's not stated whether this is enough that the bureau doesn't still need to close a ship.
    • The movie then reveals that MEXT still closes Ōarai despite their promise of not doing so if they won the tournament, simply because they think Ōarai won because of luck. If they can do this to the tournament winning school, they can do this to any school under their jurisdiction.
  • The school ships' crews consist of children. Many of the duties of a crew are hazardous, and a ship isn't all that different from a factory.
  • When Miho is riding with her head outside the tank in the second episode "Sensha, Norimasu!", Saori pleads with her to put her head back inside the tank, in case she gets hit. Miho replies that people barely ever get hit...which implies that sometimes, they do. 75mm shell + Child's Head = Ex-Child.
    • Not to mention the fact that tanks are sometimes sent rolling. What happens if somebody's poking their head out at the time?
  • This is minor in comparison to the above, but remember Hana's new-style flower arrangement? With the tank shaped flower pot, it looks exactly like a turret explosion.


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