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Posts Tagged ‘Mizushima Tsutomu’

An Apology

Girls und Panzer episode 11, supposed to air starting 24th December, will not be completed in time, and episode 10.5 will air instead. There are many ways to call this kind of thing, but honestly speaking, it’s a recap. Furthermore, even the schedule for episode 10 has become tighter than ever. Under normal circumstances, drawings are finished grouped in cuts, and those cuts are later corrected via a process of trial and error. But it will be necessary to air without fully completing those adjustments.

As to why it has come to this, the fault lies in my naïve planning. It is because creating an original series made me greedy. While having to maintain a good balance and keep to a tight schedule imposed by a TV series, I wanted to show both the characters and tanks as much as possible. My selfish thinking brought about this result, causing quality drops and postponements.

I am truly sorry.

Regarding episode 10, a fully revised version will obviously appear on the BD/DVD release. Of course, the same goes for all previous episodes. I guarantee that when episodes 11 and 12 air, they will represent a level of quality that will satisfy all viewers. I have no right to make this request under such circumstances, but please wait until that day. I am repeating myself, but I am terribly sorry for disappointing everyone waiting for the broadcast.

At the same time, I would like to thank the many people who enjoyed Girls und Panzer until now. Their encouragement has been a great source of support for me as well as for the staff and VA cast involved in the project. Personally, I do not think that the ending of episode 12 will mark the end of this story. Sometime, somewhere, I would certainly like to present a little something to repay the fans for their support.

Mizushima Tsutomu    

The above is a translation of the most recent post on the director’s blog.The avalanche of comments from fans showing their support, including at least three comments form foreigners, is a heartwarming sight.

監督、頑張れ~!皆待って応援しているから!

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Another week behind us, and Girls und Panzer continues to do its magic. Episode eight has a fair share of poignant moments. The student council fold in their attempt to tell Miho the whole truth about the stakes of the tournament. Mako effortlessly sees through Sodoko’s haughty front. The girls agree that giving up is actually an option (!). But it seems I am not alone in singling out the Russian loli rendition of “Katyusha” as the one scene that blew away all others.

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At first, I just realized the song was awesome. It took me some time (and pressing the repeat button many, many times) before I started wondering why exactly the impact of the insert song is so great. There is the obvious element of surprise – Russian in our anime, the war anthem coming completely out of left field – Girls und Panzer’s ability to combine silly and cool to make something completely fresh. But I think the scene would not have been half as powerful if not for its context, the place it takes in the episode as a whole.

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First of all, we meet Katyusha, the Russian loli commander who is doing her best to raise all the overconfident-and-incompetent-villain flags in existence. She calls her opponents a nameless school, feels no need to keep in shape before the battle, fails to research the opposing team properly and does not listen when her own vice-commander offers advice. All of this in a one-minute scene. Later on in the episode, we will also learn that she has a superiority and height complex and motivates her schoolmates by throwing threats at them. As if that was not overkill, the official twitter account of the show mentions that the reason Katyusha became commander of her unit was that it was her tank that shot down Miho’s flag tank in last year’s competition… and viewers are left to imagine how much of that was to Katyusha’s credit.

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Another thing clearly presented in this episode is how green the Ooarai girls still are, even after getting through two matches. You can see it every step of the way – the lukewarm motivation of the first-years, the way the girls fool around during practice and before the match. And to top it off, the final briefing shows how much the team lacks cohesion as the girls get carried away and pressure their experienced commander into changing her tactics.

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It is no coincidence that the Katyusha scene comes immediately after that briefing. In a matter of seconds, the false sense of security bestowed by the Russian commander’s portrayal is blown away. The Pravda team reveals itself as a single, breathing organism, a beast of war united under that one name – Katyusha. That the commander’s name overlaps with the name of the song adds another layer to the message, leaving no doubt that the Pravda girls will obey Katyusha’s orders to the last tank standing, just like the song itself is a tale of loyalty to one’s homeland and loved ones. There is no comparison whatsoever to the lack of discipline and integrity displayed by Ooarai.

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It is through those two contrasts that the rendition of Katyusha gains its significance as a scene, and that significance lends it power necessary to make as much of an impact as it does. Hats off to director Mizushima.

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Taking her pet out on a walk

I hope I’m not alone in having absolutely no idea what the strengths and weaknesses of the tanks featured in this show are. Thankfully, there are considerate tank otaku somewhere out there:

Tanks are srs bsns

From left to right:

  1. St. Gloria leader team
  2. St. Gloria remaining teams
  3. History club team(4 people)
  4. Freshmen team (6 people)
  5. Student council team (3 people)
  6. Main char team (5 people)
  7. Former-volleyball team (4 people)

Our girls probably only survived that one shot in their training match thanks to the greater distance compared to their second exchange. But hell, they are going to have to struggle to scratch that moving fortress of St. Gloria…

The official site for the show also has specs for every tank for those curious.

The show’s TV Tropes site presents a few examples of the producers doing their tank research for this series (but then again, it has a military history advisor on its payroll, so it’s no surprise).

Which is not to say this show is for military buffs only. Take a recent tweet by series director Mizushima Tsutomu:

We chose the Ooarai school tank types based just on the aura they gave off, so the later fights won’t exactly be easy. I could do with more firepower.

Don’t give up, director.

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