Girls Und Panzer der film – Tanks. Tanks everywhere.

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Girls Und Panzer der film is a nice refresher to the 2012 anime, Girls Und Panzer, and does a good job of reminding its audience of why they liked the show enough to sit down for the sequel.This movie follows the aftermath of the championship, which, if you remember, the Ooarai Girls High School won against overwhelming odds. The movie opens with an amazing tank battle but the real story takes off about twenty minutes into the movie, where the girls receive a rude awakening. It turns out that despite winning the championship, it is revealed that their school is still slated to shut down – and adding insult to injury – will be closed down much earlier than the date which was originally given.

The antagonist here is not a ‘superior tankery group’ but instead, an adult man whose politicking might just end the dreams of the Ooarai girls. While they still have a epic full-scale battle at the end, one would probably keep in mind that what sparked it was the selfish actions of said man. Worse still, we get a glimpse of why everyone wanted so desperately to win the championship in the first place, as it’s revealed that the shuttering of the school affects more than just its students. The ship they are living on will be scrapped– meaning that everyone who lives on board has to find somewhere else to live. In essence, they’re being chased out of their homes.

And while this isn’t as high of a stake as, say, saving the world, to the characters in Girls Und Panzer, it is still a pretty big deal. It means separating from their friends, getting split up and shipped off to whereabouts unknown. Their overzealousness to win the upcoming tank battle is justified and will prove to be tension filled – and to them, losing might just be a fate worse than death.

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The entire cast we’ve seen and loved from the anime makes their appearance again, with the exception of one or two new allies and the opposing group. Miho and Maho get the majority of the character development and are the ones the limelight seem to favour. But since the star of the movie is not just Miho or her sister, the show gives the other characters their fair share of the screen time instead of letting Miho hog it all for herself.

The only glaring con in this movie is that not every character gets a substantial amount of character development, but this unfortunate detail can be overlooked fairly easily on the account that it is simply impossible to do such a thing considering that the film is only two hours long. I think that concentrating on Miho and Maho did more good than any half-baked attempt at trying to develop anyone and everyone. The bottom line here is that most of the girls in Girls Und Panzer der film are here as you know and love them, nothing about them has changed since the end of the anime.

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The plot is pretty straightforward by anime movie standards, but it is extremely well executed. The tank battles works well in elevating the movie to new heights, the entire fight between between the two schools are very intense thanks to the crisp animation and sound effects. I could almost imagine being right there in the movie, watching the tanks in all their terrifying glory.

The narrative wastes little time on filler and fan service – save for a small scene at the start of the movie that spans about five minutes. Honestly, I think it was a blessing for Girls Und Panzer to receive a sequel in the form of a movie because it manages to avoid most, if not all, of the pitfalls that second seasons seem to always fall into.

In the end, Girls Und Panzer der film is undoubtedly a good companion piece to the anime instead of just a lacklustre sequel and ends in an explosive but satisfying manner. The flow throughout is consistent, the narrative is concise and tight, and the two-hour length means that every scene – every interaction between the characters are made to count. There is no space for pointless filler that steers the main story off course. Hopefully, the success of this movie means that there’ll be more Girls Und Panzer sequels to come!

10/10 – Panzer vor!

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