Once again, a new season with brand new anime has arrived (although by the time I’m writing this entry, 3 episode have already aired). Being a typical immature adult who somehow only have 6 hours worth of free time to spend each day to do stuff (sleeptime excluded), I have to pick only one if not two or three anime currently airing for me to follow. I have to be honest, I’m not really that all into tanks and military stuff until recently I watched videos of Brian from HobbylinkJapan and HobbylinkTV talking and showcasting military tanks models. I don’t know but I have serious difficulties in finding myself interested on Gundam kits but somehow it works the other way around when it comes to scaled model kits of actual vehicles, especially 1/12 scaled bikes (and I’m not even a bike addict).
There’s a loli inside that tank. Quick, wave her back : )
So yea, the world where this show sets in somewhat has a thing on Tanks.. with girls riding and operating them. Apparently, males in this world are either too pussy to ride in them or tanks are just too cute that every highschool, parents as well as some bossy loli president of the Student Council encourages schoolgirls to hope into the wagon. It’s not as crazy as Pokemon but yea, somehow you can say that being involved to this stuff is considered as a Yamato Nadeshiko factor.
Still hard to grasp that idea? Simple! We already have an ally of cute witches flying with propeller legs blasting aliens, cute girls on aircrafts, cute girls on spacecrafts, cute girls on mech suits, cute girls on robots, more cute girls on mech suits, cute girls on drugs, etc.. Eventually someone thought a brilliant idea and said “Why not Tanks?”
Senshado Sentai; PANZERANGER! GATTAI!
So the show opened with a shot of just an empty gravel land with tanks sitting faraway, accompanied by an (or a couple of) offscreen voice(s) lodging a report. And then, poof! Two adorable lolis jumped out, ran and quickly climbed on the screen. Seconds later, boom! You’re now watching the camera panning around the land revealing that you’re now accompanied with colourful cel-shade CGI ally tanks around you as the camera bumped up and down the path. At this moment, you’re probably also asking yourself whether you’re actually playing an FPS military action videogame or watching a nice and epic looking intro of an anime that’s badass enough even with the lack of explosions.
So I assume you’re thinking of joining the Trench Coat Flasher Club…
Then the scene gets cut with an introduction of our main heroine; Nishizumi Miho being all klutzy the moment she jumped out of her bed, pretty much like almost any main characters from any anime even as old as Sailormoon would do in their first episode debut. Oh, and for certain reason, Miho seems to have a thing on putting band-aids and bandages on her plushies.
Seriously, insensitive girl. That’s not how you talk to a person you just made friends with…
So our main heroine here appears to be a girl who has just transferred to a new place (probably a girls dorm) and a new school named Oarai Highschool. There she made friends with two new girls; Hana and Saori, one is your usual sisterly, mature and nice chick and the latter… Okay, I got to admit the first time I looked at Saori’s character art, the first thing I had in mind is her being the klutzy and timid girl of the group who’ll always get the yuri cuddle from Hana or the other girls.
Guys? You mean this anime has males in it !? No way..
But well, I was proven wrong after learning that she isn’t just straight (hell, with a similar setting like Strike Witches, people would expect that every girls here are lesbians), she’s pretty much quite a Playgirl seeing how she always talks about getting more boyfriends despite currently dating one. In fact she even went a quite hyped when she found out that taking Senshado will make her popular among males. So yea, feel free to change the “-aori” in her name to “-lutty”.
Apparently Saori may be the only straight girl in this show..
Anyway, my nitpicky side somewhat have some problem adjusting myself to be feel less uneasy with the term “Tankwondo” which Hiryu sub is using to refer to the tank martial art practiced by the girls in this show. Someone please prove me wrong that the term wasn’t derived from the cheesy hybrid of “Tank” and “Taekwando”. Gun-Fu (as used by MyAnimeList or Sentai Filmworks) sounds rather nice but I think I prefer to just call them Senshado here, despite it sounds like a Japanese electronic body massage product.
Apparently, the main reason Miho went to Oarai High was to avoid being involved in Senshado, both due to a foreshadowed childhood trauma and the fact that she’s not good at it despite having both her mother and sister being well known practitioners of the art.
Nom nom nom..
Things got a little more stressful for poor not-so-little (insert strip-cap here) Miho when the Student Council trio leaded by an adorable but cocky loli president (seems like loli Seitokaichous are getting popular nowadays) confronted her and “suggested” her to join their club.
Clones! Cloned schoolgirls due to animation budget cut everywhere!!
After a few scenes of Miho being briefly catatonic after the confrontation, we later get to see the rest of the girls from each team being subtly introduced sitting in the school auditorium/assembly hall while the Student Council trio played a (propaganda) video about Senshado. From this scene alone, you can pretty much assume that Senshado is like American Football in USA highschools..
One of these girls here is actually one of the main reasons why I pick up this show, she has four eyes instead of one, and she subtly possess a pair of nice huge sized energy tanks..
The stress level on Miho gets even worse when she got called by the Student Council into their office (seriously, are we looking at the Student Council or the School Principal disguised as a snack-munching loli with twintails?) and somehow provoked with a warning that she might be expelled if she refused to.
Ladies and Gentlemen, here is your obviously-gonna-be Fan-Favourite Chick of the show. Heck, she’s even the second girl to get an official dakimakura of her own.
Though, by the power of friendship, both Saori and Hana stood up against the trio for the sake of Miho’s decision, despite both of them initially were interested in joining in the club before they found out about Miho’s dilemma.
Your cockiness bizarrely turns me on..
Filled with both inner guilt and motivation from her friends, Miho changed her mind,
punched Loli President on the gut and cried “I’M A MAN!!” and announced that she will join the club for good.
Okay, keep up with the running boyfriends jokes and don’t blame me for not warning you on the incoming gangbang fanarts in Pixiv.
“Ehe.. ehehe.. I swear the camera isn’t pointlessly focusing on me obviously because I’m the fourth member of the main heroines team. I swear again, I’m merely just modeling for a typical Windows XP wallpaper..”
The next day, all of the new batch of the Senshado club (with the exception of Sleepy Fan Favourite Chick) gathered in front of a hangar as their first assembly. Hmm, the lack of senior members aside the Seitokai trio makes me wonder and questioning the actual credibility of the club… They then entered one of the garage and uncovered an old dusty tank inside. Miho approached the old tank and proclaimed that it’s good enough for them to use by just touching it, obviously indicating that she really does have the natural talent as a Senshadoka.
Memory test starts now !
The next amusing and biggest highlight of the episode is when the camera zoomed away from the girls, out of the garage, out of the hangar, passed through houses and buildings and finally revealed that the land actually sits on a foundation which is a gigantic ship sailing on a sea.
Now take that, Tidal Wave! We have a fukken huge ship topped with lolis and cute chicks riding on colourful tanks!
The episode then ended with the OP played as the ED of the episode with the video displayed in a small window as the credits roll in, a new formula of nowadays’ anime which I personally love. If there’s anything I’d like to say about this aside praising Choucho for delivering another great OP theme after Kamisama No Memochou, it should be me going batshit and screaming “Fuck yeah! More cute girls!!”.
Overall, it’s a well done episode opening to a promising looking show. It’s not rushed and the introduction of both the main and supporting characters didn’t feel like they’re executed in a way of trying to make you remember each of them by forcing you to swallow all of their info at one time. The fact that I’m already digging Izu (loli president)’s character pretty much proves that the show is showing early good signs that they’re doing well in giving each of the girls their own characteristic.