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Girls Und Panzer 05: Yukari, Y U No Keep The Camera Rolling!?

19 Dec

If there’s a second major demand I’d like to ask from this show, it definitely would be the explanation on how did Yukari become a Fan-favourite character among the fans. As stated in my entry on the first episode, I just started to get to learn about or get into tanks just a few months ago (which I personally felt like 2 days ago). Even trying to remember and state out the full model name of a tank felt as hard as memorizing the numbers on a chemistry periodical table in just 5 seconds, so I kinda have trouble in adoring Yukari’s dedication on her hobby and love on tanks.

No, before I start getting “Are you showing signs of sacrilege towards our Tank Girl Overlord by saying that she doesn’t deserve to be that famous?” glares, NO, I do like her. It’s just that I’d like to see more good and strong sides of her other than just being every Tank otakus’ perfect wet dream. But hey, good thing this episode spent half of it showing me enough signs why she deserves those loves. Nope, didn’t even feel like she’s hogging too much screentime, which is a really good thing. *Slyly stares at Miporin being mopey*

I don’t care if you sung one of my top favourite OreImo soundtracks. You’re still a bitch!

But before digging in Yukari’s infiltration through the Saunders Academy (which is their next opponent), there’s something I’d like to talk or rant about the little confrontation in the military themed cafe (doesn’t this show start to remind you more and more of Pokemon?) between the heroines and the two main members of Kuromorimine aka. Black Forest Peak; Miporin’s previous team as a vice commander before she transferred to Oarai. One of them being her typically cold-hearted sister while the other one being some damn bitch you just wished you can give her some spanks before throwing her into the cafe food storage room and let her freeze to total silence. Yea, it actually pissed me off when she even went on telling Yukari to sit down and be quiet, claiming that she isn’t eligible to talk back at them. Bitch, you’re throwing shit on people who are enjoying their tank cakes, expect you’re getting shit back for being an asshole.

Anybody who’s awesome and agrees that white haired chick is an asshole and a b#tch, please put up your right hand.

I may say that this is a good opportunity for me to feel more sorry on Miporin but for certain reason, the way how this leaded to Miporin to just go more mopey so that her friends and viewers would go “Awwwwwwww… Poor girl.” just didn’t work for me. What passed through my mind was just thinking that they should just rename her nickname to Mopeyrin. Then again, all the bright outcome of this scene went to Mako, who’s being all awesome for being the only one who dare to talk back. Sadly enough, it’s too obvious to guess that the show will later reveal that they’re actually nice girls who were just being strict. Seriously, if you’re going to develop a douchebag character by showing how douchey s/he can be, keep in mind that viewers like me will hate it when you (the writers) decided to force us to do a sudden 180 degrees and expect us to suddenly want to like that character. If you’re going to make her having a change of heart later, then don’t establish her in a way that’s already exposing enough magnet force to drag hates. It’s not a convenient way of doing character development.

Whoah, who would expect to see Nishio Isin making a cameo in this show..

Back to Yukari being awesome, the four girls paid a visit to her home believing that she was absent from classes and the tank practice for being sick. There, they learned that Yukari’s parents are running a hair salon bussiness…. which kinda surprised me since all this time, I always thought that Yukari has one messy hairstyle that might have something to do with her being a geek. Turns out it’s supposed to be stylized hair undoubtedly done by her parents. Yukari later returned home, via the window, and revealed that she actually spent the whole day sneaking in a cargo ship, sailed to USA and infiltrated through Saunders High (completely disguising as Saunders schoolgirl nicknamed Sergeant Oddball) to uncover their opponents’ strategy and frontline structure by recording her mission on tape. Have to say that was dangerously awesome. More points for you, Yukari.

She’s climbin in your windows, She’s snatchin Saunder’s secret up, Tryna rape em so y’all need to Hide your tanks, hide your shells..

The Akiyama resident scene also covered about Yukari keeping her hobby and interest on the military world all by herself since a child. Despite that she still leaded a happy life with her parents. Personally, I like it better when a character with personal problems has this tendency of refusing to show that s/he is suffering of something inside, either in a form of unconscious strong self denial or the character is just too innocent or too naive to care about him/herself, rather than being openly mopey and showing signs of mentally depressed. I tend to feel sorry for the former rather than the latter. Well, unless the character was already a quiet one to begin with.

“Sit down, relax and watch us hitting on the classic Hare Hare Yukai and Motteke! Sailor Fuku! dance medley~”

Things like this is the major reason why I like Eiji’s character in Kamen Rider OOO as the protagonist. Sure he’s not your cool, genius and charming ikemen hunk and it’s too obvious to state that he was one of the less liked Rider among the fans for being dumb. Yet how can I not like a naive hero who was willing to ditch his humanity and become a monster just for the sake of overpowering and defeating the big villains for good? Err… sorry for that spoiler btw. Back to the show (Girls Und Panzer), I pretty much can say I find myself pitying on Yukari’s childhood more than I should on Miporin’s conflict on her family’s fame. Although…. I really should admit, I loathed it everytime I see her kissing Miporin’s ass, in a non-yuri way. That includes addressing her as “Nishizumi-dono”. I also find Yukari spontaneously increasing her Lovable Level everytime she addresses everyone she knows with the “-dono” honorific.

Brawl, Bludgeon, Warpath, Rampage, Tankor and Megatron? Saori would kill to get that harem!

In preparation for the tournament, aside some intensive training sessions, the girls even started to paint their tanks back to camouflage colours. Have to say that I’m really sad since this pretty much means that the history buff girls would no longer stride the land in their red Stug with their four signature flags on top. Neither would the student council trio glitter with their golden tank (which they probably painted and plated using the school’s fund) .  Still, I guess they just learned from their mistakes from the last match against St. Gloriana, especially the historian girls. Quite a nice and subtle character development, if you ask me. They also renamed each team with new names based on some random animals along with the -san honorific. Instead of Team A, B, C, D and E, they’re now Ankou-san (Angglerfish), Ahiru-san (Duck), Kaba-san (Hippo), Usagi-san (Rabbit) and Kame-san (Turtle). For certain reason, the last two actually sound fitting..

Take a note from this anime, Nishio Isin. Even painting a tank can be considered as character development. You don’t need to fuck and cut 2 feet of a girl’s precious hair and stole away her glasses just to show that she has turn over a new leaf.

And now it’s time for me to talk about their current opponent; The Saunders, a team based on America or to be exact, the USA which is known well with their wealth conveniently presented with them having a hangar full of expensively engineered and even rare tanks, as well as having shopping booths set up during the tournament. I don’t live in the US nor am well informed with how the well or bad the current economy status is there, but I certainly won’t be surprised on the amount of American viewers of this show snickering if this turns out to be an over-the-top depiction of USA.

Cheerleaders.. <3 I have nothing to complain here even if this is supposed to be another one of those USA stereotype widely played in Anime, except making a dirty grin.

Just like St. Gloriana, the team had three main members consisting of Kay (the captain) and her two underlings; a tall dyke with freckles named Naomi and a loud mouth annoying girl with MORE freckles named Arisa. As pretty as how the name Arisa is, she is quite  one bitchy girl, you’ll see why I describe her with that B word. Kay on the other hand, looks nice (both physically and attitude-wise) and she appears to be an old friend of Anzu. Personally, I’m really not a fan of stereotypical busty American girl who keeps on rephrasing engrish words just to remind viewers that she’s American but as for Kay, she’s cute and she’s cool, and I’m really glad they didn’t designed her as 8ft tall bakunyu lady with botox lips. Yea, I do like her. I didn’t watch Fate Zero so getting to hear Kawasumi Ayako voicing as her felt so nostalgic. Think the last anime I watched with her doing  a main role was Pandora Hearts as Alice… and that was like more than a couple of years ago.

“I’ll just take those two dairy buns you have there, thank you.”

The match started…. and for certain reason, I was wondering what’s up with that short scene of Anzu riding on top of an armour jeep. At first I thought they over-modified their 38(t) that it eventually turned into a 4 wheeled barrel-less tank or should I say, a jeep but then…. I don’t know. She’s probably just too lazy to walk that she has to hop on an armour car to enter the battlefield. That’s my lucky guess.

“Do your best or else the animators are going to mispaint you as that mute girl in our team again!”

Oarai’s initial strategy was once again to use a decoy tank (this time it’s Team Hippo’s Stug III) to lure a part of the Saunders troops which they assumed to outnumber them. The strategy somehow caught itself into an opening of failure when the Saunders troop appeared to be already reading their plan and gang-bushed Team Rabbit instead of getting lured by Team Hippo’s Stug. It’s not until after assisting Team Rabbit for a safe escape, they noticed that there’s an air balloon floating up in the sky. Turns out it was one of Saunders girls, Arisa, utilizing the air balloon as an “antenna” to eavesdrop the Oarai teams communication through their radio.

Oh hai, Maya… I mean, Aya. Long time no see. How was your role in Nisemonogatari? Oooops, sorry…

Oh, and speaking of this Arisa girl, she’s quite a loudmouth and pretty much the gecko’s poop on top of a chocolate cake to the Saunders team. Had I not watch episode 6 by the time I am writing this entry, I would think that I’m just exaggerating my dislike/loath on her character. Oh, speaking of loudmouth, she’s voiced by everyone’s used-to-be favourite Hirano Aya, a well known voice actress who’s popularly known as the only lady on earth who can cast as Konata with her uniquely high pitched voice as well as doing characters like lesbian loli in delicious blue leotard Lumierre, another lesbian dominatrix gothloli Ekaterina Kurae @ Katya, perverted loli esper Kaoru, cheerleader + summoner blondie Lucy and a certain bitch whom I’ll never acknowledge as a God no matter how her show tried to convince me. I certainly have no idea if she received any paychecks for saying nothing in Bakemonogatari though.  Going back to her role in this show, I’d have to compliment how different she sounded this time. She still retained  that loudmouth feel I have stuck in my head as Haruhi except she’s now a little low pitched and rather tomboyish. Honestly, it took me a little while to eventually notice that was indeed her.

Cel-shaded Miporin; Still looks more convincing than the CGI Baby in Breaking Dawn 2.

One thing I quite just noticed (pardon me for being so damn slow) from this episode is the difference between Oarai’s set of tanks as opposed to their opponents from other school. While the other schools tend to stick with only certain models of tanks for them to use (usually it will be like only two or three type of tanks with the best one operated by the captain) and somewhat appeared to be sponsored by either their school or the government themselves, Oarai’s set are more varied due to all of them (aside the Panzer IV) being either scavenged or  found lying around the land of Oarai. Somehow I find this cool since it works both in making the main girls possessing variations, looking “unique” and distinguishable through out the battles yet at the same time giving them some sense of being underdogs for having less harmony and random levels of tank power. It really counters the unfair “Only the main heroes get the coolest stuff” thing which plagued most anime, especially the 80-90’s. Yes, Sailormoon. My frowned glare is on you.

“We’re only 11 days away from getting into the year 2013, why are they still playing that Oppa Gangnam Crap on the radio !?”

Back to Arisa, technically, her act of eavesdropping the opponents’ radio was not really counted as cheating, at least based on the rule book the girls referred to although it’s already too clear that she’s doing it on her own the moment she lied to Kay that she was just using her lady intuition to predict Oarai’s location and further plans. Ah well, it’s not like Oarai had any of its girls sneaking in to the opposing team campus and leaked any possible information gained from that spy job….

“Hey, never met you. I AM crazy. Here’s my number. So call me “Slutty”.”

Eventually, Arisa’s cheating scheme got easily nullified and even backfired her team fter the girls of Oarai figured out that they can just simply counter it by communicating through their cellphones while the radio worked as a decoy to trick the Saunders to fall into Oarai’s own trap pit. Huge kudos to the Oarais for cleverly utilizing current technology instead of relying on old school radios. At the same time, this plan actually makes poor Saori finally looked useful to the team for being the one in-charge in texting Miporin’s orders and plans to the other teammates. I’ll just be honest, I really have trouble in figuring out what stuff would she be doing as the radio operator since Miporin’s the one doing most of the talking through the mic as the commander. Oh, and here I am starting to demand that every tank battle in this show deserves at least one scene of Team Hippo’s Stug III launching a surprise attack from their hideout because they’re just too epic and beautiful to watch, especially when they’re accompanied with a shot of the victim/target screaming “Jesus!”

Wait, seriously? You called Oryou but you didn’t even let me listen to the sweet voice of Oohashi Ayuru let alone allow her to say any line in this episode? Why are you guys so cruel !!!?

Quite an interesting episode especially since it included a good amount of Yukari-centric moments at the first half. The tank battle at the second half was fun too watch, albeit imho wasn’t as good as the friendly match against St. Gloriana. The idea of having Team Rabbit being the initial target of the Saunders after Arisa worked on her first eavesdropping job pretty much did a decent job of giving the juniors some focus and screentime. Too bad, the driver of Team Hippo hardly made any appearance this time and instead, just spent most of her time being offscreen. Guess it’s not surprising that some fans could actually mistook Team Hippo being  a three members team like Team Turtle.

Quote of The Day:

Darjeeling’s political (?) “joke” towards the USA… Although honestly, I didn’t really get what she was trying to say there aside that she’s probably trying to point out that misusing your wealth to the point of playing dirty is going to cost you in the end ya da ya da… The parodied 4koma made a lot more sense tbh.

Btw, while I do know where is St. Gloriana going with its girls’ names, I find Orange Pekoe being the weirdest name in this show, with Saemonza being the coolest. I do like this British couple though. The fanmade siscon/sempai-kouhai relationship joke and stuff in the Internet are also lovely and light years more preferable than Maho being depicted as a stalking sister.

PS: I’ve already watched episode 6 and 7 so hopefully I can just rushed in writing entries for those two and continue on the rest three last episodes….. without rushing, since I’ve just recently heard that episode 11 and 12 will be aired next year, on March.

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2012 in Anime

 

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