What They Say:
The girls from Oorai are back in six special episodes! And whether they’re shopping for swimsuits, campint out or doing the Ankou Dance, they bring their own special brand of Tankery to the task at hand. There’s also a tour of the Oorai school ship, a look at what REALLY happened while Yukair and Erwin were out doing reconnaissance and a team talent contest that’s not to be missed! It’s a very special collection featuring everyone’s favorite Tankery girls: Girls und Panzer Specials!
The OVA series has two audio tracks: English 2.0 and Japanese 2.0. English subtitles are also provided. In terms of quality, the sound came through just fine with no issues of distortion or random drops and rises in volume.
The episodes are presented in 1080i/p in 16:9 aspect ratio. The transfer is fine with no issues in video quality.
Girls und Panzer Complete OVA Series features six OVAs on a single DVD housed in a standard DVD case. The front cover features the characters Miho and her friends in the tank brigade from Ōarai Girls’ High School in various poses on their tank. The spine features the show’s title in white font against a pink background with another girl flashing the “peace” sign and winking. The back cover shows the girls standing beside their tank. Still images from the show are also included along with the show’s synopsis, credits, and DVD specifications.
The menu is pretty standard Sentai style with the left half of the screen featuring the episode list, language option, and special features. The right side is occupied by the same image of the girls standing in front of their tank that is used on the case’s back cover. The show’s main theme plays on a ten second loop. It’s a perfectly functional menu design, but it’s definitely also a case of been there, done that.
Girls und Panzer comes with the standard grab-bag of extras that won’t excite anyone except hardcore fans.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
I’ve been wanting to watch Girls und Panzer for some time. I mean, cute girls in WWII-era tanks? What’s not to like? Nothing, that’s what. So when I saw that the OVA series had been sitting around for God knows how long, I decided I’d snag it, hoping that I would get a chance to watch the series proper before getting to it.
It turns out I was a bit optimistic in my hope, and I ended up watching the OVA series cold. This means that, while I did have fun watching these six micro-episodes, I also missed out on a great deal of context that would have made this a more memorable experience. I mean, the show was cute (again: cute girls in WWII-era tanks), but I had no real idea who the characters were or why they had tanks at all.
According to the ever-accurate Internet, the series takes place in an alternate universe where WWII_era tanks are maintained for tank wargames. One of the after school activities high schoolers can participate in is sensha-do, or “the way of the tank.” Tank operation is considered a martial art and high schools compete against each other in safe, regulated events. Think martial arts tournaments crossed with football games all played with tanks. The main character, Miho, comes from a prestigious line of sensha-do artists and becomes involved with the revival of tank games at her high school, and drama and hijinks ensue, I assume.
The OVAs take place outside of the main story and feature short, silly done-in-one tales where the girls go swimsuit shopping (with hilarious results) in preparation for a trip to the beach, tour their academy ship (with hilarious results), and perform the Anglerfish dance (with hilarious results), to name just a few.
While the OVAs were fun and cute, that’s also the long and short of it when it comes to reviewing them. Without the context of the regular series, a great deal of subtext and meaning shot right over my head. I enjoyed this to an extent, but I would definitely recommend seeing the series first.
Girls und Panzer OVA Series is a fun follow-up to the main show; however, because I never saw the main show, a great deal of the context and meaning passed right by me, making this a lighter, less memorable viewing experience than it could/should have been. If you’re a fan of the series, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this. If you haven’t seen the series yet, I recommend starting there before hitting the OVAs.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Clean Opening, Clean Closing
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: February 25th, 2014
Running Time: 74 Minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Panasonic Viera TH42PX50U 42” Plasma HDTV, Sony BPD-S3050 BluRay Player w/HDMI Connection