As what I hesitantly call the dark-horse anime of the season, Girls und Panzer has managed to remain surprisingly strong in the face of such intimidating competitors as JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and Psycho-Pass. There are definitely plenty of valid reasons why—the skirmishes themselves are well thought out and animated, the characters are likable (if not terribly memorable), and it has yet to bog itself down with glurgy melodrama; even the most somber of scenes are accompanied by hilariously outdated Nazi helicopters and spunky old women, two things guaranteed to improve any show simply with their combined presence.
But belligerent old women and Nazi aircraft are only two parts of a bigger variable in the “why the fuck is this show so good?” equation, a variable that encompasses that broad descriptor of “novelty”. To put it in other words, Girls und Panzer isn’t just the one gimmick of girls engaging in competitive interscholastic tank battles; it’s a slew of gimmicks thrown at the audience one after the other faster than you can say “Holy shit, it’s a giant aircraft carrier!” It’s only when looking back and examining each of these events with the utmost scrutiny that a startling realization begins to emerge: This is why it’s really fucking good, and Episode 8 perfectly illustrates why with the the inclusion of Katyusha, Pravda’s adorable sensha-do president/reference to old war songs. (more…)
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There is something so curiously endearing about a show that tries with no shortage of desperation to be the coolest thing since frozen, sunglass-wearing sliced bread. Where most shows would simply have a character make a one-liner before collectedly planting a bullet through an enemy’s forehead, Jormungand painfully draws it out so the audience can fully appreciate just how totally radical it wants them to think it is, because its sense of what’s hip was originally from the dark age of glam metal and Reaganomics and it wants to catch up to what the kids are into these days, like autotuned Engrish. (more…)
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There’s been a fair amount of discussion about Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun over the past few days. And, since it’s already established that I’m not averse to joining bandwagons regardless of how smart it is to do so, I’m going to give my two cents on the matter. To get it out of the way now, I’m treading unfamiliar ground here. Most of my writing about anime is in regard to how certain elements fit into the overall picture, and very few of them involve offhand rape threats in what’s supposed to be a comedy, so finding that I actually have something serious to say on the matter is pretty damn new.
I cheated and read some a few other posts before I actually watched the first episode. To say that the response is mixed to negative would be like saying that the sky is very often blue, or that the sun will rise in some part of the world in a few hours. “Rape culture” is a phrase thrown around quite a bit in response, and I’ll be damned if it isn’t (unfortunately) apt. However, a part of me isn’t convinced that it’s all unintentional; Haru is depicted in such an overdone way as both an inexcusable creep and a world-class genius that I have trouble believing that at least one person onboard didn’t think “Is this trying to poke holes in the kind of culture that promotes this kind of relationship as being totes adorbs?” Or, if their grammar hasn’t been shot, “How could there be a more unhealthy relationship than this?” (more…)
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