Almost as if to make up for the 5.5 recap episode, this week’s Mädchen und Panzer was absolutely awesome. It was a delectable sandwich of tank battle and story development. More than half of episode 6 was closing out the battle. I’m not sure if I want to say that it takes 2 weeks, or however much time they had for episode 6, to bring such shows to higher ranks of awesomeness. Mädchen und Panzer has been a strong series from the start. Many people were quick to dismiss a show based on the initial concept of “Let’s combine moé girls with tanks. Trust me, it’ll do well.” But let’s not forget that our own preconceptions on what makes a good series good often backfires. I have made this mistake repeatedly, although more often with the shows that take themselves more seriously. Yet I have always come away with good impressions with silly shows like Mädchen und Panzer.
The last time I said “I’m gonna like this!” sarcastically, it switched over to a genuine “.. I like this.” This occurred during the first season of Strike Witches. It continues to happen with shows like Sword Art Online. (Yes, I had pegged SAO as a show that might not be very good before I saw any amount of the show itself.) Admittedly, this happens mostly when I’m reading a summary. Need to get into the habit of ignoring the pre-emptive impressions that surrounds most series before they even air.
I really appreciate the cannon fire sounds. They’re absolutely vicious. That it’s mixed so that it sounds like it’s clipping is a nice touch. Sometimes it’s a bit weird watching anything with tanks firing, and it sounds so pristine and smooth, you’d think these tanks were 1000 meters away. Also, hurray for Hirano Aya. Her performance as Alisa was entertaining. I’ve forgotten how amusing it is to listen to a screaming Aya — it’s on par with Misato Fukuen’s crazy howling. Here’s hoping Hirano-san can grab more voice acting jobs, since I truly do enjoy her voice.
Aside from episode 5.5, the pacing for Mädchen und Panzer is great. There’s a little bit of downtime, plenty of action, small but effective doses of character development, and the moé aspect often feels completely absent, thanks to fitting militaristic music. Really, the largest dose of moé comes in the form of the ED sequence with a miniature tank bobbing around like a plush toy as it advances down a road.
It’s been a while since I’ve used it, but here ya go, the Planes and Pants rating.