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Dated 28 October 2012: Initial impressions of the autumn 2012 season

Erwin, Caesar, Oryou, and Saemonza
This scene was awesome.

Autumn 2012 so far: JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (1-4) > Smile Precure! (34-36) > Sword Art Online (15-17) > GIRLS und PANZER (1-3) > Medaka Box Abnormal (1-3) > Busou Shinki (1-4) > Aikatsu! (1-3) > Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! (1-4) > Little Busters! (1-4).

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Dated 25 November 2012: GIRLS und PANZER has running while crying

Yukari, Saori, Shinzaburo, Miho, and Hana
I can't tell you why he's crying because it would be a spoiler.

Although the series had to take some time off due to "circumstances," GIRLS und PANZER remains one of my favorite shows this season. Tank battles as a girls' school sport is an absurd premise, but an entertaining one. I suppose GIRLS und PANZER technically qualifies as science fiction, but aside from the tanks thing and the giant boats thing, it's really not so different from the real world, is it? Perhaps for suitably liberal definitions of "real world." I wasn't going to tell you about GIRLS und PANZER though, I was merely going to point out it features running while crying—which it does. So there you go.

Dated 2 December 2012: GIRLS und PANZER episode six is amazing

A Saunders tank crew member
Guess there are no atheists in tanks taking fire either.

From the very first line of the episode, GIRLS und PANZER reveals why it's the best show of the season. Comparisons to last season's Upotte!! are natural because both shows caters to the still niche military otaku segment of anime fans, but GIRLS und PANZER has Upotte!! beat when it comes to execution.

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Dated 24 December 2012: Filler blog post not actually about GIRLS und PANZER

Manami and Aoi
Well, I guess they weren't exactly worried about their getaway.

A discerning GIRLS und PANZER fan questioned the accuracy of showing tanks moving as fast and as nimbly as they do in the show. I'm okay with seeing these tanks drift through corners during an action scene. (There was snow.) On the other hand, any car chase involving a HMMWV requires the suspension of quite a bit of disbelief on my part. Military Humvees are pretty slow. For example, in episode two of Asobi ni Iku yo!, err, Cat Planet Cuties, Aoi's Mustang Shelby GT500 should have lost its pursuers quite easily without resorting to Spy Hunter tricks. P.S. Spoilers.

Dated 28 December 2012: Autumn 2012 season summary

Miho
It turns out you can bully a girl into seizing the reins of destiny.

I knew that GIRLS und PANZER was going to be good, but I certainly wasn't expecting it to be so popular. As others have pointed out, GIRLS und PANZER sets the new standard for anime catering to military otaku. This is largely due to its extensive attention to detail, but it also doesn't forget to remain accessible to general audiences. You don't need to catch a Sergeant Oddball reference to appreciate Yukari infiltrating the Not American school in a Sunkus uniform. Sadly, GIRLS und PANZER may have been a bit ambitious in its planning and production. The show's finest moment is unavailable to Western audiences (officially, anyway) due to copyright and licensing issues. Its final two episodes have also been pushed until spring 2013. Personally, I'm glad studio Actas decided to work to standard and not to time, so I'm all right with the delay.

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Dated 13 January 2013: Drinking to GIRLS und PANZER

Tea
For some reason Nagato Yuki owns a tea set and I don't.

I'm not sure if this really counts as anime product placement, but I bought some Darjeeling tea because of GIRLS und PANZER. It's pretty good, but I don't know if it's fifty-dollars-a-pound good. I don't have any tea cups, so I had to use an espresso mug. I also had to measure the temperature of the water with a thermometer I normally use for meat. Close enough, right?

Dated 14 April 2013: Winter 2013 season wrapup

Caesar, Oryou, Saemonza, and Erwin
The best team in the best show.

I'm undecided as to whether or not the final two episodes of GIRLS und PANZER qualify as part of the winter 2013 season. They were delayed from the autumn 2012 season and should probably belong there with the rest of the series, but then again they did actually air late in winter 2013. There are only 40-some minutes of new material, but that's more than Teekyuu, so it arguably has as much right to be here as the various two-minute shows. Whatever the case, these two final episodes of GIRLS und PANZER were far and away superior to any of the other shows from winter 2013.

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Dated 27 July 2013: Uchouten Kazoku and Stella Jogakuin Koutou-ka C³-bu are about the worlds you don't see

Yasaburou
Nice boat.

Those of you who know where to find my current rankings may notice that I'm discussing these shows out of order. However, I have a reason for grouping these two dissimilar shows: They invoke mysticism and apply fantasy to otherwise normal settings. Uchouten Kazoku (The Eccentric Family) is about a family of tanuki and their dealings with tengu and other mythical creatures in an otherwise human-dominated world. C3-bu (pronounced "See Cubed" in favor of a thickly accented pun rather than the military acronym "See Three") is about an airsoft club at an upscale girls' school. The socially uncomfortable Yura falls in with a group of weirdos who teach her the Way of Airsoft.

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