Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

7 June 2016: Surprising no one, GIRLS und PANZER der FILM is awesome

GIRLS und PANZER der FILM Blu-rays
The OVA epilogue is also pretty good even though it's not wall-to-wall tank battles.

If you watched the GIRLS und PANZER television series, then you've probably been anxiously waiting to watch GIRLS und PANZER der FILM. Since its release in November 2015, this movie continues to print money for Japanese theaters even though the Blu-ray came out at the end of May 2016. Now that I've finally gotten to see it, the reasons for the film's success and unflagging popularity are obvious.

Rose Hip
Rose Hip is sort of aggro all the time but still manages to avoid spilling her tea.

Despite a huge cast of returning characters and the addition of even more new supporting characters, GIRLS und PANZER der FILM engages the viewer in ways that High School Fleet, for example, does not. Part of this is because the various tank crews (such as the Ahiru Team as a whole) feel like characters themselves. The viewer can know and support an individual tank and its crew members together as a homogenous entity and be invested in its contribution to the story without necessarily getting a whole lot of detail about the separate characters.

Noto Mamiko joins Tanaka Rie and Kawasumi Ayako as
longtime seiyuu favorites on the GIRLS und PANZER cast.

All the returning tanks and their crews conduct themselves admirably in the film. Despite the stakes involved in the actual plot, GIRLS und PANZER der FILM remains a sports anime where the ultimate outcome is not seriously in question. It's not so important what the final score will be, but rather what happens along the way that really matters. And what happens along the way in GIRLS und PANZER der FILM is frickin' rad wall-to-wall tank battles.

Miho is surprised to learn her plan did not survive
contact with the enemy her allies.

Okay, technically there are only two tank battles in the movie, but they make up most of the film's run time. The opening scene brings the viewer straight into a tank battle already in progress—one which Miho appears to have well in hand before the special challenges of combined operations with dubious allies leap into view. The second battle, during which basically everyone piles on, is extraordinary in its scope and in how effectively it coordinates all the different platoons and individual tanks simultaneously.

It's okay, she's wearing a helmet.

From a technical standpoint, I'm extremely pleased the Blu-ray contains an LFE track which gives the explosions very satisfying retorts. (As you may have guessed, there are A LOT of explosions in this movie.) You should be very happy if you invested in a decent subwoofer for your anime-watching rig. (This was something sorely missing from the television broadcast and official Internet streaming versions, but was later remastered and added for to series' Blu-ray release.) The 4DX screenings must be amazing.

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