Girls und Panzer: Kore ga Hontou no Anzio-sen Desu! OVA – Review

Girls und Panzer Anzio OVA Review - Title Pic

After more than a year, finally some new Girls und Panzer action with the release of the highly anticipated Anzio Match OVA. Now that the OVA is out, does it measure up to the anime’s high standards? Let’s find out…

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It’s Anzio Desu!

Girls und Panzer Anzio Ova Review - Anzio Desu

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Wow… I really did miss this show!  Right from the start you got a sense that the OVA’s overall tone was going to be on the light-hearted, less serious side. After all, the Anzio team is more concerned about lunch than their new “secret weapon”. Girls und Panzer always had a blend of light-hearted moments along with more serious ones, but I thought the Anzio match felt a bit less serious compared to the other matches – particularly the semi-final and final rounds. However, when you consider the overall ease in which the anime portrayed Oarai’s victory over Anzio, the OVA’s lighter tone actually makes sense and worked well. So even if it lacked some of the tension of the other matches, I though the OVA was tremendously entertaining and laughed a lot while watching.

Bear

All good things come to those who wait and we finally get to see the Anzio battle. Man, I’ve really missed GuP. So great to hear Dream Riser and Enter Mission! The OVA shows all of the things we love about Girls und Panzer, but gives some of the secondary characters a chance to shine. The extra length of the OVA (37 minutes vs 24) gives the director more space to show us the Anzio school and it’s girls while we were only able to see the other teams basically during the competition. That also allows for extra light touches to be introduced such as the food scenes. Imagine what we might have been shown if the equivalent time was available for the Pravda completion.

One of the things that had me intrigued about this story is that we already knew the ending having seen it in episode 7 of the show. The director had to keep our attention even though we knew the outcome, only letting things fall into place at the very end to align with the scene we already had seen, He managed to do a great job and had me laughing as I realized the Anzio tanks were coming together in the formation we had been expecting.

Now I will be honest and there are some things I wish had been different, but overall it was great. Normally I might complain more about some of the physical impossibilities of the tanks but I just can’t be as objective about it as I should be because I liked the show so much.

All in the Details

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I remain impressed by how well the series pays attention to the small details and how said attention pays off. The OVA came across as well-integrated with the anime. The multiple cameo appearances are one good example. Ever wonder why Nekonya took so long to ask Miho about joining Oarai’s Sensha-do team, or how they managed to get the Tiger(P) out the ship’s hold? Well, now you know. Cameos with a purpose beyond nostalgia. I don’t mean to downplay the nostalgia aspect. It was great to see not only future Oarai teammates, but also fan favorites such as Darjeeling and Kay along with our favorite reconnaissance person – “Secret Agent Yukari” infiltrating Anzio.

As usual, tanks were highly and accurately detailed. Once again, the show helped non-tank/WWII “otaku” understand the hardware and tactics employed while at the same time giving the core audience plenty of “Easter eggs” such as the DUKW, Morris reconnaissance car, and SPA-Viberti AS.42 reconnaissance car. Oarai’s team practice was a smart addition. Scenes like that add realism to a story by showing the characters working hard to develop their skills rather than a sudden “power-up”.

Still, I wish Miho would NOT stand up in the cupola while tanks are firing at her. Baka Miho! That’s dangerous! That scene also had a subtle moment of foreshadowing. Anzu’s reply of “Maybe next time” to Yuzu’s request for some help immediately made me think of Anzu taking over as gunner for the 38(t) during the next match against Pravda. Nicely done, and I noticed a couple other similar subtle foreshadowing moments which also helped to integrate the OVA with the anime.

Bear

The director really knows his audience and did a great job of tying the OVA into the overall Girls und Panzer world. So many cameos from Yukari’s parents, St Gloriana, Sanders, Nekonyā from the Anteater Team, to seeing the Automobile club recovering the Leopon Teams Tiger(P). We even get to see another spy mission from Yukari! These are all touches that show that the director understands his audience and what they wanted to see. He even uses some of the cameos to fill in parts of the story (now I know how they got the Tiger(P) out of the hold which has been bugging me all this time). The little touches mean a lot too. We see Gloriana drinking their tea, but Sanders has a K-rations and old style coke bottles! Even the credits of Yukari’s spy movie had a few fun additions. Not only was her parent’s barbershop given credit but Circle K Sunkus, a Japanese convience store brand, was too. For WWII buffs they even throw in a reference to the battle between Michael Wittmann and Joe Ekins.

One minor issue was the number of stills they had (mostly food related). While I understand that from a cost standpoint, it was disappointing. Better that though than the action scenes.

Friends Old and New

Girls und Panzer Anzio Ova Review - Old FriendsGirls und Panzer Anzio Ova Review - New Friends

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I was surprised at how well Anchovy came across. I really didn’t expect to like her as much as I did. She’s quite earnest, fair-play minded and friendly. She reminded me of Saunders Prep team captain Kay in that regard. Anchovy was a lot of fun to watch, and surprisingly easy-going – which is good considering her gourmet obsessed teammates. I loved the bit about how she would always say some slightly positive statement, and then immediately correct herself (e.g. “This year, we’re going to reach the semi-finals… I mean win the tournament!” LOL).

Speaking of friendships, the long-standing friendship and new-found rivalry between Caesar (“Taka-chan”) and a very likeable Carpaccio ♥ (“Hina-chan”) was a nice surprise and well executed. Not only some good character background and development there, but I liked the little touches such as Caesar hard at work to improve her reloading time which ultimately played a role in the battle. It’s a shame that the anime wasn’t longer so we could see more of that for the various Oarai team members. Overall, I thought Anchovy, Carpaccio, Pepperoni and the rest of the Anzio team were fine additions to Girls und Panzer’s long list of characters.

Bear

Anchovy comes across much better in the OVA than I thought she would from what little we see of her in the original. One thing Girls und Panzer does well is really promote the idea of friendly competition and sportsmanship. I really expected her to be more like Katyusha from Pravda, since she was called Duce and Benito Mussolini (also called Duce) was rather a pompous ass. But then even Katyusha turned out to have a good side.

The girls of Anzio were a great crew. Loved they’re enthusiasm but they way they loved food it’s a wonder they could fit in their tanks. The Anzio school uniforms with the berets were great too, though we really didn’t get to see the other schools normal uniforms. Liked them better than the sailor suits that Oarai has (though the actual Oarai sailor students uniforms were really cute too). The epilog with Anzio missing the final by oversleeping was another tie in to the show that made a good ending.

Now it should be obvious what Anzio’s real expertise is – Food!  Maybe they should try a cooking competition. We also know why they don’t have good tanks. They spent their budget on food! While they might not have great tanks their support elements are outstanding. Between the trucks, staff cars and support vehicles I can see where their budget went. Poor Anchovy. Playing second fiddle to pasta!

Pepperoni is a couple of slices short of a pizza in the brains department. It should have been obvious when she gave away Anzio’s secret weapon to Yukari that she might be a weak link in their command structure, and of course she follows that up by messing up Operation Macaroni.

Speaking of which, in retrospect it’s there are obvious flags that Caesar is going to play a larger role in the story. Who would have thought that Caesar would be a central character!? Not only central, but making a very good axis (no pun intended) to mount the story on. I should have known something was up when we see her practicing loading in the backyard of the house she shared with the rest of the history team. Having a friend and rival with Carpaccio on the Anzio team was another nice touch. Even the Instant Messages from Taka-chan were used to allow Hina to figure out that the Hippo in Taka-chan’s IM’s meant that she was the loader of the Stug III.

Not to be left out, Saori gets some screen time too with her cooking and Mako finding her textbook for her Ham license. The Disciplinary committee shows up being dragooned into manning the Char B1 Bis. Nekonyā is really freaky looking in the swirl glasses. I noticed in the OP that she doesn’t have them on (though she does have the animal ears) and she actually looks sort of cute. I can’t remember if she tried to talk to Miho in one of the regular episodes.

Oh, I like that they show Anchovy, Pepperoni, and Carpaccio in the ED. A break with the tradition of showing one or more of the Oarai team but just too cute.

Sensha-do is Back!

Girls und Panzer Anzio Ova Review - Senshado is Back

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Team Anglerfish’s marksman gunner Hana did make winning shot again, but I really liked how the OVA gave significant time to the other Oarai teams. By far, for me the most exciting part of the battle was the TD dual between Taka-chan 😛 in the StuG III and Hina-chan in one of the Semoventes. It reminded me of Miho and Maho’s dual in Episode 12. The StuG III vs. Semovente duel got pretty intense and exciting even if not entirely realistic in terms of tank/TD combat.

The OVA did a great job with character/team skill progression in terms of fitting in with the anime. For example, the Rabbit Team’s actions and skill level matched precisely what I thought they would be at that point in the story. Watching the Duck Team knocking out all those tankettes was my second favorite part of the battle. Just as I hoped, they took advantage of their one chance at offensive glory against those pesky tankettes. Good job girls!

Team Turtle didn’t have much of a role to play this time around, but that’s fine given their large role in the upcoming Pravda match. I did LOL quite a bit at Anzu’s super relaxed attitude throughout the match. As for the Angler Fish Team, they did a fine job as usual. I’ll leave it at that since we’ll break down the battle and tactics further in a later post. Overall, Oarai performed well, and it’s easy to understand why they became overconfident in the next round against Pravda.

As for Anzio, I was surprised at Anchovy’s competence. She’s not one of the top Sensha-do team captains, but she did a pretty good job considering Anzio’s limited tank line up and teammates who have trouble remembering to put up 9, not 11 (LOL) fake tank decoys. Pepperoni was, well, spirited if not the most astute team member, and Carpaccio along with her Semovente crew are solid Sensha-do players. Anzio handled their loss with style and grace, and yes, I have to admit the post ED ending was quite cute.

Bear

If Anzio managed to buy a P40 by just saving half their snack budget, they must have gotten a great deal on ebay or that’s one hell of a snack budget! My money is on the size of the snack budget.

I’m so glad that the director gave more time to the other tanks and let us see how they had improved under Miho’s tutelage. I do wish Miho would keep her head down. Watching that shell wiz by her actually had me flinching One positive note about having so many tankettes in the match is that it gives the Type 89 and the Panzer 38(t) something to shoot at that they can actually take out.

Quibbles. Miho points out during their training that the Stug is most effective from cover and can take out tanks at 1500 meters, but the combat we see during the battle with the Stug is at ridiculous ranges. Basically a shoving match similar to the final with Kuromorimine where Miho and Miha are circling each other to get a shot in. Made for an exciting match, but didn’t show the Stug (or the Semovente) in the roles they were really meant for.

Pushing “In-Universe” Credibility

Push! It’s only 3 and a half tons!

Push! It’s only 3 and a half tons!

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This is anime so I’m willing to suspend some disbelief (e.g. the tanks zooming around faster than they should), but there are limits as well. On a few occasions, I thought the OVA pushed the limits of “in-universe credibility” too far. The Panzer IV Asuf. D taking out the P40 from the front was a bit of a stretch, but I suppose I can overlook a few extra millimeters of armor penetration.

However, watching a couple of high-school girls right a 3.5 ton tankette with relative ease was a LOL worthy moment – and not in the good way. Same goes for the fact that the Type 89 had to aim for the tankette’s “weak points” to disable it. As noted in our Girls und Panzer: Kore ga Hontou no Anzio-sen Desu! OVA Primer, a Carro Veloce L3/33 has a maximum armor thickness of 15mm. The entire tankette is a “weak point”. The Type 89’s 57mm main gun is weak, but it’s not that weak, penetrating about 20mm of armor at 500m. Suggesting that “light weight” allows the tankettes to “shrug off” cannon shells is, to put it nicely, unrealistic. This wasn’t so egregious as to affect my overall enjoyment, but I did find it silly and rather unnecessary than adding any tension or excitement to the match.

Bear

One shot from even a 57mm gun should make scrap metal out of those CV’s

The tankettes driving backwards??? Come’on! Ok, that’s doable, but spinning around at high speed? Don’t think the treads would stay on the bogies at any speed doing that. And two girls upending a 3 ton vehicle?

Damn that was fun! Now where’s the movie?

daikama

After a long wait Girls und Panzer is back and the OVA does not disappoint. Copious amounts of humor, top-notch visual quality, likeable characters, exciting tank battles, proper pacing, excellent background music – all the things you’ve come to expect from the series are there. It’s neither perfect nor as good as the anime in general, but similar to the anime it does enough things right that its flaws are rendered mostly inconsequential by comparison. I’ve watched the OVA twice already and I’m sure I’ll watch it again. It’s just a fun ride plain and simple. I’m definitely looking forward to movie and hope there is another installment of this great series beyond that.

Bear

So long a wait, but so worth it! All the things that made Girls und Panzer my favorite series.

 


We hope you enjoyed the first part of our coverage of Girls und Panzer: Kore ga Hontou no Anzio-sen Desu! OVA. Please feel free to post your thoughts about the OVA in the comments section. Also, check out Parts II and III of our coverage – Tactical Review of the Girls und Panzer Anzio Battle: OVA and Tactical Review of the Girls und Panzer Anzio Battle: Manga.

ARRIVEDERCI!

ARRIVEDERCI!

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39 thoughts on “Girls und Panzer: Kore ga Hontou no Anzio-sen Desu! OVA – Review

  1. Very nice review. I’ll again comment (for the parts I don’t comment, for the most part it means I agree – like I said, it is a good review)

    >For WWII buffs they even throw in a reference to the battle between Michael Wittmann and Joe Ekins.

    Though actually, it isn’t really that good an analogy, since unlike the other examples, Ekins *killed* Wittmann when they first met, which makes a joke of the whole “Respected Rival” trope. The EMD Chinese subbing group tried to remap around this error by claiming the other guy was “Johannes Bolter”, but anyone can quickly catch the lack of any “B” sounds in the sequence.

    >One minor issue was the number of stills they had (mostly food related). While I understand that from a cost standpoint, it was disappointing. Better that though than the action scenes.

    One early Chinese sub actually made fun of this by putting the text “Begin slideshow”. On the plus side, I think those scenes can really be satisfactorily handled with stills more than some random movement.

    >The Anzio school uniforms with the berets were great too, though we really didn’t get to see the other schools normal uniforms.

    We saw St. Glorianna’s, Saunders and Kuromorimine’s uniforms, but yeah Anzio’s uniforms looked very nice.

    >teammates who have trouble remembering to put up 10, not 11 (LOL) fake tank decoys

    The correct number is actually 9 – the English sub blew it. Specifically, Anchovy said “two” were reserves. With ten, they’d still know something is wrong because they don’t have a fake P40 target, so with 10 CV+Semovente the numbers still won’t look right.

    >how they had improved under Miho’s tutelage

    The training is for me one of the few disappointments of the OVA, though it is consistent with the rest of the story. While I am sure Miho taught them useful things another time, my description of her OVA training effort would have said “How some of them had improved *despite* Miho’s tutelage”. Since you had not yet written your Tactics post, I’ll submit the following for your consideration:

    The original concept of the exercise was good, “BLUFOR” and “OPFOR”, though Anzu came up with it. Unfortunately, almost immediately Duck and Turtle went off on their own circling fight (which actually bore little resemblance to what they wound up doing) – thus destroying the concept. Meanwhile, poor Rabbit was completely abandoned after having some driving difficulties.

    Miho completely changes the emphasis of the exercise in the middle to a gunnery exercise, and shows that while Miho has a good gunner, Miho herself can’t *teach* gunnery. She misdiagnoses the primary causes of Hippo team not hitting the target, and thus cannot offer the proper remedies. After the 2nd miss, instead of even trying to get Hippo on target first, she changes her emphasis to hitting Hippo.

    With such training, it is no surprise Hippo did not suddenly “grow wings”, and my cynical mind thinks that Miho was forced to cancel all her long-range shooting plans without even knowing why her training did not work out. Ironically, we learn later the team she had abandoned *does*, as a collective, know the tricks of shooting to long distances without special, author-given talent.

    They also manage to iron out their driving problems, so well that now they suffered a sort of “growing pain” the next day. Now, I’m a Rabbit Team fan and so I’m very happy they did that, but then I kind of wanted the camera to point more in their direction so the process of Rabbit Team sorting themselves out could be made explicit rather than implicit. And it isn’t like I’m not a Miho fan myself so…

    >Same goes for the fact that the Type 89 had to aim for the tankette’s “weak points” to disable it.

    Personally, I blame Duck Team for this. The shells they use clearly have a very high blasting power (as do many shells in Senshado – my rationalization is that the blasting power was increased to ensure complete destruction of the shell, eliminating fragmentation). Further, as you point out, the round should have penetrated, then detonated, taking out the tank. My guess is that they were using HE rather than APHE like they were supposed to, so the penetrating performance is decreased and *further*, the fuse activated before significant penetration was made, so the CV33 was blasted away, but when they do boy do they *fly*!

    Because of an incorrect ammo loadout, instead of just being able to land hits anywhere, they have to aim at weak points on a weak tankette.

    • @Kazuaki Shimazaki: Welcome to the site and the conversation and thanks for the complement.

      >”Though actually, it isn’t really that good an analogy, since unlike the other examples, Ekins *killed* Wittmann when they first met, which makes a joke of the whole “Respected Rival” trope.”

      True, but then Taka-chan and Hina-chan were friends and this would be their first time competing with each other in Sensha-do so calling them rivals is a stretch in any case. Probably a pair of Confederate and Union Civil War Generals who had been friends prior to the war might be a better analogy to Taka and Hina. Then again, could the Japanese term also have been translated as Opponents? That, would at least be closer to the situation than Rivals.

      >”We saw St. Glorianna’s, Saunders and Kuromorimine’s uniforms, but yeah Anzio’s uniforms looked very nice.”

      I retract my statement. We did see Saunders’ school uniforms in Yukari’s infiltration video vs their Senshado team uniforms, but did they show the normal uniforms of the other schools? I’m not sure.

      >After the 2nd miss, instead of even trying to get Hippo on target first, she changes her emphasis to hitting Hippo.

      My defense of Miho’s firing on Hippo is that she used the shot to make her point about moving after firing. If you look off the the left in the scene you can see gun butts where they had practiced shooting earlier in episode 7 right before the Anzio match. Miho was correcting operational mistakes rather than attempting to instruct them in aiming.

      I like your comment about making sure the shells don’t leave fragments. Miho and some of the other girls sticking their heads up with shells flying around scares the hell out of me. My take on the shells is that the Senshado judging system can detect different shells and make determination on what they would do to the tank if they were “real” rounds of the appropriate type. One of the “suspension of disbelief” things is that if a tank were flipped over like the L3/33’s were, the crew would be busted up pretty good, carbon shell or no carbon shell.

      Thanks for your comments. One thing we hope for is to initiate dialog with others who are interested in these topics. Even if we disagree we respect and look forward to your comments.

    • @ Kazuaki Shimazaki:

      Welcome to Panzers Vor! Glad to see an addition to this fledgling community hehe.

      “Miho completely changes the emphasis of the exercise in the middle to a gunnery exercise, and shows that while Miho has a good gunner, Miho herself can’t *teach* gunnery. She misdiagnoses the primary causes of Hippo team not hitting the target, and thus cannot offer the proper remedies. After the 2nd miss, instead of even trying to get Hippo on target first, she changes her emphasis to hitting Hippo.”

      I don’t think Miho changed the emphasis of the exercise so much that she was making corrections to Hippo team’s habits during the exercise. With the low profile and silloette of the StuG, it does have an advantage in ambush scenarios and more so at longer range with its longer barrel gun. So point that out when the StuG was attempting to chase the Pz IV in the exercise seemed valid to me. In addition, if you recall all of the StuG’s kills throughout the matches were all stationary kills with 3 of them being in ambushes. Calling it a misdiagnose is a stretch since what she advised was actually sound…at least to me. The accuracy will increase if the gunner waits for the vehicle to settle before firing. The fact the second shot missed does not preclude the effectiveness of this advise.

      Furthermore, the way I interpreted the reason why she had Hana immediately fire on Hippo after the second miss was also intended to be habit correcting. They cannot remain a stationary target for long, therefore after firing Hippo needs to get in a habit of keeping on the move after the shot. Being hit with a retaliatory shot would certainly drive that point across.

      As for Miho “canceling” the long range sniping plan utilizing the StuG, I really think that had more to do with adapting to the changing battlefield conditions more than anything else. We saw that Miho had already utilized the StuG in that manner in the Sanders match. In fact, the original plan was to essentially lure the Shermans to the StuG’s field of fire. But as we know, things quickly changed during that match.

      Same with this one. When Rabbit team inadvertently engaged with two real Semoventes, that effectively changed the flow of the battle. Recognizing the bulk of Anzio’s forces were engaged with Rabbit and Duck, Miho adjusted accordingly.

      • @Bear
        >Then again, could the Japanese term also have been translated as Opponents? That, would at least be closer to the situation than Rivals

        You have an interesting point, so I rechecked the tape – they said Rivals. In katakana.

        >We did see Saunders’ school uniforms in Yukari’s infiltration video vs their Senshado team uniforms, but did they show the normal uniforms of the other schools?

        St G you see in Ep3 (tea room scene) and also when Darjeeling sits in on Oarai’s matches.

        KMM you see in Ep 5 (cafe scene) and also the *TV* version of Ep10 (before match greetings) – the BD changed that one to the Panzerjacket.

        Oh, by the way, you actually see Pravda’s uniform in Ep8 (tea w/ Darjeeling scene).

        I’ll integrate my answer to the pre-match exercise with the answer to rifulofthewest, which leaves:

        >My take on the shells is that the Senshado judging system can detect different shells and make determination on what they would do to the tank if they were “real” rounds of the appropriate type.

        Yes, but the shells also cause very real damage, and the computer takes into account of what actually happened to the tank as well.

        >One of the “suspension of disbelief” things is that if a tank were flipped over like the L3/33′s were, the crew would be busted up pretty good, carbon shell or no carbon shell.

        True. But that is a show-wide issue. They are very insistent on showing you the protective qualities of “Carbon”. No matter what happens, They Are Fine.

        @rifulofthewest
        >So point that out when the StuG was attempting to chase the Pz IV in the exercise seemed valid to me.

        Except Miho set up the first part of the exercise as a relatively close range pursuit. As Captain, Miho decides the mode of combat employment (ambush, chase, pursuit), so when she sets it up as a chase she shouldn’t expect anything else.

        Even if the StuG was of a mind to attempt long-range sniping, she can’t do it because Miho quickly moves away and hides her panzer behind terrain. You will notice Erwin was going to order a stop from high-up to allow observation – technically it’d be better if she stops *immediately before* cresting, stick her head up the remainder of the height distance and try to make the observation, but at least she is trying to observe and Miho didn’t point out the mistake with her location choice. Instead, she shoots Hippo without analyzing the mistakes and moved on to the next stage.

        Either way, I really wouldn’t have minded this sudden change so much (even if she abandoned Rabbit Team) if at least the gunnery exercise was done properly.

        >The accuracy will increase if the gunner waits for the vehicle to settle before firing.

        That is true, but it is still a misdiagnosis. There are a number of reasons to miss, and the primary cause can to some extent be deduced by the splash.

        In this scenario, Hippo was only *barely* moving by the time they made the first shot (it is questionable there was even any motion remaining), so little I’m surprised Miho even noticed movement from 1,500m (did she blind guess?). The enormous miss cannot really be explained by that tiny movement. She should be suspecting problems in Hippo’s sight picture – errors in selecting point of aim, improper use of the range-input function, failure to adjust for wind and so on.

        [In fact, the balance of advantage would say it is better if she stayed with Hippo and let Mako move the Panzer 1,500m – it’d help her assess the StuG’s movements (though she claims no problems in this regard), what Hippo is seeing, and also allow her to immediately check the sight picture after a miss. As it is, she isn’t even exploiting her choice of position – she should be checking where the shell hit to make more informed deductions as to the causes.]

        If you want to see what missing due to shooting on the move looks like, see Rabbit Team’s attempts to club the Semoventes – they actually got approximately the right picture, but a combination of tankette movement and their own movement is throwing them off just enough to miss. Azusa *correctly* diagnoses this problem and corrects for both factors at once – she got what she deserved, a nice beautiful hit – a tear forms in my eye.

        Anyway, speaking generously, Miho had a hypothesis. She suggests it, Hippo tries it, they still miss. Time to try something else. Instead…

        >Being hit with a retaliatory shot would certainly drive that point across.

        Yes it would, but it is by far the lesser of two options. Put simply, it is too early. Miho’s goal here is to get Hippo to hit things at 1,500m. Discussion of anything else should have waited *until* they start demonstrating some ability to do so – in fact, they should be demonstrating the ability to independently assess the distance and hit. A hunter chasing two hares catches neither and this is what seems to have happened here.

        Further, the exercise creates the wrong impression in Hippo Team. In terms of general tactical education, a priority for Miho here is to provide her tank commanders with optimal data to appreciate situations. What they can get away with and what they can’t? What is the likely enemy hit rate at 100m (500, 1500)? If I have to expose myself for 10 (20, 30) seconds, what are the chances the enemy can exploit it?

        By building up this data store with reasonable accuracy, commanders eventually acquire the ability to correctly appreciate situations. This does not *guarantee* good decisions, but is a pre-requisite for any chance of doing so other than by blind luck.

        This requires Miho to pretend to be a more or less “average” opponent, or to create training scenarios that are clearly meant to increase ability in a *specialty*. I don’t think Hippo Team thought of this as a general tactical exercise, with both vehicles in the open, Distance known and all. It is a specialty training to create a new capability to shoot to 1,500m, starting with the simplest, most artificial conditions.

        Instead, Miho turned it without warning into a tactical exercise. And one with overly favorable conditions for the opposition. Against the best gunner (at least overall) of the team (generally, GuP Senshado crews shoot poorly, so unless you are up against the Enemy Team’s Sniper at 1,500m you are *safe*). Said Sniper is given a Distance Known situation against an exposed target with a long tracking time plus two observed misses for use in determining external conditions. As a result, instead of a realistic appreciation of the odds in a real long-range snipe, an overly large impression of the fears of getting hit is induced into Hippo Team.

        The shiftover from specialty to tactical training is already detrimental enough to Hippo mastering long range shooting, but this overly pessimistic view would inevitably force Hippo into overly hasty actions. With such training, I’d be surprised if at the end of the day, Hippo actually resolved its shooting problem off screen – and from all appearances they didn’t.

        >We saw that Miho had already utilized the StuG in that manner in the Sanders match.

        Not exactly. The StuG was used in ambush, but in a close range ambush (really, despite Miho’s explanation to Hippo, most ambushes are close range – because the balance of advantage says maximizing the hit chance in the first salvo is more important).

        Anyway, it is certainly possible that a bunch of coincidences *just conveniently* changed Miho’s plan. But it is IMHO too convenient – for example, she *could* have told the StuG to deploy on the ridge (the one Rabbit eventually shot the Semoventes at), ready to snipe off the Semoventes chasing Rabbit and kill half of Anzio’s firepower.

        But at no stage does she even make any sign of employing the StuG’s long range ability. To me, the cynic, I see a probable cause-and-effect situation.

  2. @Kazuaki Shimazaki: Thanks for the complement and taking the time to post your thoughts here and elsewhere on the blog. You made some good points, and I found the information about the some of the Chinese subs interesting.

    “The correct number is actually 9 – the English sub blew it.”

    … Oops. You’re right! Fixed! Don’t know why I missed that. XD Of course the real question is why did Anzio carry 11 decoys in the first place rather than 9 or 10 (with one being a P40)? The obvious answer is to set up the joke, but it was something I thought about while watching.

    “Personally, I blame Duck Team for this. The shells they use clearly have a very high blasting power (as do many shells in Senshado – my rationalization is that the blasting power was increased to ensure complete destruction of the shell, eliminating fragmentation). … My guess is that they were using HE rather than APHE like they were supposed to, so the penetrating performance is decreased and *further*…”

    The “Senshado” tank round is a mystery, but there does seem to be two types – an “HE” round and an “AP” round (APC or APCBC is my guess). A couple of times in the anime, an “HE” round is mentioned (IIRC, Miho says to use one in the Pravda match, and Maho one in the KMM match).

    My take on what happened with the Type 89 and the tankettes was simply this is anime = entertainment. It reminds me of the way the Maus was taken out in EP 12. In my opinion there are a whole host of “in-universe” credibility issues with that scene, but as I’ve commented before, the show surreptitiously acknowledges that viewers shouldn’t take that scene too seriously (e.g. lighter BMG, joke in the middle of the “attack”, etc.),

    So I look at the Type 89 vs. CV tankettes match up in the same way. Realism gave way to an attempt to try and add some excitement to that part of the match. We both agree that realistically, even the Type 89 would make short work of those thinly armored tankettes with a direct hit from its 57mm gun. If the Duck Team starts taking out the tankettes one by one from the very start, that would get boring and shortens the overall match as well.

    Personally, since the tankettes are zooming around like race cars anyway, I would have gone with a plot line that they are just simply hard to hit. As you note, by far the best gunner at Oarai is Hana, so it wouldn’t be all that surprising (arguably realistic) if the the Duck Team just couldn’t hit such a relatively small, fast moving target frequently. Lots of misses with maybe a few near misses initially, then finally they get the hang of it and start shooting accurately = direct hits and disabled tankettes.

    “Though actually, it isn’t really that good an analogy, since unlike the other examples, Ekins *killed* Wittmann when they first met, which makes a joke of the whole “Respected Rival” trope.”

    Agree. I thought that was kind of a forced analogy as well. Pretty short-lived rivalry. Literally.

    “…my cynical mind thinks that Miho was forced to cancel all her long-range shooting plans without even knowing why her training did not work out.”

    Interesting take on that situation. You may be right. I have a different view on Miho cancelling what seemed to be her original plan for the StuG III to snipe from long range. As soon as Momo and Anzu said Oarai should just charge forth and attack Anzio, Miho immediately gave in to their suggestion. For me that was another subtle foreshadowing moment for the Pravda match. As you may recall, early in the Pravda match most of Oarai wanted to chase after Pravda’s tanks. Miho was reluctant to do so given the dangers of doing that. Plus, it went against the tactics Miho had planned for the Pravda match. However, with some hesitation, just like in the Anzio match, Miho gave in again to what the others wanted to do. In this case, Anzio wasn’t a strong opponent so Oarai didn’t suffer any repercussions, but with Pravda, it nearly cost them the match. If Katyusha hadn’t insisted on a three hour snack and nap break, Oarai would have lost.

  3. Should I make another comment or not, OK let’s make one:

    >The “Senshado” tank round is a mystery, but there does seem to be two types – an “HE” round and an “AP” round (APC or APCBC is my guess).

    HEAT rounds are also represented (Miho used some against St. Glorianna, without which her puny gun won’t be able to penetrate the side armor of even a Matilda + it is easier to explain the P40 kill without appealing to some very marginal statistics). APDS is not explicitly used in the show, but in the same drama (called “Pravda vs Saunders”) where they show us how many tanks Pravda has, Naomi specifically chooses APDS to penetrate Nonna’s IS-2. Generally, the Senshado game tilts towards allowing all options you’d have in real combat short of machinegunning your exposed opponents, so ammo limitations would have been out of place.

    >My take on what happened with the Type 89 and the tankettes was simply this is anime = entertainment.

    Certainly, the OVA is lighter than most of the anime, and the authors clearly took more liberties than normal (the director’s love for the CV33 and underdogs in general did not help). However, I’m more of a Watsonian than a Doylist and so tried to rationalize the event as much as possible.

    >Personally, since the tankettes are zooming around like race cars anyway, I would have gone with a plot line that they are just simply hard to hit

    It is possible to do it this way, but there would be two disadvantages. The first is Duck Team. This is their only time to kill things. Further, in *both* the Japanese and Western spheres, a lot of fans have a very high opinion of Sasaki’s (Duck gunner) shooting skills, going so far as to say she’s better than Hana. If we limit discussion to short-range actions w/ on-the-move shooting, the opinion is defensible (and a good match to Duck team’s advantages as a bunch of sportsmen) and I guess the makers did not want to disappoint that part of the fan-base.

    The other problem is Anzio. While GuP is based on the principle of no real bad guys (excepting maybe Shiho), for Anzio the makers clearly want you to like their students (not just the leader) and cheer and empathize for them as much as you would for Oarai. Clearly, they aren’t very smart (in fact, this is a trait shared with most of the tankers from *other* schools, else Oarai won’t have won). However, they can still work hard and there is little imagery for that more powerful than what they chose.

    It is actually a little bittersweet to see the girls righting the tankette. They’ve just been flipped over, and even with the carbon it must have hurt a little. And while the authors have lowered the bar, the CV33 still is not *light* and they have to make substantial effort in several attempts before it finally rolls. How *easy* would it be to say “Sorry, Sis, she just won’t roll over this time”, or at least allow themselves a breather. But no, they work their utmost every time *immediately* to right the tankette, and for what? It isn’t like this time they are going to kill the Type 89. They are basically going out to get rolled over again. Nobody quits. As Noriko says it is “konjou (perseverance here is better than guts)” – doesn’t it bring a tear to your eye?

    [BTW, the fate of The Last Semovente is also rather pitiful – frankly a much more emotional scene than Caesar v Carpaccio.

    The pair were forced to break off an engagement where they had the advantageous position. Rabbit Team outdoes itself and blasts them with very near misses on the move (they actually outdid Hippo’s shooting On the Stop against Stationary Target), then escalates to a hit at a distance that in Senshado would normally have been safe against anything other than the enemy’s Team Sniper. That must have been un-nerving.

    The survivor rushes like hell to get to Anchovy, fly off the ridge, roll over several times, luckily lands upright if dazed b/c no way the crew would be able to turn the 13-ton Semovente over … and just as it seems they’d be a worthy reinforcement Rabbit Team smoothly back-shoots them. Ouch – much as I cheer Rabbit Team’s performance in this segment, one can’t help but feel a tear for Semovente]

    In a show with such a pathos, substituting the flip-overs with near misses, while more realistic, would have drastically weakened the thematic effect.

    >As soon as Momo and Anzu said Oarai should just charge forth and attack Anzio, Miho immediately gave in to their suggestion.

    Your interpretation is possible, though I would note that mine and yours are not necessarily mutually exclusive (for example, when she heard the suggestion, a *factor* to why she gave in can be her realization Hippo is not going to be doing effective long range shoots anyway).

    I might also note that Miho didn’t concede too much this time. Effectively, she just shifts a little to minimally accommodate the wishes of her Vice-Captain and the Student Council President. Before they were progressing cautiously, and after they were still progressing at a cautious speed and in the same formation except for sending out a security element to back the reconnaissance element previously sent.
    =
    Oh finally, the pushover point for the Go/No-Go decision. I made a mistake in the *other* comment. Osprey’s Italian Medium Tanks was written by Pier Paolo Battistelli & Filippo Cappellano, not Zaloga. Sorry.

    • @Kazuaki Shimazaki: Thanks for the comments. Again you make some good points.

      As for the Senshdo ammo debate, you may well be right, but I’m not entirely convinced. First, if HEAT is used, then surely HVAP as well. If that’s the case, why do the stats listed in Yukari’s tank corner 03 comparing M4 Sherman 75mm and 76mm gun armor penetration match up with APCPC rather than HVAP? I see no reason to understate what the guns can do in Senshado if all ammo types are fair game. Second, granted JMO, but when you start getting into extra penetration rounds like HEAT and HVAP, then that must be one hell of a special “carbon” safely liner – especially so for thinly armored tanks. HVAP and HEAT rounds just go against my impression of Senshado as a sport with safety in mind (yes, there’s some irony in that statement XD). Also, standardizing ammo makes more sense from a HS sport perspective in the same way balls and bats are regulated for baseball.

      You do make a good point about how could the Panzer IV Asuf D take out St. Gloriana’s Matilda II tanks as shown using “standard” AP ammo. I rewatched that scene. One tank is taken out from the side, and IMO, it looks like a lower side shot (armor = 40mm + 25mm side skirts). That’s credible enough to me if the tank is disqualified for being rendered immobile (blown suspension, bogie,etc.). The next Matilda seems to be disabled with a shot to the side of the turret (75mm armor) which is pushing things too far if you go by RL stats. That being said, again the anime does take liberties with real-world capabilities and stats in various places. One of the most notable is tank speed (including IMO tank drifting). This is entertainment so I expect some give and take in terms of realism vs. entertainment (make battles more exciting, etc.). As I noted, on the whole I think GuP does fabulous job of balancing the two overall, but it does go too far (IMO) at times.

      In short, more than anything, to me the types of ammo used in Senshaso is unclear, and I would welcome some official statement on that point. I may be wrong about the lack of HEAT & HVAP rounds, but I’m just not convinced at this point.

      — Regarding “the same drama (called “Pravda vs Saunders”)”: I’m not familiar with that. Is that a “fanfic” or official GuP drama (e.g. BD extra or something)?

      ”Further, in *both* the Japanese and Western spheres, a lot of fans have a very high opinion of Sasaki’s (Duck gunner) shooting skills, going so far as to say she’s better than Hana.”

      O.o… Better than Hana!? Sorry, that I don’t buy at all. Hana is arguably the best gunner in all of Senshado (any school). The OVA just backs that up with her first try, right on target hit of the StuG III from 1500m during practice. Even IF (which I again, I do not believe), Sasaki was a better gunner, then that makes the Type 89 vs. tankette battle even less credible since she should have been making solid direct hits rather than so many near misses. Now add your point about HEAT/HVAP rounds in Senshado, and it’s much less credible since surely such rounds should demolish a tankette with any direct hit. Instead we see the tankettes get “hit”, crash violently rolling over a few times (arguably cartoonishly so), then a couple girls pop out of the vehicle, dust of their clothes, and go “OK”, let’s flip that thing back over and resume the match”. NO damage whatsoever – not even thrown tracks!?

      ”In a show with such a pathos, substituting the flip-overs with near misses, while more realistic, would have drastically weakened the thematic effect.”

      I agree with that though I think there’s a fine balance between theatrics and realism in terms of the final product. Too realistic may indeed be “boring”, but too unrealistic can be “stupid-silly”/too “over-the-top” which may break viewer (or reader) immersion in the story. In short, IMO a lot of this boils down to personal preference and perspective. While I may prefer a more realistic take for that part of the battle, others may prefer the anime’s version. Criticisms aside, I did think that part of the battle was fun to watch. 😀

      ”Your interpretation is possible, though I would note that mine and yours are not necessarily mutually exclusive (for example, when she heard the suggestion, a *factor* to why she gave in can be her realization Hippo is not going to be doing effective long range shoots anyway).”

      Agree. No reason that what happened couldn’t be a combination of both our comments. Frankly, a combination of the two is arguably the most plausible answer.

      • Yukari’s tank corner’s purpose is to introduce the newcomer to tanks, so a lot of fine details are skipped over. Further, the point is to compare the 76mm’s improvement over the 75mm, and for that they need to be using the same general ammo type. While the 75mm does technically have a HVAP round called the “T45”, it was never in production, while the 76mm’s M93 was.

        The carbon layer is so hyped that the only thing to do is swallow it. Compared to the difficulty of protecting crews from rollovers, what’s another 50-100mm of penetration?

        As for “standardization” … remember that this is the game where a CV33 can be on the same field as a Maus. I think comparing it to baseball is … inappropriate.

        >That being said, again the anime does take liberties with real-world capabilities and stats in various places.

        Yes it does. But armor penetration is something far more easily “checked” than vehicular capabilities, so the authors are reluctant to take too many liberties here.

        Also, though I recognize sometimes I have to concede (as when they manually rolled over the CV33), as a Watsonian where possible I prefer to rationalize things with HEAT rounds rather than just chalking everything to dramatism.

        >— Regarding “the same drama (called “Pravda vs Saunders”)”: I’m not familiar with that. Is that a “fanfic” or official GuP drama (e.g. BD extra or something)?

        I’ll pretend to be a good little boy and give you this official link to the CD selling for 2,436 yen

        Title: ガールズ&パンツァー ドラマCD 今度はドラマCDです!
        http://www.amazon.co.jp/TV%E3%82%A2%E3%83%8B%E3%83%A1-%E3%82%AC%E3%83%BC%E3%83%AB%E3%82%BA-%E3%83%91%E3%83%B3%E3%83%84%E3%82%A1%E3%83%BC-%E3%83%89%E3%83%A9%E3%83%9ECD-%E4%BB%8A%E5%BA%A6%E3%81%AF%E3%83%89%E3%83%A9%E3%83%9ECD%E3%81%A7%E3%81%99/dp/B00C0E2X40

        But it is also swimming around on the Net. It is official. With the same voice actors as the anime.

        If you want more evidence, it is not well known in the West, but they are putting out a series of six magazines called the Gekkan Senshado. In it, there is a story of St. Glorianna leading up to its fight with Kuromorimine. Its first chapter, in the first book, is of course Oarai v St G, and they specifically mention in their calculations about HEAT rounds. In the 2nd chapter, they go against BC Freedom, and they also explore the tactical implications of HVAP.

        >The OVA just backs that up with her first try, right on target hit of the StuG III from 1500m during practice.

        I didn’t say I agree entirely, just noting there is a portion of the fanbase with this opinion, and that there is sufficient evidence on their side it is not indefensible. To bat for their side, I’d point out (again) that shot was taken under the most favorable possible conditions. It makes her better than Saemonza, undoubtedly, but overall its difficulty was arguably less than Rabbit Team’s shot at the Semoventes (which though ~300m closer, the Semoventes are smaller and moving, and on a slope which induces site problems).

        You might note also that Hana actually missed a LOT this OVA (in fact, Anchovy got a couple of sideswipes on Anglerfish as they barreled down the hill, while as far as can be told Hana didn’t clip anything).

        Hana’s main claims to fame are Ep6 and Ep12. The lead required in Ep6 was high, but the range was only moderate and the target not so evasive. For the Ep12 shot, you can argue that *Mako* did a lot of the aiming, throwing the tank into just the right place.

        For the others, Yukari killed those 3 tanks in Ep3. In the shooting practice, they did get the closest to the target, but that’s because Miho taught her (and no one else!) how to use the stadiametric rangefinding triangles. In Ep4, she missed the Churchill (OK, she hit those Matildas and Churchill in the end, but that was really point blank). In Ep5, she hit the Sherman, but then so did Saemonza and even Aya. In Ep6, she missed the M4A1. She killed a T-34 in Ep8, but so did Hippo, and in Ep9 her hit on the KV-2 was more precise than Hippo’s, but the range was again close. In Ep11 she kills a Jagdpanzer, but the distance wasn’t really that long (the PzIV was huge on the opposing scope) and Hippo got a Panther earlier (longer distance).

        Now, here are Sasaki’s claims to fame: In Ep4, she got a hit on the Churchill (the only other hit on either side was a tank getting the M3 the First-years just abandoned). In Ep6, she hits the Alisa’s M4A1 on the move. In Ep7, on the 500m shooting range, she hit (Hana and Saemonza missed) – I think this was the one that really started the Sasaki-craze. And of course there’s Ep12 as they took a leaf out of Anzio’s playbook (unfortunately, the Type 89 was too heavy to be manually rolled and KMM at least used the right ammo) and got a number of hits on Kuromorimine (KMM missed all but one of their shots).

        So you can see there is actually a pile there, pre-OVA, that says at least at short ranges Sasaki is the better gunner.

        >Now add your point about HEAT/HVAP rounds in Senshado,

        While I don’t entirely disagree with your basic thrust there (though as I said I think the thematic gain is worth it), let me just point out there are no HEAT or HVAP rounds for the Type 89’s gun. In fact, even the AP-HE is biased towards the HE part of the equation with more explosive than the norm.

        • @Kazuaki Shimazaki: The official info you cited does seem to clear up the ammo issue. One of the problems on my end is only being fluent in English means having to rely upon translated material. Hmm… Wonder if there’s a translation for that drama CD somewhere. I do wish I knew this before drafting the OVA Primer. *sigh* Makes a mess of all that work compiling the data and analysis. 😦

          BTW, you didn’t mention this, but if HEAT rounds are in Senshado, then I have to assume HVAP rounds must be as well. Also, I would think that if tank prototypes are allowed, then why not ammo prototypes like the T45″ HVAP as well? AFAIK, ammo just needs to be “League approved”.

          Allowing HEAT and HVAP rounds may solve some issues, but it also raises some for me as well. For example, in EP 12 the Leopon Team’s Tiger(P) absorbing so many hits before finally being disabled was bad enough assuming “standard” AP rounds, but if all those KMM tanks are firing PzGr 40 ammo… at point-blank range!? LOL 100mm of frontal armor is NOTHING. Should have been one hit and disabled (white flag) Tiger(P) for sure. I’d certainly look at some of the non-disabling hits throughout the matches in a different light.

          Assuming that T45 ammo isn’t available, then it makes zero sense for Saunders to have so many 75mm M4 Shermans. I did read your comment for the GuP Primer post regarding most schools focusing on participation (I do plan to reply to it when I get more time). Still it cannot cost that much to simply up-gun a 75mm M4 to a 76mm gun. How may upgrades could you do for the price of one M4 Sherman? 5? 10? More? The difference between the M3 75mm gun and M1 76mm gun is pretty big already, but factor in HVAP ammo and you more than DOUBLE armor penetration vs. APC with the 75mm. It’s night and day. Again, got the participation point, but winning should count to some extent.

          HVAP and HEAT do help to close the gap in some cases (e.g. the Semovente 75/18 is a much better TD with HEAT rounds), but also widens the gap for a LOT for tanks/TDs whose guns didn’t have HEAT or HVAP ammo. The Type 89 being the quintessential example. Really, how many IJA tanks did have HEAT or HVAP rounds available? The M3 Stuart was a pretty weak tank as it was, but at least somewhat comparable to the Matilda II. Now it looks much worse since the Matilda II could fire an AP/CNR round via a Littlejohn adapter. In any case, appreciate the extra info. 😀 That certainly provides a lot of food for thought!

          ———————————-

          [In response to my comment about Hana hitting the StuG III from 1500m on the first shot] “I’d point out (again) that shot was taken under the most favorable possible conditions.”“Now, here are Sasaki’s claims to fame: …In Ep7, on the 500m shooting range, she hit (Hana and Saemonza missed) – I think this was the one that really started the Sasaki-craze.”

          First, I realize that you’re just taking the counter-argument so please keep in mind I’m doing the same here as well. Regarding the two above statements, you mention that Hana’s shot was “taken under the most favorable circumstances”. OK, fair enough, but the same is exactly true for Sasaki’s target practice shot which is 1/3 the distance AND for all we know could have been her 2nd, 5th, 10th, or whatever attempt at hitting the target. Sorry, but IMO that is a bad argument for Sasaki’s side. TBH, the whole “better at short range” argument makes zero sense to me. I haven’t fired a tank gun, but I have shot various rifles, pistols and shotguns (including skeet shooting), and I can tell you from personal experience that the concept of someone being a worse shot at closer range is unfathomable. Closer is always easier. If you can hit at distance, you can hit at close range. Period. Also, it’s harder to make a perpendicular deflection shot on a moving target then one on a target coming right at you or moving directly away.

          “You might note also that Hana actually missed a LOT this OVA.” – All of Oarai’s teams missed “a lot” in the OVA. I didn’t keep track, but my honest impression is that both the M3 Lee and StuG III fired more shots than the Panzer IV. As for Hana’s game winning shot in EP 06, IMO that was one of the toughest shots made in the anime – certainly more so than the Rabbit Teams hit on the Semovente in the OVA. I’m not sure exactly what your view on the matter is, but for me, I still think Hana is Oarai’s best gunner and one of the best in Senshado. The girl is good, money when it counts, and she is only going to get better IMO. If you disagree, that’s fine – agree to disagree. 😀

        • Yes, HVAP is available – that’s basically APCR. It is even possible they approve it for matches, as I said, the main reason for Yukari not mentioning it is likely because the real world 75mm does not have it (even the 76mm HVAP was quite rare for a long time), and it is meant to be a very basic overview.

          As far as shells is concerned, it is clarified in the BD4 booklet. Practice ammunition is commonly available even at local club shops. “War” ammunition and fuel used in matches are *applied* for and approved, which gives their Committee some room to adjust things. For example, in a Saunders v Kuromorimine final, Saunders might get all the HVAP they apply for, while Kuromorimine would be limited to PzGr39 (APCBC-HE) – not that they really need PzGr40. If Saunders is facing Oarai, the Committee would probably be much less generous with the HVAP.

          So which brings us to your concern – did they even try to apply for PzGr40? I mean, you are Kuromorimine. You’ve already got Maus, Jadgtiger, King Tigers and Jagdpanther. The weakest gun in your roster is the flag tank’s 88mm/56. Are you really going to think that your battle is going to come down to whether you have PzGr40 ammo?

          It is not like PzGr40 or other APDS/HVAP/APCR is “free” – they are less accurate (actually KMM shoots too poorly for that but it still must be pointed out). Further, by its nature, it is subcaliber and has no explosive. The computer does not only calculate penetration, but also damage (either actual or predicted) – otherwise the StuG would have won in Ep3 when it got a penetrating hit. From KMM’s point of view, considering the level of protection of *most* of its targets, there is little reason to trade off damage for penetration.

          Besides, they have to consider the eyes of the Committee. While it is legal and so the Federation had to approve it, they could not have been happy about handling the logistics of the Maus. They are probably also already thinking “With everything else you have, do you really need a Maus you losers”. Under the circumstances, I don’t think I’d be provoking them with a requisition of PzGr40, lest they start saying “Yeah, OK. We’d approve exactly 3 rounds of PzGr40 per tank and nothing else – that’s also legal!”

          For the trade between quality and quantity, to some extent the Gekkan Senshado has an indirect answer for that. It is mentioned that they are considering converting all the non-Firefly Shermans to the E8 configuration with its wider tracks and along with that upgrade to HVSS suspension (note that *this* has a higher priority than upgrading to 76mm). However, among the reasons this is not going on smoothly is that the Tank Engineering Faculty has its hands full just with keeping all the vehicles operational and can hardly spare the effort for upgrades. A similar situation would likely apply to any attempt to upgrade to the 76mm cannon.

          >all we know could have been her 2nd, 5th, 10th, or whatever attempt at hitting the target.

          Well, it *might* have been the 100th, but the bigger point is that it is the most direct comparison possible, with three tanks given the exact same task at the exact same time. If it is Sasaki’s 10th shot, OK, but fairness will say it is also Hana’s 10th shot.

          >If you can hit at distance, you can hit at close range.

          I’ll come clean. I hadn’t shot guns – not allowed where I live.

          Anyway, I’ll agree with this general thrust, but only if conditions are otherwise the same. For example, the comparison suffers if Sasaki is in effect running and shooting from the hip while Hana gets to shoot prone. Also, as I said, Hana actually does miss at close ranges, too.

          >M3 Lee and StuG III fired more shots than the Panzer IV

          I did agree that Hana was better than Saemonza, and in any case the StuG was being used unrealistically in Doylist terms and stupidly in Watsonian terms this case.

          I can agree to disagree on Duck (in fact I think I’ve implied I don’t find the Duck-fan’s case “Winning” either, just defensible).

          As a Rabbit Fan seeing them get a rare good moment, though, I must wonder why you consider Hana’s Ep6 shot harder. If the criteria is distance, by the sight mark, the bunnies were shooting at over twice the distance: ~1200 yards vs 500m (look at the rotating disc on top). Their target is significantly smaller and that surely is worth something. Yes, the bearing rate of the M4A1 is high, but it is also in one direction, not zigzagging. Also high bearing rates are to a great extent caused by short distances, which according to you make things easy!

          The Semoventes were zigzagging and also were climbing up a hill, which means bearing rates (=leads) computed in azimuth AND elevation.

          Also, did you consider the poor conditions Azusa has to work with? She’s not calling the correction (in effect, her first attempt) using a sight. She’s using the cupola, which has No Reference Marks (no stadia triangles, no superelevation lines, no deflection lines, no magnification) except for the splash she had Aya put up. She has to designate her correction indirectly, and since the target is moving, after the correction there is only one ideal firing moment, which she has to call out, anticipating Ayumi’s delay in executing her command. Hana gets to directly pull a trigger.

          I won’t challenge the presumption that Hana is the best *gunner* in Oarai. However, I think that little scene is the author’s way of quietly showing us though they have been sparse in handing out special talents to Rabbit Team (and generous in handing out bad luck and minor gaffes), by hard work and working together, *as a team* they can achieve a result as good as their more “naturally-endowed” (and I don’t refer to breasts) comrades.

        • If it actually makes any difference I can go back and count the number of times each team shot and the number of times they hit.

  4. Panzer Vor!

    Nice review daikama and Bear…I share very similar sentiments as those expressed in the writeup.

    It was so great to see these girls back in Sensha-do action. I must say that from the very moment the OVA started, I had this silly grin on my face that never disappeared throughout the duration of the run time. There is just something about this show that never fails to make me smile and this OVA was obviously no exception.

    While watching, I really got the sense the producers realized how much fans had anticipated(and hungered for) new GuP content. This thought came about right when Yukari made her entrance wearing the convenience store disguise. I felt it had a really nice impact since it had been quite some time since the series had first aired. Thus, seeing Yukari in the getup gave me equal amounts of nostalgia and laughter – reminding me that yes, this show was sorely missed. This feeling repeated itself as the OVA progressed with the Anglerfish team’s dinner (how cute was it that Yukari still felt the need to ask if she could join them), Momo still missing her shots, and the scenes with the future Oarai team members.

    I also loved how the producers added in those cameo scenes of Nekoya, Sodoko and her clones, and the automotive club with an actual purpose. Nekoya joining Sensha-do out the blue just prior to the final match always seemed odd to me. Now it makes sense – she had tried to join before but was simply too shy. Perfect! Why did the discipline committee join Sensha-do? Because they were shanghai’d by the Prez lol! Why couldn’t the automotive club get the B1 and Tiger(P) ready in time for the match when in the past they have shown a remarkable ability to affect repairs in a short amount of time? Because getting the Tiger(P) out of the bowels of the vessel required quite a feat of engineering. Now if only we could find out how it got there in the first place along with the Type 89 on a side of the cliff?

    Now on to the star(s) of the OVA – Anchovy and the Anzio girls. At least for me. I absolutely adored them…especially Anchovy. She was just so likeable with her earnest (and infectious) desire to improve Anzio’s overall standing at the tournament…I mean desire to win the tournament! It amazes me that in just 38 minutes, the GuP producers managed to properly introduce a new team, show us their special brand of nuance, and their motivations to the point that I actually cared about this team. I totally empathized with Anchovy when her team seemed more interested in the lunch specials than the unveiling of Anzio’s secret weapon. Even more so when I realized the depth of baka’ness one of her lieutnants had. Man, Pepperoni was such a riot. She was my second favorite Anzio girl. Just so baka that it’s endearing. And you have got to love her dedication to Anchovy regardless.

    In addition to the surprising amount of development the Anzio characters received, the producers even managed to give us some development on the Hippo/History club team! It was really a joy to see the Hippo team outside of the Sensha-do practices and matches. I thought it was very fitting that the four of them were sharing a house (and even had their soul names on the address lol). I do find it curious on how Caesar was the character of the four that received the back story and connection to Carpaccio. Not that I mind Caesar in anyway, I just thought it would have been Erwin with the setup more tank commander vs tank commander. However, it does changes things up with it being a loader vs loader scenario and also allows for that nice loading practice scene with Caesar.

    The tank action was a treat as I would expect from GuP. From the mini-duel between Duck team and Turtle team at practice, to the Type-89 getting “swarmed” by the CVs, it was all very fun to watch. I was impressed with Anchovy’s plan…too bad she had Pepperoni be the one to execute it lol. But I suppose part the fault falls on Anchovy for giving them 11 decoys as opposed to 9. I just figured the original plan was to use the other two decoys in another position at the appropriate time. I also like how this match showcased the incremental improvements of the Oarai team. I thought the Rabbit team was handled the best and nicely illustrated the interim step in their growth spectrum of abandoning their tank in the friendly against St. Gloriana to eventually being able to take out two heavies in the finals against KMM.

    As for the liberties taken with the tank combat, I did think to myself if certain things were even possible at times. But overall I was just enjoying it too much. In fact, I think my favorite part of the match was the Type 89 vs the CVs. It is probably safe to assume that this will be only time the Type 89 will ever be in a position to decisively score kills so I just couldn’t help but be swept up in the action. I also laughed out load when the reason why the CVs kept coming back was revealed. Admittedly, I was so completely taken in that I embarrassingly did not question the ability of two highschool girls righting the tankette. I mean come on! It is just a cute little tankette…and one of girls even had a running start when she shoulder blocked the vehicle upright. LOL! When this piece of in-universe credibility was pointed out by the review above, I had to chuckle to myself for being so caught up in the action that the physical improbability didn’t even register. Beside, I thought that specific sequence of the girls uprighting the CV was well animated.

    Another thing about GuP in general that I have always found are the numerous amount of excellent camera shots or sequences. One of my favorite ones in the series is Hana’s one shot-one kill vs. Sanders. In the OVA, I loved the very ending of the match and how everything fell into place to show us the exact ending we saw in episode 7. The specific sequence of the P40 firing a round just high and to the right of the Pz IV with Miho looking on, her hair blowing in the wind, the slight bullet time effect, and then the Pz IV firing off the winning shot – very, very cool.

    Although we knew who would ultimately win the match, seeing it all unfold and come together was enjoyable. However, with getting to know Anchovy a little better in this OVA, I really would like to see Anzio improve their standing. And with how sportsmanlike Anchovy was, I would love to see her and Miho team up in the future some how. One thing that came to mind during the OVA, was why was Anchovy absent in the Miho fan club greeting just before the finals. And then, the after credits scene played. I busted a gut laughing at Anzio’s antics. They really are so much fun.

    Overall really loved the OVA. Now if only season two would announce already.

    • @rifulofthewest: Yep, good to hear from you and thanks for the complement. Nice to know you and other readers enjoyed our review, and thanks for taking the time to post a comment.

      Pretty much agree with your entire comment. “There is just something about this show that never fails to make me smile and this OVA was obviously no exception.” is a great way to put it. Tempted to borrow that for my conclusion. 😀

      It amazes me that in just 38 minutes, the GuP producers managed to properly introduce a new team, show us their special brand of nuance, and their motivations to the point that I actually cared about this team.

      Definitely agree with this. It amazing how the show can give viewers such a good idea characters personality in a limited time. At the risk of repeating myself, I find the series simply impressive both in its attention to detail and efficiency. I think those two factors are the reasons why it is able to do what you mention.

      “As for the liberties taken with the tank combat, I did think to myself if certain things were even possible at times. But overall I was just enjoying it too much.

      That’s another good point you make IMO. It was fun to watch, and I did get swept up in the fun. Granted the English subtitles I watched didn’t help, but as Kazuaki Shimazaki noted above, Anzio should have put out nine, not “ten” tank/td decoys per the subtitles. I should have caught that, but I was laughing too much to think about it (and took the subs at face value, but can’t blame it all on the subs XD). The other thing is that IMO, this series (anime and OVA) does a very good job of knowing when to be “serious” and when not to be. Granted we did point out a few “WTF” moments, but as I noted, even the most egregious one didn’t hamper my overall enjoyment. I’m much more forgiving when a show acknowledges (surreptitiously or overtly) that it’s being a bit “silly” about some things than when a show tries to be all serious and suggest that something “over-the-top” is actually realistic.

      Another thing about GuP in general that I have always found are the numerous amount of excellent camera shots or sequences.

      Agree. Both OVA and anime have some great camera angles. Love the “gunner-eye” view. The version I watched wasn’t bad, but I’m really looking forward to BD quality. That should look (and sound) just awesome.

      However, with getting to know Anchovy a little better in this OVA, I really would like to see Anzio improve their standing. And with how sportsmanlike Anchovy was, I would love to see her and Miho team up in the future some how.

      Agree – we’ll give Anchovy a spot on Miho’s team for the “Senshado World Cup”. 😉

  5. @ rifulofthewest Good to hear from you and glad you liked our review. Your comments brought up even more of the things we enjoyed about this show and I have to admit that I get a big grin every time I think about this show. Going back and rewatching some of the episodes for this review, I grinned even harder.

    You caught something that just went over my head: that Yukari was wearing a convenience store uniform! Now I understand where the thank you to Circle K Sunkus in the credits came from! Brain went dead on that one! I like all the girls, but Yukari is rather special to me.

    I see where you’re coming from with respect to Erwin as tank commander being the one to focus on, but given that Caesar was the one who was the Italian history buff, that gave her a tie in to the Anzio school. Erwin did get some screen time in the Pravda match also so it was nice to see one of the lesser known characters get some action.

    • @ Bear:

      Oh I’m glad that I was able to highlight Yukari in the convenience store uniform. I’m totally with you regarding our resident tank otaku…Yukari’s character is quite special.

      Good point about Caesar and her being a better choice since she is the Italian history buff. Even though the point was emphasized during the OVA with her knowing Italian and Latin, it didn’t quite click with me lol. Of course, it is definitely great to see one of the lesser known characters get a bit of time in the spot light. I wish we could get to know the others a little bit better like we did Caesar in the future.

    • @Bear: “I like all the girls, but Yukari is rather special to me.”

      Glad you mentioned that. DONE! You get Yukari and I’ll take Hana, Hoshino, Darjeeling, Kay, Nonna, and Carpaccio. 😀 Hmm… gonna need a big tank… Anyway, glad we were able to clear that up. 😛

      • Wait, what!! NO FAIR! You know Yukari is Miho’s waifu! You’re grabbing the cream of the crop! Are you trying to do a harem romcon spinoff? Besides that, you’ve got three gunners (Hoshino, Nonna and Hana) and three commanders(Noona(she counts twice), Darjeeling and Kay). That’s really greedy. Com’mon pick one of each and give the rest of us a chance. 🙂 Oh, and I’ll take Hoshino and Nonna off your hands. Don’t thank me, it’s the least I can do. Let’s see with Mako as driver, Yukari as loader… I’m good.

        • @Bear: “Besides that, you’ve got three gunners (Hoshino, Nonna and Hana) and three commanders(Noona(she counts twice), Darjeeling and Kay). That’s really greedy.”

          Greedy daikama is greedy. 😛 Besides, I’ll figure something out. 😀 Hmm….let’s see…

          As I noted, I’ll probably need a huge tank. I’m thinking T30 so let’s go with that. Hoshino’s in the auto club so I’m sure she has some decent if not good/great driving skills = Hoshino as driver. I’ll leave Hana as gunner. Carpaccio is a loader already and Nonna can help with that since the T30 uses 2-piece ammunition. After all, Nonna carries Katyusha around all the time so she should be pretty strong. Kay is outgoing and talkative (remind you of someone?) so she can be radio operator/communications. Darjeeling can be commander. See? No problem! It all works out ;).

          “Are you trying to do a harem romcon spinoff?” M-Maybe *glances away* XD

        • @ Bear

          It seems to me that you are leaving Yukari so that Miho has her waifu, huh? Good, good…I wholeheartedly support this. They are my OTP for this series and I wouldn’t dream of snatching them both while you’re busy lecturing daikama on his greediness. Nope. Never. Wouldn’t cross my mind. At all.

          @ daikama

          Speaking of greedy…Hoshino, Nonna, Darjeeling, Hana, Kay, and Carpaccio? Hmm…of those, the biggest issue I have is with you ninja claiming Hoshino and Nonna. Gonna have to figure out a strategy to steal them away from you 😛

          But officially I’ll take Anzu, Yuzu, Momo, Anchovy, Pepperoni, and Saori (staying with six to match yours :)). Hmm…can you make a suggestion for another tank that requires a crew of 6?

        • @rifulofthewest: LOL BTW, technically speaking, I don’t think Bear expressly stated he was taking Miho… Seems to me that wherever Miho goes, Yukari will follow (hint, hint)

          As for 6 crew tanks, first I’m changing to a T29 since according to one site that has a crew of 6 as well, and IMO a better AT gun than the T30 (also single piece ammo). Same crew positions. Some other 6 crew tanks are KV-2, M3 Lee, and yes, the Maus.

          @Bear – better hurry up and start claiming players! They’re going fast! Oh, and rather than “greedy” I thought I was being nice by only picking ONE tank crew. 😀

        • Crips, you guys are ganging up on me! Ok, I’ll take Assam(gunner), Suzuki(loader), Mako(driver), Taeko(radio operator), and Nakajima(commander). (Hmmph, not greedy like some people). Give me a Panther for them.

  6. So many technical comments here now. lol For me, I just let everything be explained by the magical “carbon coating.” eg: Tankettes should weigh a few tonnes? Maybe carbon coating is less dense and just as resistant, resulting in a lighter tank.
    Good review; covered pretty much everything that came to mind when I saw the OVA. I especially liked the foreshadowing.
    On an unrelated note, hopefully the movie resolves the issue between Miho and Shiho.

    • Hi flaze35! Good to hear from you. Yeah, we do tend to get into the hardware and gritty details at times. XD Hopefully not too much for you. Feel free to introduce a topic or make comments on other aspects. Plenty of things to talk about. 😀

      Agree with you about the foreshadowing part. Some of that I caught the first time around, while a couple others slipped past until the second viewing. Not only do I think such moments help integrate the OVA with the anime, but they were properly subtle and well executed.

      “On an unrelated note, hopefully the movie resolves the issue between Miho and Shiho.”

      That would be some nice, but TBH, I have no idea of what the Movie will cover (Let the wild speculation begin! LOL). Any thoughts on the new character introduced by the movie, Nishi Kinuyo?

      • I’m pretty sure it’s confirmed the movie is a sequel, and it’d have to take place shortly after the series (otherwise quite a few of the cast would graduate). I’m hoping it’s around 2 hours long.
        As far as how Kinuyo would be involved, I have no idea. The only connection Kinuyo even has to Miho is that Chihatan was destroyed by Kuromorimine. I just hope she has a unique personality like the rest of the cast. Based on the screenshots from your GuP movie post, it almost seems like an Ooarai vs Chihatan scrimmage, but I can’t imagine the entire film being centered around that. I doubt it would be another tournament (not enough time to show all the battles). I vaguely recall somebody saying Kinuyo may be a transfer student, but the screenshots don’t make it seem that way.

        As long as this isn’t the plot, I think I’ll be happy. (Note: was very bored when I wrote this)
        After seeing her team and the Nishizumi-ryu defeated by her daughter’s inferior tactics, Shiho disappears from the public eye, becoming a hikikomori and passing on the role of instructor to Maho. For weeks, Shiho refuses to leave her room, and during that time, her mind slowly breaks down to that of a psychopath. Exactly three months after Ooarai’s victory, Shiho sprints out of her room, and drives off in a Panther. After running out of fuel in a snowy mountain pass, she passes out from hypothermia. She wakes up next to a fireplace in a log cabin. Looking around, there are three men in the room, who introduce themselves as drug dealers who want to use her tank to transport goods. With her cunning and twisted mind, Shiho eventually works her way up the ranks of the drug cartel, becoming a drug lord. Shiho recruits crazy women and teaches them the Nishizumi style. She purchases Panthers, Jagdpanthers, and Tigers off the black market, and declares war on Japan. Now, Senshado teams of Japan must works together to fight this crazy women and her armored division.

        • @flaze35: “Based on the screenshots from your GuP movie post, it almost seems like an Ooarai vs Chihatan scrimmage, but I can’t imagine the entire film being centered around that. I doubt it would be another tournament (not enough time to show all the battles). I vaguely recall somebody saying Kinuyo may be a transfer student, but the screenshots don’t make it seem that way.

          That’s a different take on the movie than I have. From the Crunchyroll movie preview screen shots (3rd from top and bottom specifically), seems to me that Kinuyo is the commander for Oarai’s 9th tank – the Type 97 Chi-Ha. I took “Chihatan’s” as in “Type 97 Chiha-tan” (i.e. a cute nick). As you say, I can’t see them squeezing in another tournament in two hours (or less). TBH, my guess is that the movie will be 90 minutes long or so. That seems to be the standard length for a lot of anime moves. Of course I’d rather have the movie be two or even three hours long. That screen shot of Darjeeling ♥ and the St. Gloriana’s crew makes me wonder if this might be some sort of Oarai/St.Gloriana exhibition rematch.

          I asked about Kinuyo because I kind of wonder about her being added. I think (key) she’s a 3rd year student. If so, she wouldn’t be around for a sequel to the movie anime season two. I’m sure I’ll end up liking her quite a bit (already like her character design). Still I do wonder what she’ll bring to the story. Hopefully more than just another new character to liven things up. Have to say that a Type 97 is NOT what I was hoping Oarai added to the their tank pool, but I’ll leave it at that.

          And yeah, LOL, I’ll pass on the Shiho becomes drug lord as the movie’s script as well.

    • Good to hear from you. We’re plowing though the show and hopefully will have something up soon. We’ve appreciated your interest in the site and the info you’ve provided us.

      And thank you for the link to your translation. Most interesting.

    • Thanks for the link. That was pretty interesting… I agree with you about the BS reasoning. The “fear of splinters” part was hilarious. Are splinters really a concern for people in tanks? Umm… here’s a thought, try buttoning up during “combat” (match play). Seriously though, splinters!? THAT is a concern, but there’s noooo problem with all that machine guns fire? Pravda practically lit up the night sky with tracers rounds in the anime. Sorry, but I can’t buy into what they are trying to sell me – “official” or not. Frankly, same goes for pretty much the entire official explanation. Sometimes it’s better to leave things unexplained.

      Anyway, definitely thanks for that. Appreciate all the info and continued interest. Like Bear said, were working on Part II. Timing suddenly isn’t the best for me, but I’ll do what I can so we can get it out shortly.

  7. [Moved from Movie Post, I think the discussion is more appropriate here. Hope you don’t mind–Bear]

    This has kind of no relation with the discussion above [Originally Gup Movie-Bear]. But perhaps it’s for the best, given the… er, passion we put in our discussions! 🙂

    There is one part of the OVA that made me think that perhaps there is a Sensha-do classification system to evaluate tanks, given their most important stats (armament, protection and speed). The system uses an ABCDE descending scale, meaning that A is the best and E is the worst.

    Given that this thing was used only for the Anzio tanks, we might never know. But it would be funny to try and evaluate all the other tanks in the show using the system!

    Here is a screenshot of what I’m talking about:

    [The only thing I’m not that sure about is the “Potenza del cannone” section, which should be something like “Gun power”; given the numbers, I’d say it’s the rough penetration power of the gun, but I’m not sure… what do you think?]

    • @Italianguy88
      Actually, this one was there since St G. Matilda IIs are Rank D “Panzers” (though they are Brit tanks, for some reason Panzer is used rather than Tank). They have Rank D Armament, Rank B Protection and Rank C Mobility.

      And this being Japan, don’t forget there is probably “S” or even “SS” above A 🙂

    • @Italianguy88

      I looked around and can’t find anything that would shed light on “Potenza del cannone” . I wish the kanji in the table was clearer so we could see what was written next to the same numbers. I looked at the video and it’s no clearer than the snapshot you took of it so we’re out of luck there. I did find a site with an interesting gun penetration chart creator while I was looking though. Does lack an entry for the P40 though.

    • @Kazuaki Shimazaki

      Thanks for the clarification. I wasn’t aware of this classification method, but now it’s clear.

      @bear

      Interesting find, even though I don’t understand why for the 75/18 howitzer (the one used on the Semoventi) it lists an AP and an APBC shell, and not an HEAT shell (which was the main anti-tank shell employed by this kind of vehicle, and the one which gave it its edge against armor).

      A possibility may be that “Potenza del cannone” truly indicates the armor penetration (either at 100 or 500 meters) against armor plate at 0°; this would be consistent with the 80 value for the 75/34 gun and perhaps with the 65 value of the 75/18 gun (even though it leaves me kinda perplexed… perhaps they were referencing to hollow charge shells or not, because for a simple AP this seems too much).

    • @Italianguy88: I noticed that chart as well. Kind of curious as to how the show would rank all tanks in the series. I agree with Kazuaki Shimazaki in that there’s almost certainly an “S” rank though I thought “M” was typically above “S” rather than “SS”. Could be “SS” though. Maybe they take a page from Fate Stay Night an use “EX” instead.

      @Bear: Nice find on the penetration chart. Too bad it’s incomplete though with discrepancies among sources for this stuff, tables are also nice to have because they show the various figures provided by different sources.

      Lastly, I did a little tweaking of the image but can’t quite get the kanji on the table as clear as I’d like. Hope it helps anyway.

    • @italianguy88

      The table has kanji next to those values. I notice that most of the other entries has either millimeters(mm), meters(m) or kilometers(km) so I’m not sure if that’s an actual penetration value or some other value related to that.

      If you go to the home page of the site with the chart, the blogger says that he’s mostly into British tanks. You might even consider contacting him if you’ve got some information he could use about the P40.

    • @bear

      Yes, but I think those are mostly physical measurements. In order from the top, length, width, heigth, track width, maximum obstacle and maximum trench that can be dealt.

      And thanks to the tweaked chart, I also found out that they misspelled the Italian word for “weigth” on the tables; it should be “peso”, not “pesso”! 🙂
      Oh, well, nothing to it.

      I might, even though the whole penetration calculator seems to be quite precise. I’m not sure wheter I can give the guy data that is clear enough for him (also because there is some controversy about the whole penetration power of pretty much all the Italian guns… raw data is scarce).

  8. [I’m sorry I confused things. I only meant that people should continue the discussion of the Italian tanks and the spec sheets here under the OVA post and not the rest of the discussion that was going on on the movie post. Flaze, I moved your comment back over there where I think it belongs. Again, apologies for the confusion. — Bear]

  9. On a Japanese site, I found a silent video, another version of the encounter between Miho and Anchovy. A version that seems much more faithful to the manga than the OVA.7. (The carro armato 13/40, the attitude of Anchovy, the charact-design carpaccio …).

    http://nviewer.mobi/player?video_id=sm20329603

    Another version of the video

    http://nviewer.mobi/player?video_id=sm20424491

    Another video

    http://nviewer.mobi/player?video_id=sm20724418

    the site

    http://nviewer.mobi/player?video_id=sm20724418

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