Tactical Review of the Girls und Panzer Anzio Battle: Manga

The manga and anime versions of the Anzio match differ in some significant respects. Not only are there differences in terrain but also in team composition and even personality. We thought we’d review both individually and then offer our opinions from a tactical standpoint. This is the second tactical review of the Anzio Battle which will cover the manga version along with some comparisons to the anime version.

Team Composition

Oarai

Oarai’s team is comprised a mixture of the tanks they had during the Saunders match and some that were only present during the Pravda match:

  • Panzer IV Ausf D with gun upgraded to KwK 40 L/43
  • Type 89
  • StuG III (Flag Tank) Caesar commanding
  • M3 Lee
  • Panzer 38(t)
  • Renault Char B1Bis
    • Erwin – Loader and Radio Operator (normally StuG III commander)
    • Aya Oono – Driver and 75mm Gunner (normally M3 Lee gunner)
    • Yukari – Commander, 47mm gunner and loader (normally Panzer IV loader)
Oarai Manga Lineup

Oarai Lineup

There are three significant changes from the anime:

  1. The Panzer IV’s main gun is upgraded to the KwK 40 L/43. As you can see from the table below, this is a very significant upgrade for the Panzer IV. Compared to the Ausf. D’s 75mm KwK 37 L/24 gun, the 75mm KwK 40 L/43 has almost twice the muzzle velocity and over twice the penetration out to 500 meters and over that out to 2000 meters for the same type of AT AP(armor piercing) round.

GuP Anzio Manga Upgunned Pzr IV

Gun Type Ammunition Type Muzzle
Velocity(m/s)
Penetration (mm)*
100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m
7.5cm KwK 37 L/24 K.Gr.rot Pz 385 41 39 35 33 30
7.5cm KwK 40 L/43 Pzgr 39 740 99 91 82 72 63
7.5cm KwK 40 L/48 Pzgr 39 790 106 96 85 74 64

*Penetration in mm for homogeneous armor plate inclined at 30° from vertical

  1. The Renault B1Bis debuts which doesn’t occur in the anime until the semi-final Pravda match. The B1Bis is similar to the M3 Lee in that it has two guns: a 75mm short barreled howitzer mounted in the hull (primarily for use as an anti-infantry weapon) firing HE shells, and a 47mm AT (anti-tank) gun mounted in the turret.

It’s a heavier tank than the M3 Lee (31 tons vs 28 tons) with normal crew size of 4 rather than 5 for the M3. The B1’s driver also acts as the 75mm gunner so each crewmember has to do more tasks than compared to M3. It also has better (thicker) armor than the M3 with 60mm of armor in the front and 55mm of armor covering the sides and rear vs. 50mm and 38mm respectively in the M3.

  1. The addition of another tank without correspondingly adding additional Senshado team members means 3 Oarai tanks are shorthanded which certainly doesn’t help. Another corresponding potential problem is that some Oarai team members are assigned unfamiliar roles with limited practice time. Note, that this applies to others tanks in addition to the B1Bis crew. For example, Caesar, normally the StuG III’s loader, takes over as the TD’s commander.

Anzio

Anzio’s team is comprised of ten Italian tanks, tank destroyers and tankettes.*

  • Carro Amato P26/40
  • 4x Fiat-Ansaldo M13/40 (1 acting as Flag tank)*
  • 2 x Semovente da 75/18
  • 3 x Carro Veloce “33” (CV33)

The Fiat-Ansaldo M13/40 medium tank was the most widely used tank by the Italians during WWII. First produced in 1940 and weighing 14 tonnes (metric), it featured 30mm of riveted armor in the front and 25mm on the sides and rear. Its main gun was a 47mm L /32 cannon. Armor penetration for 30° sloped armor with “standard” AP rounds (i.e. NOT HEAT or APCR) was approximately 45mm at 500m and 32mm at 1000m. While this 4-man crew tank was a definite improvement over the M11/39 it replaced and effective against lighter armored British cruiser tanks during the early stages of the North African campaign, it was not without some significant shortcomings and by 1942 effectively obsolete.

*Note: there is some inconsistency in terms of Anzio’s lineup. The image below shows three, not for four, M13/40 tanks while the manga dialog indicates that four M13/40s are present in the match.

Anzio Manga Lineup

Anzio Lineup

 Anzio Team Personality

There is a major difference between the Anchovy we see in the anime and the manga’s version. “Anime Anchovy” is a proud, but friendly and honorable competitor. She wants to win, but also respects her opponents and is gracious in defeat – even inviting Oarai to their after match party.

“Manga Anchovy” is very serious and not a nice girl, telling Miho: “Your Panzerkraft (i.e. Senshado) is weak! I saw Kuromorimine High’s match last year and I confirmed it. The person who turned her back from Panzerkraft… We definitely won’t lose to you… (with a sneer on her face) You better prepare yourself!” Furthermore, upon losing the match, she verbally attacks Miho again. Manga Anchovy is a very poor sportsman, all business and no fun.

Overall, the battle during the manga is more serious, and unlike the anime we don’t see any of the Anzio combatants except for Anchovy and her tank crew.

Terrain

In the manga the playing field is a desert with the teams separated by a ridge with a pass dividing the ridge in the center. (See Map 1 Below) The teams start out on opposite sides of the ridge. The manga mentions “Kasserine Pass” so it is likely that the manga’s battle terrain is intended to simulate that WWII battle field.

Map 1

Map 1

 Initial Deployment

Oarai

Miho promptly determines that the best strategy is to gain control of the pass and names the operation “Fruits Basket” (a version of musical chairs) since you gain the advantage by denying your opponent the pass. She then orders the Type 89 and 38(t) teams forward as scouts. The B1Bis finds itself held up by a balky engine and is left behind to catch up when they can. So Oarai’s main force has the StuG III flag tank in the center with the Panzer IV on its left and M3 Lee on its right. Oarai’s scouts report that Anzio holds the pass, but they don’t see the P40. Miho then orders them to pull back and rejoin the main group.

Anzio

According to the Oarai scouts, Anzio gains control of the pass first, held by two M13/40s and two Semoventes. (See Map 2 below) The P40, unseen by Oarai, takes a position high on the ridge adjacent to the pass. When the Oarai scouts are spotted, they are attacked by Anzio’s vanguard of three CV33’s and two M13/40’s. The remainder of the Anzio’s forces remain in the pass.

Map 2

Map 2

 Engagement

As the B1Bis rejoins Oarai’s main force (taking a position to the right of the M3 Lee), the Type 89 and Panzer 38(t) attempt to retreat from Anzio’s ambush attack. Oarai’s main force now arrives and immediately counterattacks. After taking out the first CV33, Oarai is fired up, and the team starts to chase after Anzio’s now retreating tanks. Miho warns them not to rush ahead too much and ask Yukari to check the surroundings. Oarai’s early success continues as they take out the second and then third and final CV33 while Anzio’s remaining tanks continue to retreat. Miho then realizes that Anzio’s retreat is a feint. She warns the team that Anzio is luring Oarai into an ambush with the CV33s acting as bait – a similar tactic to the one Miho devised against St. Gloriana’s. Miho then begins to tell Yukari her new plan, but the scene ends before Miho’s plan is stated (ch. 08, pg. 10).

Oarai continues to chase after the two remaining vanguard M13/40s when Anzio springs their ambush with two Semovente 75/18s and the other two M13/40s (including Anzio’’s flag tank) joining the two retreating M13/40s. As the battle intensifies, the M3 Lee eliminates one of the M13/40s only to be taken out immediately itself by a right flank shot fired from the P40 located on the high ground on the right side of the pass. Yukari estimates the P40 distance at 700 meters at 3 o’clock. She radios the information to the team while ordering the Type 89 to fall back. Having lost the M3 Lee to the P40, Yukari attack orders the Type 89 to protect the exposed StuG III flag tank. She uses the B1Bis’ thicker armor to shield StuG III, and angles her tank to take glancing shots from Anzio attackers.

At this point (ch. 09 pg. 6), the manga engages in a flashback to the time when Miho begins to tell Yukari her revised plan (ch 08, pg. 10). Now Miho’s plan is revealed to Yukari and the rest of the team. Miho is certain that the “missing” P40 (at the time of the flashback) is located on high ground to the one side of the pass. Therefore, the Panzer IV and Panzer 38(t) will attempt to circle behind the hill on either side of the pass (Panzer IV – right side, and Panzer 38(t) – left side) and ambush the P40 (See Map 3 below). In the meantime, Yukari is left in command of Oarai’s remaining forces who will attempt to hold off Anzio’s attack.

Map 3

Map 3

The flashback ends as we return to the battle in progress. Anzio’s attack intensifies with the B1Bis in particular taking heavy fire. By this point, Yukari has relayed the P40’s location to Miho, and Oarai’s main force tries to hold out long enough to give Miho’s plan time to work. (See “Battle Overview” below) However, one of the shots jams the turret ring on the B1Bis’ 47mm AT gun. Anzio continues to press their attack, forcing the Type 89 to step in and save Oarai’s flag tank at the cost of eliminating the Type 89. At this point in the match, Yukari says that Oarai is down to only two tanks (not including the Panzer IV and Panzer 38(t)) while Erwin remarks that Anzio still has five tanks left.

Anzio Battle Overview

Battle Overview

Next, the B1Bis right tread is blown off from a right flank shot from the P40. The B1Bis is now rendered immobile and can’t turn the turret, but for some reason is not deemed “disabled” (i.e. no white flag). As Anzio moves in to take out the StuG III, a shell explodes near the Anzio flag tank. It’s from the Panzer 38(t). Momo misses, but the shot disrupts the Anzio team as Miho positions the Panzer IV to the side and rear of the P40. Hana then knocks out the P40 with a shot to the left side. Yukari realizes that Anzio’s flag tank still remains and Oarai takes action. Momo in the Panzer 38(t) takes a shot, and misses… again. Miho orders Hana to target the flag tank, and Hana’s right on target again, knocking out Anzio’s M13/40 flag tank for the victory.

Inconsistency Problems

The manga is somewhat inconsistent in terms of Anzio’s lineup. As noted above, as best we can tell there Anzio fields 10 tanks/TDs/tankettes total: Four M13/40s (including the flag tank), three CV33s, two Semovente 75/18 TDs and one P40. However, in the double page layout, barring a terrible scan (of both the tankōbon and magazine releases), only three M13/40s are shown. The flashback scene adds to the confusion, but once deciphered, the remainder of the manga’s images and dialog (including Oarai’s scouts stating that the P40 is not among the four tanks/TDs holding the pass) are consistent with Anzio having 10 tanks.

Readers should be careful to note that unless a character comments about “taking out” a tank/TD/tankette or a white flag is shown, tank hits do not necessarily mean those tanks are disabled as the B1Bis clearly proves. Lastly, it should also be noted that the English translated manga scans list the Carro Veloce model as the “CV33” though manga tankōbon raws clearly show the designation to be “CV35”. We don’t know the reason for this discrepancy.

The tactical analysis which follows will be based on the assumption that there are ten Anzio tanks/TDs/tankettes.

Analysis and Comments

Bear

Oarai

Miho using the Type 89 and the Panzer 38(t) for scouting is a sound move. They are not only smaller targets, but since they don’t have the firepower of her other tanks, are more expendable in that role. She’s up against a stronger array of tanks than she is in the anime version. Losing one of her heavier tanks early in the match would put Oarai at a major disadvantage.

As often happens with Miho, after taking out the CV33s her troops become too excited and attack without considering their lack of situational awareness of the other Anzio units. Fortunately, Miho stops them from being totally ambushed and uses the situation to set a counter to Anchovy’s attempted trap.   Miho managed to deduce that Anchovy would gain the pass first and that, since the P40 couldn’t be found initially, that it was proably going to snipe from one of the ridges. She also guessed correctly Anchovy was trying to draw them in and uses that to lead her to assume that her trap had worked.

Miho’s plan is her usual high risk. If Anzio had posted a rear guard Miho’s gambit might have been a disaster. Also by leaving the flag tank with only minimal support a coordinated attack by Anzio’s tanks would have allowed them to gain exposure to the StuG’s side and ended the match. The area they are fighting in appears wide so there is ample room for maneuver. Miho states that she’s leaving Yukari to defend with 4 tanks against 7 Anzio tanks. Given the situation, a retreat by the B1, StuG and Type 89 might have been in order with the loss of the M3, assuming they had previously identified good defensive positions. The one problem with the retreat concept is that given the final situation with the Panzer IV on the ridge the Panzer IV would have had a much longer shot to take out the flag tank (see Battle Overview).

Anzio

Anchovy’s initial approach is good though I do take issue with a couple of things. One is that she is attacking with her flag tank. While I disagreed with her making the P40 the flag tank in the anime, here it is appropriate since it is in a relatively protected position. One good shot from the StuG and the match is over. The flag tank is also one of the M13/40’s which has a much higher profile than the Semovente making it an easier target. Her second mistake is lack of situational awareness. During the final chase in the anime she is aware that she’s lost contact with the Panzer IV, but here two of Oarai’s tanks disappear and she doesn’t seem to realize that. Secondly, she expends her CV33s to draw in Oarai to her trap where she could have used at least one to act as a rear guard to warn her if she was being attacked from the rear. Using the CV33 in that role wouldn’t have reduced her useful firepower and might have saved her flag. Thirdly, while she is at a longer range than her other units, why isn’t her tank firing? She’s got the best angle on the Oarai tanks and has already taken out one of them at that range. Another argument I could make is that she should have used the P40 in the attack. It’s much faster than the M13/40 (40km/h vs. 32km/h) which means it could close faster on the Oarai units and maneuver for a flank shot at the flag tank. In summary the flaws were exposing her flag tank, lack of situation awareness, not using her major asset as well as she could.

Manga vs. Anime

The two versions of the battle have little in common given that the composition of the teams and the character of Anchovy is very different. The manga version doesn’t even attempt to be consistent with the OVA version except for possibly Anchovy’s character design and some of the tanks used. It does, however, have a more realistic battle where the OVA version is more of fun ride. Both depend on Miho using risky maneuvers to win, though given Oarai’s underdog status that is part of the story. Anchovy’s personality in the manga is also nowhere near as much fun as her OVA persona and doesn’t align with the attitude of most of the Oarai opponents in the anime.

Which is better? Depends. The anime was enjoyable and made me smile quite a bit. I loved the fact that we got to see more of the other tank crews and enjoyed Caesar’s story. The Anzio girls (who we don’t see in the manga for the most part) were also fun to watch. The manga, except for some inconsistencies that were rather annoying, was more to my liking from my military interest side in that it was closer to an actual battle. If I had to choose, I say the OVA since it fit with both the storyline and atmosphere of the anime.

daikama

Oarai

Overall, Miho does a fairly good job. As usual, she was insightful in terms of her opponent’s tactics and adjusted her own tactics in a timely manner. She also didn’t underestimate her opponent which is the downfall of many commanders. Points as well for scouting ahead and choosing the Panzer 38(t) and Type 89 to do so. In addition, unlike the anime’s Pravda match, Miho was able to maintain team discipline and prevent some of Oarai’s teams from rushing too far ahead. Still, I have a couple complaints.

As in the OVA (and other matches), Miho takes great risks with her flag tank. I agree with choosing the StuG III as Oarai’s flag tank, however, like the OVA the TD is not used in its intended role of ambushing and sniping. Instead, it’s charging forth into the middle of the battlefield! By the end of the match, the StuG III was all alone and whoever got the first hit on a flag tank won. This time it was Oarai, the next time… An alternative option is to simply have the StuG III pair up with the Panzer IV. This gets Oarai’s flag tank away from the main battlefield and potentially sets up a sniping opportunity for the StuG III as well.

While the P40 is Anzio’s best tank and greatest threat, it is NOT Anzio’s flag tank here. Certainly a danger, but you win the match by eliminating the opponent’s flag tank! I think it’s questionable whether disabling the P40 is actually a prerequisite for eliminating Anzio’s M13/40 flag tank. IMO, Yukari did a great job and deserves special mention. She stayed cool under fire, understood changes on the battlefield, reacted promptly to said changes, gave clear and decisive orders, and successfully executed the ones given to her. She gets my vote as the MVP for the manga Anzio match.

Anzio

Anchovy does a pretty good job here in my opinion. Those CV33s are worthless offensively whether they have one 6.5mm MGs, twin 8mm MGs or ten of either. This is tank vs. tank combat = you need a good AT gun. So they can’t do much other than (A) scout, (B) act as a onetime disposable shield, or (C) act as bait. Anchovy took option “C” and that’s fine with me. After all, it did work. Bear makes a valid point about retaining one CV33 with the P40 as a lookout though perhaps keeping that third CV33 was necessary to successfully bait Oarai. Hard to say.

Anchovy also scores points with me by taking the important pass first and positioning her best tank on the high ground in a sniper position. However, like Miho, I thought Anchovy made some mistakes. First, the M13/40 isn’t the best choice as flag tank though I think you could make good argument for either the P40 or a Semovente as Anzio’s flag tank. Also, the P40 didn’t use any cover and/or fire from a hull down position, and/or plan some sort of movement after firing briefly from one position. Anchovy was overconfident and thus caught by surprise, both by the Panzer 38(t) and the Panzer IV. That cost her.

My biggest complaint is that, inexplicably, the P40 kept targeting the B1Bis. Frankly I question the BiBis taking so many direct hits and not being disabled. Anyway, again, you win the match by eliminating the opponent’s flag tank. If you can’t get a shot on the StuG III flag tank then MOVE! You’re in a good position so take advantage of that and concentrate on Oarai’s flag tank! Anchovy also makes the same mistake as Miho by letting Anzio’s flag tank get caught up in the main scuffle. Keeping the M13/40 flag tank with the P40 as a lookout might have foiled Miho’s ambush plans.

In the end, Anchovy underestimated Oarai and that was her undoing. That being said, the match was close – much closer than the anime version. Anzio almost won, at the end and perhaps earlier when the volleyball team in the Type 89 made a very well timed “block”. I think Anchovy had the right idea in general. She and Anzio just didn’t execute well.

Manga vs. Anime

The two versions of the Anzio match really are quite different. To me the, OVA was very light-hearted/not serious while the manga goes the other direction being completely serious in nature. “Anime Anchovy” is a good sport and friendly person while “Manga Anchovy” is bitter, antagonistic and rude. IMO, neither the OVA nor the manga replicate the anime’s fine balance of light-hearted fun and more serious atmosphere during battles.

So on to the big question – which version did I prefer? It’s pretty much a tossup, but if I’m forced to pick one or the other “as is”, then I pick the OVA. While unquestionably I prefer the more serious and realistic (IMO) nature of the manga’s battle itself (key), the manga’s presentation is sub-par to put it kindly. The flashback insertion is awkward and confusing not to mention IMO entirely unnecessary. Even with the flashback sorted out, the manga is still arguably inconsistent in terms of the number of Anzio’s vehicles (9 or 10). I also prefer the OVA’s inclusion of other fun, entertaining “non-battle” moments. The manga is more one dimensional in that regard. It’s pretty much all battle. I certainly prefer “anime Anchovy” over “manga Anchovy”.

That being said, for me the inescapable fact remains that while the OVA was a lot of fun to watch (I laughed a lot) and does fit a bit better with the anime in terms of overall atmosphere, the OVA’s battle itself wasn’t completely satisfying to watch. To me it lacked the appropriate amount of overall tension and excitement, and I thought it was a little light on the tactical side given what I’ve come to expect from the series. I found the manga’s battle more competitive, exciting and realistic with better overall tactics while the OVA’s version was, dare I say, downright “silly” at times. In truth, my actual preference is for some combination of the two. To be clear, I do not think you could just insert the manga version of the battle itself “as is” into the anime. You would need to change some things for better integration (e.g. adding Carpaccio and Pepperoni along with NO awkward flashback or tank lineup inconsistencies).

 


We hope readers enjoyed our tactical analysis of the Girls und Panzer manga’s version of the Anzio Match along with our Girls und Panzer: Kore ga Hontou no Anzio-sen Desu! OVA – Review and Tactical Review of the Girls und Panzer Anzio Battle: OVA posts. As usual, we look forward to reading your comments.

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23 thoughts on “Tactical Review of the Girls und Panzer Anzio Battle: Manga

  1. Overall, I think I really do like the anime battle better.

    While the manga battle is indeed more “conventional”, that’s not really the same as it having “better tactics”. The ‘tension’ in the manga battle is in essence formed by problematic decisions. First, Miho failed to predict in advance that she simply was not going to be able to get to the pass before Anzio (with faster tanks) and plan her battle accordingly (time-space calculation failure). Next, the tension was sustained by the cheap tactic of an indiscipline ride (aren’t we going to do that next battle?) After that, despite realizing they are in a fire sack, Miho does *not* promptly give the order to retreat, and further, comes up with a battle concept that leaves her forces, including her flag tank, in a kill zone. Thus her forces were being shot at all the time, creating the “tension”.

    Yes, OK, I know it mentioned the word “ambush” and that may have been the big attraction 🙂 . I must note, however, that from appearances, most “ambushes” in Manga!Anzio are not the stereotypical “fire ambush”. Instead, it is more of an attack out of concealed positions (the positions where we see them firing are way too exposed). If these count as ambushes, then OVA!Anzio was going to ‘ambush’ Oarai with Semoventes. Better yet, it’d be from the back, not the front. The fact they were pre-empted does not change the fact such tactics existed – Manga!Anzio just got to execute more of their plan as planned – 80% because Manga!Miho was less sharp and 20% because Manga!Anzio did not have Pepperoni.

    You actually see a much wider variety of tactics, and in far greater subtlety than the good old “mealtime” angling tactic, in OVA!Anzio. Since most of them are covered in the anime tactics review, I won’t repeat them here.

    As a story, the Manga!Anzio battle was simply much weaker. OVA!Anzio to an extent unmatched in every other fight is about the crews. Manga!Anzio battle is about Yukari, Miho and Anchovy (more or less in that order). In the OVA, people thought. OK, I’ve had my piece about Duck and Hippo, but at least they are independently trying to resolve combat tasks. Besides, if we are going to have boneheaded moves anyway, we can at least have aesthetics! On the other side, you won’t see any touching scenes of crews righting CVs and Semoventes flying off ridges trying to regroup. It is not just that it is less fun. There’s simply much less personality in the Manga!Anzio fight.

    In OVA!Anzio, everyone was very chummy in the banquet. Now, of course, the Anzio people are very hospitable, but part of why that meet went well is undoubtedly because of the battle’s content, which gave chances for crews to independently play with each other. It would have been very hard to have that nice banquet had the battle proceeded as in Manga!Anzio. Sportsmanship is one thing, but they hadn’t really had a chance to “play” with each other following both sides’ more structured battle plan.

    • While I don’t agree with you about the tactics, I can see your points on the other issues. Like I said, it’s a close call for me and I can definitely understand why others prefer the OVA version. The OVA version is more fun overall. Without question the OVA’s additional focus on the Duck, Hippo and Rabbit Teams will be more appealing to fans of those respective teams. Actually, probably fans in general since it’s fun to see all the Oarai teams in action. Still, I don’t think that in and of itself makes the manga’s story “weaker”. Some stories are more focused on certain characters than others at times. It’s just different. In terms of Yukari, the manga focuses on her more because the manga is based upon Yukari’s point of view. Overall, the OVA isn’t as singularly focused on the battle as the manga version is. To be clear, I DO like all the other things in the OVA which is why my preference is for a combination of the two, but the battle itself is the deciding factor for me, if barely.

      By far more than the other matches, the OVA Anzio battle IMO is kind of just “there”. Regardless of why, it’s not close and for me the lack of any real tension or excitement was noticeable. Like I said, it wasn’t really satisfying to watch, and dare I say, kind of “silly” at times. The light-hearted, fun atmosphere taken too far in general, lacking the proper balance found in the other matches. Not all of it of course, but certainly “D’oh! I put out 11 docoy’s” (which was funny) AND 7000 pound CV33s tumbling over multiple times from direct hits only to be righted by a couple of high school girls and go right back into action, AND CV33’s maneuvering like stunt cars seamlessly going between forward and reverse, AND “tank kendo”, etc, etc. Conventional isn’t always bad since conventional can also be more realistic. It is fiction and entertainment so there’s always some sort of balance between realism and entertainment factor. Normally Girls und Panzers rides that line well with me. However, for me the OVA pushed that boundary too far. All in all, “unsatisfying” is the word that comes to mind for the OVA version of the battle itself (key – like I said, I enjoyed the other parts). The OVA battle was more “junk food” than “true meal” for me to use an analogy. I don’t think it measured up to the other matches while I think the manga version of the battle does.

      I don’t agree that the tactics in the manga were “cheap”. Certainly not any more “cheap” than the ones in the OVA. If baiting your foes into an area where a tank placed on high ground is cheap, well, then so is the way Oarai won the Anzio match in the OVA because that’s exactly what happened (and I do think that counts as an ambush BTW). As I mentioned, one of Anchovy’s mistake in the manga was lack of appropriate cover, but her ambush was effective if not decisive. Some of Oarai’s teams were taken by surprise and the M3 Lee knocked out early. As for wooden cut-out decoys, if not “cheap”, than certainly kind of silly IMO. Might as well go all the way and have fake balloon tanks ala Operation Fortitude.

      Overall, I do think that the tactics were better in the manga, certainly on the Anzio side. I still question the wisdom of attempting a time-consuming “encirclement” with FOUR offensively viable tanks/TDs. Compare that with baiting Oarai and sniping from high ground. I rank the latter higher. On Oarai’s side, it’s pretty much a wash. In the OVA, the Miho does what Anchovy does in the manga which is to use bait to lead Anchovy and the P40 into a trap. Problem is that the bait in that case was Oarai’s flag tank… alone for a substantial period of time. In the manga, she does something similar, leaving the flag tank to distract Anzio while the Panzer IV and 38(t) go after the P40 before taking out Anzio’s flag tank. I had issues with her focusing on the P40 (which is not the flag tank here), but on the other hand, at least Oarai’s flag tank wasn’t left alone to fend for itself. If you have issues with that in the manga, I would think you would have issues what Miho did in the OVA as well with a much less armored flag tank left to fend for itself. Furthermore, Oarai’s choice of flag tank in the manga was much better. Even if Oarai’s tactics are a wash, I still think Anzio’s tactics better in the manga = better overall tactics than the OVA.

      You make a good point about Miho failing to realize that she might not have made it to the pass first. The B1Bis (even with a working engine) and Type 89 have a top speed of 16-17mph which slows down Oarai (the Panzer IV, StuG III, Panzer 38(t) and M3 Lee all have a top speed of 25-26mph). On the other hand, it’s a bit suspicious that Anzio could not only take the pass first, but also had time to set up a Vanguard on Oarai’s side. The CV33 and P40 have a top speed of 26mph, but the M13/40’s and Semovente 75/18’s tops speed is only 20mph. Maybe the B1Bis’ faulty engine delayed Oarai enough.

  2. I am aware the manga is based on a Yukari-POV. And it is inevitable Yukari would have to get a fair-sized slice of the cake even if it has to be at the expense of the support teams. But that’s not the same as Yukari suddenly advancing to be a deputy commander her first day as TC (to the point where Miho in one of the scenes gives her plan directly to Akiyama rather than to all the tanks), with Anzio’s P40 concentrating on her (this is a poor one in a Watsonian tactical sense and also a Doylist sense) while the other teams main “contribution” is to play the dimbos running into a trap. In general, since this is a story about a team, it is much stronger when all teams have a real part to play. The anime puts a lot of attention to this (and this OVA perhaps most of all). The manga does not and turns everything into Yukari and Miho (often in this order 🙂 ).

    My personal theory, seeing that I don’t really see the manga is canon, is that it is a recording of Akiyama’s daydreams. What Akiyama kind of hoped to have happened throughout the show. Herself playing an even bigger role. Becoming a tank commander. “Serious” battle. All the kind of things Akiyama (who could not tolerate pink and gold tanks) might have wanted.

    The OVA battle admittedly has more fantastical elements, which you guys don’t like so I can understand the de-merit here. It certainly also has less tension – even to the characters in show, which is inevitable considering the relatively weak opposition. After being chased by 6 Shermans, a mere two dinky short-barreled 75mm howitzers clearly seemed like almost an anticlimax 🙂

    Nevertheless, if OVA!Anzio is junk food, at least it tastes good. Also, while the music and atmosphere is indeed light, to penalize the battle for it is IMHO unfair. If you look at it from Anzio’s POV (they are almost co-protagonists, an honor given to no other team), thematically the combat and pre-combat parts can get very heavy fast. Facing an enemy that has defeated Saunders. Their new last hope is still inferior to the enemy’s superweapon (that can kill them to 1500m). Painstaking work on decoys, only to be fouled by a small miss. Their plans getting systematically dismantled. Being flipped and yet rushing out to right themselves and resume a hopeless battle. Being backshot as they try to reunion. It is just as well that all this was presented with light music and laughs. It has all the potential to become a very dark pit.

    I did not say the tactics used by Manga!Anzio are cheap. I said the author’s tactic was cheap. In TVTropes, they call what happened in the manga Idiot Ball, and it isn’t an elegant writing tactic. While your protagonists can and in fact should make some mistakes appropriate to their level, making them stupid for the purposes of advancing your plot is a tactic best avoided. Yes, Pravda is kind of an example of the anime doing the same, but 1) that means you *really* shouldn’t do it for another fight, 2) the precise circumstances justified that Idiot Ball at least partially, making it less Idiot and 3) at least they didn’t keep repeating it. So if Manga!Anzio is a “main meal”, it was made with the cheap materials.

    As for balloon decoys
    1) how are you going to inflate them?
    2) even if you inflate them, balloons tend to have rounded rather than sharply angled edges. This is not the end of the world in real life but in Senshado because battles are often so close, decoys must also be convincing at very close ranges and a rounded edge where a sharp edge should be would be a giveaway (It is also why in some ways it is harder to ambush in Senshado … a lot of hiding places that might just pass muster at 500m don’t work at 50m).
    3) Plywood decoys are just slightly more survivable than balloon decoys. Neither would hold up to much, but if it is only *one* stray bullet or fragment, the plywood decoy might still remain erect. The balloon decoy would deflate.

    >issues with that in the manga

    I was thinking that since the two of you minded very much that Pz38 being left alone, though it was in woods, there was only one enemy and it was forced to fire on the move. I know you two are in the Flag on the Heavy school so I know Manga!Anzio got some points there. Nevertheless, though it has two supporters, it is in the open, exposed, facing six times as many tanks that can fire at it on the stop. The latter is “better”?

    >Maybe the B1Bis’ faulty engine delayed Oarai enough.

    Actually, it is Miho’s choices. They are already, as you note, several km/h slower in speed potential to begin with. Then they used one of the slowest tanks (Type 89, speed 24) for a recce. The other tanks were told to “maintain speed” while “guarding against the surroundings” (despite the fact they are still outside of the enemy’s farthest on circle!). All this means the main body moving at a fraction of its full speed (another way of knowing this is by noting how the B1 was able to catch up at all), and even the scouts spent some time in formation moving at this reduced speed before accelerating for the scouting mission.

    In the meantime, Anzio was likely more aggressive. Maximum speed and no scouting until at least they reach the pass. So they got there first and were able to even advance a bit with a vanguard.

    • @Kazuaki Shimazaki: Long again, but no helping it I suppose.

      But that’s not the same as Yukari suddenly advancing to be a deputy commander her first day as TC (to the point where Miho in one of the scenes gives her plan directly to Akiyama rather than to all the tanks), with Anzio’s P40 concentrating on her…while the other teams main “contribution” is to play the dimbos running into a trap. In general, since this is a story about a team, it is much stronger when all teams have a real part to play. The anime puts a lot of attention to this (and this OVA perhaps most of all). The manga does not and turns everything into Yukari and Miho (often in this order 🙂 ).

      I disagree about Yukari being promoted to tank commander (TC) and subsequently as vice-team commander. If not Yukari, then who? Someone needs to do it in that situation. Yukari doesn’t have any more actual Senshado experience than the rest (except Miho), but she is a tank/Senshado “otaku” which means she has some knowledge of the sport vs. the others (except Miho). To Yukari’s credit, her internal dialog states that she expected Anzio to take the pass first (ch 7, p 29) which is something you criticize Miho for.

      The OVA does focus on other characters more, but in terms of a tactical analysis of the battle, I don’t see how that is relevant. Besides, some of the teams running into a trap is, as you noted, entirely consistent with the anime for the Pravda match, and I don’t think that’s unreasonable. It’s a rookie mistake by a rookie team.

      The manga takes a different perspective which, again, I don’t think in and of itself makes it worse. Of course if one doesn’t like Yukari and/or some other team(s) a lot more, then the story won’t be appealing to them. Personally, while I happen to prefer a wider perspective involving the other teams, I’m fine with a different version with an increased focus for one battle, especially if I consider said battle to be a much more realistic and exciting. JMO and others may certainly disagree.

      My personal theory, seeing that I don’t really see the manga is canon, is that it is a recording of Akiyama’s daydreams. …. All the kind of things Akiyama (who could not tolerate pink and gold tanks) might have wanted.

      Really? Whether or not it is canon is debatable, but suggesting it’s some daydream rather than alternative version of the story strikes me as being overly harsh against Yukari. And Yukari was right about pink, gold, and flag ridden tanks/TD. I’m sure you don’t suggest leaving those paint schemes throughout the tournament. As it was, Oarai quickly fixed that problem after the St. Gloriana’s match and rightfully so.

      After being chased by 6 Shermans, a mere two dinky short-barreled 75mm howitzers clearly seemed like almost an anticlimax 🙂

      Technically three Semovente’s and a P40, all four of which can handily take out Oarai’s Panzer 38(t) flag tank, but I see your point.

      Nevertheless, if OVA!Anzio is junk food, at least it tastes good. Also, while the music and atmosphere is indeed light, to penalize the battle for it is IMHO unfair. … It has all the potential to become a very dark pit.

      In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have posted the “junk food” comment since it can be understandably misconstrued. Here’s the thing. I like “junk food”. Actually, I probably like “junk food” too much. Give me a bag (and not one of those small 1-2oz bags either) of kettle cooked potato chips and I’m a very happy camper. But as delicious as they may be (and they are!), it’s not satisfying in lieu of a well-balanced meal (sadly, I know from experience XD). That’s my problem with the OVA battle (key) and thus the OVA. The OVA battle for me was too light–hearted, too “fantastical” – whatever term you want to use. As I stated in my OVA review, I thought the OVA was quite enjoyable to watch and I had a lot of fun doing so. However, when comparing the two versions, the OVA battle itself left me unsatisfied. The manga’s version of the battle didn’t. It’s just that simple.

      As I stated, it’s a very close call for me. Frankly, a more accurate statement of my opinion would be “each has their own merit and which is better depends upon my mood.” For some reason, I thought I should pick one or the other. Perhaps that was unnecessary. So it’s a tossup which is why my true preference is a combination of the two. Keep the vast majority of the OVA stuff – including the all non-battle stuff, Carpaccio and Pepperoni, and “anime Anchovy”, but no wooden decoys, no acrobatic tankettes, no “tank kendo”, etc., etc. Make the tone of the battle match the other anime matches. Follow the manga’s version of the battle in general (including the team lineups) while adding some screen time for other Oarai teams & Carpaccio/Pepperoni for better integration of the two. Finally, I suspect my opinion is in the minority and that most people, such as Bear, prefer the OVA. Again, as mentioned in my comment, if others do prefer the OVA, I can understand why since I’m on the fence about the question myself.

      FWIW, I don’t think the manga’s battle alone (key) was anymore “grim-dark” than the other matches in the anime. In fact, I think it more closely matches the “barely win, exciting come from behind” feeling of the anime’s matches. Even if you keep “manga Anchovy” et.al., I don’t see it as having “all the potential to become a very dark pit” when series like Elfen Lied, Akame ga Kill and Black Bullet (to name a few) exist. I do agree that the manga’s version of the “Anzio arc” is darker than GuP anime which is why I expressly stated that I do not think you could just use the manga’s version “as is”. Lastly, referring to the StuG III as a “super weapon” in a tournament featuring a Firefly, Panthers, Jagdpanzers, Jagdpanthers, Jagdtiger, Elefant, Tiger I, Tiger(P), King Tiger (Tiger II) and a freaking Maus is an exaggeration to say the least – even from Anzio’s perspective. I think you do Anzio a disservice here by describing their situation as you do. They certainly seemed much more optimistic in the manga AND OVA than you describe. IMO Anzio could have won with a better plan and better execution.

      I did not say the tactics used by Manga!Anzio are cheap. I said the author’s tactic was cheap. In TVTropes, they call what happened in the manga Idiot Ball, and it isn’t an elegant writing tactic. … So if Manga!Anzio is a “main meal”, it was made with the cheap materials.

      I’ll be honest. I don’t see how you can divorce the two. If someone was “cheap” when buying a gift, it’s because the gift itself was cheap. Even if you could divorce the two, then the tactics themselves (which is what’s important IMO) are not “cheap” as you say which I would think reinforces my position about the manga having better tactics. Furthermore, the manga is an alternate version of the story. It deviated substantially from the anime here (e.g. tank lineups for both teams, match field terrain) so why would it repeat the anime’s version of the Pravda match verbatim? I’d be more surprised if it did (assuming the manga is even ongoing).

      You say the manga isn’t canon in your opinion, yet you argue something by incorporating it into the anime’s world as if it is canon and the OVA didn’t exist (i.e. #1 in your comment). That strikes me as inconsistent. To be honest, I don’t see how this is any worse or more of an “Idiot Ball” situation than what happened in the Pravda match, especially since Oarai in the Pravda match has one more match’s worth of experience. Furthermore, I think applying the “Idiot Ball” trope both here and to the Pravda match is too harsh and unwarranted. As noted above, IMO it’s a rookie mistake by a rookie team in both cases.

      As for balloon decoys

      I was being flippant rather than serious in that suggesting that, but if you want to take it at face value, carry a couple of filled scuba tanks (or some other tank of compressed air) and problem solved. As for durability, I don’t agree. So what if the plywood decoy is still standing? (A) you have a visible hole clear through it which you would NOT get with a tank/TD, and (B) unless Oarai (or some other team) is totally clueless about their opponent’s tanks/TDs/tankettes, they should know that you’re not going to penetrate even a CV33’s armor with .30 cal or 7.6-7.7mm MG fire. The CV33 was designed to withstand that much. Just to be clear, I’m not really suggesting balloon decoys, but rather something like balloons or cut out decoys are rather silly IMO. Cut-out decoys fit with the OVA’s light, fun first tone (and again, I did laugh at Pepperoni’s mistake), but still silly IMO nonetheless.

      Nevertheless, though it has two supporters, it is in the open, exposed, facing six times as many tanks that can fire at it on the stop. The latter is “better”?

      You raise a valid point. I’m not sure what Bear’s opinion on the matter, but for me, the choice of flag tank and the fact that there are two other Oarai tanks to draw (e.g. the B1Bis) and/or return fire makes it “better”. NOT good, but better to some degree. It’s manga so “on the stop” can not be readily determined from the pages. Certainly the Type 89 and B1Bis were on the move so I think it’s more reasonable to presume the StuG III was moving as well. Why do you presume the StuG III was stationary the entire time during that part of the battle?

      Given the apparent distances, the StuG III should be impervious from the front to attack by the M13/40’s assuming AP rounds. Also, being fired upon (effective fire to be precise) tends to make people miss more often. Something we’ve seen a lot of in Senshado. Two other tanks with the flag tank mean that they can help shield the StuG III (e.g. the Type 89). Lastly, both the B1Bis and StuG III can take out Anzio’s tanks – including Anzio’s flag tank. Compare that with the OVA where the Panzer 38(t) flag tank is left all alone, and can’t do a thing but run and hope they don’t get hit. That’s worse IMO.

      Actually, it is Miho’s choices. All this means the main body moving at a fraction of its full speed (another way of knowing this is by noting how the B1 was able to catch up at all), and even the scouts spent some time in formation moving at this reduced speed before accelerating for the scouting mission.

      Well, it does make sense that the main force moves slower than the scouts. Don’t see how that was a mistake. Also, you could look at the situation another way. Miho did suspect that Anzio would take the pass first, but it’s prudent to at least verify Anzio actually did so not to mention verifying enemy positions if they did. Thus, scouting looks like the right call to me. Where Oarai ran into trouble in the manga was when some teams rushed after Anzio’s retreating tanks ala the Pravda match despite Miho’s immediate order not to do so. Again, I don’t see this as “carrying the Idiot Ball” or “cheap writing” as much as a novice high school team getting overly excited and confident leading to a rookie mistake.

    • As a general rule, if I haven’t addressed one of your points please don’t assume that means I agree with you or disagree. All that means is I haven’t addressed that comment. For the most part unless I’ve specifically commented otherwise, my view of the manga is very close to diakama’s so you can assume I’m in agreement with his comments also.

      >While the manga battle is indeed more “conventional”, that’s not really the same as it having “better tactics”. The ‘tension’ in the manga battle is in essence formed by problematic decisions. First, Miho failed to predict in advance that she simply was not going to be able to get to the pass before Anzio (with faster tanks) and plan her battle accordingly (time-space calculation failure).

      How would she be able to calculate that she wouldn’t get there first given that she had no way of knowing the distances each team was from the pass nor what the terrain conditions were on the other side? Her deployment of scouts shows that she considered that possibility.

      >Yes, OK, I know it mentioned the word “ambush” and that may have been the big attraction 🙂 . I must note, however, that from appearances, most “ambushes” in Manga!Anzio are not the stereotypical “fire ambush”. Instead, it is more of an attack out of concealed positions (the positions where we see them firing are way too exposed).

      Though we tend to think of an ambush as firing from concealed positions, any surprise attack from concealment is also called an ambush. Calling it a surprise attack doesn’t change the situation. I think most readers would understand the use of ambush in this context.

      >Manga!Anzio just got to execute more of their plan as planned – 80% because Manga!Miho was less sharp and 20% because Manga!Anzio did not have Pepperoni.

      I’ll agree that Pepperoni helped OVA!Oarai immensely ☺ , but not that Manga!Miho was less sharp. She caught on that the situation seemed questionable and deduced that Anzio was trying to draw them into an ambush. For that matter, what about Manga!Anchovy totally missing that two of Oarai’s meager number of tanks suddenly went missing? She had the best visibility of anyone in the match.

      >You actually see a much wider variety of tactics, and in far greater subtlety than the good old “mealtime” angling tactic, in OVA!Anzio.

      I think you see more of a meelee tactics in OVA!Anzio than actual battle tactics. After Anzio’s plan fails things are mostly chaos. Fun to watch, but little unit level tactics. Both teams in the manga were fighting as units.

      >In OVA!Anzio, everyone was very chummy in the banquet. Now, of course, the Anzio people are very hospitable, but part of why that meet went well is undoubtedly because of the battle’s content, which gave chances for crews to independently play with each other.

      Chummy?! Sportsmanship?! After the way Manga:Anchovy acted towards Miho both before and after the match? Even Katyusha was magnanimous in defeat. Anchovy was bitter and nasty.

      >The OVA battle admittedly has more fantastical elements, which you guys don’t like so I can understand the de-merit here.

      I didn’t dislike the more fantastical elements in the OVA and I thought that was clear from the first review and here. All I was saying was that from a military standpoint I felt the manga battle was more realistic both from the way the tanks acted and how the battle progressed. We don’t see CV33’s go flipping end over end or a Type 89 dancing on one track for examples. This post was talking about the tactics and the tanks acted more like tanks in the manga than in the OVA. Which I found interesting from that viewpoint.

      >Nevertheless, if OVA!Anzio is junk food, at least it tastes good. Also, while the music and atmosphere is indeed light, to penalize the battle for it is IMHO unfair.

      I don’t think of the OVA as junk food. (Actually, the food looked pretty damn good. ☺) It was great and the comments I’ve made here are just related to the logic of the tactical situations in the OVA and the manga. I thought that was clear in my comparison of the two.

      >I was thinking that since the two of you minded very much that Pz38 being left alone, though it was in woods, there was only one enemy and it was forced to fire on the move. I know you two are in the Flag on the Heavy school so I know Manga!Anzio got some points there. Nevertheless, though it has two supporters, it is in the open, exposed, facing six times as many tanks that can fire at it on the stop. The latter is “better”?

      One involved making a choice (of exposing the flag tank as bait) and the other was a situation imposed by their opponents. If Manga!Miho had stayed with the StuG the odds were that they would be beaten by shear numbers. The P40 had the high ground and it was only a matter of time before they lost IMO.

      >Actually, it is Miho’s choices. They are already, as you note, several km/h slower in speed potential to begin with. Then they used one of the slowest tanks (Type 89, speed 24) for a recce.

      What else is it good for except as bait? ☺ Of course here the discussion has veered into real world capabilities of the tanks in terms of speed, but in the OVA they’re racing around like greyhounds.

      >In the meantime, Anzio was likely more aggressive. Maximum speed and no scouting until at least they reach the pass. So they got there first and were able to even advance a bit with a vanguard.

      True that Anzio was more aggressive, but they’re also a more experienced team and in the manga have a decided material advantage with three M13/40s and the P40. Miho has an inexperienced team, a ragtag group of tanks, undermanned tanks and frankly a somewhat undisciplined team. Knowing that, caution seems like a good place to start from. Consider the reverse. If Miho had gotten there first, then Anzio might have been devastated by their overly aggressive advance without scouts. Certainly losing their vanguard or sustaining major loses.

      • @Hello, Bear:
        First, for my first reply, I wasn’t “targeting” you or daikama specifically, more giving my view of the two battles.

        How would she be able to calculate that she wouldn’t get there first given that she had no way of knowing the distances each team was from the pass nor what the terrain conditions were on the other side? Her deployment of scouts shows that she considered that possibility.

        It seems Anchovy has no problems making this computation.

        A lot of information gets exchanged before the match, to include a map of the area (even photos of vital regions), so terrain conditions are explicitly known.
        1) Now admittedly, it is not explicitly stated or shown that the starting location of both teams are provided.
        2) On the other hand, it is explicit in the manga that the approach direction is known, which leaves the distance.
        2a) For one thing, have you ever seen a battle where the starting location is not equisdistant from the map center at opposite ends of the map?
        2b) There is also the equality principle – if for example Anzio was placed only 1km from the vital pass, it’d be a gross violation of equality. While the rules may tolerate great inequality in equipment, that’s not the same as the committees themselves deciding on an inequality.
        2c) In Ep10 (and the equivalent in the manga BTW), Miho assessed the enemy will not hit them during their run to Point 207. Obviously, she guessed wrong – shortcuts aside, Maho drove her tanks harder than Miho expected her to. Nevertheless, she’ll have no basis to make such a statement if the opponent’s starting position is not known.

        Thus, overall, the evidence is on the side that the enemy’s starting location is either known or can be deduced to a good level of accuracy.

        Though we tend to think of an ambush as firing from concealed positions, any surprise attack from concealment is also called an ambush.

        I don’t debate that. However, it seemed that you and daikama both want “ambushes” in the OVA. I just point out that if these “shock ambushes” are ambushes to you too, then OVA!Anzio should be given a pass as well because they were going to do it, with those two Semoventes. Oarai just pre-empted them.

        I did not say that Anchovy didn’t make any mistakes. Nevertheless, in the OVA, Miho managed to pre-empt Anchovy’s plans, and in the manga her main force fell in the trap. I think it is fair to say OVA!Miho was sharper (but see below).

        Both teams in the manga were fighting as units.

        And the unit thing, if it makes the battle more “conventional” and “realistic”, also means that a lesser variety of tactics were employed, because there are fewer maneuver elements. For example, say what you will about Pepperoni, but she coordinated a very smooth encirclement on the moving Type 89 – that the bullets are bouncing should not be allowed to negate that feat. As I mentioned, Rabbit Team survived against the Semoventes by using a mixture of maneuver, distance and terrain that pre-empted the Semoventes’ fire control OODA loops so all their attacks failed. There’s also a registration shoot using weapons with two grossly different ballistics. All these are also tactics and combat techniques, and quite frankly fascinate me more than the rather simplistic Manga battle which involved some bait, firing into a fire sack, mealtime angling and Miho sneaking up behind the P40.

        Anchovy was bitter and nasty.

        I said they were very chummy in the OVA, not the manga.

        One involved making a choice (of exposing the flag tank as bait) and the other was a situation imposed by their opponents.

        As you yourself pointed out, they could have tried retreating (preferably as soon as they are ambushed). The correlation of force is not that poor – in fact, with the CVs downed, it is 6 on six. The enemy has 3 M13/40s, which has only a somewhat higher combat coefficients of the 38(t). The StuG and the M3 is overall superior to 2 short-barreled howitzers, and then they have a PzIV with long barrel and a B1bis.

        But then, maybe they could have avoided all this… you might have wondered why Miho did not know which side the P40 was on, and why there were 4 tanks instead of three. As you know, I don’t usually think very hard about the manga (it being non-canon to me and I didn’t like it that much in general), but for this discussion I’ve re-read that darn battle a few times, and I came to the conclusion that it is because the author did a flashback without using sufficient signaling devices (considering he’s jumping b/w Chapters).

        The correct chronological sequence is as follows:
        0) Everything was linear up to
        1) P.10 of Ch8: Miho goes “Akiyama-san, I’m giving you the instructions for our plan”. Now, note the little panels with darkening grey on the bottom-left.
        2) P.5-8 of Chapter 9: Note the bottom left panel with “Akiyama-san, this is the plan.” This is the English. In Japanese, both were 秋山さん、作戦を伝えます, the exact same words. Also, Note the grey outsides leading to black again, showing the interlinkage. Now you see the start of a flashback (signalled by the outer sections being all black). You see the “Map 3”, then the 4 tanks. The flashback ends (black returning to white) on the top half of P.8.
        3) P.11-18 of Ch8: An un-suspecting Rabbit Team (look at Sawa’s face) advances into the pass and is engaged by a M13. Duck seems equally unaware. Rabbit taken out, Akiyama calling the P40’s position as “three o’ clock at 700” on P.18.
        4) P.1-5 of Ch9: Continue reading right up to the flashback.
        5) P.8-13 of Ch9: Fight continues. Akiyama says “I told Miss Nishizumi the location of the P40!” After that, the fight goes linearly.

        Ugh, what poor cheoreography! If we accept this variant, then the mystery gets solved. Except for one thing … why is Rabbit Team and Duck Team unaware? I’m sorry to have to slam the manga again, but one has to suspect they never heard the conversation. Note how starting on the lower half of P.5 of Ch8, Miho starts directly addressing most of her messages to “Akiyama-san” rather than all vehicles. The only exception is with “Everyone! We’re walking into”, but read it carefully. Miho said みなさん (Everyone), not 全車両 (All vehicles). The latter is explicitly to all vehicles. The former not necessarily so. For example, it could mean only those on a special radio net. At all other times it is Akiyama-san.

        Now, notice in the flashback, there are only three known subscribers on the radio net – Miho, Yukari and the Student Council. Nobody else has a comment? Not even a “We’ll be all right!” from her loyal teams to Miho’s latest stunt? And then they advanced completely unsuspecting into the trap?

        Am I allowed to conclude that starting P.5/Ch8, Miho shifted to a private command frequency with only her HQ as subscribers? The entire warning of the enemy scheme and her plan was transmitted over a channel her “mook” teams could not even hear?

        What do people that seem to like the manga more than me think?

        If Miho had gotten there first, then Anzio might have been devastated by their overly aggressive advance without scouts. Certainly losing their vanguard or sustaining major loses.

        If. But she didn’t. Manga!Anzio merely did their furthest-on circle math correctly and moved accordingly. Alternatively, if we assume Miho could have gotten there first, she could have gotten the positive result, so in doing a slow advance, she handed the position to the enemy. That’s not completely indefensible, but in that case she will have to brief her crews accordingly, and she did not mentally prepare them for it … which led to the later events.

        • @Kazuaki Shimazaki:

          Going to jump in on your discussion with Bear if you don’t mind. First and foremost, I want to thank you for clarifying the whole flashback deal. I’ve read flashbacks in other manga before, but I’ve got to say, this was the most confusing one I’ve read. So again, thank you, and we’ve updated our tactical review in light of the flashback’s significance. It does clear some things up.

          What do people that seem to like the manga more than me think?

          Well, my first thought is that the flashback presentation is terrible, confusing and unnecessary. Why the hell are you using a flashback for something like 30 minutes (guesstimate) earlier that occurred between the same people at the same place? It’s a very poor attempt at adding “tension” to a match which doesn’t need that.. In short, I do NOT like it to the extent that if I had to choose either the entire manga or OVA version intact/”as is”, I’ll take the OVA. As I said before, my choice between the two “as is” was a toss-up, but the flashback tips the balance in favor of the OVA. Bleh. So needlessly confusing and disjointed. “Ugh, what poor choreography!” indeed. Just to be clear, presentation methodology and the battle events for me are two different things. I still prefer the manga’s “flow of battle” or “what happened” better. Just more exciting, realistic, etc. IMO as I noted above.

          Now, notice in the flashback, there are only three known subscribers on the radio net – Miho, Yukari and the Student Council.

          Not the way I see it at all. Momo and two other teams are shown (ch 9, p. 07) which tells me that ALL of Oarai’s teams knew about MIho’s plan. Is it really necessary to show ALL the teams listening to the plan? You want to criticize the manga for what’s not being shown = didn’t happen, yet we didn’t see them switching over to some sort of “subnet” or a statement about “having a private conversation” either as you suggest. To suggest something like a subnet radio conference is not only taking things too far in terms of finding fault IMO, but also inconsistent with Miho’s character of focusing on her teammates. In ch. 09, p 37 Miho exclaims “For me comrades are more important than victory!” To suggest Miho would go so far as to be secretive and “dupe” the other teams to win is inconsistent and unfair to Miho.

          The only exception is with “Everyone! We’re walking into”, but read it carefully. Miho said みなさん (Everyone), not 全車両 (All vehicles). The latter is explicitly to all vehicles. The former not necessarily so. For example, it could mean only those on a special radio net. At all other times it is Akiyama-san.

          “Everyone” = EVERYONE. Period. Frankly, I would say “Everyone” over “All vehicles” especially for an exclamatory statement. As for “private conversations” and “subnet” radio, again, is it really necessary to show everyone listening to every conversation? Visually, that would be both repetitive and awkward not to mention a waste of limited chapter space Again, if we are just going by “what we see”, we never saw “switch to private subnet channel”. Again, same issue above about character inconsistency with Miho. Sorry, but to me that comment. is the same as the one above – it strikes me as trying too hard to find fault with the manga where there is no fault in that instance to be found.

        • I’d like to add my thanks to daikama’s for your catching the flashback. A lack of familiarity with manga conventions made things very confusing though once you pointed it out it became clear what the chronology was.

          Now as to ambushes, given the flashback, we know that Miho had set her plan previous to entering the pass itself. Sawa is in the lead and sees no tanks in the pass (Chp8Pg11). As she is reporting this she is fired upon having not seen any of the Anzio tanks. I would call that an ambush. Whether they break from cover after that does not mitigate the fact that Oarai was ambushed by your definition (shots fired from concealment).

          I said they were very chummy in the OVA, not the manga.

          Yes, but you stated that the OVA battle allowed them to have a nice banquet because they could “play” with each other. Anchovy stated that they did those banquets all the time, which implies that, however the battle played out, they would have had the banquet. We differ on their reaction in different circumstances in the OVA, but from my point of view, OVA!Anzio is a fun loving group and would still be friendly regardless of the battle. My point was that the way Anchovy acted in the manga showed a completely different attitude that Anchovy (and presumably the team) had towards the match and their opponents. That was more important to the camaraderie between the teams than how the battle played out. In neither version did either team not play fair. There was just a major difference in Anchovy’s personality.

          Except for one thing … why is Rabbit Team and Duck Team unaware?

          I disagree that they’re unaware just because you don’t see or hear them respond to Miho’s orders. Your private command frequency is just supposition on your part as I see it. Miho having “mook” teams flies in the face of everything we know about her personality. That’s something her mother’s philosophy would have in it. Now if a lieutenant gives his platoon sergeant standing in front of his platoon an order for the platoon do does the rest of the platoon respond? No, only the sergeant says “yes sir”. In this case the order was directed at Yukari. Of course the others wouldn’t respond. So I see no reason to believe that this is not the case. Miho is giving commands to Yukari to act in her place. None of the others need to respond, nor should they. You see Momo as being given the orders but not the rest of the team. I see her as just representing the rest of the team. She isn’t even the Turtle tank commander.

          Now, with the flashback straightened out, we can see Miho had a plan and executed it once she understood the disposition of her opponent. Of course it was her usual high risk plan, but consistent with her usual approach. Her main concern was the P40,which she had rightly deduced would be on one of the ridges. The four tanks she sent into the pass were a counter to keep Anzio occupied while she flanked them. She let Anchovy think that her ambush (or surprise attack if you wish) had worked. Notice that Anchovy never once considered where the Panzer IV and 38(t) were. She had seen them when she visited the Oarai team so she was well aware that they were part of the team. You can critique Miho’s risky approach, but Anchovy is the one who wasn’t paying attention to what was going on. Now from the image of Sawa and her words as she reports, you conclude that she is unaware of the plan. Her surprise can certainly be assumed to be from the sudden taking of fire from an unseen opponent and not from lack of knowledge of the plan. Suddenly being surrounded by exploding shells when they saw no one would cause anyone to react with surprise.

          So to summarize, I think you have to make too many suppositions for me to accept your scenario as valid, and there are other simpler explanations that fit both what happened and the personalities of the characters. We have a very different view of these issues and I doubt if either one of us will sway the other.

  3. (I am trying out the HTML in WordPress commenting function here, so forgive me if something doesn’t come out quite right)

    I disagree about Yukari being promoted to tank commander (TC) and subsequently as vice-team commander. If not Yukari, then who

    In essence Manga!Miho “promoted” Yukari over Erwin’s head. If their past resumes are used as a guide, Erwin with her knowledge of military history is at least as good a candidate.

    While the manga tends to buff Yukari, in the anime, she is ill-suited to be the deputy commander – she has the knowledge but she doesn’t use it. She has her useful roles, gathering intelligence and all, and she knows the minutae of tanks. But she does not give tactical advice like a deputy commander or even adjutant should. She says, after the decoys are busted as such, something along the lines of “That’s not bad (やりますね), deception tactics (欺瞞作戦なんて)” … BUT she does not suggest beforehand they might just be decoys. You might also remember in the end, it was Saori that gave Miho the hint to the Maus, and Yukari was, “It is a Maus….”

    To Yukari’s credit, her internal dialog states that she expected Anzio to take the pass first (ch 7, p 29) which is something you criticize Miho for.

    I had to actually look up the English version of this one, because that’s not *exactly* what Yukari said. In the original Japanese she said, “峠を先に押さえたかと思いきや” which is closer to “Just as I thought (思いきや) they’ve taken the pass first (峠を先に押さえたかと)” – I will point out as further support of my version that she does not show any prior sign of recognizing that Anzio was going to take the pass first, so if she did say as the English scanlator suggested she’s ‘Monday-morning quarterbacking’.

    Nevertheless, if we accept Yukari’s statement as translated by the English scanlation as the truth, it further goes to my point that the manga is all too often Yukari then Miho (and the rest … well where are they?) – and that’s not very good.

    You may remember how ecstatic I am that Azusa managed to employ fire-control in the OVA, but that I was disappointed at Miho’s training session (in essence, failure of fire control technique)? Here’s why. It is not necessarily a problem that Miho cannot do it properly (in fact, it is consistent) or Azusa can (it has a great thematic meaning). However, the combination of Azusa *can* and Miho *can’t* is really dubious. Azusa should not be able to get ahead of Miho in a tactical problem at this early stage! Yet she did, and the author presented it in nearly a direct comparison. So despite how happy I am as a Rabbit Team fan, I also think, “Author, did you know what you’ve just said?”

    At least the OVA, thematically, gives some balance. Rabbit Team’s good things are subdued. Hippo and Duck got a lot of flashy bits that probably got noted a lot more. Manga!Anzio is Yukari’s show, thematically and tactically, Doylist and Watsonian.

    suggesting it’s some daydream rather than alternative version of the story strikes me as being overly harsh against Yukari.

    I’m pretty much a single continuity person, so I don’t really go for “alternative versions”. You are either canon (or for stories with canon / official divides … in-continuity or out of it) or not. In the former case, I use your feed in any computation. In the latter I don’t.

    In any case, I don’t see how it being a “daydream” is necessarily a blow against Yukari. As you point out, in terms of her “resume”, Yukari may well be best qualified to be a deputy commander, yet in the anime she doesn’t. It is not necessarily a blow against Yukari to suggest that somewhere in her mind, she might just have been thinking “I should have done a little more” and this manga is the manifestation of that.

    tactical analysis of the battle

    I agree. But after that you also decided to add in which version you liked more. You’d notice I actually said fairly little about your tactical analysis, much less than last time (because I generally agree), and mostly went for the “which version you liked more” part. You may notice I went a lot more for thematics this time (as befits a “like” thing) rather than coldly analyzing their flaws and accomplishments from a Watsonian perspective.

    manga’s version of the battle in general (including the team lineups) while adding some screen time for other Oarai teams & Carpaccio/Pepperoni for better integration of the two

    I am no stranger to be the holder of minority opinions, but TBH, I don’t see how you can keep most of the OVA while changing it to the manga version of the battle, even if I remove the requirement to “hook up” to that ending in Ep7 – a real constraint.

    Remember that “real” screentime is not just shifting the camera to them once in a while, but getting them to perform in a useful way. Unfortunately, the manga battle is fundamentally designed so that a few people can have any real contributions.

    In the first phase, there’s the commander of the main force (Miho) and the commander of the scouts. The OVA takes care to add a crossroads which not only creates a strategic point, but splits the surveyed area into two halves, allowing both Duck and Rabbit some real screentime. The manga battle has the scout point before the “crossroads” thus the two scouting teams are in essence one element, giving only *one* opportunity for any screentime (basically, it was allocated to Duck).

    In the second phase, which would take up most of the time, there would be the commander of the center force and the commander of the tank on the side that the P40 is. Even the one on the other side is in a much weaker position. The rest are in essence part of the center force – read one maneuver element and even if you switch the camera to them getting pummeled once in a while … well, they still look like mooks.

    Let me put it this way. Suppose we do the manga battle in the OVA. Instead of Yukari, we give Azusa charge of the center force (that should at least make me happy). Of course, that would mean the Char B1 will be the one that gets disabled instead.

    Well, guess what, I’m still not happy because
    1) the battle will still have Duck and Hippo as essentially total mooks firing away.
    2) The battle will, if conventional and “realistic” look extremely visually unappealing … just tanks shooting at each other. Yeah, they kind of did that in Ep11, but it is only *one* element of the battle.
    3) As I said, the OVA version actually shows more subtle tactics such as OODA loop interruptions.
    Overall, I will give up my chance to see Azusa as a platoon commander of 4 tanks (soon to be 3) for what’s in the OVA.

    They certainly seemed much more optimistic in the manga AND OVA than you describe. IMO Anzio could have won with a better plan and better execution.

    Yes, but that’s tactics, which we did in the last post. Today, I talk thematics. As I said, the author took a light tack. But change the music and a few things, and the OVA battle’s content can be very dark (at least for Anzio, there are limitations to how dark you can get for Oarai when they can only lose 1 vehicle, and they already lost it).

    As for the superweapon, yes the StuG is not quite as “superweapon” as the ones you mentioned (you missed the IS-2, BTW, and even a T-34/85 or Panzer IV-H can look grim for Anzio), but to Anzio it still can count. That’s part of the tragedy too, if the author wants to go that road.

    so why would it repeat the anime’s version of the Pravda match verbatim? I’d be more surprised if it did (assuming the manga is even ongoing).

    In fact, the manga has finished – just that not everything is scanlated yet. One reason the scanlation stopped for so long is from what I hear because the manga and the anime were essentially identical in their treatment of the Pravda match down to the church, the freezing, the singing … etc. Heck, the Pravda parts have (finally) come out at ak-scans as are the runups to KMM (which are also mostly the same as far as the battle is concerned) – you can check them for yourself.

    Anyway, the line to draw “rookie team making rookie mistake” and “Idiot Ball” can admittedly be a fine one, but here is why the manga is inferior here:
    1) In the anime, they are floating a bit from the wipeout of the Anzio OVA, while the manga is essentially two Idiot Balls in a row.
    2) Taking *only* the Manga!Anzio fight vs the Pravda fight, the initial decision to advance in one group (in the usual close order) is explicitly stated as something Miho had considered herself, but rejected. Her easy acceptance is indicative of the closeness of the decision within herself. In fact, we never even see exactly what Miho’s “slow” plan looked like. If it is just the whole group moving more slowly, then they just fall into the ambush a bit later. If it involved recce / security elements, remember that the terrain is very open – if they see the enemy, the enemy can see them. For example, they put out a scout and it bumps into that little 3-tank van group … well, it’d be spotted and very likely killed. In fact, the effort to save the scout element may well be the thing that traps the main group. In short, there are quite a few factors supporting The Rapid Advance there to the point despite TVTrope’s opinion it can count as Not an Idiot Ball.
    3) For the 2nd phase, where they lost control (Manga!Oarai’s Anzio Idiot Ball starts here). Undoubtedly there’s a mistake there. However, even then, they are more justified. Anzio’s force is one that, to some extent, they don’t have to rush to kill – they have enough force relative to the enemy to win cautiously. Pravda is a much superior force but “for some reason” it seems to be getting worsted. The pressure to use momentum and defeat-in-detail as an advantage (perhaps their only advantage) is much greater than in the Anzio fight.
    4) A second difference is that while they might have predicted Pravda might try to set up an ambush in the village, they don’t actually see them, so it is a guess. In Manga!Anzio, they already know there are some tanks already deployed on the ridge, yet they still charge. It is equivalent to them actually seeing some signs of ambushing tanks in the Pravdan village and continuing their head on charge anyway.
    5) At least in Pravda Miho tried to pull her elements out of the trap, while she does not in the Manga!Anzio.

    carry a couple of filled scuba tanks (or some other tank of compressed air) and problem solved.

    You propose to carry compressed air (fire hazard) into a tank fight? Remember, the original plan was for 9 decoys out of 11. So they can’t use up all their air. It also is very dependent on them being able to find scuba tanks of the right capacity so as not to overinflate or underinflate the balloon. If they have to keep changing tanks again it becomes more troublesome. Further, they have to recollect the tanks as they leave to avoid them being spotted. Overall it is a lot more trouble.

    So what if the plywood decoy is still standing?

    I said stray and singular. Depending on the distance, the hole can be very obvious, or not so obvious. With a balloon, it’d deflate (maybe even burst) and be obvious at any distance.

    The only real advantage of the balloon decoy is that it is 3D and so can resist scrutiny from a far off angle. If that is not a requirement, the disdvantage can be ignored. And using decoys is hardly light and silly, as you point out its essence is a serious, military, thus realistic requirement.

    Why do you presume the StuG III was stationary the entire time during that part of the battle?

    I did not say the StuG III was completely stationary. I said the enemy tanks can fire at it on the stop. Generally, it is harder to hit even a stopped target from a moving tank than it is to hit a moving target from a stopped tank.

    In OVA!Anzio, the woods and the rapid movement of the 38(t) means that Anchovy has to keep moving just to keep it in sight. Which means on the move firing, trees in the way … etc.

    the StuG III should be impervious from the front to attack by the M13/40’s assuming AP rounds.

    But it is surrounded by several enemy tanks in a wide arc. In those circumstances, under concentrated fire, it will be very hard to ensure the front is angled towards all the enemies and some will get flank shots. I’ll grant you the suppression effect, but question if it is worth 6. (Remember that with three tanks, with one being a Type 89, they can only suppress 3 tanks at a time). The 75mm on the Char B1bis is un-usable because Akiyama is angling the tank to defend against Anzio’s P40, and with a 1 degree traverse the chances of it being angled for defence and in a position suitable to shoot an Anzio tank is low.

    Well, it does make sense that the main force moves slower than the scouts.

    Here’s what Miho should do. First, she should estimate times and distances. *Can* her force reach the ridge before Anzio?

    1) No = In this case, Miho should prepare for Assault. In such a case, cautious advance and the scouts are not a bad idea, but she should have warned them of the chance the enemy does not only hold the ridge, but some of the terrain ahead. Further, she should brief the other crews in such a way that they are to go into battle assuming there is a large, substantive force on the ridge. This should pre-empt the whole Idiot Ball. We see no signs of this.

    2) Maybe = In this case, Miho must look at the odds and decide whether she wants to try. If No refer to #1, if Yes refer to #3.

    3) Yes, if we hurry = In this case, Miho must advance towards the hill at maximum speed. That would mean the absence of a scouting effort, except perhaps by abandoning formation running, just letting them race for the ridge independently and asking whoever manages to get ahead to report what they see. However, this is safe if it is outside of the enemy’s farthest on circle, and arguably an acceptable risk considering the terrain advantage.

    4) Yes, comfortably = This is unlikely because the ridge is a piece of key terrain. While terrain is natural and so a battlefield completely neutral to both sides cannot exist, gross disparities like this should be spotted and avoided during the setup phase.

    In short, we can think Miho miscalculated. Or she calculated correctly but took a half measure decision which endangered her scouts and created “favorable” conditions for the Idiot Ball event to take place. Either way I score OVA!Miho higher.

  4. @daikama August 12, 2014 at 5:56 pm
    First you are welcome.

    I’ll concede that the lack of explicit observation of the switchover is a weakness in my theory. But then, if we actually catch them doing that, it won’t be “just” a theory or inference anymore, won’t it?

    Here’s the problem though, Daikama. Before this little revelation on the correct chronological order, you contended that Oarai’s little ‘runaway’ is still on the “rookie team making rookie mistake” rather than “Cheap Idiot Ball” part of the scale.

    But now, the observed fact is that Rabbit and Duck entered into the pass completely unaware. If you say that Miho’s warning and instructions were on the Open Net, then we’ll have to accept that Rabbit and Duck completely missed or ignored that very long conversation. This is not on the level of them ignoring Miho’s meek, short and little “Please wait!” in Ep8. So we either slam Miho or we slam Rabbit & Duck.

    Now for some extra observed facts. Access to information is not co-equal in Oarai. The most “democratic” was actually for St. Glorianna, when Momo briefed all the tank commanders on her concept. For Saunders, they supposedly had a brief of some sort. We can’t see other details but it is doubtful for example Yukari’s hard-won video was shared.

    For the Anzio battle (OVA), you’d notice the other tank commanders are not in the morning meeting – only the Student Council and the Anglerfish crew. You might also notice that during the last minute get together, Miho discusses her plan not with all commanders, but the Student Council.

    For the Pravda battle, perhaps the height of Miho’s isolation, Miho apparently works alone on her plan. Apparently the Anglerfish crew was informed, but no one else (not even the Student Council this time!) was until 5 minutes before the game. The decision was delivered without any explanation of the situation. It is not hard to understand why it did not sell.

    For the KMM battle, presumably communications got better, but the visible pre-battle meeting scenes are all, again with the Student Council.

    Thus, access of information is approximately: Regular Crew < Tank Commanders < Student Council and Anglerfish.

    Given these circumstances, the fact that Yukari (Anglerfish member), the Student Council and Miho (along with the rest of Anglerfish) were explicitly on the net is not exactly proof that everyone else is. Also, while the "Private Radio Net" is taking things to a new level, it would at least be consistent with how information is (not) shared in other circumstances.

    Or do you have a Watsonian alternative?

    • @Kazuaki Shimazak: I admit I rushed through the manga version too fast since we tried to get this review done ASAP after the anime tactical review (the original plan was to do this both as one article which of course would have been far too long). In my haste, I got the wrong idea about the sequence of events. Lesson learned. With the flashback sorted it out, things were made clear.

      Miho’s plan in the manga was to have the bulk of Oarai’s team deliberately walk into Anzio’s trap as a decoy to buy time for the Panzer IV and Panzer 38(t) to go to either side of the ridge and take out the P40. Like we said, Miho has this tendency to use the flag tank as bait/in high risk situations. So yeah, my first hypothesis which was based upon an incorrect understanding of the flow of battle due to the flashback was wrong (still amazed that someone thought the flashback was a good idea) . There is no “rookie mistake” of rushing into a trap as with Pravda because it was done deliberately. Now to what extent that was a good idea we’ve already discussed thoroughly.

      The way I now read the manga’s version is the opposite of you, and it is not an “observed fact” that the “Rabbit and Duck entered into the pass completely unaware.” Instead, they knew what they were getting into. To me that is entirely consistent with the presentation with the flashback sorted out. Furthermore, just because you know the enemy is “somewhere nearby” does not mean you know exactly where, so there still can be some element of surprise. For example, you may know the enemy is somewhere in a house, but as to which room exactly…

      This also eliminates one of your complaints about the manga “doing the same thing twice in a row” (i.e. Oarai accidentally rushes into an ambush). It’s the other way around here. Oarai purposefully used Anzio’s ambush as part of Miho’s plan. No question it was risky, but definitely not the same as “Oops, we fell into a trap” when you do so on purpose.

      So we either slam Miho or we slam Rabbit & Duck.

      No, we don’t. In fact, when did Bear or I “slam” the Rabbit or Duck teams in either of our tactical reviews? In the manga, the Duck and Rabbit Teams did what they could in their assigned roles. They were asked to do a tough job and they accomplished the mission as a team. Just because they didn’t get the flag tank kill doesn’t mean their contributions were meaningless. The Rabbit Team took out two Anzio tanks (the same number as in the OVA). The Duck team made a potentially match saving “block” by design (not the lucky kind like the Type 3 in EP 11/12). The fact that those teams along with the StuG III and B1Bis bravely went into a known trap in their second match speaks well of them IMO. I don’t understand why you minimize what those teams did by disparaging them as “idiots” (ball not required) or “mooks”. As for Miho, both of us did criticize her in our review posts even if we didn’t “slam” her to your satisfaction.

      The fact that Yukari (Anglerfish member), the Student Council and Miho (along with the rest of Anglerfish) were explicitly on the net is not exactly proof that everyone else is…

      First of all, if we are going to play the “what we see is all we get” game and envision conspiracies of “secret, private subnet conversations” which purposefully exclude others because we don’t actually “see” them listening to the conversation, then we do not “see” the rest of the SC OR Anglerfish Team. We see three people which is far less than the Anglerfish team + SC + Yukari. BTW, for this match it is expressly stated that Yukari is NOT “on the Anglerfish team”. She is stated as being on “Team F” which is the B1Bis. That, we do “see”. So going by your rationale of “what we see is all we get”, we can NOT include Anzu or Yuzu or Saori or Hana or Mako. To do so requires an assumption, and if we are going to start assuming things then the issue no longer solely revolves around “what we see is all we get”. To me, it is quite clear that ALL teams/vehicles – everyone knew about Miho’s plan when Miho told it. Even if we don’t “see it”, that’s the logical and reasonable assumption to make – certainly more so than conspiracy theories.

      For the Anzio battle (OVA), you’d notice the other tank commanders are not in the morning meeting – only the Student Council and the Anglerfish crew. You might also notice that during the last minute get together, Miho discusses her plan not with all commanders, but the Student Council. … Thus, access of information is approximately: Regular Crew < Tank Commanders

      Again you suggest Miho is deliberately excluding others from the team’s plans (now even the anime and OVA) because… WHY? Explain to me Miho’s motivation to exclude others from the plan. I simply cannot understand why you insist that EVERY minor detail be shown. Nothing, no matter how reasonable, can be inferred? Seriously, explain to me why Miho would deliberately exclude the other teams from Oarai’s plans? What purpose would that serve? There is nothing unusual about leaders holding a strategy meeting by themselves. That does NOT mean that others are not told of the plan in the same way every soldier down to the lowliest private does not sit in on every strategy meeting yet eventually learns their role in the overall plan later via COC. To show every single time every single character being told every single thing would be boring, repetitive and frankly insulting to a viewer’s/reader’s intelligence because it suggests they can’t even infer the most basic things. Should I assume that the girls suffer from terrible insomnia because we don’t see them sleep – ALL of them sleep?

      At this point I think the discussion is becoming circular so I’m not going to address any remaining points. Please note that does not mean I agree with you per se. I may or may not. You love the Rabbit Team. OK, fine. Everyone has their own favorites and preferences. That being said, I honestly think some of your assertions go too far and are unfair to other characters and the series by extension. I suspect you don’t share that view which again is fine. You’re entitled to your opinion the same as anyone else including myself. Since we are unable to come to a resolution, then we can agree to disagree. I think that’s fair.

  5. While there were some good points to the OVA, I wish they would have tried using a bit of the manga (personally, I like Manga!Anchovy more than OVA!Anchovy because she is more serious and warlike, while the latter is a walking, breathing Italian stereotype) especially in the line-up. A bunch of tankettes, three self-propelled guns, and one tank just didn’t seem that much of a challenge. At least the M13/40 would have provided a bit of a challenge, despite being slow (only 8 mph cross country) and poorly armored (42 mm maximum for the gun mantlet).

    The characterization was good (I especially liked Caesar and Carpaccio being long lost friends) and I enjoyed the scene at Anzio (took a few snapshots for avatars…) but it was far behind the manga in battle quality, imho. Didn’t get to see the might of Italy’s greatest tank like in the manga. The Carro Veloce scenes were good, although silly (yeah, they should be dead, or suffering from a horrible case of whiplash).

    50/50 imo.

    • Welcome fenrisshadowpaw. Thanks for your comments. I agree that from a battle POV that the manga was better. The various teams in the anime were all stereotypes to one degree or another though I will agree that Anzio was probably more so in the OVA, though their personalities did fit the overall fun atmosphere of the OVA. AFA Anchovies go, I liked Anime/Anchovy better because she was more in keeping with the characters of the other team’s leaders such as Darjeeling, Kay and even Katyusha (after the match). One option in the anime could have even had her act more like Katyusha at the beginning and then have her team invite the Oarai team to their after match party. That would have shown her intensity but still let her be a good sportsman. I thought her attack on Miho at the end of the manga was a bit much and very poor sportsmanship.

      The point about the speed of the M13/40 applies to a lot of the tanks in the anime I think. They all tend to operate at way higher speeds than their real life counterparts (and a certain Type 89 managed to make a turn on one tread too). Director’s attempt to make things more exciting. The OVA does push the “willing suspension of disbelief” a bit with the way the tanks operate. I think that carbon coating that protects the players also dampens inertia inside the tank and maybe gravity (given that two girls can right a 3 ton tankette by hand). 😀

    • @fenrisshadowpaw: Welcome to the blog and thanks for commenting. Overall, I agree with your comment except that for me, “manga Anchovy” was a bit too extreme compared to the other commanders. Plus, she was bit too much like Erika (KMM vice-commander) in the whole “Your Senshado is weak” rant. IMO, “anime Anchovy” did take Senshado fairly seriously though I can understand why some may think not quite seriously enough. There was some humor at Anchovy’s expense in that regard (i.e. “This year, we’ll get to the semi-fin– I mean win the tournament!” LOL). Still, IIRC in the OVA Anchovy says that she wishes that Anzio as a team would take Senshado more seriously. As for Anzio as a team, yeah, definitely some stereotyping going on there. :/

      In terms of the battle itself, your thoughts mirror mine in that I preferred the manga’s more realistic, serious tone not to mention being less one-sided. Problem the OVA had was that the anime’s snippet of the end of the battle pretty much precluded a close match since it showed Anzio being pawned by Oarai. One question I have is whether Girls und Panzer creators already had the Anzio match planned out in detail when the anime showed the end result, or if the Anzio OVA battle was later scripted to fit what the anime showed.

  6. Hello to everyone.
    I have but one thing to say, because you already performed the autopsy of the battle masterfully, and there’s nothing left to say about that.

    I just want to say that, in my opinion, the whole P40/Char B1bis ‘duel’ is kind of… innatural.
    I don’t dispute the fact that the P40 was unable to defeat it, since the Renault kept turning to angle the armor (even though such agility on its part is not what I would expect from it).
    But what happened in the pages going from 20 to 22, I don’t understand. In fact, we can see at the bottom of page 20 the P40 aiming at the Char B1bis, with the latter being in an almost perpendicular position (and about this, what was Yukari thinking? Since the P40 was the main danger, exposing their side to Anchovy was a rather stupid thing to do); other that from such a position it would have been difficult to lodge a shell right at the tracks, why didn’t Anchovy fire at the side? Frontally the Char B1bis (with all the angling and such) was a tough nut, but from the side, no matter how underwhelming the P40’s gun may be for a contemporary 75 mm gun, it would’ve been a sure kill.

    So, why didn’t this happen? Allow me to be a little bit provocative here, and suggest that perhaps the writers didn’t want their protagonist to be taken out; having her tank crippled is bad enough, without her having her tank officially defeated. Or perhaps it was just an overlook, I don’t know.

    Still, I can’t help but find this rather interesting. What do you think?

    • Time to put my big mouth into this pool again

      @italianguy88
      From a technical perspective, the Char B1bis is perhaps one of the best (WWII) vehicles to play such games with. It is equipped with the Nader steering system which allows for very agile and precise steering, including neutral steering and continuously variable steering radiuses, capabilities that didn’t become standard for many years after the war. The excellent (if cranky) system is the only reason they can even (almost) get away with the the nearly fixed gun (1 degree!).

      For more information, try and find a very nice article by a David Lehmann on the Internet called “1939-1940 French Armament” – if you want stats and little details, it is better than Zaloga’s recent Osprey series on French WWII tanks (though Zaloga has more discussion of themes and of course more credible being a world famous historian).

      For your 2nd question, look two pages ago (P.18). Note that the 47mm gun turret is jammed in a forward-facing position. Thus, the only remaining choices for Yukari are:
      1) Turn the Char directly towards the P40. That increases the defensive protection by only 4-5mm, which is insufficient to defend against the P40’s L/34. Further, both weapons are ineffective against the P40 at 700m. So it is a losing fight and in the meantime they are exposing their flank to the M13s, who *could* pen if they get close enough.
      2) Turn the Char at one of those “mealtime” angles towards the P40. That would buy them a little time against the P40, but that would be the end of them engaging anything. The M13s will close in and swarm them.
      3) Try and engage the M13s, in hopes of at least neutralizing or suppressing them. Unfortunately, that means turning the side towards the P40, but it is only a few millimeters.

      So Yukari’s decision is correct. As for the hit, I think it is just Anchovy missing by a bit. It is, of course, good luck for the protagonist (Yukari), but surely this is *not* the most grievous case of blind good luck in GuP, let alone anime. You might as well complain why the StuG’s hit (which was penetrating by a huge margin going by the book) did not cause a flag to rise in Ep3. Or why Maho’s gunner only clipped the Pz IV while the Pz IV got a clean hit on a vital in Ep12.

      @The discussion up there
      Hello, fenrisshadowpaw. I’ve said my piece on the relative merits of the battle tactics up there so I won’t repeat that.

      However, I must disagree that one tank, three SPGs and 6 tankettes is “not much of a challenge”. Overall, the P40 has a superior coefficient (due to better gunpower and armor) vs the Ausf D. The StuG is admittedly overall a better vehicle than the Semovente (but not the way Caesar was using it!) Since the Semovente has frontal armor that’s reasonably proof against the 37mm, that to a great degree relegates the M3 into being a tall, ungainly, un-maneuverable SPG. The other two vehicles in Oarai’s list lack gunpower and armor. This is more or less an even fight.

      The problem with the anime is not limited to the need for the linkup. It also stems from the need to maintain the story’s balance (which is an intrinsic good, not just a need to appease all the various fan-factions). Which makes it hard to put even *one* M13 in. Where do you plausibly put it? Duck Team’s side … well, realistically Duck’s toast then. Can’t have that. Put it on Rabbit Team’s side … thematical spacing concerns says it’d be too cramped to cram three kills onto the last pursuit bit, so it’d have to go in the part where Rabbit Team gets chased, which means a hit and kill during movement. Uh-oh, now you’ve tramped onto Sasaki’s “sacred territory” (getting hits on the move) – despite the apparent misconceptions of the blogmasters here I do respect the sanctity of other team’s specialty zones. Put it in the main force, and all of a sudden it gets very difficult for Hippo or Anglerfish to survive.

      Finally, I wouldn’t say the OVA!Anzio girls don’t give their best. If anything, they deserve better leadership than vice-captain 1 who deployed the wrong number of decoys and vice-captain 2 who really should have tried something other than what transpired. The same girls that run off for lunch (I mean, they’d see the P40 tomorrow anyway … placing lunch first is correct) spend hours preparing realistic decoys. They coordinate attacks. They rush out to right vehicles time and time again. They unhesitatingly fly off cliffs to get to Duce quicker. Really, you can’t help but shed a tear for them as they get wiped, in essence one by one.

      • I see. I admit I overlooked the steering system of the Char B1bis, so its agility is after all explainable.

        I don’t think, however, that Yukari’s decision to face away from the P40 was correct; true, the M13/40s were all around them, but the chances of their 47 mm guns to penetrate their sides are lower than that of the P40’s gun doing likewise. If you have to choose between two evils, it would be better to choose the lesser one.

        About Anchovy missing her shot… it still doesn’t explain it to me very well. The angle of the view of the shell hitting the track is somewhat inconsistent with a side shot, IMHO; there is a chance that the Char B1bis might have been turning, but in the bottom right panel of page 21 it doesn’t seem like the track signs prove it. And besides, of the shots we can safely say she herself had taken before, Anchovy had one near-miss and three shots square on target; and I believe we can say that the side of the B1bis is the proverbial barn door.

        As for the anime, I agree; it has a consistency degree lower than that of the manga.

      • “why Maho’s gunner only clipped the Pz IV while the Pz IV got a clean hit on a vital in Ep12.”
        That one, actually, luck was not a factor. If you watch the scene in slo-wo, the Pz IV’s gun is clearly shown blocking the Tiger I’s own gun from getting a clean shot (Tiger’s gun rotates a bit too far, Pz IV’s gun drifts in the way, Maho’s gunner can’t correct enough).

        You’ll notice the utter lack of rebuttals about the Episode 3’s part, though.

        In fact, my humble opinion is that PRECISELY because of how much criticism the sheer luck of Miho’s team in episode 3 drew, that Actas took the worry of animating the drift scene scene that way!

        • Doubtful. It looks close I admit, and yes obviously the Tiger’s gun wasn’t set correctly, but I don’t think the Pz IV’s gun was actually in the way – blocking from the correct solution. If it is actually *in* a literal blocking position, that makes it *easy* for the Tiger’s gunner – just rotate the turret left full speed. When it hits the Panzer IV’s gun, firing will result in a beautiful shot into the Pz IV’s 50mm turret front.

          >Remember it had a turret jam and a blown thread.

          I think the question was why did it not count as penetrating (the computer assesses *both* penetration *and* the damage to the tank, a necessity because the “human citadel” is all defended by carbon so some damages can only be simulated). Yes, technically such a result is possible, but it doesn’t avoid the criticism of being a bit plottish.

  7. I find some of the manga frames to be inconsistent or at least confusing which makes it hard for me to speculate as to why certain things happen. For example, at the top of page 17 second frame the Char is on the left flank of the Stug and the Type 89 is to the Char’s left as seen in frame 3. On page 18 frame 5 the Char is on the right flank of the Stug and takes a shot from the P40 from it’s right. On page 19 the Char and the Stug are in the same positions as on page 18, but the Type 89 isn’t on the Stug’s right flank, though somehow in the fourth frame it blocks the shot on it’s left flank angling from the left flank of the Stug. On page 20 the Char is just about perpendicular to the P40 in the seventh frame. On page 24 frame 1 the P40 has angled to the left in the direction that the Stug is moving (it appears to have reversed course in frame 3 on page 23), but while we see the pursuing Anzio tanks the Char seems to be missing. I might not grasp what’s going on due to the small size of the tanks in the images, but with all the inconsistencies that I think there are it’s hard to really be definitive about what the situation is supposed to be.

  8. Short comment about the B1 Bis “somehow” not being “disabled” (i.e., white flag not poping up). Remember it had a turret jam and a blown thread. Both kinds of damage have been shown to happen in the series without iit meaning a white flag (Pz38(t) during St. Gloriana battle, Pz IV and StuG III during Pravda battle, and a Panther, a Jagdpanther, Erika’s Tiger II and Miho’s Pz IV in the finale). Because all them are conceivably repairable in the field by the crew. Compare and contrast with the M3 blowing up, not just its track, but the whole engine in episode 3, or the Hetzer’s engine in episode 12.
    In short, that’s consistent with the behaviour regularly shown and discused during the series. Field-repairable tanks are not white-flaged.

    • @Erana: You make a fair point about the requisite damage for a “white flagged” tank. My point was more that the B1Bis took quite a number of direct hits with relatively little amount of damage taken. It’s possible, but it struck me as kind of “Hollywood” sensational storytelling (i.e. pushing credibility a bit). It wasn’t as bad as all the point blank shots the Tiger(P) withstood before finally being disabled in Ep. 12, but still…

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