Girls und Panzer
|Girls und Panzer|
Girls und Panzer is a 2012 anime released by ACTAS studios as part of Japan's Prime Minister Shinzō Abe's propaganda campaign to make the JSDF seem sexy to young losers. Featuring the typical same-faced moe school girls and high-school setting, it might be mistakable for any other anime were it not for the addition of MOTHERFUCKING TANKS. Due to the inclusion of said tanks this show has reached a unprecedented cult-fan following. See /ak/ for more details.
It's not about anime-crazy tanks either: each of the featured vehicles is a CGI/cellshade rendering of a WWII-era war machine. Though it's debatable as to its level of accuracy to the real vehicles, the performance of each vehicle is generally close enough to real that the show is essentially normal-ville with steel treads and high-caliber guns.
Oh, also all the tanks move at 3x their normal speed. 
The anime features 12 episodes and an OVA, with a further 6 OVA's of dubious value and a charming sub-series called Yukari's Tank Corner. In the summer of 2015 a sequel movie (with accompanying OVA) was released, and plans are in the works for a six-episode theatrical release of a second season. The series has additional manga accompaniment ranging from honest supplement materiel to barely concealed yuri-fests.
It also doesn't hurt the popularity of the series that in Asia, it has blended together with World of Tanks. There are official model products with GuP characters depicted on the box art, with decals from the show, as well as various ingame GuP-related DLC items.
The World of Girls und Panzer
GuP's alternate timeline is very similar to our own, with a few major exceptions; firstly, simulated tank combat is an extremely popular sport for girls of all ages, and second that most major high schools are built on to gigantic travelling city- ships. The justification for the first conceit is that, in the post-Versailles years of the 1920s, the German government reframed tank training as an educational activity for young women to throw international observers off the trail of their growing rearmaments program. The idea stuck and apparently persisted well though World War 2, which happened as it did in our world, and the sport of Sensha-dou (a somewhat untranslatable pun -- it literally means "the way of the tank", analogous to e.g. kendo : "the way of the sword" -- officially translated as "tankery", also called "Panzerkraft" in some fan translations) is common to this day. Sensha-dou is seen as a valuable sport teaching teamwork, honour, tactical and mechanical skills, and gentlewomanly professionalism. In practice, what this means is that grade schoolers get to drive tankettes around and by the time they've hit university they're piloting 1950s-era heavy tanks like sportscars. Talk about a /k/ommando's dream world. (Also, while everyone talks about sensha-dou teaching valuable character traits to young women, it's still a high-stakes high school sport, with all of the attendant pressures from overbearing parents, government interference, and high-school drama.)
The second conceit, that all schools are built on city-sized aircraft carriers (large enough to have their own geography) is a little bit less well-explained. Apparently these ships are crewed primarily by students, with different students assigned to roles like engine maintenance, navigation, hydroponics, etc. Each school is functionally self-sufficient, though most have a home city where they have frequently dock, and they make regular trips around their home regions.
Ooarai Girls Academy
The school of our protagonists, in contrast to the other schools in the show; Ooarai does not theme itself after a specific country and fields a variety of vehicles. By the end of the show, the Sensha-dou club is made up of nine vehicles and crews:
- Anglerfish Team: the main characters, crewing a Panzer IV (initially an Ausf.D but later upgraded to an Ausf.F2 and finally to an Ausf.H by the end of the show)
- Turtle Team: the student council, crewing a Panzer 38 (t) and later on, a Jagdpanzer 38 Hetzer
- Duck Team: the volleyball team, crewing a Type 89 I-Go
- Hippo Team: the history club, crewing a Stug III Ausf.F
- Rabbit Team: the freshmen, crewing an M3 Lee, they hunt heavy tanks and ferris wheels
- Mallard Team: the public morals committee, crewing a Char B1 bis
- Anteater Team: hardcore gamers that met online, crewing a Type-3 Chi-Nu
- Leopon Team: the automotive club, crewing a VK 4501 Porsche Tiger, as only they can keep it running.
- Shark Team: some sailors that hang out at Bar Donzoko, crewing a Mark IV Tank Male
St. Gloriana Girls College
The British school, its characters embody English stereotypes including lady like conduct and a love of tea. Unlike Ooarai, there are no specific “teams”, just a handful of characters and their vehicles, this will be the same for all other schools.
- Darjeeling and her leftenants: the command unit, crewing a Churchill Mark VII
- Rukuriri: face of the canon fodder, crewing an Matilda Mk.III
- Rosehip: the odd one out and resident speed freak, crewing a Crusader Mk.III
Saunders University High School
The American school, its characters embody American stereotypes ranging from love of food to being bombastic. They are also a very wealthy school, and as such field a very large number of tanks (reflecting American WW2 doctrine).
- Kay: team commander, crewing an M4 Sherman
- Alisa: dirty cheater, crewing an M4 Sherman
- Naomi: 1337 sniper, crewing a Sherman Firefly
Anzio Girls High School
The Italian team, and butt of all jokes. They embody Italian stereotypes ranging from military incompetence to love of pasta and naps. They are a very poor school, and most of the team members don't take Sensha-dou seriously, much to the frustration of their commander.
- Anchovy: Il Duce, crewing a Carro Armato P40
- Carpaccio: quiet sweety pie, crewing a Semovente da 75/18
- Pepperoni: fiery and easy going and a good cook, crewing a Carro Veloce CV.33
Pravda Girls High School
The Russian team, they embody Soviet stereotypes such as love of gulags and heavy armor. Their commander is the real star of the show with every other character being pretty underwhelming.
- Katyusha: loli Stalin, crewing a T-34-85
- Nonna: wants to be Katyusha's mommy, crewing an IS-2. The Manga revels that she has the opposite problem of Katyusha, she has looked 25 since she was twelve, and always had unrealistic expectations correspondingly.
- Nina: stronger than you (google her) crewing a KV-2
- Klara: introduced in the movie and pretends to only speak Russian, crewing a T-34-85, she takes over for Nona after she graduates.
Kuromorimine Girls Academy
The German team, they embody German stereotypes such as being humorless and efficient. Seen as one of the strongest teams in all of Sensha-dou, and the final boss of the main anime.
- Maho: the leader/guide, crewing a Panzer VI Tiger Ausf.E Miho's Older Sister.
- Erika: a freakin dork who should be bullied lovingly, crewing a Tiger II Ausf.B
- Koume: introduced in the movie, crewing a Panzer V Panther Ausf.G
The Japanese team, they embody Japanese stereotypes such as honor and Banzai charges. Introduced in the movie, they will die with honor... 天皇陛下万歳!
- Kinuyo: commander who cannot conceive of any alternative to charging head first into the enemy, crewing a Type 97 Chi-Ha
- Haru: quick to anger, crewing a Type 97 Chi-Ha
- Hosomi: has a weird hair style, crewing a Type 97 Chi-Ha
- Fukuda: tryhard who just wants to impress her senpais (seniors), crewing a Type 95 Ha-Go
Jatkosota High School
The Finnish school, they embody Finnish stereotypes such as being weird and loving the sauna. Only have one vehicle and have a reputation of being thieves. Introduced in the movie.
- Mika, Akki, and Mikko: yeah that's it they're pretty bullshit overpowered actually, crewing a BT-42
All-Stars University Team
The Cold War UN team, technically not in the same league as the other schools since they are university students, but compete against a coalition team made up of all the aforementioned high school teams during the Girls und Panzer movie.
is totally of college age trust me,might be the youngest member of the cast depending on how many grades she skipped, crewing a Centurion Mk.I, provides her own music when charging in to battle
- The Bermuda Trio: three girls each commanding their own vehicle, those vehicles being M26 Pershings. They and Alice are all from one team the rest of the All Stars were pulled together form the other teams that would make up the new league
BC Freedom High School
The French school (there's technically another one called Maginot Girls Academy but we don’t talk about them). Embody French stereotypes such as arrogance and civil unrest. Introduced in the supposed finale of the series.
- Marie: aloof aristocratic commander likes cake, crewing a Renault FT-17
- Oshida: part of the elitist faction, crewing an ARL-44
- Andou: part of the proletariat faction, crewing SOMUA S35
There are several minor schools mentioned in some way or another in the show or the manga, unfortunately there isn't as much to talk about as the other teams, but we'll see what happens considering that Anzio used to be a minor school as well.
- Bellwall Academy: postwar Germany
- Bonple High School: Poland
- Blue Division High School: Spain
- Count High School: Romania
- Gregor High School: Czechoslovakia
- Koala Forest High School: Australia
- Maple High School: Canada
- Tategoto High School: Burma
- Viggen High School: Sweden
- Viking Fisheries High School: Norway
- Waffle Academy: Belgium
- Yogurt Academy: Bulgaria
- Kebab High School: Turkey
The Rules of Sensha-dou
As a (technical) martial art, Sensha-dou has a slate of wonderfully nonsensical rules that would make any cold-hearted neckbeard weep tears of weebish joy. It boils down to something like this;
- All vehicles used shall be designs produced before the end of World War 2 (apparently more senior leagues like to push this)
- There are no restrictions on the weight class and armaments of tanks; in theory one team could field a team composed entirely of heavy tanks against a team composed entirely of scout vehicles.
- All vehicles used shall be closed-topped, and IFVs and support weapons are disallowed (no artillery platforms, though again, cheating is not unknown)
- All vehicles shall be equipped with reinforced carbon fibre armour, capable of protecting the crew from massive shocks and the impacts of enemy guns
- All guns shall be equipped with computerized shells that allow for hit detection and that somehow fail to injure crew- machine guns can be fitted with bullet versions of these
- All vehicles are equipped with a computerized scoring system which determines when the vehicle has received enough damage to be knocked out. "Enough Damage", of course, varies as plot and dramatic requirements demand.
- There are two match types: last tank standing, which is self-explanatory, and capture the flag, which involves destroying a selected 'flag' tank on each team.
- Teams are normally 10 tanks each, though matches later in tournaments allow for 15 to 20 tanks as well
- Teams aren't allowed to call on outside observers or intercept each others radio transmissions, though this rule is often circumvented. (though in episode 5 Yukarin states intercepting radio transmissions is not explicitly against the rules, so there seems to be a grey area here.)
Girls und Panzer and /tg/
There are two official Japanese /tg/ games: one is a paper-model game called Battle in Ooarai, which features the main characters vs. St. Gloriana. The other is Panzer Vor, a more detailed chit-based game much like Advanced Squad Leader except with action-cards and moe-schoolgirls.
There is a Lafayette Academy quest thread, starring Gertrude Pool.
Lastly, and most humbly, there is the Flames of War adaptation being worked on by a certain jackass that fell in love with the series. It features the ability to play more balanced games with alternate tank numbers as to what is seen in the show, and tries to be as true to the series as possible without just plain breaking the rules. It is badly in need of a second edition.
In other words...
- Homeworld: Academy Ships. The world of Terra Aquas consists of a large chains of islands separated by huge oceans. In on theses oceans float the Academy ships, Matriarchal training vessels designed to produce the finest soldiers in the Imperial Guard.
- Cost: 3 Characteristic Modifiers: +3 to any two of the following Characteristics—Fellowship, Strength, Toughness.
Skills: All Academy Ship characters start with Linguistics (Low Gothic), Operate (Surface), and Scholastic Lore (Beasts).
- An Army that Marches, Eats: The regiment was raised from a world steeped in martial tradition, raising crops and food animals on the march and in artificial environments. Women who grow up trained like this gain a deep understanding of both flora and fauna, and can use those skills on the field of battle to their advantage and to the advantage of their comrades. These characters can get food to grow in even the harshest conditions, and are an incredible asset to regiments embroiled in long, planet-bound campaigns.
Academy Ship characters gain a +10 bonus to any Knowledge, Survival, or Trade Tests made to identify or otherwise interact with domesticated beasts or those with potential to be domesticated. They also gain a +10 bonus to any Knowledge, Survival, or Trade Tests made to identify, harvest, or cultivate food crops.
- Young and Sheltered: Those men and women raised on the structured society of the academies have little to no experience with Imperial society at large. Most have never left their ship let alone their home world, and those that have possess even less awareness of the wider realm of the Imperium than most of their counterparts. These innocents make easy marks for grifters, con-men, and others who take advantage of the confused and ignorant.
Academy Ship characters suffer a –10 penalty to Scrutiny when using it to Oppose the Deceive Skill. Additionally, the first time an Academy Ships character gains Insanity Points, she gains twice the normal amount instead.
- Starting Wounds: Academy Ship characters begin play with +2 starting Wounds.
- Choleric Boldness is rewarded on the Academy ships, and their many war games.
- Cost: 2 points
- Starting Talents: Rapid Reaction.
- The regiments commanders are decisive and lead from the front, taking charge of situations personally, and never afraid to do what she orders her tankers to do. However, she is quick to anger, and can often be drawn into foolish actions. her tankers are ever ready for action, and familiar with the rigours of battle.
- Armoured Regiment The Academy ships' original goal and founding purpose was to train the finest tankers in the Imperium, and they remain the world's most common tieth.
- Alongside the serried ranks of infantry and the humble lasgun, little is as emblematic of the wars of the Imperial Guard as the armoured might of its tanks. Rugged, resilient, and capable of unleashing staggering amounts of firepower, there is little that can stand before the fury of companies of Leman Russ battle tanks, let alone the terrible and wondrous power of the Baneblade. The crews of these mighty behemoths are justifiably proud of their status, and the accomplishments of their steel charges.
- Cost: 4 points
- Characteristics: –3 Weapon Skill, +3 Intelligence
- Starting Skills: Operate (Surface)
- Starting Talents: Technical Knock
- Standard Kit: One Leman Russ battle tank (or variant, at GM’s discretion) per Squad, and one anointed maintenance toolkit per Player Character.
This regiment specialises in disabling and destroying enemy armoured vehicles. The competitive nature of the academies as well as frequent non lethal tournaments has ensured every tank crew is an expert in fighting other armored vehicles. Cost: 4 points
- Starting Skill: Common Lore (Tech)
- Starting Talent: Tank Hunter
- Special: Due to their special training and their encyclopedic knowledge of enemy armoured vehicles and their strengths and weaknesses, Anti-Armour regiments are unparalleled tank killers. Members of Anti-Armour regiments add an additional amount to the Penetration of their weapons equal to their Degrees of Success on the attack roll when attacking vehicles.
The Mutiorium knows to expect Armored regiments when recruiting from Terra Aquas and makes extra effort to provide them with the required supplies. The regiment has been marked as a supply priority by the Munitorum, keeping them well-supplied with ammunition, food, medical equipment, and other consumables. Well Provisioned regiments tend to be those expected to face the worst of the fighting, with regular resupply to allow them to remain at fighting strength for far longer.
- Cost: 3 points
- Standard Regimental Kit: The regiment increases the number of clips for their main ranged weapon and the number of weeks’ rations they carry as standard by +2, and gain an additional grenade of each type in their standard kit (if applicable). If the regiment contains vehicles, this also grants a +10 bonus on all Logistics tests to obtain fuel and parts for repairing and maintaining those vehicles.
- Honour Bound
- A woman’s honour is every bit as important to the members of this regiment as food, water, and oxygen—perhaps even more so. Duelling among the officers and enlisted women is common, and their members often earn a deserved reputation as hot-headed and quick to anger.
- Regiment Points: 4
- Pride Over Life: Members of this regiment must pass a Difficult (–10) Willpower Test to refuse any formal challenge or ignore any other major slight to their honour. If a character from this regiment succeeds on the Test, she sees the bigger picture and ignores the challenge or attempt to goad her into action. If she fails on the Test, however, she must engage the individual in question (either in a duel to settle matters in a formal and stylised fashion or simply in a brawl to express herself with his fists) or suffer a –10 penalty to Willpower Tests for the remainder of the session. This penalty is cumulative should she refuse multiple challenges to her dignity over the course of a single session. The Game Master can modify the difficulty of the Test—and the scale of the effects of failing it—as they deems appropriate to the situation
- + Kit Items: Chrono, Magnoculars, Dress Uniform, Advanced Med-kit.
Favored Weapons: Grenade Launcher, Heavy Stubber.
- Total Kit: 1 set of field gear (poor weather gear, rucksack, mess kit and water canteen, blanket and sleep bag, rechargeable lamp–pack, grooming kit, dog tags, Imperial Infantryman’s Uplifting Primer, 2 weeks’ rations) Chrono, Magnoculars, Dress Uniform, anointed maintenance toolkit, Las Pistol, Flak vest per Player Character;
One Leman Russ battle tank (or variant, at GM’s discretion), One Advanced Med-Kit per Squad.