Funiculi, Funicula


The Girls und Panzer OVA has finally been subtitled, though it apparently hasn’t hit the torrent sites yet. In it, Miho and her comrades face the girls of Anzio. They’re an enthusiastic crew who’d rather fight than eat, and vice versa. ((Yeah, I’m ripping off S.J. Perelman here.)) Anzio has a bunch of cute, but pesky, little tanks, plus one that’s not so cute. Tank otaku Yukari gets a chance to shine, and we learn more about Caesar of the military history obsessives.

The ending is never in doubt, but that hardly matters. The Anzio OVA is the most purely fun of any Girls und Panzer episode, and is worth tracking down if you enjoyed the original series.

There are additional screencaps below the fold. Steven has many more in his rather spoilerous post.

Incidentally, if you’d like to introduce sensha-dou to your local high school, there’s an auction that might interest you. (Via AoSHQ.)

Update: The “loligeddon” sub makes much more sense than the “AK-Submarine” one that I first watched, and it looks better, too.

Continue reading “Funiculi, Funicula”

From the chariot boudoir

If you can’t find the video you want on YouTube, look elsewhere. (This is the complete recording of the song, not just the excerpt included in the eighth episode of Girls und Panzer (and censored on Crunchyroll). The missing section of the anime begins around 1:50.) ((Though the censored section is back on Youtube for now.))

So we’ve had girls with guns, girls as guns (or is that guns as girls?), girls with mecha, girls as combat aircraft, and now with girls with tanks. ((It’s actually not that new. See Those Who Hunt Elves — on second thought, don’t. It’s lousy; not even Kotono Mitsuishi could redeem it.)) It’s probably all just pandering to otaku, but perhaps there is something more sinister going on. If anime reflects reality, Japanese young men generally are either hapless dweebs or sparkly bishies and crossdressers. If you want to form an army, they’d be useless. You’d be better off drafting young women, who in Japan have talent for using the tools of war, and often magic, too. Girls und Panzer may be just the latest in a series of entertainments designed to accustom the Japanese to the idea of women as warriors.

At least one Chinese writer sees “evil intent militarism” in Girls und Panzer, though it’s difficult to follow the argument as interpreted by Giggle Translate. ((Giggle Translate insisted that the original language of the linked page was Irish.))

A typical high school

High school

The third Girls und Panzer OVA gave us a panoramic view of the school ship. (To see the full-size image, right-click to open the link in a new window.) In terms of Kansas cities, it looks larger than Haysville but smaller than Emporia.

Update: The more I look at this picture, the spookier it becomes. Where is everybody?


You all had a narrow escape, by the way. I had a few posts in mind for tomorrow which I planned to type up this afternoon. However, my neighbors decided at 1 a.m. this morning that I didn’t need to sleep. (Curiously, when I called on them later they did not come to the door, even though the door was wide open and the teevee was on.) Instead of writing, I spent the afternoon dozing in bed.

Ending well

Jonathan says that Shin Sekai Yori is “… the best science fiction TV show that I have ever seen, animated or otherwise.” I’m not sure I’d go quite that far, but it definitely is in a class with Serial Experiments Lain and Dennou Coil. It’s the best show of any kind I’ve seen since at least Madoka Magica. The ending did not disappoint — not that I was worried; it was obvious early on that the creators knew exactly what they were doing.

It’s absolutely not for children, and even for adults I can’t give it an unreserved recommendation. It’s partly a horror story, with monsters and worse than monsters, all the more chilling for what isn’t shown. But if you have the stomach for it and are willing to think about aggression, social control and human nature, Shin Sekai Yori is worth your time.


I can give Girls und Panzer an unreserved recommendation for all ages. The premise is silly — teams of high-school girls compete in tank battles — but the staff played it straight and made it work, and did so without panty shots. The last episode was exhilarating and satisfying. If you watch it with friends, you’ll likely cheer aloud as Miho and her comrades fight their desperate battle.

Insomnia and czárdás

Early this morning, after I had given up on getting any more sleep, I discovered that there are a number of full-length ballets on YouTube. Coppélia is a favorite of mine. The melodious score is worth listening to even if you are not interested in dance, and the story almost makes sense. There’s even a mad scientist (or magician). The video above is a Bolshoi Ballet performance.

Others I found include La Bayadere, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and more, often in multiple versions and occasionally in HD. There’s also opera.


And now for something completely different: Japanese Vikings, singing songs of [censored].

Update: And the video is gone. This is what you missed.

A glance back at an ordinary year


I’m not going to make a “ten best anime” list for 2012 because I haven’t watched ten shows all the way through. Two of the year’s best best are incomplete, and there are a couple of well-regarded series that I have yet to look at (Sakamichi no Apollon and Space Brothers). Instead, this is just a casual survey of this year’s offerings that I watched.

Series I didn’t make it all the way through the first episode of: Chihayafuru, Hayate No Gotoku: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse and Magi. The last I might give another try sometime, since the writers evidentally understand more about economics than do our betters in Washington.

Series I watched only the first episode of: Accel World, Binbougami ga, Campione, K, Nyarko-san: Another Crawling Chaos, Sword Art Online and Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai. Jonathan thinks highly of the last, and I would watch more, but what I saw wasn’t sufficiently brilliant to warrant subscribing to Anime Network. (Update: Also Ozma, Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate and Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan. See how memorable they were?)

Series I watched more than one episode of before losing interest: Kamisama Hajimemashita, Polar Bear Café and Sengoku Collection.

Unfinished series I might yet watch the rest of: Inu X Boku SS.

The year’s major disappointment: Moyashimon Returns. Too much soap opera, not enough craziness.

This year’s minor disappointment: Dog Days II. Entertaining, and the characters are mostly likable, even admirable; but the fanservice-to-story ratio is too high. It’s a kid’s show that I can’t recommend for kids. (And surely Leonmitchelli can find something more appropriate to her station to wear than daisy dukes.)

These are the shows that I can recommend:

Continue reading “A glance back at an ordinary year”