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I stumbled across Saishuushou 3 in the animebam site and checked if this was an advancement of the story. I had seen the first part of Girls und Panzer the Finale in HIDIVE and thought this offering was not the jungle battle episode with Chihatan Academy (Saishuushou 2, which came out two years ago). I was right, and I was treated to the high-tech animation which took fast-paced action and sustained it through now what is half of the Finale series. And the battle with Chihatan continues in the jungle, but now with the enemy in retreat. But the philosophical Chihatan sensha-do team reforms their ‘charge’ strategy into a ‘divide and conquer’ tactic which scatters the Ouarai Academy team and isolates Miho's tank which Chihatan assumes is the flag tank. But Miho shows her Hannibal strategy skills to draw the Chihatan team into a tank trap which disables their team's flag tank. Ouarai moves to the next round of four. The film ends with the completion of the quarterfinal round, with Kuromorimine (called Black Forest in this selection), St. Gloriana, and an upstart Continuation Academy team advancing. Ouarai draws Continuation, a team which relies on the guerilla tactics of hit-and-run and surprise attack. In the last seven minutes, the combat begins, and a Continuation gambit has Ouarai’s sensha-do team reeling. Let’s now wait two more years for the next 48-minute dose of thrills and tank tracks. The episode develops the comradery of the various facets of the Ouarai team, particularly the newly formed pirate-girl Shark Team. The quest to gain Momo's status as an expert in the field of tank warfare continues, but with the expectation that winning is not in the bag, with competitors who can reconfigure battle strategies on the fly out to dethrone Ouarai. And the animation is frenetic! The only gripe I had was the night battle in the jungle with tracer fire and signal flares as the only illumination. It was difficult to keep up with the changes of attack patterns and flanking maneuvers, and Miho's feint at the river was a spectacular bit of subtle animation counter-attack. But the stark winter scene where Ouarai battles Continuation is too bright, as if the dark scenes of jungle must contrast sharply. Ouarai always seems to be flexing to repulse the enemy attack and leave Miho find the means for success, and then give the credit to Momo. Another episode to the Finale series is done, with more 'on the edge of your seat' action yet to come.
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