Ok, first I'll admit this piece of review will be one of the most biased things you'll ever read because, when you look into my profile, you'll see that it's my 2nd top favorite anime. I usually try to be objective, but really whenever I think about this anime I only see awesome in it, but anyway here goes:
I usually just leave story unrated because, as I like moe, slice-of-life anime, they usually don't even have a real story at all, and to be frank they don't need it. As for Girls und Panzer, the whole story can be summed up at this:
WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!
"Miho messed up in the last Senshadou Tournament Finals and costed her school the victory (...in order to save a drowning teammate)! She's so shamed that she decided to move to a small school without Senshadou. There's just one problem: the school's so small it's going to be closed unless it has an epic victory, so its Student Council President re-opened Senshadou and forced Miho to join, where she must command her school to victory in this year's tournament in order to save her new school as well as prove her worth to her own family (which she eventually succeeded)!"
Not sure what you think, but I personally think the animation in this series is perfect. Sure it may not be as shiny as, say, KyoAni's moe masterpieces, but it works. I reckon it'd look pretty strange if everything looks dreamy and brilliant to the Clannad level, but it's gorgeous in its own ways. The characters look cute, the scenery looks vivid, and I couldn't find any imperfection in the animation itself, especially the tanks', they are just glorious yet so believable (except for the speed buff in everything but uh... that's another story).
This anime has some of the best songs and soundtracks I've heard, the glorious OP DreamRiser for example, and I'm not even very fond of marching music. Besides, the sounds the tanks make (tracks sound, turret traverse sounds, GUN sounds, oh the gun sounds...) are all pleasing to the ears, I can understand perfectly well why "Firing the tank's cannon for the first time is shown to be intensely pleasurable for Saori, Hana, and Yukari" (according to TVTropes). As for the voice acting, I'm not so good at analyzing that, but I'll just say none of the voices sounded annoying or fake to me. My only qualm is that Shirou remixed the main theme (apparently called "Panzer vor!" if I'm right) a little too much.
Ok, most reviews before me said that the characters weren't too interesting and were shallow, but consider this: It's a 12-episode anime, with 4 fully-shown tank battles lasting 2-3 episodes each, plus a training match. See? It's not like those overly-long action animes where you can "develop" your characters however much you want because you always have time. And then, GuP has a LARGE BUNCH of characters, since there're many teams and each team (if you count each rival school as a single team, then there're TWELVE teams in total, and I'm not counting Anzio) is composed of 3-5 chars. The very fact that not many of them are copies of one another at all is already a merit.
And yet, it manages to be quite the opposite, while the characters are not deep in overly-complicated ways like you often see in long action or drama animes, their traits were executed quite well. They're not all Ms. Troubled Life, but they're who they are.
WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!
Yukari is a tank nut who's extremely loyal to Miho, Miho is a gentle yet genius strategist, Saori is someone with a good tongue who's crazy about love, Mako is a lazy-as-s...eh...sloth genius, Anzu is an extremely easy-going manager who actually cares a lot about her teammates and always micro-managing everything in the background for the best, Momo is extremely loud yet considerate and determined, Darjeeling is someone who always act elegant and tell nice-sounding quotes even her best friend can't understand, Karina is a shy and a bit noisy girl but is also actually quite passionate when her teammates are concerned, and the list goes on...
Some of the characters' eh... character are fleshed out in just one single scene, and sometimes that's all she needs.
The tanks battles actually gave me some of the best thrills in my life that normal action animes couldn't, and I enjoyed it all while assured that none of the characters will actually be harmed (because I'm just that much of a coward and a light-hearted person, plus none of the characters deserve to be harmed), since there was an explanation on how no one can actually be killed in the sport (although I gotta admit that was a half-assed explanation that kinda came out of nowhere, but hey at least there's an explanation that at least sounds plausible).
Plus, the breathers episode were well placed and very relaxing, plus they helped a lot with character development, like a true slice-of-life anime. I hated how everyone just rated this anime with action criteria, since this is clearly an action-sports-slice-of-life hybrid.
Oh, and I said it gave the kind of thrills normal action animes couldn't. You know why? Because everything was handled realistically. Ok, it may not be too realistic when the exact specs of the tanks are strictly concerned, but they were worked out with very believable tactics and real teamwork. Whenever Ooarai wins, it actually felt like they won, not like they-won-because-the-author-wanted-them-to, which I think is the problem with most action animes. In those animes, in times of need, the "heroes" always get some s...uh...special powers that help them win magically because "power of friendship" and "protecting something" or "determination" or some s...stuff, or just plainly because the author wanted it.
WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!
My only qualm is that in most of Ooarai's victories, the rival schools give them too much of an advantage, but it's all firmly explained. Also, in most victories, Ooarai and the rival school shoot at the same time at each other's flag tanks, and then Ooarai hits first.
Overall: 10/10 (Rounded score, but still...)
In this world, having girls' schools train and battle in tanks in teams against other schools is considered a way to "develop yourself as a proper woman" and as a sophisticated endeavor. One school in particular resurrects their school's team after years of inactivity, and must compete against other schools with more experience and better equipment.
This anime is addicting. When all the niches are peeled away, it really is not that original plot-wise and is similar to a lot of other sports stories, but only with schoolgirls in tanks! And you know what, that premise is just enough to keep your attention and get a few laughs,
Each of the schools the protagonists face are representative of a certain country and feature their tanks. (The series is almost worth watching for 1 scene with the Russian school alone that I won't dare spoil for you.) The girls on the team are given distinct enough personalities, with each of them going through their own little story arch along the way.
If you're looking for something deep and introspective, you're at the wrong series. This series is just lighthearted fun and makes the most of its bizarre premise. The characters are enjoyable, the tank animations and battles are actually quite good and detailed.
The opening is probably above average, while the ending is just ok.
All in all, I can understand why so many people have consider this series a guilty pleasure. World of Tanks nuts will probably drool over this anime and its lovingly detailed portrayal of different tanks. For everyone else, this is still and enjoyable little romp of a series. Check it out if you have the time for some lighthearted fun.
Making it's way to the legion of solidly crafted anime, namely the Toradora's and Kobato's. Girls und Panzer fits comfortably in to this category of well aniamted, character driven, grounded stories that find themselves having little to no flaws at all.
The first thing I noticed was that the characters had such strong identities that it was impossible to forget who they were. There the one that's doing it to be popular, the sleepy one that's doing it for credit, the one that's a tank nut and the one that's doing it for the thrills. This kind of character design paves the way to being likeable protagonists.
GUP has a knack for humour as well, especially when it comes to ludicrous set-pieces. Ignoring that fact, the characters alone have equally hilarious quirks and personality.
The art and world design is very bold and living, you kind of get the idea of how huge the scale is when you see an entire town atop an aircraft carrier and yet we still get to see the smaller details like the residents going about their daily business in the town or spectating matches. Even the civillians have personality and aren't just there to fill up the background.
I specifically recall the scene where a shopkeeper remarks how his store was wrecked in a tank match and is looking forward to being compensated for it.
That is world building with substance.
It's also worth noting how dedicated the studio was to tank terminology and strategic accuracy. I especially like how it zooms out to an RTS view when they are executing manuevers.
The opening is great too with a pleasant vocal song and striking visuals. It manages to not be break away from genric opening design by being unique in it's presentation resulting in something I seldom skip.
Girls und Panzer as the name says so it's about a few girls in highschool who have an hobby called "Panzerfaren" that might be a typo but anyways the anime itself was quite good here is my review about it.
Animation 8/10 : This is quite an high score but that's because the tanks look really good wich are made with CGI else than that the character designs are quite good I like them and the backgrounds also looked good but nothing special so overall apart from the tanks it's nothing special
Story 6/10 : And this is the weakest point in this show it's the story not that it's that bad but it is very predictable I won't spoil anything but that's just waht I think about it, other than that the pacing was quite good.
Sound: 8/10 : The main reason why I give this show such a high score for sound is because they use the song "Katyusha" in ep 8, wich is a very good song in my opinion other than that the sound effects are quite good when they are firing the guns of the tanks.
Characters 6/10 : Also not a strong point in this show are the characters I didn't like them that much and other than that they inroduce characters on the last few episode's wich was also quite "meh" for me
Enjoyment 6.5 /10 : Overall this was more enjoyable than I thought it would be the action scence's where quite good but the other moments it's kind dull overall it was an average anime but the only thing is that it has quite a good animation and CGI of the tanks.
Extra note if you already watched this show and you liked it I suggest you check out "Upotte!!" wich is almost the same only this show the girls use guns instead of tanks
This was my review of Girls und Panzer if you liked my review please leave a comment or check out my other reviews thanks in advance
TL;DR Light entertainment anime, good for a once over, with no rewatch value.
This anime was pleasant. I enjoyed watching it, because it was light and easy to handle. It tries to have a deep story and background motivation for all of the girls, but it doesn't actually manage to make the watcher care. This has absolutely no rewatch value apart from the clips that you can see on youtube.
Now, in most fanslations they have german words sprinkled allover the place, which requires at least a basic understanding of German to understand. So, there are lots of moments where you will have no idea what they are saying, but it won't matter because the story has no depth.
I could spoil the entire story for you in one sentence. I won't do that, but this is basically it "They fight in a big tournament with shitty tanks, and are the underdogs." Take a wild guess at what happens.
The animation is kind of budget at times. Not really badly so, but there are places where you can see corners cut. Their tanks look wayyyy cooler in the beginning, and then they stop having them customized. That was sad, because it would have been more entertaining with them looking ridiculous.
Sound fits the stuff. Tank noises are all muted, but that is necessary to hear them talking, so i don't mind that. Intro and outro songs are boring as hell, I skipped them every time.
Characters. The characters are different enough that people will have favourites, and while they have personalities, they seem forced, and the little bit given to background stories seems really rushed and contrived.
There are enough jokes that I laughed at least once an episode.