Girls and tanks. Hmmm. A compelling combination for sure. Well, at the very least it has resulted in several manga series, an anime TV series, a film, and future films. On top of all of that, we have the OVA Girls Und Panzer: The Real Anzio Battle.
Generally speaking, Girls Und Panzer is a series around girl’s schools that practice what, to us, would be a rather unorthodox sport: tank battles. The story follows the Oarai Girls School and their competition in tank battles. As the story begins, Miho transfers to this school because she is trying to get away from tank battles and Oarai does not participate in these competitions any more. She no longer wants to compete in the sport and must leave her current school to get away from the expectation. However, in true story-telling fashion, as soon as she begins to settle into her new school and tank-free life, the school announces the revival of the sport. Shortly thereafter, she finds herself back in the game. And this is where Girls Und Panzer series takes us.
Now, Girls Und Panzer: The Real Anzio Battle occurs near the middle of the TV series. Set during the events of episode 7, this OVA centers around the match between Oarai Girls School and the Italian-themed Anzio High School (hence the name of the animation). The girls at Anzio procure a secret weapon that they are sure will propel them to victory. Meanwhile, the girls at Oarai engage in some light espionage to uncover their secret weapon and gather the intel necessary to fight them. At the climax, we see the two teams engage in battle complete with misdirection and trickery as both schools are pushed to their limits and Miho must lead her team to overcome Anzio.
Girls Und Panzer: The Real Anzio Battle moves quite briskly. Being essentially a TV episode at 38 minutes long, nothing drags too long. This also means that there isn’t a ton of backstory given here. While being a standalone story, the OVA expects you to know what is going on from the TV series. This isn’t really a bad thing; it just leaves it relatively inaccessible to those like myself who haven’t followed the show. The story is interesting enough and the characters from both schools are fun to follow. The battle is even quite enjoyable. I really did find myself enjoying this show even though I was missing quite a bit of it. I just think that this greatly needs a familiarity with the show itself.
The transfer for Girls Und Panzer: The Real Anzio Battle is quite nice. The colors pop well and feel pleasantly natural. Action sequences feel smooth and clean. Detail is quite strong as well.
Sentai delivers this OVA with quality audio in two languages. The original Japanese is in DTS-HD Master Audio 4.1 while the English is in DTS-HD Master Audio 4.1. Both audio tracks sound quite good with great clarity and decent depth. The sound effects are quite solidly represented as well in the battle sequences.
Packaging and Special Features: 2/5
*yawn* I didn’t expect much, but I didn’t get much either: a Clean Closing Animation. However, it is a combo pack in a solid combo case with decent artwork.
In the end, I do recommend this. But, I really think this should be paired with the show, either chronologically alongside episode 7 or immediately following the series. I don’t think it works to its fullest potential viewed on its own. The technical presentation is solid. The extras are pretty light, but that is to be expected for what this is. I think fans of the show will be quite pleased with what they have with this feature, though. Definitely worth picking up for fans, stream it otherwise.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.