Girls und Panzer brings together the cliche setting of a sports team trying to save their school from being shut down and WWII armored warfare. While the series offers little in the terms of writing, the concept of introducing tank battles brings with it some interesting mechanics and fantastic combat scenes. For the casual anime fan, the series will come off as enjoyable though hardly exceptional.
However, for those with a knack for WWII history in both a historical reference and pop culture references, Girls und Panzer is nothing short of a masterpiece. With the guidance of Takeshi Nogami and Takaaki Suzuki assisting the directing team, the historical accuracy of the series in terms of mechanical, technical, and operation depictions is absolutely spot-on. The tanks and other vehicles depicted in the series are flawlessly created to their historical accuracies. Operation names and references are abound, historical terminology and references flood every episode, and pop culture references in terms of movies, music, and more are hidden in the backgrounds everywhere. From movie posters to models, food to quick one-liners, there is no shortage of things to pick up for those with the discerning eye.
In terms of the characters, they are all well developed and play true to their set tones, but are typically easy to pick out. The Americans are boisterous, the Germans overtly stringent, the British refined, and so forth. While none of these are particular unique, the way the characters are carried out make them all endearing in their own unique ways. Even side-characters such as the Rabbit Team are given their due diligence. The Hippo Team and Duck Team are shown in amazing fashion of how characters in a club can still have their own interests and motivations outside of the series setting. Yet all of these are still weaved seamlessly into the narrative and help bring the individual characters together in a fitting fashion.
Girls und Panzer is a rare gem in modern anime that follows through with its purpose in every conceivable manner to the point of obsession. Every minute detail is given a painstakingly amount of effort to ensure its authenticity and accuracy. While the underlying theme of the series is rather cookie cutter, its amazing follow-thru to ensure the journey is an enjoyable one is sure to entertain even those with little-to-no WWII knowledge. For others, Girls und Panzer is sure to be an instant favorite for anyone with any amount of affinity for WWII history or mechanized warfare.