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Girls & Panzer: Complete OVA Series (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

February 15, 2014 by  



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If you enjoyed “Girl & Panzer: Complete TV Series”, then definitely check out “Girls & Panzer: Complete OVA Series”.  It is short at only 74 minutes long and while not essential to enjoying the TV series, this is for fans who want to see more of the girls of Oarai Academy! 

Image courtesy of © 2013 Sentai Holdings, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Girls & Panzer: Complete OVA Series

ANIME RELEASE DATE: 2012-2013

DURATION: 6 Episodes (75 Minutes)

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, English and Japanese DTS-HD MA 2.0, Subtitles: English subtitles

COMPANY: Sentai Filmworks

RATING: TV 14 V

Release Date: February 25, 2014

Directed by Tsutomu Mizushima

Series Composition by Reiko Yoshida

Music by Shiroh Hamaguchi

Original Character Design by Humikane Shimada

Character Design by Isao Sugimoto

Art Direction by Yutaka Onishi

3D Director: Keiichiro Yagino

Anime Production: Actas

Featuring the following voice talent:

Ai Kayano/Jessica Calvello as Saori Takebe

Ikumi Nakagami/Rebekah Stevens as Yukari Akiyama

Mai Fuchigami/Meg McDonald as Miho Nishizumi

Mami Ozaki/Caitlynn French as Hana Isuzu

Yuka Iguchi/Molly Searcy as Mako Reizei

The girls from Oarai are back, and whether they’re shopping for swimsuits, camping out or doing the Ankou Dance, they bring their own special brand of Tankery to the task at hand. There’s also a tour of the Oarai school ship, a look at what REALLY happened while Yukari and Erwin were out doing reconnaissance, and a team talent contest that’s not to be missed!

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The Tankery girls from Oarai Girls Academy are back in six fun and short OVA episodes as the group goes out to find swimsuits for the beach, discover what else is on the ships where their schools are located and also a post-win celebration in “Girls & Panzer: Complete OVA Series” available from Sentai Filmworks.

What is “Girl & Panzer” about?

In winter 2012 and spring 2013, the Japanese anime TV series “Girls und Panzer” captivated audiences in Japan for its cute girls who take part in tank battles and utilize tank strategies to take on their more powerful rivals.

Produced by Actas, the series is directed by Tsutomu Mizushima (“Big Windup!”, Genshiken”, “Ichigo 100%”, “xxxHOLic”), series composition by Reiko Yoshida (“Blue Exorcist the Movie”, “Gad Guard”, “Major”, “Kaleido Star”), music by Shiroh Hamaguchi (“Galilei Donna”, “Ah! My Goddess”, “One Piece”), character designs by Isao Sugimoto (“Kemeko Deluxe!”, “Sketchbook ~full color’S~”), art direction by Yutaka Ohishi (“Heaven’s Memo Pad”) and 3D direction by Keiichiro Yagino (“Blassreiter”).

And now, the popular series titled “Girls and Panzer: Complete TV Series” was released on Blu-ray and DVD in Dec. 2013 courtesy of Sentai Filmworks and now “Girls & Panzer: Complete OVA Series” in Feb. 2014.

“Girls & Panzer” takes place where various high school academies compete in sensha-do (Tankery) competitions and one of the families that have dominated the Tankery scene are the Nishizumi family.

But for Miho Nishizumi, she has transferred to Oarai Girls Academy because it doesn’t offer Tankery and for her, to get away from it is the best thing she can only hope for. Despite practicing and was involved in Tankery at a previous academy.

And immediately, she makes friends with Saori Takebe, a girl who loves to read women’s magazines on how to attract guys. Also, Hana Isuzu, a refined teenager who practices ikebana (flower arrangement).

But as the group try to find out what club to join for the year, Miho is called by the President, Vice President and PR spokesperson of Oarai High School in regards to their selection for club activities and because of her experience, the president tells Miho that if she doesn’t choose Tankery, she and her friends will be kicked out of Oarai High.

Upset about what the President has said, Miho notices Saori and Hana arguing on her behalf and if anything, she is very happy to have friends behind her. Not wanting to see them kicked out of school because of her, Miho decides to join Tankery if it keeps her and her new friends out of trouble.

But the real reason why the President of the school has put their hopes on Miho to join the Tankery club is because if Oarai Academy does not win the Tankery competition, their school will be closed down.

Meanwhile, Miho, Saori and Hana make new friends: Yukari who is excited about Tankery and a moody, always half-asleep Mako Reizei and the five together are able to make a great team and along with other Oarai Tankery members, they notice that Miho is actually a fantastic commander that can lead them during competitions.

But will Oarai Academy have what it takes to take on the favored academy to win the Tankery competition, Kuromorimine Girls High School, led by Miho’s older sister Maho?

And will Oarai be able to defeat St. Gloriana Girls Academy, Saunders University High School, Pravda High School and Anzio High School?

That was the TV series and now with the complete OVA series, these episodes are a mix of fun stand alone episodes and episodes that take place during or after the TV series.

Here is a spoiler-less summary of OVA episode 1-6:

  • EPISODE 1: The girls at Oarai Academy are heading to beach but what kind of swimsuits should they purchase?
  • EPISODE 2: The girls at Oarai Academy go on a camping trip.
  • EPISODE 3: The girls at Oarai look at what is inside their academy ship.
  • EPISODE 4: The girls perform in their Anglerfish outfits.
  • EPISODE 5: Yukari and Erwin go on a reconnaissance mission to spy on Pravda (which takes place in TV episode 10).
  • EPISODE 6: Oarai Academy celebrates with a victory celebration.

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VIDEO:

“Girls & Panzer: Complete OVA Series” is presented in 1080p High Definition and I have to say that Actas did a wonderful job with production of this series. From the mechanical designs of the tanks, the focus on the treads and movements of various tanks is very well-done. Character designs for each of the characters, environments of the towns and also each academy which sits on top of a huge ship, everything about this series is colorful, vibrant with beautiful art backgrounds. But I was very pleased of the detail and the research that went into the creation of the tanks and how each tank operates.

I didn’t notice any banding issues or compression during my viewing of the series.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Girls & Panzer: Complete OVA Series” is presented in Japanese and English DTS-HD MA 2.0. For the most part, both soundtracks are front-channel driven and was hoping that for a series with a lot of action, it would have received a 5.1 lossless soundtrack. But on its own, the series features crystal clear dialogue and music via the front channels. Both soundtracks are well-acted.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Girls & Panzer: Complete OVA Series” features the following special features:

  • Impressions 2 – (1:35) An alternative to the impressions that were shown in OVA episode 6.
  • Clean Opening and Ending Animations

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“Girls & Panzer” was an enjoyable and delightful series about a group of underdogs who enter a Tankery competition and must take on the best high schools.

And if you enjoyed the TV series, then you will definitely want to check out “Girl & Panzer: Complete OVA Series”.

While not half hour OVA episodes (episodes last anywhere between 4-18 minutes), the episodes are quite fun but it is important to watch the TV series first as some episodes may contain spoilers.  But for the most part, these episodes are quite fun as we watch the girls go swimsuit shopping, go camping and even a short and quick dance with their fish outfits.

But perhaps the two episodes that are connected to the TV series is the final two episodes as Yukari and Erwin go on a reconnaissance mission prior to their battle with Pravda and the final OVA episode features the celebration after the final episode.

But for the most part, these episodes are standalone episodes and are non-essential to the TV series but for fans who enjoyed the TV series and enjoy the characters, will no doubt want to watch these six short OVA episodes.

As for the Blu-ray, picture quality is very good and because they are OVA episodes, there is a bit more detail in the episodes versus the standard TV episode.  Lossless audio is DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, in English and Japanese.   And both soundtracks are well-acted.  As for special features, they are limited to the usual clean and ending animations but you do get the alternate take of the impressions segment (of OVA episode 6).

Overall, if you enjoyed “Girl & Panzer: Complete TV Series”, then definitely check out “Girls & Panzer: Complete OVA Series”.  It is short at only 74 minutes long and while not essential to enjoying the TV series, this is for fans who want to see more of the girls of Oarai Academy!

 






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