It’s the quarter-final of the 63rd National High School Sensha-dō Tournament with Ooarai Girls High School up against the newly introduced, Italian-themed, Anzio Girls High School. Unbeknownst to the team, the fate of Ooarai is still in the balance; win and they progress to the next round to face Pravda, lose and it’s all over for the school. With new challenges to face, will Miho, her crew and the rest of the team win against the tankette’s (small light armoured tanks about the size of small cars) of Anzio or will they penetrate Ooarai’s armour on the way to the semi-finals?
This is the Real Anzio Battle! is the 7th OVA of the Girls und Panzer series, taking place towards the end of the 7th episode of the TV series, it covers the quarter-final match between the Ooarai and Anzio schools. Girls und Panzer is currently entering its final stages as a series with The Final Chapter, a 6 part OVA film releasing from December 2017 onwards, a PlayStation Vita game based on the 2015 film releasing in early 2018, and, recently, a live-action promotional music video; yes, you did read that right and yes I have lost count of the amount of times I’ve watched it already. Once again, the OVA was produced by Actas (Princess Principal), released as a Blu-Ray/DVD combo by MVM Entertainment, with a runtime of 38 minutes. On-disc, extras include the clean closing theme and trailers from Sentai Filmworks.
The Anzio battle was mentioned in the TV series in one scene, then in the next scene the match had finished, it was rather jokingly skipped over in the TV series. This is the Real Anzio Battle! OVA is one of Girls und Panzer’s funnier episodes and takes on a more light-hearted tone compared to some of the other episodes and the film, mainly due to the new characters from Anzio which are introduced. From the Anzio team, 3 new main characters are introduced, the commander is Anchovy who is a bit energetic and is determined to win even though her school is always at a disadvantage. One of two Vice Commanders for Anzio is Carpaccio, she is the opposite of Anchovy; she’s polite and quiet and was happy to meet an old friend who is on the Ooarai team. The 2nd Vice Commander for Anzio is Pepperoni who is very gung-ho and jumps right into things, which is shown very early on in the match, which causes problems for the rest of her team. Compared to the other schools introduced in the TV series, the Anzio characters are a lot less serious and provide great entertainment throughout the episode. The new characters introduced in the OVA really bring life to the episode, and the English dub cast of Kira Vincent-Davis (Anchovy), Christina Strotup (Carpaccio) and Christina Kelly (Pepperoni), all really get into their respective character’s enthusiasm, with Christina Kelly (Mine in Akame Ga Kill) providing an impressive performance, which I rate as one of her best to date. I do have a slight issue with both the dub and sub, in that the round after the Anzio match is referred to as being the quarter-final when it is the semi-final, that is the only issue I found.
To me, one of the stand out elements throughout all the Girls und Panzer episodes and the movie, which still impresses me to this day, is the animation quality, the detail of the tanks, and the sound effects. Each time it gets better and better, although not as good as the movie, (the OVA was created first) it’s still a step up compared to the TV series and the other OVA’s, by making good use of CG and traditional animation. The OST takes a slightly different change in the OVA; like with the other episodes, the OST tends to be based on music from the opposing school’s theme, so in this case it’s Italian based, it’s upbeat and goes well with how the Anzio tanks are shown as being fast and nimble throughout the episode. The opening theme is “DreamRiser” by ChouCho and the ending theme is “Enter Enter MISSION!” by Ankou Team.
This is the Real Anzio Battle! goes back to the old formula from the TV series where the characters aren’t burdened with the knowledge of the school’s fate, which allows the episode and the characters to have more freedom, compared to the later TV episodes. The new characters introduced, and their respective VA’s, bring a lot of entertainment to the episode, making them the biggest stars of the episode. Keeping with the over-the-top action sequences, quality of animation and sound effects, This is the Real Anzio Battle! OVA is up to the usual standards for Girls und Panzer. I described the movie as being “a fun-filled 120 minutes”, This is the Real Anzio Battle! provides more of the same across its 38-minute runtime. Now it’s time to wait for the Final Chapter OVAs and the game to finish off Girls und Panzer.