Girls and WWII-era military assets
There is a subgenre that can be accurately defined as “girls and military machinery from World War 2”. It need not be said that this is a very popular category that consists of a number of well-known shows. Broadly speaking, there are three classes that I have listed below with some examples:
- Girls and ships: KanColle, Haifuri, Azur Lane
- Girls and planes: Strike Witches
- Girls and tanks: Girls und Panzer
Now, the reason I’m talking about these is because Azur Lane is coming out this Fall season, so I thought I’d give it a go. I had previously steered clear of these types of shows because of their flimsy premise. I mean… the girls are the battleships? You can’t just mash two good things together and expect the outcome to be twice as good! But, well, I should approach it with an open mind and see how it turns out.
I lasted 1.5 episodes before my suspension of disbelief collapsed. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what caused it; I would say that it started at the “girls being battleships” part and got worse from there. Throw in some improbably fanservice-y clothing and a plot that involved the fate of humanity, and I just couldn’t take it anymore. This mirrors my inability to watch Strike Witches for more than 5 minutes at a time - the questions start at “why the cat ears?” and they don’t stop.
However, that’s not to say that I avoid this genre altogether. One of my favorite shows is Girls und Panzer, which involves girls participating in tank battles as an extracurricular activity. OSH issues aside, this is relatively believable compared to the other shows on this list, even after you throw in the fact that each school is basically a large aircraft carrier. And if you still can’t believe it, that’s okay, because the stakes aren’t so high that the characters take it too seriously.
Also, Girls und Panzer has one of the best opening/ending song combinations that I’ve had the pleasure to listen to. The ending is particularly catchy.