My full collection of commentary on GaruPan can be found in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, A Study in Command, Girls und Feminism, and the DVD
Herewith a collection of miscellaneous thoughts on GaruPan. I really should let it go, but there’s so much more that can be said.
For example: The real Goosefish hunts birds.
For example: There are twenty-one characters in the initial episodes of GaruPan. Another ten join by the time all fourteen episodes have run. That’s way too many for the usual rounds of individual character development, so one of the things you might expect to see is how the characters of the teams themselves change — or don’t. A couple of the teams don’t have time to change, Anteater (the World of Tanks girls) isn’t around long enough to even establish a baseline, let alone change. Team Mallard, the hall monitors, has not much more time, and doesn’t grow much beyond Sodoko’s personality. Four more of the teams, Turtle (Student Council), Hippo (History Club), Duck (Volleyball Club), and Leopan (Auto Club) come to us fully formed and effective. They existed before Sensha-Dō, and will presumably continue to exist afterwards. Except for Team Turtle (about which more in a later post), none of the individuals stand out, and there’s not much team development, because it all happened somewhere else. That leaves one team to talk about:
The coming-of-age of Team Rabbit
This is the group that progressed farthest as a team. In the third episode, the six first-year students of Team Rabbit attempted to flee the practice match, shouting ‘run away’ (actually, I think it was にげお — ni.gi.o — escape). In the fourth episode, in the match against St. Gloriana, they abandoned their tank, and in episode five, the first formal match, they almost forget to load shells for the M3’s guns. But gradually they become more confident and more capable, and by episode ten they are starting to show some teamwork
And make sure you have the shells loaded this time!
They demonstrate their maturity in episode 11, when they volunteer to be abandoned in the river in order to not hold back the side. In the last episode they come into their own, displaying skill and daring and courage unthinkable six episodes earlier. First, they play picador on the giant Maus, lashing it with machine gun fire to get it to turn its turret, and then sliding artfully away from its gunline, shouting ‘run away’, while Team Duck drives up on its rear deck and blocks the turret in position. When the Kuromorimine team arrives in town, they volunteer to be the ones to attack the rear guard, doing so with a trick they learned from Kelly’s Heroes.
An Elefant is no match for a killer Rabbit
At the end, they play matador with a JagdTiger, attacking it head to head and enticing it to push them backwards until they slide aside, in in the panzer version of suerte de muleta, upon which it rushes past them and head first over an embankment.
Considering that these girls are at the bottom of the pecking order, both as individuals and as a team, GaruPan manages to jam a lot of character development into the few minutes of screen time they are allotted.
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