Girls und Panzer – The DVD

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

UPDATE: I thought I’d enhance the value of this entry by listing the three Garupan DVDs I’m aware of. None of them is perfect.

1. Cheap Malyasian copy that claims 12 episodes (and numbers them that way) but really is just the first ten episodes from Japan, plus the two fillers (5.5 and 10.5) renumbered. CON: Episodes 11 and 12 are missing. PRO: It’s the only one with Katyusha.

2. Cheap Malaysian copy of all 12 regular episodes, as aired in the US. CON: the Katyusha minute has been cut out.

3. Official US release of all 12 episodes, with better subtitles and corrected animation. CON: Katyusha has been replaced by a minute of generic music. This is the one I describe below.

So, here’s our penultimate antepenultimate Garupan entry (bit of social commentary to follow, and I’m still waiting for the OVA). I got the full-up US version of the DVD from Amazon last week, and just now marathoned it. As you might expect, it’s very close to the Crunchyroll streamed version, but there are some interesting differences in the details. There’s no great narrative flow here, so I’ll just give you an unsorted list.

Visually, it looks a lot better on the bigger TV screen than on my monitor. One drawback to this is, the CG-ness of the tanks is more obvious (particularly when anime figures are integrated), but after a while, you don’t notice. Other effects are enhanced — the snow explosions look better, as does the snow kicked up by the tracks. Small animation errors have been corrected. The national match is now the 63rd both times you see it (instead of 63rd one place and 74th the other). After the match with Saunders, one of the Rabbit Team was left out of one of the shots in the streaming version, but appeared in the following close-up. She’s in both shots now, but not very well done.

The sound is about the same, although in spots it seems more subdued. That might be because I’ve been listening to the full symphonic soundtrack so much.

Translator’s notes have been added, and I was right about the “any old iron” call in Episode 10. Also in Episode 10, they explain that katsu (カツ, cutlet = fried, breaded chicken/pork/etc) has the same pronunciation as katsu (かつ, to win), which is why all the chicken puns for the Student Council, and why everybody’s eating fried, breaded something.

Translator’s fluffs: In Episode 11, the STuG III is told to aim at the Lange next, the Lange looking like a bigger Hetzer. Actually, what the Japanese says is onii-chan, or “it looks like Hetzer’s older brother”. Interestingly, the English dub gets it right. In Episode 10, when the hall monitors are preparing their poster, it doesn’t just say “how to support your team“, as the DVD would have it. A Japanese friend of mine gave me some of the translation I mentioned in an earlier entry. It also says: “no booing, no flash [cameras], no costumes” — more like what you’d expect the hall monitors to write.

The Katyusha kerfullfle: As I mentioned in an earlier essay, the original program broadcast in Japan included a one-minute segment of the Pravda team singing Katyusha as they drove into battle. That minute was cut out of the Chrunchyroll stream because of the idiotic copyright status of the song in the US, which is different from the rest of the world. They haven’t solved the copyright issues yet, but the DVD version makes a valiant attempt to patch the hole. They include the edited minute, but with generic moujik music. They even went so far as to edit the characters so that their mouths didn’t move, because there’s no singing. This makes for a creepy ten or fifteen seconds of motionless facetime. I guess that’s the best they could do under the circumstances.

Extras: Nothing much. Clean openings and endings. Japanese trailers and ads.

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