14 CommentsTwelve Days / By Inushinde /

12 Days of Anime #12: Katyusha of the Swirling Snow

With less than two weeks left until Christmas, it’s time for that much-anticipated aniblogger event where good little boys and girls write about their favorite moments using well thought out examples, and the bad ones (i.e. me), do the same, but without the “well thought out” part. The best part (aka the third) of these 12 Days posts starts now!


I’ve hinted at my love for Girls und Panzer many times, often with the subtlest of hints like “I fucking love this show!” and “Girls und Panzer, please marry me.” The only reason why this moment isn’t higher is because it was so damn recent, that I’m pretty sure I’m still suffering from enormous recency bias. Still, when comparing this to many other moments of the year, it came to the forefront and demanded to be written like a spoiled brat that I can’t help but lavish attention on, because it has girls doing anglerfish dances and even smaller girls singing patriotic Soviet songs.

But the brilliant choreography of the anglerfish dance isn’t my reason for writing this, as the title might have hinted at, though it might have very well have made the list were it not eclipsed by even better moments on a routine basis. Surprisingly well-orchestrated tank battles, acts of espionage gone hilariously wrong, and tanks painted in the spirit of the Roman legions all managed to make Girls und Panzer as great as it is, but only one moment thus far could have possibly outshined them all with its brilliance, and I’m sure many people who’ve seen it would agree when I say that Katyusha and her merry band of blatant Soviet representation inexplicably breaking into song has been the highlight of the show so far—so much so that I’ve even written on it before in slightly greater depth.

But it’s more than an impromptu patriotic song warbled by no less than fifteen tank teams representing the combined armed might of the Soviet military. Katyusha herself is probably the most memorable character in the show so far, and not just because her helmet threatens to engulf her entire head if she’s not careful. To make up for her trundling adorably through the snow before glowering adorably at Oorai’s sensha-do team from on top of her vice-commander’s shoulders (adorably!), she decides to make a show of her leadership in a manner as over the top as it is indicative of a long-standing (pardon the pun) height complex.


What specifically makes the singing of Katyusha by Katyusha for Katyusha so great is the lyrics, which chime about a strong, tall, proud woman who strolls on the tallest hillsides waiting for her man to come home: the exact opposite of the Katyusha that we know whose excuse for not pressing victory is so she can take a nap. The whole moment is about contrasts, a little girl whose leitmotif is the Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy doing her best to distract from her diminutive height in a way that only draws more attention to it. And I can’t help but find that precious enough to be one of my favorite moments of this year, and certainly the high point of Girls und Panzer thus far.

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  1. Posted December 15, 2012 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    Definitely made the right decision to not include this on my 12 days. Not going to top that description.

    • Inushinde
      Posted December 16, 2012 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Ha. Thanks.

  2. Posted December 15, 2012 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    You will forever be the spokesperson for this scene. If I had put this on my list it would have literally consisted of a Youtube embed of the song and a link to your post.

    And to think that I didn’t even bother to pick up Girls und Panzer until halfway through the season.

    Also, here you go, have fun: http://youtu.be/sA5IFJqjXiQ

    • Inushinde
      Posted December 16, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Well shit, there go the next ten hours.

  3. Posted December 15, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink


    Anyway, loved the song and boy, Katyusha is so adorable. I’m surprised that she never really came across as annoying.

    Also, Inushinde, who’s your favorite Panzerfahrerin so far? I’d love to have some fluffy Senshadou with Erwin.

  4. shytende
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    So, a show about moe girl fighting in tanks against hilarious stereotypes managed to not only stay good, but become better and even have some subtility on it ?
    And also managed to be like by person who doesn’t particulary enjoy moe ?

    …Yes. That’s clearly the best show of this season.

    • Inushinde
      Posted December 16, 2012 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Hey, I’ll back that statement up. Great fucking show.

  5. Cirith
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    So I suppose I should actually finish the first episode, which I dropped halfway because I wasn’t in the mode for highschoolgirls in arbitrary scenarios.

    • Inushinde
      Posted December 16, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink


  6. shytende
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Giving the stereotype Katyusha is playing (The Napoleon), she should have been French…

    • Inushinde
      Posted December 16, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      The French aren’t quite as famous for their tank warfare as the Soviets though. ‘Sides, it’s funny to imagine a commander representing the largest nation as a little girl.

  7. Posted December 15, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    This moment was truly….breathtaking and you did an excellent job describing it.

    You should have put this moment further down (you are going by the best moment comes later on motif, correct?) because it really is that good (I know recency bias and all that, but still!).

  8. Inushinde
    Posted December 16, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    I figured that labeling it one of the better of the best moments so soon after (repeatedly) viewing it, would be a bit regrettable down the line, even if I completely forgot about these 12 Days further down the line.

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