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.