Twelve Days of Anime #11 – Katyusha
December 15, 2012 4 Comments
Girls und Panzer is a truly fascinating show, and while there are so many other aspects that are brilliant, it is the series use of music that I find particularly fascinating. Music is used in this series wonderfully, setting the scene and adding an extra emotional element that helps to situate what is about to happen. The use of music from classic WWII films, along with old pieces of music that are also heavily involved with the war further adds a certain gravitas to certain scenes.
The battle between Pravda and Ooarai provides a fascinating contrast between these two schools and their attitude towards Sensha-do. At first the introduction of Katyusha almost seems to be impromptu, as if Pravda are using this well known patriotic song to lift their spirits and carry them forward. However, this one scene helps to demonstrate the clear differences between Pravda and Ooarai. Katyusha is a wartime song composed in 1938 and depicts a girl longing for her husband who is at war. It is a song about pride and hope, one that describes the longing for peace, while also the pride of a nation. Through its inclusion we see a school united under their commander Katyusha, a diminutive girl who is utterly sure of her own abilities and military prowess.
This entire scene with Pravda united in song is shown in stark contrast to the mismatched and often disorderly Ooarai, a school that has only just started Sensha-do again. Rather than follow Miho’s plan and acknowledge her knowledge and ability in Sensha-do, Ooarai have become overconfident in their abilities. By ignoring Miho and pushing forward with their dangerous and potentially costly plan we are seeing a school that has yet to understand the importance of knowledge and abilities. The ability of this single song to demonstrate the clear differences between these two schools further emphasises the importance of music in anime and how it can do as much or more than dialogue in setting the scene. This scene is one of the most memorable from a series full of memorable moments.