We’ve all seen the masterpiece of animation that is Girls und Panzer‘s final episode where Miho and the girls drift their tanks around the final boss’s tank. But can tanks drift like that?
As this video shows — there is music by the way because engines are beautiful — it is actually possible depending on the terrain and tanks. Snow makes it easier for the tracks to drift. However, it will not be as fast as the tanks you see in the show.
There is the problem of basing things in reality. You could either go hard science fiction and make everything possible in the realm of your premise or just go ballistics and see what happens. And both of them require a different type of art and specialty.
Indeed, you’ll never find a tank in real life that can do an amazing smooth drift. The smoothest I’ve seen comes from this CCTV video:
But that also happens to be done on the road. In Girls und Panzer, tanks can drift anywhere as long as Miho wills it.
I don’t believe Miho is some super god or daemon from the Final Fantasy universe. Instead, it is that tank drifting is extremely possible in the realm of its premise.
The genius of Girls und Panzer comes from how unrealistic and cartoony its depiction of tank warfare is. It has no sense of reality, no repercussions of war, nothing to do with how people see the symbols of tanks. They have turned the symbol of war into the symbol of Moe.
People do get frightened by this conversion. They think people will assume tanks can drift very easily in the future. It is another argument against Moe because it makes light of serious war situations. War is serious business according to Kojima Hideo and he has predicted everything in Metal Gear Solid 2. Surely, we should be wary of such a thing?
But that’s the same argument that has been used in violence/sex in video games. And certainly, Girls und Panzer is too out there to be taken seriously.
An impressionable young child, if they watch such a masterpiece, will instead learn that Ourai is a great place to visit and you can pose with cardboard cutouts of Saori. They may also be interested in the country of Finland because their tanks can easily fly.
This isn’t historical revisionism but a way for people to express themselves in taboo subjects. People who like military gadgets are seen as psychotic outcasts who love guns. But as shows like Sabagebu have shown, you can make them relatable by making them anime. Cute girls make everything relatable.
So remember, whenever you make a military otaku cry, you are making a cute anime girl cry.
This is a great post on tank drifting and I will continue my valiant efforts in writing 12 posts on Garupan with my limited knowledge tomorrow with a post on the greatness of Finland. Until then.