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Episode 5 "The Veterans: Sherman Corps!" "Kyõgõ Shaman Gundan Desu!" ( 強豪 : シャーマン軍団です ! ) is the fifth episode of Girls und Panzer. It originally aired on November 5th, 2012.
Miho Nishizumi and her friends gather in the Leclerc Tank Café to discuss the upcoming first match of the tournament against Saunders Girls High School, predicted to be difficult due to their significant material advantage allowing them to field ten tanks to Ooarai's five. Whilst there, the girls are chanced upon by the Kuromorimine Vice-Commander, the rude and condescending Erika Itsumi, and the Commander, the aloof Maho Nishizumi, who turns out to be the big sister of Miho. The meeting shatters Miho's confidence in their chances of success, worsened when the Student Council exerts additional pressure in expectation of an entire tournament win.
The next day, it is noticed that Yukari Akiyama is absent from class and training and out of mobile range. They visit her house, which turns out to be a barbershop run by her parents. Who react with joy to discover that Yukari has made friends: Yukari was a solitary loner through primary school since she knew nobody else who shared her passion for Sensha-dō. The girls wait in Yukari's bedroom upstairs, whence she enters through the window wearing a convenience store uniform.
Yukari displays a video recording wherein, upon observing Miho stressing over the coming match, Yukari infiltrates the Saunders Girls High School carrier by stowing away on a cargo vessel. Posing as a Saunders student, she obtains footage of of the M4, M4A1, and M4A6 Sherman tanks, along with a recording of the match briefing, including the entire Saunders battle-lineup, strategy and flag tank. However, she is caught out after asking too many suspicious questions, although she manages to escape before being apprehended.
Back in Ooarai, training continues, with Team A putting in extra hours to hone their skills. The tanks are repainted to monochromatic camouflage schemes and reassigned with new designations: Team A becomes Anglerfish Team, with a pink anglerfish as their logo, Team B becomes Duck Team with a logo of a white duck spreading its wings, Team C becomes Hippo Team, with a logo showing a blue hippo's backside, Team D becomes Rabbit Team, featuring a knife-wielding pink rabbit logo, and the student council becomes Turtle Team, with a logo of a two-legged turtle.
The match begins, and is revealed to be attended by representatives from both St. Gloriana Girls and Kuromorimine Girls High Schools. Saunders Girls High School fields eight M4 Sherman tanks, one Sherman 'Firefly' and an M4A1 as their flag tank. Almost as soon as the match begins Rabbit Team, scouting alone, is ambushed by nine of Saunders' ten tanks. Miho commits the entire Ooarai force to save them, although Saunders continually preempts their movements and surrounds them. Ooarai charges through the encirclement, experiencing near misses and narrowly avoiding a head on collision with a head on collision with the Sherman vehicles.
Suspicious of the Saunders attack that seemed to be predicting Ooarai movements, Miho soon spots a radio balloon hovering over the battlefield that is wire tapping Ooarai radio transmissions. Miho then has Saori coordinate commands through their mobile phones instead, whilst using the radios only to plant false intelligence. Saunders' Vice-Commander Alisa swallows the bait, and sends the entire Saunders force to an exposed crossroads.
Duck Team attaches a log to their tank and creates a dust cloud that leads the majority of the Saunders tanks away, whilst a fake radio signal supposedly disclosing the location of the exposed Ooarai flag tank (Turtle Team's Panzer 38(t)) lures two M4 Shermans into a trap. Ooarai's ambush knocks out one Sherman, which comes as a great surprise to all parties. However, the second Saunders tank manages to escape without being hit.
- Maho Nishizumi
- Erika Itsumi
- Jungorou Akiyama
- Yoshiko Akiyama
- Naomi (Seen on screen, not named)
- M4 Sherman (75mm T6 variant)
- M4A1(W) Sherman (76mm M1 T23 variant)
- M4A4 VC Sherman "Firefly"
- M4A6 Sherman (Seen on screen, not deployed in combat)
- Fiat 2000 (Café tank model to summon waitress)
- M25 "Dragon Wagon" Tank Transporter (Café food delivery vehicle model)
- The team meets Maho Nishizumi and learns of an incident in the previous year's tournament precluding Miho Nishizumi's transfer.
- Yukari Akiyama infiltrates Saunders Girls High School.
- The match against Saunders Girls High School begins.
- Using Radio Interception Equipment, Saunders gains an advantage early match.
- Ooarai finds out about transmissions being intercepted. They trick Saunders into an ambush, eliminating an M4 Sherman.
- In the Café a poster features one of Motofumi Kobayashi's 1993 manga Happy Tiger.
- The ship that Ooarai use to return to the school carrier after the tournament draw is a Kasuga-class armoured cruiser.
- When exposed, Yukari Akiyama claims to be 'Sergeant Oddball from the 6th Armoured Division', which is a reference to the movie "Kelly's Heroes". In supplementary material, it is revealed that Kay never learnt Yukari's true name, and Saunders posted warnings to other schools of a spy named 'Sergeant Oddball'.
- In the spin-off manga Ribbon Warrior, it is revealed that Yukari has become infamous amongst the entire Sensha-dō community for her infiltration missions and their effectiveness.
- In the spin-off manga Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu! Alisa attempts to get revenge on Ooarai for both the infiltration and the counterintelligence by performing her own infiltration of the Ooarai school carrier. She arrives in the middle of a club pool party, and her recon mission ends in shameful failure.
- It is revealed that in primary school Yukari had a punch perm.
- Stowing away on a convenience store ship is evidently the common standard for Sensha-dō recon infiltrations. In the spin-off manga Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu! it is revealed that the service ship crew do not oppose the action even if they are aware of the stowaways.
- The Leclerc Tank Café features a poster of a T28 Super-Heavy Tank on the wall. This becomes a reference to Girls und Panzer der Film.
- Adorning a shelf in Yukari Akiyama's room are a set of models of several tanks and military vehicles (from left to right, top to down):
- Cruiser tank Mk. VIII Cromwell Mk.IV
- T71/M36 90mm GMC 'Jackson'
- SdKfz 260 Leichter Panzerspähwagen Ausf. A
- Pz.Kpfw II Ausf.C
- PzBfWg I Ausf.B
- Flakpanzer 38(t) Gepard
- SdKfz 166 Sturmpanzer IV Brummbär
- Saunders Girls High School is the only school shown to have a cheerleading squad.
- Yukari's room featured a poster with a realistic version of Oberleutnant Ernst Von Bauer from Motofumi Kobayashi's 1985 manga The Black Knight Story.
- Also in Yukari's room are posters and models featuring many different tanks, including:
- On the title screen of Yukari's infiltration video, the backdrop is the silhouette of a Type 74 Main Battle Tank.
- The M4A6 Sherman tanks are painted a different colour scheme (Yellow) to the rest of the Saunders tanks (green). They also do not have the Saunders school insignia on the side of the tank, unlike the rest of the vehicles.
- Yukari Akiyama states that the model in the café makes the sound of a Type 90, a JSDF main battle tank. However, the gun on the Type 90 is the same armament as used on other MBTs, such as the M1A1 Abrams or the Leopard 2, so it is unknown how she can distinguish the vehicle as a Type 90.
- In the OVA, it is revealed that Yukari memorised Miho's clothes sizes during this episode.
- In the spin-off manga Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu! it is implied that the Ooarai Sensha-dō uniforms are of the same design as those used by the club before it was disbanded.
- Rabbit Team has Yuuki Utsugi take care of and account for the M3 Lee's ammunition, even though Saki Maruyama is the team's loader.
- The ending sequence features Hippo Team in the StuG III.
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"I'll do my Best as Commander!"
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"Allow me to Introduce you!