- "Don't look down on the Motor Vehicle Club's maintenance! Somebody get a wire! Attach it to the Panzer II!"
- ―Kanako and Tsurugiko Kashiwaba
- "You look surprised! This is the true power of money! We Kashiwaba Sisters have come to blow that woman away!"
- ―Kashiwaba Sisters, riding a Type 10 MBT
ATTENTION: This article is currently undergoing major renovation, as a result of the new publications released in the Little Army Series. Please refrain from editing, and list any new information you might have in the comments or talk section for now. -TTG
Kanako (金子) and Tsurugiko (剣子) Kashiwaba are a pair of twins who attend Bellwall Academy. They are the leaders of Bellwall's Automotive Club, as well as the driver and gunner of a Panzer II.
As they are always seen together, they shall henceforth be referred to as Kashiwaba in this article. Individual articles for each sister would basically be copy and paste versions of each other.
The Kashiwaba sisters made their first appearance in the first chapter of Little Army Volume 2. When Emi Nakasuga and Hitomi Yuzumoto were trying to raise money for the Sensha-dou club, the Kashiwabas drove up to the area they were fundraising at in their jeep. They announced their presence when Kanako kicked over the money jar Emi and Hitomi were using to collect funds, then insulted the two of them for trying to prevent the Sensha-dou team from being disbanded, as well as mocking them for "driving outdated tanks".
Hitomi inferred to Emi that the two of them came from an extremely wealthy family that have been funding the academy, as a result the school allowed them to do whatever they want. Recently, they had wanted to acquire the school's Sensha-dou training grounds to turn it into a racetrack. Kashiwaba justified their claims by saying that tanks were hunks of iron that couldn't make any money, in comparison to their "beautiful" car. This had the effect of angering Emi Nakasuga, who then grabbed both of them by the head and snarled at them, calling them doppelgangers and referring to their talking as annoying. The twins then began crying in fear at the threat of physical harm. When Emi challenged them in order to settle the dispute once and for all, Kashiwaba quickly recovered and stated that they wanted to have a race between a tank and a car. If Emi and Hitomi lost, they would be forced to drop out and the Sensha-dou team would be disbanded. Emi accepted their challenge and stated that if the twins lost, they would have to "lend a hand" with the Sensha-dou activities. The twins accepted and drove off laughing that it would be impossible to beat a car with a tank.
The RaceOn the day of the race, they waited for Emi and Hitomi to show up whilst lounging on bathing chairs, casually dressed in mechanic outfits. When Emi and Hitomi expressed astonishment at the racing props and crowd that were present, the Tsurugiko explained that since they were having a race, they may as well be flashy about it. Once the rules of the match were explained, they reminded Emi and Hitomi about the bet. When the match started, the Kashiwabas were able to pull ahead on a curve, with Tsurugiko taunting their opponents by saying that there was no way their four wheeler could be beaten. Kanako then expressed astonishment, when Emi forced her Tiger I onto the course itself, exclaiming that it was a cheap move. They then feigned worry that the tank would catch up and overtake them, but dropped the charade immediately afterwards, pulling far away from the tank with the power of their engine. Kanako laughed at Emi and Hitomi, claiming that there was no possible way they could catch up to them in a tank's engine. They both noted the dismayed expression on Hitomi's face, with Kanako commenting that she wondered what that, "big clumpy piece of garbage" could do and Tsurugiko claiming that there was no way the tank could win against their customized car.
TurnaroundAfter getting on the mountain course, the Kashiwabas lost sight of the Tiger I. They both expressed a willingness to let Emi and Hitomi stay in the school, should they apologize to the twins. However, they stated that the Sensha-dou team would have to disband before the election. Both began laughing and saying how good it felt to be victorious. Needless to say, they were both extremely surprised when the Tiger I crashed through the forest and back onto the track when it went through the mountain rather than around it. They were then blinded by a smoke grenade thrown by Hitomi and were unable to catch up to the Tiger I before they reached the finish line. They began throwing a tantrum at their loss, with Tsurugiko screaming that they wouldn't acknowledge the result and Kanako saying that the match was invalid and demanded a rematch. At this point, Emi approached them, commenting how sour they were being after losing. She then grabbed their heads and reminded them not to look down on tanks. The twins then fled in their car, shouting that they would remember this day and have their revenge.
The next time they were seen in the manga was at their car factory, which appears to be an installation dedicated to modifying and repairing cars. Whilst micromanaging and supervising their workers, with Tsurugiko yelling at the workers with a megaphone ever now and then, they began complaining about the race: claiming that they hated tanks and that it was all Emi's fault that they lost. They then stated that the next time they met they would slap her down and make her cry, with Kanako saying that she would spank her and Tsurugiko laughing at the prospect. They were then startled by the appearance of Emi, who stated that she needed a favor and that there was no possible way the twins could refuse her, much to their fear. They ended up buying two heavy tank destroyers for Emi, a Jagdpanther and an Elefant.
Confronting KiriDuring the confrontation between Kiri Shiratori and the Bellwall Sensha-dou team, the Kashiwabas were extremely shocked at how the main school road had been chewed up by the Infantry Tank A43 Black Prince that Kiri had arrived in, which had been forcefully airdropped onto the school grounds. They confronted Kiri, who simply threw a credit card at one of their heads, stating that there was no need for change as she was rich. This had the visible effect of severely angering both of them, who then decided to get revenge on Kiri for her high-handedness.
Battle vs. West Kureoji Grona Academy
Right before the match against West Kureoji, the Kashiwabas arrived at the school's tent in a Type 10 tank that they had purchased, with the intention of using it during the match. However, Emi informed the two of them that using the Type 10 was against the rules, nick-naming the two "Baka-washiba" as well. The two expressed indignation at the nickname and dismay that they would be unable to use the Type 10, stating that they had properly studied and read up about tanks. Fortunately, Emi realized that the Sensha-dou team had a spare tank that they could use which delighted the Kashiwaba sisters, until they realized that the aforementioned tank turned out to be a Panzer II, much to their chagrin and the amusement of Doi Chifuyu and Neko Yamamori. However, seeing as there was no other alternative, they manned the tank, with Tsurugiko driving the tank and Kanako manning the gunner and commander station.
They joined the initial assault on a small Matilda force, complaining that the firepower of their light tank was far too low. They survived Seiguro's counterattack, but had their track knocked off by the Black Prince. This caused Emi to believe they had eliminated, but the Panzer II was still fully functional, despite having lost mobility. By the time Emi confronted Kira and the Tiger I fell down the slope, the Kashiwabas had repaired their tank and had gone looking for the Tiger I, infuriated about being left behind.
When they caught up to the Tiger I, they complained about being left behind. They then noticed that the Tiger I was immobilized, and instinctively went to repair the vehicle, moving at inhuman speeds. Through the use of wave tactics and the Kashiwaba's ingenuity, they were able to repair the Tiger I in minutes, where normal repairs to the engine, transmission and tracks would have taken at least an hour. As a result, they were able to get the Tiger I up and running in time to counter-attack against Seiguro.
As Seiguro's units approached the place where the Tiger I had fallen, they saw the silhouette of a tank, and instinctively believed it was the Tiger I. Kiri Shiratori ordered her tanks to fire upon the silhouette, and prematurely claimed victory. However, the tank ended up being the Panzer II, which had served as a diversion for the Tiger I, which had flanked the Seiguro units. Their distraction allowed for the Tiger I to take out the Seiguro flag tank and win the match.
Along with the rest of Bellwall's team, the Kashiwabas went to Ooarai in order to participate in the Commemorative Cup. After the opening ceremony, they explored the town alongside the automotive team. They encountered Emi on one occasion, who expressed surprised that the two were present. They expressed indignation that Emi would even ask such a question, saying that they were participating, so naturally they would also be there.
They are later seen in the garage,
Kuromorimine vs. Bellwall
Ooarai vs. Bellwall
Before the battle, the Kashiwabas enlisted the help of their fellow automotive club members, having them crew three Panzer IIs that the Kashiwabas had purchased with their own money. This brought Bellwall's numbers up to eight tanks, as well as the ability to form a, "Panzer II Squad".
As the match was about to begin, the Kashiwabas picked up Emi and Hitomi in their custom jeep.
The Kashiwaba sisters both have long blonde hair tied with a black hairband, with a few strands of hair sticking out from the left or right side of her head. They have light blue eyes. They are both short and some have gone so far as to refer to them as having "small" bodies. They are usually seen wearing a cream colored sweater over the Bellwall Academy shirt and spats underneath their skirts. Both being part of the automotive club, they have also been seen wearing mechanic jumpsuits, sometimes with the top rolled down, and a black sports bra underneath. During Sensha-dou matches, they wear the Bellwall Academy Sensha-dō jacket in red.
They are typically drawn with an enlarged canine tooth, or a fang. This is commonly used in anime and manga to depict that a character may be mischievous or slightly hostile, but not actually "bad". It is also used to represent cuteness in a character as well. Both traits apply to the Kashiwabas in their rich-girl attitudes and their small body sizes.
Telling the Twins Apart
A way to tell the Kashiwabas apart is through the way they tie up their hair that stick out from one side of their head. Kanako (the elder) ties her hair up on the left side of her head. Tsurugiko (the younger) ties her hair up on the right side of her head. An additional way to identify them is through their roles, where Kanako is the passenger and Tsurugiko is the driver. When not speaking in unison, Kanako is usually the first to speak for the two, with Tsurugiko following up. Personality wise, Kanako seems to be slightly more outspoken and temperamental than Tsurugiko, who usually sneers or laughs along with her sister.
In the beginning of the manga, the twins are fairly arrogant and confrontational, embodying the spoiled rich-girl(s) stereotype heavily by bullying or attempting to buy out people in order to fulfill their own wishes. Indeed, they even go so far as to throw tantrums and demand to speak to figures of authority when things don't go their way. However, they show many moments of decency and maturity as the manga progresses, fulfilling their promise to help out Emi buy two (fairly powerful) tank destroyers, as well as doing their best in the Sensha-dō matches, even going so far as to buy and raise a platoon's worth of Panzer II vehicles and crewmen. This is also seen when the team is eliminated from the finals of the Commemorative Cup: both sisters start crying out of sorrow, realizing that they wouldn't be able to fulfill the team's goals. In the end, though they are still very arrogant, they care more about the people around them and are full-time supporters (and financiers) of the Sensha-dō team.
Both of them tend to exhibit cowardly tendencies. One major instance of this can be seen when they happily ripped into the Sensha-dō team verbally, but started crying in fear when Emi physically confronted them about their insults. Another occurrence is when they trash talk Emi at their garage, but are intimidated into silence by Emi's presence, when they realize she overheard the whole thing. The are known to be shocked and intimidated into silence in the face of overwhelming fear.
Despite their rich-girl attitudes, they are actually very good at mechanical and repair work, being able to restore the motor and tracks of a Tiger I in a very short time. They also have good study and work ethics as they can be seen actively supervising at their garage, and actually take the time to study up on tanks before entering the team. Their abilities may even be on a superhuman level, being able to analyze and repair things with ungodly speed and efficiency.
Have a love-hate relationship with Emi. They call Emi a "gorilla woman", and she in turn coined their nickname "Baka-shiwaba". Demanded Emi show them "her dere" when Hitomi Yuzumoto told them about Emi's softer side. Both twins visibly blushed and were flustered when Emi told the Kashiwaba's that she, "loved" them (metaphorically speaking).
Both Kanako and Tsurugiko are excellent drivers and mechanics. This allows them to perform repairs at abnormal speeds, as well as utilizing their previous experience driving cars to operate their tank at peak efficiency.
Individually, Kanako appears to be a fairly competent gunner and commander, being able to destroy the tracks on a Panther tank with the Panzer II's 2cm cannon. Tsurugiko has been seen using aggressive driving techniques in order to confuse her enemy. With both their skills combined they have been able to (surprisingly) eliminate at least one tank much larger and heavily armed than their Panzer II.
- The Kashiwabas' small body size is actually preferable for racers, as they have less body weight and thus lets the car go slightly faster.
- The Type 10 tank used by the JGSDF costs JPY ¥48,400M, which would be about USD $447M. This implies that the Kashiwabas belong to a family that is extremely wealthy, to be able to purchase something that expensive for what is essentially a hobby.
- Not to mention that they have purchased five tanks for their Sensha-dou team: A Jagdpanther, an Elefant and three Panzer IIs.
- Kanako claims that they bought the Panzer IIs with their, "pocket money". This should give a good idea of how rich the Kashiwaba family really is.
- Not to mention that they have purchased five tanks for their Sensha-dou team: A Jagdpanther, an Elefant and three Panzer IIs.
- Almost hime-like in their personality. Kanako even does the "Ohohoho" laugh during the match against Ooarai.
- Ironically, the Kashiwabas can essentially be considered the financiers, perhaps even the founders, of the Bellwall Academy Sensha-dou team, having purchased 5 of the 8 vehicles that the school uses. This is especially hilarious when you consider how hostile and superior they acted towards the Sensha-dou team at the beginning of the manga.
- According to a 4-koma at the end of Chapter 1, the Kashiwabas are usually referred to by their last name and in the plural, rather than their first names which people are usually unaware of.