The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games and life converge

School Ship War!

The academy ships are introduced in greater detail. After exploring the deep interiors of the academy ships, such as the navigation and food production sectors, the girls go to a hot spring.

  • Remember when I wrote that kick-ass post about the Ooarai Vessel compared to the UNSC Ininity? The third OVA does exactly this, although since they have access to all original source material, the end product ends up being rather more official than my own thoughts.

  • The entire episode kicks off when Hana wonders why schools are built on sea-faring vessels. Saori attempts to answer, but fails, so Mako and Yukari step up to the plate. In their universe, this approach is supposed to foster increasing independence in people.

  • A handful of the vessels are illustrated here, and clicking on the images will bring up a 1920 by 1080 version. I have deliberately altered the original image such that the school and vessel names are superimposed onto the image. I assure all readers that all of the images on my site are not altered unless specifically stated. Now, this detour aside, we return to the main flow of events. I also give permission for this image to be used anywhere, without attribution to the source (a quick reverse-search will yield where the original image was from).

  • The earliest school ships were recorded in the Roman Empire. The girls’ discussion raise several conflicting points on the school ships’ origins, similar to how Panzerfahren has contested origins.

  • It is logical that Oceanic nations, such as Italy, would have these vessels as well. What is not logical is the engineering and physics behind such vessels: if they have existed since ancient times, then their building would imply a general disregard for structural physics that made such ships impossible in reality.

  • Much like in reality, the British in the Girls und Panzer universe would design vessels that inspired most of the modern vessels. Ooarai’s Zuikaku is said to have been built immediately following the Second World War, which leads me to wonder how the war ended in their universe: in reality, following WWII, the nation was occupied by the Allied forces until 1952, and through American influence, would experience a significant economic boom beginning in the 1960s. 

  • The girls turn out to have used the wrong flight of steps: the ascending steps are on the other side of the tower, and the arrangement is to optimise safety in the event of emergencies. This goes to show just how much research was directed into the show.

  • The view up here is spectacular. The fact that there are visible hills, mountains and cliffsides suggest a limited capacity to terraform artificial surfaces, like the Forerunners did for Halo. By this point, I’m going to suspend all disbelief and simply accept that things in this universe are unique.

  • This is a bigger version of the image from back in the preview post I made a while back. The Ooarai vessel is home to 30000 people, including all of the students, staff, service employees and families. Larger vessels can hold up to 100000 people. Consider that the UNSC Infinity, by comparison, have a staff of 17151.

  • Students are assigned roles based on their speciality: individuals in the naval department obtain real-world experience by actually manning the bridge.

  • A wall of plaques illustrate the number of schools in the system

  • This episode is beginning to turn into a Japanese version of one of my favourite Discovery Channel programs, Mighty Ships. As with Mighty Ships, the engineering sections of the ships are explored in detail, and at least once per episode, we see some sort of complication with a vessel’s engines. On these vessels, power is supplied from a variety of renewable energy sources, such as hydroelectric, wind, solar and oceanic thermal means. Multiple novel sources, such as waste incineration and kinetic recovery are also mentioned.

  • If one is in agriculture, then they must take practical courses to complement their studies. I believe that those are tomatoes they are growing. For clarification, the tomato is a fruit from a biological perspective: the ovary, together with its seeds, are part of a flowering plant. They are used as vegetables strictly from a culinary perspective.

  • Fish farms are also located in the bowels of the Zuikaku.

  • The construction of the school ships precludes the possibility of living below deck, given that the ship consists of multiple bulkheads. Thus, living quarters are situated on the surface.

  • The school ships have a shallow draft to ensure that they can dock with standard docking piers. While outlandish, I am impressed that the creators took the time to ensure that their logistics make sense given what we already see.

  • After being tired out by walking all around the vessel, the girls are given a seemingly iron-clad excuse to go take an open-air bath. While the main series is relatively fan-service free, the OVAs deviate from this trend, being more free to explore things.

  • Like, that’s pretty much all I have to say, right? I mean, this episode was pretty much t3h pwnage and stuff.

  • Truth be told, this was probably the most interesting of the OVAs thus far, addressing something that has been on the minds of the fans since episode one illustrated a super-massive aircraft carrier. 

  • Thus ends a rather long discussion for an OVA: despite being half the length of a regular episode, discussion nonetheless spans twenty images, the same as for the finale episodes. Consider that my other posts on Girls und Panzer only have ten images at most, for events occurring in five episode intervals.

The anime is titled Girls und Panzer, but until this OVA, very little mention of the school ships have been made. This short episode rectifies that and ergo, feels a lot like an episode of Mighty Ships, illustrating the facilities and logistics that make the operation of such a vessel possible, including self-sufficient agriculture and more details about the vessel’s power source. From the sheer scales involved, one is able to rapidly understand why maintaining such a vessel would be costly. With this OVA done now, we are left awaiting the finale, which will air on March 25. As before, readers can reasonably expect a large post. The next OVA is about the Anglerfish dance and is set to release on April 22.

8 responses to “School Ship War!

  1. zcv45 April 3, 2015 at 20:28

    Akagi woudl be like 20km in length. Washington would be like 25km in beam. Graff-zeppelin would be like 2km tall. Quiet advanced technology.


    • infinitezenith April 3, 2015 at 22:50

      The amount of engineering going into these school ships is non-trivial, and while it does lend itself to a great deal of speculation on what Girls und Panzer‘s world is like as far as technology goes, it appears that, beyond fantastical structural and material advances, they’re not too much further ahead of us in technology. I imagine that the ships merely facilitate the story, and an explanation probably isn’t necessary in and of itself.


  2. SJ September 19, 2015 at 14:20

    The Ooarai ship has a draft of 240m… that’s something like 8 times deeper than the deepest harbor in the real world. Sidney Harbor is about 30m deep.


  3. Takeusername December 14, 2016 at 13:46

    Out of curiosity, what do you think the population of Ooarai? I’m working on a bit of a project (I’m actually creating my own school ship and modifying WWI and Interwar Era tanks to WWII standards), and for one of the queues I’m trying to fill out. I already have the general sizes and name and such, which a couple of your other posts have greatly helped with, but I’m still lacking a general idea of what a suitable population would be. Do you have any ideas?


  4. Naevera January 24, 2018 at 17:06

    PLEASE re-edit the image of all the school ships you have on this site! Maginot is mislabeled!
    The way you have it, the school is Surcouf while the ship’s name is the Maginot, but it is the other way around; the school is Maginot (Girls’ Academy) and the ship is The Surcouf.
    Anyone who searches Google Images for the schoolships finds your image and are getting a misrepresentation of Maginot as a result of this.


    • infinitezenith January 24, 2018 at 19:27

      Done. Thanks for pointing that out 🙂 The post itself is nearly five years old now, and I’ve seen the image recycled on DeviantArt, Pintrest, etc.; there’s not much I can really do to update the ones already out there, but at least the source is fixed. Since you’re here, what did you think of Girls und Panzer? Have you had a chance to see the movie yet?


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