June 1, 2013
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Yukari and Erwin (Riko Matsumoto) go on a reconnaissance mission to determine Pravda’s deployment. After riding out a snowstorm, Yukari and Erwin take on disguises as Pravda students and speak with the operator of the KV-2, successfully obtaining vital information about how Pravda has organised their armour.
- Yukari explains some of the shoes she possesses after Erwin notes that her feet are freezing from the conditions. It would appear that cayenne pepper helps prevent sweat from accumulating, helping keep the heat in and the cold out. Both girls discuss their preferences in shoes (decidedly more practical than even mine), and explain that the Soviet Army held the advantage following Operation Barbarossa over the German Army because of the former’s preparedness.
- Yukari and Erwin are singing Yuki no Shingun, a military march, as they traverse the terrain. After finding some of Pravda’s units, they decide to move to a different position, but a snowstorm kicks in.
- Yukari carries a Gerber 30-000075 E-Tool Folding Spade with Serrated Blade with her wherever she goes, allowing her to quickly dig out a shelter when the snowstorm occurs. This shovel retails for around $74.99 in most places (and $45.00 on Amazon), has a coated boron carbon steel spade and locks open for stability. That’s right: shop smart…shop S-Mart…YA GOT THAT?!?!
- Erwin and Yukari do impressions of the student council while sharing onigiri and cocoa to raise their spirits. Shortly after, the snow lightens, and Yukari (deliberately) falls down a snow-covered hill for the experience.
- Saori and Hana reassure Miho that their recon teams are in good hands, especially since Yukari appears to be prepared for all ends.
- Grabbing uniforms and masquerading as the enemy is a technique that is tried in many contexts: usually, the uniforms themselves denote association, and as such, the party being infiltrated is less likely to ask questions. Yukari and Erwin are able to make contact with one of the KV-2‘s operators, Nina: these tanks had thick armour that could repel fire from Panzer IV tanks: Yukari determines that these tanks were in fact hampered by their low rate of fire and will make use of this once Miho orders Ooarai to sortie.
- After warming up to Nina with a cup of hot cocoa, Yukari is able to acquire some vital information about their deployment patterns. Despite Erwin nearly blowing their cover, Yukari is able to think fast on her feet and recover. We note that while Yukari has acquired some skill as a spy, in real situations, the enemy might anticipate that something is off far more quickly, whereas there, they were able to buy Nina’s trust with hot cocoa.
- She’s officially dubbed KV-2-tan by the fans now, but her name is Nina. The KV-2’s commander is Alena, according to the source materials.
- Mission complete! Elsewhere, someone called me out for posting a link with the alleged intent of self-promotion, but I do note that I am the first party online to get the screenshots out.
- This OVA makes it quite clear that Erwin and Yukari make a great team. After this, episode nine resumes, and its outcome should be quite clear to all of us. In the TV series, Mako and Sodoko are shown on their mission in some detail, being able to gather intel quite quickly but also raising the alarm when Sodoko throws a snowball at Mako and hits a tree instead.
Snow War returns to the 15-minute length enjoyed by the second and third OVAs, satisfying one of my original criteria for the OVA. Focussing on a recon mission Yukari and Erwin conduct, the OVA allows both characters to interact with each other in the absence of the other characters: it is here that both girls’ love of history come into play, and it becomes apparent that the two would have been fast friends, regardless of whether or not they had participated in Panzerfahren or had met under other circumstances. This OVA has two distinct acts: the first concerns Yukari and Erwin’s discussion of military implements, while the second act depicts their infiltrating Pravda and obtaining information on Pravda’s armour positions. I daresay that the girls demonstrate exemplary infiltration skills: this time, they ask the right questions to grab the intel they require, without raising any suspicion whatsoever. Despite being schoolgirls, they seem to do a better job than the world’s most famous spy, 007, who has an unfortunate habit of having his cover blown and resorting to combat to cover a hasty escape. Of course, the circumstances and methods are different, but at the end of the day, they succeed in their task. Comparisons to real-world recon and infiltration should not really be drawn for any serious discussions (I myself are doing so for amusement). My assessment now is that this OVA is one that is amusing to watch, presenting a chance to see the anime’s resident history buffs converse together and ultimately, successfully follows in the footsteps of its predecessors, more than compensates for the previous OVA’s short length. There is only one OVA remaining, to depict the girls’ celebrations, and after that, it is a wait of unknown duration to the fight between Anzio and Ooarai. I will be discussing those in future posts (as well as adding figure captions once the time permits!).