The Way of the Tank: Girls und Panzer Original Soundtrack!

Girls und Panzer der Film Original Soundtrack front
Girls und Panzer der Film Original Soundtrack CD front.

I’m not a Girls und Panzer expert: my whole knowledge of this anime comes from being forcibly dragged to the Girls und Panzer der Film movie a few years back, a movie that I unexpectedly enjoyed even after being audibly assaulted nonstop by tank warfare for the last half-hour of the movie.

Seriously, kawaii high school girls practicing senshadō, the way of the tank. What’s not to like? (Not to worry, although they use live rounds in their matches, special emphasis–I learned–is made for the participants’ safety.)

In our house, we have no less than four 2-CD albums of the original soundtrack of Girls und Panzer and although I haven’t heard all 8 CDs, I very much enjoy the Girls und Panzer der Film soundtrack, playing it almost nonstop lately (it’s Golden Week and I’m holed up inside the house with Covid), marching music interspersed with quiet melodies, much like in the film.

Girls und Panzer der Film Original Soundtrack back
Girls und Panzer der Film Original Soundtrack CD back.

What I like is the unbridled energy and enthusiasm of these battle-hardened girls, as these song titles show, all punctuated by exclamation marks:

  1. 劇場版・戦車道行進曲!パンツァーフォー! Way of the Tank Marching Song! Panzer vor!
  2. Enter Enter MISSIONです!
  3. 劇場版・大洗女子学園チーム前進します! Ōarai Girls Academy Team forward!
  4. 大洗・知波単連合チームで勝利を目指します! Ōarai/Chibatan Combined Team aims for victory!
  5. 知波単学園、戦車前進! Chibatan Academy, tanks forward!
  6. 孤高の戦車乗りです! That’s some unusual tank-riding shit!
  7. 島田流です! Shimada Style!
  8. 夕暮れです! What a day!
  9. 少しだけ疲れちゃいました! We’re a little bit tired!
  10. みんなの想いはひとつです! Our hearts are one!
  11. なんとなくの日常です! Somewhat routine!
  12. 準備は怠りません! We don’t neglect our preparations!
  13. 西住流です! Nishizumi Style!
  14. Ⅱ号戦車が好きです! We like the Panzerkampfwagen II!
  15. 会長もたまには働きます! Even the director has to work too sometimes!
  16. 希望の光は絶対に消えません! The light of hope will never be extinguished!
  17. 学園十色です! Gakuen Toiro!
  18. アンコウ干しいもハマグリ作戦です! Anglerfish-Dried Sweet Potato-Clam strategy!
  19. まるで西部戦線みたいだと優花里さんが言ってます! Yukari-san says it looks just like the northern front!
  20. ジェロニモです! Geronimo desu!
  21. 待ち伏せします! We lie in ambush!
  22. 知波単、新たなる戦いです! Chibatan, this is a new fight!
  23. 好敵手です! A worthy opponent!
  24. 長距離砲です! Long-range gun!
  25. 挟まりそうです! We’re gonna get crushed!
  26. 無双です! Peerless!
  27. 決断します! Decision time!
  28. 劇場版・緊迫する戦況です! It’s a tense battle situation!
  29. 冷静に落ち着いて! Calm down!
  30. ヴォイテク! Wojtek!
  31. 劇場版・乙女のたしなみ戦車道マーチ! Maiden’s Taste Way of the Tank March!

Four Girls und Panzer original soundtrack CDs
Four Girls und Panzer original soundtrack CDs: Girls und Panzer der Film, Girls un Panzer Herbst Musikfest 2015, Girls und Panzer das Finale, Girls und Panzer.

Photos of other CDs here: Girls und Panzer OST, Girls und Panzer das Finale OST, and Girls und Panzer Herbst Musikfest 2015.

Girls und Panzer songs you can march to!

Fortunately, you needn’t buy the Girls und Panzer CDs: here’s a nice Youtube collection of marches from the Girls und Panzer soundtrack that will fill you with energy for marching–or driving a tank.

Ohayō gozaimasu! Girls und Panzer style!

Finally, here’s a short clip that shows how disarmingly cute and ridiculously insane this whole series is.

Early morning visit to the Jinja

Pathway of a jinja (Shinto shrine) in Tsukuba, Japan
Pathway of a jinja (Shinto shrine) in Tsukuba, Japan, in the early morning sunshine.

This morning I threw out the garbage, took pictures of poppies and moss along the road, found myself in front of the neighborhood jinja, took a moment to remember my departed Mother, watched the birds and ducks on the rice paddies on the way back to the house, and then went out again to buy bread from the nearby bakery.

It was a good way to start the day.

Macro photography with iPhone

“Hidden Gem” by Jirasak Panpiansin (@joez19). Shot on iPhone 13 Pro Max.
“Hidden Gem” (water bead in leaf) by Jirasak Panpiansin (@joez19). Shot on iPhone 13 Pro Max.

I have had a number of SLR macro lenses from Contax, Tamron and Olympus throughout the years but doing macrophotography with something like my current iPhone SE is a little tricky, if not impossible.

iPhone SE’s portrait mode lets me have at least some bokeh in my photos to minimize distracting backgrounds, but Apple’s recent iPhone Macro Challenge shows what kind of amazing photos can be created if one is willing to spend tens of thousands of yen for their flagship iPhone 13 Pro series.

“Sea Glass” by Guido Cassanelli (@laion.ph)
“Sea Glass” by Guido Cassanelli (@laion.ph). Shot on iPhone 13 Pro Max.

“Honeycomb” by Tom Reeves (@tomreevesphoto)
“Honeycomb” (snowflakes on dog hair) by Tom Reeves (@tomreevesphoto). Shot on iPhone 13 Pro.

The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, translated by Haruki Murakami.

We’ve always had Salinger’s novel in the house for as long as I can remember but I never got around to actually reading it until I came to Japan, and even then only because I bought the Japanese version (キャッチャー・イン・ザ・ライ) translated by Haruki Murakami.

I like to compare two versions of one book to see how the English is translated into Japanese, or vice versa. Here are the first sentences of the English version, and the translation in Japanese:

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them. They’re quite touchy about anything like that, especially my father.

こうして話を始めるとなると、君はまず最初に、僕はどこで生まれたかとか、どんなみっともない子ども時代を送ったかとか、僕が生まれる前に両親が何をしていたかとか、その手のデイヴィッド・カッパフィールド的なしょうもないあれこれを知りたがるかもしれない。でもはっきり言ってね、その手の話をする気になれないんだよ。そんなこと話したことろであくびが出るばっかりだし、それにだいたい僕がもしそういう家庭の内情みたいなのをちらっとでも持ち出したら、うちの両親はきっとそろって二度ずつ脳溢血を起こしちゃうと思う。そういうことに関してはなにしろ感じやすい人たちなんだ。とくに父親の方がね。

It’s interesting to note that Murakami renders Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield as デイヴィッド・カッパフィールド when it’s usually デイヴィッド・コパフィールド or even デイヴィッド・カッパーフィールド with the long vowel. Even confusing, David Copperfield, the illutionist, is デビッド・カッパーフィールド.

The Catcher in the Rye. It’s a great book. It would have been even better if I read it in high school.

Lagevrio, antiviral drug for Covid-19

Lagevrio
Lagevrio, Covid-19 treatment drug

So my luck ran out, and even our coronavirus omamori and usual prevention measures couldn’t stop the inevitable and I came down with Covid-19, with mild symptoms.

Besides the usual medicines for cough and fever, I got this bottle of Lagevrio ラゲブリオ (generic name: molnupiravir), an experimental treatment of mild to moderate Covid for adults (18 years and older). Apparently, Lagevrio is the first oral antiviral drug against Covid-19, first approved in the UK.

This one bottle contains forty 200mg-capsules of molnupiravir that should be taken for 5 days (no more no less), 4 capsules per doze, twice a day, separated by more than 8 (although most websites say “12”) hours of interval.

On its label is a notice that Lagevrio is a specially approved medicine (特例承認医薬品) in Japan, approved by the relevant government ministry by relaxing the usual requirements for drug approval.

According to Kotobank:

If urgent measures are required to prevent the spread of health hazards such as the spread of diseases and there is no other appropriate method, based on Article 14-3 of the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law, the Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare may approve drugs and medical devices that have been approved for sale in countries that have the same level of approval system as Japan, by using a simple procedure than usual.

In January 2010, the regulation was applied for the first time, for the special approval of imported vaccine for novel influenza.

Lagevrio, I was told, should not be taken by people less than 18 years of age, pregnant women, or those who have serious liver disease. It may also induce a number of uncommon side effects like diarrhea, dizziness, headache, skin rash, nausea, redness of skin and vomiting–none of which happened to mew.