An expected number of more than 110,000 people are said to be going to watch the live-fire exercises to be held by the Japanese Self Defence Forces this August 25, Sunday, all because of one particular anime.
If you guessed Girls Und Panzer, then you are absolutely correct! The anime about high school girls fighting in tanks has certainly helped the JSDF ever since the anime made a collaboration video with them. Humikane Shimada, the artist responsible to the anime’s character designs even helped the JSDF out by drawing some recruitment posters.
The live-fire exercises are called the Fuji General Firepower Exercise and has been held annually since 1961 and is Japan’s largest ground military exercise. Tanks and helicopters are to fire live ammunition in the Fuji training grounds in Shizuoka prefecture.
The live-fire exercise will be expecting a sharp increase in attendance from 80,007 people to 110,006 people as more people have applied for tickets to this year’s exercises. According to the Ground Staff Office Public Relations Office, this is attributed to the popularity of tanks these days. One of the biggest factors to this rise in tank popularity (as you may have guessed) is Girls Und Panzer which has caught the hearts of many people across the world.
The martial art of Sensha-do practiced in the anime has indeed sparked more interest in tanks as the SDF-Girls Und Panzer DVD topped the Oricon charts and selling more than 10,000 units.
The anime also had a positive effect in the town of Oarai in Ibaraki prefecture as the town the anime was based on reported an increase in tourism since the anime aired. A Type-74 tank was previously displayed in the town by the JGSDF or the Japanese Ground Self Defence Force last July.