Girls und Panzer is set in an alternate universe where a sport known as "Panzerfahren" or "Sensha-do" - the art of fighting tanks, or tankery, is a lot more common than today. The sport is entirely practiced by girls and women and is considered feminine. The anime series follows the girls of Ooarai Girls Academy as they learn about, operate, and battle with all kinds of WWII tanks against other tanking schools while forming bonds with their machines and each other.
The spin-off manga Little Army gives a prequel for the animated series and follows the girls from Bellwall Academy as they practice the sport. The spin-off manga Ribbon Warrior follows the girls from Tatenashi Girls High School as they practice Tankathlon, another type of Sensha-dou. Another spin-off manga called Phase Erika! depicts the events leading up to the anime through the eyes of Erika Itsumi. There is also a publication called Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu! that focuses on the more humorous aspects of the girl's lives, as well as providing a bit of backstory between the events of the anime and the movie. The web comic edition is updated on a constant basis.