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BC Freedom Academy (Japanese: BC自由学園, BC Jiyuu Gakuen; French: Lycée BC Liberté) is one of the minor schools in Girls und Panzer. It appears in the spin-off manga Ribbon Warrior first as an antagonist school then as a supporting one. The school also appears in Girls und Panzer das Finale as the first opponents of Oarai Girls' Academy during the new tournament.
- 1 Continuity Differences
- 2 Overview
- 3 Background
- 3.1 Origins
- 3.2 63rd National High School Senshado Tournament (According to Supplementary Materials)
- 3.3 Tankathlon
- 3.4 Cauldron Tankathlon Tournament
- 4 Members
- 5 Vehicles operated
- 6 Trivia
- 7 Gallery
BC Freedom Academy's depiction differs between the Ribbon Warrior manga and the Das Finale anime film. Despite using different characters and historical motifs, the Academy's emblem and overall theme of a divided school remain the same.
In the Ribbon Warrior manga, the divide is an allegory for political divide between Free France and Vichy France (1940 to 1942), represented by the Freedom Faction the and BC Faction respectively. Asparagus, Moule, and Bordeaux are the primary characters.
In the Das Finale OVA, the divide is an allegory for the social divide between the Second and Third Estate of Pre-Revolutionary France, represented by the Escalator and Examination students respectively. Oshida, Andou, and Marie are the primary characters. Significantly different from their manga counterpart is that while their social divide is severe, their leader Marie is shown to have decent control over the student body.
The current article predominantly features information pertaining the Ribbon Warrior manga depiction of BC Freedom Academy as it is currently the most detailed.
Behavior & Policy
The forced union into a single school only created distrust and hatred between students of both sides, to the point of both factions living in separate sides of the schoolship. They have nonexistent teamwork and are in a constant power struggle, though Freedom seems to have the upper hand. However, over time the number of students that do not identify with either of the original schools has increased, and they live their lives mostly free from the rivalry.
Apart from the students' mutual hatred and power struggle, BC Freedom Academy is very similar to Maginot Girls' Academy’s students. They heavily emphasize the importance of education, especially lessons that will create a good wife and a loving mother for a healthy family. Thus, senshado is heavily promoted at BC Freedom. Members of the Freedom faction are rather strict and obedient while BC faction members are more relaxed and less obedient.
A recent defeat exploiting their rivalries has inspired their overall commander to attempt to ease the tensions and create the teamwork necessary to reunite the two factions.
It was said that during Azumi's time, BC Freedom had a competent senshado team. The school had even managed to become one of the four best schools. With the recent infighting amongst the students, however, their internal discord has resulted in them losing matches.
BC Freedom is divided into the affluent Escalator students and the middle-to-lower class Examination students, mirroring the pre-revolutionary French Second and Third Estates respectively. This social divide has caused great discord between the two groups. The Escalator students think of the Examination students as unrefined, classless outsiders, while the Examination students think of the Escalator students as sheltered, condescending, and arrogant.
These two groups fight over anything and everything. One notable fight was about food: the Examination students would not eat the fancy, luxurious, and very expensive French food being served on the ship, while Escalator students would never lower their standards to serving common food, such as udon. The Examination group even staged a protest against the food being served.
After Marie’s intervention, seen in the "Taiyaki War!" OVA, both groups came to terms with one another and learned to cooperate as a school.
In the Das Finale OVA, BC Freedom’s tank roster comprised of the ARL44 heavy tanks used by the Escalator group, and the SOMUA S35 medium cavalry tank by the Examination group. A WW1-era Renault FT17 light tank was used by Marie, the team’s overall commander.
Due to their sudden union, BC Freedom Academy operates a mishmash of very different tanks. Originally BC High School operated early-war French tanks such as the Hotchkiss H39, SOMUA S35, Renault R35, B1 Bis or AMR-35, while Freedom High School operated American or German tanks such as the M4A1 & M4A2 Sherman, Panther Ausf.G, M5 Stuart or M22 Locusts. They also possess a Valentine Mk.V (non-operational) and an M10 Wolverine (never been fielded due to its open-topped turret).
They are said to possess an FCM F1 multi-turreted superheavy tank, but it has not seen combat. It is suspected to be either non-operational or lacking adequate combat ability.
In the Das Finale OVA, the animosity between the Escalator and Examination groups has caused their senshado team to be unorganized, lacking a proper doctrine. Once Marie helped to settle their differences, and both groups agreed to act as one coordinated team, their abilities surprised everyone who watched their match against Oarai. They proved adept at fighting their enemies when the advantage was with them, and coordinated enough that, when things did not go their way, they immediately regrouped to develop a better position and continue fighting.
Teamwork and coordination has become the main doctrine of BC Freedom's senshado team, with their powerful ARL-44’s used for their firepower and range, while their more nimble SOMUA S35’s are used for their mobility.
Ribbon Warrior Manga
Just as the two different halves of the school have different tanks, they also have different senshado doctrines. While the former BC High School preferred to break the enemy with maneuver warfare, drawing inspiration from Napoleonic cavalry, the former Freedom High School considered BC's tactics too risky, and adopted a doctrine similar to Maginot's, focusing on an extremely strong defense to stop the enemy from reaching their objective. This was their main reason for acquiring the relatively slow FCM F1 and the Valentine infantry tank.
Regardless of the quality of their vehicles, these conflicting doctrines and a lack of teamwork between the two sides cripple them in matches. The discord became so extreme that, during a match, the Freedom faction would prevent the BC faction from intervening in a melee due to their mutual distrust.
The overall commander finally ended up easing tensions and making the factions cooperate by mixing tanks from both BC and Freedom factions. This innovative new joint-strategy was called "Stratégie Mariage" (Wedding Strategy).
In the Das Finale OVA, the Academy Warship was based on France’s first Aircraft Carrier, the Beárn. Due to the social divide of the school, the ship is divided transversely at the middle. The forward end of the ship has the cleaner, ornate, and well-kept section of the Escalator students, and the dirtier, dilapidated, and slum-like section of the Examination students at the aft end.
Before merging, BC High School & Freedom High School each had their own Schoolship. BC High School's schoolship design is based on the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, while Freedom's is based on a cancelled French aircraft carrier project called PA2 (Porte-Avions 2, French for Aircraft Carrier 2) and has vineyards dominating almost all the schoolship.
After the two schools merged, it is unknown which one of the schoolships was kept for hosting the newly-formed school. Due to the rivalries between the two factions, the schoolship was divided in two lengthwise (including living quarters and commercial buildings), with Freedom faction occupying the port side and BC faction occupying the starboard side.
In the Das Finale OVA, BC Freedom’s uniform consists of a white shirt with a red and blue necktie, a deep blue jumper skirt worn over, with a royal blue cardigan.
The senshado uniform consists of a white shirt underneath a blue double-breasted vest and a blue jacket; they often wear a blue kepi with their insignia on it. (In the Ribbon Warrior manga, this was designed by Asparagus, but in the anime it is unknown when or by whom this was designed.)
Ribbon Warrior Manga
In Ribbon Warrior, BC Freedom has the particularity of the two different factions each having their own distinct senshado uniform uniform. (Only their senshado uniform is seen.)
BC faction's (former BC High School) uniform consists of a black jacket with BC patches on the collar and a BC Freedom armband, a gray scarf, a sky-blue skirt with a black belt, black boots, and a black kepi.
Freedom faction's (former Freedom High School) uniform consists of a khaki jacket with a BC Freedom armband, a white shirt with a black tie, a blue pelisse with golden ornamentation worn over the left shoulder, a khaki skirt with a black belt, black boots, and a white kepi.
As Asparagus, their overall commander, is part of the Freedom side, she wears their uniform except for her kepi, which is black with golden ornamentation; she also carries a staff.
After their humiliating defeat by Katyusha, both factions together switch to a new senshado uniform as a symbol of unity. Designed by Asparagus, the uniform consists of a blue kepi with their logo on it, a double-breasted coat, a white skirt, and brown boots.
The story of BC Freedom Academy begins with Maginot Girls' Academy and their insatiable lust for wine.
Due to problems acquiring a steady supply of wine grapes, it was considered to be more economical to build not one, but two schools for the sole purpose of supplying Maginot. Thus began the story of BC High School and Freedom High School.
Freedom High School hailed from the city of Okayama, the capital city of Okayama Prefecture. Their vineyards flourished and expanded, eventually dominating their school ship.
BC High School originally hailed from the landlocked city of Tsuyama, in Okayama Prefecture. Their ventures into growing wine grapes ended in failure, forcing them to look elsewhere. They found moderate success by focusing on general education, home economics, commercial, and manufacturing classes. Both schools found their purposes, but it didn't last.
Due to administrative blunders and funding cuts, both schools deteriorated to a point where it was no longer considered economical for both schools to be kept afloat. It was then decided by the administration to take advantage of the situation by promoting inter-school relationships with a union of two different but similar schools. Thus the story of BC Freedom Academy begins. BC High School's former location in Tsuyuma was kept as the school grounds, while they kept Freedom High School's former location in Okayama as the port for their schoolship.
The union backfired. It became a colossal failure, with distrust and mutual hatred between the former two schools now forced to occupy a single ship. With its nonexistent teamwork and constant power struggle, the union only managed to waste even more funds and damage the administration’s reputation even further. Eventually the power struggle sputtered out into a Freedom side domination, but the tensions continue and the frustrations are still accumulating.
63rd National High School Senshado Tournament (According to Supplementary Materials)
Against St Gloriana
- Main article: St. Gloriana Girls' College vs. BC Freedom Academy
BC Freedom Academy participated in the 63rd National High School Senshado Tournament and faced St. Gloriana Girls' College as their first opponent. Their force was composed of Hotchkiss H39s, M5 Stuarts, a B1 Bis and an M4A1 Sherman (with a 3-inch gun mounted). While they had a tactical advantage and a solid plan to lure St. Gloriana into the city, annihilate their formation, and ambush their flag tank, they neglected one thing: Darjeeling herself and her bold behavior. Despite the repeated assaults from BC Freedom tanks, Darjeeling quickly disposed of her opponent's flag tank. They were eliminated in the first round.
Following their defeat in the tournament, BC Freedom's senshado club suffered many drawbacks and had to close. In order to restore the club, Asparagus sought to earn funds through Tankathlon.
Centipede vs Flying Tankers
As Saunders University High School has no light tanks, BC Freedom lent three M22 Locusts to their Tankathlon team, the "Flying Tankers." After the match, Asparagus was outraged that they had such a close call against a single tankette, almost losing the match.
Against Unidentified School
They are seen later annihilating an unidentified school composed of Panzer Is. During the match Asparagus prevented her BC faction teammates from intervening, saying that they can be trusted. After the match they were so focused on quarreling that they failed to notice that Shizuka was spying them.
During this match BC Freedom fielded Renault R35, AMR-35 ZT-2 and a M22 Locust. During the match Asparagus sent out the BC faction tanks as bait (further worsening their relations), where they fell into Shizuka's trap: she had mocked-up her Te-Ke to resemble an R35 in order to exploit their tension and rivalries. The disguised Te-Ke made it seem as though they were firing on each other, and the BC Freedom team's internal discord finally exploded into an all-out friendly fire melee. Asparagus, realising she had been deceived, ordered all BC Freedom tanks to turn on their lights —but by doing so she exposed her flag tank location and was shot down by Shizuka.
After the match ended, BC and Freedom sides clashed over who was responsible for the loss. Shizuka then intervened to point out to Asparagus that they only lost because of themselves.
Following their humiliating defeat by Centipede Team, Asparagus learned from her mistakes and widely revised her behavior and policies. Deliberately no longer looking down the BC side, she launched the project "Stratégie Mariage" (Wedding Strategy), making BC and Freedom sides cooperate by mixing tank crews to include both factions' students, instead of the previous one-sided crews. She also made the students train on the M22 Locust and created the "Fifth Republic Platoon".
While practicing, Asparagus, Moule, and Bordeaux are approached by Shizuka, who proposes an alliance against the Kuromorimine's Tankathlon Team "Schwarzwald Kampfgruppe". They accept Shizuka's proposal and go to the location of the future match to study the ground, following Sun Tzu's "Art of War" and some of the "Thirty-Six Stratagems," and setting traps before the match.
Against Schwarzwald Kampfgruppe with Centipede Team
During this match, fought with annihilation rules, BC Freedom fielded seven Renault R35, one AMR-35 ZT-1 (with a 13.2 mm Hotchkiss machine gun), and three M22 Locusts, alongside Centipede Team's Type 97 Te-Ke. First contact with Erika's Panzer IIs was very harsh, as they lost both an R35 and Asparagus' tank, though Asparagus is able to dispose of one Panzer II. With the team demoralized by their leader's demise, Bordeaux (following Asparagus' orders) begins to sing "La Marseillaise" to reinvigorate the troops; she is joined by Moule and all BC Freedom students in that fiery anthem. After some of their traps are triggered, and with heavy losses on both sides, Shizuka and some R35s act as bait for Erika, allowing the Locusts to dispose of Koume Akaboshi's platoon. After the firefight, during which Shizuka was wounded, Koume's platoon has been decimated by Bordeaux's platoon and only part of Erika's platoon remains. A last firefight leaves only Erika's Panzer II facing off against Bordeaux's M22 Locusts —a face-off won by Bordeaux. The BC Freedom/Centipede team Alliance has won.
Aftermath & Management Shift
After the match all BC Freedom members are seen attending the post-match party organized by Anzio & Kuromorimine. After the party Asparagus resigned as the overall commander feeling that even though she managed to unite the school, she is also responsible for its many conficts. She still intends to work behind the scenes, but for now BC Freedom is without a commander.
Cauldron Tankathlon Tournament
BC Freedom (as The Fifth Republic Platoon) is seen parading with the other schools during the introduction, while Asparagus is now working as tournament staff.
Against the Polite Girls
In the first round for the fifth match of the Tankathlon Tournament, Fifth Republic Platoon fights Pravda's Polite Girls in a 3 vs 3 Annihilation match. They field three Renault R35. The match ends in a humiliating defeat (not shown) for Fifth Republic Platoon by Polite Girls' T-60. Defeated, they'll fight the next round under Katyusha, Nonna & Klara's banner.
Disillusions & Restructuring
Asparagus, seeing how easily her team has been defeated, is dumbfounded. She realises that since in Tankathlon the tanks themselves are closely matched, it is BC Freedom's skills that are inferior. She determines to put an end to all internal quarrels and get rid of factions, putting the school under one rule and one uniform to bring unity. Her efforts are shown to be successful, with the new uniforms adopted by the beginning of Round 2 of the Cauldron tournament. The school also presents its newest technology at that time: one ARL-44.
- Main article: Azumi
She was a student of the school before joining the University Select Team. Nothing is known about her high school life in BC Freedom, but it's assumed that she was part of the sensha-dō team, given that college level sensha-dō is for semi-professionals. She attended the Ooarai Girls' Academy vs. BC Freedom Academy match as a spectator and was impressed with how her former school has become stronger.
- Main article: Marie
She is the overall commander and leader of the school's Escalator faction. She commands a Renault FT-17.
- Main article: Ruka Oshida
She is Marie's vice-commander from the Escalator faction. She commands an ARL-44.
- Main article: Rena Andou
She is Marie's vice-commander from the Examination faction. She commands a SOMUA S35.
She is Marie's FT-17 driver.
She is Marie's FT-17 gunner.
- Main article: Asparagus
She is the overall commander of the school and leader of the school's Freedom faction. She speaks with an upper-class dialect. She is at first very arrogant and doesn't trust her teammates from BC faction, but eventually works to ease the tensions between BC and Freedom after the defeat against Centipede Team.
- Main article: Bordeaux
She is Asparagus' vice-commander from the BC faction. She commands a Renault R35 or a M22 Locust.
Gekkan Senshado Magazine
- FCM F1
- Hotchkiss H35 modifié 1939
- Infantry Tank Mk.III Valentine Mk.V
- M4A1 Sherman
- M4A2 Sherman
- M5 Stuart
- M10 Wolverine
- Pz.Kpfw V Ausf.G Panther
- Renault B1 Bis
- Renault AMR 35 ZT-1 7.5mm variants
- Renault AMR 35 ZT-1 13.2mm variants
- Renault AMR 35 ZT-2 variants
- M22 Locust
- Renault R35
- Their logo consists of a vertically-fractured hexagon: the left part is colored blue with the letter B in white; the right part is colored red with the letter C in white, and contains a white Cross of Lorraine; and the division between halves is white.
- The form of the logo, a hexagon, is a reference to France being nicknamed "The Hexagon," from it having six sides.
- The letters BC (both in their name and logo) probably means "Brigade de Cavalerie" (French for Cavalry Brigade). In Japanese phonetics, "BC" and "Vichy" are also homonyms: "Buishii".
- The "Croix de Lorraine" (French for Cross of Lorraine) is a reference to the long rivalry between France and Germany: not only was the symbol adopted as a symbol by Free French Forces during World War II, to counter the Nazi Swastika, but it was the symbol of the Lorraine, a region (along with Alsace) which caused high tensions with Germany for centuries. Annexed by force by France in 1766, Germany took back a part of Lorraine in 1871 after France lost the Franco-Prussian War; it was reclaimed by France in 1918 after Germany's surrender in WW I; after France's defeat in 1940 the region returned to German control (though it wasn't formally annexed); and it was ultimately taken back by France at the end of World War II.
- The Freedom part of the title (in addition with the Cross of Lorraine) is a reference to the Free French forces, led by Charles De Gaulle, that rejected the armistice concluded by Marshall Philippe Pétain and continued the fight against Germany in WW II.
- The fracture of the hexagon is a reference to the division of occupied France after the Fall of France in 1940.
- There was a geographic fracture where the France was divided in two : The "Zone Occupée" (Occupied Zone) administred by German military, and the "Zone Libre" (Free Zone) administered by the Regime of Vichy until 1942.
- There was also an ideological fracture between collaborators, resistance fighters, and those who tried to remain neutral.
- The coloration of the two parts and the rift (Blue, White, Red) is a reference to the French Flag.
- During the match against Schwarzwald Kampfgruppe, all BC Freedom members sang La Marseillaise, the France National Anthem. Originally created in 1792 under the name "Chant de Guerre pour l'Armée du Rhin" (French for "War Song for the Rhine Army") by Rouget DeLisle, adopted as a revolutionary war song in 1795, it was abandoned in 1804 under the First Empire and then definitively adopted as the National Anthem in 1879 by the Third Republic.
- Much like Anzio and Maginot, in the Ribbon Warrior manga all of the named members of BC Freedom have names related to French foods or drinks.
- In the anime, all the named members are references to characters from the manga Rose of Versailles. Oscar (Oshida), Andre (Andou), and Marie-Antoinette (Marie).
- Freedom side wore a pelisse, a short over-jacket typically worn as a cape, in a hussar style over the shoulder.
- Asparagus' kepi and staff are a reference to the highest french military distinction Maréchal de France (Marshal of France).
- In the anime, their campus ship is based on France's first aircraft carrier, the "Bearn". She was originally intended to become one of the Normandie-class battleships, but it was decided to finish her as an aircraft carrier. Deemed obsolete in World War II, she was relegated to plane transport and cargo-carrying duties under the Free French Navy.
- The card suits (logos of spades, hearts, clubs, and diamonds) that adorned their tanks is a French tradition that started in WWI and continued through WWII.
- The OVA "Taiyaki War!" is a new point of view on the GuP universe as a whole, with the Examination faction shown rooting for Japanese street food instead of French. This emphasized that despite all the foreign themes, all schools are still Japanese schools at their core.
|Schools in Girls und Panzer ☰|
|Schools in The Anime Series||Anzio Girls High School ♦ Kuromorimine Girls Academy ♦ Ooarai Girls Academy ♦ Pravda Girls High School ♦ Saunders University High School ♦ St. Gloriana Girls College|
|Schools in Der Film||Chi-Ha-Tan Academy ♦ Jatkosota High School ♦ All-Stars University Team|
|Schools in Das Finale||BC Freedom Academy|
|Schools in The Mangas||Bellwall Academy ♦ Bonple High School ♦ Gilbert High School ♦ Maginot Girls' College ♦ Tategoto High School ♦ Tatenashi High School ♦ West Kureoji Grona High School|
|Schools in Supplemental Material||Blue Division High School ♦ Count High School ♦ Gregor High School ♦ Koala Forest Academy ♦ Maple High School ♦ Viggen High School ♦ Viking Fisheries High School ♦ Waffle Academy ♦ Yogurt Academy|