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BC Freedom High School (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 Ooarai Girls Academy during the new tournament.
BC Freedom High School'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 High School as it is currently the most detailed.
Behavior & Policy
The forced reunion into a single ship only created distrust and hatred between students of both sides to the point of both factions living up in each sides of the schoolship. They have a nonexistent teamwork and are in constant power struggle thought Freedom seems to have the upper hand. However as time went by, the number of students that do not identify with either the original schools has increased, and they live their lives mostly free from the rivalry.
Apart from their mutual hatred and power struggle of BC Freedom High School are 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 Freedom faction are rather strict and obedient while BC faction members are more relaxed are less obedient.
A recent defeat exploiting their rivalries made their overall commander trying to ease the tensions and creating a teamwork to reunite the two former schools.
It was said that during the time of Azumi, BC Freedom had a competent sensha-do team. The school had even managed to reach the best four schools, but due to infighting amongst the students, their disorganized nature had left them losing their first matches.
BC Freedom is divided into the affluent Escalator students, and the middle-to-lower class Examination students, mirroring the Pre-Revolutionary Second and Third Estates respectively. This social divide has caused both groups to be at odds with each other. The Escalator students thinking 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 will literally fight over everything, in one such case was food. The Examination group would not eat the fancy, luxurious, and very expensive French food being served on the ship, while Escalator students would never lower their standards as to serve 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 would come to terms with one another and learn 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 High School operates a mishmash of tanks that are very different from each other. While 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 possess a Valentine Mk.V which is non-operational and a M10 Wolverine that has never been fielded due to its open-top 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 is thought to lack combat ability.
In the Das Finale OVA, the divide and animosity between the Escalators and the Examination group have caused their sensha-dō team to be unorganized and without a proper doctrine. When Marie helped settle their differences, both groups have agreed to be one coordinated team, surprising everyone who watched them against Ōarai. They would fight their enemies when the advantage is with them, but if things do not go their way, they immediately regroup to a better position to continue fighting. Teamwork and coordination is the main doctrine of BC Freedom 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
As they have differents tanks they also have different tactics. While former BC High School preferred to break the enemy with maneuver warfare, drawing inspiration from Napoleonic Cavalry, former Freedom High School on their side, considering BC's tactics too risky, adopted a doctrine very similar to Maginot’s one where an extremely strong defense would stop the enemy from completing their objective. This was the main reason for the relatively slow FCM F1 and the Valentine infantry tank to be acquired.
Due to this problem and regardless of the quality of their vehicles, a lack of teamwork between the two sides cripples them in matches to the point when during a match the Freedom faction can prevent BC faction to intervene in a match due to their mutual distrust.
The overall commander finally ended up by easing tensions by making both faction cooperate by mixing tank with both BC and Freedom factions and innovates a new joint-strategy called "Strategie Mariage" (Wedding Strategy).
In the Das Finale OVA, the Academy Warship was based on France’s first Aircraft Carrier, the Beárn. Due to the more social divide of the school, the ship is divided transversely at the middle. The forward side 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 side.
Before merging, BC High School & Freedom High School had their own Schoolships. BC High School's schoolship design is based on the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, while Freedom's one is based on a French aircraft carrier cancelled project called PA2 (Porte-Avions 2 French for Aircraft Carrier 2) and was known to have vineyards dominating almost all the schoolship.
After the merging it is unknown which one of the schoolship was kept for hosting the newly formed school. Due to the rivalries between the two factions the schoolship was split into two (including living quarters and commercial buildings) 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 red and blue necktie, a deep blue jumper skirt worn over, with a royal blue cardigan.
The sensha-dō 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 it is unknown when this was designed in the anime.)
Ribbon Warrior Manga
In Ribbon Warrior, BC Freedom have the particularity of having two differents uniform depending of the faction. Only their sensha-dō uniform is seen.
BC faction's (former BC High School) uniform consists into a black jacket with BC patches on their collar and a BC Freedom armband, a gray scarf, a black belt with a sky-blue skirt, black boots and a black kepi.
Freedom faction's (former Freedom High School) uniform consists into a khaki jacket with a BC Freedom armband, a white shirt with a black tie underneath, a blue pelisse with golden ornament worn over the left shoulder, a black belt with a khaki skirt, black boots and a white kepi.
As their actual overall commander is part of Freedom side, Asparagus' wore their uniform except the kepi which is black with golden ornament and got a staff.
After their humiliating defeat against Katyusha, they switch to a unique sensha-dō uniform as a symbol for unity. Designed by Asparagus, the uniform consists of blue kepis with their logo on it, double breasted coats with jacket, a white skirt and brown boots.
The story of BC Freedom High School begins with Maginot Girls' Academy and their insatiable lust for wine.
Due to problems acquiring any 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. And thus begins the story of BC High School and Freedom High School.
Freedom High School hailed from the city of Okayama, the capitol 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 successes by focusing on general education, home economics, commercial, and manufacturing classes. Both schools found their purposes, but it didn't last.
Due to administration blunders and funding cuts, both schools deteriorated to a point to 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. And thus, the story of BC Freedom High School begins. BC High School's former location in Tsuyuma is kept as school grounds while they kept Freedom High School former location in Okayama as port for the carrier.
The union backfired in a colossal failure, with distrust and mutual hatred between the former two schools who where now forced to occupy a single ship. The nonexistent teamwork and a constant power struggle, this union only managed to waste even more funds and brought down the Administration’s reputation even further. Eventually the power struggle stalled into a Freedom side domination but the tensions are still accumulating.
63rd National High School Sensha-Dō Tournament (According to Supplementary Materials)
Against St Gloriana
- Main article: St. Gloriana Girls College vs. BC Freedom High School
BC Freedom High School participated in the 63rd National High School Sensha-Dō Tournament and faced St. Gloriana Girls College as their first opponent. Their force was composed of Hotchkiss H39, M5 Stuarts, a B1 Bis and a M4A1 Sherman (mounted with a 3-inch gun). While they had a tactical advantage and solid plan, to lure St.Gloriana into the city, annihilating their formation advantage and ambush their flag tank, but they neglected one thing: Darjeeling herself and her bold behavior. Despite the repeated asault from BC Freedom tanks Darjeeling quickly disposed of her opponent flag tank. They were eliminated in the first round.
Following the defeat during the Tournament, BC Freedom's Sensha-Dō club suffered many drawbacks and had to close. In order to restore the club Asparagus though to earn funds through Tankathlon.
Centipede vs Flying Tankers
As Saunders University High School haven't any 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 to intervene 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 launched the BC Side tanks as bait (making their relations only deteriorating), they fall into Shizuka's trap as she mocked-up her Te-Ke into a R35 and exploited their tension and rivalries. The Te-Ke put on their nerves, by making fire on each other, until the tension finally explodes and unleashed an all-out friendly fire. Asparagus realising she was deceived ordered all BC Freedom tanks to turn on their lights, but doing so she exposed her flag tank location and was shot down by Shizuka.
After the match ended, BC and Freedom sides clash on "Who is responsible ???", Shizuka then put her nose into their problem and claim to Asparagus that they only lose because of themselves.
Following their humiliating defeat against Centipede Team, Asparagus learns from her mistakes and widely revised her behavior and policy. That's why she stopped looking down the BC sides and launched the project called "Stratégie Mariage" (Wedding Strategy) making BC and Freedom sides cooperating each others by mixing tank crews with both factions students instead of one-sided crew. She also made the students train on the M22 Locust and created the "Fifth Republic Platoon".
While practicing Asparagus, Moule & Bordeaux are approached by Shizuka proposing them an alliance against the Kuromorimine's Tankathlon Team "Schwarzwald Kampfgruppe". They accepted Shizuka's request 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 Scharzwald Kampfgruppe with Centipede Team
During this match, fought with annihilation rules, BC Freedom fielded seven Renault R35, one AMR-35 ZT-1 (with 13.2mm Hotchkiss) and three M22 Locusts alongside Centipede Team's Type 97 Te-Ke. First contact with Erika's Panzer IIs was very harsh as they lose a R35 and then Asparagus' tank after she dispose of one Panzer II. Being demoralized by their leader's demise Bordeaux (following Asparagus' orders) begins to sing "La Marseillaise" to reinvigorate the troops, she is then followed by Moule and all BC Freedom students into a fiery Anthem song. After some of their traps trigged and heavy losses from both side. Shizuka and some R35 act as a bait for Erika as the Locusts dispose of Koume Akaboshi's platoon. After the firefight during which Shizuka was wounded, only part of Erika's platoon remains as Koume's platoon has been decimated by Bordeaux's platoon. One last firefight occurs leaving only Erika's Panzer II and Bordeaux's M22 Locusts during 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 to the post-match party organized by Anzio & Kuromorimine. After the party Asparagus resigned from the overall commander post feeling that, even if she managed to reunite the school, she is also responsible of many conficts within the school. But she will still working behind the scenes. For now BC Freedom is headless.
Cauldron Tankathlon Tournament
BC Freedom (as The Fifth Republic Platoon) is seen parading among the other schools during the introduction, while Asparagus is now working as a tournament staff.
Against Polite Girls
In first round for the fifth match of the Tankathlon Tournament, Fifth Republic Platoon will fight Pravda's Polite Girls in a 3 vs 3 Annihilation match. They field three Renault R35. The match is resolved off-screen by a humiliating defeat from Polite Girls' T-60. By being 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 as she realises that their skills are far behind as in Tankathlon tanks are almost equals. She then decided to put an end to all internal quarrels and get rid of factions, putting the school under one rule and one uniform and bring unity. This proved to be a success as the new uniforms were presented by the time of beginning of the round 2 of the Cauldron tournament. Moreover, the school also presented its newest technology there, one ARL 44.
- Main article: Azumi
She was a student of the school before integrating to the All-Stars University Team. Nothing is known about her high school life in BC Freedom, but it's possible that she was part of the sensha-dō team as college level Sensha-dō is for semi-professionals. She attended the Ooarai Girls Academy vs. BC Freedom High School match as a spectator and was impressed about how her former school became strong.
- 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 Escalator Faction. She commands an ARL 44.
- Main article: Rena Andou
She is Marie's vice-commander from Examination Faction. She commands an 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 first very arrogant and doesn't trust her teammates from BC faction. She will ease the tensions between and Freedom after the defeat against Centipede Team.
- Main article: Bordeaux
She is Asparagus' vice-commander from the BC faction. She commanded 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 fractured hexagon, the left part is filled with blue with letter B inside, the right part is filled with red with letter C inside plus a Cross of Lorraine and the gap between is filled with white.
- The country of France is commonly referred to as a hexagon as it has 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 and the Free France as this cross, before being adopted as a symbol by Free French Forces during World War II to counter the Nazi Swastika, 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 in 1871 after France lost the Franco-Prussian War, then it was taken back by France in 1918 after Germany's surrender, after France's defeat in 1940 the region wasn't formally annexed but was under German control 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 France, led by Charles De Gaulle, that rejected the armistice concluded by Marshall Philippe Pétain and continued the fight against Germany.
- The form of the logo, a hexagon, is a reference to the approximative shape of France being nicknamed "The Hexagon".
- The fracture of the hexagon is a reference the 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 a ideologic fracture between collaborators, resistance fighters and those who tried to remain neutral.
- The filling 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.
- In the same manner as Anzio and Maginot, in the Ribbon Warrior manga all 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 piece of cloth worn over a jacket, 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 Academy Warship is based on France's first Aircraft Carrier built, the "Bearn". She was supposed to be built as a part of the Normandie-class battleships until it was decided to finish her as an aircraft carrier. Deemed obsolete in World War II, she was relegated for plane transport duties and cargo under the Free French Navy.
- The card suits (logos of spades, hearts, clubs, and diamonds) that was pasted on their tanks is a French tradition that started since WWI and continued until WWII.
- The OVA Taiyaki War is a new point of view on GuP universe as a whole, since Examination faction was shown rooting for Japanese street food instead of French one. This also emphasized that despite all the foreign themes, all schools are still Japanese schools in the 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 High School|
|Schools in The Mangas||Bellwall Academy ♦ Bonple High School ♦ Gilbert High School ♦ Maginot Girls' Academy ♦ 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 High School ♦ Maple High School ♦ Viggen High School ♦ Viking Fisheries High School ♦ Waffle Academy ♦ Yogurt Academy|