The Nishizumi family is one of the two known traditional Sensha-Dou family practitioners, the other one being the Shimada Family.
The Nishizumi Family is a traditional family in sensha-dō, their fighting styles lies around the sensha-dō style of Shiho Nishizumi, the current mistress of the Nishizumi Family, and the sensha-dō practitioners from Kuromorimine Girls Academy. The first important point is firing at the target without missing. The second point is let the heavy armor do the defensive work. The last point is advance forwards in perfect file.
The Nishizumi family was a traditional family in Archery back in history. When archey became obsolete, it was replaced by modern warfare equipment, such as tanks, the Nishizumis switched to it and specialized, becoming legends of the sport and very recognized all over Japan.
Their approach to Sensha-Dōu reminisces of the Wehrmacht's tactics of Panzerkiel, (this was used in mid to late-war as the Germans stopped using Guderian's tactic of encircling and destroying, which lead the Germans into a traditional war which they could never win) therefore emphasizes excellent aiming and fire discipline, the use of heavy tanks to absorb enemy counterattacks and the perfect coordination between the members of the team, all concepts that perfectly suit the German tanks used by the followers of this style.
The hallmarks of the Nishizumi Style are perfect formation, accuracy and synchronised fire. Tanks also advance frontally, regardless of incoming return fire. Tanks utilise stationary aiming and a heavier reliance on armour compared to other styles. Overall strategy favours decisive engagements and using superior strength to outmatch opponents.
The style has been known to be very successful, as Kuromorimine Girls Academy managed to win nine years in a row in the National sensha-dō High School Tournament with it and only losing for the tenth year because of matters not inherent to the style itself. In ripple effect after Ooarai won the 63rd National Tournament and exposure of Miho Nishizumi's personal approach during Battle for Ooarai, and Kuromorimine's involvement in Tankathlon, it is possible that Kuromorimine's under Erika Itsumi would modify Nishizumi Style towards mobility and shock tactics of Blitzkrieg approach.
This kind of strategy does show some flaws. As seen in that battle between Kuromorimine and Ooarai, when the Hetzer suddenly appeared and attacked the Kuromorimine tanks from the rear, they were taken aback and their formation was scattered, suffering losses. Not considering retreat was also a big flaw of the style, as it forbid refusing a direct challenge, and this resulted in Maho Nishizumi accepting a duel against her sister that ended in her defeat.
The success of the Nishizumi Style relies heavily on a tank possessing adequate armour protection and superior firepower. It is hence well suited to heavy tanks and assault guns platforms, but unsuited to more fluid, mobile combat. Constricting urban environments have the potential to compromise the overall formation. Advancing unheedingly also allows the force to be easily ambushed, denies support to the rearguard, and is ineffective when facing incoming threats from multiple directions.
In flag tank matches, the Nishizumi Style also places the flag tank at greater risk overall. Of all of Ooarai's tournament opponents, Kuromorimine was the only school to willingly place their flag tank in the front line.
Shiho is the current mistress of the Nishizumi Family, she is seldom home, being active on promoting sensha-dō and fulfilling holes as the High School sensha-dō chairperson to the Japan Sensha-Dō Federation (JSF), even being responsible to convince the director on enacting an annihilation match between Ooarai and the All-Stars University Team to save Ooarai Girls Academy from being closed down.
Shiho's initial response to Miho's unconventional actions was overwhelmingly negative. Even throughout the Sensha-Dō tournament she attributed Miho's success to luck. After having witnessed Miho defeat the Maho Nishizumi on a level playing field however, Shiho seems to at least respect the merits of Miho's personal style. Whilst she still prefers the orthodox Nishizumi Style by far, she nevertheless admits that Miho's personal style is still based on strength and skill, the fundamental principles of the Nishizumi Style.
The future mistress of the Nishizumi Family, she perfectly fulfills the duties of a Nishizumi on sensha-dō simply to please her mother Shiho and keep her sister Miho free to find her own way of sensha-dō and life. She is the overall commander of Kuromorimine, being the main Nishizumi representative in the school, as Shiho can't be around all the time. She is quite popular inside and outside of the school thanks to her achievements on sensha-dō.
Although strictly adhering to the Nishizumi Style up to and including the finals of the Sensha-Dō tournament, by the time of Der Film Maho, having learnt from her mistakes in the match against Miho, has taken a more lenient approach on the style. This includes retreating, making use of cover, firing blind or on the move and disregarding formation in favour of speed.
She was a practitioner of the Nishizumi Style and second in line for the definitive inheritance, she never felt like fighting by the means of the orthodox style, thinking of it as emotionless. She left the family and temporally quit sensha-dō after the defeat of Kuromorimine in the 62nd Sensha-dō Tournament, in which she left her tank - the flag tank - exposed and unmanned in front of the enemy to save one of her team-mates. In der Film she visited her home, however, without her mother knowing she was around.
Although she has integrated elements of the Nishizumi Style into her style on a tactical level, Miho has developed her own style entirely different from the orthodox Nishizumi Style. Her modified style has a greater focus on mobility, surprise and division of enemy forces.
Ami is an officer of the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force and a member of the JSF, fulfilling the duties of match referee and high school trainer. She was trained by Shiho, referring to her as Master and visiting the Nishizumi House for special requests to Shiho.
The Head of the Shimada Style, the Ninja Tactics, even though she is not a Nishizumi and their rivalry is revealed in der Film, she refers to Shiho as a fellow Master. Although the nature of their relationship is currently unknown, she is a member of the JSF, serving as the chairperson for the Colleges Sensha-dō. Shiho and Chiyo's relationship is important, as they can't have pro leagues on sensha-dō without having high school sensha-dō practitioners to start with.
She is the caretaker of the Nishizumi family house, her main duties are cleaning and washing, cooking and receive arriving residents and guests at the door. She also provided tips and advice regarding some life issues and served as sensha-dō match referee for the girls during their elementary school period, probably due to their friendship. She has become a member of the JSF, being recommended by Shiho. Whether or not she left the Nishizumi Family is unknown.
Nishizumi House Building
Someone with refined vocabulary writes this section
Nishizumi Private Tank Inventory
The Nishizumi family holds a small inventory of tanks and a private training ground, a Panzer IV, a Panzer II and a StuG III. Miho and her elementary classmates had a mock battle against Maho's junior high school team using these tanks and the training ground. Shiho also has the authority to requisition school-owned tanks for training purposes. The original Panzer IV, however, is said to be donated to an elementary school due to lack of person operating it in the mansion, and to promote sensha-dō among children.
In matches, the Nishizumi Style preferences strong frontal protection and powerful armament over mobility or reliability. By consequence, during long Kuromorimine tanks must face issues regarding fuel, ammunition and suspension maintenance.
"Hit the target when you fire, let your defences be of iron, and advance in perfect order... That is the way of Nishizumi Style." - Shiho Nishizumi.
- In Ribbon Warrior manga, Shiho Nishizumi remarks that Shimada Style doesn't consider the strength of a single tank to be important. Kinda dubious statement since Alice Shimada could wreak havoc and turn the tide of war with only a single tank.
- While Shimada Style dubbed as the essence of Japanese sensha-dō, Nishizumi Style claimed to be the very essence of sensha-dō itself.