Well, as some of you might have noticed, or may not have, today marks a very special day as was on this day a little 5 years ago that a little unknown show began airing in Japan.

Now, as for myself, I didn't get to watch this show until early December and even then I was rather skeptical about it as I felt that the entire idea behind it was simply put, stupid. I have a long-lasting interest in tanks and other armored vehicles of WWII which started in the summer of 1998 and I'm also an avid miniature wargamer since 2000 when I stumbled, purely by accident into Warhammer 40K. A few years later I stumbled, also by accident, into a little game called Flames of War.

The great thing about that game and the community was that the designers would update their web page every week with new products, historical articles, player submitted battle reports, and anything that had something to do with WWII would be highlighted. So it was on a Thursday that I got back from work and I checked the page and as I scrolled down the page my eyes fell on this weir looking StuG III (you know what I'm talking about)

So clicking on the link I was taking to the page where they talked about this unknown anime that I had never heard of but felt that it souded dumb, my opinion of this show not being helped by the simply ridiculous looking tanks (pink M3 Lee for God's sake) and I felt this was another one of those dumb animes where they took a serious item and dumbed it down. I was simply revolted by the mere thought of it.

But as much as I loathed the initial sightings of this series I could not get it out of my head so I went to one's first source whenever one needs to know more, the internet, in this particular note youtube. Seeing even more ridiculous colored tanks, out of whack tank drift, and the myriad of downright terrifying things that the girls were doing to my oh so cherished tanks. If I had been a smart person I would have turned away right there, alas I did not.

A little later, might be about a week by now I learn that I could watch the show on a site called Crunchyroll, well it was convenient so I decided to give the first episode a try and find out for myself just how horrible and stupid this series must be, in my mind it was bound to be a trainwreck of biblical proportions.

Well, I was wrong, I was so horribly, terribly, wrong. That last scene with the school, the entire freaking city situated on this massive carrier just blew me away, I simply had to watch the second episode right away to get answer and see what was going to happen next, one thing let to another and I was hooked as I watched all the way to episode 9 in one go (wasting what remained of that day in the process) and I suddenly found myself counting down the days until the next episode would air.

That is now almost 5 years ago, during that time this series got to hold a very special place in my heart, I love to death, every time I watch it I simply have to smile at seeing these precious characters go about their business. This show has given me so much joy and laughter over the years, it was one of the few shows that after a very long absence gave me a reason to go back to the world of anime. Ever since I've watched a lot of shows and gotten to enjoy a plethora of emotions just from a few animated characters going around their business, likely GuP will have a long-lasting influence on my life for further years to come. I've met a lot of wonderful, I found my place to this awesome wiki, I'm picking up old hobbies as I can turn this towards showing my love for this series. It has spurred my creativity.

I really cherish the series, adore the Anzio OVA, love der film, and I am beyond excited to see what 'das Finale' is going to give us and what the future might hold for Girls und Panzer, whatever it is, I know that I will remain faithful to it until the very end. For all that you've done for me GuP, for all of the joy, laughter, and tears that you've given in these past 5 years I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

So how did you come into contact with this series? What were your initial thoughts before watching it? Did it change after having seen the series? What did this series spur you on to do?