Girls und Panzer der Film (Blu-ray release 2016-5-27) is the movie sequel to the 12-episode (plus 1 OVA) TV series in 2012. The protagonist is born in a prestigious family that is renowned for tank warfare. In the TV series, she transfers from her previous school to the present one in order to run away from it due to a certain event. However, this school resumes tank warfare and the student council forced her to join this practice. Gradually she regains the confidence and gains the trust from her friends, and competes in inter-school tank warfare competition, in order to save their school from being closed down.
This is the type of anime where practically all characters are cute girls or female. There are only a few men who have minimal screen time, and most of them could have been eliminated, except the bad guy from government who decides to close down the school.
I think it is not essential to have watched the TV series first before watching the movie sequel. The movie starts and ends with a large-scale tank war. Only during the middle part of the movie does it have some sort of story and character development. Basically, the school is still being closed down despite what the girls achieved in the TV series, because the bad guy says that verbal agreement does not count. Anyway, previous enemies now join and help the protagonist to combat a new enemy – university team with a whole lot more experience and firepower.
To be honest, in the movie I often confuse which tank is which side, but I’m sure it’s just me not paying enough attention. In both the TV series and the movie I see something that’s absent from most other anime – strategy and tactics. That is not to say the usual combat-oriented anime (such as Gundam) does not have them, but with tanks that inherit the real world limitations and flaws, here strategy and tactics and teamwork allow the underdog to win (whereas Gundam is certainly not an underdog for most of the time). In spite of the real world nature, the abilities of tanks here are stretched to provide more interesting tactics and scenes, such as riding a roller coaster.
Note: the movie is followed by a special episode Alice War!