Short Synopsis: A little girl named Tanya Degurechaff fights for the German Empire in World War One as the most dangerous sorcerer of the imperial army. However, she is actually one of Japan’s most elite salarymen, who prioritizes efficiency and her own career over anything else, that was reborn as a little girl after angering a mysterious being who calls himself God.
A decent start to one of the shows I am looking forward to this season. Animation wise this show is looking great as those war scenes really are just how I thought they would be. THey need a lot to keep up this level of quality though but I hope they can. However if there’s one thing that has suffered here it’s the female character designs. They differ quite heavily from the more realistic male soldiers and I can’t help but find them a little off putting so far. Tanya is fine but her subordinate just looks off at time. Doesn’t help that she has gotten a serious downgrade from she novel design. If you look it up the two don’t even look like the same person. However I don’t really get the decision to jump to chapter 3 of the novel right from the start. I am hoping that this was a flash forward and they plan to go back to the start. What is really needed here is Tanya’s inner monologue which paints an entirely different picture of her character. I do believe it was the intent to make this more an outside view of her so that people would be misguided by her character. Her voice is also strange to me as I often thought she would have a more intimidating tone but this voice could add to the more comedic aspects of this series. Overall this is a strong start but it hasn’t really shown what it can do yet.
HelghastKillzone: World War One seems to be in vogue with the release of Battlefield 1 and the Izetta: The Last Witch featuring some vintage hardware military in the Blitzkrieg phase of World War Two. Youjo Senki looks to become the show that Izetta promised but never delivered on with its good animation, depressing color palette and utter savagery that is Tanya Degurechaff. She is less of your standard magical anime girl and more like the calculating mind of Lelouch Lamperouge that has no qualms about loping heads off or incinerating entire groups with her superior magical levels. Speaking of magic, it is far more prevalent in Youjo Senki’s world and makes for an interesting conflict where entries armies clash using a mixture of traditional firepower alongside with fantasy powers.
I don’t have any real gripes with the opening episode even though the story is being told in a different order. The fundmental objective of any opening episode is to hook the viewer into its world and Saga of Tanya the Evil fulfilled those goals for people like me who are unfamiliar with the source material.There are complaints about the drastic changes in the character design of Viktoriya Serebryakov and I actually don’t mind her anime dopy look because it matches her overly cheerful personality and airheadedness as opposed to the generic look in the manga. So long as this show keeps its focus on Tanya ripping and tearing through her enemies with ruthless efficiency backed up by sound tactical decision making, I can see this become one of the highlights in this sparse winter season.
Schoolgirl Strikers – Animation Channel
Short Synopsis: A bunch of schoolgirls fight monsters.
I have a firm belief that when this show finishes airing, no one will remember it. It is that kind of utterly forgettable show, not good enough to be watchable yet not bad enough to be entertaining. In a word it’s blah. Just a soulless show trying to cash in on current trends. Either way the monster in this show are ridiculously unthreatening to the point where I actually wonder if they mean any real harm. The only ones to stop them are schoolgirls with various fetish outfits. You gotta feel sorry for the team that decided the best battle attire would be bikini swimsuits. I found the school life elements don’t really mesh well with the whole battling supernatural beings as after an introductory battle we transition to a normal school day where it isn’t even mentioned. I originally thought that this was how they became Schoolgirl strikers but nope. Straight out of nowhere to interrupt the search for school mysteries our girls get messaged and blam. Sudden sci-fi complex and exposition about how the school is gathering girls to fight off monsters for…some reason. The girls themselves honestly feel like tropes ripped from other shows. Not really characters, more just quirks. It does warm my heart to see even a low priority show like this can have pretty decent battle animation but that could be because they replace the backgrounds with CGI to compensate. Anyway, this isn’t worth watching.
Mario: After watching this first episode, one thing that baffled me was whose perspective we’re supposed to follow here? In the beginning the red hair girl served as our main with her silly antics, but as soon as the long black hair appeared she was dropped like a falling apple. To make that issues more glaring these two girls don’t have any chemistry together at all. That same main girl who lose her memories is also something that we see way too often. I like the O’bli creatures aspect of the show but I don’t care much about those schoolgirl strikers at all. The story actually hinders to get darker later on. There’s never a good sign when those girls don’t really know what they’re fighting against or even why they fight. This show is more like a magical girl show in disguise (as strikers) and I expect this one to be a mildly effort at best.
Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu
Short Synopsis: A girl learns to ride a bike and goes to school.
You know what’s the problem with moe? It depends on making characters dumber in order to make them more “pure” and spur protective instincts because they can’t look after themselves. Hence why the female cast of any Key work tend to act more like eight year olds rather than genuine teenagers. But there’s a point where stupidity stops being endearing and just makes a character look bad. This girl crossed that point as she takes out a bicycle, tries to ride it and then realised that you have to pedal bikes in order to make them move forward. I mean wow, that’s just a level of stupidity that makes me think this girl isn’t ready for high school. In this show it’s clear that the effort went into the backgrounds as while the character designs are rough, the backgrounds are beautifully slush and vibrant. The story so far is like attending the first day of japanese high school and it certainly is as dreadfully boring as I imagined it. Other than that we just have a girl making friends which is been there done that to death. Look you want cute girls riding bikes then watch Long riders or even Bakuon if motorbikes suffice. This just isn’t worth it.
Mario: On my personal notes, I had been to Kamakura myself and it was a beautiful place; therefore I’m extremely glad I have a chance to see the settings again in anime. The show does justice to many attractions that made that town famous (the great Buddha statue, the ocean road, Mt Fuji from afar) but unfortunately that’s the end of my praise for this show. First off, the show goes completely overboard with the cherry blossoms to the point of irritating. The main girl is eccentric and carefree, but not in a good way. The plot is way underdeveloped, like how the show reveals that Hiromi was riding a kiddie bike with training wheels (that explained why she has no idea how to ride a bicycle), but isn’t that bike her old bike? Where does it from then? Why do all good, special things tend to happen only in class B? How can she appear fine without scratch after falling down so may time? The story so far is as generic as it gets and even compare to Long Rider last season this show is an inferior one. You don’t need to waste time on this.