Like I have said before in previous posts on this series, I’m growing rather tired of Tanya’s lack of real opposition and non-stop victories. Given the events of this episode, I should be annoyed as this episode was yet another victory for Tanya and her battalion but a little change of perspective can make all the difference as she essentially commits a war crime. Let me tangent for a moment and talk about World War 1. You see it’s not often you hear about WWI in comparison to how often WWII comes up. It’s no surprise as WWII was the more appealing one with the Nazi’s acting as the perfect supervillains for the world to fight off. World War 2 was about triumphing over adversity, odds and great injustice. World War one of the other hand was about something else entirely. You see before WW1 there was still belief in the glory of war, in distinguishing yourself in battle. War is where heroes are born and boys are made men. At least that was the sentiment. but WWI changed that. There was no glory in WWI, only people dying pointlessly in trenches, misery, disease, chemical warfare and in the end nothing was truly accomplished other than a severe loss of life. It taught the world a simple truth, that war is hell. Now in Tanya’s world these people are learning that lesson for this is their first World War.
What I find most amusing is that this is very much the same situation as the attack on the Dakia Capital. The tactic is essentially the same, announce an evacuation and use that as grounds to justify attack. Seeing as this plan was conceived from a report that Tanya drew up I wouldn’t be surprised it the Dakia attack served as inspiration for it. In purely practical terms the plan makes sense as with the empire fighting a war on two fronts, they cannot spare the resources to quell internal conflict. Rather than spend weeks negotiating and fighting off republic mages, just shelling the town with artillery is a faster solution. This is likely the logic Tanya is using to justify this attack and I appreciate that she doesn’t quite take joy in the act itself. She did seem gleeful on the plans introduction to her but I take that as her being satisfied that command tooking her report into heart. In purely logical terms this plan makes sense, but morally it’s absolutely monstrous. Tanya may be able to rationalise it but members of her battalion are showing hesitation. Weiss followed orders but he was so distracted that he didn’t notice that he got shot. But the one to take it the hardest was a solider by the name of Grantz who really didn’t take kindly to firing on civilians. But as Tanya so aptly put it, a soldier does what they are ordered and today’s survivor is tomorrow’s enemy. I half expected Grantz to fire on Tanya but perhaps he is so terrified of her that opposition isn’t even an option. Tanya’s Battlian has been shown so far to be an invincible force so it’s nice to see so cracks forming in their ranks. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder now.
The after credits scene shows something I didn’t quite expect. The return of Anson Sue. I find the reveal to be rather cheap and from what I hear this isn’t what happens in the light novels. Apparently Anson’s death went like the previous episode in that Tanya just killed him offhand and that was that. So it seems that he’s being brought back to give the series an antagonist for Tanya to face in the season finale. While I have misgiving about this I do see it as a good choice. Anson is the closest thing this series has to a human antagonist and with some god power he could prove to make the finale more exciting. However I am worried the series may attempt to make an anime original ending which in my experience rarely turn out well. I still believe that Mary Sue is coming into this story and I would like to see a second season where that could happen. So far all anime original aspects that Studio Nut have added have worked out great for the series. in particular the portrayal of God is leagues better than the source material. So in that regard I hope they manage to pull off Anson as a good antagonist, or perhaps as this episode has shown, maybe he’s the protagonist?