Posted on 4 April 2017 with categories: Anime Reviews, Currently Watching:, Saga of Tanya the Evil

Isekai stories have become somewhat of a tiresome genre as of late. There have been many stories of people being transported/reincarnated into other worlds where they shed their once pitiful exterior and become some legendary figure in another world. In most cases it’s trit, balant childish wish fulfilment and the stories often become tiresome when the protagonist gains a level of power that could never be challenged. Enter Youji Senki(Saya of Tanya the evil) where in a HR manager from Japan is tossed into a alternative world WWI by god in an effort to teach him piety. Tanya’s first episode may not win over many but if you check out the second episode you will be taken for quite a ride. This series is the first work by Studio Nut and while it pushed them to their limits it remains a impressive piece of work. Animation and art could be shaky and character designs took a hit for what looks to be for making animation easier. Tanya has some truly impressive set pieces and boasts the largest number of war scenes I have seen in a single anime.

There are shows which advertise themselves as action packed but are anything but, however Tanya is not one of these shows. Though when Tanya takes it slow that can be some of the more interesting parts of the series. Tanya and God’s interactions make for some of the best parts of the show and show a underline of Theism vs Atheism symbolism. The show doesn’t pick a side and admittedly any meaning gathered from this would be shallow level speculation at best. This aspect also becomes less prevalent in the second half of the show as God stands aside in favor of a more human antagonist. It didn’t delve into the concept as much as it could have but it nonetheless makes for a great hook to keep the viewer interested.

In regards to this series flaws the big thing is that it is Tanya’s show through and through. What means is that Tanya gets the bulk of the development, Tanya gets the glory and she gets every moment of badassery. This leaves a large majority of the supporting cast rather underdeveloped and I am certain you won’t remember most of their names by show’s end. In the same way Tanya is to a degree rediculously overpowered and a good amount of the shows second half is dedicated to her steamrolling her opponents. If you don’t find Tanya’s character compelling or interesting, I doubt there will be much here for you besides an alternate take on World War I. Still it’s hard not to like Tanya when she is a beautifully made anti-hero whose motivations are understandable but exceedly malicious. The series can be humorous at times with the after credits sequences taking on a more joking tone than the series normally goes for. The way in how Tanya’s actions and intentions are misinterpreted make for some really humorous scenarios.

For history buff this series provides some meat as well in how the war proceeds in the anime mirrors that of real history and while magical aspects are present, a lot of the equipment used is true to the time. Music is decent with the main theme having enough to get you pumped during an action scene. The opening is different and might not be to everyone’s tastes but the ending is great and closes out each episode perfectly. I applaud Tanya for being one of the few anime to not make use of fanservice as Tanya is in no way fetished at any point within the show. Considering that she is a lolita you would think that’s a given but believe me in that hasn’t stopped many shows before. This show remains a remarkably fun watch throughout, though it loses some steam in its second half but makes a comeback with it’s final two episodes. I say this is well worth any anime fans time and certainly deserving of a second season if being X is merciful.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Saga of Tanya the Evil

This is certainly a fitting finale in many ways. While the ending is a massive sequel hook, at least satisfying enough to witness the end of this reality’s World War One and have it launch into World War Two territory. Honestly, I think this anime would make for one hell of an advertisement for the light novels and after seeing what the future has in store, I would definitely buy them if they were in English. It gives me hope that this series will see a second season as even though it has it’s flaws, it was still barrels of fun.

Tanya’s ending speech of the episode was a great one by taunting the viewer into maybe thinking that she had finally given up and accepted Being X, only for her to proclaim God to be shit and that she would kill him and take his place. In a way, I think Tanya has accepted Being X as being genuinely God but instead of giving in, her vendetta has increased twofold. Still, as great as that final speech was, I think her one earlier in the episode trumped it. When I heard Tanya talk to Rerugen, I thought for a moment that she was going to reveal her past to him. Instead, Tanya explains that humans are not beings who run on logic but succumb to their emotions and that the war will continue. Her words are prophetic to Rerugen but what makes it all the more beautifully haunting is that Tanya is speaking from her experiences in war as well as her previous life’s death. The way this talk was framed from the voice actors performance was just excellent. The minute she finished speaking, her words come true as a messenger arrives with words that the Republic will continue to fight against the Empire, even from another country. The Armistice is in shambles and now the Empire needs to deploy overseas to wipe out the remnants of the Republican forces.

Tanya laments that the Empire’s actions only spur more war, as crossing into another country causes the powers to be to no longer stand idly by. The Empire has become too much of a threat and now they stand with enemies on all sides. Perhaps, Tanya shouldn’t be so hard on them as the consequences of her actions is coming right back to bite her on the ass. With the death of her father, Mary Sue has decided to join the war. Coming packed with extra God power and while she doesn’t know about the killer of her father, Tanya carries a clear identifier in the engraved submachine. God, I would love to see these two duke it out. If this is the true end of Youjo Senki, Saga of Tanya the evil with no sequel being ever announced, then it’s not a bad way to cap off the series. For Studio Nut’s first work this was certainly a impressive offering and I will be looking forward to see just what they have in store next. If that happens to be more Tanya, then I certainly am on board.

 

Posted on 29 March 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Saga of Tanya the Evil

Studio Nut really must be hurting as this week starts off with a two minute recap of the last episode but what made this episode special is that for the first time, Tanya lost. The start of this episode at least had Ansen pay that check of giving Tanya a hard time. In particular I loved the irony that he tried to take her out with a suicide bombing much like Tanya did on their first encounter. There was also that moment where in Tanya was fought in close quarters and full herself getting manhandled. It’s sometimes easy to forget be she is still a little girl of twelve years of age. When in hand to hand combat she is at a serious disadvantage due to her under developed body. I spotted moments of janky artwork and cgi animation in the fight scene but otherwise it was a fairly accelerating affair. I am once again annoyed that Tanya shook off injuries and looked fine within the next scene.

They really need to clarify just how medicine works in this universe as this is the second time she’s gotten injured only to have it magically disappear by the next scene. It definitely gives a layer of invincibility to Tanya when she’s survived many explosions with only a bit of dirt on her despite being in the center of the blast radius. One really great detail of the fight scene was the Ansen was using a military shotgun which Tanya proclaimed violated wartime treaty. See in real history the German protested the use of shotguns in world war I. They stated the reason being that shotguns were inhumane and caused excess suffering to the victim. Though the real reason is that Germany didn’t have shotguns so they wanted to prevent the enemy from using them. What makes this particularly novel is that claiming that Shotguns were inhumane is rather hypocritical because Germany invented flamethrowers.

There may be those confused at what exactly happened in the second half of this episode.  For that you may need to know so history on the World Wars. The first is the matter that command signed a Armistice, not a surrender. An armistice is only a formal agreement to stop fighting and one of the things that lead to the start of World War II. Another event to know would be the battle of Dunkirk which has been site of one of the points that Germany could have won WWII. It was a mass evacuation of 338,226 soldiers. If the soldiers had been killed then this could have meant that Germany could have taken England and thus deterred America from entering the war. Here we see a combination of the two events as the armistice was used as a massive distraction to ensue the Emipire doesn’t notice the mass evacuation. The goal in this war was to have a severe loss of life to ensue the enemy was incapable of fighting.

Now that the enemy has fled the mainland it opens up the war for new people to enter the field. Tanya knows her history and  she knows that the empire will be in a very bad position if that happens. Here is the beauty of what happens next. Tanya only knows what she knows due to alternative history. Anyone high enough in command who would listen to her is dealing with negotiating the terms of the armistice. To anyone else she just sounds like a war crazed soldier who can’t leave the battlefield. But she know that this is her one chance for a peaceful life in this world. Yet command chains her for she just looks like a psychopath trying to start another war. This is beautiful. Tanya know’s exactly what is happening but is utterly powerless to do anything about it. All of her victories so far in the series have amounted to nothing as she will once again be forced into the fires of battle in the future.

Posted on 23 March 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Saga of Tanya the Evil

What am I to say when the majority of the episode is detailing a military operation? I admit that content has become spare in this series as of late and the Tanya vs God battle has more or less been pushed to the sideline. Tanya had one moment here where it looked like her mission could be a bust but thankfully, her subordinates hits gold. There is a certain joy in seeing a plan come together and this plan had echoes of Hannibal’s tactics during the famous battle of Cannae where he managed to surround a far larger army on all sides and rendered their numbers meaningless. We get a small glimpse of the politics of the empire and it’s clear that the army holds significant sway in decisions. They tried to use the retreat as a means of criticising the army’s leadership, only to have the military succeed and render them all silenced. In a way, Zetter’s genius is scary as the man not only won a war but used that victory as a means of retaining political dominance and shut down criticism of the military. As it is now, I would say that the Empire is only a mere facade of democracy and has become a full blown dictatorship.

Anson returns with a bang as he shoots down Grandz. I have my doubts that he’s actually dead as I didn’t see any blood but this does confirm that Anson is the endboss of this series and I more than welcome someone who could make Tanya try for once. The end credits scene shows why Grandz looked rather awkward when Tanya commented if anyone did anything to Viktoriya. If you wanted to look deeper into it you could theorise a level of indoctrination with Tanya’s men as Viktoriya follows her orders to kill even within her dreams. There are rumors that this show will actually be two cours which I find dubious considering that this episode was delayed as well as the clear production troubles the studio has been having. I would most certainly welcome two cours but if it was going to be the case, I would prefer it to be a split cour so the studio can lick it’s wounds. Former madhouse staff or not, this is still their first production as Studio Nut and the last thing we need is them burning themselves out.

Posted on 16 March 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Saga of Tanya the Evil

A calm before the storm episode as the war with the Republic draws close to its climax. It’s nice to see the episode start off with Tanya trying to rationalize her actions in the previous episode. What may not be apparent from the anime is that Viktoriya has a tendency of coming up with reasons that make Tanya’s actions seem like tough love as opposed to being efficient and ruthless. In that regard, I recommend watching the Youjo Senki shorts as they do a better job fleshing out the cast overall. Here, we have Viktoriya rationalizing to Grantz that Tanya was the one taking all responsibility for the mission while in actuality, Tanya made her subordinates do the dirty work to ensure her hands were as clean as possible but even she seems in doubt. It does remind me of the question asked during war college on who the responsibility lies in regards to war crimes. Based on that the responsibility would rest with the one who gave the order, she shifts the blame onto her superiors despite drafting up the very same policy that would justify killing noncombatants in a occupied urban environment.

I found it rather macabre for Wickya and Grantz to share in a laugh when a soldier was in agonizing pain only a few feet away but after-credits scene comes along and reveals that soldier was suffering from food poisoning by eating a rotten potato. It a bit of dark humour as food supplies were often low and potatoes can be dangerously poisonous as they belong to the same family of plants as the deadly Nightshade. Basically, when a potato starts sprouting it will have elevated levels of Solanine and this stuff can destroy you even with small amounts. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, burning of the throat, cardiac dysrhythmia, nightmares, headache and dizziness. It goes without saying that someone ingest enough of this poison, they are going to have a bad time and die. The recent Youjo Senki short even goes into detail with this very same matter. Honestly it’s rather shocking to know that a foodstuff I have been eating my whole life could potentially kill me in the wrong circumstances.

It is rather nice to see Tanya having trouble for once. Members of her battalion are dying, the return of the mad scientist has her being blasted into the enemy headquarters and the defeat of the republic can likely only mean the world war escalating into a greater conflict. There was one moment this episode which had me rather confused. During a war scene it showed a cut to black when Tanya was hit with artillery. This suggested that the ever so invincible Tanya was finally injured on the front lines. However when Tanya is shown later she doesn’t have a single scratch on her and thing continue as usual. I would have liked to see her a little worse for wear as she’s nearing overpowered status. Otherwise the final parts of the episode suitably make the launch of the V1 rockets epic as Tanya once again curses X for throwing her into this situation. Considering how this battle is being built up, I think we will be seeing the return of Anson Sue and possibly the first person to give Tanya a real hard time.

Posted on 7 March 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Saga of Tanya the Evil

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?

Posted on 28 February 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Saga of Tanya the Evil

After a recap episode last week, we are back to Tanya and her efforts in the war but I must admit that while still enjoyable, this was a weaker episode of the show. I am reminded of the first episode of the series which, while visually interesting, lacked a real hook to get the audience invested. The characterisation and interaction between Tanya and her subordinates has been lacking and I noticed that the past two episode had little of Tanya’s own inner monologue. One of the most entertaining aspects of this series is the contrast between how Tanya thinks and the views of others of her, but ever since establishing the battalion, there hasn’t been many times where we hear her thoughts. The five minute shorts do show more of how Tanya interacts with her subordinates but in the main series itself very little is shown besides her few interactions with Viktoriya and even those are strictly business.

Have you ever seen a simple action movie, where the protagonist’s family member is killed by the villain and then they grow up to take revenge in the films climax? Well, I feel like that is what is happening here but instead, the protagonist is the one doing the killing. It took me a while to remember that Anson was one of the officers who first fought Tanya on her first mission and it is  rather odd that he got so much focus this episode. Anson Sue (Crunchyroll has translated this as Sioux but it’s up for debate if that is an accurate translation), sends his family away from the war and loses his life in a desperate gamble to take down Tanya. Tanya, with complete disinterest kills him and steals his gun which happened to be a Christmas present from his daughter, engraved with his initials. I doubt Anson will be making a second appearance as that fall looked fatal and any attempt to bring him back would be cheap or ludicrous.

As a result, Tanya is now lugging around a gun that signifies her as the killer and I think someone’s daughter is going to be out for sweet revenge once the war reaches American shores. It certainly seems like the workings of Being X, to give someone a personal reason to start gunning for Tanya’s life and give another a beatable antagonist for Tanya to face. It is rather hypocritical if this is the case as he choose to support a non-believer over a devout soldier which does call into question why he is deserving of such praise when he tosses aside one of his followers in order to spite a non believer? What I find especially delicious about this development is that Ansons daughter is named Mary. So Tanya would be, quite literally, fighting a Mary Sue. The biggest problem about this is that if Mary Sue is going to get involved in this war, it certainly won’t be in this season. Most likely, it will be later down the line in the novels which we may never see animated.

Other than that, this was another easy win for Tanya and with the Entente Alliance on it’s last legs, this could signal the intervention of other countries. Daika has already made a move, unwise as it was, but I will say that other countries are getting the same idea. The Empire has grown to an alarming degree and as predicted, will soon be fighting a war on all fronts. Tanya’s reputation is growing greater as she guesses the plans of the top brass and can even challenge her superiors with her opinions but I find this rather hard to be invested in. Why? Because it is set up for a war that we will not likely see play out in its entirety. As far as I know, this series is a single cour which would be enough to cover maybe two or three light novel volumes of content. There are seven novels so far and could end up following the likes of many anime series that are only designed to drum up sales for their source material.  It could be possible that a second season is planned though considering the recap episode last episode, it’s possible that Studio Nut is already working to the bone to give one cour. My biggest worry would be that the rest of this season would be spent building up to a second season and have no real satisfying conclusion. It’s a sad fact as an anime fan, we do not see a proper ending to a majority of the series we watch. It would certainly be nice to have such a thing although greedy and unrealistic at the same time.

Posted on 14 February 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Saga of Tanya the Evil

This week’s episode is more focused on action so I have less to talk about. In terms of plot, we get the main gist that World War One is revving into gear. Dakia looks to be knocked out of the war, thanks to Tanya’s efforts and as predicted, her success has caused the top brass to use her battalion as their ace in the hole. Oddly enough, Tanya doesn’t seem all that concerned about it. Despite the fact that she is ordered into brutally killing people, Tanya seems to be enjoying herself. A lot of this episode was Tanya showing that she’s a badass who can chuck grenades into bomber planes and blow up observation stations attempting to gather data on her. In truth, while watching this episode I was starting to become concerned that we could have the same issue that Drifters had that nothing was really going to pose a tangible threat to Tanya. I have said it before, a one sided battle is boring to watch and makes it feel like the protagonist is never in a position of danger. If the remainder of the series is going to have episodes like this, then the enemy needs to get Tanya to work for her victory instead of getting curbstomped just to show off just how amazing Tanya is.

Thankfully, it looks like the show recognizes that disparity and Being X shows up to rain on Tanya’s parade. This is a break from their normal interactions as this appearance is much more provocative and malicious than previous encounters . By taking control over a dead body, Being X reminds her that even though she has won some small victories, she will soon be fighting the entire world. It is funny that Tanya’s very first response on his appearance is by shooting a round into the bod as she states that this was specifically the reason she carried her gun around everywhere. Being X could arrive at any time and when he does come, she wants a gun on hand to shoot him.  This seems to have give her no real self-satisfaction and his words definitely affect her mood. Before his arrival, Tanya was practically having fun managing the battle and becoming victorious, but her mood soured greatly after God showed up, to the degree that Viktoriya noticed her drop in mood.

The after credits comedy scene worked really well here with Tanya remarking about the dangers of secondhand smoke that nobody in this timeframe is aware of. After all, it cannot be good for her to go to briefings filled with cigar smoke. It could really stunt her growth but that could be a plus on the other hand. As she stated herself, that small body of hers makes for a harder to hit target. With the appearance of God, this likely means that things are going to get a lot harder for Tanya and perhaps this could mean the birth of an archenemy is on the horizon. God does make a good villain but lacks presence to act as something for Tanya to fight against. What would be really cool now is for a kind of Joan of Arc figure leading the war on the other side. Something tangible for Tanya to take down and fight. Sadly, next week’s episode is a recap episode which doesn’t come as too much of a surprise. Considering the quality of the show so far and that this is a first effort by animation studio they have be straining themselves. Last week’s episode did show more signs of cutting corners in terms of animation and I personally would prefer a recap episode over a rushed-out mess.

Posted on 7 February 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Saga of Tanya the Evil

The only one thing I dislike about this episode was that we didn’t get into Tanya’s thoughts very much. I really wish I could have heard what she was thinking while training the troops because it would have been undoubtedly hilarious. It is clear by her reaction that she didn’t expect any of them to continue and was just waiting for them to drop out. From what I hear, we actually got the abridged version of her training as in the LN and manga, as she shot even more artillery shells at them after the original thirty-six hour time limit just to mess with them and then went through the list of the world’s most hellish training regiments. Of course, her efforts backfired as the harsh treatment of the troops gave the impression that she would kill anyone who dared tries to quit. It’s a common theme for Tanya to see things in terms of loss and gain as her previous life as a salaryman made her highly logical but apathetic.

Tanya only sees things from her perspective without taking into account the time or the mindset of others. In truth, Tanya’s mistakes are normal due to her misunderstanding of other people. To truly defeat God, she needs to stop focusing on her own goal and expand her worldview and the utter glorious tragedy of it all, is that Tanya is the kind of person so caught up in her own ideals to ever truly consider it. Despite being a clever individual, Tanya is quite childish and short sighted. After all, the main reason she is in this mess is because she prattled on to God without thinking. Tanya, to me, is how a villain should be written, not some unfazeable egoist mastermind sitting atop a tower saying everything is according to plan. Instead, she’s just a capable individual with a flawed personality and ideology, essentially making her human.

Thus, with the battalion formed, the group receives their first mission fending off an invasion by the kingdom of Diakon. I don’t know who this nation is supposed to represent but they seem to have not updated their war tactics from the 19th century. The lack of air support and rudimentary defense against mages makes Tanya sigh at their incompetence and the ensuing battle couldn’t really be called one but rather, it was a wholesale massacre and devastating defeat for the kingdom of Dakia. It seemed all too easy and I thought that God might throw a wrench into the works, but this battle does truly highlight just how ruthless Tanya really is. Her assistant Viktoriya has been acting somewhat of a moral counterpart, but even she doesn’t chastise Tanya for her level of ruthlessness.

Out of everyone in the world, she seems to is the one that knows Tanya the best as when battalion was given an explanation by their commanding officer about shelling them with artillery, Viktoriya had already begun digging a hole to avoid the bombardment. I certainly wasn’t expecting Tanya to pull out that little girl voice to announce the attack on the capital but that was certainly underhanded and remarkably clever. No doubt, this victory will push her reputation even higher which may have slipped her mind during this mission. After all, Tanya is thinking of war in terms of the modern world, so the massive numbers of Dakia troops doesn’t impress her. However, to the various militaries of this world, the news that she defeated an army with a single battalion, will no doubt have her superiors pushing her into much more dire straits.  Finally, we can see that Tanya is making use of her previous life’s knowledge as the speech she gave her battalion is almost a word for word quote from Full Metal Jacket.

Posted on 31 January 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Saga of Tanya the Evil

What happened in this episode was essentially a joke with the majority of the time dedicated to   the setup and final few scenes being the punchline. It doesn’t necessarily mean that this was a bad episode as this show is still burning strong. However, in terms of plot progression, this was a rather slow paced episode but all things considered, it is nice to take a break from the battlefield and have Tanya playing mind games to enhance her position. That makes the beautifully cathartic moment all the more satisfying when these mind games ends up working against her. She manages to make use of her knowledge of World War I to predict how the war would develop and due to her efforts to impress her superior, she accidently suggests the formation of a mage battalion whom could turn the tide of the war. Essentially, she unknowingly recommended herself to be at the forefront of the entire world war and handle the most dangerous missions. The brilliant thing about this is that God may have set things up a little by having Zeller see her resume but, in the end, it was Tanya herself, that ultimately dug her own grave. I actually think that if Tanya appealed to take the safer positions offered to her, then Zeller would allow her to refuse as he does seem hesitant to send her out. Unfortunately, Tanya’s mind works against her and ultimately assumes that she has no choice in the matter.

It’s great that the war college isn’t used as an excuse to pad out the story or introduce a classroom full of wacky new characters. Instead it resemble more like an actual college, which I certainly appreciate.  There aren’t any silly sports festivals here and instead, we have Tanya convincing a man to abandon his position in the military in order to be there for his newly born daughter. That was quite a good scene as it really did seem like Tanya was being genuinely heartfelt, only to have that psycho smile flare up as it was just a ploy to convince the man to give up his post so she would steal it for herself. Giving someone a good heart to contrast evil actions can lead to nice moral dichotomy but in the case of our salaryman here, I think she’s at her best at being a bastard. Yet, despite the audience knowing her real thoughts, she may be giving the impression of being a good person to those around her. The only one cautious of her true nature is the Vice Director of Strategy and Operation although he doesn’t know her full backstory. Otherwise, he would know that all he needs to do to keep her from taking over is to give her a safe cushy job in the rear.

Now that I think of it, I haven’t commented on the opening and ending credits of this show yet. The opening is something I appreciate for being different, but I find the song to be too robotic with its vocals. The visuals are far too obscured and the majority of the opening just throws too many scenes, which makes it too cluttered. I do like the part with Tanya shooting the Nutcracker as a way of showing her conflict with god. Actually, that Nutcracker is a rather amusing choice for the representative of God. After all, God is the one that threw him into this grim reality and generally comes in to give him a kick in the nuts now and again. One has to wonder if it’s an intentional joke. While the opening doesn’t catch me, I found myself loving the ending. The song has a certain militaristic theme which I have a certain fondness for and the chorus just sounds great to me. In terms of visuals, I can’t decide if it was resourceful or lazy to make it a slideshow of the art featured in the light novels. The amount of effort required to make this ending is minimal, and if any other light novel adaption tried to do this then it would make for a weak ending for each episode.

However, the artwork of the novels is quite frankly, outstanding. It has a level of detail and beauty that will likely make people lament the downgrade that Tanya got in character design in the anime. If there is a negative to this ending, it is that ignorance is bliss so that by pointing out how good Tanya looks in the novel, people might be resenting her animated character design. I don’t quite dislike her design as when it comes to animation and character art as I prefer my characters feeling alive over being highly decorative cardboard stills. Her design may be a downgrade but it does allow for the animation to give her a wider berth of emotional  response. It’s sort of like how the anime version of Pokemon Sun and Moon handled their character redesign, which made a lot of people angry. Ultimately, it was done for better animation and in all honestly, it is a reasonable tradeoff. That said, Tanya’s female subordinate still looks bad, and if she’s going to be in this show a lot more then they need to do something with that off putting design.

 

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
*poorly forcing
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And that is one of the biggest advantages the show has for me, after being annoyed by so many shows ending up with tonal shifts and forcing cute designs into something more serious it is nice to see that girls last tour avoids that problem.
Amagi
My texts are always too long..
Amagi
It isn't enough to just say "look there is a dark subplot somewhere or a backdrop dystopia and we will get to it whenever it seems convenient". Last Tour is the opposite, it is moe, but the girls are part and product of the world they live in, + the cute and serious parts don't feel like two different series being glued together.
Amagi
Girl's Last Tour is the good type of moe show for me. There are many that have or pretend to have some serious undertone, be it some dystopian setting or politics or whatever. But the difference between the good and the bad shows is that the former are actually connected with their serious part in everything they think or do while the bad shows only use the other topic as cheap way to alure fans.
SuperMario
@Bokusen: I'm not sugarcoating it, but Houseki tends to be the title that split the audience. Give it a try at least. If you can tolerant the first three episodes, chances that you will enjoy the rest
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Now if only someone will translate the side story manga aswell.
KTravlos
Happiness! New chapters of Gunka no Baltazar!
Bokusen
@SuperMario Thanks! I'll give Houseki no Kuni a try then. A lot of the series I thought would be good are disappointing me, so I might be following a low number of series this season & it'd be cool if Houseki turns out to be something I like enough to watch this season.^-^
SuperMario
@Kaiser: right. The sole reason I described it as "cinematic" was just to lure you into watching it, so mission accomplished! Mind you, Girls' Last Tour is still a moe show at heart (look at their round faces and those big eyes. They're killing me)
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in all seriousness, I had had it initially written off as a crap moe show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: You're ministry of anime propaganda tactics mentioning how cinematic it is got me to pick it up =P And you know how much of an aesthetics guy I am =P
SuperMario
I'm glad that many of you enjoying Girls' Last Tour. It's a nice little gem that I think works best when you going to it without any expectation
SuperMario
I swear this season has a lot of good anime to offer. I'm jaded
Amagi
I always considered backgrounds as pretty important. Most anime only use them as backdrops because they have to be there somehow and it's really a different thing than Girls' Last Journey for example. Also I will like everything that has exploration and world building.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And achieves taking the viewer into its world, thankfully without relying on tons of expositional dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Girls last tour, somewhat succeeds in pulling me in by using its landscape that dwarfs the characters, to create its atmosphere, I wouldn't call it all that unfunny either. Though premise could risk going stale.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, HA! Yeah I would like to believe but I am thinking that's not the case. Besides next season is looking pretty barren so far.
Amagi
Eden would be great. But speaking of it, a lot of good manga get adapted recently. Maybe they finally understood that generic isekai, harem and school stuff isn't as popular as they thought it would be.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe one day I can hope for a Freesia or Eden Endless world adaptation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Jesus christ....I never thought it would happen, Banana fish is being adapted, I didn't think they could adapt a shoujo like that in todays market.
KTravlos
I also watched Inuyashiki and Girl's Last Tour. Inuyashiki looks great. Man do I hate that young guy. Reading what he did and seeing it was a totally different experience. Cannot wait for the next episode.

Girls Last Tour is really something special. In a good way.
KTravlos
Altair's episode showed all the issues and all the good things of the show. The pace is too quick, and yet they managed to build Urado and its denizens up quick fast in it. But again, this is a show that needs the LGOH treatment.
Amagi
The manga also always uses "he/him" but I am not sure if the original had this too (like "kare" or similar words) since you can talk for a long time in Japanese without ever using pronouns.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, yes I noticed Phos uses Boku in this episode which is the male way of saying I.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Man, Zvyagintsev really, really knows how to deliver truly emotional gut punching moments and endings that are like cutting at open wounds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Houseki has fallen into place for me with those scenes with Dia and the snail thing and I've fully embraced the show, happy to see it just continue to do its thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: While Marios are girls best friend DIAmonds ahhhhre for evvvvvvahhh *Shirley Basey voice*
Masky
*bride
Masky
I can say though that if people fear the "Bastard Boyfiend" angle, its not that really. Its more of really weird apprenticeship relationship. Ainsworth is inhuman character in many ways
Masky
Oh hey, Mahoutsukai no Yome is on covered list. Nice, it is weird manga to read through since I'm kind of creeped out by the bribe thing, but its barely mentioned at all.
Anonymous1497942
After finishing Made in Abyss it stuck out, some animation shortcuts in this week's Mahoutsukai. Holding on frames a bit too long, mainly having the music giving the emotion. To be fair, it was also a slow part in the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If I recall correctly, the words "wandering Jew" were used at one point in the manga in relation to the villain.
Lenlo
Mahoutsukai was very pretty this week, but there were some troubling things popping up in there.
SuperMario
@Aidan: They are trying to bring Phos back from a snail. Man, Houseki sure is... quirky
AidanAK47
@Mario, I would take a guess and say they are fighting evil by moonlight.
SuperMario
Okay, heading to Houseki now... let's see our gems doing this week
SuperMario
@Bokusen: (not because I'm blogging it but) watch it. it's a polarized one but it at least offers something original. I still haven't watched the third one though.
Anonymous1497873
The new Mahoutsukai no Yome episode was so beautiful. TwT
Bokusen
BTW, is Houseki no Kuni worth watching? I was turned off by the animation, but I've read some good reviews on it.
Bokusen
Darn, last message didn't show up for me but now it does. Sorry about that.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil and Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, but Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil & Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, though Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Amagi
Doesn't mean that there weren't other good series but I distinguish between good and somethin special I will instantly remember even months or years later.
Amagi
How can you not like at least one of the current series, this season is pretty good. MiA was probably my only real great thing in the last season though.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Aren't you forgetting Acca, Rakugo, Little Witch Academia and Tanya the Evil?
Anonymous1497006
Made in Abyss seems like it's the only gem this year for me tbh
AidanAK47
Whoa, I never even knew we had a PM feature.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I've received it. Thanks Kaiser. I've never noticed the PM feature either
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I sent you a private message.
SuperMario
oh boy. Just received Mind Game Bluray Region free today. I ordered/funded it through Kickstarter a year ago and eventually forgot about it. Was a nice surprise to see it in the mail today
silver
I enjoyed this week's Kino. Leave only footprints indeed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the other hand I noticed some slight censoring in juuni taisen episode 3 I think.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also surprised with the lack of censorship during Inuyashiki's second episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
First episode of inuyashiki covered the whole of volume 1.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*but almost never
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In general, Death of Stalin is an amusing film throughout, but never laugh out loud hilarious, Simon Beale is hilarious in it as Beria.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Gonzo did that mecha 7 samurai thing we must never speak of. However schmaltzly/sentimental Ikiru is, however it slumps slightly in the middle and final arc , it was still a genuinely moving film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*than it is
Kaiser-Eoghan
To elaborate, I expected to dislike inuyashiki based on not enjoying Gantz, my reaction to the second episode was the same as Amagi's . The first episode was heavy handed a bit as Aidan mentioned, but its harder to watch that scene with the older guy get bullied/tormented that it is to watch highschool kids getting picked on by cliche anime thugs.
AidanAK47
Also why Hillary Clinton? I mean i know Trump is supposed to have a cameo in the manga but why her?
AidanAK47
@Vyse, Lets not jinx it. Plenty of series have shown great potential in their second episodes only to flop later. We can sing praises if it keeps this quality to the conclusion.
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki main villain should be Hillary Clinton
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki is suddenly like the best thing of the decade.
Amagi
I wish there were more old MC series out there. Liked that about Real Drive too. Maybe someone will have mercy and adapt Kurosawa one day. Not exactly old but at least a series about a guy with midlife crisis.
Amagi
I thought the happenings of the second Inuyashiki episode would have been too egdy but they actually gave the last few scenes a very good impact and the episode showed pretty well how sociopathes think (that whole gap between emotions for real people VS manga/fiction characters and events)
KTravlos
yup, I have no problem with Lenlo's review. Execution is what matters with me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: You managed to sell me on a show that I didn't think I'd have bothered with.
silver
You did fine. It's a risk associated with reading post-viewing episodic discussions. Pretty much everyone knows that if you don't want to be spoiled don't even get online.
Lenlo
I tried to leave explicit spoilers about what happened outside the (more...) tag, but its a risk of readin a review I suppose.
silver
Hah, sorry about spoiling it. That's the problem with major shocks like that; they're most effective if you're not expecting them. Still, the show has deft execution of its executions, and that makes the experience worse than I could imagine.
Lenlo
Well im glad it convinced you. Tried something different with writing this week
KTravlos
man I should not had read the review. Now I will go and watch Inuyashiki. I had missed it.
silver
@Lenlo: It caught me off guard, too. Definitely working to earn that 'psychological' genre tag.
Lenlo
Well... Inuyashiki surprised me today. It went far darker than I was expecting. Thanks Gants author
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Such an odd art style, have you ever seen these? These are the film covers the Polish get:
Kaiser-Eoghan
*that was the most interesting character
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Z's ending was very very well played and it was Jean Tringnents was interesting, largely for that he was a right winger working with the left wingers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course the British version of house of cards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if he's seen Yes Minister and The New Statesman, also political comedies and for those of us who lived in the 80s seeing Thatcherites getting slagged off was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I do think thick of it works better though as the humour serves a thirty minute episode more comfortably. Stalin's fairly short though so I don't think the joke will run out.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the Death of stalin is the title I'm looking for as well. Will screen here in few weeks. I almost reccomend In the Loop and the Thick of It (haven't watched the latter though) for Travlos since they're a political satire, which I think he'll enjoy
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Hope you already booked that heavens feel screening, cause its sold out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've heard that the anime's character development in Juuni taisen expands on the books, which only give them short lines for their backgrounds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, so perhaps in Juuni taisen they'll spin that so the Rat guy uses the ox guy to his advantage in some different way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is a special atmosphere watching anime on a big screen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I might be seeing death of Stalin tomorrow or Saturday. The thick of it was hilarious and this has the same director as that.
SuperMario
Both Z and All the President's Men are coassic movie. Hold my attention from start to finish. Z, in particular, wowed me that I literally had my mouth wide open
SuperMario
Off tangent, watching Fireworks in the cinema the other day made me realize how I miss watching movies on the big screen. I might try to go to the cinema once a week again. Been missed out all the good movies lately.
SuperMario
In the Great Race story, Rat used a very underhanded tactic to win the race (it jumps into the Ox to pass the great river and then jump off to the finish line. This Rat guy's speciality is Killing All so there is a high chance that he survives till the end
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I have no doubt that we will have more amazing character arcs for Juuni Taisen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that could prove to be too predictable.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if the Rat guy is going to be the wild card in all this, after all in the old story, wasn't it the Rat who won that zodiac race thing?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Juuni Taisen is killing off its most interesting characters.... =< I wanted the bird girl to stay around a bit longer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd love to see more Lem or Stugastky style/brand of scifi, I need to rewatch stalker again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Going back to the cyberpunk thing, I don't want just any ol' thing getting made, I want to see something scifi related thats ACTUALLY clever and has long and DIFFICULT dialogue .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: While not a political series Chaos;head is a good example of being annoyed at the conspiracy thing, what drives me up the wall about that show and its sequel is how every every time I think about going back to it I realize that its only interesting on a surface level and is utter hokkum.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. Yup, perhaps because I work in political science, they tend to anger me. So I avoid them. Borgen is a good political series.

In general. It still startles how much of a better character anime Tsutomu was comapred to manga Tsutomu in Bridy the Mighty. But I forgive the manga as I get more Gomez!
AidanAK47
@Amagi/Kaiser, thought as much. Strike it off the list then. And God Tsubasa was a cluster fuck by the end.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh simul-dub of Juuni taisen is out, I might aswell keep up with that instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I had this weird relationship with dragonball in general. When I was younger I never actively seeked out the show, but on a rare occasion I would watch random episodes whenever I was channel hopping and nothing else was on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Clamp shared universe was a mistake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish that that tone breaking style of comedy stops being a thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It doesn't happen often, but there ARE shows we all have that snap trigger us when they get mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel my disdain of re:zero is because I hate Akame ga kill and Higurashi so much and it prevents me because of bias from enjoying it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In addition to what i posted about Pandora, you will hate the comedy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I will rewatch it, the first one is one of those things that improved on repeat viewings.
@Travlos: Conspiracy theories are one of those things I find myself taking interest in, then almost immediately consider immensely stupid and a waste of time.
Amagi
Aidan: If you didn't like the first parts of Pandora you won't like the rest either. Most people that loved it did this because of the characters and setting, the story isn't really getting better and I kinda disliked what they did near the end. It was overcomplicated and everyone had like three different personalities, plot twists and so on. Not nearly as bad as Tsubasa Chronicle though
AidanAK47
@Bokusenou, believe me when I say you are not few. There are plenty who Dislike Re:Zero. I can understand it and I sort of get where your coming from regarding the characters. (Though Saber sucks) There is just something about the series that I just adore.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. I have not watched most of them. But I have watched Z and All the President's Men. Both are great films. The issue with me is that while I like political thrillers I despite conspiracy theories. Far too many pol. thrillers dive into con.theory stuff. So I must be discriminating.
SuperMario
Okay, I'm off to watch Blade Runner 2049 now. Hopefully it can be as good as the original
Vonter
In contrast World's End Harem, surprisingly looks to be trying. It has one story trying to play straight, the scenario of being the last man in a world mainly habited by woman. And has had this framing of self worth, temptation and doubt I like. No work of art, but surprising for this type of manga.
Vonter
In regards to manga, I'll need to look for something good, being losing time with ecchi stuff. Which I can tell Okamoto should just make hentai, seeing as his latest work, doesn't even try to be anymore than pandering trash (at least older work, had a notion of a story).
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Did all the presidents men and Parallax view by Pakula appeal to you?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Actually as your are a Greek....have you watched Z, missing, State of siege or the confession? None of them are actually in Greek but they were political thrillers directed by Costa Gravas.
Anonymous1490677
KT here: Well I am a sucker for political thrillers and "grand" politics, so the direction it took is quite fun for me. Even if it does indicate a Tomino ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For me Titan peaked at volume 8 and I never bothered continuing on much further.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I remember a commenters on here a good while ago that mentioned the ending didn't satisfy or come together well and made the investment not worth it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Honestly it was only near the halfway point I vested any interest in pandora hearts, the first 4 volumes left me wondering if I'd drop it, then near the last few volumes I simply fell out of reading it.
Bokusenou
I feel like I'm one of the few people who don't understand why Re: Zero is so popular...the only characters I half liked were Puck & Crusch (the latter because she reminded me of Saber from the Fate series, minus the unnecessary perma-blush marks) My anime club screened the series and I really should have skipped those meetings...
Lenlo
Mmm Inuyashiki episode 2 tomorrow. Time to see where it goes
AidanAK47
@Anon, That reminds me. Anime limited better announce the date of the Re:Zero Blu-ray release at that panel of theirs at MCM London Comic Con. They are the only ones known to have licensed it and they have a partnership with Funimation. Even if we don't get a second season I have to get the first on Blu-ray.
Anonymous1490189
Emilia re:zero
AidanAK47
Finally Got that review up. Been sitting in my to do list for a while.
SuperMario
I remeber in Dragon ball, they state that Son Goku takes 6 years of training to become a Super Saiyan. His oldest son takes 3 years and then the youngest one... only takes 3 months of training with his mother. So yeah...
AidanAK47
While we are talking about manga, I was looking into getting some manga boxsets and I saw one for pandora hearts. However I started reading it and 15 chapters in I just can't get into it. I hear a lot of praise for it but is it really worth continuing?
AidanAK47
@Amagi, yep. Like Naruto with the nine tailed beasts and Sharingan. At first they were cool and then everyone and their mother had Sharingan or a tailed Beast.
Though If I had a problem with SNK its that I just find the thing to be poorly written overall. It has creative idea's, but the characters and dialogue is really weak in my eyes.
Amagi
You know that SuperSaiyan syndrome. At first it was special and mysterious, but once the second one gets to have the power they tend to pop up everywhere. Same with Claymore and basically almost every shounen ever.
Amagi
I overall like the SNK manga but I have to agree I really have a problem with this shounen trope of some speciality one character has that suddently turn out to be the speciality of many.
Lenlo
It turned from a horror/thriller to a sort of... shounen mystery thing for me. I wasnt a fan once EVERYONE became titans.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I dropped off at that point, picked it up again and read it up to date. Now I am falling out again. True be told I haven't really got into it since the beginning chapters and I am not a fan of the direction it took. If you don't like it now I say future chapters won't really change your mind.
Lenlo
Does Attack on Titan get better? I was reading it up until Season 2 came out and then just fell off the wagon.
KTravlos
oh what a cliffhanger in the Shingeki no Koyjin manga! I am happy where this is going!
Kaiser-Eoghan
I agree that the way the series addresses emotion has some interest to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The later chapters I read had some action in them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Had a read of the children of the wales manga, I am glad to see a shoujo that isn't based on an otome or school life series , additionally I like it on an aesthetic level, I can see it going somewhere but the fast-forward pace makes it hakes it harder to connect with.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Blame! was recently adapted and thats cyberpunk, even if it didn't follow the manga.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Agree. Cyber- and steampunk are two of the few settings I really dig. Especially because I think that there are a lot of potential plots and twists for cyberpunk/VR settings anime haven't used yet. AR is great too, the only series about that is Dennou Coil and it was made ~10 years ago. Maybe the SAO movie but it was just a movie.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here lol. I remember the toilet thingy but not the woman's backstory. That being said, I enjoyed the series as whole, though some parts were too K-ONish for my taste.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of would agorophobia maintain itself and they'd stay inside or would the fear of being raped/tortured/killed and bypass the agorophobia ?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Random tangent, but I would find it fascinating to see a hikkikomori subject to a home invasion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although honestly, I would prefer a cyberpunk wave of anime series to get popular again.
silver
I too am starting to really enjoy the 'adventure anime' genre. The medium of animation is uniquely suited to fantastical worldbuilding.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Was that the one where the girl is desperately trying not to piss herself? Also why can I remember that and not this blonde woman's backstory?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, agreed. It's at its best when it can use the settings to flesh out the characters. The episode after that one, one the other hand, was Sora no woto's dullest episode - where the main girl spends the whole episode waiting for a freaking phone call.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Blonde woman's backstory in the middle of sora no oto, that was the best episode of it.
SuperMario
@Amagi: for reccomendation, if you don't mind another cute girls in a post-apocalyptic world show, you can try Sora no Woto (Sound of the sky). I love that show to bits
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