Posted on 4 April 2017 with categories: Anime Reviews, Reviews by AidanAK47, 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.

 

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Sigh Welcome once again to the sinking ship that is OPM S2. This week we see a fantastic character done dirty, botched pacing, and more boob shots than you can swing a stick at. Lets dive in. As always, production, and oof. OOF. JC Staff screwed the pooch this week. I won’t even talk animation, […]

Dororo – 18 [The Story of the Cape of No Mercy]

Welcome one and all to Dororo’s redemption, the episode that takes us back to first cour quality. We have demons, sword fights, and poignant character moments. Maybe, just maybe, I won’t be disappointed in 2 months. Lets jump in! First up, thank you MAPPA, for getting production right this week. Every aspect was, at the […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 6 [Swordsman Accompanying a Demon]

Welcome everyone to another episode of Yaiba! We are 1/4th of the way through now and Yaiba is 3 arcs in, with no plans of slowing. We arrive at the town, a hunt ensues and combat begins with our first super powered Demon. Lets jump in! As always, production first. I could go on and […]

Mix – 05/06 [You’re a Pitcher, Right?/When Spring Arrives]

Two weeks ago, I wondered how long Mix’s middle school arc would stretch, given that its ultimate destination was the Koushien tournament. Apparently the show had a similar question on its mind, as these two episodes pushed through an entire year’s worth of story. In fact, it was episode 6 that did the majority of […]

Serial Experiments Lain – 2 [Girls] – Throwback Thursday

Welcome to week 2 of Serial Experiments Lain, or as I like to call it, Screw With Lenlo. This week 4 friends walk into a club with drugs and a gun. Sounds like a good time, so let’s jump in! Starting off, I really need to remember when Lain was made. I got half-way through […]

One Punch Man S2 – 5 [Martial Arts Tournament]

God damnit OPM. I thought we were past this, I thought we could get along. It was my hope, after these last two episodes, that you could make it. I was wrong. This week OPM disappoints me, and I once again get to go on a rant. Jump in if you dare. Right off the […]

Dororo – 17 [The Story of Questions and Answers]

Welcome one and all to the best episode of Dororo this cour! The animation is still disappointing, but the story is returning to form. Lets jump in! Starting off, I have to say, it’s good to see Dororo getting back in form. Not production wise of course, no it’s a mess on that front. With […]

Fruits Basket (2019) – 05 [I’ve Been Fooling Myself]

For me, watching Fruits Basket is like watching a classic play. It’s the show where despite its familiar story beats, it still pulls out a satisfying emotional core because its heart is in the right place. This episode is a prime example of that. I know this will eventually happen, Tohru moving to Souma’s house […]

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