Another season, another show featuring an alternate-history world war with magic. This three episode rule is
not going to be long, and is more of a quick thought than anything. Nothing substantial or even an episode summary will be posted. That said, I may speak too fondly of things that really make sense and will more or less be nagging, so if that’s the case I should get right down to business. I’m liking it, not sure if I’m gonna blog though.
Three Episode Rule Thoughts:
Youjo Senki (trans: The Military Chronicles of a Little Girl), or by its English title of Saga of Tanya the Evil, is an anime adaptation of a Light Novel and Manga series by Carlo Zen. It follows the exploits of Tanya Degurechaff, a 9-year-old Second Lieutenant in the Imperial Army who has high magic potential. In reality, she was originally a high-ranking supervisor at an unnamed company, killed when a salaryman he had fired pushes him into the path of a train.
In the split-second before his death, he proclaims not to believe in God or the Devil’s existence, and Being X, which he has called, has told him that if he doesn’t die naturally or find faith in it, he would be removed from the circle of reincarnation and sent to Hell.
Quite a tall order, especially since Tanya retains her memories and personality from our timeline. Arrogant, quick to find faults in others and ruthless in his/her pursuit of an easy life. Fate, or meddling by Being X, meant she is often thrust into situations where she could be killed, and in the end, she is forced to utter praises to God in order to perform well, a thorn on her side for sure.
Overall, the show seems nice. A friend, Retia, has said though that there has been some changes between the manga and anime. I think for someone who will just take the show for its merits as an anime, I might not catch on too much onto the changes as someone who has been reading the manga and was excited for the series. The last time a show I watched I was quite well aware of the changes that happened was for GATE.
Still, three episodes in, I’m quite enjoying the amount of action in the show. With the toned-down grittiness that was Izetta and the fun and bubbly Brave Witches of last season, this brings the gritty reality of warfare to a more recognizable side. The setting is amusing, in that it isn’t shying away from the fact this is an alternate universe where magic has gone hand in hand with technology and faith in a higher power is actually a stepping stone in harnessing that magical power.
That admission of faith is what saves Tanya in the end, though she considers it a curse rather than a blessing, a dirty, under-handed trick by Being X to have Tanya actually believe in him. Though in a sense, I think she does, in her own crazy, analytical and ruthless way. She considers Being X, one we consider God, the Devil, or any other myriad of deities, as a meddler on how his/her life is supposed to be. A life of comfort and advancement. Not of hardship and stagnation.
I did think at first she wanted a meaningless advancement, but that’s unfair. It just seems meaningless for me, a revulsion I think, to Tanya’s selfish need for herself and not for something greater. She might even end up being the prime example, in this life, of Matthew 6:1. But in a sense, inverted from its meaning. She’s performing all these graces to God only so she won’t die and be cut off from the cycle of reincarnation. Not because she means it, because that in of itself would be against her character, but because it’s the only way she won’t go to Hell. To actually admit and believe in God would be a complete turnaround from what she has believed in this life and the past life.
A coming to Jesus moment.
As for the setting, it seems all mages utilize semi-automatic weapons and flight units. The premise briefly reminded me somewhat of Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta, with the cadet-pilots utilize semiautomatic rifles as dogfighting weapons in VSTOL tilt-rotor aircraft, though that was a passing reference. The force that resembles the French military utilizes the Fusile Automatique Modele 1917 rifle, a force that probably can be considered the Commonwealth or American military the M1 Garand, while Tanya’s Empire seems to be using what seems to be a variation of the Mondragon Rifle.
This seems to have some precedence, since at the timeframe of the series is mid-1920s, the FAM 1917 would still be in circulation, and the Imperial German Army had collections of SIG produced Mondragon rifles at the end of the First World War. That said, the rifle competition that would eventually come up with the M1 Garand is still a few years later in our timeline. In fact, at the time 2nd Lt. Deguerchaff would engage the Entente Alliance mages at the Northern Theatre (the ones armed with what appears to be M1 Garands), in our timeline, that was actually the year in which John D. Garand would produce the prototype Garand, the M1922. It can’t be the M1922 prototype, particularly on how different it looks and the two being mechanically different, since the M1922 was primer actuated and not gas-operation like the M1 Garand.
I think I’m gonna pass this off as artistic license and call it a day.
The other technology of the time, minus the magus-specific flight tech, seems more in line with the era. Heavier-than-air technology seems to be in the setting as seen from the third episode shows that aerodynamics is an understood science and the aircraft of the time is slowly evolving from multi-winged contraptions of wood and cloth to aluminum beasts of single-winged design and powerful engines.
The artillery pieces too remind me of the transitional nature of the interwar years. The Imperial artillery shown in episode 2 and other scenes remind me of the 10cm Kanone 17 utilized by the German Empire, with the underbarrel track for the hyro-pneumatic/hydro-spring recoil system. It took me a moment to find out exactly what model it is, and to be fair, unless by some chance a copy of the research team’s notes, translated, happened on my desk before I publish this post, the 10cm K17 is probably what that piece of artillery is.
I think I waxed too long on the setting, or at least two pieces of technology I seem to be obsessing about. In terms of tech, it seems well-within the time period, the only thing that seems ‘futuristic’ is the computation jewelry and flight systems of the magus. Granted when you inject magic into a real world setting, it is often too hard to try to make it reasonable. Izetta: The Last Witch tried and went a little too far with the ability to clone spare bodies for Sophie. Strike Witches/World Witches franchise kinda doesn’t take itself too seriously in that regard and so we have the striker units.
Youjo Senki doesn’t seem to be pushing that particular field too hard. The jewelry worn by magus seem to be the main on/off switch and power conduit that their power channels through into their flight units, but we’ll see if we see anything more crazy occurs.
Overall, Youjo Senki isn’t bad. My only gripe, would be how certain characters are animated. I’m still trying to get over how Corporal Visha is animated. Her large eyes and droopy face reminds me of an animated version of a bloodhound. It really puts me off when seeing her. But in all, I think it’s a solid show.
How much of that view will last when I start catching up with the manga and light novels, I’m not too sure, but I’m quite confident that even if they take massive liberties with the anime, it’s still going to be enjoyable. And frankly, if I can tell Tanya anything, it’s to not mess with God. He can turn your life into shit.
Three Episode Rule Gallery: