So now we’ve reached the conclusion of this season… of sorts. I can actually appreciate that for an adaption of a much longer light novel series, they were unafraid to leave the door as wide open as they possibly could make it. In fact, strangely enough, I’d argue that this whole ending episode may start as a wrap-up but then immediately takes a left turn and becomes a massive build-up that left me desperately craving a second season in the best of ways. With the initial war wrapped up, we suddenly find the Empire exhausted and pushed to the limit as forces on all sides, fresh and new, gear up for round two. On top of this, we have a hint at some real shit coming Tanya’s way straight from America in the best way possible and I cannot wait to see that showdown. Kudos and applause for giving me that craving, Youjo Senki. Now don’t leave me hanging for that season two.Continue reading
With episode 9 leaving off on the heated moment of Tanya and her armed forces launching several rockets into key Republican areas, I fully expected this episode to be the way that it was. The foreshadowing of Sioux in episode 8 and the beginning of this one heavily screamed “He’s got a bone to pick”, and I felt this whole episode was a build-up to his anticipated appearance. Earlier in the series, I wrote about the fantastic battle between Anson Sioux and Tanya in episode 7 and how it became this battle of ideological differences on war. Sioux was once a noble man, being one of few “morally good” characters we’ve had in the show. However, after his battle with Tanya, it’s obvious now that his mindset has completely changed, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that this change was brought out by Tanya.
His inevitable confrontation of Tanya was something that was bound to happen, but the way it was handled so far seems a bit hollow and empty compared to previous ones. Because of the episode attempting to build up to this key moment, there was an immense amount of focus on the incline to the climax, rather than exploring the other ideas that this show normally never hesitates to bring up. That doesn’t mean this episode didn’t have its high points though.
Episode 7 of Youjo Senki presented us with a view of the ongoing war not just from the perspective of Tanya and the Empire, but also from that of Entente soldier Anson Sioux. Among other things, such as giving a perspective from outside the Empire, expertly weaving in tonal shifts that made for a rather dramatic and fantastic episode, and fully fleshing out Sioux as a solid, memorable side character, episode 7 used these factors to give the viewer pause and to really consider the morality of the war.
And now we reach that wonderful halfway point in the series. In my experience, it’s when things start to make sense or it’s usually when I drop an anime. Luckily for our adorable little salary man, this show has grown and developed significantly since that first episode, with episode five definitely ending on a high point. Tanya has risen through military ranks and has combated hardships brought on by a controlling deity to now be in charge of her own battalion. With their first taste of action in their last battle (although you could call it a slaughter), Tanya and company are off to where the real fighting is, ready to show the world who the hell they think they are.
If previous episodes have been any indication, Tanya has had a bit of a rough time trying to balance out world events in her favor. Being X is definitely not doing her any favors, and Strategy and Operations Vice Director Hans von Zettour has been making sure that Tanya is advancing through the ranks in the way that is most beneficial to the Fatherland, not necessarily in the way that she would like. With her being placed as the head of the Rapid-Response Mage Battalion, which some might consider being tantamount to suicide, Tanya’s plan to spite Being X by surviving in a safe administrative position seems to be flying further out of her grasp with each passing episode. With this simultaneous advancement of position and wresting of power from Tanya seeming to be the show’s running theme for the last four episodes, I entirely expected episode 5 to give us much the same, and in some ways, it does. However, it also shows us a view of Tanya at the most powerful that she has been for this entire span so far, with no intervention from military or metaphysical forces.
Before I began writing these episodic articles, I never realized how much a show could change over just the course of a few episodes. From episode 1 to episode 4, Youjo Senki has gone through an unbelievable transformation from a show with a disorganized lack of information to a more thrilling show about politics, religion, and morality. Some of the original complaints I had in episode 1 were only those of that episode, and others weren’t really relevant to the upcoming story, if only because I had no idea what kind of story this was. While I think the show’s themes are still a bit mixed, episode 4 has started really delving into Tanya’s personality beyond the fact that she’s an evil militaristic girl that just wants to follow the rules.
How about we play a game? I transport you to an alternate dimension with amazing powers and then do you promise to learn your lesson?
I’d have to say that the second episode of Youjo Senki was a very interesting twist from the first. The idea of God (or Being X as Tanya calls him) giving our salaryman protagonist a second chance through trial by almost literal fire was a nice way to take what I initially thought was a simple but interesting idea and layering more and more interesting levels onto it. However, while we did get some much-needed explanation and characterization, as GeneralTofu pointed out, we also had more questions. What is The Empire and how does it function? What changed Tanya to invoke God’s name even through she adamantly has been against him, even denying the existence of a God. Well luckily, we’re starting to get the answers. Episode three explains to us primarily two things: That The Empire is a meritocracy and that Tanya has been forced into her newfound religious slogans.