Anime “Youjo Senki (Saga of Tanya the Evil)”, a Fusion of Cute Japanese Girl and War
This time I am introducing “Saga of Tanya the Evil” (Japanese title is “Yojo Senki”). It is war chronicles of a little girl and the anime has somewhat unusual settings staged in fictitious Europe.
In this world a country known as the “Empire” holds a vast territory.
But surrounding countries often invade territory of the Empire and long wars have been continuing throughout this Europe.
The main character Tanya Degurechaff is a second lieutenant at the tender age of 9 years old, leading a battalion of wizards that belongs to the Empire.
Nobody can imagine her intelligence and magical power from her very young appearance. However, she is known as the Devil of Rhine by the enemy, and she forces her troops to maintain strict adherence to the military regulations. She has a personality unlike a girl.
But she held a secret that nobody knew.
But you will be happily betrayed by this great work.
Though the anime is a war story in a fictional world, it has become a realistic war chronicle with its settings well-structured down to detail.
Flesh-and-blood humans fly in the air and attack the enemy by shooting out magic instead of missiles.
Wizards of this story are such existence like airplanes and they are not invincible.
Historical background of the story reminds us of a dark time around the World War I. Because unique technologies other than magic do not appear in the story, its stage setting gives us a very strong sense of reality.
Expressions of combat in the story are not confined to surreal actions, and the content resembles that of a heavy war-themed movie, such as “Saving Private Ryan”.
This anime however could be more entertaining if you have no prior knowledge of the original novel itself.
This is because the main character being a young girl, her unusual personality, and unusual abilities are very important elements of the story.
I watched this anime and it reminded me of old religious narratives.
They are stories of non-believers who act against God. A famous example may be the story of Scrooged.
The main character Tanya is naturally on the side of non-believers who defy God’s will.
The main character Tanya is a 9-year old girl on the surface. If such a person actually existed around me, I personally wouldn’t wish to have anything to do with her.
This character is a perfect example of a nasty boss that every work place inevitably has.
She observes rules strictly without showing any flexibility, and she tries to accomplish what is decided without being swayed by personal opinion or emotion.
Her objective behind such actions is to climb up the military ranks, as she hopes to lead a stable life by joining the upper echelon, which does not participate in combat.
It’s all for herself indeed.
But I cannot bring myself to hate her though she is such a character, perhaps because her appearance is that of a pretty girl or because her actions are what ordinary human beings may take and not what virtuous heroes would do.
Perhaps I feel affinity for her actions, which are full of human touch in their keen pursuit of profits and personal gains rather than righteous causes.
In many of the religious narratives I mentioned earlier, non-believers end up changing their mind to renew their belief in God.
However a few stories are concluded in tragic endings.
I wonder which type of ending is waiting for the heroin Tanya Degurechaff of this story.
The anime series has not come to an end yet, and we are anxiously waiting to see how the story develops from this point on.