Anime Review: Saga of Tanya the Evil (also known as Yojo Senki)

Details: Aired in 2017. Twelve episodes at twenty-four minutes each in this first season. You can watch it on crunchyroll.com

Saga of Tanya the Evil is a fantasy war anime that centers on the character of Tanya von Degurechaff. It’s an entertaining concept that is animated well, paced well, and kept my attention.

Saga of Tanya the Evil follows Tanya von Degurechaff, a young girl and an officer in an alternate world that is almost identical to ours except that there is magic and mages in this world. This alternate world has just started to enter its first world war and Tanya is not only fighting the enemies of her country, but with a godlike being whom Tanya calls “Being X.” As the season progresses, we learn more about Being X and of Tanya’s connection to this god. We also get to see the battles and progression of this world’s first world war.

First and foremost, the animation in this series good. There’s a lot of action and the animation keeps up. I didn’t notice any drops in quality throughout the season, which you often see in series with as much action as there is in this show.

The plot doesn’t really have any romance or traditional drama. This is primarily a show about war and the dramatic parts relate to whether they main characters win battles or not, and whether the live or not. Furthermore, this show is told through the perspective of Tanya, an amoral person who does not value the lives of others and is constantly scheming to better her position in life. Through that lens the deaths of main characters don’t mean what they usually mean. I never got attached to any characters and that wasn’t because the story was poorly told, but because that is exactly the kind of story this show tries to tell. The only things that matter to Tanya and the viewers by extension are whether she achieves her goals or not. These objectives are also the primary sources of drama and tension for the audience.

There are a few lighter moments and jokes, but those are few and far between.

Overall, I enjoyed this show and I enjoyed following a character that was so evil… but also a nine-year old girl. It’s mostly serious, but because of the evil nature of the protagonist, traditional plot points like character deaths and motivations felt new. I’m not sure this show is for everyone, but if you like war shows and want to see a story that is decidedly different from a lot of the other stories you’ll find in movies and television, then this is a good show to watch.

Score: 7/10

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