Edgy loli show, Youjo Senki, makes its debut and these two episodes show us quite some stuff to look forward to.
The first episode introduces the main character, Tanya, in action. She’s a loli in a war zone. But she’s not just any loli; the show’s full name is Youjo Senki: Saga of Tanya the Evil for a reason. We don’t get the reason for this during much of the first episode though. Things seem pretty tame throughout; Tanya doesn’t look too evil, she even seems kinda forgiving and cares a bit about her subordinates. That is, until we see Tanya take on the enemy.
She literally pulverizes them with her sheer strength. She takes on an entire company of mages on her own and mows them down almost effortlessly. After that, it is also revealed that she had sent her two rebelling subordinates to the pillbox in the rear to their death as that made them easy targets.
The second episode shows us how this loli ended up like this.
Tanya is in fact, a middle-aged salaryman who was reincarnated as a girl in a certain European country in the 1900s (which also happens to be one of the central countries in a show last season). The reason for this is that Tanya (when she was a he) didn’t have even the slightest bit of empathy in him. He was a person who thought logically and followed rules very strictly; if a person isn’t coming to work no matter what the reason, he isn’t worth wasting time on and should be fired; if someone isn’t following the rules, the rules should be hammered into him.
This attitude of his leads to an affected person killing him. This protagonist also doesn’t believe in God and thinks that such a being only exists for the weak, the poor, those in some big problem, etc. And to teach this guy a lesson and turn him into a believer, the one he terms as “Being X” gives him a final chance.
But he doesn’t get reincarnated in his own world as a person of the same gender; that wouldn’t make much of a difference now would it? He gets reincarnated as an orphan girl in a war torn country with magic and an ugly face to boot. All this is to put him at a big disadvantage. He can accomplish way more in a situation he is familiar with as opposed to one way out of his comfort zone.
The purpose is to place him in such a situation where he would have no other choice but to believe in the existence of a god and ask for divine help. Being a girl having magical powers makes things even tougher as those with magical powers are recruited into the army in this world and obviously it’s difficult to be a little girl in the battlefield as opposed to being a grown man in the same place. But our protagonist is stubborn and Tanya gets into the army at a very young age to prove her mettle. Tanya is in no mood to accept the existence of God and ask help from the one who put her/him in this situation to begin with.
The interesting thing here is that the protagonist has the mindset of a full-grown adult. This isn’t the story of a crazy loli, it’s the story of a twisted middle-aged man who just happens to look like a loli. And being a twisted individual leads to us getting some badass, crazy loliness.
Tanya quickly climbs up the ranks and in a year becomes an instructor. We get to see some more sadistic loli action as Tanya nearly kills a soldier who couldn’t get ready in time. Her first training trip ends up in a war as she is told to become an observer for the ground forces. And it doesn’t end well as she runs into the enemy and to make things worse, she has to buy time for a whopping ten minutes.
Tanya wants to live somewhat peacefully so she can tell Being X that this situation she’s been forced into isn’t as bad as it was supposed be. But when on the brink of death, instead of running away and asking for divine assistance, she turns towards the enemy to die like a hero. This gives us impressive sakuga as the entire sequence is a treat to watch. But even though she decides to end things with a suicide attack, she survives and ends up being hailed as an ace of the army with a medal and an attempted moe photoshoot.
Instead of getting the peaceful life anywhere but the front lines, she will now have to serve on the borders.
The first episode showing the middle of a decisive battle with some unknown characters works well to intrigue the viewers. We’re left with questions and overall confusion about what exactly is happening and who we should care about. The second episode being sort of a prologue fits well here as it answers most of the questions and removes most of the confusion.
The presence of Viktoriya as Tanya’s subordinate might help a bit to contrast the craziness we get from the loli seeing that she’s a more or less normal female. Though whether her normalness rubs off on Tanya is questionable at this point.
The studio in charge is NUT, which is the latest faction to break off from Madhouse. Being a brand new studio, they don’t have much of a difference in their style as compared to their parent studio. You can easily mistake this for being a Madhouse show since the backgrounds, the color palette, the character designs all look like something straight out of Madhouse. It’s not a bad thing though since the visuals are pretty good overall.
They’ve managed to paint a dark environment fitting for this war stricken world. They haven’t gone for a moe design for Tanya as she looks super creepy and scary at times.
Now for the biggest question: where is all of this going? The direction of this show isn’t clear yet. Will this be about Tanya changing into a better person? Will this have Tanya falling deeper into darkness? Will there be some sort of confrontation between Tanya and Being X at some point? Will this only be about Tanya surviving this life and coming out alive? Will this have an overarching plot in which we’ll be seeing Tanya’s role? Will this be a thematically driven show, touching upon different subjects related to the environment or something? Or will this just show some twisted crazy loli goodness? They should make their direction clear soon otherwise it can hurt the show’s quality to an extent.
Overall, these first two episodes have been an interesting watch. We don’t know where this train is headed yet, but we can hope for the best.
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