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Youjo Senki (Saga of Tanya the Evil)

Youjo Senki, otherwise known as Saga of Tanya the Evil, is one of the hit anime this season. As someone who watches this series, I would say that the hype is justified as the unique storyline sets it apart from other more commonplace slice-of-life or ecchi series which just seem to populate the industry nowadays.

So I'll start by analyzing the series from its storyline, origin, characters and music.

It follows the rebirth of an atheist. "Tanya" as we now know her, used to be an elite salaryman who was murdered in the very first episode. 

At his last moments, he met God (named "Being X" by Tanya) who condemned his lack of belief in "God". He was then reborn in as a young girl, Tanya Degurechaff, in an orphanage soon before World War I broke out. 

She joined the mages (elites) and later the war in order to rise up the ranks and leave the battlefield to have a comfortable and safe life. This is so that she will not be killed, otherwise her soul would fall to depravity in hell and never be reborn again. 

However as she plots to leave the battlefield, her aptitude as a soldier often brings her right back to the center of the mess and she grows up to become a ruthless yet efficient soldier.

This originated from a light novel series written by Carlo Zen and illustrated by Shinotsuki Shinobu in 2013. Here are some of the novel covers. They all feature pretty art colored as if it is a painting. This artstyle really suits the title of the show as it feels as if there is really someone documenting Tanya's life!

Although I haven't read the original novel series, watching the anime itself has made me interested in finding out what the differences between the novel and the anime is. Thankfully there seems to be an English translation on Baka-update so fans might want to check that out!

While I wouldn't go to say that the main characters are likable, there is something about Tanya being a psychotic loli which drags the audience into her pace.

Having an insane main character as the star of the show beings in a lot of dimensions which would be otherwise impossible to accomplish. By having her as such, we have Tanya both acting as a villain (hurting her comrades) while being a hero (saving the Empire). It isn't often that we have a character being able to act out both roles impeccably.

The way she comes up with grand plans to subtly leave the battlefield, only to have them fail on her, and ends up getting promoted to even more dangerous roles on the front-line forms the punchline in this series!

Nothing of the OSTs actually stood out to me. Don't get me wrong, they are very well done and match the scenarios well. However, none of them really appealled to me such that I had to find out who composed it and what the name of the OST is.

On the other hand, the opening and ending themes did leave quite a good impression on me. They have a very serious mood which suits the theme of militia. Having Tanya showing several of her insane faces also suited the song well and gave insight into how the main character's personality is like.

This is rather smooth, regardless of small hiccups sometimes. The eyes of the characters might need a little time to get used to though, as she has rather doll-like facial features with large eyes with full eyelashes. 

I was rather uncomfortable watching her in the first episode but I have gotten used to it and have accepted that those doll-like features actually add on to her insane looks positively, that is, making her look more psychotic!

Despite so, I still like the novel's art more due to it conveying more of the beauty that Tanya possesses (rather than focusing on her psychotic side) by placing apt highlights to make her look like her hair is glowing and her gaze is utterly piercing as if she can see directly through you! When they draw her psychotic side and have her eyes in a bright blue hue (so bright that it looks almost white) she looks extremely terrifying. And I think that feeling of beauty and insanity just strikes fear in the audience and that's what exactly suits Tanya!

With the popularity that Youjo Senki is getting, I wouldn't be surprised if a live action movie of this series pops up. Although Shingeki no Kyojin's live action did not live up to my expectations as it skewed the original storyline too much, it was still a good effort for such a fictional and gory setting. I am highly anticipating Ghost in the Shell live action and I believe that with its success, Hollywood will jump on the anime trend and my dream of having Youjo Senki as a live action wouldn't be that far off into the future!

Youjo Senki will definitely add very well into the trio~

So, what do you think? Would you watch Youjo Senki (anime) and would you want a live action adaptation of it by Hollywood?

~ Reina-rin

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