While the setting takes place in alternate world, it’s noticeable that it doesn’t look much different from our very own. It has the look of the 20th century in Europe although magic exists in particular with weapon warfare. The troops involved in war doesn’t look different either with their very human traits and besides magic, there really isn’t anything abnormal. However, Tanya is a complex character that I would label as very different compared to a lot of the other characters. She is sadistic and self-serving based on her tactics and actions. Anyone that is part of her battalion can expected to be humiliated or trained in ways they can’t begin to imagine. The constant mind games she engages with Being X brings a lot of psychology to her character and we learn about her personality. Throughout the series, we see that she constantly stands up against Being X and defies it while the latter tries to break her resolve. In ways, she can even be seen more as an anti-hero.
As I said before, if you fancy fantasy war stories, then this will be your cup of tea. Just do note that the show isn’t really just about action but also a lot of internal affairs and military politics. It’s also comparable in ways to World War I on the Europe Theater. Germany can be compared to as the Empire, while the Republic resembles France. The Legedonia Federation can be referenced to a united Scandinavia. The story itself may be somewhat confusing to understand as some characters’ motives are not entirely clear. Being X is probably the guiltiest of this example. However, the war itself has a lot of reasons whether it’s related to imperialism, political, or personal reasons. It still draws out the cruelty of war though with the violence, bloodshed, and causalities. It’s also not uncommon to see trench warfare similar to those used in World War I and bombing of cities. The essence of magic brings the fantasy element to the war with flying devices and powerhouse spells. I can’t imagine if our World War I would be fought with these new gadgets.
The character cast of Youjo Senki isn’t too dynamic. As the main female protagonist, Tanya steals the most highlight from this show thanks to her personality and skills. One other noticeable female character is Visha. As part of the Imperal Army, her personality is much kinder although still tough and vigilant. She also seems to understand Tanya and even believes that the way Tanya treats her subordinates is to ensure their survival in actual war. Unfortunately, the show doesn’t really highlight many other characters from the Imperial Army as they stand behind the scenes. On the opposition of the Imperial Army, one character that stood out could be Anson Sioux, a man who develops a vendetta against Tanya. Despite some of these characters being given spotlight, Tanya is still the main event running the show.
As a series about war, you can definitely expect a lot of action. I am actually quite impressed by the way is animated by NUT, a studio that probably not a lot of people are familiar with. Nonetheless, the action is captured with fast paced movement and choreography. War elements are incorporated with realistic looking guns, uniforms, and its general setting. The part about magic is portrayed as crueler than what you can expect with aerial dogfights being a main attraction. Still, the most noticeable part about the show is still Tanya. She’s like an angel with the heart of a demon. It’s hard to take her seriously with the way she looks until you see her fight in battle. A running gag in the show made by older man often alludes that she looks like their daughter. What does impress me about the art expression is how it’s able to bring Tanya’s personality to its fullest to make the biggest impact. Sadistic expressions are not uncommon especially when she goes on a rampage. While the series has violence though, it does keep it less tame on television. It still makes its point that the war is anything but a safe haven as bodies drop to the floor.
Soundtrack wise, I think the show made it worthy of being a war story. That sinister voice and god complex is hard to ignore. Both OP and ED theme songs has a heavy metal-like instrumental which is absolutely god-tier. Both “JINGO JUNGLE” by MYTH & ROID and “Los! Los! Los!” by Tanya Degurechaff (Aoi Yuuki) are just so good in my opinion, I love them to bits. Best songs to listen to, without a doubt.
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