Anime Review: Saga of Tanya the Evil Season One

A Unique Take on the “Military” Genre

by: Nico Maturo

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Originally airing in 2017, Saga of Tanya the Evil follows the story of Tanya Degurechaff, a
10-year-old military ace equipped with unrivaled magic ability and all the memories
of her previous life. In that life, Tanya was an atheistic Japanese salaryman
who only wanted to live out a comfortable life by following the rules and being
competent at her work position.

After being pushed in front of a moving train to her death, Tanya comes into contact with a higher being whom she calls “Being X.” She then renounces “Being X” and any form of a God; “Being X” then punishes Tanya by reincarnating her into a life of poverty in a world with the use of magic.

Upon entering the military, the only way for Tanya to really tap into her magical ability is to pray to the same God that she loathes.

Tanya is easily the best part of this entire show. She is a villain, but not in the usual shonen sense. Ultimately, her main goal is not world domination, glory or power. She only wants to get away from the front lines of battle and live a long life in the higher ranks of the military.

She is a very cold and calculating character, having all of the memories from her previous life; she is able to devise new battle tactics that almost guarantee a swift and ruthless win in all of her battles. Tanya only cares about ensuring her own survival, and seeing her comrades die or get injured has no effect on her, other than making sure they will not get in her way.
Studio Nut did an absolutely fantastic job with the artwork and animation. Every fight scene is engaging and does a great job conveying the brutality of war. Also, it is made very clear how strong of a soldier Tanya is, as she mercilessly shreds through tons of enemies.

I also liked how outside of battle the landscape and buildings we designed with a more bleak coloring to contrast the excitement of the fight scenes.

My only complaint about the animation is the spotty use of CGI at random scenes throughout the season that feel clunky and awkward, but it is not used enough to really be a major deterrent.
If there is any downside to the show, it would have to be the rest of the character
work. A lot of the characters surrounding Tanya in the show are somewhat generic,
and their names are used so little that after finishing the 12 episode season, I could
only remember two of her lieutenants, her commanding officer and maybe one more person despite seeing roughly a dozen characters every episode. I feel like the rest of Tanya’s battalion and the countries she was fighting against could’ve been fleshed out more.
All in all, Saga of Tanya the Evil is a fun and unique anime. There is plenty of
action and brutality, and the show moves at a brisk pace to keep watchers entertained.
While I do think the surrounding world could’ve been more in depth, it is not enough
of a problem for me to tell others not to sit down and watch. Tanya is a polarizing
character and her story is a fun one to watch. I am already extremely excited for
season two.

Saga of Tanya the Evil is We Pod Approved with an 8 out of 10.

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