Anime Review: Saga of Tanya the Evil

June 15, 2017

Empire officers clapping

I hope that everyone is doing well, and have either been enjoying
the continued break or still handling the monotony well.

I went through my various streaming subscriptions, in order
to not worsen my situation here, and I was able to find something to sit back
and watch.

Today, I will be reviewing that show, which is called Saga of Tanya
The Evil
.

Tanya ' Erich talk

In advanced society, where science has overshadowed
religion, an office worker is living a somewhat peaceful life standing at the
top, while others suffer.

However, when a recently fired employee pushes the executive
off a train platform, he finds himself talking to a being that claims to be God
that tries to convince him that he exists, and when he refuses to accept him as
God, he is reincarnated into a little girl in a world of perpetual war and is
hindered by this god.

Now, Tanya von Degurechaff, the reincarnated office worker, is
determined to not only refuse submit to this god, but also to show that she can
overcome whatever is thrown into her path and satisfy her greed.

Visha smiling

I must say, I kind of liked this show.

After only a few seconds into the first episode, I was so
immersed in the world and what was going on that I did not want to stop
watching for any reason, even though I do have to satisfy the same needs as
every other human.

I have come across many different works of fiction in my
life, regardless of whether they are anime like this one, or they are books,
and a lot of the works of fiction tends to not be very enjoyable if I cannot
get into within the first few minutes or pages, if it were a book, because the
people behind it do not seem to know what they are doing.

However, more often than not, studios and writers seem to do
things right, and the staff that NUT had working on this anime seemed to be
pretty competent in this regard.

After all, even though animation and books are two very
different mediums, with one that involves quite a bit more work than the other,
the things that make a written book great can also apply to all the other
mediums too, and the audience will keep coming back for more of what they want.

If I had to say why, it is because Tanya is a rather
interesting enough character that I would have wanted to watch and see what she
does in her world of perpetual war, and I am left wondering why she is doing
what she does, whereas many other works of fiction have the plot be much more engaging
than the characters.

Yes, Tanya is an evil jerk that is very intelligent and a
great strategist, but interesting characters do not necessarily mean that they
are good people, as Adrienne Crezo brings up in a blog
post
on Writer's Digest about
how unlikable characters can make a story just as interesting as a character
that we would assume is a hero.

Not only did the fact that Tanya was interesting enough for
me to continue watching, unlike Touma Kamijou from A
Certain Magical Index
, but things started off a bit differently from many
of the other works of fiction, even if I would not exactly call it unique, in
that Tanya and her platoon are already engaged in battle and it was executed in
a way that things seem to be pretty close to how great the beginning of the Pandora
Hearts
manga felt.

This is how pretty much every work of fiction needs to start
off, because it helps to make the series that have a quick pace, like this one,
be more interesting, whereas slow paced works, such as Spice & Wolf,
rely more on the need the characters leading interesting lives outside of the
plot.

If NUT were unable to pull any of this off, I would have
been pretty much as disappointed in this anime as I was with Attack on
Titan
, but because they were able to meet my expectations, I can at least
give them a nice round of applause. Nice work, guys.

I also liked was how this anime had little to no fan
service.

Throughout my time watching anime and reading manga, I have
noticed that many series tend to feature a ton of things like nudity and
underwear shots, much like how American movie studio are obsessed adding things
like sex, explosions, and other eye candy, and it has gotten to the point where
it does not really make any series better, unless it does not give me the
feeling of just being shoved it.

Seeing as FUNimation kind of gave this a mature rating, I
was kind of expecting things to be a little heavy in this area, and because it
did not have any, I kind of liked it more.

If there were more anime like this, I think that I would be
able to enjoy things a bit more than I do these days, and the whole anime thing
might be more accept by the generation before me better.

Unfortunately, Japanese studios will probably keep on including
the fan service in anime, just like Hollywood studios will keep putting in eye
candy, because they need to make money to survive, so until people start
demanding less gratuitous fan service.

Still, that does not mean that NUT does not deserve to be praised
for doing something that not many studios in Japan are willing to do.

Another thing that was kind of nice how I was able to laugh
a bit throughout this show.

In a lot of anime, there are comedic elements used over and
over again to the point where it becomes like slapstick, in that it is only
funny if it is executed properly, and that turns a lot of people off of the
many great shows that are out there.

Here, however, I did not notice too much that has been done
to death or were poorly executed that I actually felt like chuckling.

The funniest things were present in scenes dealing with
Tanya herself.

For example, she does things for the sole purpose of getting
promoted, thus getting off the battle field, and looking good, yet many of the
people her think that she actually cares for other people.

This was quite funny because she never seems to be promoted
to a position in which she would not see battle, and her angry reaction to it
kind of reminds of Major Armstrong's habit of taking his shirt off and flexing.

If NUT were not able to pull this off really well, I do not
think that I would have liked Tanya as much as I do, though she is definitely
not a girl that I would like meet in real life, since she would pose a danger
to me.

However, because they were able to do this much, I feel like
giving them a good round of applause.

It was also nice how the show illustrated the dangers of
optimism.

In our society, we tend to believe that optimism is the holy
grail and that we will succeed against anything that comes our way.

However, such sentiments leads us to being complacent and
unable to see the danger rising in our midsts, which is why optimists will die
shortly after the pessimists.

Towards the end of this show, but not the end of the series
as a whole, when the military of Tanya's country succeeds in defeating their
enemy, everyone goes off to celebrate until Tanya realizes that something has
gone overlooked and tries to ensure that their victory really ended in victory,
but nobody even listened to her and the entire war resumed because her fellow
countrymen were too optimist.

This scene, while predictable in that it would happen, clearly
demonstrates why optimism is not as great as one would have liked, and serves
as a good warning of why we should never overlook the negative possibilities.

If NUT had not included this, I would have been much more
disappointed in this than I ever thought I would have become, because it would
have made Tanya appear appear to be too perfect, and that is something that
people cannot really enjoy, regardless of what kind of medium a story is
presented through, but because they did include it, I feel like giving them
another good round of applause.

There were two things that I liked the most though.

First, 'I liked how Tanya not only tried to do things
herself, but even attempted to challenge God, or Being X, as he is called in
this series.

While having characters fighting against a being like god is
nothing new in the world of fiction, as there are games, like Makai Toushi
SaGa
, otherwise known Final Fantasy Legend
where I live, where players end up fighting one or more characters that could
be considered a god and books where people fight a godlike entity, it was nice
to see it was still nice to see it play out here, because many shows produced
where I live do not seem to have the gall to pit people against such a person.

In this series, on the other hand, the struggle between
Tanya who refuses to accept God and believe in him and the being that calls
himself God is on center stage, and I am just itching to see her take it down.

If television writers here were more willing to have people
question whether such a being was as good as people tend to think he that he
is, there would probably be a few more unique works of fiction out there to
enjoy, and the horrible excuses of a show would might drop drastically.

Unfortunately, we live in a world today that is more worried
about offending people than actually delivering a decent work of fiction, and
until we stop worrying about what people and society thinks of us and our beliefs,
that is not going to change any time soon.

Still, I think NUT should be praised for delivering
something new, though Carlo Zen probably deserves more credit because he did
create the original novel, whose first volume will be released by Yen Press in
November, according to the product page on
Amazon, and this was adapted from his work.

The second, and most interesting, was how this series
handled reincarnation.

In many series and other fictional works, when people or
things are reincarnated, they tend to lose their personality or memories, while
retaining many of the abilities they had in their previous life, which would
probably make sense from what my church believes happens to us when we come to
this Earth, but it also comes off as a way to make a character that much more
special in a series, like how Kagome Higurashi was the reincarnation of Kikyo
in Inuyasha, yet she was not really that strong of a person, and it
feels like the staff behind the work does not even know what they are doing.

Here, however, Tanya retains her greedy personality and high
intellect from her previous life, and allows her to become a bit more fleshed
out during the course of the show, which makes the series as a whole a lot more
enjoyable.

If the staff at NUT had not taken this route, the quality of
the show would have really diminished, because it would not have that feeling
of originality that every piece of fiction needs to be enjoyable, and fans of
all forms of fiction and the mediums used to present them want to be able to
feel like the work is original and unique, even when it is not, more than
feeling like it is yet another rehash.

Fortunately, NUT seems to understand this fairly well, which
makes me want to give them another round of applause.

Hopefully, they can keep this up if and when there is a
season 2, because this has already impressed me way more than shows like Attack
on Titan ever have.

Outside of those things, I cannot really think of anything
else that I liked, especially because I have yet to read the original light
novel.

Because my interest was held from beginning to end, there
was not too much, if any, fan service, and some nice moments of humor, as well
as the fact that the show showed how optimism can lead to complacency and that there
was something different about how reincarnation worked here, this was a pretty
decent show.

Tanya injured

Although I liked the series, there are some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about
and one issue that is similar to what is found in The
Legend of the Legendary Heroes
, and is not as bad as it was there because of
Yen Press, nothing really bothered me too much.

As a result, I will have to say that there is nothing worth
mentioning.

Considering that there was quite a bit to like and not too
much to hate, this was definitely worth watching.

I recommend this to fans of action and those that want
something that feel original, though I cannot say that it is, because both
groups would be able to find something that is rather enjoyable.

As for everyone else, this is worth giving a try, because it
is not like most other anime, but the issue it shares with The Legend of the
Legendary Heroes
might turn some people off.

If you liked this review and would like to see more, please
consider supporting me on Patreon
or preordering the first volume of the light novel from Amazon, so that I can continue to find more
worthwhile anime for you guys to watch, and doing what whatever you do when you
find something that impresses you.

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