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Youjo Senki – 03 »« Youjo Senki – 01

Youjo Senki – 02

「プロローグ」 (Purorougu)
“Prologue”

What a difference one week makes. After an arguably confusing and misleading introduction, Youjo Senki turns around and fills in the missing blanks, explaining just who our crazy little loli actually is. Personally I loved this episode through and through, we finally got Tanya’s back story, and topped it off with some delicious insanity represented by the multitude of crazy faces. Any concerns over Tanya being an enthusiastic nationalist should have been safely put to bed now, between that real world back story and our little loli’s objectives in his her new world. Although a lot of the source material has been cut and liberally changed, I loved how snippets of the severity of our salaryman’s rationality still came through, between mentions of the Chicago school to treating rules as absolute measures of societal perfection. Particularly hilarious was calling out God’s overwork as a failed business model, which definitely sums up the easy living predilections of this bureaucratic badass.

Although it’s mostly up to personal opinion whether Tanya’s personality can be considered morally bankrupt (it is), there’s no denying it’s an oddity among this character type. Normally these girls are simply overpowered pint-sized suspensions of disbelief, but Tanya throws a wrench—beyond the gender bending—into that archetype. This little blondie’s actions becomes a hefty bit of black humour when noting how they are performed for the sole purpose of getting promoted into a safe, secure rear line position. Berating the troops and tossing around nationalistic calls of superiority are done because they are the rules, and for our salaryman rules are the optimal path to a better life. While suspension of disbelief is certainly still required seeing an elementary school girl beat up grown men, having one with a novel back story minimizes (at least for me) the remaining problems. It helps too having both Tanya’s subordinates and the enemy question just what she is doing on the battlefield, which even with her magical prowess is not something easily explained away.

If the character issues can be overlooked, however, it’s hard denying Youjo Senki is visually one fun experience. At face value it’s hilarious watching the little blondie eagerly throw herself at the enemy with some seriously great crazy eyes, all accompanied to the well-timed interspacing of modern orchestral lines. For example I’m pretty damn sure the suicide bombing wouldn’t have been as great if we didn’t have that ridiculous “gotcha” face. For military-fantasy the visuals don’t get much better than this. Provided Youjo Senki can maintain a similar standard going forward, I will be one incredibly happy camper.

Next Time: The Power of Magic

While we received a good chunk of background information this week, next episode will likely continue the prologue by answering just how magically strong Tanya is. If the source progression is adhered to, also expect some further reveals on this world’s magic system. Mad scientists, magic, and little girls: the fun is just beginning boys and girls, God wills it.

Random Tidbits

Don’t get your hopes up over that Overlord Easter egg, the likely explanation is that both Youjo Senki and Overlord simply share the same editor.

 

OP Sequence

OP: 「JINGO JUNGLE」 by MYTH & ROID

Preview

January 14, 2017 at 1:05 am
63 comments »
  • January 14, 2017 at 1:22 amDevastator001

    Love the Overlord plugging XD. (Behold Ainz-sama is such a supreme being his presence is felt in an different series!)

    Also this week is significantly better than last week.
    Do understand the part of not actually showing god, but it also adds some credence to his disbelief that he was talking to god. (seeing is believing)

  • January 14, 2017 at 1:30 amDevastator001

    Also Pancakes Youjo Senki and Overlord share the same publisher (Kadokawa) XD

    • January 14, 2017 at 2:49 amZannafar

      And the artist of the Overlord light novels is a fan of Youjo Senki
      http://i.imgur.com/bej2Qow.jpg

    • January 14, 2017 at 10:25 pmPancakes

      Guess I didn’t search enough when looking for the reasons :P
      Thanks for pointing that out!

  • January 14, 2017 at 1:54 amzztop

    Moral of story:Never be a smart-ass in front of a higher being, especially the ones sending you to heaven/hell/reincarnated life/isekai.

    • January 14, 2017 at 7:33 amMistic

      I confess I was morbidly pleased with the way he died. First, he was boasting about how being cold and ruthlessly efficient is the way to the top… only for that to bite him in the ass. Then, he started lecturing God… and when he realized he had screwed up, it was too late. Poverty, orphanage and fantasy WWI for you, it is.

    • January 15, 2017 at 1:55 pmsmk

      Still better fate than Konosuba.

  • January 14, 2017 at 2:09 amraxar

    I think Tanya is what ‘rational person’ in economics textbook, personified XD No empathy, no faith, and rule-adherence as measurement. Other than clearing up Tanya’s character, I think this episode also cleared up that this anime is anything but comedy(except dark comedy). Looking forward for more crazy expression and visually pleasing battle.

  • January 14, 2017 at 2:20 ammac65

    Well done! The backstory makes sense and fits with her personality
    from the first story. I don’t know what the source material is like,
    but it looks like we’re in for a good run with this…

    But I hope the whole series isn’t like this, either. Like to see this
    covered by RC, too.

    • January 14, 2017 at 10:26 pmPancakes

      I wouldn’t worry about coverage, this one is on my blogging short list. Unless next episode bombs, it’s but guaranteed I’m in it for the long haul :P

      • January 15, 2017 at 3:21 pmmac65

        Thank you! And me too, for the long haul…

  • January 14, 2017 at 2:22 amDude

    Spending the baby years fully conscious can be maddening as well. If Tanya had a few screws loose I can see why.

    • January 14, 2017 at 4:03 pmAex

      Diapers and the wiping… Baby food… I can feel the loss of sanity points.

    • January 14, 2017 at 8:30 pmhaseo0408

      She was mess up in her previous life as well, the guy she was might as been a machine! Not to mention that God was not cruel at all, all God wanted was a little thanks for the hard work of looking out for the souls of humanity and I feel sorry for the poor deity considering how ungrateful and self-centered we humans can be. The it comes emotionless monsters that not only is ungrateful, he mocks Him and His work, the ego Tanya had as a salaryman is so insane that after meeting the Maker she can´t acknowlegde Him it because there no way she can die, talk about being blind to your own flaws! So I think God was not being a jerk here, I think He went easy on the salaryman Tanya, He gave Tanya just what she deserved.

  • January 14, 2017 at 2:26 amGoodwill Wright

    A much better episode. Although, I still feel that Youjo Senki is more or less showing us stuff rather than allowing us to experience it. The first and last part of the episode I think were done great. But I think the battles are just missing something. I never really had this feeling with other “fantasy” animes but something is just taking me out of the action in Youjo Senki and I can’t say what it is. If I may be bold to say, I don’t think Youjo Senki has established it’s story yet.

    • January 14, 2017 at 10:31 pmPancakes

      That’s probably the main complaint right now, we haven’t really hit a challenge for Tanya. There’s the whole spiel about seeking the easy life, but no real struggle obtaining that as of yet. The show should start moving in this direction soon though considering next week is largely the last of the backstory.

  • January 14, 2017 at 4:06 amOkabe_Rintarou

    The salesman who would become Tanya is actually an adherent of the Imperial Truth as the Master of Mankind decreed before the whole Horus Heresy happened. Tanya on the other hand, is living in the “Age of the Imperium” where she is being forced to accept Faith in a divine being. XD

    NEXT EPISODE: TANYA THE CRUSADER. DEUS VULT! XD

    • January 14, 2017 at 8:44 pmhaseo0408

      The big irony of Warhammer 40K is that the Emperor of Mankind end up as everything he tried to destroyed. Serves him wel considering how much of a bastard he is, then again, everyone in that universe is insane.

      • January 15, 2017 at 3:19 amWorldwidedepp

        Well in War the other human being beside your comrades and family, are just piece of flesh, not better then an animal or insect you crush with your hand or feet. You can see, what Propaganda and killing on the battlefield born even this kind of humans. after the war they can not switch back that easy

  • January 14, 2017 at 6:54 amstarss

    Damn you vile woman. Victory is mine!

  • January 14, 2017 at 6:56 amRedRocket

    Wonderful Fun.

    The King of Battle Artillery featured in both episodes as the mass killer it is, except for the top mages, Artillery spotting is a primary job. Artillery killed 75% of America’s WWII foes in WWI higher, machine guns next and rifles very little in comparison.

    Germany is not the bad guy in WWI, there are no good guys in WWI it all nationalism and pride on all sides. One of the reasons WWI is so horrible is the total pointless nature to it. (more so than some wars) In fact America should have gone in on the German side as Britain was committing a act of war against America by not letting our neutral shipping into Germany. Played a ship miniatures battle based on Teddy Rosevelt being president instead and the US fleet fights the British to gain port access to Germany and stand up for US rights.

    • January 14, 2017 at 12:52 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

      Well, to be fair, Germany did try to secretly convince Mexico to invade and start a war with the US in order to preempt and prevent the US from possibly entering WWI (it was still largely isolationist though) and completely turning the war against Germany, promising to return the territories taken by the US during the Mexican-American War back to Mexico (Zimmerman Telegram). Unfortunately, their very attempt to PREVENT the US from entering the war was the final straw that CAUSED the US to enter the war.

      • January 14, 2017 at 5:04 pmRedRocket

        The British (actually allied but the key part was Britain) Blockade started in 1914. Thus this actual of war started then. The Blockade actually pushed America somewhat to the German side as the US economy was hurt until U-boat news reversed it. Thus the historical speculation of what would have been if Teddy Roosevelt if he won the election. Teddy Roosevelt supported the US joining the Allies (British) side but as president would he accepted the British Blockade? The British conducted a great public relations and intelligence campaign to get the Americans on their side. The Germans ran a poor public relation effort. The fact that U-boats could only sink ships instead of the British stoping ships made the Germans look bad even though both sides were Blockading the other. The Lusitania having weapons and ammunition on board actually made the German sinking ok under the laws of war but this fact was not found out till way later. Evil British trick putting ammunition on a passenger ship.

        The Zimmerman Telegram was German desperation, as they figured resuming U-boat attacks after a stop would put the US in the war against them. The telegram not a act of war as it only activated if US declared on German it looked really bad.

        I actually am fond of the British Empire I just pointing out the no good guy nature of this war except maybe the US in that at least the US action ended the war.

      • January 15, 2017 at 3:16 amWorldwidedepp

        Oh Boy, the War for US did not end, you forgotten the Korea War..

  • January 14, 2017 at 7:49 amDr. Hochmeister

    Quite fun, but there’s one thing that just bugs me. Feels a bit like Tanya’s falling into the Mahouka trap of telling us that she’s placed in a disadvantageous situation, while what we see is Tanya being an overpowered badass. I hope something will show up soon that will actually give Tanya a real challenge.

    • January 14, 2017 at 6:33 pmThe17thNoah

      I’d like to think that she is still technically disadvantaged but simply makes full proper use of what she has and turns it around. Like german tanks, their mages are better than the others 1v1 but is still beaten by numbers and not overpowered or invulnerable at all. I remember some quote like “a tiger tank can take on 3 allied tanks at a time…problem was, they always had 4″. even among her peers, her magic potential is top notch due to X wanting her to be placed in the frontlines, so think of her as having a lot of mana to spend on her shield and blasts. but that too has a limit, she’d run out eventually so this 1v10 is very fatal if she makes a mistake, thankfully she’s a perfectionist salaryman. For the dogfight, remember, she’s less than half their height, thus less than half a target. She’s much lighter being a child(plus she dropped some equipment), thus faster and more maneuverable. The way the anime made each country use different flight tech is impressive and adds another reason, tanya flies with a boot in a freestyle manner while skis and ponies make your movement limited, mechanical and vulnerable to melee attack. kinda like ironman vs fighter planes. As for shooting style, she uses powerful bursts after aiming well and at close range while the enemy uses weak spread out barrages continuously. this ends with her offense>their defense and her defense>their offense. and thus with a lot of effort and concentration, she took down 6 with her. the anime censored and downplayed her injuries but in the manga, you wouldn’t say she had it easy. she even used magic doping and anesthesia to boost herself and ignore pain at a cost to her body right before the battle in the manga and ln. this is what i like about her hardships, it’s usually the times someone would cry and pray to God yet she gets through by gritting her teeth, working hard and showing a slasher smile >:D

    • January 14, 2017 at 10:49 pmPancakes

      I’d imagine a true challenge is coming, it would be hard creating 12 episodes of just Tanya running roughshod over the opposition unopposed after all. The key point will probably be what God does when He sees the little loli still refusing to place her faith in Him lol.

      • January 15, 2017 at 5:40 amdaikama

        @Pancakes: “I’d imagine a true challenge is coming, it would be hard creating 12 episodes of just Tanya running roughshod over the opposition unopposed after all.”

        IDK about “hard”. Certainly there are shows that have characters that don’t really struggle in one or more cours. As I noted in my post below (bit late – behind on shows again >_>), I have the same concerns as Dr. Hochmeister. Honestly after this episode is there any real threat of her dying and thus no 2nd reincarnation? (OT – but does old age count for that?) She can “suicide” bomb and survive. Anyway, yes, hopefully true challenges to come up.

        “The key point will probably be what God does when He sees the little loli still refusing to place her faith in Him lol.”

        That’s a fair point, and you may be right Honestly, my impression (which may be wrong. Not spoiled at all for this) is that “Being X” is out of the picture after the reincarnation (and did a poor job of that as I noted below).

      • January 15, 2017 at 3:46 pmcryarc

        Survive with heavy injuries, broken bones and all? She’s not portrayed unschated there.

      • January 15, 2017 at 4:59 pmdaikama

        @cryarc: I didn’t write Tanya was unscathed, but survived which IMO is pretty dubious given the massive self-destruct explosion, and even you want to say “magic” to survive that, she the free falls from a pretty high altitude (quite likely sufficient to reach terminal velocity) with NO parachute and NO magic to save her at that point.

      • January 15, 2017 at 11:00 pmPancakes

        @cryarc

        daikama is right that the injuries don’t really count here. She should’ve have died during or after that attack, but plot armour kept her alive. Tanya may be mortal as illustrated by her injuries, but we haven’t seen a life-or-death situation truly testing her yet.

  • January 14, 2017 at 7:55 amWorldwidedepp

    http://randomc.net/image/Youjo%20Senki/Youjo%20Senki%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2033.jpg
    if you know the old German letters, you can guess what it is written here

    Title:
    Vaterland Has…an Pro..le
    about the Sölver Mäus D…kult

    and so on.

  • January 14, 2017 at 8:08 amKerfirou

    Damn, the art style really different so much from the LN. Not that this style isn’t great, but…

    I mean, you got this :
    http://randomc.net/image/Youjo%20Senki/Youjo%20Senki%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2035.jpg

    from this :
    http://i.imgur.com/EQgRgnX.png

    Of course, I don’t think the LN art can be easily animated, since it was so gorgeous, but….

    • January 14, 2017 at 7:59 pmqwert

      I don’t think a blushing fidgeting Tanya would really fit with the characterization they’re going for here though. It looks like she’s about to snap from her conflicting urge to tell everyone to screw and the urge to keep her cool so she doesn’t endanger her position.

      Plus you have to take into account that technically those two images are happening at different points in the process. The illustration features the process of dressing her up while the anime covered the post where she’s already been dressed up, primped and slathered in makeup. So one shows the initial discomfort while the other shows the shock afterwards.

    • January 14, 2017 at 8:41 pmhaseo0408

      In that scene I could her Tanya´s pride shattering into oblivion!.

    • January 14, 2017 at 10:34 pmPancakes

      Tanya’s design is growing on me, for some reason it fits the scenery and animation style better than the original artwork, especially when it comes to the eyes. The only artistic problem IMO is Viktoriya, there is no saving her new form lol.

  • January 14, 2017 at 8:22 amcclarins

    Wow this show is pretty good, glad I stuck with it after the confusing Ep1. Ep1+Ep2 work together to create a really nice intro to the show

  • January 14, 2017 at 9:10 ams_w

    Well, it was better than last week. This ep would have been a really good Ep1, except for the malformed Viktoriya at the end. Her anime design still gives me nightmares.

    I still have issues with the art style in places, but that’s because I have consumed far too much original source material. (Source Poisoning?) I guess there’s only so much they can do with their budget and their talent.

    As Kerfirou pointed out, the differences in the art in the last scene are big.

    I would have liked for Tanya to keep the salaryman voice in her head, though. That would have been more interesting than what they did. I get that they have reasons for why they did it, I just don’t agree with those reasons.

    Keeping Tanya’s POV and Existence X out of the first episode last week really made it fall flat for me.

    Good to see that it’s improving, though, and that someone at the production company is capable of writing coherent screenplays.

  • January 14, 2017 at 9:48 amGars

    Some fairly impressive research behind the apperance of some of the soldiers in the episode, the infantrymen that Tanya direct artillery fire against are dressed in Swedish m/1910 uniforms. (The “Northern” border of the not-German Empire is located in what is southern Sweden IRL.) An attention to detail that I did not expect to see.

    • January 14, 2017 at 10:38 pmPancakes

      It’s really surprising I agree. Beyond the uniforms the artillery pieces too are well sourced. We’ve received the French 75s last episode, and this one had a few shots of some 88mm Flak 16s.

  • January 14, 2017 at 11:38 amWorldwidedepp

    Well, also an cunning way to avoid to draw Nippon Soldiers in this anime. Because this is Europa war. Also to bind some fans with this “Nippon soul, reborn in an loli little girl and war!”. So they avoid (again) this part

    they are using now the WW1 and WW2 scenario, without them.. but they also took part in this
    or
    they are trying to build up for their BD Sales

  • January 14, 2017 at 2:09 pmGuile

    I think God here was waaaay more intimidating, using the crowd to speak, than the manga which just had Being X as a bearded Zeus-like guy. Kudos.

    And God whining that reincarnating 7 billion is really hard and basically reincarnating anyone without faith is a waste of his time, that was great. It’s like, yeah Salaryman is a dick but so is God, so fuck him.

    • January 14, 2017 at 8:38 pmhaseo0408

      Imagine you´ve being doing this whole administration of human souls for millenia but mankind is not grateful to you and as time passes humans act more and more selfish to the point there now full jerks to you; then you meet this bastard that mocks you and your work, a salary so full of himself that can´t see his own flaws. Being grateful to a person is an important part of any work, if any I think God was very human in this aspect, anyone would be bitter in the face of so much indiference without as much as a thanks for the hard work!.

      To be fair the idea of a perfect mercyful deity is fairly new, with Christinaity being the prime example, if Tnaya had mock a god of another pantheon, any god for that matter, she would have recived a much horrifying punishment.

    • January 14, 2017 at 10:44 pmPancakes

      I loved how they changed that scene here, as you mention it made God significantly more intimidating and omnipotent. I especially liked how God’s lack of presence helped support our salaryman’s argument regarding the nonexistence of God (He’s not physically present at the scene) while simultaneously poking holes in his adherence to rationalism. It really gives a certain level of fear regarding God that the light novels lacked.

  • January 14, 2017 at 3:03 pmSol

    Was the MC crossbred with a goldfish?

    • January 14, 2017 at 8:38 pmhaseo0408

      A very evil Goldfish for that matter!.

  • January 14, 2017 at 8:03 pmqwert

    I LOVE Aoi Yuuki’s voice. Shows like this where she puts so much damn emotion into the delivery… the line after she latched onto that soldier to self destruct was so simple yet expertly delivered it gave me chills.

  • January 14, 2017 at 10:10 pmAex

    The kamikaze strike onward showed Tanya’s main humanizing flaw perfectly, and that lip-bit in the last millisecond was hilarious!

  • January 15, 2017 at 5:20 amdaikama

    I agree this was better than Ep. 01. Anime went for an action based “hook” for new-to-the-series viewers rather than start with Ep. 02. Whether that’s better – YMMV, but good enough/not an issue on my end. For the most part I still like the way this looks, particularly for battles so I agree with the review on that. Character designs are stylized, but overall fine. The eye thing was better this time around for me (and/or maybe I’m getting more used to it). I also liked the introduction presentation with the time-stop & conversation. That was good.

    Had the same thought that Dr. Hochmeister posted above about Tanya being hax/op, but it to me it also ties into introduction/story theme (as I take it). While Tanya’s situation isn’t all rainbows & unicorns, IMO ultimately “Being X” setup Tanya very well to succeed. Reincarnate her in magic alternate RL as an innate hax/op mage with “incredible magic capacity and output”. That’s a huge advantage right there. While it would suck being an infant with an adult’s mind, ultimately that adult mind from the start is also a big advantage. She ain’t getting where she is AT AGE NINE without either one (and yes, some suspension of disbelief is still required).

    So if the intent is to reincarnate Tanya to struggle and learn empathy, “Being X” totally failed IMO. Obviously wouldn’t work for the story, but for starters how about reborn with NO magic ability? Could also reincarnate with NO magic ability (or in “RL world” withOUT magic) as an orphan/peasant female further back in time – ancient Egypt, Roman Empire, medieval times. All work. Not the story, but so far I do wonder if Tanya will struggle much if at all, let alone learn any lessons about empathy towards other people. In fact, kind of seems that Tanya’s more sadistic and less empathetic now than before in “RL”.

    This leads me to my final point. I agree with the review about Tanya’s character. Definitely YMMV situation/matter of opinion. Anime’s up front about it in the title (“Saga of Tanya the Evil”). Yeah, “rules – gotta follow them” (well, except for “Being X’s” law to be empathetic towards others), but his/her actions go beyond that. I wrote back in the season preview post that I expected how well I take to Tanya will be a factor as to whether I follow the show the entire season. That still remains. I DO like parts of this – no question about it. However, Tanya’s a total ass-hat and given the above, I expect her to do nothing but succeed and get her “revenge on Being X”. Meh. NO plans to drop right now – it’s early, but can’t say I’m fully committed either. Have to see how it plays out. JMO though. Others may like/love Tanya’s character.

    • January 15, 2017 at 2:38 pmjust sayin’

      being X goal wasn’t for him/her/it/attack helicopter to learn empathy, but to learn to love god. first it was through whole reborn thing to love god, cause, well, reborn. failed at that. Then it was through appreciation for gifts God gave ya, kinda failed too. Then it’s spoilers time, which i assume would be revealed in next episode.

      • January 15, 2017 at 5:12 pmdaikama

        @just sayin’: After reading some more comments on this episode (no spoilers), it seems I put too much emphasis on the empathy statement. That being said, if “Being X’s” goal is to “learn to love god” and/or have “faith in god”, still have doubts about the plan & execution to achieve said goal. Sure as hell isn’t working so far. Anyway, if we are going to get more information towards that next episode, I’ll just wait for that.

  • January 15, 2017 at 4:07 pmGinobi47

  • January 15, 2017 at 5:07 pmsealouse

    ok I was impressed. Why didn’t they start with this though?

    • January 17, 2017 at 5:28 pmGuile

      In medias res openings have never really done it for me, but some people love them.

  • January 15, 2017 at 5:12 pmrh75

    Tanya has one enemy that she can not defeat at the moment.
    That enemy is herself.
    She is doing everything in her power to be sent to a soft, rear area posting; i.e. being competent, patriotic, thinking both tactically and strategically, aware of high ranking officers and conscripts, and other thing not yet shown.
    Those qualities would get one promoted in a modern society, but where she is now it means she will always be in the forefront of battle.

  • January 15, 2017 at 6:44 pmordnance11

    So is Tanya a gender bending version of Ciaphas Cain? Where trying to get to a cushy REMF position only lands her into more hazards?

    • January 15, 2017 at 7:45 pmGuile

      Yes, except she’s kind of an asshole too.

      Like, if Ciaphas Cain is Yossarian, then Tanya is Milo Minderbender.

    • January 17, 2017 at 1:54 amewok40k

      Tanya Degurechaff, Heroine of the Imperium!

  • January 15, 2017 at 10:08 pmMormegil

    So, wait, let me get this straight here:

    -Weird salaryman fires a worker.
    -Said disgruntled worker pushes him onto train tracks.
    -For some reason or another, salaryman guy is given another chance at life(by a supernatural lifeform, God, or whatever).
    -He is then reincarnated and transported back to fight in WW1 as an angry loli voiced by Aoi Yuuki.

    …you know, I shouldn’t be surprised by now, but every single season anime has a way of surprising me by coming up with some of the most inane and bizarre shit.

    • January 15, 2017 at 10:55 pmPancakes

      I think it’s the reason most of us keep coming back season after season to be honest :P

  • January 16, 2017 at 8:31 amDangerism

    Salaryman was so rooted in science that Being X reincarnated him in 100% the opposite direction, being inately gifted with magic. Yet Tanya subverts this by treating it at as just another rule of the world she’s in. :3

  • January 17, 2017 at 1:51 amewok40k

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