Youjo Senki – 04
「キャンパス・ライフ」 (Kyanpasu Raifu)
Hard imagining a war show without any shooting is it? Youjo Senki tests that belief this week with a relatively laid back transitory episode, where Tanya finds out to her horror that you can indeed be too smart for your own good. It was all about that cutthroat, selfish personality this week, and how even ruthless opportunism can meet its match.
Part of what fascinates me about Youjo Senki is Tanya herself. This one is arguably a true antihero, wholly committed to her desires and completely uncaring towards the consequences. Yes Tanya might keep such thoughts secret, but there is a no holds barred attitude surrounding their pursuance. What makes her personality work well is the inherent duplicity behind it. The treatment of the captain this week is indicative, where for a moment you think Tanya might actually have a heart after all, only for the actual purpose to reveal itself following the captain’s absence. Tanya’s speaking skills enabled her to both eliminate the poor captain from contention in the promotion track and turn the man into a supporter. For all that it is demonically wicked, watching Tanya outright manipulate people is no less fun.
Where the manipulation becomes truly enrapturing though is when Tanya overextends and starts digging herself a hole. The discussion with Operations Chief
Satou Zettour is the obvious example here, where Tanya unknowingly signalled herself out out as Zettour’s target. This bit was quite amusing to watch because of the unspoken jousting behind it. When Zettour calls certain aspects into question, Tanya quickly identifies a new train of thought and runs with it. Such verbal prowess is not a common feature among smart characters, especially in anime, as it can be difficult to visually show. Here, however, Tanya’s internal monologues and facial expressions make the whole thing and showcase just how smart she is by being able to control the conversation.
The problem of course is when your opponent is as equally skilled and possesses their own agenda. While Zettour did not speak much, he clearly was herding Tanya into a specific position, giving her just enough rope to figuratively hang her objectives with. Tanya believed it was all a theoretical exercise, surprisingly never considering the possibility that others may have different ideas in mind. Especially hilarious too is how Zettour is setting her up as a scapegoat. Remember the scene with the legalities concerning battle plans going awry and the blame resting on the commanding officer? Tanya in her new role has no commanding officer, should she screw up, she receives the consequences. I never expected someone else mentally similar to Tanya popping up, but damn it makes things interesting—Zettour is definitely one to pay attention to going forward. God certainly isn’t the only threat to Tanya’s dream of a comfortable, easy life now.
Next Time: A Fighting We Shall Go
With the dreams of a staff job thoroughly crushed, it’s back to the front for our sadistic blondie. While it may be with new responsibilities, obligations, and an increased risk of death, at least Tanya can take solace in knowing Viktoriya is back to help. Never hurts having others to take care of the superfluous duties.
I love how Tanya’s age is emphasized often. Case in point that high chair hilariously featured.
Not entirely certain which fascist Tanya is referencing, but given the context the quote likely originates from Hitler or Goebbels. Need to do some digging on that one.