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Youjo Senki – 05

「はじまりの大隊」 (Hajimari no daitai)
“My First Battalion”

If there is one thing to expect from Youjo Senki, it’s that Tanya will never disappoint. This week went all out in showcasing how utterly deranged our little loli is, from freakishly demonic faces to invidious training regimens and a not so subtle bending of the rules of war. If opportunistic sadism could be considered fun, this tops the list of guilty pleasures.

The big problem facing Tanya was in battalion creation, where her personal desires and the will of state ran headfirst into one another. Naturally the state won—of course—but not before seeing Tanya’s stalling attempts fail spectacularly. Watching Tanya try hard to avoid the front was funny as hell, particularly with the tricks she employed. What makes it for me is how almost all of Tanya’s actions serve a dual purpose: they are all meant to plop her back along the staff officer track, but do so efficiently without any wastage. The recruitment officer magical illusion is case in point, where it was meant to disqualify everyone, but ended up detecting the truly talented and bringing them on board. Likewise that training period—designed to encourage dropouts—ironically provided a proper taste of front line conditions while building solidarity among the trainees. It was funny seeing Tanya freak out when all the boys (and girl) decide to stick with her at the end, but for anyone familiar with certain military training programs (think Marines or army special ops) it’s the expected result. For such a smart cookie, seeing Tanya fail in recognizing this was hilarious.

On the other side of things lies the surprisingly quick return to combat, where not-Romania’s attack gives Tanya yet another opportunity to showcase her demonic nature, along with a crucial First World War paradigm. It’s pretty funny for me seeing Youjo Senki actually feature a blurb on airpower given the prevalence already of flying mages and aircraft cameos, but I’ll definitely take it nonetheless. It’s no understatement to say that airpower—more so than the tank—affected the means of war the most, with the reason blatantly showcased here with that mass slaughter and one-sided industrial attack. Ironically well represented this episode too is how embryonic such knowledge was on the Eastern Front, as Germany in general only really had a firm idea of aircraft’s strategic potential. Not-Romania here (much like similar real world powers) had no inkling of the dangers, and suffered the consequences as a result. At least Tanya was nice enough to read them the riot act before striking, cute voice and all.

With another battle under the belts of our reluctant front line warrior, where we go from here is up in the air, but I can hazard a guess it will be somewhere bleak. Zettour and the rest want to win the war after all, and Tanya has certainly showed great promise in moving towards that goal. I think the real challenge has yet to begin.

Random Tidbits

For the curious, Dakia is a reference to Dacia, the Latin name for ancient Romania/Bessarabia.

Tanya’s “Tamaya” call is actually not random, it’s funnily part of a Japanese expression of delight over excellent fireworks displays.

February 3, 2017 at 11:53 pm
55 comments »
  • February 4, 2017 at 12:43 amGuile

    I thought the purpose of their battalion was going to be a quick-deploy unit to reinforce buckling front lines.

    But in episode 5 they get posted to the Dakia border before there’s even an invasion, and never even see another Imperial soul during their deployment?

    • February 4, 2017 at 4:09 amDevastator001

      From the discussion with Lehgren it would seem that Central Command had anticipated an attack from the south-eastern section based on Tanya’s world war scenario which it why they decided to post her there in anticipation of action from the countries there.

    • February 4, 2017 at 2:44 pmRavenlord

      They were doing a pre-emptive strike on the vanguard of the enemy force. When they capture the enemy foreward HQ, it even gets pointed out that friendly air wings are coming “once they have finished loading the bombs”. That’s when Tanya pushes even more forward.

      Friendlies are on and about, it’s just that Tanya is being aggressive and pushing way behind anyone else could follow them.

  • February 4, 2017 at 1:04 amHalfDemonInuyasha

    Tanya definitely has a knack for numbers, theories, planning, etc., but not so much on deeper human nature and emotions.

    Not-Romania is also a show of how a number of old-fashioned “newbie” military forces tended to be when first entering a modern war already in progress; where other countries had already learned lessons and adjusted accordingly. Hell, pretty much EVERY country suffered it at first, like Britain, France, Germany, and such just marching large groups of soldiers straight into machine gun fire, resulting in such massive casualties. IIRC, the Battle of Mons, one of the very first WWI battles between British and Germany forces, resulted in around 200 or so German casualties in the first HOUR of battle, because the German formations basically had them bunched up in “parade ground formations” out in the open.

    • February 4, 2017 at 8:56 amhaseo0408

      Her lack of understanding of human emotions was the cause of her downfall, which is appropriate considering our little “heroine” is a robot with the heart of a monster, all well disguised as a cute loli. Matter of fact, she has more in common with the T-X for Terminator 3 Rise of the Machines than to an actual human; still fun as hell watching cause mayhem whereever she goes.

  • February 4, 2017 at 1:50 amVermillion

    The announcement of attack using her cute voice to make it looked like a joke is the most evil/genius way to ensure highest amount of casualties…

    lol…

  • February 4, 2017 at 1:54 amonllo

    • February 4, 2017 at 2:35 amSpacyRicochet

      Never appropriate.

      • February 4, 2017 at 9:53 amGuile

        Tanya respects the Geneva convention!

        The only one she wants to screw is Being X.

  • February 4, 2017 at 2:15 amHanabira.Kage

    Re: Tamaya

    Specifically, it’s apparently customary to yell the name of various firework-producing businesses while watching fireworks go off. Tamaya is probably one of the most well-known…for some reason.

    • February 4, 2017 at 11:14 pmPancakes

      From what I’ve read, Tamaya is yelled because the Tamaya clan was one of the largest fireworks manufacturers in 19th Century Japan. The clan had a split, however, where a rival group Kagiya emerged. Both groups “fought” via fireworks displays, where onlookers would cheer “Tamaya” or “Kagiya” depending on who performed the display. I guess it sort of caught on over time as a way of showing appreciation for such displays.

    • February 5, 2017 at 6:38 pmDP

      Glad to know – thanks

  • February 4, 2017 at 2:43 amEspyLacopa

    I think the big reason Tanya keeps messing up with how she thinks events should play out for her is two parts.

    One; Being X is screwing with her. Can’t do much about that, I’m afraid.
    Two; She wasn’t in any military before, and doesn’t fully understand what the military (and war) is like. Being a high end office peon is drastically different. . .

    • February 4, 2017 at 11:48 amRedRocket

      Tanya is studying the military hard though it just some things slip though. Note her always being in the library. Paton was famous for how much library time he spent reading.

    • February 4, 2017 at 11:18 pmPancakes

      Tanya actually has a good grasp on war and its mechanics, her problem is she lacks the “human” understanding of it. As shown this episode, Tanya only really considers people cogs, she believes they will always act rationally in ways easily predicted. Thus the confusion when her battalion members actually become more committed instead of dropping out.

      • February 6, 2017 at 10:20 amEnan84

        The author also play with the invisible hand theory in an ironic way. Tanya acts in the most egoistical way possible, but the results also further the interests of the empire in a way not foreseen by Tanya and her frustration with that is highly amusing.

  • February 4, 2017 at 2:47 amKlein

    When Tanya deliver her “wake up call” and explain her training menu to the surprised and (soon) shell-shocked trainees, Viktoria just expected it, then calmly dig her own pit while the others still confused as hell.

    I laughed uncontrollably at this point.

    • February 4, 2017 at 8:15 amordnance11

      That reminds of my old AIT days. The doctrine is that when you stop you dig n. I was the only one in the pltn to do that. The rest just lolly gagged. The instructor had simulated shells dropped in the area. They were all declared dead. Except me.

    • February 4, 2017 at 11:21 pmPancakes

      Her exasperated face when Tanya gave the wake up call ended me, that and her hilarious look of fear when everyone else got back to marching while Tanya looked on in shocked frustration. Viktoriya, whether unintentionally or not, is really serving as the comedy relief.

  • February 4, 2017 at 4:29 amGinobi47

    http://randomc.net/image/Youjo%20Senki/Youjo%20Senki%20-%2005%20-%20Large%2033.jpg

    “Sensei! We swear that we will conduct a fair war in accordance with international war!”

    Le Moi died from moe here.

  • February 4, 2017 at 6:19 amseltzermx

    This my new Overlord! Can’t get enough of it!

  • February 4, 2017 at 7:23 amPanino Manino

    http://randomc.net/image/Youjo%20Senki/Youjo%20Senki%20-%2005%20-%20Large%2015.jpg

    Your face when you think the Universe conspires against you, but its just you who is too much smart for your own good and even more dumb.

  • February 4, 2017 at 7:52 amDude

    Oh Viktoria, the matter of fact way you started digging a defensive trench cover is just so adorable. “Oh yes this shit again, better dig first.”

    • February 4, 2017 at 8:24 amAlkard

      True. Makes me wonder about the fact that Viktoria’s quite the glutton for punishment. She -knows- how dreadful Tanya can be and still sticks to her like glue. You’d think she’d have figured out that Tanya doesn’t actually give a rat’s ass about anyone below her on the food chain.

      I know she’s influenced by the “gift” of her promotion, but still…

      • February 4, 2017 at 9:01 amhaseo0408

        Maybe poor Viktoria is stupid enough to think she can change Tanya.

      • February 4, 2017 at 9:50 amGuile

        She was assigned to Tanya’s battalion because she knew her before and is a woman, she said.

      • February 4, 2017 at 11:49 pmPancakes

        Besides the fact Viktoriya doesn’t have a choice in her assignments, I think she stays around because for all she fears Tanya, she believes doing so will give her the best shot at living. Also thinking Tanya might have a sweet side with that promotion might have something to do with it :P

  • February 4, 2017 at 8:18 amordnance11

    Tanya is going by “They are more scared of me than the enemy” leadership model.Acceptable.

  • February 4, 2017 at 8:35 amSyaoran Li

    When Tanya screamed “Tamaya” after the bombing it made me laugh so hard. That’s one of the things I wanted to do when I was Japan but didn’t had the chance to.

  • February 4, 2017 at 10:27 amVelvet Scarlantina

    http://randomc.net/image/Youjo%20Senki/Youjo%20Senki%20-%2005%20-%20Large%2015.jpg

    It was at that moment, she realised that she fucked it up.

    Definitely one of the more hilarious episode and it really puts the LIVE in live firing exercise…

    For some strange reason, I was humming the tune of the 501st and 502nd…

    • February 4, 2017 at 10:44 amGuile

      I feel like that twitchy eye look would have done better the first time the cadets were all ‘Let’s go, men! Tanya-shishou is believing in us!’ and Viktoriya looks at Tanya’s face and goes ‘Waah! Well I’ll be going hup two hup two’

  • February 4, 2017 at 11:49 amNishizawa Mihashi

    Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh

    I love this episode :D

    And man those Dacians sure don’t have no courtesy huh? They should’ve applied for visas but noooooooooooo, they just barged in
    http://randomc.net/image/Youjo%20Senki/Youjo%20Senki%20-%2005%20-%20Large%2029.jpg

  • February 4, 2017 at 11:59 amNishizawa Mihashi

    Modern warfare indeed Mr. Salaryman. And it shall be that way even as we eventually expand into the 4th dimension: ‘cyber space’, and ultimately ‘outer space’: the final frontier.

    To be completely frank, a lot of folks just don’t really know what the term ‘modern’ means, conflating its meaning with being ‘up-to-date’/’contemporary’, but in reality it means far more than just that. I could write more, but for now I would just like to opine that the first true ‘proto-modern’ military really was the Roman military, especially since the beginning of the Imperial era. I am unsure about China, but I would assume that after the empire was first conceived, their military underwent similar changes but that is mere assumption for the moment unless more information is received and interpreted.

    • February 4, 2017 at 12:10 pmRedRocket

      Only comparable China army I seen in film did share a lot of similarities to the Roman Legion. Roughly same shield and short sword marching in close formation. But key similarity was the amount of artillery fire the army could put out. The China force did not use the arrow racks (frames where you load arrows sort of like a wine rack facing up and then a catapult like device slaps them into the sky) Ballista, Catapults and automatic dart throwers (think machine gun) but they used tons of foot bows and created the hail of fire that Legions were famous for. China and Rome were in regular contact and trading in that period and boarders of the Empires got within two hundred miles of each other. The Legion’s dominance of long range fire is often missed in admiring their machine like efficiency of infantry tactics. Took five years to train a Legion.

    • February 4, 2017 at 10:54 pmNishizawa Mihashi

      Interesting. The usual depictions of pre-modern Chinese artillery revolve around the use of rocket carts, but maybe those depictions are incorrect and that those were in fact used by the Koreans instead. Information is insufficient so nothing can be confirmed at this point.

      I am curious by what you said, that at a certain point in time the borders of both their empires were within 200 miles of each other but how is that possible? The furthest extent of the Roman borders in the east was as far as north-eastern Anatolia if you exclude their eastern client states. Furthermore, the Chinese empire’s furthest extent to the west at the time probably ended at the Gobi desert or Tibet, so I’m very confused. Trade did occur though probably not to any massive extent due to distance.

      • February 4, 2017 at 11:46 pmPancakes

        You’re correct the Roman and Chinese borders never got that close to one another. At best there was limited, tertiary trade (i.e. between two or more middle-states) between the two, with most surprisingly going through the Red Sea ports over to Indochina and Guangdong. Hell there’s only one known, speculative report of a Roman ambassador actually reaching China, and that one requires some substantial assumptions for missing information.

  • February 4, 2017 at 12:02 pmRedRocket

    This was a Curb stomp battle. And like it says in Curb Stomp on TV Tropes, the Curb Stomp is what any good military tries to do you have a duty to keep as many of your troops alive as possible and utterly defeat the enemy. So anytime you can arrange to massacre the other side and take not loses you take it.
    Reminds me of Gulf War One Iraq Tank formation commander after dark started having his last generation Soviet tanks die one after another and they could not even see the American Tanks so he surrendered. Turned out the M-1 night vision gear (Deep Infrared) that much superior to the Iraq gear and with perfect gyro stabilization the US tanks could fire from range they could not be seen while moving full speed and not be where they fired from for any Iraq counter fire.

  • February 4, 2017 at 12:18 pmBear

    Got to disagree with you about airpower since this is more of a WWI analog. Airpower is a WWII paradigm shift. Tanks in WWI were the change that broke the back of the trench warfare system that not even massive artillery could do. By being able to break through the trench lines so the infantry could advance beyond the first trenches was a major change. Artillery was unable to keep up or even cross ‘no man’s land’ quickly enough to support the attacking force in depth. The Germans were late in developing similar tanks and tactics to the Allies. Of course here “airpower” in the form of mages is far ahead of what was available to the generals of WWI.

    Oh, since we’re talking about inventions that changed warfare, I read a book recently “Engines of War” that pointed out that the biggest change in warfare in the 19th and early 20th century was the invention of the railroad. Without railroads the massive troop deployments and artillery would not have been sustainable. Bullets and beans. Heavy troop concentrations could not be maintained for long periods of time because without the railroads the supply train could not support them. Of course this had been overtaken by both truck and air supply means in WWII.

    Oh and I wouldn’t give Tanya credit for warning the factory personnel. Take a look at the faces in the factory when she was speaking. She used that cutesy child like voice to give the warning so they wouldn’t take it seriously. She met the “letter” and not the “spirit” of the law with malice of forethought expecting them to ignore her.

    • February 4, 2017 at 1:33 pmGuile

      Tanya would have you know that she is a staunch supporter of the Geneva Convention, and a pacifist. It’s all that Being X’s fault for putting her here, anyway.

    • February 4, 2017 at 2:50 pmRavenlord

      I don’t know about Tanya in the end… she looked genuinely pissed when Viktoria and that wing leader assumed she was faking the voice. That definitely wasn’t a prideful glare.

      • February 4, 2017 at 3:57 pmBear

        I think it was more that she was pissed that they were too stupid to realize what she was up to.

    • February 4, 2017 at 5:15 pmRedRocket

      Actually another shift was underway and only the tank saved the Allies bacon from losing to the Germans’s development of modern infantry tactics. The Germans were working on the concept using prior war examples when they captured a pamphlet made by a French officer on modern infantry tactics that the French Brass ignored but the Germans distributed wildly. The British also paid attention to the French pamphlet but moved slow on it. The troops the Germans trained in modern infantry tactics they called Stormtroopers and the first use of Stormtroopers resulted in major German gains as now you could take a trench line without huge casualties. Modern infantry tactics in a nut shell is moving in small squads using a light machine gun for cover fire all crawling froward under the cover of shell holes and one half of the squad providing fire support for moving element. (some times three sections in larger squads) Unfortunately for the Germans training infantry took time and they just did not have enough Stormtroopers the regular forces just used to hold like before. And then the tank gave the Allies the same trench clearing advantage the Stormtrooper did and the Allies had more plus American Forces who did not actually train in modern infantry tactics but sort of did them by instinct. Americans had learned at Cold Harbor in the Civil War that mass infantry charges did not work anymore, Europe would have learned a lot on how to fight a trench war had they taken the lessons learned in the last year of the Civil War. Airpower grew at roughly same rate on the western front and would have been decisive in it’s ability to spot for artillery and disrupt rear areas if used against a non airpower opponent.
      Rail was key in WWII trucks cannot get anywhere close to the hauling ability of trains even modern days trains rule and have made major gains against road trucking once rail systems were updated. Road Trucking only gained a major foothold because US subsidized road trucking by paying for their roads and not even charging them enough to cover the wear the trucks put on them. Massive amounts of rail equipment was made ready in Britain before the invasion and the French rails put back into action as fast as possible as we invaded. Major truck oppositions were needed but only temporarily until the rails could go back to full use. Where trucks were decisive was ability to move mobile forces forward quickly to places the rails could not go mainly keeping up with the tanks except for the American no one had enough trucks to carry all ground forces.
      In the story air mages main use had been very effective use of artillery the King of Battle. Now we going to see more the invention of the helicopter and ability to insert special forces to war.

      • February 4, 2017 at 5:28 pmRedRocket

        Major truck operations not Major truck oppositions.

      • February 4, 2017 at 6:05 pmBear

        But as you point out, trains can only go where there are rails. “The last mile” was a problem for them since they were then exposed to enemy fire. One area of logistics in previous wars that I wasn’t aware of was the use of 60 cm mini rail lines to service the front before trucks became available. Easier to place and to repair and less subject to attack. Still tracks had to be laid and the trains couldn’t keep up with a moving front.

        Trucks do provide more mobility as a tradeoff for load carrying capabilities, but the “Red Ball Express” in WWII couldn’t even keep up with necessary tonnage to supply the front. Part of the problem being it’s massive consumption of fuel.

    • February 4, 2017 at 11:37 pmPancakes

      When considering WW1 alone, yes airpower was nothing compared to tanks given its recent birth. I was referring to 20th Century warfare in general, however, considering Tanya was musing on airpower from a modern perspective with full knowledge of airpower’s strategic potential.

      Also agreed with you on Tanya’s intention. She obviously cares not for such laws, but I don’t think she intended for trickery in this case. Given who Tanya is, she knew she had to make the declaration considering the legality—notice how her subordinates were nervous about her initially handing the duty off onto Viktoriya—but wasn’t required to treat the act seriously, thus the childish message. Any deception was an added bonus to Tanya finding amusement in a superfluous task.

      • February 5, 2017 at 4:40 pmordnance11

        Very true. Remember the last episode on the classroom. The senior officer on the spot takes responsibility. If she attacks in defiance of international law, she’s in hot water. If she gives warning, the element of surprise is lost and her subordinates balk. So giving the warning in a cute voice..satisfies the requirements. Lughren cannot put her in hot water.

  • February 4, 2017 at 6:36 pmkurt

    viktoria in the manga was beautiful like some princess while in this she remind me of a certain frog girl…but weirdly i prefer this viktoria…making her more funny to watch hohoho

    • February 7, 2017 at 5:26 pmBlue

      I prefer manga/book Viktoria, but this one has her own charms. With the incredibly huge eyes, watching her is like watching a puppy trying to be serious. Adorable.

  • February 4, 2017 at 8:56 pmKasper Hekmatyar

    Since Oz-san / Passerby-dono covered Izetta back in 2016, I really want to know what his take on this anime.
    I mean, I also had similar conclusion with him about Izetta, which is basically good premise but bad execution and going downhill with all the unnecessary things and worse direction.

    However I’m having a blast with this loli-salaryman-chan.
    Especially her “WHAT NO VISA?!” joke :’))
    It’s so 2017…
    …too soon?

  • February 5, 2017 at 2:19 pmNork22

    Don’t know if anyone cared or noticed, but someone at the reddit thread noted that Tanya’s graduation speech for her battalion was straight out of Full Metal Jacket.

    Guess it’s parallel to the fact she essentially created a marine task force for the German army.

    • February 5, 2017 at 4:21 pmjhpace1

      I’m expecting Einsenhower or Patton quotes any moment.

  • February 8, 2017 at 4:34 pmSissy

    With how easy that fight was, I do worry that at some point Tanya is gonna get her ass handed to her in a very disgraceful way. Like, cringe worthy. >____<

    • February 8, 2017 at 7:00 pmGuile

      But she has so many excellent meatshields- I mean, subordinates now!

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