「狂気の幕開け」 (Kyouki no makuake)
“Beginning of Madness”
For better or worse (mostly better), Youjo Senki seems to have found its groove. It’s a foregone conclusion that Tanya will end up obliterating something in any given episode, with the only surprise being who and in what capacity. This week of course saw the Scandinavian stand-ins wind up as the designated punching bag, and was it ever a one-sided ravaging. I mentioned it before, but what makes Tanya’s antics so amusing is her external (i.e. visual) attitude. Yuuki Aoi’s voice acting and Tanya’s facial expressions complement each other so well you can feel the anticipation and excitement just before our little loli engages the overdrive. Tanya’s demeanour likewise transforms otherwise typical war scenes like the mission briefing from easily forgotten buildups into entertaining interludes.
The one noticeable concern I have now, however, is Tanya’s lack of clear weakness. Others have pointed it out before, but I think this episode highlights the Mary Sue (Gary Stu?) issue the best. We had the first serious talk on mage limitations in the form of altitude, which Tanya (and her battalion) of course are not bound by. Combine that with the godly magic device our little loli possesses, her ability to crush everything she comes across, and a newfound magic tracing power, and I’m hard pressed to identify something actually holding her back. Yes we can go into personality and Tanya’s inability to think beyond rational models, or even Tanya’s subordination to the Imperial General Staff, but so far these elements have not provided any significant consequences beyond stalled staff promotion. It seems whatever situation Tanya is thrown into, she comes out relatively unscathed.
Thankfully though we have the ever trusty
God Being X to fall back upon as a source of pain. God seems to have abandoned the carrot in favour of the stick, possessing dead bodies to malevolently let our little loli know he is done waiting. Nothing is off the table apparently as God has deemed it worthwhile to use peoples and nations as pawns in the struggle for divine supremacy. Literally moving heaven and earth in the name of religious conversion is a new one, but definitely opens doors for throwing something interesting and challenging at Tanya. My hope is this new development yields a situation Tanya cannot solve by simply blasting her way through it by herself. Introducing personnel deaths, giving Tanya the taste of defeat and/or calling her skill into question would let us see how well she performs under pressure, plus make these well-choreographed battles even more interesting. Doubly so if Tanya encounters an enemy who is as every bit skilled as she and potentially as ruthless to boot. Considering the focus on the earlier enemy captain, we might not have long to wait.
While some interesting pieces have now emerged here, looks like we will have to wait a bit to see how it all plays out. Next week is a recap episode, which means a two week break before we see what crazy shenanigans Tanya gets up to again. Might seem bad on the surface, but trust me, the anticipation will make Youjo Senki’s return all the more better 😛