「前進準備」 (Zenshin Junbi)
“Preparations for Advance”
Got to hand it to Youjo Senki, the show sure knows how to keep advancing. After last week’s dive into one of war’s primary legal conundrums, this time is all about mad scientists, future weaponry, and the doctrine of decisive battles.
With only three episodes remaining, it’s not particularly surprising this episode was largely a buildup one. The Empire intends on settling matters through one swift stroke, and such large, complex operations require extensive preparation. Using a feigned retreat (i.e. elastic defense) is a novel idea—particularly on this scale—but not the first of its kind. Tanya’s reference to Austerlitz and Cannae are the quintessential examples for this tactic, but there’s also the 1241 Battle of Liegnitz and the famous Spartan defense at Thermopylae. It’s nothing new militarily, but structurally this strategy provides a good “out” for Youjo Senki’s finale. Either the Empire wins as hoped and Tanya ascends into a life of luxurious security, or things screw up colossally and we see how tough the little loli actually is when looking defeat in the eye. Depending on sequel potential, all bases are reasonably covered. Personally though I’m betting on the Empire’s attack ultimately failing. Maybe not initially, but later on, whether due to the Republican command having greater decentralization than expected (i.e. the front not disintegrating in the confusion), or through the actions of men like Anson Sue. Several critical parts with significant influence have yet to be accounted for, plus I get Operation Michael vibes just thinking about the plan.
Part of what also leads me to expect defeat for Tanya this time around is the obvious interference of God. The ever hilarious (mad) scientist Schugel, no matter his smarts, did not suddenly leap over 20 years of rocketry development all by himself, not with the current technological basis shown. Furthermore is Zettour’s influence on these ideas—he and Rudersdorf are quickly proving to be this world’s strategic masterminds—and of course Anson Sue’s newfound anti-loli mission. There’s too many shifts in intention and thought for it all to be mere coincidence. Given Tanya is increasingly mocking the heavenly father and openly determined to defeat him, I cannot see the guy disappearing now while His pet project remains recalcitrant. I expect we have one more grand appearance left in Being X this season.
On another note, this week was surprising in terms of battalion dynamics. For the first time Tanya’s forces actually took serious casualties, and not in any small number either. While no one died (yet), it does remove the veil of invulnerability built up so far, and lends credence to the idea of defeat when only 12 mages including Tanya are rocketing (heh) in on the enemy HQs. I seriously doubt everyone will come out this mission alive, and Glantz in particular looks like the optimal target. We know Glantz didn’t shoot Tanya for example, plus there’s that friendliness with Viktoriya that just screams for some suffering. There’s quite a few questions here remaining unanswered, and no real indication how they will be resolved. Considering the preparations are out the way though, you can be sure the discovery is going to be one hell of a ride.
I find it hilarious how Zettour wanted a breakthrough device and wound up with the rocket instead of the tank. Considering operable rocket designs never appeared until the late 1930s (the V-1 itself only in late 1942) in real life, it’s a good bet God nudged Schugel along.