Do you want to know why I initially got into anime, or (what they called it at the time) Japanimation? This. This is why. Shows like Yojo Senki. You have never seen a story like this before. You have not even seen anything remotely LIKE this series before from any Western sources. I like unique narratives, and most of all I like GOOD uncommon tales. Yojo Senki, aka The Saga of Tanya the Evil is one of the most unique things I've ever seen.
I'm going to spoil a bit of its setup now, so stop reading if you want to go in blind (as you should). Just know that this series is highly recommended.
The Saga of Tanya the Evil goes a little something like this: It's an alternate Earth in the 1920s. WWI is only now just getting under weigh in Europe, and "the Empire" (essentially this world's Germany) is fighting a multi-front war against its neighbors. Into this bloody conflict comes a ten year-old little blonde girl with crazy eyes called Tanya Degurechaff. Tanya is one of the Empire's special mage soldiers, or fighters who can use their rare magical abilities to fly, produce energy shields, create illusions, and fire explosive bullets at their enemies.
Tanya and her small platoon of Imperial mages are used as surgical weapons against the allied nations that are trying to hold the Germanic Empire in check, and push back its advances. They fly around the battlefield hitting strategic targets well behind enemy lines, causing as much death, destruction, and dismay as they can.
You think that's weird and different enough for you? Well then, let me hit you with this: Tanya is actually a murdered atheist Japanese business man from our modern world who believes in social Darwinism, and who was cursed to reincarnate into this Aryan girl's body due to the machinations and meddling of an uppity cosmic being that calls itself "God." This business man, even in the seconds before his death (of getting pushed in front of a train by a subordinate that he recently fired), refuses to believe in God or the Devil, despite being confronted by this strange and powerful entity (that seems to freeze time and taunt him by using the bodies of the horrified onlookers as his avatars). This "Being X," as the salaryman calls it, starts to get pissed at the guy's lack of belief in him, and tells the man that in order to prove its godliness to him that this business man will be forced to live life over again, but this time in a body and time not of his choosing. Being X also tells him that the only way to avoid an eternity of Hell after he dies, he will either have to start worshiping this cosmic entity, or die a natural death. Hence being forced to live a new life in the body of a frail little girl at the outset of a global war.
But this Tanya doesn't give up or give in. She maintains all of her previous life's memories, and makes it her mission to use her knowledge gained from a life of ruthless business tactics and a knowledge of military history to try and rise through the ranks and make it to a post safely in the security of the Empire's HQ, way behind the front lines.
Of course Being X interferes multiple times though, each instance doing something that would ensure Tanya being used for risky magical experiments or jeopardous military operations due to her strong mage abilities and strong tactical knowledge. Each time Tanya gets closer and closer to an unnatural death.
What I loved most about this show was Tanya's determination to piss in Being X's face, and lead her men on into battle despite being a preteen girl with the soul of an old Japanese man who believes that the weak should die to make way for a strong world. She never surrenders, and almost always speaks her mind... When rank allows it.
END OF EVIL SPOILERS
I could not get enough of Tanya and her plight. I liked pretty much everything about this series — the art style, the music, the setting, and the characters — except how it ended. No, it didn't have a bad ending, it just simply didn't have ANY ending. It was obvious that it was simply going to stop and place its bet on a second season near the end of this short 12 episode run. Obvious even more in hindsight due to the fact that the light novels that it's based on are still being written. Ugh. I fucking hate that. My friend Mehve is right... Most anime nowadays are just commercials for ongoing light novel series. It's a craps shoot if we'll ever see shows based on them completed with an actual ending or not. All the funders want is for people to buy more books, where the real money is, apparently.
But other than wishing for a tidy, wrapped up storyline with a big bow on it, I have nothing to complain about with Yojo Senki. Unless you seriously can't stand war stories, give it a go.
Ahhhhh. I remember the first time I strapped a rocket-pack to a young girl, handed her a rifle, and then shot her off towards a battlefront... Good times.
No, I can't expand upon that story any more, sorry. No, it's not due to getting arrested for allegedly "blowing up an eleven year-old child 300 meters above the city," but because my patent on that rocket-pack is still pending. Yes, it still has a few bugs to work out, but so did the atom bomb, and that worked out marvelously for everyone! By "marvelously for everyone," I mean scientists, arms dealers, and NOT Japan.
Ich verstehe nicht! Warum nehmen sie den herrlichen Namen des Vaterlandes und reden ihn ständig durch den Schlamm in diesen japanischen Karikaturen! Ich dachte, dass sie unsere Verbündeten waren ... Nun, ich meine unsere Axis-Verbündeten.
Ich habe nicht geschätzt, wie sie uns aussehen ließen wie wir einen japanischen Mann im Körper eines kleinen blonden Mädchens brauchten, um diesen Krieg zu gewinnen! Okay, ich vermute, dass ich verstehe, dass wir zunächst den Großen Krieg verloren haben, aber trotzdem. Es musste kein japanischer Mann sein, der in ein blondes Mädchen reinkarnierte, das unsere Hintern aus dem Bösen England und Frankreich rettet. Warum konnte es nicht einfach ein deutscher Mann sein, der in den Körper eines jungen, geschmeidigen, engen und schönen blonden Mädchens geboren wurde? Oder ein kleiner Junge Ein tantelisierender junger, fester, haarloser Junge ...
Entschuldigung, aber ich werde in meinem Bunker sein.