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The Saga of Tanya the Evil Anime Review

The Saga of Tanya the Evil Anime Review

Welcome to the Imouri Anime Review, where people vote for an anime that the Imouri team will review. The anime will be reviewed using these four criteria; Story, Animation, Character Development, and World-Building. Each category will be given of score (1-10), and then an overall score will be determined.

It's the new year, and that means more anime to review. What better way to celebrate the new year than to review Isekai themed anime. The users from the Secret Anime Club voted for three Isekai anime. It was a close vote, but The Saga of Tanya the Evil was the anime chosen for the January 2021 review.

The Story

The Saga of Tanya the Evil takes place in an alternate version of Europe, during the late interwar period. This period is between the end of the First World War and the Second World War. Tanya von Degurechaff, also known as the "Devil of the Rhine," holds a secret that she is a re-incarnated person whose past life was that of a salaryman in modern-day Japan. In Tanya's past life, he was murdered, and during the brief moments before his life ended, he challenged "Being X," also know as God. He is then reborn in an alternate version of Europe as Tanya, who harbors deep magical power. When Tanya was old enough, she joined the Empire's military Mage troops and quickly rose to power, becoming Second Lieutenant.

The Saga of Tanya the Evil is an exciting story in different facets. First, it takes place in an alternate version of Europe right before WWII. The difference is that science is enhanced in this era due to the abundance of magic. I think that gives this story a touch of flair and adds a unique element to the war. The story mostly centers around Tanya and her troops as they carry out various missions, which I don't mind at all. Tanya is a complex character at heart, and after all, it's a story about her.

The second thing I like about the story is that it's a story of defiance and survival. Tanya is actively doing all she can to defy "Being X" and the situation that was placed upon her. She often comments on how she wants a comfortable desk job and continuously talks about the fact that Tanya will have beaten "Being X" at his own game if she achieves her goal. However, to get her sought out desk job, she has to survive on the battlefield. Because of her magic talents, resourcefulness and intellect, she is often thrown into some of the worse battles the Empire faces.

The last thing I want to mention is the portrayal of sides in the anime. The Empire is essentially a unified Imperial Germany. As we know it, Germany, during that period, was Nazi Germany under Hitler's leadership. We know Hitler and Nazi Germany were terrible. On the other hand, the Empire doesn't have a Hitler, but still has a strong military and always seems to have conflicts with its neighboring countries. We see Tanya and the Empire as the protagonist and ultimately the good guys in the war, but the roles can be easily reversed in reality. We are made to root for Tanya and the Empire because the story makes the Empire look good, but they could be bad.

Overall, I think the story is unique, complex, and gives us a different perspective by showing us what is essentially Germany's side of the war and gives us someone to root for, despite Tanya's ruthlessness. I do feel the story lacks memorable characters. I think Tanya and her second in command Viktoriya Serebryakov are the only two characters worth talking about, especially when it comes to character development.
Story Score: 9/10

The Animation

I like the Saga of Tanya the Evil because it's animation, mostly the high-speed battles during the series. The animation is very fluid and portrays the intensity of each conflict Tanya, and her troops face. I also love the magic cast animation that Tanya performs. It's vibrant and bright compared to the darker tones of the rest of the anime, precisely the background.

The characters in the series are drawn pretty realistically, except for both Tanya and Viktoriya. I feel their character design and the animation looks a bit out of place for the series. In some ways, it seems silly, especially Viktoriya. Both of their faces make me want to laugh because of the stark differences in character design versus the other characters in the anime. Tanya and Viktoriya's design sort of throws off the vibe of the series. The animation during some of Tanya's psychotic rants seems very funny and almost cartoonish and slightly breaks away from traditional anime animation.

Overall, I like the fight scenes in the series, and I enjoy the animation done when magic spells are cast via praying. The two main characters' character designs are okay and seem off for the rest of the anime.
Animation Score: 6/10

Character Development

As I have said before, Tanya is a very complex character. On the one hand, Tanya is her little girl self, and on the other hand, usually shown most of the time, she is her psychotic, calculating self, which stems from her past life. She does retain her intelligence she once had in her previous life as a Salary Man. Tanya was able to use this intelligence to build herself up in the ranks of the military. However, it's her ruthlessness that shines in the series. At first, you a ruthless little girl with a massive amount of power, controlling the battlefield with fear. However, as the story continues and with the help of Viktoriya, you start to see more sides of Tanya.

You can see either Tanya starts to grow as a person or has always had another side of her; a caring side. Viktoriya grows and learns to respect her because Tanya has saved Viktoriya's life in the past. Viktoriya seems to think that Tanya is so hard on her comrades because she is sadistic, but she is training and preparing them for survival during war. We can see this behavior develop more throughout the series, albeit in small doses. She has even rewarded her comrades when they have done well in their duty. Her hostility is a form of love for the people she commands.

Another thing we must talk about is her absolute hatred for "Being X," aka God. She has actively shown complete contempt for "Being X," yet despite that, she often prays to him when she needs to use her magic as that is the only way she can use her spells. Tanya knows this, and still, she swallows her pride and prays. In this manner, she tends to be somewhat of a hypocrite, saying she doesn't need God and will take his place, yet relies on God's power.

Overall, she does have some development from her character throughout the series. She uses her little girl persona to her advantage at some points during the series, but she tends to be the same for the most part; twisted, calculating, intelligent, and psychotic.
Character Development Score: 7/10

World-Building

The world of The Saga of Tanya the Evil is much like ours. We see other nations throughout the series, such as their version of Russia, Brittan, and even the U.S. The biggest difference being is that in the series, magic exists, and everyone knows it. We sometimes get to see what the other countries are doing during the war and how it impacts their nation.

I like how religion does play a role in the series. It seems that most nations know about magic and "Being X." This is interesting because, from a world-building view, we can see that most countries practice what seems to be one religion, a type of Christianity religion. "Being X," or what the natives to the world refer to as God, often pray to God for various reasons, but moreover because they have to pray to access the magic. So from our point of view, we can see that the world practices essentially one unified religion.

Overall, the world is much like ours during the interwar period, but with subtle changes and twists. Of course, the different countries are named differently from our world, but the whole setup gives us a sense of familiarity. This world is almost a reflection of our own, which makes watching the series familiar.
World-Building Score: 8/10

Final Thoughts

I enjoyed The Saga of Tanya the Evil. I know some people out there call her Loli Hitler. Even when you Google that phrase, Tanya's picture shows up in the search results. Let us not put that impression on Tanya because she doesn't portray him in the slightest. The series is excellent, and it makes you want to root for virtually the bad guys. It can get a bit intense sometimes, but it's fun and very entertaining to watch. I recommend this anime to anyone who loves action and anime that involves war.

Overall Score: 8/10

*All images are from the My Anime List website. We do not own any of these images. Credit to all artists of the images.