Saga of Tanya the Evil Review

youjo-senki-saga-of-tanya-the-evilStory:
Tanya didn’t used to be a girl. She used to be a salaryman in modern day Japan in line for a promotion. Until he (she?) died and challenged God. Now she’s fighting for her life in a reborn body, in another world torn by war.

Violence:
High. This is another show with a lot of bullet wounds, knife gashes and blood everywhere. A near tip over into an M rating, but just barely avoiding it. If you are even a little squeamish about violence, this isn’t for you.

Language:
Quite a few b-words, sh-ts and such. Like the violence, this show isn’t shy about fully using its TV14 rating.

Nudity:
We’re pretty much spared this one entirely. Considering the set up, I was expecting some pervy stuff. Thankfully our lead is committed entirely to moving up the ranks and no time is given to fanservice in any normal sense of the word. There are one or two innuendo cracks by the other solders, but not much.

Theology/mythology:
Reincarnation, God and morals are constant topics in this show. The lead is an atheist to the extreme and even calls God “Being X” for much of the series. However, the conclusion of this show doesn’t really give a clear “this is truth, this is not” message, leaving such things up to the audience. While you could say that the show implies God is cruel and malicious, there’s plenty of evidence for humans being far worse. This is one of those shows that, while containing religious topics at its core, isn’t pushing any agendas towards its audience.

Personal impression:
This is suuuuch a strange show. When it was first announced as part of the winter/spring line up for this year, I was worried as it was being handled by a new studio. But if this show is any indication, we might have a decent production company here. The art and music are consistent, even good, and the story… ok, the story is odd. Very. As is the lead, who is neither a hero nor a villain, but some grey area in between. “Being X” is even more strange, especially as we only “see” that character through Tanya’s very bias eyes. So if the typical school girls fight monsters story lines are boring you, rejoice. Also, the action is pretty high and well choreographed, which keeps the episodes from getting too bogged down by all the war and strategy talk scenes with political leaders.
The biggest issue for this show is in not having a clearcut message by the end or even much of a conclusion. Tanya continues on as she was at the start, which makes everything that happens throughout the show seem…. pointless? My end thoughts were: interesting ride, but the destination looks pretty close to where we started.
Overall, this is a very unique title. We don’t get these much in anime these days. I’ll give this new studio props for that. But they need a clear destination for the story. All that action only works if we get somewhere by the end. Unless, of course, you just like watching fight scenes for the sake of the fighting alone, in which case you’ll probably enjoy this just fine.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Action
Production: NUT
Company: Kadokawa Pictures
Official streaming: crunchyroll