The episode takes a step back to show Tanya’s origins as a Japanese Salaryman. After his death, his reincarnation as a newborn girl sees him in a world not unlike his own but in a different, more violent, era that also has magic. Tanya quickly establishes herself in the military due to her abilities and begins down the path towards where she is today.
This episode provides some much needed backstory as to who Tanya is. Her former life as a salaryman, who had a very strict attitude towards work and no compassion for his fellow coworker, makes sense in being able to transition to a authoritative military position (one of the few things that does make sense so far). After an untimely death he is reincarnated in an attempt to impress upon him the notion of faith in a higher being. Tanya is thus reborn in a dangerous and violent time to undergo a trial by fire.
What I said about this being WWI last time wasn’t entirely accurate. For one, the year is 1923, allowing for a few elements of post WWI technology (and well, magic). Also, though the imagery more closely matches 1914-ish Germany, the social aspects feel a little more pre-WWII. It’s as though the writers thought “Oh Austria-Hungary went to war? Well, I guess we will too” was too boring a setup for the conflict, but I guess it’s not really important.
Putting “The fear of God” into Tanya seems an iffy prospect thus far, as the same ruthlessness that allows her to succeed in her former life gives her a comfortable position in the army, and a clear strategy to keep from being killed again. All that is thrown out the window, however, when an impromptu border defense sees her fighting for her survival.
The animation is holding up decently, and features a lot of aerial combat in this episode. It’s like watching a dogfight without actual planes, which sounds weird but is kind of cool once they get into it. It’s still a lot of dreary war imagery though, and if that’s not your thing you shouldn’t expect it to change anytime soon.
The tone of the episode is meant to reaffirm that Tanya shows no hesitation in doing what’s required of her, but also that she is almost comically resigned to her situation. For better or worse, this is her life now and she had better get used to it. No matter how weird things might get.
– Tanya’s motivation fleshed out a little more
– Impressively animated fight sequences
– Unpredictable tone
– That corporal’s character design
In the premiere episode review I discussed how the absence of significant background information meant no real emotional connection to the characters could be established. Well, episode 2 completely made up for this. Appropriately named “Prologue,” viewers witness Tayna’s former life as a highly successful salaryman, death, reincarnation, and rise through the military ranks.
The other point of contention I had with the previous episode was the recycled animation; using the exact same facial features for background characters. While I’m still certain this issue will arise again during heavy battle scenes, it wasn’t a distraction for this episode.
Finally, I had discussed how Tanya’s overly tsundere character was already becoming annoying. Well, it may be too soon to eat crow but her dry humor and sarcasm what maintained my interest throughout episode 2. Tanya is methodically insane and, at this point, I can’t get enough of it.
– In depth background on main protagonist; motives of the character established.
– Tanya’s dry humor and calculating madness is truly entertaining.
– Still in the dark about the supporting characters introduced in premiere episode. (This will likely be cleared up soon).
This post is part of our seasonal episodic review series. To view all the posts in this series, click the following link: Viewing Party