Tayna receives a promotion to first lieutenant and reassigned to the military capital after being the only person to successfully use Dr. von Schugel’s magical conduit invention. Her success lies in the power of prayer, so it seems. With Tanya depending on this power to survive the front lies, though doesn’t truly believe in it, what will Being X have in store for her next?
This week’s episode continues the thread from last week and delivers the final piece of backstory to catch viewers up to where the first episode left off. Tanya’s heroics land her in another seemingly favorable position away from the front lines, but this wouldn’t be a series if thing didn’t turn out badly for our protagonist anyway.
The experimental technology division causes Tanya no lack of grief as the token mad scientist subjects her to frequent failed tests of his latest computation device. It frequently explodes when Tanya is forced to push its limits by flying to higher altitudes than the standard equipment allows. Quickly getting fed up with being blown up time and again (though seemingly unharmed?) she requests a transfer and to have the experimental program shut down. This, however, leads to another encounter with “Being X” for the first time in ten years.
As yet, Tanya has shown no motivation to seek redemption via worship of God. “Being X” thus inspires the mad scientist to do a final test with Tanya’s safety mechanisms disabled, and in doing so finally succeeds in bending Tanya to his will. By telling her that the device will only function if she prays before using it, he forces Tanya to utter the words of devotion to prevent injury or death when using the equipment. The idea is that if she says the words long enough, she will eventually believe them.
This brings us full circle in understanding why Tanya is so much more powerful than the other mages in her division and why she speaks a prayer before using her magic. I’m honestly not sure what to expect from the rest of this series now, though I imagine the story will refocus on the war at hand and delve into just what it will take to spark genuine change in Tanya. These last two episodes end on a rather silly note, and the prevailing tone seems to root itself as gritty yet slightly humorous. With the explanation episodes out of the way, the path forward could go in any direction at this point.
– Tanya’s background is completed in a semi-convincing way
– Her character acts consistently, even when promoting Viktoriya
– Supporting characters are just caricature at this point
– The stark shifts between serious and silly aren’t smooth at all
Though I am still intrigued by this series, I’m unclear as to where Tanya the Evil is headed. With her origin story complete, the narrative will likely shift focus to the actual war. Already the audience has a passing knowledge of the war efforts and some of the supporting characters assigned to the front lines. The episodes have, however, mainly focused entirely on Tanya. Some may recall that much of the first episode unfolded a bit from Viktoriya’s (Tanya’s chief subordinate) view. To highlight Tanya’s domineering, unscrupulous qualities, Viktoriya’s democratic, just attitude is a worthy foil. Sadly this may end up being the only capacity her character is used in.
The crux of Tanya the Evil lies in the entity, referred to as Being X, and the persuasive tactics employed to sway Tanya towards appreciating life and God’s role in the universe. Viewers may recall the protagonists’ former life as a ruthless salaryman, who views merit and dedication as the only route to success. Leaving no room for God in his narrow outlook, the salaryman is forced to pay his dues when met with sudden death and reincarnation. As Tanya, the salaryman deduces his situation to be a ploy by Being X to force him into believing in God. So this series, essentially, is as much about this man attempting to prove this entity wrong, as it is Being X convincing Tanya to embrace faith. I’m intrigued to see how this series symbolically ties war and moral convictions together.
For me to fully value the message this series is attempting to deliver, a few points need clarified. To start with, what makes Tanya’s soul in particular so valued that Being X is determined to alter her moral compass? Another question raised from this episode is what lesson is Tanya learning by having her powers strengthened through bogus prayer? The irony of Tanya’s actions to make her current situation easier inadvertently make her a hero. So, I think whatever she is suppose to be learning about righteousness is lost.
– Origin of Tanya fully established.
– Conflict between Tanya and Being X revisited
– Unsure what moral lesson, if any, Tanya is receiving (though this will likely change as the series progresses.)
This post is part of our seasonal episodic review series. To view all the posts in this series, click the following link: Viewing Party