“Beginning of Madness”
After they successfully overtake the Dakian capital, Gen. Ruedeldorf transfers Tanya’s mage battalion to Norden to fight off the Entente forces at the border. Tanya relieves another mage company that has fallen under attack and pushes back her enemies, but her attempt to find survivors among the wreckage leads to another encounter with Being X.
With more focus placed toward battles and the overall war strategy in this episode, it felt more engaging than the last one despite not being structurally different. As it turns out, Dakia’s lack of mages doesn’t extend to the rest of Germania’s enemies as a failed attempt to hold back the Entente forces during an attack sees some of their mages taking a severe beating.
Of course, Tanya’s ‘Pixie’ battalion doesn’t seem to have all that much trouble at all. Showing the importance of higher ground, even in an air battle, was a nice touch to show exactly why Tanya and the others were able to come out on top. I was a little confused by the fact that they could all reach higher than standard altitudes though. Wasn’t Tanya’s computation jewel the only one capable of doing that? In any event, there are some rather neat scenes where Tanya really shows her strength, uttering prayers as if she’s never had any reluctance to do so.
Thankfully, this doesn’t go wholly ignored. Being X’s sudden reappearance rattles her, and lets her make good on what she said she would do 2 episodes ago (for all the good it did). His threat that “A great crusade to punish the blasphemer has begun” is a clear indication that he still finds her unfaithful. What’s more, her battlefield success will encourage the other countries to fight even harder against her. The taunt clearly gets under Tanya’s skin, but as yet she’s willing to take on whatever stands against her.
The short bit with the Entente mage, Anson Sioux, raises a lot of questions. For example: the lingering shot on the girl in his family photo doesn’t look like anyone we’ve seen yet, so it may just be foreshadowing. At the very least Sioux seems to be a possible contender for Tanya, if for no other reason than his superiors were killed (maybe by Tanya).
– The battle scenes are pretty good this time.
– The story is building as a form of punishment for Tanya.
– While we see glimpses of Tanya as something more than a sadistic maniac, without significant challenges her development keeps stalling.
After overtaking the Dakian capital, the Mage Battalion receives a transfer order to head to Norden. Their mission involves subduing the Triple Entente Alliance, which has launched several attacks on the Empire’s territory. It is believed that, like Dakia, the Entente are ill-equipped to maintain a lengthy war. Tayna surmises that the enemy forces must be receiving aid from the Republic and/or the Allied Kingdom, to have maintained power for this long.
As I mentioned in last weeks review, the conflict with Being X had been sidelined for a couple episodes. The mystifying deity’s return was highlighted in a particularly gruesome way; by possessing the corpse of a dead soldier. With the philosophical viewpoint about God aside, it is difficult to determine the motives behind Being X. In prior appearances, the intent was to seemingly sway Tanya towards embracing the power of a higher being. But in this episode, Being X’s purpose has shifted towards making Tanya’s life increasingly difficult, to the point of taunting her. This suggests there is a more sinister agenda unfolding.
Aside from the unclear focus, the deadpan humor that initially drew my interest has become lost among the increasing combat scenes. Given that the narrative is meant to unravel amid a war torn world, the shift towards battle isn’t necessarily disappointing, but this series is definitely lacking the charm of earlier episodes.
– Combat scenes are fluid and visually well animated.
– Being X has finally resurfaced.
– Being X’s motives are not entirely clear anymore.
– The charm found in initial episodes has disappeared.
This post is part of our seasonal episodic review series. To view all the posts in this series, click the following link: Viewing Party