“Preparations for Advance”
With supplies running thin, the Empire formulates a plan to take out the Republic forces in one swift motion. The Rhine front is pulled back to draw the Republic into an ill-fated advance, but an inventive idea is needed in order to take out their rear HQ. A certain mad scientist answers the call, with plans for Tanya’s battalion.
War strategy is a tricky thing at times, as a commander must make decisions based on the cards in his hand without knowing exactly what the opponent holds in his. Unlike a game of chess where all the pieces are visible, the fog of war can obstruct an opponent’s motive. This is what Imperial high command relies upon when they plan the double feint that this episode focuses on. The Republic knows that Arene disrupted the Empire’s supply lines along the Rhine. In response, the Empire plots a false offensive to mask a false retreat, with the ultimate aim of luring in Republic forces for encirclement and end the war.
Tanya has her luck (or karma) to thank for being commanded to act as the rearguard for the retreat. The Empire suffers heavy casualties with the Pixie battalion not avoiding losses either. Grantz is still suffering from the psychological wounds of what he was forced to do at Arene, but is consoled by Viktoriya who, in her cheerful way, reminds him that the commanding officer is responsible for the soldier’s actions. So Grantz can think of Tanya as the bad guy. Good for him?
The retreat doesn’t serve its purpose unless the Empire can take out the Republic rear forces, though. To this end Doctor Schugel makes a reappearance. Thanks to his wacky science, the V-1 rocket makes its debut sooner than history recalls. Of course, any plan of Schugel’s lands Tanya in hot water, and the episode cites the lack of aerodynamics and guidance systems as a reason to stuff her and eleven other mages into the rockets. When this show isn’t being depressingly violent, it really is brilliantly entertaining.
Where there was a fear that the series had lapsed in its angle of making life hell for Tanya, this episode reminds that fate doesn’t smile kindly on her no matter how much she seems to have the upper hand at times. Still determined to “pound free market principles” into Being X, she doesn’t back down from any of these threats to her safety.
The next couple episodes may prove to be exciting with Tanya and her group behind enemy lines and tasked with taking out Republic command. The series may very well wrap up this season after all, so I’m looking forward to what next week brings.
– As ridiculous as Dr. Schugel is, this series gets a shot in the arm by bringing him back.
– Being X maybe heard my complaints about the new ED as Los! Los! Los! makes its return.
– The buildup for this plan is kind of dry, with the main development happening late.
Finally, the mad scientist, Dr. Schugel, has returned! With the last few episodes showcasing the grim reminders of war, the insanity that surrounds Dr. Schugel was the invigorating boost needed to captivate the audience once again. Aside from setting up Tanya and her battalion to infiltrate enemy lines, Dr. Schugel moralizes about how God inspired him to create his latest project. So, I’m fully anticipating Being X returning in the next episode.
To offset the riveting battle scenes, Tanya the Evil tends to fill gaps with strategic planning meetings and this episode has no shortage of them. To be honest, I find it rather boring watching military officers rattle off war terms and tactics that I’d rather watch play out then hear discussed. This time could be focused on developing the characters more; in an effort to create a more relatable cast or, at the very least, invoke more sympathy for their struggles.
Though Tanya the Evil isn’t the type of series to shy away from controversial, there was one scene that made a lasting impression on WeekendOtaku and me. It unfolds in the medical tent where Viktoriya is getting bandaged up by Grantz, following a rather epic battle scene. After a little heart to heart talk, Viktoriya and Grantz are shown laughing hysterically; while a soldier in the foreground, groans in agony.
While the setup appears wildly inappropriate, viewers later learn that the soldier was not suffering from some mortal battle wound. During an epilogue scene, it is revealed the soldier ate a bad potato and is being sent home to recover. This leaves Tanya in a predicament, having to cover up the incident with a more honorable reason to discharge him. I’m convinced all the best reveals happen after the credits.
A bit of light humor aside, this episode focuses on setting up the Empire in an effort to force the Republic military to concede to a peace agreement. Part of this involves infiltrating enemy lines in the most inventive way possible: via V-1 rockets secretly housing 203rd Battalion members. The end of the episode shows the mages parachuting into enemy territory, leaving an exciting cliffhanger to pick up with next week.
– Dr. Schugel is back and I believe he may have brought Being X with him!
– The animation, especially the angles, used for the battle scenes are extremely vivid and well done.
– Usual complaints regarding lack of supporting character development, focus of story, blah blah blah….
This post is part of our seasonal episodic review series. To view all the posts in this series, click the following link: Viewing Party