Blu-Ray Review: The Saga of Tanya the Evil – The Complete Series

Appearances can be deceiving, especially when you are a young girl in the military and are named Tanya; but were we able to fall in line and understand the madness of her brutality or did we end up dying under her command? Let’s take a look at Manga Entertainment’s Blu-Ray release of The Saga of Tanya the Evil – The Complete Series and find out.

Synopsis:

A little girl with blonde hair, blue eyes, and porcelain skin fights on the front lines of a brutal war set in a fantasy world. What others don’t know is that she’s a reincarnated Japanese office worker who, in his former life, had a ruthless desire to climb the corporate ladder in hopes of retiring to a cushy corner office.

Our View:

Adapted from the light novel of the same name, which is also known as Yōjo Senki or The Military Chronicles of a Little Girl, and animated by relatively new animation Studio NUT, Tanya the Saga of Evil chronicles the events of a Japanese salaryman who finds himself reincarnated into a new world as Tanya von Degurechaff; a powerful military mage that is thrust into the centre of war. As far as ‘reincarnated into another world’ storylines go it is completely insane, and that’s before you even consider the progressive nature of the series story line; but it is an interesting story and is quite fun.

The story begins in modern day Japan with a cold-hearted salary-man who believes that it is better to accept orders from higher management rather than delivering them himself, but after a routine task of firing an employee he finds himself being thrown in front of a train by said employee and killed. However just before his death god, later named Being X, reincarnates him in another world in order to change his views on the world and God.

Despite his grievances with this reincarnation he is reincarnated as Tanya von Degurechaff in a world filled with war and magic. At first Tanya leads a normal life but when the orphanage discover that she is overflowing with latent magical power she soon finds herself thrown into a military academy and prepared for war on the front lines.

Tanya’s mindset remains consistent with her/his previous life; one of following orders and living an easy life without believing in any mysterious ‘god like’ being; but when Being X (or God) intervenes Tanya begins to develop her powers and skills in order to defeat being X once and for all. This training comes in the form of military training at the academy before proceeding forward into the occasional battle.

At first Tanya is contempt with leading a “desk life” and ignoring Being X’s intervention; but Being X forces Tanya to not only enchant prayers to god in order to use her destructive magical powers, but it also sees her pushed onto the front lines as part of Being X’s intervention. Much to the dismay of Tanya.

It’s a rather comical story that pushes Tanya to embrace the power of god, and the intervention, in order to become a better solider in the military, and as such sees her leading her own task force in order to push back the rivalling nations. Tanya’s latent ability, both as a mage and as a strategist on the battlefield, brings more comical charm to the series that should be, in hindsight, dark and sinister.

After all this is a war story with rival nations doing battle for complete control over the world. Realistically this should be the real story, one of Tanya helping the empire taking control, but in hindsight this story is overshadowed by the desires of Tanya and wanting to defeat being X at his own game.

Extras:

Once again Manga Entertainment UK are opting to use disc masters originally authored by FUNimation and as such we receive the same type of content as our North American friends. As per usual all of the bonus features are included on the second Blu-Ray Disc with textless songs and Japanese promotional materials being included.

It’s a rather simplistic selection of content, but it is more than most anime releases receive. Sadly I did not enjoy the opening or ending animations of the series; but the Japanese promotional materials – which consist of Promo Videos and TV Commercials – give an insight into how the series was promoted in Japan during its initial broadcast. A rare treat indeed.

Specs:

Media:  BD 50, BD 25
Region: B
Running Time: 3:33:18 (Disc 1), 1:11:06 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (English) & Dolby TrueHD 2.0 (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

The Saga of Tanya the Evil may seem like a story that focuses on a young girl leading the charge in a war; but in reality it is an older male reincarnated as a young girl thrown into the midst of battle due to her magical power. Combine this with her ‘evil mindset’ and destruction spells for those who get in her way of obtaining an easy life or defeating being X. It’s absolutely bonkers; but for some reason it works exceptionally well and is well paced story.

Initially the series begins with war and gives the impression of a war torn world, which in hindsight it is, but its not until the second episode we learn why we are here, and why we are experiencing this story. From here the story proceeds with individual episodes focusing on different elements of the overall story; whether it be Tanya’s training facility, her forced recruitment into a strike force or her varying plans of attacks on enemy strongholds. Naturally her powers forge new rivals in both local and opposing forces; but it all helps deliver an interesting story that easily shifts focus from Tanya’s objectives to that of the war and back again.

Magical fun in the spirit of war and it works surprisingly well despite a few issues. For me majority of the series is perfectly fine, but some disappointments arise in the sound effect quality that feel-mismatched with the elements of the series and more importantly the representation of the English Dub. Naturally it is all personal perspective but it once again feels cliché to have Monica Rial play the role of Tanya; even though she does play the role really well. Some other minor character roles also do not feel suited to the characters they are portraying. Just a small niggle, and a personal one at that, for what is a decent English dub on behalf of FUNimation and Crunchyroll.

The Saga of Tanya the Evil provides a bizarre set of circumstances to deliver a magic themed series set in a war torn world of nations. Whether it be the story of Tanya’s oppression and regression against Being X, or the political conflicts taking place across the world, the series has something to offer and is a pleasant surprise that is worthy of your attention.

Score: review-stars-4

The Saga of Tanya the Evil – The Complete Series will be available on Blu-Ray from the 27th January 2020.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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