In 1926, Tanya and her battalion return home from defeating remnants of the Republic's army. However, when they arrive they receive word of a massive mobilization near the border with the Russy Federation, so the Empire's army must prepare. At the same time, a multinational army under the leadership of the Allied Kingdom moves into the Russy Federation. The enemy of an enemy is a friend, but among the Allied Kingdom army is Mary Sioux, a girl who has sworn to exact justice against the Empire for the death of her father.
The Youjo Senki Movie is a mixture of historical anomalies, self-reflective commentaries on the perpetual cycle of death and war in human history and the persistent yet noble personal battle which our main character Tanya puts up against what's effectively the God of this world (Or Being X, if you will).
All whilst stuck in the body of a young girl. Sounds like your kind of thing? Then welcome, to the "Saga of Tanya the Evil" (movie)!
Tanya as a series was made by Studio NUT, a relatively new studio comprised of passionate individuals willing to work their ass of for their craft. I recently
had the pleasure of visiting Japan to see this movie and on the trip I took a detour to visit the official Youjo Senki café (a 1-floor detour). Lots and lots of memorabilia from the series could be found, including a functional suit of battle gear which Tanya wears in the series & movie. Slick, gritty & beautiful key-art littered the area, and it made me even more stoked to see the movie. The passion in each frame could be seen before I even entered cinema and my anticipation and excitement was met with a bombastic balls-to-the-walls historical action-adventure with the same cast of characters we all fell in love with back in season 1. This time... introducing the communists!
As an enemy to Tanya and the "Eternal Empire" they were far more fearsome than the psuedo-French of last season. Not that they didn't do their job back then (and they do show up in the movie), but in comparison the size and scope of the Russian federation could be felt thanks to a combination of striking visual symbolism & an attentive composer doing his best to ease you into an underlying feeling of dread which permeated throughout the entire movie. Similar musical motifs are used from season 1, but they're given a real "Hans Zimmer" treatment (Hans Zimmer of 10 years ago that is) Calm piano pieces, high octane trumpets & an ill-boding pipe organ are all examples of instruments used to help elevate the score to greater cinematic heights.
In the end this was worth waiting for. The animation still looks crisp and beautiful, even more so with a movie budget. The characters and VA's all work perfectly, some of the new ones give off more of an impression thanks to their VA's (All veterans, like Cho & Toshiyuki Morikawa)
I'm not going to go into spoilers, but the ending gave me shivers. In what way I won't tell, but they make fine use of directing choices to present a suggestion to both the audience and characters... that is very interesting.
Myth & Roid's new song is pretty great too, more subdued & ominous.