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.
The long awaited sequel to the Youjo Senki series, this movie brings in a new character and antagonist to light. Once again, our sociopathic salaryman loli finds herself in a complex predicament reminiscent of our world’s historical world wars, facing the interference of being x at the worst possible times. Like the original series, Tanya’s squad 203 sets out to face enemies that appears impossible to win against, according to their political and strategic heads, and the battles are reflective of the nature of difficulty.
In this movie, we are shown a more emotional side of Tanya. There are some scenes in the movie where she
even has “human” moments, which is a stark contrast to her original series presentation. You can look forward to some subtle times of hesitation on the battlefield for reasons you’ll have to watch the movie to find out about. If you watch carefully, you may even notice some moments of increased leniency towards her men. This movie seems to prepare for a new season where the anime begins to dissect her as a character. For some reason, Tanya also makes a ton of communist jokes throughout the movie, which made the people in my theater laugh a lot. (Something tells me the plot's writer really dislikes communists)
The graphics were pretty much the same as the original series graphics with no real addition in quality that I noticed. Like I said in my original review of the series, they’re pretty good overall and I’d give them an 8/10.
The only difference between the characters in the series and the characters in the movie is the new main antagonist who appears to be what the next season will focus on.
Overall, I enjoyed this movie and would definitely recommend it to anybody who enjoyed the first season. This is not a recap and is all fresh material, so you will need to watch the original series in order to understand what is happening in this movie.
Just personal scratch.
Advised, possible spoilers.
Opinion & Informal
The anatomy and proportions checked out and no noticeable changes in these two points were made between the main series and this movie. There weren't any special panoramics or expanses that were showcased. There were a few environmental and nature elements in this movie but they weren't particularly focused on or given their own scenes for us to admire any sort of artistic skill in that regards. The few instances where there was living foliage and nature that we got looked pretty nice but not something I'd praise; much of what was actually relevant was city-scapes and the
familiar grey, dull, and war-torn battlefields that were prevalent in the main series. However, the urban art was excellent. I really liked how nicely detailed and styled the backdrops and artwork for the urban areas looked; it felt like the style was more something out of a painting: not clean and crisp, but had an air of vintage if that makes sense. The character details remained fairly close to the main series art-quality-wise. Characters like Tanya and Serebryakova looked very clean and crisp but background fodder like the nameless soldiers were either very basic or just not-too-impressive cgi models. The cgi elements weren't terrible, but were mediocre enough to sometimes pull me away from the impressive art and animation. Overall, what I thought of the art was that other than particular impact moments like action scenes or scenes emphasizing the revelations or expressions of Tanya, the art quality was more or less similar to the main series.
This is what I'd expect from a feature length film. While the majority of the general motions and natural movements of the characters such as body language, shifts in motion or stance, or walking had similar quality of that from the main series (I watched the BD releases), the parts that mattered such as the impact sequences during the battles or Tanya's gesugao asides looked great and were what I'd expect from a movie release. In the battle department, this movie did not disappoint. I was wholey satisfied with the animation for the battles. The cgi elements during the "big budget" battles such as Tanya's duel were kept to a minimum or presented in a way that didn't detract from the experience at all. Overall, the animation for everything but the "big budget" scenes are pretty much the same as what you'd see in the main series. However, the reason I gave this area such a good score was how impressive (or, well, how satisfied I was) the impact sequences were.
Characters, Plot & Development: 6/10
The characters were the same from the main series. This movie didn't put too much mileage towards developing any of the characters too deeply (or at all) or any of their relationships or dynamics. No backstories or personal development was allotted to any of the characters at all other than what we were already aware of from the main show, not even Tanya or Mary Sue. Moreover, the direction of the development was more of the main show's formula giving me the impression that this movie was just a high-budget OVA. I understand that the nature of the the circumstances that the Empire is in as well as Tanya's place in it all leaves little to deviate from (they can't just ignore the war to introduce some crazy plot just for the movie) but the reason I gave this area a 6 is because of that. It was just more of sending Tanya and her troops to areas that needed help or carrying out decisive missions. Mary Sue, the antagonist in this movie, was just there to serve as the bad guy. There were moments where the story could have touched upon heavier questions or ideas such as the topics of revenge (during Mary Sue's conversation with her superior in the barracks or between Tanya and Mary in the church), human nature, or morality versus following orders. Many of those opportunities were there, but were given the "It's my job, therefore I must do it" or "I am angry or I am fighting because the Empire is evil" explanation. This development direction in my opinion shunted all of my sympathy for Mary Sue. Mary Sue's anger and resentment didn't "feel" heavy and I found it hard to connect with her emotions. I feel that the movie failed to give me any sort of foundation or something to work with to humanize Mary Sue and her anger other than the 5 seconds of flashbacks of animation from the main show. Tanya was just more Tanya. She was still acting in accordance to her goal of finding an easy life and simply trying to survive her circumstances. There weren't any moments of conscientious growth, personal revelations, or shifts in personality for Tanya in this movie which is fine, but there wasn't even any of those wonderful debates with Being X in this movie. Overall, the characters were the same and weren't given any backgrounds or personal growth that we don't already know from the main show. Their inter-personal relationships and dynamics were exactly the same too. The plot development had the same sortie-based + aftermath direction as the main show in which Tanya and her squad would roll out, come back, and we would get the political and wartime aftermath; not much experimentation was done such as trying to at least dive into a bit of Mary Sue's psyche and its relevance to how it stems from a cycle of hate.
I wasn't too happy with the music and bgm as they were mostly the same as from the main show with no new notable additions. However, I gave this area a 7 because I was really happy with how well the soundboard was used. The battles really popped out and felt alive with how much was going on. The gun sounds, explosions, and battlefield noises sounded good and made those scenes feel good. No sound design to note. The ED credits used the same ED from the anime, but had different showcase art which was a treat since I liked those so much.
The conclusion was an open-ended conclusion that's like something you'd see from an OVA or special episode which is why I mentioned that this movie felt more like a high-budget OVA than a separate special entity in the universe. While I see the value in being more closely in-tune to the atmosphere of the main anime as well as that the nature of this movie is a sequel, the movie's conclusion left much to be desired and felt a bit anti-climactic. The fact that the "How did it come to this?" gag was used for the conclusion added to the "OVA" feeling. The conclusion setting up the future for 'more of the same' felt underwhelming to me.
I wasn't exactly sure what I was expecting from this movie coming into it, but I can definitely say that some parts weren't surprising while others were satisfying. The direction decision to stay more true to the formula of the anime and source material was fine by me; it wasn't surprising, but because of that I wasn't "wow'd." However, I was completely and utterly satisfied with the impressive art quality and animation, especially the impact sequences and battles. What I thought of this movie: It's more of the same from the anime, just flashier battles and better animation; this movie doesn't attempt to experiment with the source material and doesn't really try to touch upon any of the intricacies of morality or any tough questions which is why I only thought this movie was just good but not great.
The long awaited sequel is here and oh boy is it good, overall the movie was an action packed and character development fest. We see the continuation into the saga of Tanya.
The movie explains the next involvement of characters like our new anti-protagonist Aka Mary Sue, the daughter of Anson Sioux. It goes into her "upbringing" and what type of motive and character she is. The movie also shows what we can expect from the next season(which is going to be a thing) which I'm excited about.
The quality was overall great like normal movies and the sound was crisp when in theatres. I would
recommend anyone to watch the movie first then the second season due to the fact its canon. The movie did leave me unsatisfied but that's cause I wanted more but I can respect the hour and a half for the time to introduce the next characters and what they did to meet our current MC
STUDIO NUT did a fantastic job with the new OST and the overall art of the show. They did use CGI and was a bit of an eyesore in a few scenes but that was only a little bit, easily ignorable. The new OST like i said was good but also the scenes in the movies that showed a new spice (no spoilers)
The movie was overall good and it filled that hole that wanted more Youjo Senki but it did urge me to find out what is next beside reading the manga. As the day of this review, it was a one day premier so it might take a while for people to see it but it'll be something to look forward to.