I loved the first season of The Saga of Tanya the Evil so immediately after finishing it, I naturally moved on to watching the movie, which was released two years after the show.
Directed once again by Yutaku Uemura, and based off the light novels by Carol Zen, The movie sees Tanya (Aoi Yuki) and her battalion of mages sent to infiltrate and spy on the Russy Federation, this world’s version of the Soviet Union.
However, once inside, the plan instantly goes awry, causing a chain of events that creates a film which is a worthy sequel to the anime.
I was not let down by this movie, even though I felt like some things could have been improved upon.
The first of these things is Tanya’s relationship with Being X.
Her rivalry with the self proclaimed deity was a highlight for me when watching the show, so I was disappointed to see Being X not drop in personally to gloat to Tanya in the movie.
Another disappointing thing was that there is a flash forward, which clearly spoils the outcome of the entire war.
This should have been cut entirely.
I have heard it is like this in the light novels but, come on, knowing what’s going to happen to the Empire does remove the tension, somewhat.
The last criticism I have is of Tanya’s actual rival in this film.
You see, certain circumstances inside the Russy Federation lead to Tanya being confronted by the daughter of a solider who she killed in combat.
This girl’s name is Mary Sue (Haruka Tomatsu).
No, I am not kidding, there is literally a character called Mary Sue and, as her name suggests, she is ridiculously overpowered, most likely because of Being X’s involvement.
Now, I know Mary Sue being overpowered is clearly the point.
She is a character that is supposed to play off the stereotypical tropes of the Mary Sue archetype, possibly serving as a parody.
However, Mary does not feel like a parody but rather just a general usage of the Mary Sue trope, without anything new or interesting done, which makes her pretty annoying.
I know I have been criticising this movie a bunch when I said I enjoyed it and I did.
I just wanted to get a few of my grievances out of the way first before I got into the praise.
First of all, Tanya is once again a fun character to follow.
Not only is it still exciting and somewhat funny to see a salaryman in the body of a child plan and then carry out military operations, but the animators also clearly go all out animating her expressions, especially when she indulges in her sometimes crazy outbursts.
Just like in the show, the action is also great, with the sound design once again being stellar.
Then there’s the comedy, which had me burst out laughing a few times.
I will also say that this film contains a scene which is probably my favourite of the entire anime so far.
Watching this movie after the anime left me wanting more, so I was overjoyed to hear that a season two is currently being made.
Hopefully it will live up to the standard set by its predecessors.
Until then, there’s also a comedic OVA “Operation Desert Pasta,” which is pretty good as well.
The Saga of Tanya the Evil: The Movie is a worthy follow up to the anime and I cannot wait to see more from the monster in the form of a little girl.