I’ve made it no secret on this blog that I am a massive fan of the series Saga of Tanya the Evil. In fact I believe that it is tied with ReZero for being the best isekai made yet. In a time where 98% of Isekais chase the exact same plot set up, Tanya decides to take the Isekai and do something new with it. I’ve gushed about the show before, and I stand by everything I said.
So how does the feature film stand up? Well after the cut let’s take a dive into the next part in the story of our little German loli: Saga of Tanya the Evil The Movie.
Anime has been doing this thing in recent years when it comes to adapting light novels in that they do a 12-24 episode series first, THEN the follow up with a feature film that covers the next novel. I don’t know why this is the case, frankly the entire way anime is made and adapted is strange to me, but like with most series any chance to step back into a beloved series is welcome, and it is here.
Tanya the Movie is the kind of movie that is hard for newcomers to step into, mostly because it is a continuation of the first season and wastes no time getting right into the action. It expects that viewers are familiar with the story of Tanya herself, her place in the world and her personal vendetta against being X. Furthermore the movie also expects people to understand why the film’s villain: Mary Sue has her own grievances against our pint-sized hero. If you are fan of the first season than you are going to enjoy this movie right away as it respects your time put into it, but if this is your first time stepping into the world of Tanya, then you are probably going to have several questions.
The character of Mary Sue brings an interesting addition to the story. With the perfect name to go along with her powers gifted to her by “Being X” (seriously, calling her Mary Sue is so fucking perfect), she represents the exact opposite of Tanya. While Tanya is cold, logical, but with the natural qualities of a leader of men, Mary Sue is driven by her emotions and personal experiences. Throughout the movie it is clear that despite her background, we aren’t supposed to be rooting for Mary, as her inability to follow orders and respect the chain of command in a war-zone not only endangers herself, but the people around her.
If there is anything to criticize about the film though, is that it feels very condensed at times, and that hurts the overall experience. Despite having several excellent moments that are stand outs for the entire series, the movie feels hyper-squished together at times and space in between those great moments doesn’t feel like enough. The final battle between Mary and Tanya, while a marvel of animation and performance is a great scene in of itself, it would have been much better with an entire season of build up for it. Having multiple episodes where we get to see Mary’s development and regression into a being of vengeance would have made the climax hit even higher strides. I just couldn’t help saying to myself as I watched “I feel like we’ve missed some scenes before this”. I do think Tanya the Movie bit off a little more than it could chew, and it does feel like they tried to cram in a 12 episode seasons’ worth of content into about an hour and thirty minutes. Is it a deal breaker? No, but it a mark against the film that I can’t ignore.
Saga of Tanya the Evil the Movie is a good film that was about an extra thirty minutes, or some additional scenes away from being a great one. Everything that makes the world of Tanya work is still present: The excellent premise, the fresh and unique setting, the creative use of magic in WW1, and Tanya herself. However I can’t deny that I wish this movie had been given a full season to fill out the corners and give more time to the central conflict between Tanya and Mary. That being said fans of the series will find a lot to love here, and I can only hope that this leads to a second proper season in the future. If your a fan of Saga of Tanya the Evil, absolutely check this film out. It’s still one of the best Isekai out there.
Also Tanya REALLY hates the commies. Is there a reason for that? It’s never explained.