Youjo Senki – 05

Now you’ve gotta ask yourself one question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya, maggot?

“Today, you people are no longer maggots. Today, you are Marines. You’re part of a brotherhood. From now on until the day you die, wherever you are, every Marine is your brother. Most of you will go to Vietnam. Some of you will not come back. But always remember this: Marines die. That’s what we’re here for. But the Marine Corps lives forever. And that means YOU live forever.”

-Gun. Sgt. Hartman, Full Metal Jacket (1987)

You’re the saddest bunch I ever met,
But you can bet before we’re through,
Mister, I’ll make a man out of you.

I don’t understand, where did I go right?

Well, Tanya has made her bed, and now she’s got to lie in it. And that means assembling a battalion team that will follow her into battle and that won’t get her killed! But like everyone who has to drudge through a task that they’d really rather not do, Tanya takes every opportunity she can to either slow things down, or to gum up the works. It’s fascinating to watch her brand of self-sabotage, because it’s in an entirely different vein that what you would usually see. Rather than slapstick antics that would usually accompany this usual plotline, we have her playing things rather seriously.

I’m not sure what Tanya thought would happen when she saved that man’s life, but again, while the effect for us was obvious, it again somehow went completely over our little loli’s head. Tanya ran the meanest, most radical training program her military/businessman mind could muster, pushing everyone and everything to the limits of insanity and beyond. However, despite all that, it all ended up backfiring on her, as she comes to find out that the Imperial soldiers of not-Germany are made of sterner stuff than she thought. No, rather than sabotaging herself and running off all her candidates, Tanya instead gains their respect and fear and turns them indeed into an elite fighting force that would make many a nation proud.

Who knew being in the army could be this dangerous?

As you can see from my opening quote, Tanya basically plagiarized Sgt. Hartman for her inspirational speech. T. must have been a pretty big fan of the movie to have memorized it so well, which is surprising actually. I had gotten the impression that T. was quite the workaholic, who probably would have time or an inclination for such pleasures as “movies”.

This isn’t the first anime series to employ Full Metal Jacket into it military training scenes, but it is one of the most faithful I have seen in directly lifting quotes. I guess Tanya can get away with here though since that movie hasn’t been made yet in this universe. Though the writer in me prickles at the fact that this world’s Kubrick might get accused of “stealing” from Tanya.

Ask not, what your country can do for you! But what together you can do, for this loli!

You’re a spineless, pale, pathetic lot,
And you haven’t got a clue.
Somehow I’ll make a man out of you.

With the weak being turned into men, and training going well, it was only a matter of time before someone comes a’ calling as HQ has been quite patient with Tanya and now wish to see results. Seeing Rerugen again, he in interestingly subdued here, especially after what we saw last episode. He seems to be the only one of our high command officers who is concerned about Tanya’s obviously evil nature, and so it’s interesting seeing them go head to head for really the first time. Tanya has seemed to mellow out a bit since her early days, but I am glad to see that there is at least someone watching her with a slightly better moral compass. So when you see the two of them together in the same room, you can both feel and see the tension building between them. The two have had very little physical time together, and yet the first impression that each had on the other, lingers like a rotten stench. A “good opinion once lost, is lost forever” they say…

Clashing heads

Both Tanya and Rerugen are similar in that they are smart, meticulous, organized, and have both a calm, unpulsed business side, but also an impatient, emotional one as well, especially when faced with something difficult that they personally believe should be a no-brainer. When the two clash, it becomes a battle of who can keep their emotions in check the best, and as of right now, that is unfortunately a fight that Rerugen is losing.

The man ends up having the feel of an antagonist even though I have to support his rightfully suspicious and fearful nature towards Tanya. The clash between the two of them ends up giving an unsettling feeling that there’s more to this than what’s on the surface, and it’s a feeling that doesn’t go away even after the two part ways.

Time is racing toward us till the Huns arrive…

Look, I’ve run out of inspirational speeches guys…this isn’t easy, ya know.

When we get to their first mission in the Duchy of not-Romania, our lovely psycho Tanya greets us with one of the most important factors of both world wars: that they completely changed the way wars had been fought previously, and ushered in the modern era of warfare. Like its real life WWI twin, Dakia is hopelessly archaic and obsolete in terms of their battlefield techniques and war tactics. This causes them to be much more of a liability to anyone they are allied and you just can’t help but feel bad for them, as our new strike group basically massacres them.

I think the odds were ever in our favor.

Tanya actually can’t believe how out of date Dakia is. Still utilizing mostly Napoleonic battlefield strategy, and cavalry tactics, not a single mage or even aircraft being employed. Even their communiques seem to be stuck back in the early 19th Century, being sent back and forth without thinking it necessary to perhaps use a bit of encryption in case someone else is listening. It’s so completely astonishing that both she and the audience are almost positive that there must be some kind of trap. I honestly did wait and wait and wait to see if Dakia was playing some gambit in order to lure in the not-German forces. They can’t be that out of touch with the rest of their contemporaries and still somehow be a working nation! But indeed they can and they have, and our birthday girl get a “flawless victory” mortal kombat style for her new strike team, on their very first time out! Complete with an amazing ( and morbidly funny) fireworks display, courtesy of the Dakia capital.

Alright, who was out of sync? Was it you, Jean? Come on, fess up!

Not bad for a rushed experimental rapid-response team that got put together in 1/24th the time with a leader who had 0/24th interest in the job…

You must be swift as a coursing river,
With all the force of a great typhoon,
With all the strength of a raging fire,
Mysterious as the dark side of the moon.

Now how’s that for a halftime show?


Yep, It’s just me this time, but don’t worry, you’ll see Sky soon enough. In terms of the episode, I’m liking the team so far. I haven’t learned any of their names yet, though at least two or three have made themselves stand out enough that I feel they will be more important characters as the series continues and I will eventually learn them. This episode was probably the most standard of the series so far. It’s a “boot camp” episode for half, and then some action that comes in later. We got introduced to another not-European country this time though they didn’t last very long. You have to wonder why HQ felt it necessary to send them there? They must have known already how ill-prepared and equipped Dakia was. For as little threat as they were, why send your best new team, especially since there were other forces in the area? I smell more to this than what meets the eye and I’m interested in finding out what that is.

One things I found interesting in the later part of the episode was that T./Tanya was always a “rulebook follower” her mantra was constantly to stick to the rules in any and everything. However here, she chastises one of her men who follows the rules so much, to the degree that he’s applying a rule to a situation that no longer requires it simply because “that’s what you’re supposed to do”. I like that Tanya can recognize the need to adapt and when you can do so. I’m not sure if that’s something she’s learned along the way or something that was always apart of her, but I’m just glad to see that she HAS. Next time, we’ll have to see if the fight is as easy next time, as it was this time around. Somehow, I doubt it…

Yeah, I’m 11. So?


A Chicagoan biochemist, teacher, and an aspiring virologist, with a love for science only rivaled by my love for movies, animation, and anime. Both a lover of action/adventure and romance, I'm a girl who walks the entire spectrum. Mecha, Sci-Fi, Psychological Thriller, Romantic Period Piece, if it's has a good story, I'm there.
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23 Responses to “Youjo Senki – 05”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    Ah, not good, Irene. You’re giving me nostalgia referencing parts of Shang’s military song from Mulan. I used to watch that show a lot as a kid. Here’s one as tribute to the avalanche scene: “Did you see those Huns? They popped out of the snow, like daisies!”

    Fate really is getting a kick out of screwing Tanya over. Two steps forward to get knocked three steps back. If this was a commander that actually wanted to better their squad, it would’ve gotten the opposite result. Still her “training” was more brutal than imagined. Where are this loli’s demon horns and tail hiding? For a second, it almost seemed like I was feeling the pressure the trainees felt while pitying at the same time. Something inside them must have gotten broken after that because like her, I was expecting mass resignations. Anyway, the demon unintentionally has a loyal circle of underlings.

    The weak resistance against Tanya’s battalion was a little off-putting. The way the opposition was so easily owned was akin to an anthill razed by a kid with a magnifying glass (they even looked like ants looking down from above) and made it hard to believe they had the intent to invade.

    • Irenesharda says:

      I haven’t seen Full Metal Jacket myself, and being the Disney afficianado that I am, this episode reminded me a lot of Mulan. While I was working I had the song playing and everything suddenly clicked. It especially works since “Hun” was a derogatory term for the Imperial German army during the real WWI.

      What’s really sad is that, the weak resistance of Dakia isn’t that exaggerated from real life. Romania was actually that weak and that much of a liability during the WWI. It was only in the war for a short time, but considering how hard it was hit, you could see why.

      • BlackBriar says:

        and being the Disney afficianado that I am

        We need to put that to the test one of these days. I’m curious to see if that part outclasses everything else you’re into. 😛

        “Sad” is an understatement. I’d be embarrassed if my own homeland wasn’t able to put up a decent fight, even if we do get overpowered and taken over. Especially if we’re ones taking the fight to the enemy.

      • BlackBriar says:

        Dakia getting owned by Tanya’s battalion pretty much went like this.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    One things I found interesting in the later part of the episode was that T./Tanya was always a “rulebook follower” her mantra was constantly to stick to the rules in any and everything. However here, she chastises one of her men who follows the rules so much, to the degree that he’s applying a rule to a situation that no longer requires it simply because “that’s what you’re supposed to do”.

    That’s a particularly interesting part of the show’s make-up. Outside of the battlefield, Tanya schemes towards an easy life but when she’s on the battlefield, she loses herself to sadistic impulses. Likely from getting a taste of blood her first time on the front lines and it’s developing a thrill. She did mention having nothing to do as her battalion was owning the invaders.

  3. zztop says:

    If we consider Youjo’s starting isekai genre, it’s quite interesting to note how wildly popular isekai’s been lately amongst Japan’s light novel/webnovel community, with plenty of amateur writers (and some established LN authors) trying to cut their teeth on that genre. Most (especially the amateurs) tend to be self-insert power fantasy nonsense, although it’s always interesting to see what takes some authors have on the genre.

    Like the recent one from Rakudai’s author, about 7 highschoolers who crashland in your typical fantasy world…except each of them have a Danganronpa-like SuperHuman special skill (like the SH Swordswoman, SH Illusionist and SH Politician).

    PS. This is more of a musing than anything related to Youjo, so I apologise for going off-track.

    • skylion says:

      In the publishing game, trends follow the trail ahead of it, as that maximizes on the known number of readers that are available. It’s a stats game more than a creative game at that point.

  4. ProtoSovereign says:

    Welp, I had no idea it was Not-Romania XD I’m not familiar with that part of Europe XD.

    • BlackBriar says:

      It probably was uncharted territory. 😛

      Congrats on reaching your 500 comment milestone.

      • ProtoSovereign says:

        HAHA I didn’t notice that. If I commented more I would have more. But I try not to watch too many shows as they air. Too much suspense as I wait. >.<

        • BlackBriar says:

          Come on! 500 more! You can do it!!!

          Well, that’s what happens when you’re watching shows, especially the ones you like. It’s the same reading manga but the wait is much more agonizing because depending on the title, new chapters can either come monthly or longer. I know that pain all too well. Let my avatar give you a hint as to why.

          • ProtoSovereign says:

            Lol yeah just another 500 ez pz. Are you waiting for more Owari no Seraph? I forgot about that 😛

            • BlackBriar says:

              Yeah, naturally. The wait for new chapters is agonizing. I just read this month’s chapter and I’m already anxious for the next.

              *spoilers for an off-topic thing removed*

    • Irenesharda says:

      I had a slightly hard time figuring it out myself. It’s in the general vicinity of Romania, but because many other not-European countries are missing from this version of reality, it was hard for me to pin down. Especially because Romania didn’t really make any kind of name for itself during WWI, so I wasn’t sure at first why they would include it.
      I was trying to decide if it was instead Austria-Hungary, but that didn’t make sense, since Austria-Hungary were close allies to Germany. Dakia’s MO and their shoddy battlefield prowess is what pinned them down.

  5. HannoX says:

    Tanya had better be careful. She took so much joy in how easily her battalion defeated the invading Dakian forces that she led it in a highly successful attack on the Dakian capitol. That kind of battlefield success is just the kind of thing that gets the high command to keep sending you into more and more dangerous situations because you’re so good at dealing with them. She’s in danger of forgetting her ultimate goal is getting a safe and cushy rear echelon job.

    Unless she’s hoping having demonstrated the success of her training methods will get the high command to give her an assignment of training more storm trooper (not the Star Wars kind) mage battalions along with a probable promotion. If so, T.’s forgetting or not aware that the most successful battlefield commanders are kept on the battlefield as long as possible. Only death, severe wounds or utter exhaustion get them off the battlefield. Especially if their country has its back to the wall.

    Why send the special strike mage battalion to deal with a foe as easy to beat as Dakia? I can think of a couple of reasons. (1) Give them a moderately easy first mission in order to blood them as a unit and build their confidence. (2) It’s economy of forces. Send a handful of mages to deal with a not very dangerous foe rather than several divisions of conventional troops who can then be sent to a front where numbers are needed (into the meat grinder of the Rhine Front in hopes of breaking the stalemate there?).

    • skylion says:

      Does’t the idea of victory over Dakia sort of give them a false positive? Does that line up with your point (2)? Honestly, I’m hoping they give us far more information on that country next episode…

  6. skylion says:

    Yep, It’s just me this time, but don’t worry, you’ll see Sky soon enough

    I’ll be back!

    So thematically Tanya is stuck in that “rulebook” way of thinking. She just screwed up any history that she could have hedged her bets on. Now, she’s a mover. Had she just tried her best and accepted mediocrity – of a kind – she might have just been able to get away with it. But she’s caught in the Red Queen, she has to run, just to stand still.

  7. skylion says:

    OooooooooH Tanya vs. airplanes!

  8. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Nice Boat Face.

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