Youjo Senki – 07

Gotta have that cup o’ joe in the morning, especially right before your morning massacre.

 “Why can’t I remember that not once have I ever seen a coin, whether grimy copper or bright gold, that had but one side.”

― Andrew Levkoff, A Mixture of Madness

Born of cold and winter air,
And mountain rain combining,

Well after a week off thanks to a recap episode (never understand the need of those in a single cour series other than to simply stall for time), we step right back into the field where we left off. Sorry this is so late guys, real life mishaps, with a pretty violent bout of illness caused me to sadly put this on the backburner till now. But now I’m back! And just like our evil WarLoli and her death squad, I’m back in the game!

Tanya and her team has had quite a successful run lately against both not-Romania, followed by not-Scandinavia. However, their most interesting battle plotwise, actually takes place this week, as we see them once again take a jab at the Entente, and this time, the wound is quite mortal.

See? We accomplished thiiiiisss much!

Usually, Youjo Senki has done an interesting job in balancing things out and not really giving us much to hang on to, nor a side to root for.  You see things from Tanya’s POV, but you don’t connect with her standpoint enough to be on her side. You enjoy seeing “Being X” mess with her, but he’s more of an observer like you are, and serves more as a plot device when he does show up. You see things from the Empire’s side, and yet you also know what they are doing is wrong, and so it puts you in a sort of limbo space, where as my co-writer basically says, you end up rooting for no one. You are basically only observing the scenes and watching the plot continue to unfold.

And yet…

This episode, being at the middle point of this series, is as a much a turning point for the series as it is a turning point for my rather hands-off feelings. And all of this is at the hands of reoccurring character that had little screen time, and yet, had quite the bit of impact.

This icy force both foul and fair,

Time is running out…

You know that feeling you get when you see a brilliant commander come a guide his men to victory against some poor grunts who fought as bravely as they could, but just couldn’t stand up to the superior firepower, tactics, and strength of the commander and his men. And you cheer for a while for the commander because he’s the protagonist and he wiped the floor with the enemy…and then your smile drops a bit and your joy falters as you realize that the commander and his band are Nazi soldiers…and the men they slaughtered were Jewish Resistance fighters from Poland….

Yeah, that was sort of the feeling that I had as this episode continued to play out.

Has a frozen heart worth mining…

Anson Sioux was a character we met back in episode two. As a character in general, there’s really not all that much that’s special about him. He’s the grizzled vet, the one who has seen a lot in his life, and yet feels close to his men. He fights for his country, his home, and his family, and wants nothing more than for the war to end so that he can get back to them. Oh and of course…he just has about two more months til retirement…:(

Anson was a character you knew was going to die, about the same time you realized that he was not a one and done character. He was practically created with his own set of death flags pre-installed. And simply watching the very first look at his goodbye scene to his family, you know that this is the very episode he is going to die as well, and you know it will be at Tanya’s hands. But despite knowing all of this, actually that part is not really that important. What’s far more intriguing is the scenes that lead up to his death and further to the Triple Entente falling to the not-German Empire.

So, cut through the heart,
Cold and clear,

“I swear if I even think I hear the words ‘Let’, ‘It’, or ‘Go’ come out of your mouths, I WILL shoot you on sight!”

So far, while the other characters have been given more life and quirks that make them interesting, this was really just a two man show between T. and “Being X”. Anson was one of the first characters that I really connected with despite his short time. He is a good leader and a good soldier and he just wants to protect his homeland and go home, but he also knows that there is a very good chance that he might not come out of this alive. His desires are simple and very relatable and if you are someone who connects easily with a character on an emotional level, you will begin to feel a twisting in your stomach as the episode continues to play out. But despite the ensuing tragedy,  Anson serves as an interesting foil for Tanya during this episode.

Two sides of two different coins.

We get to see and hear both the thoughts of Anson and Tanya as they command from either side, and perhaps it’s my inner American nationalistic nature, but our not-Scandinavian soldier was the one I resonated with. Tanya, even more so than in her previous battles, draws on her past as T., and treats everything as if it’s simply business and a day at the office, even complaining on and on about overtime and not looking good for promotion, etc. While funny before, it feels particularly despicable when juxtaposed not only against the scenes of the Entente soldiers getting massacred, but of watching Anson’s reaction to seeing his men fall and his home being taken away and invaded by the enemy. You can feel his pain, and you can understand his hatred and rage. It’s so much more real, gut-wrenching, and personal than anything that Tanya has put out, and you feel as frustrated and furious that while he and his men are giving it everything they’ve got, Tanya treats it like a boring day at the office.

Strike for love and strike for fear,

“Do I hear singing?”  “No ma’am! I’m practically frozen out here, ma,am!”

Watching the battle on the fjord of not-Oslo, Norway, I felt this breaking in my heart and it’s one of the first times that I didn’t laugh or cheer for Tanya and her forces, but instead hoped against hope that they would fail in their mission. I applaud this series in being able to allow me to feel and understand both sides of this war, and not simply having us have some gleefully evil fun with our villain protagonist.

I was honestly hoping that Anson would get a hit in somehow against Tanya. You knew it wasn’t going to happen because of the aforementioned established death flags. But still you hope that he can strike some kind of a blow before he has to fall.

“You know, you really should have just let it go…Ah! Gosh darn it! Stupid song!”

It becomes very much a M. Bison “but for me it was Tuesday” moment as while Tanya is burned in Anson’s mind, he is barely recognized by her’s. And she kills him as efficiently as she has any other soldier, with a coldness and cruelty that you never really noticed before…because you never really knew the person on the other end before…

And so Anson dies along with his men, everything taken from him. His home, his family, his friends, his country, his very life, and even the last memento from his beloved daughter, is ripped from his hands that cold Norwegian night.

However, I feel that perhaps in the end, Anson might indeed get the last laugh. That gun might as well have Chekhov’s name engraved on, because I can assure you that you haven’t seen the last of it, and that Tanya may just rue the day that she ever laid eyes on it.

Because I’m not so sure Anson’s prayer went as unheard as some people may think it did….

There’s beauty and there’s danger here…

Enter Mary Sioux.

Yes, say the name a few times (using proper French pronunciation!) to let the pun fully sink in. Mary is fascinating in that if you didn’t intimately know the nuances of storytelling, you might have skipped over her altogether. But Anson’s only child has been focused on three times thus far. Once for a moment too long in a picture, of course while saying, sadly, her last goodbye to her father, and then at the end as her heart breaks at the news that he father is very likely to be dead and that her homeland has become occupied by the savages that killed him. Yes, Hitchcock would indeed be proud.

It’s quite interesting to me that Mary is the type of girl who rather than a tie or embroidered handkerchief, givers her father a submachine gun for Christmas. She also just happens to have fled to with her mother to the not-United States, to the state of Arkansas…really? Arkansas?…that’s like as far from Norwegian as you can get. Why Arkansas? Not quite the well known hotspot for European refugees fresh off the boat, but okay I guess? Perhaps the mom is originally from Arkansas, I mean, they got a pretty big farmhouse pretty quickly, and that’s probably better than a tiny New York flat. Either that, or the writers are just throwing darts at a map again and didn’t feel like animating a cityscape when large fields of nothing is much easier.

Split the ice apart,

“Honey? Do you want to build a snowman? It will make you feel better.” “No mom, that only works back home.”

But Ar-Kansas aside,  the important thing is that Mary has found herself in the not-US, a country that has been ignored so far in the series, but has historically been one of the major deciding factors in both original World Wars. And grief often turns to rage, and with a name like “Mary Sioux”? While getting  rid of one enemy, Tanya might have just made an even worse one.

Anson asked for the power to defeat the “devil” that was destroying his home. Could it be that he unknowingly had already been given that power, but just happened to send it on steamer ship to a land to the west, under the mortal guise of his own daughter?

Hmm…working in mysterious ways indeed…

Beware the frozen heart…

Anyway, it was a very good episode and this felt like quite a major turning point in our story with Tanya. With the Entente out of the running, I expect not-France, not-UK, and not-Russia to pick up the pace. The more land not-Germany begins to cover, the more urgency of the situation will continue to build. 

I did sort of fly over Tanya’s initial talk with the Northern forces, but it was your basic military loudmouth douche stereotype, saying the same stuff that you’ve seen in practically every military movie ever at some point or another, and Tanya has the same things to say back to him that pretty much any other protagonist character with half a brain would say. So, while good, it was rather standard dialogue.

Now, more than ever I’m interested in seeing Tanya and her forces lose a fight. With her roflstomping no longer as amusing as it once was, I want to see what the other countries are going to do to combat not-Germany. They may happen to be our POV country, but that doesn’t mean we have to like them.  

“So, we were thinking, we need someone to play Elsa for our winter play, with you being the only blonde, blue-eyed girl here, could you…? “


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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2 Responses to “Youjo Senki – 07”

  1. skylion says:

    “I swear if I even think I hear the words ‘Let’, ‘It’, or ‘Go’ come out of your mouths, I WILL shoot you on sight!”

    LOL. See, I never would have thought of this one – good joke! And good to see you continue that joke!

    As you point out, it’s interesting to see the other side of the coin to “..but for me, it was a Tuesday”. I still can’t shake Raul Julia as M. Bison and his brilliant reading of that line. Here it’s some equally brilliant character design and animation that lent itself to Tanya’s countenance.

    I thought this episode went really “by the book”. But, it’s a good book, and if you put your own spin on it, that book becomes something a creator can own, rather than just borrow from.

    With Tanya’s nearly bored to off-hand demenor, it’s not to hard to see where her fall is going to come, that is if A.S. is a true Chekov’s Gun. It might be a trap, a false clue. Tanya, by getting so much success in a short a period of time, and by laying a trail of paperwork might be seeing failure come from another source. Her own?

  2. BlackBriar says:

    The bad vibes just keep increasing. All these series of complete successes without so much as a hitch in them is just begging for a whiplash, one way or another. The question is, if it does come (and it most likely will), in what manner will it happen and will it be on an individual or general scale?

    Anson would be rolling in his watery grave if it turns out his efforts to safeguard his daughter have gone in vain by her taking up arms to avenge him. Really, though. Tanya’s “I’ve seen you somewhere before. Not that it matters” after running him through was ice cold (No pun intended in regards to the snow setting).

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