Youjo Senki 08-12 [END]

Aren’t you going to miss this darling angel? 

Ahh! I have to catch up! Quick! Five episodes worth of opening quotes!

“What we did not realize was that if you tried to take that freedom, [humans] resist. The war taught us much.”

Captain America: Winter Soldier (2014)

“Brute force, no matter how strongly applied, can never subdue the basic human desire for freedom.”

“Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free.”

– Dalai Lama

“Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first.”

-Gen. Charles de Gaulle

Vengeance is Mine, and recompense; Their foot shall slip in due time; For the day of their calamity is at hand, And the things to come hasten upon them.

-Deuteronomy 32:35 (NKJV)


Allons, enfants de la Patrie
Le jour de gloire est arrivé!

“Hey! That’s ‘fallen angel’ to you, buddy!”

And…we’re back, sorry for that long delay you guys, but we are back, just in time for the finale and quite a bit has happened since we last visited our girl Tanya and her boys out in the battlefield of not-Germany during not-WWI,  which has interestingly begun to bleed steadily into WWII territory. While much has changed since the last time we met, at the same time, not much has changed at all. Sadly, not much changes about war, and the series decided that it’s time to show you that things are not as simple as they may have once seemed, and yet, perhaps in that, we find our most simplest lessons of all…

It’s actually interesting that the eleventh episode featured talk of armistice. In our own history, there is a particular day that many countries celebrate, and it happens to be on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year. Though not nearly as famous as its D-Day brother, Armistice Day marked the decisive end to the Great War, on the “the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month”, with the more famous Treaty of Versailles finalizing it months later. However, in that episode, the armistice we see here has the circumstances flipped around and the armistice will definitely not be as final as it was in our world.

And what is “armistice” exactly? Well, simply put, in layman’s terms, an armistice is basically a truce, a ceasefire, an agreement between opposing sides in a war to stop fighting for a certain time. It’s not nearly as binding as say a treaty or a declaration of surrender, and it’s interesting that not-Germany would have accepted such.

But Germany has always been prideful, and many a time, that pride has cost them and it will end up costing them the war this time as well, just as they also lost its equivalent in our own past.

Contre nous, de la tyrannie
L’étendard sanglant est levé

See? Doesn’t this look like Hell to you?

For this entire series, we’ve been following what is essentially the villains of this world war. And most of the time when you do this, you have to make the characters relatable and their story interesting enough to follow even if you that ultimately they will fail in their endeavor. I have to say that Tanya and her special forces unit have grown on me, and this is despite the horrible things that I have seen them do. It doesn’t stop me from desiring their demise and for Germany’s world domination plans to once more be brought to a halt and the Empire put back in their place. However, I still do like them and I appreciate all the different issues that they show them having to deal with from their point of view.

It shows how war affects everyone, from the victim running from danger, to the patriots fighting for their freedom and their homes, to the enemy soldiers who are ordered to raze them to the ground. Youjo Senki took a couple of episodes to portray how moral conflict arises and swamps the battlefield and affect multiple parties from all sides and seeing how the soldiers who commit war crimes chose to deal with what they’ve been ordered to do. You have those who try to rationalize it, those who try to ignore it, and those who try to shift the blame.

All the fire and brimstone? Definite “fallen angel” territory.

I especially found Tanya’s way of shifting blame around in order interesting, since her troops themselves find solace in thinking that their commander is purposefully taking on the fault for their sins as she would face the consequences for their actions, not knowing that her thoughts were a lot more selfish than theirs. The loli bakemono-ette actually absolves herself of all fault as well, insisting that her own hands are clean, which is fascinating since we find out later on that it was Tanya’s own plans and ideas and theories that lead to actions that she later had to commit! Things certainly seem quite different on paper and when you are just writing theories in an office, compared to when you actually have to face the results of those theories and thoughts put into action in the field…and of course the consequences that result.

Entendez-vous dans les campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats?

All the sacré bleu!

What’s left of not-France and its current leader, not-General Charles de Gaulle, swear to free the Republic from not-Germany, creating the not-Free French Forces, to fight for their country and countrymen despite such a sound defeat. Seeing the Empire tearing up the Republic piece by piece and making their coup de grace in attempting the war was thrilling, intriguing, heartbreaking, and foreboding all at one time. Because of their placement in the map, France in general has tended to bear a huge brunt of European wars. During both world wars they were invaded and occupied at different points in time and location by Germany, and they usually have had the stuffing beat out of them. This doesn’t change in this version of not-Europe either, and the Empire makes a play that nearly destroys the Republic, which would have caused a decisive victory for our “heroes”.

However, despite many defeats, France always tends to get up again. They maybe fancy, flippant, Frogs, but those Frogs have a persistence to them that can’t be beaten. And there is a reason they have one of the most violent national anthems in the world. The Republic of this story is no different. A group of scrappy underdogs, the Republican act submissive, beaten, agree to an armistice and act as if they indeed intend to be nice little conquered subject of the almighty Empire, And the Empire takes the bait, hook line, and sinker.

Vive la résistance! 

Ils viennent jusque dans nos bras
Égorger nos fils, nos compagnes!

Celebrating their chickens before they hatch, Tanya feels happy in her country’s victory, and yet–she can’t rest easy. Everywhere she turns, she sees examples of conflict, of struggle, and she begins to get an inkling of what the audience already knows.

While in her eyes peace simply means and end to fighting, war, and conflict, this means little to those who have been stripped of their freedom and now lie within that “peace” trembling with anger and fear. And indeed, the troops of the Republic do not die but instead pledge to continue the fight no matter how impossible the situation may seem.

Seriously, why don’t you guys believe me! I might look cute but I really am total hellspawn.

Tanya finds out their plans too late to truly stop them and the Empire is too drunk on its own pride and hubris to see what is to come. And to be honest, even if Tanya had destroyed what was left of the not-French soldiers, I don’t think it would have changed the inevitable outcome. In the spirit of the darling Princess Leia, the more you tighten your grip, the more will slip through your fingers.

In the end, T. does learn from his experiences since he was reborn, and I enjoy them bringing this all full circle. In the beginning, T. doesn’t seem to be able to fathom how someone could react in such a fashion as to push someone to their death. Why can’t everyone just obey the rules? Now, it seems that he through his experiences as Tanya, has begun to gain an inkling of why people can react in such an irrational manner.  Listening to his monologue to the lieutenant colonel and the conclusions that he reached, I think T.’s still missing some key elements that have skewed his deduction, but I do believe that he was at least on the right path.  I doubt Tanya, because of her inherent nature, will ever truly understand why humans react the way they do, and while hate is part of that equation, it is far from being the only reason. But if they ever do go into more of the story, perhaps she’ll continue to learn.

Aux armes, citoyens!
Formez vos bataillons!

It’s about to get hot in here.

So where does this story end? Well, pretty much like you’d expect. Tanya stayed as tenacious and wickedly stubborn as she always was. The Empire, in trying to satisfy its own greed signed it’s own death warrant. Because the rest of the world recognizes that greed knows no boundaries. And while prior to this, they might not have have truly cared about the Empire’s war with its neighbors, as the Imperial forces began gorge themselves with more and more conquered lands, fear and caution begins to stir. Because if it can happen to one, it can happen to another. And as the world bands together to fight against them, the Empire begins to sweat. In an effort to use might to bring the fighting to a decisive end and to prevent a world war from occurring, they inadvertently fulfilled their own prophecy.

I think Tanya knows this, she knows where the Empire is headed. But that also doesn’t mean that she won’t fight it every step of the way. She long ago made her bed, and it against her very nature to regret, to stew in “what ifs”, she is a soldier and she will do as ordered no matter how many people she must kill, how many soldiers she must lose, how many war crimes that will be on her hands. She will continue to fight until the end, because she can do no other…

And besides–it’s fun!

Marchons, marchons!

For dry, red eyes…

In the end this series was fun to watch. I enjoyed seeing this alternative play at history and seeing it from the point of view of villain protagonists is an interesting angle. Tanya was fun, and while I liked her and her squad, I never completely connected with them. I don’t think that was the series fault at all, it was just the nature of the story that they were all in. I felt more for the nameless people they fought, more than I did them, even though I enjoyed their story to a degree as well. I thought the resurrection of Anson Sioux ended up being unnecessary. It felt tacked on and contrived only to give Tanya a “last boss” battle in the end. While the animation was great, it felt needless. I thought they also kind of did a disservice to Anson’s character in trying to make him insane with revenge. I know what they were going for and the message they were trying to state, but I think they could have done a better job with another character and have it actually stick and not feels so tacked on. I don’t think a man like that would have been so consumed as to not even contact his family. That too felt contrived in that it was only done so that the status quo could be kept and Mary Sioux could continue on her own hinted at journey into the war.

“I am my father’s daughter, and I will be an angel of vengeance against you, demon!”

Now, the juxtaposition between her and her volunteer scene in comparison to Tanya’s own in the beginning of the series, THAT was quite the scene. It’s amazing how while both volunteer and say similar things in their decision to join the military, and yet, somehow Mary’s feels much more real than that of Tanya’s. It was a great callback and I loved that they did that.

Qu’un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons!

You’ll probably notice that I haven’t mentioned “Being X” at all yet. And honestly, while Tanya keeps talking about him and yelling at him and giving him the middle finger, I honestly felt like he left this series a while ago. In the end, “Being X” seemed more like a plot device more than anything. He’s the Beauty and the Beast’s Enchantress or Macbeth’s Three Witches for this story, something that sets up the story and maybe interferes here and there, but honestly most of the story continues without him. There are some who seem to blame him for the world being against the Empire simply from him telling Tanya that the world would be her enemy. However, just as Macbeth’s own actions led to fulfillment of the Witches’ prophecy, I put forth that it was the Empire’s own decision and own actions that led to a world war knocking on their door. Tanya might want to continue to stick it to “Being X” and yet, somehow if she really wants to see who to blame, she might want to look in a mirror…

If the series does continue I would be interested in following Tanya’s adventures, but at the same time, I would be fine if it ends here. I feel like there was enough an epilogue that tells us how this will eventually end. Whatever Studio Nut decides to do, they can be proud of their first major animated outing.


See……she get’s it. 


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 08-12 [END]”

  1. skylion says:

    Now, the juxtaposition between her and her volunteer scene in comparison to Tanya’s own in the beginning of the series, THAT was quite the scene. It’s amazing how while both volunteer and say similar things in their decision to join the military, and yet, somehow Mary’s feels much more real than that of Tanya’s. It was a great callback and I loved that they did that

    I love how one story spills into the next like that. How you can have similar events, such as those golden eyes signalling a change, and yet have different outcomes and solutions. This moment with Mary foretold the never ending cycle of hate and war, again! I hope they continue. the story is too good to pass up.

  2. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Hearts of Iron IV: The Anime.

    It is much more fun to create Lebensraum and the Greater Coprosperity Sphere.

    • skylion says:

      They kept the story away from the more horrific parts of the war(s)…despite showing some pretty awful stuff.

  3. zztop says:

    So where does this story end?

    The anime adapted the 1st 2 out of 7 novels. The remaining novels still continue the Empire and Tanya’s army campaigns and/or plotting (hint WW2 Soviet Union, Allied intervention).
    The anime’s being released on 3 Blurays with 4 eps each – speculation is the publishers are pushing a quick release to decide on the anime’s future. They are each 2 times the usual price of a normal release.

    In the end, “Being X” seemed more like a plot device more than anything. He’s the Beauty and the Beast’s Enchantress or Macbeth’s Three Witches.

    “Divine being as plot device” is pretty common in some WN-based reincarnation series. It’s just an excuse for the MC to go to another world and (maybe) receive some powerups in the process. I heard Being X had a more active role in the anime though.

    On another note, I did hear the enchantress in the Beauty live action remake was given a slightly bigger role. I’ve read some good reviews for it, have you seen it yet?
    (Apparently Japan only gets it this 21 April, with Kon Natsumi (Isshukan Friends OP singer) dubbing Emma Watson.)

    • Di Gi Kazune says:

      The anime adapted the 1st 2 out of 7 novels.

      I have a bad feeling on how it is going to end. The boring ending.

      • zztop says:

        7 novels and ongoing, its still not over yet.

    • IreneSharda says:

      I have indeed seen the live action Beauty and the Beast! It is true that it comes out on the 21st here, but that’s why I took a weekend and went to neighboring South Korea, where it came out the same time as everybody else! 😉
      I couldn’t wait you see.

      I really liked it. (Saw it 3 times) Though it isn’t as good as the original, it’s still very good. And yes, the Enchantress does have a more extended role. I’m actually on the fence about that since I liked her more as a hands off character in the original, but she was okay. It’s actually hilarious that the Enchantress gets a name (Agatha, though that might not be a real one) but the Prince still doesn’t. 😛

      • zztop says:

        One of my younger cousins saw it – she said it looked nice, but didn’t like it very much (too similar to the original).
        TBH I like how the filmmakers translated the cartoon designs to real life – the costume designer said she’d designed the Belle costume with practical boots and long bloomers to emphasise Belle’s freedom to move. (Better than say, the live action Fullmetal Alchemist, who’s just doing basic cosplay).

        Apparently the actor playing the Beast said they initially filmed a fanservice finale where he emerged shirtless from a bed of rose petals, but that got changed after the early screen test (He joked that some conservative American moms might have forced the change).

        • IreneSharda says:

          I honestly preferred the animated Belle. I felt that while Emma was okay, I thought they did too much to try to make her seem “ahead of her time”. I mean, there is independent, and there is “out of place”. Emma’s Belle felt a little out of place for mid to late 18th century Western Europe. This is the same time period that has all the cultural niceties and faux pauxes as Pride and Prejudice. So Belle hiking up her skirts so high would have made her look ill bred rather than “independent”. And the whole scene with her inventing stuff just felt random, especially since it was just used to make the townspeople look more ignorant.

          • zztop says:

            Sounds valid – I suppose some things make Belle look like a walking anachromism especially when the filmmakers chose to keep closely to the historical aesthetic for everything else.

            Still, at least it’s not as extreme as some other shows like Sengoku Basara. I’m sure the historical warlords didn’t ride their horses like motorbikes while yelling random Engrish at their enemies on the battlefields, or wear stripper armour leaving their vitals exposed…

          • zztop says:

            PS. If you’re interested, I opened a discussion for the Beauty live action movie down on the Animesuki forums:

            Would you like to post your review/thoughts on the movie there? Our discussion here may be going off topic.

  4. zztop says:

    I feel like there was enough of an epilogue that tells us how this will eventually end.

    Apparently this is addressed in some parts of the LN – reporters from several decades later are researching the war based on newly declassified army info.

    Reveals include:
    Show ▼

    France always tends to get up again. They maybe fancy, flippant, Frogs, but those Frogs have a persistence to them that can’t be beaten.

    • skylion says:

      Look, you can’t go around trusting a Blackadder…

    • BlackBriar says:

      France always tends to get up again. They maybe fancy, flippant, Frogs, but those Frogs have a persistence to them that can’t be beaten.

      Whoa! I’m half French, you know. Regardless if I live in the Caribbean.

    • IreneSharda says:

      I have the first part of the French national anthem throughout the review. I had heard the music but not the words before, and I never realized how violent their anthem is. America’s anthem is about a flag, UK’s anthem is about the queen and the courage of their people. The French? Their anthem is about killing their enemies and watering the ground with their blood. o_O

  5. BlackBriar says:

    Whoo! Just finished binge watching the remaining five episodes and it was awesome. Great show of tactics and camaraderie that were thoroughly impressive but at the end of the day, all the conflict did was show an irrefutable truth: Violence begets violence. It causes a domino effect to whoever is affected. What’s more troubling is the conceit it brings. One side may see themselves and their comrades as the heroes but they’re villains to those they impose on. If Tanya had not intervened at all, things would never have gone as far as it did. Once again, she’s the culprit to her predicament. I so hope to see another season of this and soon.

    This may seem cynical or even nihilistic to some but I 100% wholeheartedly agreed on Tanya’s view of humanity. No matter the efforts used to put up a front, no matter how refined and modernized society becomes, humans are still hopeless slaves to their base instincts and they defy any form of logic and reason. I personally find shows that don’t beat around the bush on these matters truly fascinating, regardless of the unapologetic ugliness of those truths. I’d always find myself rolling my eyes whenever a series tries to sugarcoat human nature for the sake of not causing a stir even if it still is being truthful.

    • IreneSharda says:

      I think Tanya saw part of the truth, but not all of it, as evidenced from her thinking that they have to get rid of all the hatred, which from the way she said it, seemed like she was suggesting that if you get rid of all resistance to rational thinking then they can win, and that’s dangerous thinking…

      I say she only sees part of the picture because she seems to think that hatred is the only emotion that causes people to act against rational thinking. However, its much more complicated than that. Hate isn’t the only reason this war continues. It isn’t the only reason that people are fighting back, and I think it is in that, she’s missing a big piece of the puzzle.

  6. skylion says:

    Yay! VA JOKE!

  7. Namaewoinai says:

    “I am my father’s daughter, and I will be an angel of vengeance against you, demon!”

    You say that and i say:

    “She want to eat That Legs for Breakfast” nuff said

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