Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious!
In Saga of Tanya the Evil episode 7, The Battle of the Fjord, a mage with the Legadonia Federation sends his wife and daughter — who’s about Tanya’s age — to the United States for their safety. Tanya Degurechaff shares her best strategic advice with the generals, but one of them reacts violently to her critique. She later learned she was missing one key detail — until she figured it out and made someone else on the general staff angry. Tanya leads her battalion against the Norden Orse Fjord in a high-risk sneak attack. And who does she meet on this incursion? Does she even remember who he is?
What’s In This Post
- Knowing war is coming to his country, Colonel Anson Sioux, a mage from the Legadonia Federation, sends his daughter Mary to the United States. She leaves a Christmas present with him: the latest model submachine gun. She even had his initials engraved on it.
- Tanya presents a plan to beef up their supply lines in the northern theater. Kurt von Rudersdorf thinks the plan is interesting, but the northern theater commander, Heinrich Schreise, thinks it will extend a conflict that he thinks should be over by now. While maintaining a thin veneer of courtesy, Tanya rips his ideas apart, leading to her expulsion from the meeting. Later, she asks Kurt and Erich von Rerugen why command is so fixated on executing this mission. Their vague answers lead her to realize that the operation’s really a diversion for an attack from the sea. To reward her realization, Kurt assigns her 203rd mage battalion to the operation. Her destination? Orse Fjord in the Entente Alliance.
Colonel Sioux commands the mage battalion guarding the anti-ship guns stationed at Orse Fjord. As he and his second in command muse on the futility of war, Tanya’s battalion begins their paradrop over the target. Orse Fjord begins to suspect a problem when they lose contact with their patrol ships. They know there’s a problem when their guns start exploding. Though their initial strikes go well for the empire’s mages, they’re under significant time constraints, which only gets more pressing when Colonel Sioux’s mages attack. Tanya takes company 1 to engage them while her other companies continue the attack on the guns. Tanya’s company proves their superior abilities by killing the defenders until only a few of Sioux’s mages are left. That’s when he sees Tanya and remembers her from when he faced her in battle in episode 2. Enraged, he charges after her. She turns and is about to fire when she receives word that her people have destroyed the last gun. Her job complete, she tries to leave without killing the Colonel. When the empire’s fleet arrives and begins bombarding the fortress, he despairs and begs God to help him kill “that devil.” Unfortunately, Tanya sees him charging and utters her prayers, too. She stabs him through the heart and takes his new submachine gun as a trophy. Orse Fjord’s fortress falls to the empire.
- At their headquarters, Kurt, Erich, and Hans von Zettour celebrate a decisive victory. In the United States, Mary and her mother weep at the news reports that Orse Fjord’s defenders were “wiped out.”
What I Liked
Tanya sure hasn’t learn her lesson from her candid speech to Hans in previous episodes, where he “rewarded” her with a battalion. She hasn’t dampened her sense of sarcasm, either. When Heinrich asked her why she wanted to extend the conflict, she answered, “We’re under no obligation to please the enemy by wasting supplies and troops.” The old Salaryman wouldn’t have said something so bold.
Tanya’s military mind’s come a long way from her Salaryman days, too. Kurt couldn’t directly answer her questions about why the operation was going forward in spite of her observations, but the operation itself gave her enough hints to guess that the operation was only a diversion. It was fun seeing Erich’s shocked reaction when she figured it out.
Tanya’s so short that she had to stretch to reach when she pointed at some locations on the wall map. Given how she talks, it sometimes hard to remember she’s in a little girl’s body, even if she’s right there in front of me. Little reminders like that show me how good a job the writers are doing when it comes to immersing me in the show.
It’s sad to see an honorable and upright man like Anson Sioux placed in this situation. He wants to be a good father and husband, but he has to fight in a war simply because his country’s ordered him to. He watches new recruits board a train that just minutes later gets blown apart, and that sets the stage for his suicidal attack on Tanya. Poor guy. At least he got his wife and daughter to safety.
The banter in the aircraft just before Tanya and her battalion jumped out showed just how well-knit that team’s become. They picked up on Tanya’s off-hand remark about being a canary in a mine and wondered what kind of song a canary sang. Even Tanya joined in, saying, “I don’t want to hear you guys sing.” Before, she would have either sneered at them or ignored them. Now, she’s joining in the conversation. There’s a lot of subtle development in this episode.
In the 203rd’s first “battle,” they slaughtered the Dakian army, who was utterly unprepared for their tactics and abilities. In a later battle, they went up against mages with better training and equipment, and they still won with relative ease. This time, they were against two foes: the experienced mages under Anson Sioux and time. If they weren’t able to destroy the guns in time, their navy would have to turn back, and the operational would have been a failure. It was interesting to see how far the 203rd has come in terms of their resolve and creativity. The show’s done such a great job of developing character and situations that it’s a treat to watch.
It’s hard to effectively communicate just how terrible combat really is. Not only has the news desensitized us, we’ve gotten used to movies like Saving Private Ryan with its chilling depictions of war. There was a single shot in this episode, though, that caught me off guard. Around 15:25, we see a shot of three or four dead mages raining from the sky. It’s not gratuitous, which would have made it ineffective. Instead, it showed the logical outcome of the kind of fighting we’d seen all through the series. We’d just never seen it from this angle. I thought it was powerful.
What I Liked Less
Last week’s recap episode put me on guard, so I scrutinized the production values. Episodes 1 through 6 impressed the heck out of me, ranging in visual quality from A- to A+ and audio quality a solid A. This week, I could see the visuals slip a bit, down to the B to B+ range. That’s still not bad, but it’s a little disappointing after the stellar showing for the first half of the season. Fortunately, the audio quality seemed to remain high, and I have to say that the sky visuals like clouds were still beautiful. So this isn’t terrible news, but I lament any dip in quality. Maybe things will get better next week!
I thought Crunchyroll’s spelling for the Colonel’s last name was interesting. There’s a discussion about it in the comment section for Anson Sioux’s Wikia page. I’ve gone with Sioux in my post because that’s what was in Crunchyroll’s subtitles. The Wikipedia page shows the spelling as Sue. But I suspect Sue’s correct.
Remember Being X speaking in episode 6 of a Crusade against the unbelieving Tanya? Well, this episode puts a spotlight on the cost of that Crusade. We’ve seen soldiers, both magical and otherwise, dying in mass. I keep thinking of those poor Dakians and their complaint that Tanya’s troops weren’t being fair by attacking from the sky. But this episode gave us a glimpse into the wider cost through the eyes of Mary, Anson Sioux’s daughter. This conflict, with apparently exists in no small part to teach Tanya to have faith in Being X, is killing people, ripping up families, and destroying entire countries.
What kind of monster is Being X?
If that’s not enough to cast doubt on Being X as a benevolent god, we get another angle in this episode. Anson Sioux prays for the strength to protect his country against the devil that is Tanya. We see how well that ended for him! Again, what kind of monster does that?
I’m beginning to think that Tanya can only be considered evil from Being X’s twisted point of view.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments!
Other Posts of Interest
- The 2016 Holidays Are Gone – Must Be the Winter 2017 Anime Season! Preview Part I
- Saga of Tanya the Evil Episode 1: The Devil of the Rhine
- Saga of Tanya the Evil Episode 2: Prologue
- Saga of Tanya the Evil Episode 3: Deus Vult
- Saga of Tanya the Evil Episode 4: Campus Life
- Saga of Tanya the Evil Episode 5: My First Battalion
- Saga of Tanya the Evil Episode 6: The Beginning of Madness
- Saga of Tanya the Evil Episode 6.5: War Report
- Saga of Tanya the Evil Episode 8: Trial by Fire
- Saga of Tanya the Evil Episode 9: Preparations for Advance
- Saga of Tanya the Evil Episode 10: The Path to Victory
- Saga of Tanya the Evil Episode 11: Resistance
- Saga of Tanya the Evil Episode 12: How to Use a Victory