The Saga of Tanya the Evil anime was a surprise favorite for me in 2017. With a title like that, I was almost too scared to give it a try, but conniving little Tanya turned out to be nothing like I anticipated. Yen Press has released Volume 03 of the manga adaption, and you can read on for the review. (For my reviews of other Tanya the Evil works, click here.)
Back Cover Blurb
At last, the long-awaited days of tranquility are here! Tanya begins attending war college, where she spends her time feasting in leisure. But who would’ve thought that a conversation with General von Zettour would lead to another turn of events! Will her days of delicious bread and clean bed sheets come to an end?
After the frontline chaos of the first two volumes, Volume 3 delivers relatively tranquil chapters with Tanya attending college in comfort (mostly). Safely away from the raging battlefield, Tanya enjoys clean sheets, hot food, and the luxury of not being shot at. However, because she is attending war college with other officer candidates, the Empire’s two-front war is never far from mind. Thus, the narrative switches from the life-and-death intensity of Tanya’s individual sorties to a broad and almost scholarly view of global events as the top brass ponder their current situation and where it is headed.
But just because Tanya’s not in the trenches doesn’t mean she’s completely carefree. Elite salaryman that she once was, she’s out to seize every opportunity toward a cushy career path in the rear. And so we get tension of a different sort as she tries to impress Brigadier General Von Zettour of the Service Corps and later convinces a rival to drop out of the promotion track at the war college. As usual, her results are mixed, and Tojo-sensei does a fine job inserting comedy into scenes by contrasting Tanya’s intentions with the thoughts of those she’s trying to manipulate.
The final chapter in this volume is a glimpse forty years into the future. Although this arc wasn’t included in the amine, it was part of the original novel, and according to the mangaka interview included in Volume 3, Tojo-sensei was keen on incorporating that content into the manga. The events of Tanya’s world have closely followed the history of our world, and Chapter 9 confirms that the Empire will lose as Germany did. However, that chapter is less about the outcome of the war and more about the mysterious imprint Tanya left on history. As such, the flash forward does serve as an enticement to continue reading.
Extras include a detailed glossary of terms after each chapter and a lengthy interview with mangaka Chika Tojo.
No aerial battles, trench warfare, or divine encounters in this installment. For anyone who’s wanted Tanya to enjoy civilian life, this is about as ordinary as it gets for our reincarnated salaryman. Tojo-sensei uses this relatively quiet volume to zoom out from individual skirmishes and convey the overall situation of the war instead. It’s a lot of geopolitics and strategy, but Tojo-sensei does a wonderful job—even better than the original novel—of presenting this information in a clear and interesting way.
First published at the Fandom Post.