Review: Saga of Tanya the Evil – The Movie

Mary Sue, calm down and just obliterate the evil.


The Saga of Tanya the Evil movie was fantastic. I enjoyed the Eastern Front of the war with the Federation and the Empire. It echoed historical military sentiment with how the Eastern Front would have looked and felt like. The overwhelming numbers of the Federation and the mounting odds against Tanya’s 203rd Battalion instilled the feeling of hopelessness. Of course there were historical differences, creative liberties the anime has earned, that made it an interesting alternative world. Tanya von Degurechaff does her best in a world at war while Being X empowers her rivals.

Being X keeps the edge on for Tanya by giving her rivals power equal or greater than her own. The daughter of Anson Sue, a mage who died trying to kill Tanya,  is Mary Sue. Mary Sue has been waiting for the chance to avenge her father’s death who died at the hands of Tanya. For years she had waited in the United States and joined the military for the chance of revenge against the Empire and unknowingly Tanya, the Devil of the Rhine. Mary Sue acts civil, until confronted with Tanya and learning she is the one who killed her father. Knowing that her father’s killer lives on fills her with an unbridled rage.

Mary Sue is unprepared for battle with Tanya the first time they meet in Moscow. Learning Tanya is in Tiegenhoff she seeks her revenge, defying the orders of her superiors dictating she must destroy the enemy headquarters. She pursues Tanya with overwhelming power and corners Tanya in the battle. Not content with just killing Tanya, Mary Sue does her best to inflict as much pain on Tanya as possible. Tanya, when given the chance to strike back, also decides to inflict pain on Mary Sue. Their battle is interrupted and Mary Sue is saved from her imminent capture and/or death at the hands of Tanya.

Tanya, a rational being, breaks character for just a moment when hurting Mary Sue. Instead of using her rational mind and just killing Mary Sue as quickly as possible she opts to inflict pain. Mary Sue is a huge threat to Tanya’s survival. The choice to not kill her is an interesting one. It would have been the best decision for Tanya, and an efficient decision. For all of Tanya’s strengths, knowledge, application of theory and obligation to follow rules, she certainly takes liberties that do not benefit herself or the Empire.

Another inefficient decision, made on impulse with the intent to humiliate, was when Tanya shot a propaganda video of her battalion attacking Moscow. This decision earns her the anger of the Federation. Her sole motivation seems to be hatred of communists, who prioritize politics instead of efficiency. Her decision reveals bias, showing that she too at times will prioritize politics over efficiency.  Tanya shares at times the same flaws of her enemies, without acknowledging it.

While Being X doesn’t make a direct appearance we see Tanya living in hypocrisy. On the one hand praising efficiency and doing the best thing for the Empire. One the other hand we see Tanya make inefficient and personal decisions that endanger herself and the Empire. It’s becoming more apparent that Tanya is the vindictive type that will hurt something in her way, making her decisions not efficient but personal. She does not act in the best interest of the Empire, but she acts in her own self interest. It’s making more sense why Tanya got pushed off the platform to begin with.


Agree? Disagree? What are your thoughts? I want to know!

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2 thoughts on “Review: Saga of Tanya the Evil – The Movie

  1. I loved the way the Federation just kept throwing more and more troops at the attack. It reminded me of a story I read about an attack on Finland by the Russians where they just marched more and more men at the snipers. It was a bloodbath, but it’s said that the Finnish soldiers never recovered from traumatic event. There goal was to break their spirit and then march even more soldiers at them. Horrific really.

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    1. It was certainly part of Soviet military doctrine to throw as many men as possible at any problem. You were more likely to run out of ammo or options to fight back than actually lose to some kind of tactical or strategical military decision.

      The battle of attrition lasted for many years on the Eastern front. The anime stays true to that spirit and felt very realistic where a small handful of defenders had to fight against impossible odds.

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