Saga of Tanya the Evil

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

She is angry… at "world war" itself. She makes the absurd assumption that the empire will face off against the whole world…
O God… Is this… Is this what you really wanted?

Saga of Tanya the Evil began as a web novel and now has light novel, manga, and anime adaptations (although some adaptations are probably based on other adaptations instead of the web novel). In Japan it's called “Yōjo Senki”, which translates to "The Military Chronicles of a Little Girl". The light novel is written by Carlo Zen and illustrated by Shinobu Shinotsuki. The anime is dubbed by FUNimation. Subtitled is available on Crunchyroll.

God is annoyed an atheist japanese salary man refuses to admit “Being X's” divinity[1]. So, how do you make an atheist faithful? With a (proverbial) fox hole!... in a world with magic, going through it's first World War. A world war, by the way that has many obvious similarities with our first World War. Also as a little girl.

Dues lo Vult![2]

Tropes used in Saga of Tanya the Evil include:
  • Alternate Realm Boon: Played with: an HR manager dies and encounters a god-like being he dubs as Being X. Due to the protagonist's staunch atheism, Being X reincarnates the manager into another world going through a world war, as a girl named Tanya with a high magic aptitude born in a country simply known as the Empire. This country is surrounded by hostile neighbors and sorcery is involved in warfare, which Tanya first fights as a Warrant Officer; both her current powers and her knowledge and ruthlessness from her previous life proved vital for her survival.
  • Badass Boast: Eager to put some easy experience into his new unit against an enemy antiquated army, Tanya seeks the approval from von Rerugen thusly:
  • Baleful Polymorph: Being X reincarnated Tanya as a baby girl that would still be a child when broke out. It's actually Zig Zagged, as Tanya's new body has basically unprecedented talent for Magic. Because of where Tanya grew up, this means Tanya is going to get drafted, even though he is now a girl, because not everyone can be a mage, let alone military grade mage. Also war is on the horizon. And Tanya has retained the gender identity he had in his previous life, which has on at least one occasion in the manga caused discomfort (although he is more often shown trying to exploit he has the body of a ~10 year old girl than being shown to be upset about his body's sex).
  • Corner of Woe: Tanya does this shortly after seeing a doctor about his stunted growth. However instead of being in the fetal position he is on his hands and knees.
  • Curb Stomp Battle:
    • In the Light Novel, Tanya had this thought about the Empire's interception of the Entente Alliance invasion:

It’s hard to say if things would go this smoothly even in a drill.

    • Tanya's wing vs the Dacian vanguard.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Lieutenant Weiss tells the 203rd they are being deployed and if they were planning on a one night stand, they'd have to make due with their right hand.
  • Deicide:Tanya isn’t fond of Being X, and aspires to kill him.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Tanya is often wrong about things, and people are often wrong about things regarding Tanya. And it's basically always amusing. This is especially prevalent in the manga, which has less action than the anime, and less technical details than the Light Novel. And it
  • Even the Rats Won't Touch It: The manga tells us that birds won't eat K-Brot.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Inverted in chapter 26 of the manga. The United Kingdom was confident that the Empire knew everything about their highly classified plan, based on the actions of the 203rd mage wing. During the operation in question United Kingdom hacked into Visha's Operation Orb. They stole an audio recording that was from part of an unimportant conversation.

I know about that.

They took that quote as not only a confirmation that the enemy (well, the UK is technically "neutral" with the Empire, but they UK and the Empire aren't on good terms) knew what they were up to, but left that message to taunt them if the UK managed to hack into the operation orb.
  • Finger Gun: While riding his bike in the empire, some kids 'shoot' at White Silver (Tanya) using brooms. Tanya 'shoots' back using his hands. Considering there was no scheming thought bubbles about PR he could have just been nice purely for it's own sake.
  • Friend or Foe: In the manga (chapter 16) the 203rd used decoys to trick one enemy nation to fire upon troops they were allied with.
  • Functional Magic: The setting's magic combines Inherent Gift and Device Magic. A person must be born with a rare magical potential to become a mage; however, a high magical aptitude is rarer. Modern magic uses technology such as Operation Orbs and Specters.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Tanya proposed the formation of a special military unit to impress the higher ups and get promoted. They decided to make that military unit, and put him in charge of it, of course. He wasn't actually high enough rank to lead such a unit when he proposed it, so he got promoted so he could lead it.
  • Got Volunteered:
    • Despite Tanya being the one that proposed the rapid response mage wing (while being a flight mage officer himself), and by extension was assumed by those around him to desire to be the one in charge of that wing, this trope was in play. Tanya was formerly offered multiple jobs in front of other people, but one of them, that was by the General Staff (Basically a group of officers in charge of the military) was handed to him almost like an after thought. The General Staff also has final say in which job Tanya got assigned, not Tanya. Tanya immediately concluded that the other offers were basically just for show and was actually right.
    • Inverted when Rerugen was told to tell Tanya that she is to do a training exercise with the Navy and then go to the Rhine. Rerugen told Tanya about the Rhine assignment, and then correctly assessed that Tanya would eagerly part take in the training exercise if offered. Rerugen then offered Tanya the assignment of being in the training exercise, instead of ordering Tanya like Rerugen was supposed to.
  • Government Drug Enforcement: In the Light Novel, Tanya states the government forces him to take Pervitin[4]. The government presumably is doing this to parts of it's military, not it's entire population.
  • Hat Damage:
    • In chapter 16 of the manga, Viktoriya's helmet is destroyed.
    • On another occasion (in the manga) Tanya destroyed a subordinate's helmet as a means of intimidation.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Averted in the Manga. Played straight in the Anime.
  • Hollywood Cuisine: See the Masochist's Meal entry (The Common Wealth is the setting's Britain)
  • Hollywood Tactics: In the manga Tanya sometimes has his head out of the trenches for presumably more than a couple seconds (which you really shouldn't do [1]) and at times even leaves his body outside of it without apparent in-universe purpose. Admittedly mages do have defensive spells, so if those spells could handle a sniper attack, then this might not be a problem.
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: The some of the words shortly after "I know" in Jingo Jungle are partially incoherent. Also "we all are the jingos" sounds like it could be "we honor the jingos".
  • Isekai: Reincarnation version. Lacks a lot of the cliches associated with the genre.
  • Magic Wand: Generally mages use guns that have spells in the bullets. More skilled mages can cast offensive spells using the gun like a magic wand. Even more skilled mages can forgo the gun entirely.
  • Masochist's Meal: Our army is secretly battling the common-wealth— a neutral country to see who has the worst food!!
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: Averted. Tanya still identifies as a man. Not that he tells anyone.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: After Tanya found out Dacia invaded the empire with a large yet anachronistic army, thereby giving him a chance to test his troops in real, yet harmless (on his end) combat, as well as boost his reputation by demolishing a vastly larger yet vastly weaker foe, he was so happy that he thanked god. The light novel explicitly points out that Tanya would never do this in his default state of mind.
  • Insert Grenade Here: In episode 6, Tanya lands on a plane and tosses a stick grenade into the cockpit.
  • Instant Runes: Some spells involve this. Other spells seem to not involve runes at all.
  • Interservice Rivalry: Not to obviously detrimental levels, but enough that it has caused discomfort. Nobody in the army likes the General Staff's opulent dining room. But everyone in a position to use it does so because the Navy insulted them for wasting money on it, and now in the army criticizing the dining room is now regarded as borderline treason. The army would rather put up with using the room and the awful food that gets served there than admit to the Navy that the Navy was right about the room (or at least in some cases, on the individual level, simply don't want to be the one that break ranks. Tanya would certainly rather admit the Navy was right and eat good food than eat bad food in an opulent room if that was all there was too it, but he anticipates that saying so would result in being ostracized). The army also responded to the insult saying the Navy wastes money making their ships needlessly luxurious to the point they are "floating hotels". That said, there have been some joint operations and in those they seem to co-operate quite well.
  • Irony: One of things the Americans call the mysterious thing in the war (Tanya), ~40 years after the war, is "Being X".
  • Oddly Visible Eyebrows: In the anime at least.
  • Readings Are Off the Scale: The recording of Tanya had a mana level passing the maximum measurement.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: In episode 1, Tanya assigns a couple of soldiers he wasn't happy with to garrison a cramped pillbox not right up on the front lines.
  • Shovel Strike:
    • At one point in the manga Visha is seen armed with a shovel and later explains that her fire arm got damaged.
    • In vol 2 of the LN Tanya became enamored with her military shovel leading to the current Shovel Strike page quote. Her unit also used them as weapons during a night time trench raid.
  • Side Bet: In the Light Novel, 3 platoons of MPs were betting how many teams would pass Tanya's the first part of his exam into his unit. 3rd platoon bet that no teams would pass that day. The platoons were wagering "bottles". A couple of First Platoon members were wishing for the success of applicants not because they cared about people passing, but because they wanted to win the bet.
  • Springtime for Hitler: Tanya says he could train a wing (47 subordinates) of elite soldiers in a month, with the expectation that implementing the cruelest non-lethal Spartan Way would cause a bunch of drop outs that Tanya could use as scapegoats. In the anime, not only does Tanya succeed, but not a single trainee dropped out because they were so scared of him. Even before that, he made a recruitment poster that was supposed to deter mages, but make it so the (at least supposedly) out of touch leadership wouldn't realize the recruitment poster Tanya made was to blame. Tanya received a lot of applications.

How did this happen? How did this all go so well?

  • Super Prototype: Tanya's Elinium Type 95 Operation Orb is the first multi-core orb. It can't be mass produced and admittedly it's full use is only accessible to Tanya due too a curse by god (without said curse it would be hazardous enough that likely only a skilled mage would be able to use it without it immediately blowing up, and even then they'd only be able to partially use it, and even then only in testing conditions). The model type 97 is based off it.
  • They Just Don't Get It: Despite Tanya's efforts, the other imperial soldiers and officers regard the invading Dacian army, which Tanya has been tasked too delay till reinforcements can arrive, as a disastrous situation.

Tanya: So... How far can we go?
Rerugen: Wha- What?
Tanya: The enemy's resistance is so fragile. I wouldn't want to overdo it and cause logistical problems.

  • Uriah Gambit:In episode 1, Tanya assigns a couple of soldiers he wasn't happy with to be garrisoned in an exposed pillbox a little bit behind the front lines. As he expected, a large, immobile exposed pillbox makes an easy artillery target, and his men were killed.
  • War Is Hell: Occasionally war is portrayed as at least a bit on the hellish side of things. Like Victoria's first combat experience. Or a mook remembering his encounter with Tanya's wing.
  1. Well, in some adaptations, in other versions, he calls god "god" when trying to not get him to do anything destructive. But god still views the salary man as sinful.
  2. God wills it!
  3. Tanya's unit consists of himself and 47 subordinate soldiers
  4. the Light Novel seems to assume the reader knows that Pervitin is a brand name for Meth used by Germany in WWII