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Because all fairies have permanent duck-face apparently

There is a country called the “Empire,” which is Totally Not Germany. It is having a war. People are doing War Things, like shooting guns and charging at each other. There are also mages, who can fly and basically serve as the air force. The commander of the mages is a blonde, dead-eyed little girl named Tanya Degurechaff. She is Evil. She is in fact, so evil that the show’s subtitle is “Saga of Tanya the Evil”.

However, the things she does to apparently show how Evil she is are fairly normal War Things, such as shooting the enemy efficiently, yelling at the soldiers under her command, and having zero facial expressions other than a glare. She also has a subordinate, a wide-eyed innocent named Viktoriya. Viktoriya’s job is to look sad, cry, and question all the Evil things her superior does.

Tanya, Viktoriya, and some male mages with major sameface go on a mission to take out a dangerous group of enemies. They are outnumbered, but Tanya is apparently just so powerful that they somehow win anyway. She appears to possess some kind of power given to her by “God,” that turns her eyes yellow and makes her even more Evil. The end of the episode is devoted to various people talking about how dangerous and powerful and Evil she is and awarding her various ominous nicknames such as “Devil of the Rhine”.

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Viktoriya has Red Hair, because she is not Heartless like Tanya. IT’S SYMBOOOOLIC.

We’re a week into 2017, and we’ve already got a strong contender…for Worst Anime of the Year, that is. The intersection of “military” and “moe” is a phenomenon I’ve never really been able to understand, so I expected to react to Youjo Senki with a shrug and a “hey, not for me”.

Instead, I can’t remember the last time I hated an anime this much. (Actually, wait. I do remember. It was Heavy Object. But this one may be worse.) Not only do we get “little girl is inexplicably super-powerful military commander,” but we get “really weirdly designed little girl, who is apparently so Evil she rivals the Devil Himself, oh and also she works for a thinly veiled reference to Imperial Germany, and yet the show wants us to treat her and her allies as the good guys”. News flash: if your show is trying to make a massive vaguely-Germanic empire with a “devil” in its ranks look like the good guys, you might want to re-examine your priorities.

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Also all the male soldiers look super generic

Incredibly uncomfortable themes aside, whoever wrote this episode has clearly never heard the advice “show, don’t tell”. For every minute or so of Tanya actually DOING anything, we get 3-4 minutes of people talking about how awful and feared and – you guessed it – Evil she is.  Not to mention the utter and complete lack of plot. Literally. “Tanya and her crew go on a mission, and then they win, and then people talk about them winning”. That was it.

Not many shows manage to be boring, problematic, uncomfortable, creepy, AND have terrible character design all at once. (Seriously. Tanya’s face is the stuff of nightmares, and not in the way the show’s creators probably wanted it to be). So Youjo Senki has the dubious honor of receiving….my first ever NEGATIVE Dio rating here on Moeronpan. Yup, that’s right, out of Five Dios:

NEGATIVE TWO and a giant middle finger to go with it

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HOW ABOUT NO

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