By Carlo Zen and Shinobu Shinotsuki. Released in Japan by Enterbrain. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Emily Balistrieri.
I mentioned this a bit in my last review, but it’s even more obvious here: the ‘winning’ part of Tanya the Evil is well and truly past, and we’re likely to see more and more of the Empire losing badly down the road. This book has the Empire try what seems to be a very clever strategy, Tanya and her group do their bit fine, and it just… fails. Due to lack of supplies, because the empire is running out of everything. It’s especially interesting as this is framed around a “won the battle but lost the war” siege, in which Tanya’s somewhat smaller corps has to lay wait in a railroad station and let themselves get surrounded, then get rescued. As it happens, they pretty much are able to rescue themselves. This despite the fact that, to Tanya’s surprise, the Federation are getting much better at being mages. After the last volume, where we almost had peace but then got it kicked away, there’s no way this ends for the Empire in anything but annihilation.
The big change in this volume is that Zettour, after pissing off the government, has been demoted and is sent out into the field. Well, OK, it’s not a real demotion, but he’s not allowed to really take charge. He does anyway, though, because it’s hard to say no to a Lieutenant General. Most of this book shows off that, while the title may be “The Saga of Tanya the Evil”, Tanya is more of a pragmatist above all else – the only evil we see here is her explaining to her green recruits why looting corpses during wartime is fine. Zettour, though, can be even worse than she is. That said, he too is getting an upfront demonstration of the fact that the Federation are getting much better at waging war. It helps show off the difference between action at the front and what the leaders in the rear hear about that action.
Oh yes, Visha almost dies. I can’t recall if I’d mentioned this before, but Tanya the Evil is based off a webnovel, but the LN adds a lot of things. One of those things is Visha, who wasn’t in the original story. (This is why fans get annoyed when they hear “spoil me does Visha die?”.) So sometimes you have to worry about her, because she’s cute and less morally void than Tanya (slightly) and we like her, so her death would have impact. The interesting thing is that we don’t get this near-death from her POV, but Tanya’s, who has suddenly noticed that Visha is not reporting in because she’s busy fleeing from a crazed Commonwealth soldier. (Guess who? Yes, Mary Sue is back, and she’s as vengeful as ever. She is, however, attacking the wrong person. See, light novel artist, this is the danger of making Tanya and Visha look too much alike!) Fortunately, she survives to make coffee another day.
The book ends with Zettour ordering Tanya to help him win the war that needs to be one – the one at the capital, which is to say the war against their political leaders who are demanding total victory. I’m sure this will go well! In the meantime, enjoy what is essentially a siege book with added military theory.
(In Omnia Paratus translates to “ready for anything” and, contrary to popular belief, did not originate with Gilmore Girls.)