If I say the names of these companies I’m sure someone can tell me a work they did. Shaft, Madhouse, Sunrise, Bones and the list goes on, new or old anime fans will have surely seen or heard of a work they’ve animated. Now if you ask yourself what did “Studio NUT” do as an animation studio, it would be expected to draw a blank. I’m here to tell you though that I hope with their release of their first anime “Youjo Senki” or it’s English title “Saga of Tanya the Evil” that soon this will be a known anime studio, because to sum it all up, Youjo Senki was amazing.
Our story begins with a girl named Tanya, a young teenager who has an attitude and an evil look to her. She has knowledge, she’s tough and she acts removed from almost any positive human emotion. She is in charge of a magical regiment for the empire in a pseudo similar world akin to ours during the first World War. However, it isn’t long before we learn that Tanya wasn’t originally from this world but from our current world of a modern Japan. A cruel and cunning business worker, Tanya was at first a man who ends up firing an employee and later is pushed into an oncoming train by said disgruntled employee. It is there we have time freeze and a voice calling himself God (or as Tanya refers to him, Being X) who claims to want to teach this man to believe in him by force. Thus he is reincarnated into the young girl we know as Tanya and is now reliant on trying to kill those who oppose her new homeland as well as take down Being X despite relying on his gift of power from a small gem created for her by scientists of her world.
Obviously the story is the main hook of Youjo Senki, which may I add is based off a light novel series, and will be the strongest point of the series. Tanya’s twisted character, her command of different minded soldiers and the overall relationship between Being X and herself will be what makes you want to see how every episode plays out and will be the glue that holds the series together. I’ve heard from several sources (and my own research) that there are some major differences from the light novel adaptation (especially in regards to the relationship I mentioned a moment ago) but I felt that this was done well enough to not warrant fans to get overly angry. Every episode builds to explore Tanya’s twisted mind and by the conclusion of this 12 episode season.
The music (opening done by “Myth and Roid” with the closing done by “Aoi Yuki,” voice of Tanya) is something easily repayable and enjoyable. The voice acting for the most part is strong and fitting for the characters, though Tanya’s voice in Japanese will take some getting used to, the English cast does a fitting job as well having the talented Monica Rial voice Tanya in the English dubbed version.
On the animation front, Studio NUT should indeed win an accolade for doing such a strong job, with the exception of a few ending
episode moments, as their animation is very nice to watch. Characters have some odd design choices, but the backgrounds, the visceral war like settings (there is a load of very mature scenes despite this being a magically driven show) and the overall ascetics blend well together and make me wonder if Studio NUT is indeed new to the anime game.
In conclusion, it’s a scary thing to witness a new series being done. In the case of the series called “Izetta the Last Witch” we see an attempt at something original (albeit very similar to Youjo Senki) crash and burn after the very first episode. Youjo Senki has Tanya’s mindset of being the best and that’s why I award this show with an A- grade. You will want to see Youjo Senki and by the end you’ll be hoping for even more. If you care to see more info, and my original thoughts on the series, you can check out my episode one review down below.