Image source: KADOKAWAanime on YouTube
Tanya in Saga of Tanya the Evil is petite and cute, but just as the title implies, she’s definitely evil. However, there’s a series of anime shorts streaming after the airing of each episode in Japan that make her even cuter and not quite nearly as threatening.
Each bite-sized spinoff anime episode of titled Yōjo Shenki (a cutesy mispronunciation of the main anime’s Japanese title, Yōjo Senki) parodies the events of the main anime episode that has just aired. The twist: the characters are tiny and completely out of character.
In episode zero, for example, Tanya thinks about food as she flies through the sky. Although she is hungry and wants a cup of coffee, she complains that the world she’s currently in has terrible coffee, going so far as to call it “dirty water.” She also lusts after a bowl of rice with egg, despite knowing that she’ll probably get the runs after eating it. But most of the food in the world of magic tastes bad to her–she can’t believe someone would eat sauerkraut in large portions.
In episode one, Visha tries to understand her superior officer Tanya. After talking with her for a little bit, Visha realizes that Tanya might be nicer than she seems. Although she was scared of Tanya’s smile when she reacted to the death of her comrades in the main episode, Visha tries to convince herself that her superior’s expression was not one of devious joy, but one of shock, similar to the one she had when she drank a cup of disgusting coffee.
And in episode two, Tanya mutters about how much she hates “Existence X” (aka God) in her head while Visha looks on as her superior starts biting her thumb and laughing for no reason.
In episode three, Tanya abuses a nutcracker in place of Adelheid von Schugel, the crazy scientist who put her through so much strife in the main episode. When Visha asks why she looks so scary when she’s holding the nutcracker, Tanya lies that she had a bad experience with a nutcracker during childhood. Visha begins to open up about her own infancy, saying that after her beloved doll’s head was pulled off by a bully during a struggle, she became fearful of the very doll she once loved so much. Tanya takes this idea and says that the next time she sees “him,” she’ll pull his head off, though she assures Visha that she is just mumbling to herself.
These anime shorts not only provide a good review for the main anime, but also give a more comedic flavor to the character of Tanya Degurechaff. Although she and Visha are usually at a nervous distance in the show itself, this version of Tanya is more considerate of her subordinate’s feelings, even making small talk with her. On the other hand, Visha is much more friendly and outgoing with her superior, despite being treated rather coldly by her in the main anime.
And come on–can you really resist that pouty Tanya face?
Yōjo Shenki is streaming every week on publisher Kadokawa’s YouTube channel, albeit without subtitles. Saga of Tanya the Evil is streaming with subtitles on Crunchyroll, and with an English dub on FUNimation.