The Saga of Tanya the Evil: Omnes una Manet Nox

By Carlo Zen and Shinobu Shinotsuki. Released in Japan as “Youjo Senki” by Enterbrain. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Emily Balistrieri.

The start of this volume makes it seem like it’s going to be a breather after all the battles from last time, and to be fair there are fewer battles here, but breather is absolutely the wrong word. After nine books, it appears that Tanya and Colonel Lergen are finally on the same page. That’s not a good thing. Especially when they’re saying things like “hey, would you be OK with strafing the government and making it look like an accident?”. Then we get Tanya meeting with first Uger and then von Rudersdorf try to get Tanya to have actual, real human reactions to things and she simply… can’t. She is unable to see why people might be wanting to cry at the fact that the Empire is on the verge of ruin. She gets the danger, and in fact is already thinking of fleeing the Empire for another country, but… the combination of her previous life’s Eliezer Yudkowsky approach to everything and her current self’s being brought up in the Army literally most of her life have led to a broken person.

Now to be fair, after looking at the cover of this volume (whose Latin roughly means “the same night awaits us all”) you might be wondering what the hell I am talking about. But there is a very big difference between Tanya screaming and ranting in her head and how Tanya actually interacts with other people. The cover picture is probably meant to be her reacting to having to deal with Doctor Schugel, who has found a much better way to make mages into guided missiles than he did the last time. While most of the brigade has actual shore leave, Tanya’s core group has to go provide escort over the seas so that General Romel and his men and retreat form the South. Which means taking on a British fleet. Easy peasy. Of course, the ones left behind on shore leave are not having an easy time of it either, as the Commonwealth has decided to do a sneak attack, and the Navy is too incompetent to see through it.

Because I always talk about Visha, let me just say that I find it interesting that, while Uger and von Rudersdorf cannot seem to fathom the way Tanya thinks, Tanya feels the exact same way about Visha, wondering how she is able to blithely take care of things with a smile on her face and a song in her heart. Especially when our little team passes through “neutral” Ildoa, and has it ground into their faces how far the Empire has fallen in terms of offering even the basic staples. Just eating a delicious fish dinner is enough to nearly destroy Tanya, because she understands the message it’s sending. And this also leads back to the cliffhanger, where the Empire is being told to invade Ildoa – a seemingly impossible task. Just how many more seemingly impossible things will they be forced to do? After all, they’re soldiers, not politicians.

As always, this is the opposite of a light read, and as lengthy as ever, but if you can put up with Tanya sounding like she’s posting to “AITA?” on Reddit sometimes, it remains a rewarding series.

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