Well now. I didn’t expect Tanya to be a reincarnated Japanese salaryman. I mean, I don’t know what I expected her past to be made up of- but it wasn’t that, and now I’m more fascinated than ever.
The man who becomes Tanya remains unnamed, but he has strong ambitions and believes that one can only advance in this world with merit and drive. He’s very harsh, but follows rules knowing his end game is success. However, his life is cut short when a man he fired recently pushes him in front of a train. Just before the splat, God or Being X as our man calls it, stops time and offers a chance of reincarnation. The man doesn’t fit Being X into his worldview and rejects the being’s existence- even as it talks to him. Being X learns that the man doesn’t believe in God because he is unchallenged in life, so as a form of punishment the being sends him to another world to be reincarnated.
Tanya retains all her memories of the previous life, and as such has a vendetta against Being X. She wants to prove him wrong, that she doesn’t need faith or belief to survive in this alternate world. Tanya wishes to use her reincarnation to teach Being X a lesson, so to speak.
Since Tanya still has her previous personality, all the moves she made in the previous episode start to add up in a less evil, more ruthless way. Tanya’s worldview is skewed, and her encounter with Being X didn’t help it any. When she sent the boys to the pillbox to die, it wasn’t out of a dark need for their deaths- it was to remove what she viewed as an inefficient non-conformist part of the army.
Furthermore, Tanya isn’t the patriot I thought she was. She is simply using the ideals and language of the “Fatherland” to pursue her own ambitions to become successful and survive in this war-ridden world. The reason Tanya joined the war effort after learning she had potent magical abilities at such a young age was to start a career – it’s all about the end goal with Tanya.
As a growing commander, Tanya is frequently underestimated by people since she is only nine-years-old. This leads to several altercations, but none so memorable as when she is scouting and left to defend her position for 600 seconds alone until backup arrives. The army refuses to send a closer unit to her aid as she is being attacked by a rival air cav which shows me that she is seen as expendable.
However, in the face of adversity, Tanya overcomes and loses her mind at the mention of God and rushes the attacking air cavalry force alone. It’s a really beautiful, desperate fight that Tanya believes she is going to lose. She decides to attempt a self-destruct to take out as many members of the opposing unit as possible, and falls to what she assumes is her death.
Tanya survives, of course, and is given the Silver Wings Badge for her efforts and the army now sees her a prodigy. Tanya will be sent to front lines and lose her place in the relatively safe rear position. She will have to become more ruthless with this new position.
This show is really delving into the idea of religion as a force and what causes people to believe in the first place. When faced with the shocking reality that Being X does exist, Tanya rejects it, while other people may see it as a wonderful act of God. Tanya doesn’t reject Being X because it is a God-like being, but because it doesn’t fit into her worldview. She also rejects Being X because it states that people can only survive in poor conditions with faith. Tanya’s goal is to prove this untrue.
Going forward, it may be more valuable to watch the show while thinking about religion as a whole. This show may be more of a commentary on God and Gods than it about an evil little girl.