Story/Art: Carlo Zen/Chika Tojo
Translation/Adaptation: Emily Balistrieri
What They Say
Exhausted and drained, the 203rd Aerial Mage Battalion prepares to head home- until an encounter with a suspicious vessel from the Albion Commonwealth piques the little major’s interest. Could this finally be Tanya’s one-way ticket to the rear?!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Volume 10 continues with the Entente Alliance’s attempt to establish a government-in-exile by smuggling out a top politician. Tanya’s encounter with the Commonwealth sub is the culmination of a series of coincidences that throws the whole asylum plan into disarray. While the Imperial battalion puts the Commonwealth side in a tizzy, the submarine presents an equally confounding dilemma for Tanya, and the manga does an excellent job depicting her quandary and how she arrives at her course of action. And whereas the novel’s description of what happened to the sub’s cargo was so roundabout as to leave me scratching my head, the manga makes his fate absolutely clear.
The skirmish is followed by a recap and analysis on both sides. Because neither has all the facts, they must make conjectures, and their conjectures lead to two very different interpretations of the same situation. It’s essentially a large-scale version of cast members misreading each other’s intentions. The interesting thing is that even though each side delivers a significant blow to the other, both take the encounter as a major loss and embarrassment. Much of this section is the military analysis of attacks and counterattacks, but some bits are funny, like the reactions to the note on Viktoriya’s orb.
The narrative then returns to its usual level of individual characters being out of step. Thus we have Zettour seeing Lergen and Tanya as close chums; Tanya thinking she’ll have to face a court-martial and firing squad; and Viktoriya thinking Tanya’s upset because Weiss got into her secret stash of chocolate and coffee.
The following arc is another not found in the anime. Having literally let their prey slip from their grasp on the open seas, the Imperial Navy undergoes a thorough reevaluation of their doctrine, and Tanya’s battalion is asked to simulate an attack on a state-of-the-art warship. This arc is actually quite fun because even though there’s action aplenty, neither side is out to kill. The creator also throws a bit of humor depicting the ship’s crew as pirates-turned-sailors.
Unfortunately for Tanya, her time in the rear is only temporary, and the volume closes with her heading back to the Rhine.
Extras include a world map, battle log thus far, character introductions, country profiles, and a detailed glossary of terms between chapters. Unfortunately, the font on the character introductions and country profiles is so small (4 point? 3 point?) that reading it feels like an eye exam.
For those familiar with the TV series, the entirety of this manga was not featured in the anime, and it is definitely worth reading. Between the intrigue and collapse of the Entente Alliance’s plot and the utter ease by which Tanya’s mages school their own Navy, Volume 10 is worth the cost even if you’re not interested in picking up other volumes.
Content Grade: A
Art Grade: A
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: B
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Pres
Release Date: June 23rd, 2020