Story/Art: Carlo Zen/Chika Tojo
Translation/Adaptation: Richard Tobin
What They Say
The Imperial Army has allowed the Republicans to pull off their own version of Dunkirk right under its nose―and worse still, the General Staff doesn’t even seem to recognize the significance of what is happening. Tanya, determined to get to the bottom of her bosses’ sudden turn for the oblivious, flies to the imperial capital to see if she’s simply been left out of the loop on some master plan, but even her bleakest suspicions don’t hold up to what she finds there…
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
After the heartrending finale of Volume 19, readers get desperately needed lighter fare with the opening of Volume 20. The escaped remnants of the Republican Army have yet to spring their surprise move on the world, so the Empire’s basking in the glow of perceived victory. Among them are Tanya’s battalion subordinates. Tojo-sensei racks up the laughs with a drunken beach barbecue and even shenanigans on the part of dutiful Visha.
But then it’s back to business. Tanya can’t ignore the implications of the Republican Army’s escape. With the Empire dragging its heels on officially negotiating the end of the war, she heads to the capital for answers from her superiors.
Although there is no fighting action to be had, these Berun chapters are pretty interesting, and much of the content has no equivalent in the novel or anime. Tojo-sensei stretches out Tanya’s sojourn to give a glimpse of how victory has intoxicated both the general populace and military personnel. Moreover, we get a glimpse of Lergen’s home and a much more casual (and humorous) interaction between Tanya and the Colonel than usual. Tanya also visits the orphanage she came from, and Visha goes to the movies with her old pal Elya. Because our characters are usually in a military context, seeing them in civilian situations is kind of fun. Plus, they’re a bit more open in their interactions.
The end of Tanya’s visit culminates in a face-to-face conversation with General Zettour. Unlike her frantic attempt to stop the escaping Republicans, there’s no race against time. Yet this scene carries the same intensity and woefully misaligned internal thoughts as Tanya and Zettour rack their minds to read the intent of the other.
The volume ends with the Empire’s illusion of victory very clearly evaporating. Unlike the anime, where Tanya’s superiors gloss over possible errors on their part, the manga higher-ups clearly recognize their mistake in stopping Tanya. Which makes it that much more satisfying for readers because we get to see her actions justified. But that’s no comfort to poor Tanya as she gets sent out to the battlefield yet again.
Extras include a world map, battle log thus far, character introductions (in ridiculously small font), profile for the 203rd Battalion, country profiles, and footnotes (also in ridiculously small font).
A brief taste of victory for the Empire! Tanya’s subordinates party on the beach, and civilians and military officers revel in the capital. It’s a fun change of pace to see our characters off the battlefield, and Lergen and Tanya in particular experience unexpected aspects of each other. So enjoy it now, because the Republican Army’s about to pop the Empire’s bubble soon!
Content Grade: A+
Art Grade: A+
Text/Translation Grade: B
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: August 22nd, 2023