The Saga of Tanya the Evil, Vol. 3: The Finest Hour

The Saga of Tanya the Evil, Vol. 3: The Finest Hour Book Cover The Saga of Tanya the Evil, Vol. 3: The Finest Hour
The Saga of Tanya the Evil
Carlo Zen
Light Novel
Yen On
July 21, 2018 (English); November 29, 2014 (Japanese)

Contrary to her dearest wish to find a safe place and stay there, Major Tanya von Degurechaff continues to wade through the fog of war with her troops on land, at sea, and in the air. After many battles with the increasingly numerous enemies of the Empire, a chance for a breakthrough finally appears.

But when her comrades begin celebrating the glories they've reaped, savoring the sweet nectar of imminent triumph, Tanya alone is frozen in fear. Has the Empire decisively won the war, or is this nothing more than a Pyrrhic victory...?


The Saga of Tanya the Evil has unique pacing compared to most other light novel anime adaptions. The TV show actually ends during the middle of The Finest Hour, but this book’s events do get wrapped up (and then some) during the follow-up movie. This is also the point where the differences from actual military history become even more apparent. Up until this point, the battles and events taking place have largely reflected WWI. There were some elements of WWII in the last book, but not a ton. Those differences start to become more apparent here, both to the audience and Tanya.

Some history books argue that both World Wars are essentially the same conflict. To quote Marshal Ferdinand Foch, “This [the Treaty of Versailles] is not peace. It is an armistice for 20 years.” In the Saga of Tanya the Evil, that pause in the fighting does not happen. The reasoning behind that being referenced in this volume’s title, The Finest Hour. Tanya is a student of military history; as these events start to unfold around her, she knows where the path is leading. But to the generals in command, this is all new. Her plights to superior officers are ignored until they realize, too late, that she was right.

Through all that, you have to remember that Tanya is not a patriot. Far from it. She is still looking out for herself. Every decision from trying to end the war to making sure her soldiers are the best is designed to keep herself safe. The brass thinks she is a patriot because of her crazy success rate. The same can be said for the troops under her command. In reality, she is just looking out for #1. All while hiding her true, selfish motives from every single person around her.

Aside from Tanya herself, more plot threads start to come together in The Finest Hour. Existing side characters are further developed while new ones are also introduced to influence future events. And, as always, Carlo Zen shows off his impressive knowledge of military history. Despite his world containing different technologies, most notably the mages, he continues to utilize combat tactics used during both World Wars in this series. The same can be said for the political aspects of the series, as the constant ongoing war causes the gears of the Empire’s military machine to start grinding. While Tanya’s new world has not entered a World War just yet, it continues to creep closer to that edge.

March 1, 2020

Leave a Reply