Episode Guide page is now complete! ***WARNING---SPOILERS***
Tactics is a 25-episode anime which ran from October 2004 to March 2005 in Japan, directed by Hiroshi Watanabe (creator of the series concept for Ah! My Goddess!, and director of all the Slayers movies and OVAs); with primary scripting by Kenichi Kanemaki. Chief animation design and character design are by Mariko Oka with art direction by Michiyo Akutsu, and are just deliciously beautiful. The opening theme is "Secret World" by MIKI and the ending theme is "Mienai Chikara" by Akiyama Miki.\
Set in Meiji-era Japan (late 18th to 19th centuries), when Western
culture first became a strong influence there, it is a supernatural mystery-adventure with drama, humor,
heartbreak, surprising and unexpected character depth, and unrequited shounen-ai romance galore.
What makes this series different from a dozen other supernatural-detective and monster-hunting anime is its exploration of the fragile bridge between the youkai and human worlds--and the chance to watch Kantarou, who wants to live on that bridge, grow up. He's not a bad person, but he's self-indulgent and thoughtless; he's so in love with the youkai domain and so proud of his place in it that it's become, literally, his "secret world" and his refuge from adult responsibility. For the whole first half of the series he's still the same little kid we see in episode one, determined to defend his wonderful, magical playmates to a disbelieving world. But he's lost sight of something important: that youkai are indeed real beings--ancient, powerful, independent creatures who can't always be expected to accompany him on his adventures. It's in watching him slowly realize that he's made slaves of the youkai he loves so much, and that he will only gain the strength he needs by letting them go, that Tactics becomes something special.
Anime News Network explains that "the series title is in English to cover a pun: the Japanese word for 'wizardry', of the kind practiced by Ichinomiya Kantarou, is 'senjutsu'. The homonymous 'senjutsu' (prounounced the same but written with different characters) means 'tactics'. In fact, it could be argued that there is a third pun in Kantarou's writing career: 'senjutsu' (with yet a third set of characters) means 'compiling, editing, writing'.
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