Posted by psgels on 27 October 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews




The first Gaiden series was pretty much what you’d expect it to be: small and big side-stories focusing on Reinhart’s past. The second gaiden series promised to focus on Yang Wenli’s past (who by the way was my favorite character of the main series). It however did not turn out to be as I expected.

First of all, in Yang’s past there was always one event that really kept mentioned over and over again: the things he did on the planet of El Facil. It was one of the core themes of the series as it looked at what it means to be a hero. I expected a very detailed look at it, but instead the creators end up breezing through it in one single episode.

This is just a small nit-pick, though. Spiral Lbyrinth starts off with a huge 14-episode arc, and in that arc is invaluable for Yang’s character. It shows who he was as a kid and how he ended up in the military, along with how he grew. Where the big arc in the first Gaiden Series was typical LoGH, this one is far from it, and it turns into a historical analysis that’s very interesting to watch unfold. When the arc ended, I was really looking forward to see some more small back-stories of the guy to close off the series…

… and suddenly the show goes back to Reinhart again. In fact, Yang only appears in one more episode after that. It’s like the creators were thinking “No! The people want more Reinhart!” The last number of arcs of this series are still good, but overall they don’t match up to the rest of the series, especially when you compare them to the short arcs of the first gaiden series. They’ve got nice ideas, and especially the retriever has an interesting premise, but a little too often they just deal with Reinhart trying to deal with dumb nobles and officers. It doesn’t add as much as the first gaiden season. Thankfully the final two-episode arc is a great point to end the series with, and connect everything together.

Now, this series actually has a different animation team than a Hundred Billion Stars, A Hundred Billion Lights. The two Gaiden series were at one point actually produced right next to each other. The team behind the main series seemed to have taken care of the first, while the second has a noticeably different art style. This art style unfortunately is a bit less successful in hiding the animation flaws in the character models, and it’s also a bit too full of intrusive CG (yes, this was produced around the year 2000. 12 whopping years after the series started).

Overall LoGH can be divided into six major arcs, including the Gaiden series. Unfortunately, the final one seems the weakest one to me due to its reluctance to fully embrace its premise and how it didn’t set itself apart as much as the other arcs. I do have to say that the first half is a must-watch due to Yang’s background and I’d actually consider that one better than the big arc of the first Gaiden series.

Storytelling: 8/10 – The second half suffers a bit too much from repetition of morons surrounding Reinhart.
Characters: 9/10 – Excellent background on Yang Wenli
Production-Values: 8/10 – Flawed, but thankfully not flawed enough to really impact the storytelling.
Setting: 9/10 – Still the same brilliant LoGH setting.

Suggestions:
Rose of Versailles
Hyouge Mono
Saiunkoku Monogatari

2 Responses

  1. Watcherzero says:

    Throughout all of LOGH Yang was a pretty underused charachter, I do think the Gaidans do a great job of explaining how Reinhardts sister got into her court position and the enemies out to get her for it.

    Incompetence on both sides is a recurring theme but I do get to wondering some times about the strategic balance. The Democratic state after a couple of centuries to establish itself launched a crusade against the feudal state even though it had between 3 and 5 times the resources and manpower and didnt even know the state founded by the escaped slaves existed. They must have originally had a technological or military edge because its said they were winning initially and then there was a long period of stalement with the corridor continually changing hands. But ultimatley they lost the technology race as their ships became far inferior, they lost the manpower war because they kept sending their men into the grinder and they lost the resource war when the empire decided they had become more than a nuisance and actually started to spend resources on winning the war once and for all.

    Ultimatley were they completley stupid for the relative strengths of the states to even start the war in the first place? they had a dynamic and prosperous state that was growing economically, demographically and technologically with plenty of unsettled planets for expansion room while the empire was stagnant, but they decided to launch a Barbarossa and suffered for it.

  2. evolstar says:

    “and suddenly the show goes back to Reinhart again.”

    I totally agree! I was so looking forward to a whole series focused on Yang only to get more Reinhard. I really think they missed an opportunity there but oh well. It’s hard to believe I was watching Pokemon and Digimon when this was airing. I’ve come so far since then :0

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  • SuperMario
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 07:15 AM)
    Also it’s nice to see there was heated arguments on EVA even before I start to do any post review. The way I see it thou certain films/ series are classic/ influential for a reason, if they are brilliant I certainly can still see its sparks. Like I can still amazed of Potemkin Battleship on its montahe editing, or It Happens one night fot its influential on romantic comedy. So I really look forward to see how I feel about EVA hahaa
  • SuperMario
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 06:52 AM)
    Jezz, I was almost certain that I would cover Orange, mainly because I never have thought it would be on top of the polls. Anw, it’s good to see how Aidan cover it as it appears I’m a much more easy-marker than Aidan
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:40 AM)
    There is a hipster movement of contrarianism, that they just like to hate on whatever’s popular and deemed kinda mainstream. I get defensive when they shit on classics like Akira, Berserk and Ghost in The Shell. I see that wasn’t the case here. Anybody can sincerely dislike Anything; that’s fine.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:31 AM)
    I see your point too. We can certainly take the stance of judging a thing by its own merit, unobstructed by social influences and constrains of time. Yet even at that Evangelion is a fairly slick piece of science fiction, and an interesting watch. At worst it’s boring and contrived, but that’s harmless. Never really fair to call it shit.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:20 AM)
    @Aidan: looking back soberly I did come back a little too heated. That’s uncalled for and I’m sorry for that. I usually don’t lash out of unrelated daily stress, but there are mistakes here and there.
  • mamamoo
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:22 AM)
    @Aidan hahaha can’t wait for the episode reviews for Orange. It’s gonna really test you.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 02:58 AM)
    Look I knew how this would end before it began. We have done this already and neither of us are changing our stance. K-Off laid out things perfectly with his response so I see no reason to elaborate. Only reason I jumped in was because you brought Fate into it and if that was the bait then congrats, you won. I see no reason to continue the farce with no compromise in sight.
    In other words, need sleep. Goodnight.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 02:53 AM)
    @Bam,”I never said the problems it has gets erased by its early release or cultural significance”
    Neither did I. I said you are hand waving it’s problems by stating so, which you are.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 02:32 AM)
    …And orange is still top of the poll…ugh. Seems like this is going to be torture for me. Kiznaiver was already trying my patience with those speeches but if Orange is even worse…oh boy…
  • mamamoo
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 01:35 AM)
    Anyways I’m sure an emotionally manipulating soundtrack will make the anime a bit better :)

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