Posted by AidanAK47 on 19 October 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Legend of the Galactic Heroes Die Neue These

This really wasn’t the best way for me to pop back into blogging for a while if I am to be frank. It’s not hard to shake off the rust but to walk into the middle of a series I watched a year ago which has a cast and political landscape to dwarf a star which also happens to be a remake of a series I watched years before is quite the confusing task. I have to watch the show while I untangle the conundrum of where the previous series ended the story at, how far in the timeline of the old series it has gotten and figuring out who is who between old and new character designs. LOGH is not a show to be watched weekly to begin with but to watch it in between months to even years at a time? Time to give up and look at a fanwiki for a reminder. As for this “movie” it has gotten the treatment of being released as episodes on crunchyroll and my intention was to wait for all the episodes to drop and review it as a movie. However upon watching this “movie” I realize that the production values haven’t risen at all and this really is just another four episodes of the TV series marked as a movie. This is most definitely not a standalone feature as it is a direct continuation of the story and never uses a three act structure or even attempt a movie climax or finale. I can see why it was cut into episodes as I expected the cuts between episodes to be jarring and choppy only to find that it fit like a glove. Perhaps the idea of having the new episodes be movies was to get a irregular release schedule much like the original OVA which was direct to video releases generally put out in two year spans with year gaps in between. It took nearly a decade(9 Years) to complete which has me wondering if we will need another decade to see the end of Die Neue These provided that it even gets to conclude.

So the main plot of this batch of episodes is to finish of the battle we were left with in the original series…I mean the original remake of the last one that came out and detailing the beginning of a giant power struggle within the Empire as the emperor has died without naming a successor. If my knowledge of the old series is correct this may have even been an intentional move by the emperor as he seemed to deem his reign the last in the dynasty and likely was aware of what discord him not naming a successor would cause. Though I believe it’s not directly stated. So the ones up for the throne are a blond brat and two spoiled daughters of concubines which all are fairly unsuitable to the throne. The fathers of the daughters seemingly promising every noble under the sun that they can marry her if they support their daughter as empress which turn up for nought as the brat is made emperor. All hail his five year old majesty. Pretty much everyone is seeing the writing on the walls and the Goldenbaum dynasty is about to tear itself apart and Reinhard is setting up his gambit to take the crown. Including an exchange of hostages with the Free Planets Alliance to plant spies to stir up a coup d’état, so that they would be too busy trying to resolve that rather than take advantage of the empires power struggle. Yang is perfectly aware of the plan is warning the right people to try and stop it. The particular interesting part is that Yang also had the idea of sending spies to the empire in order to do the same thing but didn’t due to it being against his nature. Which does show the true difference between him and Reinhard as while Reinhard is determined to resort to any means necessary to reach his goals, Yang is the pragmatic fellow who takes into account the moral implications of his actions alongside the results of them. As a man of history I would say he more than any else knows that those in the future will judge them by their actions. Or just that Yang just isn’t as determined as Reinhard, poor man just wants his pay and brandy filled tea. I can relate to that on a spiritual level.

We see the first appearance of the Earth cult, a group who have defied the Earth and have turned it into a religion. In the old series I was never fond of the earth cult as in a series with factions with multi personal goals and varying morality, the Earth Cult where the most one note, blatantly evil group in the series. A band of religious extremists to throw in the odd terrorists to shake things up. A few attempts in the old series were made to make them have a little more depth but ultimately they just boiled down to crazy religious people. It’s not that I am saying there are not groups in reality that mirror them but within fiction it just makes them a rather lazy plot device. Meanwhile bringing back the man who fled from El Facil and having Reinhard convert him into a spy is a rather nice way of tying things together. I do like how he was converted as well, I mean his honor is gone, his reputation is in tatters and he’s got nothing really left to lose so why not turn traitor and nab a position in Reinhard’s fleet? Of course I have my doubts as to whether Reinhard will actually give it to him, considering that he tends to pick people smart enough to smell the roses. His recruitment of the person who tried to kidnap his sister is evidence of that. In regards to the rebels themselves it’s a fascinating situation where these people are clearly being manipulated by Reinhard and yet the points they make and the reasons for their actions is rather solid. I mean the system is corrupt, there is no doubt about that and even more so with the human trash that calls itself Job Trunicht in charge thanks to his move to not support the plan that was doomed to failure. Amusing that all these idiots supported the plan in order to stay in office and yet it’s the very thing that got them kicked out. So these at least seem to be people with their hearts in the right place…well except for Fork whose very clearly still holding a grudge against Yang and learned nothing from his foolhardy attack plan. Well regardless of whether they succeed or fail these people’s fates seem set to accomplish nothing. It’s all well and good to have a plan to destroy the system but not great when you don’t have a clear idea on how to replace it.

So both parties of the war look to be taking a ceasefire so they can fight themselves for a bit and the last episode introduces miss Hildegard von Mariedorf who is to gain a much bigger role later down the line and already showing that she knows the political landscape enough to bet on Reinhard coming out on top. So this “movie” ends with Reinhard about to launch an attack on the nobles who have banded together to usurp the throne. With this we have made it up to episode 18 of the original Legend of the Galactic Heroes and considering that there is 110 episodes in the original series, I don’t think I will be seeing the end of this for a very long time. It could very well take another decade to complete it or potentially even more so and that is ultimately the point that has me conflicted. Nothing in these four episodes was bad, in fact it remained intriguing throughout but this is just the tiniest part of a much larger story. LOGH is a story that needs to be binged as the amount it requires you to remember and the connections between all the characters is something that is difficult to continue to be enraptured by on a stop and go basis. Indeed while watching these episodes just as I got my bearings and started to immerse myself in the political intrigue, it was over. By the time it starts again I will need to go through the same process of trying to recall just what was happening. The old series had the right idea of dropping 25 or so episodes at a time as that could tide the viewer over until the next batch arrives. But in these four episode increments, well it’s over before it even begins.

3 Responses

  1. Avatar Animosh says:

    I don’t think Yang failed to send spies because it was “against his nature”. My interpretation was that – as so often with Yang – he has faith in the democratic system (as in: it produces the best results in the long run – he is well aware that it can produce miserable results in the short run), and as a soldier, he doesn’t want to step outside it. So even though I think he did *want* to send spies, he didn’t have the authority for it. He can propose to send spies to the relevant authorities, but doing it himself, without going through the proper procedures, would basically make him a vigilante. In a democratic system, soldiers are essentially subservient to politicians, and are never allowed to act on their own: that is one of the big themes of Yang’s story, and I think this was one example of it.

    Anyway, nice to have you back for a while! I agree LOGH is much more enjoyable in larger portions, and I was a bit lost in the first episode as well, but I’m still very happy to have this new adaptation. It’s not perfect, but it’s still a very welcome update of one of the best stories in anime.

    • AidanAK47 AidanAK47 says:

      I don’t know. I mean I doubt it would be that hard for Yang to get the authority to do so. Considering how pro-war the democratic system is and Yang’s reputation I would say he could get permission for it easily. But the thing is that it’s not a very Yang like tactic. Yang is always about minimum loses and the path of least resistance. Hence why he referred it to the devil’s temptations. It’s a Reinhard kind of plan as he generally is a lot least concerned of the morality of the plans, hence why Kircheis is generally his moral compass. Scorched earth tactics, his annoyance at being unable to obtain a perfect victory even if it meant the deaths of so many. Reinhard is the kind to send spies to stir up trouble. Yang isn’t.

      • Avatar Animosh says:

        I don’t think it would be quite that easy for Yang to get permission. Yes, he has a great reputation among military folk and the general public, but many politicians – and especially Trunicht – hate him for exactly that reason (plus his opposition to warmongering), so they presumably wouldn’t be very supportive of any of his plans. But more importantly: given that Yang made sure to meet with Bewcock in top-secret, he probably doesn’t want to risk any leaks. If he tells his superiors about his plans (and the reasons behind them), his actions may be constrained, and his countermeasures undermined, as a result.

        All that being said, I do see your point: although I don’t think the plan would conflict with his moral standards per se, democratic procedures aside (even Kircheis seems to be perfectly fine with it, it needn’t lead to any big losses, and in the current circumstances it could be seen as a defensive move given that Reinhard is doing the same thing), Yang isn’t really the type of person to bet on grand schemes like that. He’s not interested in weakening the Empire or any big goal like that: he’ll do his duty as a soldier to protect the Republic, but nothing more. So although we may be focusing on different aspects of Yang’s personality, I suppose you have a point that his character does play an important role here (in my view his views about his role as a soldier do too, but still ;)).

        By the way, a more mundane reason not to send spies is that the Empire is already a mess, so sending people to stir things up would be much less effective than it is for Reinhard. At best they could make things slightly worse, and that’s if Reinhard doesn’t stop their plot before it hatches, with all the power he’s accumulated.

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