The Legend of the Galactic Heroes Thread

The place to discuss anything relating to anime or manga.

Moderators: ShadowCell, EZero8

User avatar
Koshernova
Pilot's Doomed Girlfriend
Posts: 375
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:30 am
Location: Glasgow (the city, not the Knightmare Frame)

The Legend of the Galactic Heroes Thread

Post by Koshernova » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:26 pm

I've been sucked in. Into a vortex made up of germanic names, endless fleets with endlessly pretentiously-named flagships (I mean, er, flaggschiffen) and galaxy-spanning conflicts that are birthed through complex conversations and interactions.

Yes, I'm watching Legend of the Galactic Heroes. It's the first anime I've watched on the recommendation of the great Gundamn hosts, and I'm... very, very impressed. I mean, part of me wants to reject it, as it adheres to a very patriarchal, oligarchical view of history (ie, the idea that history is 'made by the powerful', while ignoring the fact that this approach to history has been heavily debunked and criticised). So yeah, the sociologist in me rejects it. But the artist in me? Oh boy. The almost flawless animation (for its time), the setting, the writing... it's a work of art. Like all art, it is flawed. But its quality is something impossible to question.

At any rate, I figure this is a good place to start a discussion thread for Legend of the Galactic Heroes. After getting into a good chunk of season 1, I'm quite convinced that Light Yagami was, at least in part, inspired by Reinhardt. Reinhardt feels like a character with some Char qualities (except for the self-doubt regarding leadership) and Light's calculating and scheming.

The Light/Reinhard L/Yang parallel is one I'm sure has been done before:

Light/Reinhard: Upstanding, disciplined individuals who have their own code of justice which most of their surrounding society see as incorrect/great talent for scheming with boundless ambition for power/conviction that they can rule society for its betterment

L/Yang: Sloppy eccentrics who are outstanding at logic/More honest than their counterparts/Do not use their intellect to obtain power but rather to fight for their own sense of justice/do not believe a world with a benevolent dictator is a good idea

What do people think of this comparison?

Finally, please MARK YOUR GORRAM SPOILERS. Some of us got into the show through the detailed discussion in Gundamn, but some have tried to save themselves from spoilers. So, like, be considerate.

(Oh, here's a question: ANN lists a gazillion character designers for the main 110 ep OAV series. Does anyone know who was the lead character designer? I was happy to see one of my favourites in the list, Shingo Araki of Saint Seiya/B't X/Rose of Versailles fame, but I wonder how involved he was in it?)
"There's always hope tomorrow will be taco night."

User avatar
Chris
Bald Wizard
Posts: 4628
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 5:20 pm
Contact:

Re: The Legend of the Galactic Heroes Thread

Post by Chris » Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:03 pm

Kosh wrote:Light/Reinhard: Upstanding, disciplined individuals who have their own code of justice which most of their surrounding society see as incorrect/great talent for scheming with boundless ambition for power/conviction that they can rule society for its betterment.
I can sort of see the Yang/L, but I don't buy this one at all. Reinhard wants to change the world for the better and does some dirty things to accomplish it, but he anguishes over some decisions and feels regret for some mistakes. Light, on the other hand, is a complete egotist who thinks he's better than anyone and treats all people like ants to be used for his schemes. Bettering the world is just a cover - as he's said before, he wants to be the god of the new world. I believe he started acting out of a sense of justice, but he lost it the moment he killed Lind L Taylor just because the guy provoked him.
"What did catch my eye, however, was a podcast named Gundamn!. At first I thought it was a podcast about firearms and [rednecks] discussing their collection, but after looking at the episode titles I was sold." - Xhavalor

PSN: amuromsz006
Nintendo Network: mariomsz006

User avatar
Koshernova
Pilot's Doomed Girlfriend
Posts: 375
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:30 am
Location: Glasgow (the city, not the Knightmare Frame)

Re: The Legend of the Galactic Heroes Thread

Post by Koshernova » Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:47 am

Ah, but this is down to the perspective of the story, is it not? Sure, Reinhard is more human and, in many ways, less of a screwed up individual. But the truth is that Reinhard DOES want power, and does believe that he's the best person to rule the galaxy. The storyline presents him in a better light than Light, but a person like Reinhard in reality would still be quite detestable due to their autocratic inclinations.

Also note that I never said their sense of justice was logical or morally acceptable. I meant to say this was a code of justice that made sense to the character.
"There's always hope tomorrow will be taco night."

User avatar
Chris
Bald Wizard
Posts: 4628
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 5:20 pm
Contact:

Re: The Legend of the Galactic Heroes Thread

Post by Chris » Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:37 am

You say Reinhard would be detested for his autocratic inclinations, but that's your perspective living in a democracy. He lives in an autocratic system, so of course that's going to be his worldview. I don't want to get to deep into some of what Reinhard does because it might be spoilers if you haven't seen the whole show. Suffice it to say, he makes real reforms that help lots of people and works to build a sustainable world that will last beyond him. Many people agree with what Reinhard wants to do. Light's enforced peace lasts only as long as he lives, and if people knew of his real intentions, rather than the image they have of "Kira," they would denounce him.

There are other major differences between the characters. Light literally cares about no one, not even his family. As we see, even his father is just a tool to be used by him. Reinhard, we know, cares very deeply for his sister and Kircheis, and he respects all the subordinates who work for him. Reinhard wants to rule the world, but he knows he has to fight every step for it. Light thinks that he's entitled to rule the world by virtue of the Death Note, and he views every challenge as an obstacle or nuisance. Reinhard is able to recognize the talents of others, even in an enemy like Yang. Light thinks he's superior to everyone in the world. Reinhard is able to gather people to his cause because of his accomplishments and because he's different from the ruling nobles. Light attracts people to him out of fear.

I'm sure I could find more to go on about, but I think that illustrates the point I want to make.
"What did catch my eye, however, was a podcast named Gundamn!. At first I thought it was a podcast about firearms and [rednecks] discussing their collection, but after looking at the episode titles I was sold." - Xhavalor

PSN: amuromsz006
Nintendo Network: mariomsz006

User avatar
Koshernova
Pilot's Doomed Girlfriend
Posts: 375
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:30 am
Location: Glasgow (the city, not the Knightmare Frame)

Re: The Legend of the Galactic Heroes Thread

Post by Koshernova » Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:03 pm

Ah, I think I see your points better now. I'm sure the debate about whether what Reinhard does is acceptable will crop up in this thread (may it be long lived!). But, at least, in concept and the beginning of the story, I can't help but feel that there is a certain inspiration drawn from Gineiden when creating the two main rivals of Death Note. It's not the same of course, and the stories and characters are vastly different, but that's what makes them good stories, otherwise it'd be poor writing.

Said in a different way, not every ace pilot with a red robot is exactly the same as Char, but they may have parallels.
"There's always hope tomorrow will be taco night."

User avatar
Kishiria
Creepy Bishonen
Posts: 231
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2006 10:32 am
Location: Hidalgo Colony, Side 3
Contact:

Re: The Legend of the Galactic Heroes Thread

Post by Kishiria » Fri Aug 13, 2010 1:50 am

This is one of my favourite anime ever. I have seen every episode, including the gaiden. Around season 3 it starts feeling kind of onerous, but picks up again for the conclusion.

I really, really, really don't like Reinhardt because
Spoiler
Show
after all his highfalutin' talk about ending the empire he ends up buying into the system, and only time will tell if it ends up working out for the better
.

I'm much more a fan of Yang...who can't identify with a humble slob who joined up for teh GI Bill?
Techno-Viking does not dance to the music; the music dances to Techno-Viking.

User avatar
Chris
Bald Wizard
Posts: 4628
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 5:20 pm
Contact:

Re: The Legend of the Galactic Heroes Thread

Post by Chris » Fri Aug 13, 2010 1:46 pm

But Kishiria, the thing is that Reinhard never talked about ending the Empire. Clearly, be believes that a strong dictatorship is the best way to rule the universe, because he doesn't embrace the democracy espoused by the Free Planets. His goal was always to do away with the nobility created by Goldenbaum and institute social reforms, both of which he did. Of course, a dictatorship is only as benevolent as the dictator, which is why it's an open question if his successor will follow the same path as him or swing the pendulum back in the direction of the Goldenbaums.
"What did catch my eye, however, was a podcast named Gundamn!. At first I thought it was a podcast about firearms and [rednecks] discussing their collection, but after looking at the episode titles I was sold." - Xhavalor

PSN: amuromsz006
Nintendo Network: mariomsz006

User avatar
Koshernova
Pilot's Doomed Girlfriend
Posts: 375
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:30 am
Location: Glasgow (the city, not the Knightmare Frame)

Re: The Legend of the Galactic Heroes Thread

Post by Koshernova » Fri Aug 13, 2010 3:27 pm

I just realised I didn't respond to something you said, Chris, which has been nagging me:
You say Reinhard would be detested for his autocratic inclinations, but that's your perspective living in a democracy.
A point of note: I live in Ireland (which, while oppressive until the early 1990s, was not an autocracy), but I was actually born during the last few months of a military dictatorship, back in Argentina. Thus, even from the perspective of my relatives who did live through the dictatorships, I'd still hold that perspective. I disagree with LoGH about
Spoiler
Show
the idea, espoused by Yang, that depending on where you're born, you accept the system as it is, ie, your perspective in a democracy is more likely to favour that system and vice-versa. History has shown that depending on many factors, a person may or may not be a supporter of their system of government. It's not really about where you're born.
Another thing is that, people like Reinhard just plain don't exist in real life. Someone who has such lofty ideals of incorruptibility would NEVER get to Reinhard's position, because they'd have to become part of the system, ie corrupt, to get that high up.
"There's always hope tomorrow will be taco night."

User avatar
Chris
Bald Wizard
Posts: 4628
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 5:20 pm
Contact:

Re: The Legend of the Galactic Heroes Thread

Post by Chris » Fri Aug 13, 2010 3:51 pm

I never said someone like Reinhard would exist in real life. Neither would many of the people in the show. As to the whole democracy/dictatorship example, not everyone who is born under a certain system of government will follow that government's system. I never meant to imply that, because it's obviously not true. But since Reinhard DOES believe in a dictatorship, clearly he's a product of that system and supports it over democracy.
"What did catch my eye, however, was a podcast named Gundamn!. At first I thought it was a podcast about firearms and [rednecks] discussing their collection, but after looking at the episode titles I was sold." - Xhavalor

PSN: amuromsz006
Nintendo Network: mariomsz006

User avatar
Kenji
Traitor Villain
Posts: 756
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2007 10:20 pm
Contact:

Re: The Legend of the Galactic Heroes Thread

Post by Kenji » Sat Aug 14, 2010 3:36 am

What Legend of the Galactic Heroes states, and well, is that there is no superior form of government. All have their advantages and disadvantages, and the very setup of the Galactic Reich vs. the Free Planets Alliance, as well as the introduction of Reinhard von Lohengramm, are made to demonstrate that point.

Since Kosh hasn't seen the entire series, I won't go into how it does this, but I will go into something historical. Obviously, men like Reinhard aren't common, but they also aren't nonexistent. However, we're talking about leaders whose legacies stretch for not centuries, but millennia.

We're talking about Augustus Caesar.

Like Reinhard, Octavian was a young man of lesser noble blood, who gained an advantage because of his unexpected connections to power (being made heir in Julius Caesar's will). However, it was his own talents that allowed him to make use of that advantage, turn it into political capital, and use it to crush his enemies.

Unlike Julius, Octavian was capable of wielding his power shrewdly. The Romans, after all, hated the idea of a king more than any American would. He deified Julius for the express purpose of wielding power as a proxy of a god, not for his own sake. He then officially gave up power and retired from political life, yet he held massive sway over the Senate until the day he died.

Officially, he was a private citizen and the hero that reunited the Republic and returned the power from the warring generals to the Senate. His title, princeps, was adopted for the very purpose of being deceptive: It merely meant "first among equals (citizens)" ... yet we know it as the etymological root for the word "prince."

As Augustus, his adept lawmaking and rebalancing of Roman power ensured that a Republic that was on the verge of collapse from nearly a century of civil war would endure for another 500 years, in spite of the incompetence and brutality of the vast majority of his successors. Depending on how you want to split hairs, his legacy lived on tangibly in Constantinople until 1453, or it continues to live on in the Vatican.

Less tangibly, he became the model of utterly pragmatic leadership that persists in Western thought to this very day, and there arguably hasn't been a single leader who has risen to match his achievements.

We find it difficult to imagine a leader like Reinhard because Augustus died in AD 14. Men like them aren't gods, but their talents and charisma can make them seem that way, enough to make grown men cry in their presence. A man like that, wielding autocratic power, can perform more good for a nation than a similar man leading a democracy. Of course, a autocratic brute can perform greater horrors than even the most immobile democracy staffed with the most incompetent, self-serving politicians.

In short, every system has its advantages and disadvantages, and Legend of the Galactic Heroes is particularly notable for discussing this.
"This is the truth! This is my belief. At least for now."

User avatar
Heretic
Traitor Villain
Posts: 781
Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 9:38 pm
Location: Behind the Sofa to escape from the Daleks.

Re: The Legend of the Galactic Heroes Thread

Post by Heretic » Sat Aug 14, 2010 7:06 am

Ah LotGH, I quite enjoyed what I have seen, and I really should take the time to watch it again and this time reach the ending. The fact that the social/political ideas expressed in the anime cause such in depth debate, shows that the writers did a really good job of presenting them. The inherent flaws of both dictatorship and democracy are shown, not just in passing but as driving plot elements. Democracies can become corrupted by greed, and on the flip side, dictators can be benevolent. True, benevolent dictatorships can be very rare, but they do happen. History shows they can go one of two ways, the successors fail to hold to the ideals of the original, causing decline, unrest and eventually revolution (i.e. rise of a new dynasty, collapse into anarchy from which new systems can eventually arise.) Or on rare occasions, the dictator instates social reform that can lead to self governance by the people.

Lets shift gears from political debate for now, (I'm sure we'll get back to it since this is just about the only thread where social and political ideas are going to be expressed on this forum). Something I desperately wish writers (both of anime and western television) would take example from in LotGH is how the two characters lifted up as being talented tacticians, are actually talented tacticians. They use cunning, deception, ingenuity, and sometimes take big risks in the hopes that fortune will favor them. They are also realistic in knowing when a battle will simply not turn out in their favor under the present circumstances, then try to find a way to shift those circumstances. Conversely, their opponents by and large are not idiots, they may have character flaws that prevent them from accepting their opponent correctly or set too heavily in “Traditional” tactics but they aren't all completely stupid.

Reinhard and Yang are both very talented but that talent isn't exactly the same.

Yang tends to use his knowledge of history, mixed with new ideas, to develop bold and unorthodox tactics. Where Reinhard is more of the Ches Master, reading and anticipating the movements of his opponent.

Likewise, they both have talented people surrounding them, but how they got those people is different. Reinhard used his Ches Master skills again to recognize and measure the talents of others, then actively gathers these people together. Yang gets most of his helpful friends through force of personality. As has been pointed out, he's a likable character. Talented in his own right but still comes off as the “every man”. Approachable, friendly and you can argue that he's humble in his own way. People like him and want to support him and his talent, and in doing so, the people around him are inspired to use their own talents. These are the kind of social dynamics that have given us the larger than life figures in our own history and make Yang and Reinhard worthy of the series title.
Everything I know about rock music, I learned from K-ON!!

Antares
Retconned MSV Ace
Posts: 1546
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:44 am
Location: Finland
Contact:

Re: The Legend of the Galactic Heroes Thread

Post by Antares » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:53 am

Oh joy, discussion of LoGH is revived! I started re-watching a few weeks ago, starting in a chronological order (meaning Gaiden first). It is an absolute pleasure to watch LoGH, even after you've seen the whole deal once. It highlights the fallacies of humans and their institutions (incl. forms of government) beautifully. The extrapolation of modern politics is effortless in this series. You know it's a good show when you're on the edge of your seat, gnashing your teeth when idiot, incompetent military commanders sacrifice hundreds of thousands of troops in the course of a single battle for their perverted concepts of freedom or honor, or whatever either the Empire or the Alliance espouse. Basically I second whatever Heretic said.

On the original question of Death Note -comparison, I think you can draw some similarities, but that is about it. The motivations for the characters is utterly different, especially when you consider Yang's lackluster attitude towards war and L's desire to wage a war of wits with Kira. And like Chris said, Light came off towards the end as a real socio/psychopath. LoGH is careful not to allow its narration descent into "evil genius" vs. "righteous good guy". And oddly enough I simply love the narrator, even though all he tends to say is "but at this stage, no one knew of this". This sets the tone of the epic, or a legend. ;)

I think the reason why the writing seems to be so in-depth is because LoGH is based on a book(s). Unfortunately those have not been translated to my knowledge; I'm dying to get my hands on a copy. And finally, this is one of the rare animes when character death has actually caused my lower lip to wobble.
-We will not be caught by surprise!
*Almost everyone I've killed uttered similar last words.
-Then I am glad once again that you are on my side.
*They've often said that too.

User avatar
Koshernova
Pilot's Doomed Girlfriend
Posts: 375
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:30 am
Location: Glasgow (the city, not the Knightmare Frame)

Re: The Legend of the Galactic Heroes Thread

Post by Koshernova » Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:38 pm

Right, just wrapped up season 2. I have a question that bugged me throughout the season, spoiler marked:
Spoiler
Show
Why is the Alliance fleet so much smaller than the Imperial fleet?

Both nations had suffered from civil wars during season 1, which of course would sap the strength of their militaries. It is clear from the beginning that the alliance has smaller resources and a smaller military, though not MUCH smaller, than the Empire.

This, coupled with the incompetence of FPA commanders (and juxtaposed with Reinhard's extreme competence, let's remember Yang didn't have command of most of the military like Reinhard did) would make it logical to assume there'd be differences in the forces remaining after the corresponding civil wars. So, I'm okay with that.

But the difference we're shown is much, MUCH bigger. To the point of the Empire having most of its fleets mostly intact, it seems, enough certainly to station along the way in Phezzan and Iserlohn, and still have plenty left over. On the other hand, the Alliance pretty much has Bucock's and Yang's fleets, which are later united into a small rag-tag fleet.

Did I miss any pertinent explanations here? It seemed to me like the show just said 'the FPA's fleet was decimated by the civil war' while ignoring that the same thing happened to the Imperial Fleet.
"There's always hope tomorrow will be taco night."

User avatar
Kenji
Traitor Villain
Posts: 756
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2007 10:20 pm
Contact:

Re: The Legend of the Galactic Heroes Thread

Post by Kenji » Sat Aug 21, 2010 10:09 pm

The way I saw it,
Spoiler
Show
The majority of the Alliance forces were destroyed in that disastrous attempt to occupy Imperial territory. The coup d'etat didn't so much destroy a lot of ships (though it did), but it threw the entire command structure into disarray. The civilian government no longer trusted the military and spent more resources trying to gain control over the leadership rather than rebuilding the fleets.

Also, let's not forget that Alliance fleets were lost in three (or is it four?) Tiamat engagements and the Battle of Astarte.
I don't know how well that answers your question, but I think it'd be best to see the decline as a matter of the last few decades rather than something attributable to a single event.
"This is the truth! This is my belief. At least for now."

User avatar
Koshernova
Pilot's Doomed Girlfriend
Posts: 375
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:30 am
Location: Glasgow (the city, not the Knightmare Frame)

Re: The Legend of the Galactic Heroes Thread

Post by Koshernova » Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:02 am

Thanks! The way you put it, it makes much more sense. For some reason, that part of the story slipped my mind. And then when the show tries to explain the difference in fleet sizes, it DOESN'T mention that, hence my confusion.
"There's always hope tomorrow will be taco night."

Antares
Retconned MSV Ace
Posts: 1546
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:44 am
Location: Finland
Contact:

Re: The Legend of the Galactic Heroes Thread

Post by Antares » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:10 am

Past development, sure, but also the horrible beatings the Alliance took in the beginning of the series (including "My Conquest of the Sea of Stars"), mostly due to astoundingly incompetent command, was further aggravated in the
Spoiler
Show
misguided crusade of commodore Fork to the Empire, which crushed several fleets entirely and was completed in the defeat at Amlitzer, from which Yang was barely able to pull out with a few fleets. It was made clear that the endeavor itself utterly drained the resources of the FPA, so they would be slow to rebuild.

The FPA had depleted their forces considerably more by comparison, while the Empire (which started to be at this point synonymous with Reinhard) was able to keep its forces relatively intact. Before the Empire's civil war, their only serious loss was the Iserlohn station fleet, most of which Yang allowed to withdraw. The nobles never managed to match Reinhard's charisma in terms of manpower, so the end of their civil war caused less of a disturbance militarily. The FPA, in turn, had a coup d'etat, which was primarily instigated by the military and thus most destructive to it
. The rest of what Kenji said about the FPA is IMHO pretty much on the mark.
-We will not be caught by surprise!
*Almost everyone I've killed uttered similar last words.
-Then I am glad once again that you are on my side.
*They've often said that too.

User avatar
QuessParaya
Cardboard Leo Ace
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 10:11 pm

Re: The Legend of the Galactic Heroes Thread

Post by QuessParaya » Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:37 pm

To be honest though, the FPA military (while yes, being incompetent) was hamstrung by their leadership. Just look at
Spoiler
Show
Yang's tribunal, where the FPA government tried to prosecute him for *saving the country* and not *serving the interest of the leadership (cough Job Trunhit cough)* It was evident in Season 1 that the military had long ago lost any sort of independence in decisionmaking and was pretty much just the puppet of what was a VERY corrupt government (more corrupt than the Goldenbaum dynasty, IMO.
It's also fairly obvious that the war had lost its meaning a long time ago and was just a tool for propaganda to prop up two very dead regimes.
Eamus Catuli

HEJA BVB

User avatar
Red Comet90
Okawara x Katoki Love Child
Posts: 1008
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:25 pm
Location: Axis
Contact:

Re: The Legend of the Galactic Heroes Thread

Post by Red Comet90 » Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:50 pm

Since this is the official thread for Legend of the Galactic Heroes I figure I may as well ask my question here.

In what order should I watch all of LOGH in? Should I start with the original 60 minute movie or does it spoil too much of the series? I know that the side stories are prequels, but I won't watch them till after the main series because of production order. I usually go by production order which is why I ask if watching the movie first is necessary or if maybe it doesn't add anything at all and can be watched at any time. Thanks!
The proof of our might will forever be etched in your minds.

-- Haman Karn

User avatar
Kenji
Traitor Villain
Posts: 756
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2007 10:20 pm
Contact:

Re: The Legend of the Galactic Heroes Thread

Post by Kenji » Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:36 pm

By, "the movie," do you mean My Conquest is the Sea of Stars? I don't think it's necessary to watch it, but I remember there being a reference in the series to a tactic Yang used in that movie. I don't think the movie spoils anything from the OVA.

Then again, I did watch it after finishing up the first season, so my memory's a little fuzzy.
"This is the truth! This is my belief. At least for now."

User avatar
Red Comet90
Okawara x Katoki Love Child
Posts: 1008
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:25 pm
Location: Axis
Contact:

Re: The Legend of the Galactic Heroes Thread

Post by Red Comet90 » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:01 pm

Yeah that's the movie I'm referring to. I just realized there is more than one movie. If that movie takes place before the series I'll watch it before actually continuing on with season 1. Thanks! :mrgreen:
The proof of our might will forever be etched in your minds.

-- Haman Karn

Post Reply