"Perhaps man is a creature that must fight until the last one is dead."
The antithesis of George Lucas's Star Wars, Legend of the Galactic Heroes: My Conquest is the Sea of Stars begins with a lengthy credit crawl that doesn’t treat the space opera genre as a joke and doesn’t talk down to the viewer, but instead invites you along to a gentleman's philosophical pondering on the nature of man and war.
Afterwards a brilliant white ship approaches a spherical fortress in space and a character quips, "but damn it’s small," again in direct opposition to Lucas's own trite: "Look at the size of that thing!"
The character who gives us the more restrained quote is none other than Reinhard von Museal of the autocratic Empire, and this quote in a way reflects his entire character succinctly. The universe is something to grasp in his hand and wrest control of, to eradicate others perception of him and to end a war.
In polar opposite to Reinhard, his rival's appearance is with a pacifistic "don’t we want to avoid the enemy fleet?" to his commander who's itching for a conflict while on a mission that is primarily a sneak attack. You can't have an epic rivalry without having mirroring aspects, and these two men are joined by the fact that they dont so much want to win the war as they want to end it. A key distinction that seperates them from their superiors and provides them with the aptitude to win battles because they are not blinded by patriotism.
Yang Wen-Li, of the Republic is like Irresponsible Captain Tylor except he has a heartbeat, doesn’t have a slack-jawed zombie way about him, and doesn’t rely on blind luck to pull him through life. In short, he is a relatable character written well, and the fact that he's charming to boot, to the point that his office is stuffed with fan-mail, is a comedic plus. His character arc is about shedding that Tylor-esque lackadaisical attitude and to exert more force to his ideals, to essentially take responsibility for the lives of the men around him because he knows he has what it takes.
This movie is also a contrast to the Gundam franchise, with two sides equally explored and developed, no predictable allusions to World War 2 ala "Sieg Zeon!” For a show based on the premise of a 150 year galactic war you'd expect endless dry preachy and predictable dialogue and although sometimes it feels like it veers into that territory, LotGH avoids it with panache. Or humour to be more precise.
It inserts a cynical Joseph Heller Catch-22 type humour into the characters' mindset, making the show that much more enjoyable to experience. There are many quotable lines of characters lambasting their superiors or the state of war in general. It makes it that much more compelling to see so many people on both sides of the conflict speak out their minds on the futility of what they're embroiled in, making you the viewer, empathise with them all.
The battles consist of more than just bashing into each other, unrealistic power ups or reliance on military hardware from Anaheim Electronics, etc. They are aided by music that is all classical bombast, giving the show a timeless quality, no matter how dated the aesthetics may appear at times, and honestly it’s hardly noticeable at all if you're captivated by the narrative itself.
The direction and editing are excellent, and I drool at the idea of this brought to live action with skill and care. A fantasy dream maybe but you can’t help but dream up a cinematic form for such a tale as this. I give a high score for the animation as it's not technological innovation alone that deserves the highest ranking, but the usage of art as well as its aesthetic quality, and though LotGH isnt going to stand up next to whatever's humping our eyeballs these days, its still full of amazing space-scapes and visual wonder.
As you can tell from this review, this movie, and by extension the franchise itself, is an antithesis to many other anime or films out there. It’s a marvel, a precious gift from the past, and we as anime viewers should cherish it and herald it. "The battle of these two heroes has begun!" the end credits declare, and so onto the mammoth 110 episode series you must go!
I know we have all had this conversation with ourselves: "Self, do I really want to watch Legend of Galactic Heroes? It is 110 episodes of admittedly slow, dialogue-heavy old anime. Is this something I really want to get into?"
This is the answer MCitSoS was made to answer. This is the pilot for LoGH, the first meeting of Yang Wenli and Reinhard von Musel. One hour of a lot of what is great about LoGH. Smart dialogue, engaging fleet battles, and Yang and Reinhard being two ballsy dudes.
This isn't just for those who want to get into LoGH, though. For those of us who have
already watched the 110 episode epic, we get to look back and remember some characters we haven't seen in a while, and say "Oh yeah, he was a cool dude."
Is it worth it to watch? Absolutely, yes. Very high quality all around, and thoroughly entertaining. Highly recommended.
Thanks to the constant nagging of my friend razortongue, I've finally decided to give Legend of the Galactic Heroes another shot with its prequel film: My Conquest is the Sea of Stars. To my understanding, this was actually the pilot for the entire franchise and as far as pilots go, this was definitely a strong start. At the same time, I feel like I should provide a fair warning to anyone who's interested in tackling this massive beast. I'll say this right now: Legend of the Galactic Heroes is NOT an accessible franchise in the slightest. There are no scantily-clad princesses held hostage by giant
slug aliens, no fast-paced giant robot battles, no mystical superpowers, no space stations that destroy planets, or anything of the sort.
Legend of the Galactic Heroes is a franchise which requires large reserves of patience from the viewer. This is a war drama through and through, told not from the perspective of the soldiers but rather from the perspectives of the commanders in charge. The focus of this franchise is not on fast-paced battles and the rule of cool, but rather on politics and the human condition. No entry of the franchise was ever released outside of Japan and as such, watching the series subtitled is the only way to go which may very well be to its detriment because there is NO shortage of dialogue. If you come into this franchise expecting Star Wars, Code Geass, or Fate/Zero on steroids like some of the OTHER reviews on this site make it out to be, you're going to be thrown for quite the loop when you find out just how much of a stark contrast the franchise is to its comparisons.
Now if you read all of this, you understand all of that, and you STILL want to keep going, I highly encourage you to watch this film prior to watching the rest of the franchise as it's the perfect introduction to the situation at hand. Legend of the Galactic Heroes takes place in the distant future, where there's been a long and protracted war going down between two factions: the Galactic Empire (which isn't ruled by Emperor Palpatine... oddly enough) and the Free Planets' Alliance and we're treated to a long opening narration which essentially tells us that LOGH is the tale of two people whose actions have managed to leave their marks on history forever.
The driving force behind Legend of the Galactic Heroes as a whole are Reinhard von Musel of the Galactic Empire and Yang Wenli of the Free Planets' Alliance. So... the two men who changed the course of history forever happen to be on opposing sides of the battlefield. Gee, ain't that subtle? Despite all the praise that LOGH as a whole receives and my slowly-changing views of the franchise, there are some things about it that I can never suspend my disbelief for. Oh well, c'est la vie as the old adage goes. Thank GOD there aren't any Yang/Reinhard slash fics in existence... that I know of, anyway.
When it comes down to the storytelling, I can safely say that the narrative is mostly sound but one problem that I have with it is the fact that this film basically paints out the Free Planets' Alliance to be nothing more than a bunch of bumbling buffoons who can't take advantage of conditions which will easily lead to victory whilst portraying the Empire as a faction that more or less has its shit together. Now this is partially forgiveable since My Conquest is the Sea of Stars IS a pilot film, but it's just that one minor detail which doesn't really sit right with me. Beatnik's review of this film says that LOGH isn't like Gundam because it doesn't portray one side as inherently superior to the other and vice-versa, but this film does exactly that.
That brings me over to my next biggest problem: the characters... or rather, how Yang was handled. To put it short: Yang wasn't given as much time in the spotlight as Reinhard was so we don't know much about Yang to begin with. Don't get me wrong: Yang has a sense of characterisation about him, but I know absolutely nothing about this guy and have no reason to root for him OR his faction. Meanwhile, the exact opposite can be said about Reinhard. I mean, I don't support autocracies whatsoever, but I can actually find myself wanting to side with Reinhard more than I do with Yang because well... I got to see more of him! I got to see why he's even in this war in the first place, executing strategies that would ordinarily be HUGE gambles succeeding, etc.
Now with that said, there is another problem I have with the characters and that's the fact that Yang and Reinhard are damn near infallible. Seriously, Reinhard got away with pulling one of the most insanely risky tactics I've ever seen in war drama and managed to actually get the high ground on the opponent whilst everything that Yang predicted came true, and were it not for Yang's timely intervention, the Free Planets' Alliance's military may very well be handled by a bunch of screeching monkeys throwing faeces at each other. Why is this a problem? Well... LOGH is hailed for its supposed realism and yet I don't find Yang and Reinhard realistic in the slightest. Well... moreso Yang than Reinhard because once again: we spent more time with him and we ended up learning more about him than we did with Yang. Oh well, enough of that babble.
With all of that nastiness out of the way, let's talk about what I really did like about this film. As an introduction to a two-sided conflict, Conquest doesn't quite do the best of jobs but it provides us with more than enough information to actually get the general idea of what's going on and it's quite evident that what we're clearly missing from the pilot movie will be further explained in what's to come later so if this film really did leave that good of an impression on you, it would be a good idea to follow up this film with the main OVA series (which I may or may not do in the near future, but that's a different story).
On another note, and this pertains more to the franchise as a whole rather than the movie specifically but honestly... it's nice to see a space story which focuses on the political side of things rather than just giving us epic starship battles with plenty of lasers and exotic alien women who become masturbation material for overweight, basement-dwelling comic book geeks who tout the supremacy of the original Star Wars movies over the prequels. I mean, I'm not the biggest fan of political dramas, but then again... I love the everliving Christ out of crime procedural shows and I've been getting a taste for stuff like Law and Order, so Legend of the Galactic Heroes isn't really THAT much of a stretch for me.
Moving over to the visual side of the spectrum, My Conquest is the Sea of Stars is the fourth (I think) anime I've ever watched that came out of the 1980s (the other 3 being Fist of the North Star, Akira, and the first season of the main LOGH OVA series). I'll say this right now: I absolutely love the art direction in this movie. If you were to ask me what a space opera *should* look like, I'm more likely to point you over to Legend of the Galactic Heroes than Star Wars. Everything is beautifully designed and I actually love how the character models stay fairly close to reality and don't have huge eyes or bizarre bodily proportioning. Hooray for an anime series that actually has humans that look like humans that AREN'T suffering from severe radiation poisoning!
Animation is a different story however. I get that this came out in the late 80s and more importantly, it was given the budget of a film so it's definitely a cut above most of the other stuff that came out around the time period. At the same time, there are parts where the animation looks a bit choppy/stilted that just don't sit right with me. Don't get me wrong, the animation in this film is actually pretty damn good but it's just those moments where character movements are stilted or there's a frame or two re-used which just stick out more to my eyes than the good parts. Get what I mean?
On the audio side of things, this film gets a solid 10/10 from me. The musical score of this film makes the score that John Williams composed for the entire Star Wars franchise look like discordant drivel. I don't think anyone who's ever watched LOGH can disagree with me on this one. THIS is how a space opera should sound like. The music carries each scene that it's played in exceptionally well and as far as I could tell, there was no repetition of tracks or anything that felt inappropriate for whatever moment was on-screen and that shit always nets a few points in my book. I can't really speak much for the voice acting since I'm not Japanese but to my understanding, there are a few high-profile Japanese VAs on-board with this project so there's always that to look forward to.
Final thoughts? My Conquest is the Sea of Stars can be likened to the prologue/foreword chapter of every novel that most people tend to skip over. Whilst the main OVA series (from what I understand) is capable of standing on its own, this film provides a fair amount of context which can help the prospective viewer better understand what's going on. Also, this film provides a relatively accurate benchmark of what you're in for if you're planning on watching the main OVA series so if you really didn't like this film all that much, chances are that you should stay the fuck away from LOGH in its entirety. Conversely, if you found yourself enjoying this film, you should definitely give the main OVA series a shot... which again, I may or may not do in the near future.
"Legend of the Galactic Heroes: My Conquest is the Sea of Stars" is the prelude to the "Legend of the Galactic Heroes" main series. It focuses on the fateful first encounters on the battlfield between Yang Wenli and Reinhard von Lohengramm.
Lohengramm, with his vast ambitions and Yang the reluctant soldier form an interesting contrast. They're almost the polar opposite of each other, but in many ways they are similar. There's a sense that the two men are destined to become great rivals, and what makes the movie fascinating is the anticipation it creates for the future.
Yang and Lohengramm aren't the only characters seeded in this
prelude who have future significance. If you come back to this after watching a portion of the series, you'll find plenty of other important characters lurking around, but most of them don't have much of a role to play, so it's unlikely that you'll have taken too much notice of them first time round.
As a movie from the 80's, it shows its age quite clearly. Everything about the movie less than polished. Yang's initial characterisation feels a little heavy handed. In their attempt to portray him as an easy going fellow, they went too far and ended up dehumanising him a little. His overly nonchalant demeanor means that he seems less than bothered by the loss of so many lives during one of the battles in the movie, and it feels like he barely regretted his lack of effort towards its prevention (being marked out only by a single casually delivered line).
Another gripe I have with this movie is how incompetently they abused the use of classical music. Normally, making classical music work with the scenes seem trivially easy - rarely do I come across instances where people messed it up, but this movie somehow managed it, and in a manner that's comparable to "Mars of Destruction" (I've probably just landed myself in hot water with the legions of LoGH fanboys with that line, but I stand by what I said :P). The makers' idea of good music production seem to be to start playing a long, random piece of classical music (presumably one favoured by the director) when a battle begins, then just leave it to run its course, giving themselves a self congratulative pat on the back for a job well done. This shockingly lazy approach only resulted in battle scenes that are jarringly devoid of tension and excitement, and a movie where the use of classical music comes off as awfully pretentious.
The battles themselves aren't bad. There are some strokes of genius to be found - the battle at that planet being one such example - but there are also parts that seem to be reliant on the somewhat far fetched stupidity of the opposing commanders, a fault that unfortunately extends and amplifies into the main series.
But as far as preludes go, "Legend of the Galactic Heroes: My Conquest is the Sea of Stars" is a decent one. The movie may not be amazing, but it does promise far more interesting things are to come in the series it's preluding, which is its main purpose anyway.
The story involves leadership, and exploration of collective capacity from a great mentor, and have elements "political" involved since it is an anime based on wars, as well as the introduction franchise comes to remembering with phrases like, " THE HUMAN HISTORY IS A WAR HISTORY "," PROGRESS IS SON OF WARS ".
The evolution of the plot focuses in this elements and for several moments indicates that a large barrier between some great leaders like Musel and other commanders of enemy ships to come.
Art has classic style characteristic of the old animes however the features are better defined and beautiful, the animation is good, just
few thing makes it a little confusing, that are the munition fired by sky-ships, it's look to be something inaccurate in details or explanations of how they work.
The songs are sometimes operas that synchronize precisely with the anime style.
About the characters, they are deep, I don't think I need to go into detail now, once it has been said that the anime involves leadership, which can youself to wait are premises of giants strategy.
All the animes I saw this was one of the few I saw again, not for lack of quality to others but the Ginga Eiyuu that has all the merits of be an anime that motivates you to get closer to the story
Most people tend to ignore this anime just because it is OLD and is a huge series but they dont know that they are missing one of the best space operas ever made. Unlike most of the space operas there isnt any aliens or any other Technologically advanced super intelligent extra-terrestrial species other than Humans and it also dosent have any super advanced technologies like we see in star trek or any other space operas.Soo if u want too see an anime which has super powered mechas blowing everything in its path then this is not the anime for you.
This is a must see before
you start to watch the Main series of Legend Of The Galactic Heroes.This OVA explains the situation when the two main protagonists Yang Wenli and Reinhard von Müsel meet each other for the first time in the battlefield in an epic tactical between the Alliance and the Galactic empire and it shows how the heroes are born in the their respective nations. Unlike most of the animes the space battles are really unique and the tactical and strategical aspects of the space battles are really astounding and theres more depth to it than what it actually seems and the likes of which i had never seen in any other anime. Also the battles are really unpredictable at times and also very interesting.What makes LotGH soo special is the way the story unfolds and how the characters respond to the situation.The pacing of the story is slow but it rarely has any flaws.
Since it was made 1988 dont except too much CG or fluid action scenes beacause there arent any. But the animation was good considering the time it was made and every character's looks in the movie is unique and the voice actors for most of the characters have done a very good except for very few of the characters who had a very deep voice.The music is composed by famous german musicians and the movie has some really amazing classic soundtracks and its a real treat to hear them during the battles which makes it all the more exciting. This movie is really enjoyable from start to finish filled with an excellent cast and amazing tactical battles with exceptional sound tracks which will surely keep you entertained till the end.
Overall its a great introduction to the main series and really worth your time. 9/10
For anyone not in the know, Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu is basically the most highly regarded Space Opera as far as animes are concerned. While it was technically Uchuu Senkan Yamato that started the genre, it was this show that defined many of the tropes you would see in it. To this day its impact on the genre can be felt, enough so that in 2018, a remake by Production I.G. was made.
However before I cover the Space Opera in its entirety (I’m still rewatching it as of writing this) I have to review the story that started it all off. An adaptation of an anecdote
(Of all things) written by the original author of the Light Novels. That, my friends, is Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Waga Yuku wa Hoshi no Taikai (Legend Of The Galactic Heroes: My Conquest Is The Sea Of Stars).
It should be noted that this movie is best seen before watching the OVA proper. You don’t have to do so, mind you. Really, that’s one of the few issues I have with this movie. When you get right down to it, it’s ultimately inconsequential. You can watch the OVA without watching this and you wouldn’t exactly be missing anything.
However, the reason people recommend doing so is because this is the single best introduction to this universe one could ask for. The themes of this OVA are all shown here: Honor, Revenge, the pros and cons of having both an Autocratic and Republican forms of government, Corruption and so many more. This movie has it all.
It also serves as a great introduction to the setting as well. You get a feel for how both the Empire and Free Planets Alliance are different from each other, yet in classic GingaDen fashion, none is really shown as better as the other and both have really crappy people in their ranks, usually the higher ones.
It also serves as a great introduction to the characters. I don’t want to get into them just yet, but this is certainly a diverse bunch. All of the main players are shown: The kind and just Siegfried Kircheis, the dashing and daring Wolfgang Mittermyer, the lazy yet brilliant Yang Wen-Li, the friendly and approachable Dusty Attenborough and so many more. And of course, at the center of them all is the prideful and charismatic Reinhard Von Lohengramm, who serves as the glue that puts everything together. Now, you aren’t able to get everything about these characters, but you do get the gist of them.
I’m guessing that the Studio had some extra budget for this movie, as it looks leaps and bounds better than the OVA proper. Oh sure, it’s nothing amazing, but everything stays on model and there is far more movement. It also helps that the characters are very expressive, so there’s that.
The soundtrack is just as legendary as you would expect. It’s comprised of many classic pieces, all of whom are likely to stick with you. What’s best is that the movie knows not just how to use its excellent soundtrack, but also when to use it, for as it knows when silence can be just as, if not more, effective.
Again, I’m going to save most of my praises for the OVA, so instead I’m just gonna share something interesting about this show. You know how is most shows, if there is a minor character they’ll just recycle a random voice actor they already have? Well, here, that’s not the case. Every character, no matter how minor, will get their own voice actor. It helps so much, as it makes everyone sound distinct, much like in real life.
I know this was pretty short, but honestly I don’t have that much to talk about here. It’s a good prologue and nothing else really. I do however recommend watching it, as it certainly a taste of things to come.
Critic’s Log – Earthdate: June 10, 2013. Review #49: Legend of the Galactic Heroes: My Conquest is the Sea of Stars.
If one were to say that the history of Mankind is the history of War, few would disagree. If there is such a thing as “progress” in Mankind… no one can say that “progress” was not born of war. Perhaps Man is a creature that must fight until the last one is dead. In war, great amounts of blood, tears, and knowledge are consumed and many people’s dreams and ambitions crumble. In any age, there are people that want to change the world. But only
the people of that era can evaluate how such ambitions changed the world, this is because values change within the times, as do historians’ interpretations. But a few ambitious people left their mark, and their names were burned into history. These people are called “Heroes”
To be technical, this is a production by not just one, not just two, but three Studios. Those three were Kitty Films, Madhouse, and Artland. Such a collaboration like this doesn’t really come by too often. Did such a collaboration pay off in the long run, well...I can’t say for sure until I actually have sat down and watched the entirety of this anime. But for just this prelude movie, It does look very promising. The animation is late 80’s old but I don’t think it’s necessarily bad at all. In fact, certain animation effects were great for the time. Please keep in mind that there really isn’t much to be said regarding the animation in this movie because this movie after all is just the beginning of something much...much larger on a much grander scale.
The music is another interesting topic. There is no original composition for this anime. The music in this movie uses Classical compositions from Classical composers like Mahler, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Ravel, and even Mozart. Don’t worry, the use of classical compositions are used greatly and will continue on to the Main series. All I can say is...The music is fit for a king.
When it comes to voice acting, let me just say one thing. There is no English Dub to this show and that is because this series was never licensed in the U.S. Where I reside. You’re going to have to watch this Subbed if you want to watch this anime. If you are a purist, there should be no problem. is there? I like English Dubs if they are done right. Since there is only one cast in this show, let me share what I thought of the voice acting. Ryo Horikawa is terrific as Reinhard Von Musel, The late Kei Tomiyama would prove to be just as terrific as Yang Wenli as time went by. Masashi Hironaka is also great as Siegfried Kircheis. and guess what? Expect a shit ton of famous seiyus to be mentioned when I go over the main series next. The voice cast is excellent.
When I said “expect a shit ton of seiyus to be mentioned”, There will be a lot of characters in this show as well. There’s only a small amount of characters that are introduced in this prelude, but there will be much more later on. There is slight development in the characters, but this is just a prelude to the main series and this movie is simply introducing the main characters and introducing some key players. My advice is...don’t expect too much...yet.
Which brings me to the story and the movie as a whole. This movie is both overwhelming and a bit underwhelming. It’s overwhelming with the elaborate set up in characters and plot and it’s a bit underwhelming with the amount of dialogue this movie has as well as some pacing. Is this movie necessary in the first place? That depends. This is the introductory point and the prelude to the main series after all, but I think it would have made some sense to put this in with the show as a two parter or three parter, and you wanna know something? This movie is not perfect, It does have interesting characters and nice music but there is a couple hiccups in animation that bumps this movie from getting a perfect 10. That is not to say that this will affect the main series when I review it next. I will decide what I rate that show, got it? And please keep in mind that my ratings are not meant to be fact, they are just personal opinions really... So don’t take it too seriously if what I rate something doesn’t meet your expectations. I am fair when I go over a show, really? and if you evaluate a show fairly, you might find yourself surprised that someone may have a difference in opinion. There are times when differences in opinion involve a fair evaluation and another fair evaluation regardless of score or mood. Okay, I’m obviously poking fun of the show, I’ll just get to the point. What I’m trying to say is that this movie is a nice introduction, but it isn’t perfect. If you are to watch Legend of the Galactic Heroes, I want to give you two notes of advice...
1. WATCH THIS MOVIE FIRST
2. You need to find the time to watch this show because it is really long.
I wish I could say more about this movie, but I can’t. There’s not much to say about it because this movie’s only 1 hour long, and this movie is self-aware that this is an introduction of what’s to come. I will go over the Main Series of Legend of the Galactic Heroes next. I assure you that more will be said than this…
Legend of the Galactic Heroes: My Conquest is the Sea of Stars is unlicensed. If you are to see this movie, Watching it online is the only way to experience it. If it does get licensed in the U.S. Pick this show up if you must.
With all that said, Legend of the Galactic Heroes: My Conquest is the Sea of Stars is essentially the pilot to this Epic Space Opera Anime. This movie makes great use of classical music, It has an interesting set-up, the characters may not impress much, but this movie is just the beginning. The animation looks great but isn’t perfect. If you plan on watching this Space Saga, this movie should be seen first.
I give Legend of the Galactic Heroes: My Conquest is the Sea of Stars a 9.5 out of 10. It is EXCELLENT
Feel free to leave a comment, and look above to the stars.
My next review will be my 50th and it will be another page to the history of the galaxy.
In every age, in every place, the deeds of men...remain the same.
So far, this is the only 90's anime I've watched (bar one piece and pokemon)
The music is something to be astonished at as it can be uplifting during tense situations and ataractic during calmer moments.
The character designs are nothing to marvel at but in a series like this, simplicity is to its benefit.
The art overall is much above my expectations including ship designs, however the actual battles leave me in a state of confusion, what with bullets lines flying about all over the place, its difficult to determine which ships belong to which fleet, and hence which side is winning.
The opposing factions stars are interesting
even though back-stories are yet to be shown.
This is clearly an anime able to stand on its two strongest legs... written plot + characters.
Please read the MAL page for this anime and see the top two reviews as they are what drove me to get started on this, dare I say it, MASTERPIECE.