In humanity's distant future, two interstellar states—the monarchic Galactic Empire and the democratic Free Planets Alliance—are embroiled in a never-ending war. The story focuses on the exploits of rivals Reinhard von Müsel and Yang Wen Li as they rise to power and fame in the Galactic Empire and the Free Planets Alliance.
Legend of the Galactic Heroes - Die Neue These stands in the unenviable position of being a remake of one of the greatest and most beloved anime ever made. The original OVA series commands a passionate and loyal cult fanbase, to whom the slightest fault or deviation is tantamount to a personal insult.
Considering the baggage this show is carrying, it can be difficult to judge it by its own merits. Which is a shame - viewed in a bubble in which the OVA series does not exist, Die Neue These is not a bad anime. In fact, it's quite a good one. It is, however,
a bad remake, and a bad adaptation.
That it is a bad adaptation is curious, as this serves as a more faithful adaptation of the source material than the OVA. But the problem lies in that adapting Legend of the Galactic Heroes into a visual medium is nigh impossible, and it's a small miracle that it was done successfully once. The original novels are so dense with description, backstory, context, lore, and philosophical navel-gazing that to adapt only that which is shown is to adapt around a third of its actual content.
While there is minimal narration at the start of each episode, Die Neue These otherwise ejects the narration that was so frequent in the first adaptation in favour of showing rather than telling. "Show, don't tell" is a good principle in theory, but here it doesn't work in practice, resulting in the loss of vital information, important context, and thematic weight. This leads to a lack of emotional investment in certain major battles that the significance of is not made clear, and character moments that echo historical events not shown to the audience. In some instances, the lack of information can simply be baffling - a notable example includes a mob being dispersed by the activation of fire hoses, which in turn automatically alert the fire department. However, these fire hoses are only previously shown to be sprinklers, and their function as fire hoses is not explained, nor is the fact that their activation alerts the fire brigade - as such, it looks like an angry, bloodthirsty mob dispersed because they got a little bit wet.
Likewise, without the room to explore their motivations, many minor characters come off as one-dimensional strawmen, whereas their reasoning and motives, whilst usually misguided, were actually grounded in some kind of reasoning or principle in both the OVA and novels. The worst example is Maximillion von Kastrop, who in the original OVA punches a couple of subordinates towards the end when his impending defeat becomes clear, and only when at wits' end. Here, he is characterized entirely by punching everybody who speaks.
Aesthetically, the overall design of the FPA and the Empire's societies and uniforms are excellent, sticking close to the design of the original series, and showing a clear divide between the European-styled aristocracy of the Empire and the modern metropolis of the FPA. The ships are similarly well-designed, with a mechanical, utilitarian feel to them that suits their role. By contrast to the rest of the series' design, the much-maligned character designs stick out like a sore thumb. There is a very shallow variation in the character faces, and whilst not quite samefaced, it would be hard to tell most characters apart by face alone. This would not be worth comment in most series, but in Legend of the Galactic Heroes this presents a unique problem. To compensate for the similarity in faces, focus was put into giving the characters unique hair, as this was not possible with character costumes due to 95% of the cast being in uniform. The problem is that this leads to many of the characters having very over-the-top and elaborate hairstyles that are unfitting of military personnel who doubtlessly do not spend an hour every morning fixing their hair up. It's a distracting feature that breaks the immersion of a series otherwise grounded in realism (It is also worth noting that the original series managed to give most of the cast distinctive hair without the need to overly stylize any of it). Similarly, many characters appearances are otherwise ill-fit to their lifestyle and personality, such as Fahrenheit and Schenkopf.
For all the errors that Die Neue These makes as an adaptation, however, it still retains a great deal of what made the source material so excellent in the first place. Legend of the Galactic Heroes follows a dual narrative with protagonists from both sides of a centuries-long intergalactic war, in which both sides are almost as bad as each other. The Galactic Empire is a fascist autocracy in which nobility are an oppressive ruling class, whereas the Free Planets Alliance are a corrupt, failing democracy, controlled entirely by politicians motivated by greed and self-interest. The Empire's side of the story is a slow-burning tale of political intrigue, while the alliance's story focuses on scathing social and political commentary, both of which are pulled off excellently.
This divide between two sides of the story also shows a dichotomy between its two leads, Yang Wenli of the Alliance and Reinhard von Musel (later Lohengramm) of the Empire. Where Reinhard is a character wronged by the empire, determined to exact his revenge and take over the empire from within by any means necessary, Yang is a scholar at heart, only joining the military to gain a history scholarship he couldn't otherwise afford, and was drafted into the military when his tactical prowess came to light. While both are extremely skilled, they otherwise offer a direct contrast in temperament and motive.Their combat ability also brings to focus grounded and realistic battle tactics ripped straight from the pages of history.
It's this, along with Yang's fascination with history, that lends LotGH a tone of a historian looking back on past events. Yang often wonders how the events of the present will be regarded in the future, whilst comparing them to those of the distant past.
This gives LotGH an excellent sense of scale, which is also shown in how war is perceived - shown not only in the bigger picture of grand victories and defeats, but focusing on the human element of it all. It's made clear that for every one of the many ships that sink in this series, thousands of lives are lost. It even goes so far as to explore the societal impact of war, focusing on the effect on the economy and standard of labour.
Unfortunately, Die Neue These - Kaikou is only the prologue, a taste of things to come. It was never going to achieve greatness in of itself - even the original adaptation was only able to do so much in its first 12 episodes. However, Die Neue These gets enough of the core elements of the series right in spite of some issues in execution that it's a solid show unto itself. It is somewhat hard to recommend, however, as the original series accomplishes almost everything this series does just as well, and more. The only things DNT has to offer in comparison are slightly better pacing, and an excellent score by Hiroyuki Sawano. But if it didn't have an older sibling to be compared to, Die Neue These would no doubt be considered excellent.
This review was written by someone who has not seen, and honestly couldn’t care less about the original 1998 OVA, Legend of the Galactic Heroes.
I’ll start by saying this anime is extremely unique in it’s presentation in that it doesn’t even feel like an anime. It doesn’t really use the medium to it’s fullest, it’s not overtly creative, and nothing about it is particularly inventive except for the fact that it ISN’T inventive at all. It feels more like a play, an opera, or a wartime drama. You know, it feels like something I’d have been assigned to read in school; an epic that
spans far far past the first novel, but a story that I’d never see the end of because I was only assigned to read book one, and I didn’t care to finish it after I got my grade.
Legend of the Galactic Heroes: The New Thesis is told like an actual wartime “legend” would be, and Hiroyuki Sawano’s breathtaking opening theme personifies this perfectly. It doesn’t hesitate to walk you though events with narration, and it doesn’t feel like it was directed by a screenwriter, it feels like it was told by a professor. Events in anime are scripted, obviously. They’re stories that a team of professional writers wrote in a conference room in an effort to construct an entertaining story. This feels like the telling of chaos theory in a middle to upper level world history course. No nation on either side of the war is really acting like you’d expect them to, and events don’t play out as simply and finally as they do in film. There’s a lot of back and forth between conflicting parties that all have their own unique motives and sets of values. There’s just so so so much social politics that you just don’t see in conventional story telling because, while it’s highly realistic, it’s straight up boring to watch at times. In a phrase, “You couldn’t make this shit up”.
With the unusual yet surprisingly intriguing presentation aside, the story is extremely simple. Humanity within the known galaxy is united under two banners, The Galactic Empire and the Free Planets Alliance. The Galactic Empire was the sole galactic state who’s rule was by a monarch, and the force that would become the Free Planets Alliance rebelled against them in favor of democracy. That’s it. That’s all there is to the story because one hundred percent of conflict and drama the series has offered so far is all things you’d expect. The Galactic Empire suffers from corruption, embezzlement, feudalism, classism, and any other common abuse of power that comes with a non-elected government, and the Free Planets Alliance suffers from poverty, pacifism, protests, riots, mob mentality, desperation for re-election, and any other common disrupts that comes with a nation led by it’s people. There wasn’t a single theme or message in this show that you can’t find in an Introductory Government & Politics textbook, thus I found it to be rather bland. I must give credit where it’s due though, because no matter how formulaic the themes were, they were executed extremely well and to the point.
The strongest aspect of this story by far, as well as it’s only difference between a scholastic lecture, was the characters. The characters in this anime, as well as the dialogue script were extremely strong. Our two main characters are Reinhard von Lohengramm of The Galactic Empire and Yang Wen-li of the Free Planets Alliance. The two both find themselves at the head of their respective fleets, and they maintain a rivalry that is reminiscent of Light Yamagi and L from Death Note, or Lelouch Vi Britannia and Suzaku Kururugi from Code Geass. It’s not only a battle of wits, but a battle of ideology that carries the entire thematic gravity of the show, and I must say it is truly intoxicating to watch. Both men are so multifaceted and complex that you find yourself naturally taking sides in the war, almost like your time spent watching their trials and tribulations was their way of recruiting you into their fleet and proving themselves as a capable leader. On top of their ideologies and charisma, they each have their own forces to support them that are populated with equally well constructed cast members who make both armies feel like they’re actually made of PEOPLE. When you see a starship get shot down in the background you actually feel a small sense of loss, and that’s something that almost no show can do.
Using that last bit as a segue, I’ll finally talk about the space battles. You’re probably already aware of this, but the spaceships are all constructed with CG animation. I know a lot of people will stay away from this show on that fact alone, but if you’ve seen shows like Aldnoah.Zero, Land of the Lustrous, or Re:Creators then you know CG animation isn’t always bad. With that in mind, please trust me when I say that this is some good CG. Seeing as both armies are proper military forces, all their ships have a standard design (with the exception of some of the more decorated Lords’ ships in The Galactic Empire). Given the vey limited models, Production I.G. really took their time perfecting the few designs they actually had to make, and their detailed work clearly shows. No matter what angle the battle is shown from, the hundreds of ships in view all look flawless, and I was genuinely impressed with some of the more dynamic cinematography. Speaking of action, the battles themselves are of an absolutely massive scale, with tens of thousands of ships fighting in formation at a single time. I thought that battles of this size would be impossible to comprehend, but the strong directing coupled with holograms of the battlefield made each encounter easy to follow, as well as giving you a sense of where the battle is actually going. While the space battles look nice, the rest of the show is terrifically average and, at times, underwhelming. I feel that now is the appropriate time to mention that the space battles are the ONLY good CG in the show…I’ll just leave you with that.
In the introduction of this review, I compared this story to a novel I’d be assigned to read in school: a series I’d never finish because the assignment only concerned book one. On one occasion this happened, I’d started to forget about the series along with the rest of my classmates, but there was this one quiet bookworm type that I’d see reading book two at lunch. After months passed and she’d continued through the series, I thought I’d ask her if “it got good or something”. When I asked, she glared at me and snapped, “It was good from the beginning. You guys just weren’t patient enough to read something like this.” After watching these first twelve episodes of such an expansive narrative epic, I think I finally get what she was saying.
Life is funny sometimes. I've been in the anime community long enough to see the popularity of series rise, fall, and sometimes even rise again. I'm somewhat of an anime paleoconservative in that I love many anime that are no longer popular or even acceptable to like in the current year. Hell, I've spent the last 8 years trying to convince folks that Elfen Lied isn't that bad! Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine having to defend LotGH from getting unfairly shit on, but here we are!
This is MAL, so I assume everyone reading this has either seen or knows a lot about
the original Galactic Heroes OVAs. Just in case you recently joined, LotGH is an epic scale space opera that explores the conflict between a corrupt democracy and and an authoritarian monarchy. Rather than simply saying Democracy is correct and autocracy is bad, LotGH fully explores the positives and negatives of both systems and introduces us to dozens of complex and realistic characters on both sides. It's kind of like Mobile Suit Gundam for adults as opposed to young teens. At it's best, it's a series with sophistication, nuance, entertainment, and everything you could possibly want. It also has a few issues, but we'll be getting to those.
Firstly, it must be said that this is NOT a remake of the OVA series or an attempt to replace it. It is explicitly stated to be a new series that closer follows the original novels. Think of this as FMA Brotherhood and the original as FMA 03. An issue with the original series is pacing. Fans of LotGH will seriously tell newcomers "Don't worry, it gets really good after the first 60 episodes!". Not everyone in the world is a NEET. Not everyone has that kind of time to invest in a series that begins at a snail's pace. New Thesis only covers a small portion of the story, but is in general better paced than the OVA.
I was personally a big fan of how they changed back the Iserlohn Fortress plot to NOT involve the "Space Axes" the OVA made up. Those idiotic plot devices only existed to shower some blood into the series because Japanese executives in the 80s thought the show was too boring and wouldn't capture viewers. This dead serious political drama became Fist of the North Star every few episodes because the original OVA lacked faith in its audience. I don't want to hear ANYONE defend the space axes. They were dumb in the 80s and they're dumb now!
Another complaint is that it's too condensed and we don't get that nameless history professor cramming exposition down our throats. Honestly, it is the characters, themes, and the politics that drive this series and not the world building. It's actually better to NOT go into super deep detail with the history because aspects of it make ZERO sense. The Empire exists because the original author thought the concept of Space Prussia was cool. He wasn't thinking about HOW this could end up happening and it leads to some serious gaps in logic. For example, the logistics of why 90% of the human population in 2600 are ethnic Germans is never explored in the novels or the OVAs and makes little sense. Ethnic Germans are currently just 2 percent of the human population in 2018 and are projected to be under 2 percent by 2100. Even if we assume that Rudolf von Goldenbaum's "Inferior Genes Exclusion Act" targeted non-Germans, which is NEVER stated in any material, it is still logistically impossible for so few to kill so many while maintaining a stable society and economy. If the series isn't going to give a fuck about the logic of its world building than why should we?! Don't waste 4 episodes of my time giving history lectures on how many shits the 4th emperor of the Goldenbaum dynasty took when a fundamental premise of the series is unexplained and makes no sense.
It is true that Yang, Reinhardt, Oberstein, and all the boys aren't yet as fleshed out as they were in the original OVAs. Keep in mind, this is only the beginning if this series does well. New Thesis has done a very solid job with the characters thus far and still should have PLENTY of time to develop the characters if all goes to plan.
One character I LOVED in the original, but admittedly works better in New Thesis is Walter von Schenkopf. He has been returned to the loyal, loveable, but realistic soldier he was in the novels. In the OVAs, Walter is transformed into this God among Men that basically becomes a joke. He's either fighting 100 on 1 and winning, banging 20 chicks at the same time, or some other act of laughably over the top manliness. OVA Walter is basically the German version of Black Dynamite and yet he's placed in this political space opera that takes itself DEAD SERIOUSLY. I swear to god the most stuffy and elitist LotGH fans must close their eyes and ears every time Walter is on screen in the OVAs and just pretend he doesn't exist. Now in New Thesis he can still be a badass and a ladies man and yet not torpedo the seriousness of the series!
The characters do have a kind of pretty boy style it's true. I personally like a lot of the character designs in the original OVAs much better. Having said that, the overall art and animation is WAY better in New Thesis. Let's be honest here for a minute folks. The first 3 seasons of the original OVAs were animated by Studio Magic Bus, the motherfuckers who did Mad Bull 34 and other schlock that nobody wanted. It was never a pretty looking series, even in the 80s. Finally the ship battles aren't stationary ships firing the same 2 frames of blue laser animation. It no longer looks like total shit, and this isn't a bad thing.
Now HERE is where the original OVAs just tower head and shoulders above New Thesis. The OVAs had that AMAZING classic composer lineup vs 1 decent anime composer for New Thesis. However, I will still defend New Thesis in this category. The OVA soundtrack created a copyright clusterfuck by using performances from dozens of major orchestras around the world. I'm pretty sure that's the main reason why you can't waltz into any Walmart in the US and pickup the original OVAs on DVD and Blu-Ray. They are not available anywhere outside Japan despite massive demand. The only way to watch them is pirate them on Kissanime.ru All hail the beauty of the copyright ignoring Runet. That is until Roskomnadzor inevitably fucks it all up.
It is obviously difficult to compare New Thesis with the OVAs. The OVAs are a finished product and New Thesis is just covering a small portion. New Thesis at this point still has a LONG way to go in order to surpass the OVas in quality and for many people that would be impossible. Even so, I feel that New Thesis is a high quality series that gets WAY more shit than it deserves. If you've never seen Galactic Heroes I would give New Thesis a watch. If you love it, you can also check out the OVAs. There is no reason you can't love both. If you love the OVAs as 98 percent of MAL does, I would still check out New Thesis. The animation, quick pacing, and closer adaptation of the source material makes it well worth your while. For now I'm giving LotGH New Thesis a well deserved 8 out of 10.
Out of all the anime of 2018 Legend of the Galactic Heroes The New Thesis is the most overlooked and underestimate anime of the 2018 thanks to the anime elitist crowd bashing the series for its Kuroko no Basket character designs.
For a short while, I was part of that crowd as I like to make fun of the new series by memeing they face on social media website however when I eventually cut all ties with the elite crowd I decided to give it a proper chance and when I finished it I was shocked of good it was for the most part. Sure it may
not have the same flare and charm that is present in the original series but for a standalone project this series was pretty solid and am going to tell you why. Hello, everyone, this is Shawn aka KurataLordStage and welcome to my review of Legend of the Galactic Heroes The New Thesis and with that out of the way let's get started.
For over 150 years in the distant future two interstellar human states – the Galactic Empire and the Free Planets Alliance – were embroiled in what seem to be a never-ending war within the Milky Way galaxy. Out from the ravages of war emerged two young stars whose deeds would make them worthy of the appellation of Galactic Heroes. They are Reinhard von Lohengramm from the Galactic Empire and Yang Wen li from the Free Planets Alliance.
The story for Legend Of The Galactic Heroes Die Neue These is pretty solid for the most part.
For starters the show for the most part at introducing it's characters where instead of introducing it's main character all at once like in the first episodes of the original series the show decided to have viewer focus on the perspective of a single character which was Reinhard in episode 1 in The New Thesis. This new approach really helps with the show narrative as it gives plenty of time for the viewer to understand and care about theses characters in they respective factions.This later happens in the original series as well but I liked the mainly focus on one character in a respective factions right out of the gate.
It does a great job at building it own world that is believable and intriguing.
The thing that I loved about this show is how it's it tackles serious political themes such as racism, money, control and the way the show handle it's themes and topics were pretty good for the most part and it's keeps the viewer interested.
The writing in the series is pretty good the most part. Sure it may have it's hipcups along the way but I thought it was consistent enough to be good.
As much I liked the story of Legend Of The Galactic Heroes Heroes The New Thesis it does has some problems which at times can hurt the show depending where you look at it.
For starters do you remember when I praised the show of it tackles serious political themes. Well I thought the show can be a bit too over the top with it's core political themes where the original series did not have this problem at all.
The same thing can apply for episode 1 where as much I liked the different approach of introducing it character in a different way it has it downside such as Reinhard magically overpowering the Free Planets Alliance force in the most simplest way possible. What really made upset the most is how the show paints Reinhard as a smart person. That is not smart at they. He's just been fighting with and against incompetent solders in that entire time who clearly did not what the hell they were doing.
Another issue that I have with the show it would be the pacing.
While the original series least the first 26 episodes slightly had this problem as well I think it much worse here but at times the show can be pretty inconstant as it times the show either moves way too fast. Meaning that the viewer would potentially miss up on certain story elements just because the shows pacing is pretty inconstant times.
The biggest problem with Legend of The Galactic Heroes The New Thesis is how at various times don't feel like this epic space opera. I know am going be biased here but comparing the space opera elements in the original series with Legend of The Galactic Heroes The New Thesis it's like comparing Season 1-3 of Spongebob Squarepants with Season 9 and beyond of Spongebob Squarepants. It may have the charm as the original but at the same time it's different and it's inferior compare to it's older self.
I know I ended by being quite negative there but that honestly how I feel especially coming from someone who is a fan of the series. I just thought certain things could have been a lot better.
Overall the story is good for what it was but there were certain things that could have been done a lot better.
The characters in Legend Of The Galactic Heroes Die Neue These are pretty great overall as they all likeable and mostly interesting characters in they own rights.
Reinhard is a great, fun and intriguing character that I really enjoyed from start to finish. I really his ambition to change the world for the better. I really liked his duo relationship with his best friend Kircheis and he's overall a joy to watch.
Yang is also a pretty great character in he's own right. Compare to Reinhard who more a serious individual despite being a bit bratty at times Yang is more easy going and lay back person who has he's own meaning ideals of democracy.
Like with Reinhard he's a intriguing and fun character that I really liked.
I was honestly very worried that the character in Legend of The Galactic Heroes The New Thesis where they not going to get much character development thanks to it's 12 episode count. Luckily Production IG least for the most part manages to flesh out it's large character cast in a great and meaningful way. However there were certain characters in the show were left underdeveloped but I think they will have a spotlight in the movies. I won't spoil who but if you were a fan of certain characters Legend of The Galactic Heroes universe don't feel too disappointed as they may get they time to shine in the movies.
Overall the characters for the most part were pretty damm good.
Visually Legend of The Galactic Heroes The New Thesis is pretty good for the most part.
The background scenery is top notice as it has a great use of sci-fi colour palette that adds more atmosphere to the show setting and themes.
This may sound off as an unpopular opinion coming from a fan of the original series but I actually prefer the character designs more than the season 1 of the original series. Yes the character designs may not be for everyone especially for die hard fans of the original series of how modernise it was but I really liked the new designs for the most part. There were some character designs that were questionable but they didn't really bother me all that much.
The animation is pretty good for what it was. I loved how the space battle in the series were animated. While the use of CGI for the space battles wasnt that good in the first episodes in grandly improved as the series goes on.Outside the space battles the animation is smooth and consistent.
The soundtrack is pretty good for the most part. It may not be at great as the original but it still has great sci-fi/space feel that perfectly captures the tone and setting of the series.
The opening theme Binary Star by Sawano Hiroyuki is hands own the best opening theme of 2018 as it does a masterful job at capturing the tone and setting of the series. It may not be as truly masterful as the original ones from the OVA series but it still is an awesome opening that that I really adored.
The ending Wish by " ELISA is a wonderful ending that perfectly sets that beautiful mood when finishing an episode of this show plus it ending song at times sounds feel like a orchestral version of the original first opening theme Skies of Love even thought it's a different song.
Now for sub vs dub.
The sub is overall amazing as you expect as each pf the Seiyuus did a fantastic job with the roles that they were given.
The dub for Legend of the Galactic Heroes The New Thesis is pretty damm great. Sure some actors can start off a bit rocky but they better as the series progresses as they get used to the they roles that they were given.
Legend of the Galactic Heroes The New Thesis is a pretty good show. It may not be great as it has some problem with certain narrative decisions as having pacing issues the show for the most part still has that original series charm that I loved.
The story while having some issues was still pretty solid, the character are great and very enjoyable. The visuals were good, the soundtrack is nice and the voice acting for both the sub and dub was great.
It's may not be as masterful as the original series but for a standalone production this was a good show for both newcomers as well fans of the show. The show may not be for everyone but what it's worth it's still a pretty good anime that I enjoyed.
In these opening weeks of the Spring 2018 anime season, Steins;Gate 0 starts off as the by far highest rated anime, although Megalo Box is the new heavy hitter if we look past sequels. This and more in the opening edition of The Seasonal Quarterly.