Can people stop pretending this work consists of three movies? Like the mere existence of 3 entries, with movie slapped somewhere in the description embarrasses me. What we actually have is a regular seasonal anime, that has the regular episode and tv structure.
Anyway, treat this as a little recommendation and follow up on some of my thoughts about the continuing legend of the galactic heroes anime. This season we have the continuing story of fabulous bishounes playing politics in space, while something that looks more cartoony than wars in Star Wars plays on the background.
There are the usual flaws here. A lot of the
political, and thematic heavy matters come more to terms of aesthetics, instead of something thematically relevant or studied upon. Big universe chattering event come and go in one or two episodes, new regimes rise, and lot of politic intrigue is always presents. But the bulk of it always passes by, leaves not much impression or is properly elaborated upon. Logh does not holds this flawed democracy, military regimes, decadent nobles, or our charismatic war heroes to much scrutiny or sociological study. Rather they mostly work as plot, excuses for cool conflict, aesthetic background for the characters to explore, a thing I find really cool.
Nothing says this better than the heavily militaristic setting and background for most events. Because the military and war in Logh barely remind their historical counterparts. Characters looking at screams, some commander coming to unbelievably dumb or intelligent conclusions, or some ships firing and blowing up. This is the actual warfare presented, with the actual antiwar epic coming mostly from supposition and implied content.
If you are thinking in terms of downgrade in regards to the original series, the only aspect I really care towards (omg some of the designs tho) are the side characters. Those are usually pretty bad, having their existence and whole personalities based on narrative purpose, or in some preachy messages on politicians or nobles. Logh is perhaps exceptionally in showing when the story does not give a fuck for one character. Their dialogue gets unbelievably dumb and asinine (this can get painful at times).
Nevertheless, Yang and Reinhard stellar journeys makes up for it. A weird though I have when watching them, is of their existence akin to in universe forces of nature. Narrative, conflict, the whole universe is moved by both characters, their decisions, ideals, and most important personalities. Enabling a story that even when having dozens of characters and plotlines, still feels intimate and focused.
Props for the music also. Perhaps it feels less grandiose or epic than the soundtrack for the original series, but the tracks are definitely better implemented. They always have the right timing and moment when using background music. Those even allow for some of the deaths and sad moments of actual nobodies in the series to actually feel powerful and tragic. Basically there are great tracks all around.
Beyond everything, the new Logh is fun. Seeing these characters planning and executing changes to the very fabric of this universe is always exciting. I love the recurrence of historical motifs and events, the gloriously stupid nobles. There is a splendor in the bizarre nature of axe fights in space, which makes them way cooler than lightsabers. Perhaps there is some hidden depth I am not getting, however what keeps me coming back for Logh is always the fun. And I am glad it delivered.
Well, actually, it isn't the blast itself. Simply adding nuclear bombs does not make something good, at least unless you happen to be AI Gandhi in Civilization. For the rest of us, it is about how they are used. Death is easy, interesting conflict is hard. You could demonstrate endless slaughter on-screen and still have a boring show on your hands. And the interesting part need not be about the person who launched the missiles in the first place.
Thematically, we have the good old utilitarian moral dilemma. You know what I'm talking about: Would you actively sacrifice
people to potentially save even more? While not a very original idea, it was implemented in a plausible and impactful way. It might warm a philosopher's heart at least a little bit.
That said, the biggest payoff for the event will take place... you guessed it, in the next set of episodes, so make sure you are comfortably seated because you will have to wait even longer. The story in this is so long that even the swift pacing isn't enough to deal with much of it here. Actually, one might argue that the plot is moving too fast already, and I think they would have a point. In this set of episodes, it is easy to notice a few scenes that were shortened compared to the OVA and a few scenes that were prolonged or added altogether (which were in the original novel but not the OVA). The original novel is still the best option overall, by the way. Aside from the obvious events, there is some interesting narration that couldn't plausibly be fit into the adaptations.
The other main storyline is also interesting thematically. There is a lot you can do with people who try to correct political corruption and social flaws with drastic measures. Roads paved with good intentions and all that. What is the worst thing that could happen? While not exactly original as a general concept, it is rare to see it play out in a relatively modern setting and with political manifestos like these. It is also rare to witness the characters actually debate the issue and the not-so-cheerful outcomes that follow. That said, time constraints are a problem here as well. If I was the author, I would spend many more pages (and episodes) in these parts, but I suppose I will have to take what I can.
Here we have the series staple of "democracy is broken," quite justifiably, judging by the events. While not terribly rare as a concept, usually fiction does not focus on the point quite so much or debate it at such great length. Broken democracy seems pretty difficult to fix though because every attempt also seems to result in disaster, as demonstrated on-screen. It is kind of ominous, really. If you follow politics even occasionally, you can notice that the idea of broken democracy is as timely as ever.
The gigantic cast is a bit of a problem here. Some of Reinhard's admirals barely get a line, while Rubinsky is simply missing in action. Predictably, some side characters are not portrayed in the best way possible. Braunschweig is supposed to be incompetent, but he goes a bit overboard. Falk is still too crazy, but he thankfully doesn't waste a lot of time here. Most of this was in the source material too, so we (usually) can't blame the adaptation crew for it. Meanwhile, some characters who might have seemed irrelevant suddenly play a bigger role, and some characters get to take the most of their limited screentime. Merkatz always seems to leave an impact in these parts.
Baghdash only gets about four minutes (actually, that isn't too bad), but we learn his always timely wisdom of "A man's principles are his means of staying alive. If they get in the way of staying alive, one need only get rid of them." Actually, that might warm a philosopher's heart too. It warms my heart, at least.