Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Die Neue These – Kaikou Episode 12 [Final Episode]
The Alliance Fleet is gutted, limping to Amritsar in hopes of turning the battle around. The Imperial Fleet on the other hand is riding the momentum of their staggering victory. Yang Wenli’s 13th Fleet escapes Kircheis’ overwhelming force, and they set course for Amlitzer as well. Meanwhile, across the expanse of space, Reinhard does the same. Our two brilliant protagonists will meet again, but not yet!
The episode starts with a bang as every Alliance fleet in Imperial territory is attacked by one of Reinhard’s subordinates. The most competent of Alliance admirals such as Bewcock and Yang hold their ground, even with their malnourished troops. However, the other admirals are not so lucky. Imagine how incredibly frustrating it must be, knowing your troops are so far below fighting condition, yet being challenged by a fleet of similar size. These admirals had the chance to put up a decent fight, even though Reinhard’s vice admirals are prodigies in their own right. However, that chance was stolen from them by Falk’s shortsighted strategy and Fleet Admiral Lobos’ incompetence, instead forcing them into disadvantaged battles.
The directing in the episode was superb, with frequent changes in perspective for each shot. Effectively showcasing the dominance of Reinhard’s subordinates while simultaneously showing the frustration and desperation of Alliance admirals. The contrast between the smug smile of Bittenfield and the frustration of Ulanhu portrayed the battle’s balance quite perfectly.
Production I.G also chose to introduce two of the most beloved characters from the original OVAs in this final episode. Poplan and Dusty Attenborough! Poplan’s introduction and characterization starts right off the bat with some hot headed and arrogant comments as we would expect of our hilarious Poplan. I was glad to see that although Poplan is quite cocky, he’s still an understanding person. It was heartbreaking to watch the chief engineer apologize for the inaccurate calibrations, blaming it on the lack of food for engineers. Can you imagine the guilt you must feel? It must be horrible knowing that pilots died because you were in condition to be doing calibrations. Thankfully, Poplan is a good man and apologizes immediately. Way to go Poplan! Speaking of Poplan, we also got to see some amazing CGI dogfights, fully capturing the chaos of battle in a flurry of machine gun fire. I hope there’s more scenes for Poplan to shine in the upcoming films for sure, these dogfight scenes are intense! Attenborough’s introduction was just a brief cameo, but I’m just glad we know he’s there.
Ulanhu’s sacrifice was something I knew was coming, yet it still hurt like hell. His character was reasonable, understanding, and competent. Something that the Alliance seems to lack in its upper brass. It’s also because of his kind character that watching him fall victim to Falk’s plan is so much more agonizing. Why couldn’t it be Falk sacrificing himself for the fleet to survive? Oh yeah, because Falk sucks. Even Admiral Hawood sacrifices himself and the remnants of his fleet for Yang to survive. It’s a noble and saddening act, very deserving of the salute that Yang’s retainers gave.
All these sacrifices come together for Yang. He is their final hope, and the only chance the Alliance Fleet has once they return to Amritsar. However, the odds are once again stacked against him, even more so this time. Not only does Yang have a smaller fleet compared to the Imperials, he must deal with the autonomous genius of Reinhard’s subordinates while simultaneously battling out Reinhard. It’s a fool’s hope to win, but with Yang’s brilliance, there’s hope to escape.
Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Die Neue These has been a wild ride. As a beloved fan of the original OVAs, I was among the many who were hesitant to watch this new adaptation. “New character designs? What’s with these Kuroko no Basket designs? Oh god, they made him into a man baby!” Those were among my many initial thoughts as the show neared release, and I believe many of other ‘elitists’ thought similarly.
I’m glad to say I was completely wrong on my hesitations for the new series, and was instead blown away by the quality of the new adaptation. It manages to capture the core of Legend of the Galactic Heroes that we all love, while adapting it to a more modern look. The characters remain as they were in the original OVAs, absolutely loveable and accompanied by amazing dialogue. The battles have only improved with the introduction of CGI ships and laser beams, a modern improvement over the bulky boxes of the original. The new designs took a bit of getting used to, but they don’t matter one bit. Legend of the Galactic Heroes has always been about what’s inside the characters and not how they look outside, and this adaptation has proven that.
Overall, I loved this new series. I am highly looking forward to future installments, and I’ll be rating this one a solid 9/10!