In the penultimate episode of Legend of the Galactic Heroes, the battle between the Free Planets Alliance and the Empire hasn’t officially started since no fire has been exchanged between the two armies. Still, like in a massive game of chess, a few pawns have already been sacrificed so that one of the two sides can gain an advantage that will lead them to victory.
Japanese Title: (死線［前編］)
As the FPA navy makes its way into Empire territory, ground forces land on the planets they encounter to ‘liberate’ them from the evil clutches of the oppressive Empire. In a nice contrast between expectation and reality, the soldiers are descending with a smile on their face, drunk with their false assumption that people would wait for them with banners and roses in hand. They are so blind because of their arrogant quest that they fail to acknowledge the obvious, even when it comes hard upon them as a metaphorical boomerang. When survival is at stake, ideals are little more than foolish games between people who hide behind the safety their rank and position. The people this army encounters is hungry, desperate, and doesn’t give a damn about the first thing the army promises them, political authority. They want bread and milk. They want to feed themselves and their families. They want to survive and for that they need food. Part of Lohengramm’s plan, the FPA find themselves in a dire situation. If they don’t want the liberator to become another oppressor, they need to feed the people under their new jurisdiction. An impossible task that is made even more difficult by the stubborn insistence of the corrupt politicians to continue the campaign under any cost, as long as it’s not personal. When the supply line fails to remain constant, the former Empire citizens, hungry and desperate, turn onto their new ‘masters’ and take their food. Revolution in any form is always at hand when an ‘ideal’ fails to cover the basic needs of the people.
At least that arrogant prick Commodore Falk is now out of the way. His nervous breakdown was a delight to behold, as he practically chocked in his own anger. How could someone point to him all the obvious traits that made him a dangerous man for both the Navy and his nation? Yet, he’s not the only one who needs to get a hold of himself. The supreme commander is also a supreme jackass, who values his own well-being more than the success of the mission. As 30 million of his men fall slowly into a well-orchestrated trap, he seems proper to ‘rest’, and even orders his subordinates to wake him when the ‘enemy attacks.’ Thank the anime god, the field commanders are more prudent and accept Yan Weng-li’s proposal to retreat. As it seems, they will continue with the plan without the Supreme Commander’s approval.
I wonder how that retreat (if it happens) will affect Reinhard’s plan. I would hate to see it fail after that amazing sortie sequence that started with a rite of pledge and ended with thousands of ships (along with Reinhard’s new flagship) flying to combat.
Training Montage: Well, not really, but the sortie sequence was amazing. The spaceship CGI was sleek and blended well with the drawn backgrounds. It’s hard not to empathize with their determination and fighting spirit. And to be honest, Reinhard’s plan to win back the people by giving them food after letting them to the FPA’s hands to starve was genius.
Religion: So, they do believe in the Nordic Gods! That toast to Odin was epic and I could picture them with hammers and swords in hand.
Themes & Trivia
Prosit and Break That Glass: Keeping with the German/Austrian/Prussian template, the toast they give comes from a Latin word from which the more popular (and the term most people know) German short form ‘prost’ comes. The expression can be traced back to the 18th century when it was used among university students and eventually made its way into everyday language. The glass breaking is likely based on a ritual done before going into a battle you don’t expect to return from alive.
If they want to make people excited about the upcoming movies, they need to show us a big battle and give us an even bigger cliffhanger. I mean, this is literally the only time I genuinely expect a cliffhanger to keep me excited for the theatrical episodes. It’s strange, but I am really with both sides, and even if it’s physically impossible for both to win, I wish they find it to their best interest to join forces and go after the real enemy.
This is going to be one exciting battle. The real game begins with the moves to be made on the next episode. Who will come on top?
Did you like Episode 11 of Legend of the Galactic Heroes? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to check the rest of our Spring 2018 reviews!
The Legend of the Galactic Heroes: The New Thesis – Encounter