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Legend of Galactic Heroes

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Legend of Galactic Heroes
Legend of Galactic Heroes

Director

Noboru Ishiguro

Studio

Artland / Kitty Films

Released

1988–1997

Runtime

110 24-minute episodes

Genre

Science fiction, Space opera, Military, Drama

DescriptionEdit

Based on a series of novels written in the '80s by Yoshiki Tanaka, Legend of Galactic Heroes, or LOGH (see below for other names), is an epic space opera which depicts the latter part of a 150-year-long interstellar war between two human factions: the Galactic Empire (an autocratic society based in large part on 19th-century Prussia) and the Free Planets Alliance (a corrupt but ostensibly democratic republic based on contemporary Western nations like the United States).

Representing the Empire's side of the story is Reinhard von Lohengramm, a lesser noble who intends to gain power (via the military) as a means of freeing his sister, who has been kept as a concubine of the Imperial Kaiser. On the Alliance side is Yang Wen-li, an aspiring historian who also happens to be a military genius; he is reluctantly swept up in the intensifying war as it becomes clear that the Alliance's corrupt and incompetent leaders are increasingly placing their nation at risk.

The series alternates between the two sides' stories every one or two episodes, and, although it is implied that democracy is a superior form of government in the long term, neither side is depicted as 'good' or 'bad'. Each character has his own motivations and reacts to the events occurring around them in similar ways. There are a handful of minor antagonists, mostly corrupt bureaucrats and the like; however, although they are responsible for a few critical events, the primary focus is on the repercussions of Reinhard and Yang's own actions.

Characters and VAsEdit

A quick description of each major character and who their VA is (in both Japanese and English, in that order). Multiple English dubs go in order of release, unreleased dubs don't count.

Inspirations and derivative worksEdit

Although there is no single source which LOGH is derived from or inspired by, it does share many similarities with Isaac Asimov's Foundation series. Both stories contain a great deal of political exposition, both involve a nation called the Galactic Empire, both concern a galaxy inhabited solely by humans (with no alien involvement of any kind), and both have a strong historical focus.

As a military and political space opera, LOGH shares certain elements with popular war sagas such as the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, as well as with historical periods like the rise and fall of Ancient Rome. It also contains several allegories for contemporary history, as illustrated by the corruption of the Free Planets Alliance government.

If you liked this, you might enjoy...Edit

The main Legend of Galactic Heroes OVA is not the only animated release of LOGH — there is an additional OVA series and three films. These are, in order of release:

  • My Conquest Is the Sea of Stars (film, 1988)
  • Golden Wings (film, 1992)
  • Overture to a New War (film, 1993)
  • Legend of Galactic Heroes Gaiden (OVA side series, 1998)

(See below for how these various releases are related.)

In addition to the other LOGH media, Yoshiki Tanaka's other sci-fi series, Tytania, has also been adapted to animation, and is currently being produced by the same studio that was involved in the original LOGH OVA.

Release history and chronologyEdit

The LOGH release history does not correspond to its universe's chronology. Instead, the series contains a Star Trek-like mixture of sequels and prequels.

A strictly chronological ('in-universe' order) ordering of the series would produce the following:

  • Golden Wings (film, 1992)
  • Legend of Galactic Heroes Gaiden (OVA side series, 1998–2000)
  • My Conquest Is the Sea of Stars (film, 1988)
  • Overture to a New War (film, 1993)
  • Legend of Galactic Heroes, series 1–4 (OVA series, 1988–1997)

(Overture to a New War is in fact a theatrical expansion and retelling of the first two episodes of the main OVA. It can be watched in place of or in addition to those episodes; either is acceptable.)

However, the release history ('real-world' order) is somewhat different:

  • My Conquest Is the Sea of Stars (film, 1988)
  • Legend of Galactic Heroes, series 1 and 2 (OVA series, 1988–1992)
  • Golden Wings (film, 1992)
  • Overture to a New War (film, 1993)
  • Legend of Galactic Heroes, series 3 and 4 (OVA series, 1994–1997)
  • Legend of Galactic Heroes Gaiden (OVA side series, 1998–2000)

Although this may seem confusing, there is little drawback to simply watching the series in order of release.

Other notesEdit

  • The events of My Conquest Is the Sea of Stars are referenced several times in the main OVA, and the film is intended to be a direct prequel to the series. Therefore, it may be preferable for viewers to start with MCISS regardless of whether they intend to complete the entire series. At the very least the film may help prospective viewers decide whether the series' subject matter is to their liking, without needing to delve into the entire OVA.
  • However, MCISS is not necessarily a condensed version of the entire series. Whilst the film's depiction of battles is similar to those which follow, the OVA contains a great deal of political/historical exposition and character development which the film almost completely avoids. Even if battles do not interest the viewer, they may find that the other events of the OVA make the series as a whole worth watching.
  • Golden Wings is not held by fans in such high regard as the rest of the series. This is in large part due to the animation style, which appears to be based on the style of the manga. It also takes place much earlier in the series' chronology than the other releases, which somewhat limits the action.

AccessibilityEdit

Although Legend of Galactic Heroes is a long-running media franchise which has seen numerous books, manga, OVAs, films, video games, and even musicals released in Japan, no LOGH product has ever been released in English. As a result, it is not possible to buy official English-language LOGH media. In addition, the series' long history and its multiple re-releases have created confusion as to certain aspects of the story, particularly the translated names of many of the characters. This can at times make it difficult for English-speaking viewers to get into the series.

However, a release group called CentralAnime (who have been involved with translating LOGH since the days before broadband Internet connections) are 90% finished with their MKV release of the the remastered DVD box set. This is currently the best and easiest way for English speakers to access the series, and the first ~95 episodes can be found online as of this writing (June 2011).

Alternative namesEdit

LOGH goes by many names; some of these are:

  • Legend of Galactic Heroes
  • Legend of the Galactic Heroes
  • LOGH
  • LoGH
  • LotGH
  • 銀河英雄伝説
  • Ginga Eiyū Densetsu
  • Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu
  • Gineiden

LinksEdit

ReviewsEdit

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