First Look: The Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These

Alternative title(s): Ginga Eiyū Densetsu Die Neue These Kaikō, The Legend of the Galactic Heroes: The New Thesis
Novel Adaptation by Production I.G.
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

In the far-flung future, the Galactic Empire and the Free Planets Alliance are at war, but it seems that a few galactic heroes will rise, and this will be their legend…

Iro’s verdict: Intriguing… IN SPAAAACE

I’ve heard lots of good things about the old 100+ episode The Legend of Galactic Heroes OVA series, and this premiere didn’t disappoint. It’s got plenty of military types dramatically standing on bridges of starships, giving orders to fleets of thousands of battleships at ranges of billions of miles. This is perhaps the only show where I became less interested when they zoomed in to a one-on-one fighter dogfight, since stone-faced captains speaking about the war-writ-large communicate such a fascinating depth of the setting that we don’t often see. It left me wanting more history, more grand galactic scale, more of whatever it is that The Legend of Galactic Heroes is selling… in a good way, of course. Granted, I’m not sure I’d feel the same way if this was just any other premiere, instead of a franchise I already know to have that pedigree; but these twenty minutes of footage have caused me to seriously consider tracking down a copy of the OVA. We’ll see.

Zigg’s verdict: Forever War

Right off the bat you get the idea that this is a huge story about serious, interesting topics. Even from this first episode you get the impression that the show has an enormous world to explore, and a weighty, storied history to go through which drives all of our characters actions and motivations. That’s great for the most part,since it’s so rare that an anime takes itself 100% seriously like this, and commits to the slow building of a mythology and backstory. My big concern though is that it might be at the expense of being likeable or relatable on a more macro level. This first episode introduces approximately one million named characters yet we barely get any insight into any of them beyond ‘gruff military dude’. The conflict happening is on such an epic scale that I often pined for a more small scale, personal story to attach to. That’s not to deny the incredibly high quality or important work being done here, but I feel like this is a show I might come to respect more than fall in love with.

Gee’s verdict: And The Award for Most Laser Guided Attempt to Get My Attention Goes To…

As someone who’s only familiar with the original OVA series through cultural osmosis and hearing the unabashed praise it receives from literally everyone who has watched it, I’ve always been interested in Legend of the Galactic Heroes but was intimidated by the original’s epic length. Turns out all these years of watching bad anime could have been spent on something far more noble.

Not even joking, Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These is shaping up to be literally everything I’m about. Space battles, grand strategy, the responsibilities of command, the eternal struggle of autocracy versus democracy, and the existence of a real tangible history intertwined with the very flesh of the show itself. In other properties, you might call it the show’s background lore, but here in Legend of the Galactic Heroes, history is the only proper term for it. Legend of the Galactic Heroes is about a war on the, well, galactic scale, and it feels that way from the very first minute. In an almost Tomino-esque fashion, the anime introduces a dozen new characters, concepts, locations, and historical events within its first 10 minutes. It’s daunting and honestly most of it washed away minutes after hearing it, but the most impressive thing it does is set the tone for the setting and give us the impression that this is a thoroughly explored and lived-in universe.

Despite how obviously interesting that all sounds, it feels Die Neue These feels the need to punch it up a bit with the space battles. I don’t mind this too much, but it definitely feels like the people making this know that this is all quite a bit to cover and that 22 minutes of middle aged men talking about events none of us have seen isn’t exactly great TV. Thankfully, the space battles themselves look pretty decent. I still have qualms about this show’s redesigns of the original’s iconic spaceships, but the new designs still serve the same thematic purpose of the space battleship being more a floating gun barrel in space than anything resembling an actual ship. The aesthetic contrast between the FPA and Empire ships is also done quite well and you can immediately feel the ideological differences between the two in their furniture design alone.

Can you tell this is totally my fucking shit? I can’t believe I’m saying this but for public posterity, if this TV anime remake’s purpose was to reignite people’s interest in the original 110 episode OVA, it has succeeded. I look forward to posting my Final Thoughts post for it sometime in 2024.

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3 thoughts on “First Look: The Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These

  1. The bad news here is that the first episode covers approximately all the material of the first episode of the OVA. The OVA is divided into 4 ‘seasons’ each with its proper ending. Even without the splicing in of the supplemental material (ova episode 8, which is a expansive infodump that explained how the Galactic Empire was formed and its eugenic policy shaped the opinion of one of its most driven and brilliant strategist, and no, I’m not talking about the main characters). The first season of OVA has 26 episodes and there was a lot of stuff crammed into it, include 4 major storylines. I guess they’re going have enough time to cover 2 of them.

    • Yeah, I think we all had the assumption that this new anime is likely just going to serve as a way to get people interested in the original OVAs with a modern taste of its early parts, because I also have serious doubts they’re going to commit to adapting the whole thing.

      • They do have 3 movies line up after the New Thesis, so I supposed it will cover the latter half of the first season. As I said, each season have its proper ending.

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