Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Review of Legend Of The Galactic Heroes Volume three Review
With a plan set in motion by the Imperial Army to recapture Iserlohn from The Free Planets Alliance using warp drive and the use of an entire space fortress as an mobile war machine while Yang is called before a Court of Inquiry and Phezzan and it's shadowy leader make cloak and dagger plans with the more shadowy Cult of Terra with each exploiting the other for their own ends while Rubinsky Phezzan's leader makes plans to perpetuate the war between the Galactic Empire and The Free Planets Alliance as to benefit his own interests. In a word this volume is brutal not in the sense that something like Kentaro Miura's Berserk is but a more subtle and ultimately more painful brutality due to Yoshiki Tanaka's willingness to probe the inner depths of and humanize the characters in the story from the leader of the invasion of Iserloh Admiral Kempf's moments with his family before deploying to Yang fretting over Julian to even the seemingly cold and seemingly inhuman Oberstein adopting an aged and useless dog for no discernable reason other than he took a liking to the mongrel. While the war scenes continue to be grim depictions of the human cost of war and the narrator seems to always drive home the dehumanizing effects of war and when occasionally turned to Yang's perspective can become somewhat preachy. In fact I would say out of all the characters the ones that stood out the most for me were Frederica Greenhill on The Free Planets Alliance side showing a diligence and cool headedness when trying to free Yang from the Court of Inquiry showing an internal resolve that makes her a woman of much worth. And while I criticized Hilda in my review of the second volume as essentially a "re-skinned" Imperial version of Frederica. Hilda honestly felt a little bit more of the romantic that Frederica taking a concern for the still emotionally fragile Reinhard that feels more than the mere concern of a subordinate. While Reinhard feels like he is slowly being crushed by the weight of expectation while also having an aching loneliness in his heart at having lost Siegfried to an Assassin's bullet meant for Reinhard and his Sister to a self-imposed exile. With Oberstein trying to worm his way into Reinhard's mind. It's sad to see someone who outwardly seems so together appear to be slowly falling apart inside. Yet not all is gloom, angst and the horrors of war a few bright spots such as Wolfgang Mittermeyer's engagement and marriage to Evangeline and his odd friendship with the Byronic Womanizing Oskar von Reuenthal. While Julian is pretty much everything that is right and good in the series making him the most traditionally heroic of the characters. All and all for the talk of this series being a space opera filled with epic battles it's the insular character work I find the most interesting be it Hilda trying to preserve whatever shreds of humanity are left in Reinhard. OR the crafting of s scene in which an orderly escape turns into a panic filled massacre of fellow officers in the frenzied attempts to escape. When things seem to be going better they only seem to get worse. Another sobering volume in an grim series that captures the horrors of war and the continued fundamental brokenness of mankind. It'd be easy to take Yang's position that Nations are what are the problems but I think it's more endemic than simply a bad or corrupt political system.