Legend of the Galactic Heroes – Episodes 49-52

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The following are scattered notes while watching episodes 49-52, so prepare for some unpolished writing.

  • Reinhard’s persistent regret of Kircheis’ death.

It’s no secret that Reinhard regrets and ponders over the death of his lifelong friend, even a full year and a half after his death. This level of ideal attachment to the image of his mistake is tearing Rein apart, slowly, but surely. It’s like slow motion suicide, one that consumes every particle of logic and forces the one experiencing it to drown in a whirlpool of sadness and frustration. He constantly speaks to Kircheis, a form of latent denial, as Rein has elevated him into a holy and godly status, a pure man much more righteous and noble than he ever will be. It’s almost as if he’s unconsciously pleading for some inkling of help, for something to set him down the right path, but he’s gone too far.

  • The nature of historical quotes and historical inaccuracies.

It’s fascinating to think that most history that has been recorded is in some way incorrect or manipulated. As the saying goes, “history is written by the victors”, but it extends much more than that. The past is a well of knowledge, yet that much of that knowledge has been lost to the passage of time, to the faults in our memories, the fragility of word of mouth, and simply those wishing to not reveal the actual events to the public. Some of this manipulation might be due to controversial realities, the condemning of appraisal of someone, or any reason, really. The fact of the matter is that history is more often wrong than right, and people are quick to make mistakes about historical accuracies and such. I myself have made a large mistake when speaking about Adolf Hitler in a previous post of this series, proving my point.

  • The Yang vs. Reinhard battle to come and it’s potential outcome.

Finally we get to prepare for the main event of the show, the Battle of Vermillion. This event has been building up for the whole show and it’s bound to be either completely bombastic and insane, or totally flipped on it’s head and possibly subversive. These two geniuses are clashing against each other, reading for traps, loop-arounds, “keikakus” and other tricks up their sleeve. If they’re truly evenly matched, the battle might even be as straightforward as possible, both anxious to try any advanced tactics for the fear of potential countermeasures. The Empire and the Alliance are both on the tip of the needle, balancing wildly and only a wind’s push away from falling into the black pit of annihilation. As I’ve said many times before, the stakes could not possible be any higher. The result of this is a rather overwhelming temporary and near victory for the Alliance, as Rein got impatient and sent out his ships to pursue a decoy. The battle as of episode 52 is not yet over, and the Empire is looking worse for wear than ever before.

  • Yang’s confession to Frederica and all of it’s adorable perfection.

Yang has always been a bumbling eccentric, but when it comes to love, his expressions of utter confusion and his inability to properly describe his emotions is perfectly Yang. Federica knows this, as she wholly agrees, even at this horrible display of middle-school-crush behavior on the part of Yang. Seeing this side of him reminds me that he’s just a human, a big kid in a uniform doing his best yet still afraid of girls. On the other hand, Julian sluggishly swallows his drink, acting like a disgruntled 40-year-old fresh out of a divorce. Much like Yang’s comment about their ages and attitudes switching, the child Julian has learned of the unfairness of love while Yang gets taken back in time to a world of innocent affection and emotional perplexity. It’s beautiful.

  • The sheer brutality and bloody carnage of the portrayal of the Battle of Vermillion.

For perhaps the first time, we get to see in depth the inside of the ships, and all of the bloody and tragic torture occurring to the soldiers within them. Guts flying out, bodies burning, decapitation, electrocution, space pressure, these poor pathetic men die in every way imaginable, some instantly and some screaming for their mothers in pure agony. We’ve become accustomed to clean lasers and white explosions, but we rarely see the horrors of the Hell inside those ships when they actually get destroyed. It adds a whole new layer of crushing nihilism and hopelessness that’s often overlooked in the show. As brief as these scenes are, they are instantly stuck in our minds and are hard to forget.

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