The first movie in the Legend of the Galactic Heroes franchise is a prequel that serves two useful purposes. It adequately fills in some historical details that the series could not and polishes its rousing space battles with the updated animation they deserve.
The story depicts the 4th Tiamat Battle, the Alliance's fourth failed attempt out of six to capture the impregnable Iserlohn Fortress. An isolated space battle, no matter how monumental, will only interest those who can appreciate the wider context. By this I mean the fact that this is the first time Commodore Yang Wenli and Admiral Reinhard von Musel meet on the battlefield. In fact, the script assumes viewers know the characters, often flying straight into confrontational dialogues without much explanatory background. Thus, although the events here precede those in the series, this movie is by no means a suitable introduction for those new to LOGH.
Neither can I call it essential viewing for established fans; rather, the movie serves as an easy education for those eager to learn more about LOGH's complex timeline. Viewers can expect the usual exciting space battles and plenty of poetic dialogue, but also less satisfying attempts at political intrigue.
The movie looks crisper and cleaner than the series and offers smoother movements. The most rewarding improvement, however, is that the environments feel more involving. The narrative even dedicates some minutes to showing off the Galactic Empire's military grandeur, so that the ships look like genuine hardware in stead of animated toys.
The soundtrack continues in its lofty vein with the 4th Tiamat Battle occuring to the militaristic sounds of Maurice Ravel's 'Bolero'. The ending theme is also a suitable instrumental, although hardly memorable.
What to say of excellent characters who reveal only a snapshot of their kaleidoscopic lives? Even the key players, Reinhard and Yang, remain static here; in light of that, their stupid, incompetent commanders who serve as antagonists look even more one-dimensional. For this brief adventure, at least, they are adequate, and reawaken all the emotions that their more comprehensive versions in the series deserved.
This movie will appeal to one marginal bunch of people: the avid fans of LOGH. It avoids becoming a cheap retread that so many studios churn out for petty cash, and doesn't fall into the category of pointless filler trying to resurrect loose threads, either. If you have a spare hour and wish to dip into LOGH's universe again whilst learning something more about the history, this show will serve its purpose well. I actually recommend watching after the first season of the series (episodes 1-26) to ensure memories of Reinhard's and Siegfried Kircheis' early career are still fresh.
Critic’s Log – Earthdate: June 10, 2013. Review #49: Legend of the Galactic Heroes: My Conquest is the Sea of Stars.
If one were to say that the history of Mankind is the history of War, few would disagree. If there is such a thing as “progress” in Mankind… no one can say that “progress” was not born of war. Perhaps Man is a creature that must fight until the last one is dead. In war, great amounts of blood, tears, and knowledge are consumed and many people’s dreams and ambitions crumble. In any age, there are people that want to change the world. But only the people of that era can evaluate how such ambitions changed the world, this is because values change within the times, as do historians’ interpretations. But a few ambitious people left their mark, and their names were burned into history. These people are called “Heroes”
To be technical, this is a production by not just one, not just two, but three Studios. Those three were Kitty Films, Madhouse, and Artland. Such a collaboration like this doesn’t really come by too often. Did such a collaboration pay off in the long run, well...I can’t say for sure until I actually have sat down and watched the entirety of this anime. But for just this prelude movie, It does look very promising. The animation is late 80’s old but I don’t think it’s necessarily bad at all. In fact, certain animation effects were great for the time. Please keep in mind that there really isn’t much to be said regarding the animation in this movie because this movie after all is just the beginning of something much...much larger on a much grander scale.
The music is another interesting topic. There is no original composition for this anime. The music in this movie uses Classical compositions from Classical composers like Mahler, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Ravel, and even Mozart. Don’t worry, the use of classical compositions are used greatly and will continue on to the Main series. All I can say is...The music is fit for a king.
When it comes to voice acting, let me just say one thing. There is no English Dub to this show and that is because this series was never licensed in the U.S. Where I reside. You’re going to have to watch this Subbed if you want to watch this anime. If you are a purist, there should be no problem. is there? I like English Dubs if they are done right. Since there is only one cast in this show, let me share what I thought of the voice acting. Ryo Horikawa is terrific as Reinhard Von Musel, The late Kei Tomiyama would prove to be just as terrific as Yang Wenli as time went by. Masashi Hironaka is also great as Siegfried Kircheis. and guess what? Expect a shit ton of famous seiyus to be mentioned when I go over the main series next. The voice cast is excellent.
When I said “expect a shit ton of seiyus to be mentioned”, There will be a lot of characters in this show as well. There’s only a small amount of characters that are introduced in this prelude, but there will be much more later on. There is slight development in the characters, but this is just a prelude to the main series and this movie is simply introducing the main characters and introducing some key players. My advice is...don’t expect too much...yet.
Which brings me to the story and the movie as a whole. This movie is both overwhelming and a bit underwhelming. It’s overwhelming with the elaborate set up in characters and plot and it’s a bit underwhelming with the amount of dialogue this movie has as well as some pacing. Is this movie necessary in the first place? That depends. This is the introductory point and the prelude to the main series after all, but I think it would have made some sense to put this in with the show as a two parter or three parter, and you wanna know something? This movie is not perfect, It does have interesting characters and nice music but there is a couple hiccups in animation that bumps this movie from getting a perfect 10. That is not to say that this will affect the main series when I review it next. I will decide what I rate that show, got it? And please keep in mind that my ratings are not meant to be fact, they are just personal opinions really... So don’t take it too seriously if what I rate something doesn’t meet your expectations. I am fair when I go over a show, really? and if you evaluate a show fairly, you might find yourself surprised that someone may have a difference in opinion. There are times when differences in opinion involve a fair evaluation and another fair evaluation regardless of score or mood. Okay, I’m obviously poking fun of the show, I’ll just get to the point. What I’m trying to say is that this movie is a nice introduction, but it isn’t perfect. If you are to watch Legend of the Galactic Heroes, I want to give you two notes of advice...
1. WATCH THIS MOVIE FIRST
2. You need to find the time to watch this show because it is really long.
I wish I could say more about this movie, but I can’t. There’s not much to say about it because this movie’s only 1 hour long, and this movie is self-aware that this is an introduction of what’s to come. I will go over the Main Series of Legend of the Galactic Heroes next. I assure you that more will be said than this…
Legend of the Galactic Heroes: My Conquest is the Sea of Stars is unlicensed. If you are to see this movie, Watching it online is the only way to experience it. If it does get licensed in the U.S. Pick this show up if you must.
With all that said, Legend of the Galactic Heroes: My Conquest is the Sea of Stars is essentially the pilot to this Epic Space Opera Anime. This movie makes great use of classical music, It has an interesting set-up, the characters may not impress much, but this movie is just the beginning. The animation looks great but isn’t perfect. If you plan on watching this Space Saga, this movie should be seen first.
I give Legend of the Galactic Heroes: My Conquest is the Sea of Stars a 9.5 out of 10. It is EXCELLENT
Feel free to leave a comment, and look above to the stars.
My next review will be my 50th and it will be another page to the history of the galaxy.
In every age, in every place, the deeds of men...remain the same.