Legend of the Galactic Heroes is a classic space opera set many centuries in the distant future.
While LOTGH contains many sci-fi elements, it is primarily a political story. There are countless twists and turns that will keep you guessing, but the core story is entirely predictable as it is one that has been repeated for centuries - that is the constant struggle between the radicals and the reactionaries. History fans will be able to draw parallels with everything from the French Revolution to the rise of Fascism in the 20th century. LOTGH should be rewarding to sci-fi fans, but it is must watch for history buffs.
LOTGH, while fairly low budget in the early episodes, has a unique style even in the context of hand drawn 80s animation. Yes, it reuses scenes, has frequent lazy animation, and other issues. At the same time you will be treated to epic space battles with amazing backdrops. It was originally released as an OAV, despite being in a TV length format, so you will see the quality steadily improve throughout the series as they receive more funding and technology improves.
The voice acting in LOTGH is top notch, there's not much to find fault with. The passionate discussions draw you into what would otherwise be a pretty dry and intellectual experience. The classical/opera score is fitting, albeit not to my taste at times.
LOTGH is at its heart a character study of two opposing leaders; Emperor Reinhard Von Lohengram and Admiral Yang Wenli. Not only are they opponents, they are also the opposites of each other in personality and almost every other facet. Lohengram desired power from an early age and pursued it relentlessly. The happy go lucky Yang Wenli had leadership thrust upon him in a crises. Lohengram is a centralist and authoritarian, while Yang believes in democracy and personal freedom. Lohengram rarely hesitates or doubts his destiny. Yang questions every decision he makes, even whether it is right for him to fight. Their dedication to their respective convictions is one of the few things they share. LOTGH presents a dicotomy through these 2 characters that few shows can match.
The supporting cast of LOTGH, literally hundreds of characters, are more hit and miss. Of course there are many throw away characters you will have forgotten by next episode, but there are many memorable characters as well. They vary from the truly hateable President Trunhite and Adrian Rubinsky to the comical and likeable Dusty Attenborough and Olivier Poplin. A rich supporting cast really brings together a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
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