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Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Die Neue These - Seiran 3

Score: 8.16/10

Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Die Neue These – Seiran 3

Eng Title : The Legend of the Galactic Heroes: The New Thesis - Stellar War Part 3

JP Title : 銀河英雄伝説 Die Neue These 星乱 第3章

Year : 2019

Genre : Action, Drama, Military, Sci-Fi, Space

Season : Fall 2019

Status : Complete

Rating : R - 17+ (violence & profanity)

Episodes : 4/4

Duration : 25 min. per ep.

Studios : Novel

Synopsis

The Free Planets Alliance's invasion of the Galactic Empire has failed after supply mismanagement led to heavy losses. Unwilling to abort the expedition despite being greatly outnumbered, Fleet Admiral Lazar Lobos orders the remaining Alliance fleets to gather in the Amritsar Starzone for a final stand against the incoming counterattack. Strategic genius Fleet Admiral Reinhard von Lohengramm leads the Imperial forces into this decisive battle with an overwhelming advantage. However, his rival, tactical magician Vice Admiral Yang Wen-li of the Alliance, once again makes up for the incompetence of his superiors and stages a narrow escape for himself and his fellow soldiers. Though both Reinhard and Yang are displeased with the outcome—the former for his imperfect victory and the latter for the tremendous casualties—their attention must turn to the bubbling political unrest on both sides of the galaxy. [Written by MAL Rewrite]

Legends of the Galactic Heroes (LotGH) is not an elitist anime, it’s ‘thee’ elitist anime. But despite it critical acclaim and devoted fanbase, one thing is for certain: this new iteration falls short of its formers grace. Not so short that this reviewer would call it ‘bad,’ yet its faults are glaring.

‘Stellar Wars’ pacing feels rushed, enough so that events fly by without proper development. Yang and Reinhard, as a consequence, are relatively flat as characters and seem to be missing something vital to their respective personalities. Granted, they were a tad idyllic in the original version, but they felt genuine, nonetheless. ‘Stellar Wars,’ however, gleans past pivotal moments of characterization, in exchange for a brisk, ‘highly-polished’ retelling of an old classic.

But the problem with 3D action sequences — and CGI, in general — is that there is no ‘life’ in the final product. It cannot be stressed enough that numerous shots looked awkward, and in some instances, downright awful. Sure. The vibrant color looked ‘pretty’ and the character designs were ‘flawless,’ but that same flawless is a hindrance in and of itself. As it prevents the characters from portraying certain emotions that would otherwise be captured from a hand-drawn image. Emotions that are vital in tapping into the character’s psyche; thus, allowing the viewer to understand and empathize with said character(s).

The original ginga eiyuu densetsu die neue these – seiran 3 episode 1 these may have had clunky sequences with an abundance of reused scenes and backdrops — but it stayed with the viewer long after the viewing experience. The same cannot be said for ‘Stellar Wars’ or its 12 episode predecessor. Probably because 3D animation makes most scenes blend together, without creating something of true artistic brilliance. Simply put: ‘Stellar Wars’ is dull, lifeless, and uninspired; whereas as the original is visceral, impactful, and resplendent.

While the original The Legend of the Galactic Heroes may have ‘dragged’ at times, it was necessary in telling a richer story. A story that felt like a docudrama on the human species itself (economically, socially, politically, and historically). In contrast, ‘Stellar Wars’ feels like a plot-based affair that jumps from point-to-point to complete a preset checklist — hence, why remakes are inherently flawed. ‘Stellar Wars,’ in summation, is not a terrible anime, despite the various criticisms presented; however, it is not the stuff of legends, as the narrator would have you believe.

If you are not yet wearing your beret, maybe now would be the time to dust it off. One of the side effects of splitting the season into four-episode sets is that I get to review them on their own. This particular set of episodes happens to be stacked with important plot points and dialogue. This is where several premises are overturned. Basically, it means plot twists of pretty big importance, and they also make a lot of sense in-universe. Furthermore, because of the selection of episodes, many of the problems that were present in the other parts are conveniently absent. Pacing is now slower, in part because it was slower in the source material to begin with. There are great character moments here. Oberstein delivers a strong performance, as expected. Reinhard has to re-evaluate his principles. Lynch gets to mock self-righteous people and notions of honor. The scenes with Yang and Trunicht in episode 4 are also very detailed, actually much more detailed than in the OVA. Democracy, is it really that great? The scene in episode 1 between Konev and Rubinsky is in the original novel but was not present in the OVA. It was a shame because Konev is absolutely on fire there, but now they have included it. Even in general, the dialogue gets into political philosophy even more than usually. Episode 4 draws some great parallels between the events in the Alliance and the Empire, both in terms of the narration and the direction. Maybe the addition of the Earth Cult right at the end was a bit hasty, but they need to properly appear eventually because their characterization has always been too scarce in general. Incidentally, this version is more faithfully reproducing the novel's dialogue on the potential consequences of organized religion. Meanwhile, a few anime-only lines from the OVA are missing from this one. Some of them did add a nice touch. I can understand choosing to stick to the source material, but what is relevant is whether the work is improved or not. The losses are not life-threatening though. The already big visual budget has been put to even better use than before. Artemis' Necklace looks very detailed. At particularly dramatic moments, fleets warps in and out in a well-choreographed manner. If you really dislike CGI, your mileage may vary, but at least it isn't on the cheap side. There are also other interesting artistic decisions. After big explosions in orbit, Heinessen at night is lit up for a few brief moments. Earth looks more ravaged and barren than in the OVA. They are also paying attention to the music quality. When the plot gets dramatic, suitably dramatic music is played. The ending song is fairly memorable, and the voice actors are working very hard for their salaries. For how many years they will keep producing this? It seems that they are not short on budget, at least. If they adapt the novel fully, we'll probably be waiting here for eight years or more. It is definitely an anime for the patient viewer. I don't mind playing the long game though.

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