Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu Gaiden (1999) is the second of two OVA adaptations of side stories from the Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu novel series. This second adaptation follows the achievements of Yang Wen-li of the Free Planets Alliance before the fateful Battle of Astarte, and continues the tales of Reinhard von Müsel and Siegfried Kircheis of the Galactic Empire.
Yang is propelled to the spotlight after his famous evacuation of civilians from El Facil. Following an unofficial double promotion and a flurry of media attention, he chronicles his research of the Year 730 Mafia—a close-knit group of Alliance military officers centered around the famed tactician Bruce Ashbey. He investigates a startling claim by Ashbey's deceased widow that may have enormous political ramifications: that the great war hero was not killed in action but murdered.
Reinhard and Kircheis are posted on the destroyer Hameln II, docked at Iserlohn Fortress. After gaining the respect of the crew, Reinhard's leadership is tested when the captain is severely wounded and passes command authority to Reinhard, the next-highest ranking officer on deck.
While Reinhard and Kircheis are working in the Imperial capital Odin, Reinhard learns of a mining rights dispute involving Dorothea von Schaffhausen, a friend of his sister Annerose von Grünewald. Upon hearing that Count Herxheimer intends to settle the matter with a duel, Reinhard volunteers to represent the Schaffhausen family.
After falling out of favor with the nobility, Count Herxheimer is trying to escape to the Free Planets Alliance with a stolen Seffle particle generator prototype. Reinhard is tasked with retrieving both the prototype and the defector, but is only assigned the cruiser Hässliche Entlein due to the confidential nature of the mission.
The Third Battle of Tiamat
To commemorate the 30th year of the reign of Kaiser Friedrich IV, the Empire announces a large-scale military campaign against the Free Planets Alliance. In the ensuing clash between the Imperial expeditionary force and three Alliance fleets, Reinhard's timely intervention shapes the tides of war.
The Anime Critic Reviews: Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu Gaiden (1999)
Get ready for a space-faring adventure in “Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu Gaiden” also known as “Legend of the Galactic Heroes Gaiden”. This epic space opera, which hails from 1999, is a spin-off prequel series to the equally enormous “Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu”, it delves into the past and uncovers noteworthy events within the expansive space kingdom. Prepare to plunge into a universe of interstellar warfare, political scheming, and the individual threads that make a broader tapestry of galactic life.
The narrative follows the formative years of numerous main characters from the original series, particularly focusing on high-ranking military officers Reinhard von Lohengramm and Siegfried Kircheis. We observe as they navigate their early careers, wrestling with various moral, political, and personal dilemmas. This series is certainly not light on thought-provoking themes, displaying an intertwined web of politics, warfare, alliances and treachery; from bloodthirsty battles to quieter moments of character exploration, “Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu Gaiden” keeps you engaged throughout.
Storyline and Script
This series is the epitome of ‘epic storytelling’. The plot is intricately crafted, filled with elaborate political intrigue that keeps you on the edge of your seat. The pacing is masterful, allowing you to catch your breath during quieter moments, only to launch you headfirst into the next crescendo of action. The dialogue is intelligently written, breathing life, and authenticity into each character.
Art and Animation
Don’t let its age fool you! Despite being over two decades old, “Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu Gaiden” stands tall with solid animation and a distinctive art style. The character designs are indicative of its era but remain appealing and consistent. The art and animation team have certainly given the series’ interstellar setting the justice it deserves with grandiose spacecraft designs and engrossing battleground scenes.
The prequel format of “Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu Gaiden” succeeds in subverting some viewer expectations, offering surprising growth to characters we thought we knew. Reinhard and Kircheis shine as the central characters, their relationship displaying a powerful dynamic that adds depth to the story. But it’s also the surrounding cast that manage to keep the storyline layered and engrossing, every character is teeming with nuances that make them more realistic.
“Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu Gaiden” is far from your standard ‘space opera’. Its engaging storyline, intricate character development, and thoughtful dialogue will grip viewers until the very end. Whether you’re an old fan of the original series or new to the timeline, this is an anime that’s definitely worth your time. If you like deep narratives, political intrigue, and character-driven stories, then I say go for it – buy, rent, or stream, you won’t regret it.
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