「アスターテ会戦」 (Asutaate kaisen)
“Battle of Astarte”
With the golden locks of Reinhardt introduced previously now out of the way (mostly), it was time this week to shine the spotlight on LotGH’s other major, if slightly lazy, player in one Yang Wenli. LotGH may still be in introductory mode as a vast array of characters make their appearance and the story is slowly revealed, but I dare say the show is doing a damn fine job thus far of ensuring the legacy of the original is on full (and proper) display.
As briefly mentioned before part of LotGH’s strength is its focus on grand narrative. Characters rise and fall—often in very melodramatic ways as we shall see—but their trials and tribulations are always attached to something more than them, something greater, whether that be the future of families, longstanding ideals, or the survival of the very states they wage war for. The battle of Astarte seen here is a prime example of this “more than meets the eye” approach. Overall the fight is relatively “pointless”, being just the latest attempt between Empire and FPA to push a frontline which has remained relatively static for over 150 years. Both sides pummel each other, someone wins slightly more than the other, and both head home to lick wounds and receive praise or suffer condemnation accordingly—nothing particularly ground breaking in the greater scheme of things. What matters is how this battle differs from previous attempts, specifically in terms of leadership. Until Yang and Reinhardt came onto the scene, all Imperial and FPA commanders followed the same script: seek overwhelming victory and absolutely crush the enemy. Cannot do it? Retreat. Otherwise damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. Simply believing in victory against overwhelming odds is anathema to these men, which makes Reinhardt’s (and then Yang’s) tactically brilliant success all the more amazing, prestigious, and—as will be seen—loathsome. To win in the face of insurmountable odds is something few military commanders can manage, and even fewer can successfully leverage into greater amounts of personal power. Yes, that’s definitely a hint.
The importance of all this focus on leadership of course is what it foreshadows regarding the “real” start to LotGH’s story. With Reinhardt and Yang both showing themselves to be brilliant battlefield commanders, it won’t take long before their skills are recognized and put to work, and that indeed is already happening. Reinhardt’s promotion for example is the beginning of his important rise to fame, and the first significant result from it should be properly hinted towards next week, if the pacing holds steady. As for Yang he’s not fading away anytime soon as that skill of his is also about to land himself a job requiring the full extent of his tactical prowess—and the results will be earthshattering. The battle of Astarte may not make much sense at the moment with little backstory or current plot to focus on, but the paradigmatic change in leadership Reinhardt and Yang shown these past couple of weeks quietly laid the groundwork for a series of tumultuous upheavals that form the bread and butter of everything wholesome in LotGH.
If you liked what we got so far don’t go away boys and girls, this show is just getting started. With LotGH set to dip back into its rich world of cutthroat politics and shrewd scheming, the real fun has yet to begin.