「第十三艦隊誕生」 (Dai Juusan Kantaitanjou)
“Birth of the Thirteenth Fleet”
You ready for things to get interesting? Because things are about to get interesting. With the backstories of all major players (well, two of them) now fleshed out, LotGH is ready to dive into the start of its many twists and turns. It may have been another episode of buildup and exposition (if more superficial than info dump), but as with Reinhardt’s past and teasers of his future, the fate of one Yang Wenli is now ready to be revealed.
I’ve highlighted previously how LotGH was an inherently political series showcasing two drastically different viewpoints, and it is this week which finally gave us the first taste of life on the side of democracy. The FPA can appear to be the good to the Empire’s bad—particularly given the history of the Empire—but as chairman/secretary/overall sycophant (spoiler alert) Trunicht showed even “freedom” can come with problems. The reason for this is that one of the perennial snags with democracy is its inherently short term mindset. Leaders fight not so much for their city/state/country as the next election, as their primary concern is with political survival. We see this all the time (American election cycles anyone?), and Trunicht is the exemplar of the idea in LotGH. This guy, being up for re-election in 70 days, is solely focused on himself as will soon become very apparent. Being the defense minister he was effectively in charge of Astarte and its resulting catastrophe, and is naturally looking for any chance to twist that blame into opportunity. Sombre memorial service? Make it about patriotic duty and the “rightness” of freedom and democracy. Sorrowful widow and hero upsetting the otherwise perfect camera moment? Sic the goons on them to send them a message. Whether or not Trunicht actually believes the values he preaches (that’s a discussion for another day), there’s no denying his actions are stirring a wellspring of fervent nationalism within the FPA, one which can quickly spiral out of control should (when) circumstances change. Playing to the mob can work for a time, but it never takes much before a movement starts feeding on itself in the name of ideological purity.
Part of the reason this could easily become problematic is how Yang factors into things. The Patriotic Knight Corps may be after his hide, but the real shackles lie in Yang’s promotion to commander of the 13th Fleet and his orders to seize Iserlohn. Well, and his guardianship of Julian Minci, but that’s some fun for later. While Trunicht may not have had a role in Yang’s new promotion, it’s the best outcome the guy arguably could have hoped for. If Yang loses the fight he (if he survives) gets pinned with the blame and thrown to the wolves by those looking to make an example of him, while if he wins Trunicht can hoover up all the credit as knowing how to pick the best man for the job. Considering, as will soon be shown, Iserlohn is more than just a simple fortress, such a victory would go a long way to securing Trunicht’s re-election. This all means little to Yang and his goals of course, but his actions from now on are, intentionally or not, going cause some serious waves for the future of FPA and Empire both. Much like Reinhardt, Yang has more power now than he ever dreamed possible, and with it more opportunities than ever before to show the difference a good leader can make. This upcoming battle is what throws the lid wide open on LotGH’s story, and if what we have seen so far is any indication, this iteration is going to be a doozy.
You thought Astarte was awesome? Just you wait and see, Iserlohn is where the true fun begins.
If you ever needed proof that the FPA is firmly—totally—committed to freedom, look no further than its temperature units. Fahrenheit? Darling, you don’t get more free than that.