「死線(前編)」 (Shisen (zenpen))
“The Verge of Death (Part I)”

Be honest, who didn’t see this disaster in the making coming? As LotGH wasted little time in deliberately hinting towards through high ranking incompetence and quixotic arrogance, the Alliance plans of invasion turned out to be a little more difficult than originally intended. Free the people and win their hearts and minds (and resource output) for all eternity? Not as simple as some would lead you to believe. When it comes to the harsh strategic realities of war LotGH holds nothing back, and the show hasn’t even hit the real good stuff just yet.

While briefly highlighted last week, the key flaw in the FPA’s (well, Falk’s) scheme is its logistics. Invasions of any sort require both immense amounts of resources to initiate and sustain and a reliable and fast means of moving those resources to where they’re needed—fail in either and you’re looking at excess casualties/equipment losses at minimum, total defeat at worst. The Alliance’s tacticians failed in both these aspects, naively believing the Imperial citizenry would have enough for themselves and the occupation forces, with supply required only after victory had been achieved—i.e. after a decisive battle with a demoralized enemy force. Funny how no plan ever survives contact (or no contact) with the enemy. Whether believed acceptable or not, Reinhardt made the right choice for the situation, trading space for time and effectively scorching the abandoned earth to leave nothing for the Alliance to use (that lack of food didn’t just occur randomly). With the FPA intent on “liberation”, the people become their problem and any issue with the people’s care results in the people seeing them as the enemy, not the Imperials who up to then kept everyone fed. As this strategy forces the FPA into the time honoured tradition of occupation unrest whack-a-mole, Reinhardt is free to attack where he pleases, able to strike, withdraw, and hit a new location before the overstretched Alliance forces can properly rally and respond given their occupation responsibilities. The Alliance invasion is all but a house of cards held up by a single string, and Reinhardt is rocking the industrial grade garden shears.

Of course not everyone in the FPA is dumb enough to ignore such flaws, but unfortunately for Yang and my other man Bewcock (Merkatz is always first in my heart) are stuck in command purgatory. With the Alliance leadership committed to invasion, those with serious flaws like Falk and dangerous complacency like Lobos are left in charge simply because they support the “right” side of the debate. It matters not to those in charge whether the invasion occurs properly or not, all that matters is that there is an invasion and that any failure in it can be pinned on someone else (notice Trunicht’s sly voting history to see such hedging of bets). For this reason alone Yang’s hope of pre-emptive retreat will be rejected outright and the now nervous FPA forces will be forced to advance further, all for the sake of keeping up political appearances. Of course there’s no guarantee Reinhardt will win once he decides to meet the invasion force in open battle (luck and the fog of war are fickle mistresses) but as the aforementioned logistics and unrest show, it’s not looking good for the FPA right now, and that’s before dealing with the issue of those in charge of the show.

Just as the Wehrmacht discovered when they handed the reins over to one Austrian corporal, the FPA is about to learn no amount of subordinate ingenuity or genius can make up for terrible strategic decisions. When Reinhardt finally appears, it won’t be a question of winning or losing, but how many men Yang and friends can manage to save from catastrophe.




  1. For the love to all the gods of war! The Empire doesn´t have to do a danm thing to to destroy the invasion fleet! The Alliance commanders are doing a grand job at it and considering all the strian the war effort is putting in the economy plus the millions upon millions of imperial mouths to feed the FPA is going to implode before long! Is it really possible for such an idiots to be in charge of a nations that rules over over entire star systems.

    The prime example of military stupidity was when Lobos and Falk told Admiral Calsales they didn´t have time for cowardice, I was like: “Oh, I´m so sorry Commander I just thought that maybe not having enough food for our soldiers is a serious problem but obviously you know nest, no wonder you´re the boss!”.

    Try to conquer an empire when your soldier have an empty stomach asshat!.

    1. @haseo0408:

      Is it really possible for such an idiots to be in charge of a nations that rules over over entire star systems?

      You only have to look at the ones in charge of nations nowadays.

      1. Building on that, leadership and power tends to attract those who have a thing for looking out for themselves first and everyone else second. Often all it takes to wind up in a lucrative position is good people skills and well-placed connections. Like you say Kinai, modern politics is the best example of how easy it is to get the worst in charge.

        If we’re lucky we should eventually see upvoting return. The old system was hopelessly outdated and screwed with the site’s reboot so we had to take it down.

  2. the entire episode as the incompetence of the poeple up high was even more showing i was with bewcock, if you think its so rightous to do, then bloody to it yourself, dont sit safe in the bloody deathstar lookalike, get your but to the frontlines and show us cowards how its done then.
    on another note im with pancakes, its now on to yang and bewcock how many they can save from this defeat.
    also seriously? your busy with an invasion and your taking a nap and must not be disturbed for problems? how the heck did he ever get to that position in the first place.

    1. @lancelot50

      Did it surprise you Falk’s nervous breakdown? 😛

      In the Gineipaedia, the LoGH encyclopaedia, it is mentioned that Lobos was more competent when he was young. There has been a lot of commanders during history that they had lost their edge when they got older.

      Show Spoiler ▼

    2. Hilariously enough Lobos’ nap isn’t even the worst offense a commanding officer can make in a time of crisis. In WW1 the Austrian army head Conrad von Hoetzendorf was notorious for keeping his wife with him at headquarters (something forbidden in any military) and spending far too much time conversing with her than dealing with his disintegrating army.

      If anything the entire series pays homage to the utter insanity basic political logic can devolve into.

  3. In the OVA they showed how Reinhadrt sent his men to purposely take all the food from all those planets, thereby forcing the alliance to feed them in order to live with their ideology.

    1. Yupp, I’m kind of surprised they didn’t specifically allude to it (such as during Reinhardt’s chat with Siegfried) as it would have Reinhardt’s strategy of retreat and counterattack make better sense for first-time viewers.

      1. Oh yes it was undeniably implied, my comment was more about it being between the lines rather than explicitly mentioned. It would be easy to overlook Reinhardt’s remarks as simple talk about the situation for example, rather than being evidence of his deliberate requisition of Imperial foodstuffs to force the Alliance into a logistical nightmare.

    2. Why can’t they grow more food though or eat what the Western world considers inedible (pets, rats, insects)? Come on, it’s the future and you can also improvise. During Mao’s Great Famine in PRC peasants would grow algae in tanks of urine – a very inventive method indeed.

  4. In the old anime there was an episode about how the Reinhard realize his scorched earth tactic.

    I am not sure that there was so much incompetence about the Alliance tacticians and logistics officials. It remembers me a video about the making of Star Wars Episode I, where you can see the faces of Lucas’ collaborator and you can see that he is thinking that it is a very bad idea. But how do you say it to your boss? Or, worse yet, your commander?

    Two things about this episode that I ever wonder about since I watched the old anime was:
    – Why didn’t they send at least one of the fleet to protect the supplies?
    – How is that Falk raised to Commodore without any doctor noting his mind problems?

    By the way, the “not awake the commander-in-chief” but in the real case even if the enemy was attacking, happened during the D-Day with Hitler. 😛

    1. To be fair, the logistics officer (can’t remember his name – the young glass dude) tried to warn Lobos and Falk about the supply problem. Those bastards simply ignore the problem.

    2. Answer to your questions:
      1. All the fleets are in strategic positions if one decided to go it would leave a fatal weak point in their battlefront, the same would happen if they decided to go with just half the ships.
      2. Good conections can take you far if you know how to hide the skeletons in your closet.

  5. I was expecting this. And if the Empire somehow force them into fights where they use all their Ammo up or Weapon Energy, the free planets will run dry on supplies…

    1. also in “the Last Exile”, this setup was also present.. the yearlong war (or for generations) was playing in their hands, when they finally wanted peace, the 3rd force sabotaged it

  6. I found this on wiki: Stellar War
    The second season, Stellar War (Japanese: 星乱, Seiran), is comprised of 3 animated films equivalent to a 12-episode series.

    Did they change their mind about the 12ep anime only? Are they going to remake the whole thing?

    1. I ever heard that they were going to make a 12-episode series and the 3 animated films.

      I think that the series is going to finish in the middle of the OVAs first season. And the films would cover the second half.

      As ever, I supposed that it depends about sales.

    2. Well, Production I.G have long announced that after this TV series, they are planning to release 3 animated films. Now, according to the LoGH Die Neue These official website, it is mentioned that these 3 films collectively constitute a “second season” and are the equivalent of 12 episodes in total. and the relevant sentence is this:


    3. They didn’t change their mind. A 2nd season was announced at the same time as the first, but more importantly, the director already stated before the show aired he plans the new series to be 100+ episodes. But that can only happen if it is successful enough.

  7. One has only to story WWI and WW2 and one can see the grandiose levels of stupid can exist in leadership during war. Of course, those are far from the only examples but are likely the most well known.

  8. Ah, Legend of Galactic Heroes! As always, so good. But as always, leaving an uncomfortable feeling.

    It happened to me with the original series, and now it happens again. This sense of Imperial Nostalgia, where Democracy Is Flawed (and impossible to save once the rot is there), but Empires Are Cool, or can be as long as The Right Person is given complete control. The trope is becoming more and more common in certain anime, manga and LN, but I know that Legend of Galactic Heroes predates them by a large margin (and it’s far better in its execution).

    1. I know, it´s far more thatn just flashy space battles amd heroic sacrifices, it examines in detail amd in a realistic light why democracy is flawed and the pros and cons of the eternal struggle of Monarquy vs Democracy. Can´t help to think of the famous line of the G-man: “The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world” when I see Yang and Reinhard in action.

    2. @Mistic
      I think that the author message is the opposite:
      Democracy is better than Empires. Because it is very rare that the right person as the one in control. Meanwhile, in Democracy you has to change rules each four years, so it minimize the damage.
      AND, it is the responsability of the people to fire bad rules. Because democracy isn’t only go to vote each four/five years.

      1. Mm, I don’t have the same opinion, but perhaps it’s because I have the benefit of hindsight. Without telling spoilers, the narrative of Legend of Galactic Heroes ultimately adheres to a “Great Man theory” interpretation of the setting.

        At this point, the problem of both the Alliance and the Empire is that, at the end of the day, the Wrong People monopolize the system, and in that regard they are presented as fundamentally equal (even if, as you say, democracy has a better historical record in avoiding that). Only the right Great Men (Yang vs. Reinhard, of course) can shape history, so the key is to have the Right Person taking the reins, regardless the system (which echoes what haseo0408 said). Narratively, it makes things easier and more dramatic, but the eventual implications of such viewpoint can be quite uncomfortable.

        But it’s too soon to see that right now. There are more battles awaiting!

    3. Legend of Galactic Heroes is indeed a critique of democracy, and it is also undeniable that the author really likes the character archetype represented by Reinhard. But his critique is not really targeted at democracy as a system, but rather the people living in one. If you have watched the original series you would have known his most visceral criticisms against the Alliance is not about its political system but rather that its people have grown complacent. “The people have democratic principles on their lips but cannot spare the effort to safeguard it!” is what someone would say later on.

      The author wants to demonstrate that democracies are never inherently good and that it needs an entire society of responsible people to flourish. Whereas an autocracy can still thrive even with an apathetic populace (and may in fact encourage it!) so long as the right person is in charge. But even here the author has also spelt out clearly that the right people, people like Reinhard, are so extremely rare as to be unreliable on the grand scale. Let us not forget that the author wrote this series in the 1980s, at the tail-end of the Cold War, and who undoubtedly encountered the over-exuberance of people’s view towards democracy. And thus what might look today as an overused cliche was actually rather ground-breaking back then.

      1. All of this. On the surface it looks like irenic autocracy is implicitly favoured, but this is largely because of what LotGH does with Reinhardt. The kid may succeed, but the reason he succeeds is not from some underlying bias towards empire—it’s to show the incredible impact a single powerful and charismatic figure can have over state and people both.

        The nagging issue though (as Glacierfairy highlights) is that such men are enigmas, they do not always exist, and when they do there’s no guarantee they will be in a position to implement wide reaching change. As the original made incredible pains to describe in its latter half, autocracy can be amazing under the right ruler, but all it takes is one terrible heir and the whole order comes crashing down. Democracy theoretically avoids this problem by investing the people with power and the right to toss out their leaders, but if the people grow complacent and uncaring, you quickly wind up with what the FPA is going through at the moment.

        Overall LotGH serves as a critique of democracy by asking if the benefits of the alternative system can make up for its very serious downsides. Is an irenic, benevolent autocracy better than a corrupt and divisive democracy? Is the risk of potential decadency and totalitarianism worth it? The series never actually answers the question and cannot because like many political science dichotomies it’s a question with no one correct answer. Every community will approach the question differently, and every community will come to its own conclusion as to the right answer. All LotGH does is show that every system of government has its downsides, and that it’s the people’s duty to understand them when choosing.

  9. I don’t want to get into real world politics, but man I can see how this show has predicted modern Democracy is crumbling because of how politicians play around the idea of Democracy. Still it’s a shame that the show isn’t really planning to animate the whole novel series for the modern age, as it’s easy to get invested in this show and it’s rich story telling.

    1. Per the director’s statement they do want to reanimate the whole novel series with 100+ episodes. But outside of kid’s shows no anime can greenlight >100 eps at once, so it depends on sales. The OVA came out in chunks of about 26 eps over 12 years, afterall.

  10. I don’t really understand how the empire citizens would welcome back the empire soldiers even if they came with food. They took the food from them in the first place. If I was the FPA I would head straight for the capitol world and lay waste to it.


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