Saturday, October 12, 2013

Legend of Galactic Heroes: My Conquest is the Sea of Stars (1988)

LEGEND OF THE GALACTIC HEROES: MY CONQUEST IS THE SEA OF STARS is (aside from a mouthful) pretty much what happens when anime is mixed with classcal art and music.It acts as a prequel for the 110 epsiode OVA that was released right after.It shows the first the first battle between the Galactic Empire's Admiral Reinhard von M sel and Free Planets Alliance Star Fleet's Wen-li.The two sides have been at war for 150 years, so one can only guess that this encounter will act as a bit of a turning point in history for the two groups.None of that happens here however, as the whole hour is spent on developing characters and leading up to one big battle.

While it seems like this movie might be a waste of time if it doesn't get to the root of story, it's okay.It gives you enough.This was meant to be a prequel to a pretty lengthy OVA series, after all.While there isn't a lot of background given, it is still pretty easy to catch on and follow along for the hour and there is enough there to just be able to appreciate a historical rooted war story.

Even though there is a ton of dialogue and no major action until the last 20 minutes or so of the film, it is still worth watching just for the animation.The world was very much created with classical art in mind, Roman statues even being referenced with in the first five minutes.It really becomes apparent from seeing the amount of shading detail that was given to each character.This could also be seen from the fact that most of the main characters (on the Empire side anyway) are so darn pretty.Everything was drawn and animated with such detail.It's worth a watch just for that.

There is also a soundtrack of various famous classical music themes through the entirety of the film.It is especially stong during the battles.The music choice compliments the look of the film well.

The films problem is that it is so dialogue driven for the first half, as mentioned earlier.It takes a while to get the story moving since those not familiar with any more of the story know very little about the world or characters at this point.It's hard to get to the root of the politics in an hour.Also, the dialogue and nature of the story can make it drag at times and to me it made the film seem a lot longer than it is.

If war stories are your thing, or you're a sucker for pretty men and stunning animation, give this movie a shot.Or at least check out the following 110 episodes.

In summary


* pretty to look at

* great classical soundtrack

* properly sets up the tone for the rest of the saga

* just enough information to make sense of the story


* extremely dialogue heavy

* can drag at times

* only just enough information to make sense of the current story


Unfortunately, none of the Legend of the Galactic Heroes films or OVAs have been properly released in English.You can find fan translations around if you are so inclined, otherwise you'll just have to work through the Japanese.Or, oddly enough, Spanish and Russian.
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