17 CommentsAnime Analysis, Twelve Days / By Scamp /

12 Days of Anime #7: Galactic Heroes selected me

This year I saw three anime that made it into my top 10, amusingly none of which aired this year. These were Berserk, Gankutsuou and Legend of the Galactic Heroes. Each of them have a bit of an elitist atmosphere surrounding them and their fans, and it’s pretty easy to see why, even if I think they’re more accessible than their reputation would have you believe. Certainly I think anyone could enjoy Gankutsuou. Its animation style is less artfaggory and more flashy and pretty. Berserk is probably a bit more difficult to recommend, but the story of Berserk is not complicated at all and has enough raw entertainment to be pretty accessible. Galactic Heroes is slightly different though.

When I first started watching Galactic Heroes, I found myself wondering why this has such an elitist reputation. The appeal you draw from Galactic Heroes wasn’t a whole lot different to, say, Death Note or some Gundam series. Politics and masterminds at work. The politics is handled with a hell of a lot more wisdom than your typical Gundam series, but that’s still the primary draw. Plus, it’s silly enough to make fun of while you’re watching it. Julian Minci performing flying kicks is quite low down on that list of silliness, especially when Reinhard is using every moment when he’s not talking to flick back his beautiful golden locks, or Yang Wenli is waxing philosophical about the glories of alcohol. It’s a hell of a lot of fun, so why do most reviews act like it’s unapproachable?

It did eventually creep up on me why Galactic Heroes has this reputation. Let’s go over the facts again. 110 episodes long old anime with animation that didn’t look good even in its day. It doesn’t really have a slow start, seeing as it doesn’t exactly do anything different at the start of the series compared to the rest. It just takes you a while to get sucked into the world. It takes about 20 episodes before you really start to enjoy the series, and about halfway through before you fall in love totally. That is a ridiculously high barrier of entry. Yet I’m convinced that most people would watch this series and thoroughly enjoy it.

That doesn’t mean everyone should instantly drop everything and go watch it. You will know yourself when you’re ready for it. If you are the type of person to search out Legend of the Galactic Heroes, you are the type of person who would enjoy it. A series that selects its viewers, not the other way around. Eventually you’ll start to look around the 80’s for more anime to watch. Something mature? Exciting? Intelligent? It’s at that point that you’ll find yourself watching Galactic Heroes. It didn’t strike me as unusual when I started watching it, but as I reached the 3/4 mark, it hit me that only now was I in the right state of mind and right time in my fandom to fully enjoy this series. It was as if Galactic Heroes reached out and selected me as the next person worthy of watching it. That’s my moment #7. When Galactic Heroes selected me.

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  1. Posted December 19, 2010 at 9:24 am | Permalink


    I haven’t seen LotGH yet, but believe me it’s on my “to see” list. This was a fantastic post, though. Well done.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 19, 2010 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      I didn’t think it was that good. Honestly, I thought it was one of the weaker 12 days posts…

  2. Posted December 19, 2010 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    When I first star­ted watch­ing Galactic Her­oes, I found myself won­der­ing why this has such an elit­ist repu­ta­tion.

    Because people like you write paragraphs like your last one.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 19, 2010 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      That’s kinda my point though. It’s because of those types of paragraphs that LOGH’s self-selecting audience occurs

      • Posted December 19, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

        Legend of the Galactic Heroes “selected” me by having a high rating on Anime News Network. That’s how most anime “selected” me prior to my involvement in the blogosphere (2008). I don’t do much background research on anime in general, and the higher a rating is, the fewer questions I ask. I certainly don’t do an elitism scan on prospective anime. I was actually under the impression LotGH would be more sci-fi than political. Regardless, I enjoyed it enough to stick in my top 5. If I’d come across a post like this back then, maybe I’d think I wasn’t “worthy” of it. I always like to see a post spread the word about a great show, but you realize you probably scared away a few potential viewers, not all for their own good.

  3. karry
    Posted December 19, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    “If you are the type of per­son to search out Legend of the Galactic Her­oes, you are the type of per­son who would enjoy it.”

    Exactly right.
    Although to be fair, the series WOULD be, like, 146% better, if only that moralizing faggot Yang and his retarded ward Julian, died in episode 1. That was my only wish every time they came on screen.

  4. Posted December 19, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Ah. Sounds great, but as you said, I’m gonna wait a bit until I’m ready. I’m still a young anime watcher (16 years old), and my favourite anime/manga demographics are shojo and josei. And not those cheesy shojo things that you always rant about. Things can be girly without getting cliched. Things can be really deep in shojo manga. Nana. Karekano. Honey and Clover. Tokyo Babylon. Lovely Complex. Shinshi Doumei Cross. Wish. Revolutionary Girl Utena. Full Moon o Sagashite. Aishiteruze Baby. NAKAMURA Asumiko’s oneshots. X. Magic Knight Rayearth. Dengeki Daisy. Arisa. So many good manga~ <3 So I don't know, if this is the right thing for me. That's why I'm gonna wait for the day I'm gonna change my mind.

  5. k3ik0
    Posted December 19, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Space opera has always been somewhat of a niche product, IMO. Those of us who like it, know why it’s great, and seek it out. Those who don’t, need a proper introduction to it from a knowledgeable friend ; )

    • Scamp
      Posted December 19, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      But if I was to introduce someone to a Space Opera, it would be Crest of the Stars. LOGH is a better series, but Jinto and Lafiel are easier to get into

      • k3ik0
        Posted December 19, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        Wholeheartedly agree, Crest of the Stars ++ is a great place to start ; )

  6. Posted December 19, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Haha, strangely enough, I am right at ep20. I’ll probably pick the show back up again later, probably next season when I have more time to watch things (and write about them lol).

    I’ve definitely got to see Oberstein all fancied up!

  7. anon
    Posted December 19, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    How long did it take for you to become gay for Reinhard’s voice?

    • Scamp
      Posted December 19, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      His voice? I was gay for his beautiful blonde hair-flicking long before his voice

  8. Posted December 22, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    mmm space opera’s make me wet in my pants… we need more….

    • Scamp
      Posted December 22, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Permalink


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