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6 ways a remake could improve Legend of the Galactic Heroes

u1LCMOoIt was recently announced at the Legend of the Galactic Heroes stage production that there would be a remake/re-imagining/re-something of the classic anime. Now anyone who knows their shit about anime, or at least wants to pretend they know their shit about anime, knows that Galactic Heroes is one of the greatest anime of all time. A timeless classic of large scale political intrigue. But that doesn’t mean it was perfect. Far from it. There were plenty of dodgy things about the original that a remake could potentially clear up. If Yamato 2199 can revamp their timeless classic with big significant changes that still keep the core of the story intact and please both fans of the original and newbies to the franchise, then there’s no reason LoGH can’t do the same.

1: Add some female characters worth a damn

vlcsnap-2010-09-26-18h03m22s80Getting the first and obvious one out of the way. There are, by my estimation, 200 characters with names and personalities in LoGH. Of these, 4 of them are ladies. And my fourth one is the lover of the weird religious cult leader, and even including her is a stretch. Add some female characters worth a damn would be a pretty big step forward. It could mean genderswapping some older characters (oh please genderswap Kircheis because that would make fujoshi so mad), or it could mean adding a few more in. Don’t see why Yang Wenli’s gang couldn’t do with another character or two, nor another one of Reinhard’s generals be a woman. Yamato 2199 did it and it worked great. No reason LoGH can’t follow suit.

2: More Katerose screentime

kateroseConnecting to point #1 and a slightly selfish desire, but come on! Katerose was probably my second favourite character after Yang…well, third favourite after Oberstein…well, fourth after Schenkopp…look, she was a great character who got way too little screentime. She only appeared right at the end of the series and lit up the stage everytime she came on. She was a kickass teenage fighter pilot with a red-head’s temper and had a little thing going with Julian. She broke up the penis-fest that was Yang’s little troupe and brought a really interesting dynamic to their group. Introduce her earlier into the series. Preferably before episode 80 or whenever the fuck it was you waited to introduce one of the best characters in the series.

3: Make the space battles more visually interesting

vlcsnap-2014-02-13-19h12m41s171I’ve heard people say they find the LoGH battles to be the most exciting and enthralling battles in anime, which I can understand. Following the tactics and flow of the battle is fascinating. Where they’re not getting this excitement from is what’s actually happening on screen though, because every single battle is the same repeated animation of a line of ships going pew pew pew. Every single one. It could be the most dramatic, galaxy defining battle in the history of the universe and it would still just be a load of ships lined up going pew pew pew. Yamato 2199 might have suffered a little from its ships looking like they came out of Futurama, but the battles actually had things going on in them.

4: Stop the narrator from spoiling all the major plot events

vlcsnap-2014-02-13-19h11m26s176vlcsnap-2014-02-13-19h11m31s235There are a couple of ways you can build tension. The combination of music, upping the stakes, having all the characters congregate in one spot, quickening and slowing the space carefully to build that emotion. What you don’t do is have a narrator go “AND THEN THE EVENT ON SEPTEMBER 21 HAPPENED”. I know your story is difficult to follow LoGH with so much going on, but never once was that narrator actually helpful. Actually I can think of one time. It was when Julian was reading that history book about the fat strippers. Even that could have been read aloud by Julian himself. No reason to have that narrator.

5: Have an OP that lists the character’s names

funny tweetI know people have a thing for the original LoGH OPs. I think they’re crazy people. It’s a load of rather badly sung opera. What they could do instead is follow the suit of Baccano and Durarara and have an OP that goes through all the characters in the series. Now I don’t expect them to have some kick-ass jazz OP. That wouldn’t suit the series. You can keep your crappy opera music. But what Baccano and Durarara did by flashing all the names up helped me keep up with the characters’ names massively. All anime casts ultimately pale in comparison to that in LoGH, but a nice checklist of all their names in the OP would be a huge help. That way you wouldn’t have to rely on silly nicknames.

6: Improve the drawings of baby Kircheis and Reinhard so they don’t look like misshapen man-babies

vlcsnap-2014-02-13-19h08m02s177Because seriously

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  1. Fellow
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    7. Remove the Terran arc or at least make it less of an incredibly boring drag

    • Scamp
      Posted February 13, 2014 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      Whaaat I liked that arc! I liked the small team focus and it had some good twists. The first time I started to enjoy Julian as a character

  2. luffyluffy
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    I actually heard it wasn’t a remake, but rather an adaptation of more of the novel material, like Hundred Billions Stars; Hundred Billion Lights and Spiral Labyrinth was.

    Either way I’m excited, but I hope Oberstein isn’t in it. No Shiozawa Kaneto, No go.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 13, 2014 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      I heard that they can’t do that because there isn’t any more novels left to adapt though, so there’s nothing more they can do that’s not a remake

      • fdsfgs
        Posted February 19, 2014 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        >because there isn’t any more novels left to adapt though
        Incorrect, there’s a short story and an entire Gaiden volume that were never adapted.

        The short story takes place 150 years before the start of the series and is all about the FPA’s and Empire’s first encounter, along with the opening battle of the war at Starzone Dagon.

        The unadapted Gaiden volume #2 (out of 4) is about what the FPA’s doing when Yang goes off to quell a certain incident during the latter half of the first season, in the form of a series of diary entries by Julian.

  3. gedata
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Not watching LotGH makes me feel left out.

    Was planning on starting this month either way, but this only sweetens the deal.

  4. Posted February 13, 2014 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    I support #2, #3, and #4 with a passion.

  5. Posted February 13, 2014 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Episode previews were the worst spoilers of all time. DBZ-style telling you exactly what happens and who dies next time. That shit needs to go.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 14, 2014 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

      I keep forgetting they exist in old anime. I don’t watch too many old TV series, mostly just movies and OVAs, I go “oh right yeah old anime spoilers”

  6. Mike
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    3 and 4 are key to me. Combine that with much less expository dialogue (especially in the contexts of space warfare and politics) and I’m in for another 110+ episodes without question. Gender swapping some roles as you suggested would also be a great addition to this remake. Female Rubinsky would be pretty interesting road to take. Oberstein too. You could probably make a great argument for any major player.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 14, 2014 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      I like female Oberstein idea, although I think Rubinsky needs to be a dude. It fits his creepy persona better

  7. Nagisa33
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    My brother and I have yet to take the LoGH plunge. We’ll watch it when the time is right. However, I’m glad you have a positive outlook for this new series rather than hold a pessimistic view like some others have.

  8. Posted February 13, 2014 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    The narrator must be a Attack on Titan manga fan.

  9. boku
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Ugh, and I just started watching the original series…Now I’m conflicted over whether to continue it (watched Sea of Stars movie, Overture to a New War movie, and now on ep 2 of the main series), or wait for the remake. Depending on how long it takes for them to make it, I might not finish all of the original in time.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted February 13, 2014 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

      Luckily I am far enough into the original now (ep70 as of this comment!) that it would be insane to not finish!

    • Scamp
      Posted February 14, 2014 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

      If you’ve only just started then I’m not sure what I’d recommend, especially since we don’t know much about this new series yet

  10. Mr. Anon
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    They can do whatever they like to the OPs, but they absolutely must keep that amazing classical music soundtrack.

  11. Nazaren
    Posted February 14, 2014 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    Agreed on all counts, and most notably #4. He diminished or totally removed the impact of so many moments, and the one and ONLY time I watched a preview, it was for that one episode. You know the one. I was actually angry, both at myself and at the narrator.

    I’d add a #7 though: Diversity. “A Hundred Billion Stars; A Hundred Billion White People”. Two or three non-white people in a cast of 200-ish. I know it’s Japan being Japan but c’mon…

    • Nazaren
      Posted February 14, 2014 at 1:37 am | Permalink

      (Apologies, too late for the edit)

      I truly hope it does get a remake. As much as I adore the original, I just can’t bear to rewatch it. It’s a massive undertaking to retread that much ground… akin to rereading a book series (Dune, for example), which is something I can’t do either. I drank it in too hard, and it’s fixed in my memory so well, I just can’t do it, despite my desire to.

      A fresh coat of paint with some of the aforementioned improvements would be just what I need.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 15, 2014 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Hah yes, more racial diversity would be nice, but this being Japan that’s wishing for the near impossible. Then again, getting more LoGH was a miracle too so hey, you never know

      • Messier 33
        Posted September 21, 2014 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

        All hope is not lost there. This is definitely going to be made by a new generation of animators and producers. Hopefully, being younger and more contemporary, there’s a good chance that they’ll be more up to date on racial diversity.

  12. Ramiel
    Posted February 14, 2014 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    +1 on the battles. Yeah, there were a lot of tactical shit going on (and even that was dubious at times), but it all looked rather repetitive and boring. Crest of the Stars is another great space opera, and one of the things it did really well was make Space battles very intense and visually interesting, despite also having good characters and plot.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 15, 2014 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      Crest of the Stars is a good example with the space battles and, as someone brings up in the comment below this, is also a good example of mixing up the genders a bit more.

      You know what would be nice? More Crest of the Stars anime

  13. Antic
    Posted February 14, 2014 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    My first inclination on seeing the remake news was that while the series was hardly without fault, they generally lay in the sorts of things that a new adaptation would be unlikely to fix – namely the occasional weaknesses in plotting, especially in the final quarter. (As well as a few minor fixable things, like floppy discs being the way of the future.) But, ok, some fair points here:

    The worldbuilding in regards to gender politics is pretty frustratingly incoherent; there’s never any reason given for why women aren’t serving more prominently on ships other than, well, 80’s. (Contra something like Crest of the Stars, which typically had parity in its bridge crews, and never even made an issue of it.) That said, if you’re only coming up with four, then you’re missing a few. (Offhand, there’s Annerose, Hilda, Karin, Jessica Edwards, Frederica Greenhill and a number of minor characters… and I’m not even sure who you mean by a cult leader’s girlfriend, closest I can think of is Rubinsky’s mistress.) Expanding on a few of these minor characters might be a good start – in particular, I was always a bit surprised that that baroness that was friends with Reinhard never appeared more. Though if we’re genderflipping characters, I think I’d vote for someone like Cazellnu or Attenborough.

    I’m gonna argue about the narration though; I think you’re wrong about what purpose it’s serving in the show: LOGH positions itself as a (pesudo) history, and the solemn, retrospective tone the narrator establishes is crucial to that. (Also, it’s equally portentous whether or not the event its foreshadowing even ends up mattering i.e. it’s the same whether its talking about a major turning point in the war or a completely failed assassination attempt, so I’m not persuaded it’s spoiling the end result regardless.)

    I can totally agree with wanting some actual animation on the spaceship battles, though.

  14. Posted February 14, 2014 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    All I’m hoping is that the remake can help me convince some of my friends to finally watch the show. As long as it’s a good remake like you described and not something adapted by Mari Okada.

  15. DiesGoes
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    The manga actually made Rubinsky into a woman because the mangaka was tired of drawing men. For making existing characters women I would suggest Job Truniht, Louis Manchego and Attenborough since at least the Empire had villanous women. Katerose was pretty pointless, so they could stand to make her better and the intros were pretty darn good, but the names thing was always distressing, maybe combine both factions into the OP and ED. The narrator and episode titles were spoiler minefields at times so yeah change those.

  16. Red hood
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 2:18 am | Permalink

    Women as general is a piece of sht.

    A reason to why not remake.
    The only anime without feminism bullshit and with strong male chars.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 15, 2014 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      You sound like a lovely person. I bet you get all the pussy

  17. Posted February 15, 2014 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    More black people.

  18. Lariat
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    I’m currently watching Legend of the Galactic Heroes and I would definitely like more female characters. Then again, Reinhard’s childhood was strongly influenced by the corruption of aristocrats and their treatment of women (well, specifically his sister), and given their consistent sexism I find it hard to imagine women being able to even enlist in the army. Conversely, the alliance is notably more diverse – though they are not depicted as commonly as they should, there are women serving alongside men and there are soldiers of varying races – to introduce more women here would merely be a better presentation of what should already have been on show.

    I might well be wrong in what I said since I’m only about thirty episodes in but regardless, I’m sure the new show will adapt to suit the times to some degree. Hopefully they keep those operatic openings though.

  19. Posted February 16, 2014 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    Quick, someone get SANZIGEN and Seiji Kishi on it.

  20. DK
    Posted February 24, 2014 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    I disagree with #3. Though the battles do have some shots that are reused multiple times, these are few and far between and nearly every battle is – by an overwhelming amount – significantly different from that which came before. Making battles “visually interesting” – is fine so long as they don’t undermine the core nature of LOGH battles. A collection of large multi-ten-thousand ship formations, often quite far apart, blasting away at each other as they make move and counter move. If you want to make it more interesting, do some of the things the later seasons did – more missiles firing, more interesting shots of ships exploding, ships with big-ass-guns (Admiral Fahrenheit’s ship, Asgrimm: http://gineipaedia.com/wiki/Asgrimm) shields flaring, etc. But don’t turn it a close-range pew pew pew slug fest like every other space battle in every other sci fi property ever made. For the love of GOD don’t.

  21. Smitty Werbermanjens
    Posted June 17, 2014 at 2:32 am | Permalink

    While all of these are good points, you guys have to remember: THIS WAS BASED OFF A BOOK SERIES!!! Changing the remake would just make it feel alien to me. I’m with you guys on the younger Siegfried and Reinhard drawings and change in intro theme. But the rest is all from the novels!

  22. Posted October 10, 2014 at 4:09 am | Permalink

    Remake with better looking star ships like those in Robotech the Macross Saga and more bad-ass trooper armor better than Star Wars clone trooper armors plus better officer uniforms but don’t change the pacing of the story.

  23. Nope
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    There are plenty of strong and interesting women in LOTGH, given that it’s a series about war. Enough with this inane demanding that peices of art must cater to your specific political beliefs! I think the original series was almost perfect, if you hated it so much don’t consider yourself a fan.

  24. Milferd
    Posted October 29, 2014 at 3:44 am | Permalink

    The fact that there are few blacks in the story is that they were considered an inferior race when Rudolf I implemented the policies that the Natzi’s wanted on race and people with inferior genes, the handicapped and mentally ill. The show is not real clear but clearly the Blacks were pushed to the Empire’s frontier on the prison worlds along with the Asians and surely a huge number died. When the ice ships ran I’m sure most of the non whites left with them. Thus the Republic has Blacks and Asians but the Empire is purely Northern European whites. But yes making a black character more propionate on the republic would help after all a top admiral is black would help. Note there are no Japanese characters I noticed at all so they must have really suffered.
    This horror is a key part of the story it just should be clearer.
    The huge die offs of the human race more than once mandated that more than once women were needed to stay home and have as many babies as possible. Combined with harm to women from the warp drives this shoved women back along with the Natzi policies of the Empire. This is probably also the reason that humanity went back to the traditional roles of teenagers as young adults able to start families and take adult roles. Again it would be nice if clearer. It would be nice to see more important females but mostly only on the Republic side.

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