This is the first in the series of 10 Novels written by Yoshiki Tanaka that tells the history of two genius military tacticians on opposite sides of a Galactic space War between humans in the distant future where humanity lives on far off planets and Earth is but a memory.
I first learned about ‘The Legend of Galactic Heroes’ about 15 years ago. I had been discussing with someone my interest in science fiction and Anime when they mentioned to me that they loved a series called ‘The Legend of Galactic Heroes’. I had never heard of it before but upon some research on the net and the very little I could find out about it I was terribly intrigued. An epic space opera anime that was on the scale to match the likes of ‘Lord of the Rings‘. As a fan of older anime from the 80s and 90s I found the art design of the characters, setting and ships appealed to me too. Couple this with the seriousness of the story and classical music being the main soundtrack I thought “yes please, this is for me”. It wasn’t until 5 years later that I could actually find this series online, fan subbed. I pretty much ate it all up. All 100+ episodes of the series.
For the uninitiated, ‘Legend of the Galactic Heroes’ is serious, hard Sci-fi. If Star Trek’s “Warp 4 Engage” to Star Wars “Punch it Chewie” then ‘Legend of the Galactic Heroes’ would be the equivalent of that to ‘Gundam’. Or to put it another way, it’s the Game of Thrones of Sci-fi. It takes time to explain the science and the politics behind the Universe it’s set in and it’s partly written as a historical report of events. If you love knowing the how and why of your Science Fiction and seeing the chess game play out then this is a delight to read. For those of you who want topical Sci-fi then I’d have to say look no further. For a book written in the 1980s it’s themes on War and politics are VERY relevant to the way things are going in the world today.
Those of you who aren’t fans of anime in general then no worries. There is no need to be a fan of the LOGH animation in order to enjoy this book and it is highly satisfying on it’s own. I give my highest recommendation to the animation though if you have any interest in it. It elevates the source material to a new level and really fleshes out the world. For fans of the animation the books are pretty much what you hoped for. Unlike the animated series the first book at least focuses on the main characters of Yang Wen Li and Reinhard Von Lohengramm. We get a slightly deeper insight into their inner going ons and their personal motivations are very clear from the outset.
Favorite Quote: “In human society there are two main schools of thought. One says that there are things that are more valuable than life and the other says that nothing is more important. When people go to war, they use the former as an excuse, and when they stop fighting, they give the latter as reason.” – Yan Wen Li