Hey everyone new and people that have been coming back for some reason (are you sure you aren’t lost?). My name is Scott and welcome to this little blog called Mechanical Anime Reviews. As the name of my blog suggests, I love mech shows. While my blog has been focusing on that more and more recently, it’s not all that I watch or write about. Especially since I am talking about a little space opera called Legend of the Galactic Heroes that is completely different from a mech series. (This is a lie by the way, it’s like a mech shows without mechs.) I am taking the grand scale of the clash of two space nations with different ideologies with space battles that involve thousands of large space craft to just one person. A hard task to do, but it’s worth it. Believe me. The person in question is an infinitely relatable character that goes by the name Yang Wenli.
For those of you who haven’t heard of it before, what is OWLS you might ask. Well, that’s an easy question to answer. OWLS, also known as Otaku Warriors for Liberty and Self-Respect, is a group of otaku bloggers who promote the acceptance of all individuals. This is all regardless of gender, sexual orientation, religions, race, and disability. All about humanity for humanities sake. Each Month, our members are given a topic to write about and each of us approaches that through our own personal views. If you want to know more, please click here and look at the OWL’S Blog Page.
This month’s prompt provided by our great Chief Creative Officer LynLyn is “Pride”. To be specific:
In honor of “Pride Month, we will be discussing the word, “Pride” and its meaning. We will be exploring pop culture characters’ most satisfying and joyful achievements or skill that they possess and whether these qualities could be seen as a positive or negative aspect in their personal lives and/or society.
Scope of LOGH and the Empire
Whether you’ve only seen the recent reboot of the Legend of the Galactic Heroes or watched that over one hundred-episode ova series from the late 80’s, you are not missing anything from a galactic perspective either way. Imagine taking the basic format of the original Star Wars trilogies’ conflict of the Empire vs the Rebel Alliance, but the rebel alliance was able to create a space nation as big as the Empire itself. The Empire is still the Empire, though more German themed, but the Rebel Alliance is now called the Free Planets Alliance. Take away the jedi and the force and then add in some space politics regarding battles, economics, the different perspectives of a societies that have been fighting a battle that has lasted for centuries. You now have a better idea of what Legend of the Galactic Heroes is about and why some people are intimidated by it. Believe me, it’s not a scary watch.
The two space nations and their relationships with their side’s protagonist are completely opposite of each other. I know that my focus is going to be on Yang Wenli, but you can’t talk about one side without at least mentioning the other. The Empire is everything that you would expect it to be. It’s ruled by one single guy with an iron fist. The kicker here is that Reinhardt is a young genius who seeks to conquer the empire then the galaxy and the emperor has given him some of the means to do that. All Reinhardt has to do is play the game of thrones with space ships. Not an easy task to be sure. As you would expect, Reinhardt does conquer everything forever and it’s very well done and makes complete sense, but his climb to greatness isn’t as unique of a story as the plight of Yang Wenli from the Free Planets Alliance.
The Free Planets Alliance
As you would expect from my descriptions of the two space parties being opposites, the Free Planets Alliance is supposed to be a democracy. It looks like one and has the constitution to be one, but the government has changed since the war has raged on since the dawn of this countries existence. This is going to sound suspiciously similar, but the politicians that hold high office positions are doing their best to maintain their “reign”. Even if it means taxing their citizens to hell and back in order to fund a war that might get the F.P.A. a victory, they are welling to do anything to get another four years in power. Kind of a big risk, guys. This might lead to the end of everything they know. Oh well, I guess everything can be risked in the name of liberty and peace, right? Even liberty and peace. This is where Yang Wenli comes into play.
Oh man, where do I even begin to talk about this guy? The best way to describe this is guy is that the title of “Millenial” really fits him. I know that the source material was written in the early 80’s during the height of the Cold War, but Yang Wenli is a character beyond his time periiod. He is a military genius that leads the Free Planets Alliance in multiple victories against the Empire without much loss on the Free Planets side. Here is the thing, he’s forced to do it. Yang does not want to fight, but he has to. Yang just wanted to study history all his life. Since he comes from a background with no money, Yang had to go to military school to get funding for that. One day, he defeated the highest ranked person in strategy school in a space combat simulator and he won. Yang was now an officer in the military and either had to keep winning battles he was thrown in or quit the military and endure an incalculable amount of student loans from the military. Are you seeing the Millenial thing now?
It gets worse from there because the Free Planets Alliance keeps adding more things for him to be responsible over. He adopted a son named Julian who is infinitesimally more responsible and gifted then Yang. Also, he had a small fleet, called the 13th fleet, created for his use. Suddenly, Yang has a lot more people that he is responsible for which weighs on his conscious quite a bit. An addition to Yang quitting is leaving behind all the lives of all the people that trust him to a possibly faster death or he keeps. There is a reason for this. At the beginning of the series, the F.P.A. is losing the war. Since Yang is the one character that won battles for them in a while, the government wants to keep him around so it can keep functioning. So basically, it’s all for the Pride of the Free Plants Alliance. This is a small battle of pride between Yang and the F.P.A.
Competition of Pride
I’m just going to say this right now, Yang Wenli is on the losing side on this battle. At the Start of Legend of the Galactic Heroes, The Empire could attack whatever planet they felt like and the Alliance only could suffer loses military and/or evacuate areas immediately to save lives. Yang Wenli was the person that first tied the empire’s tactical strike and then took the Death Star like space fortress from The Empire. This put the two sides into a stand still. Why can’t the two parties negotiate now? Because politicians hold their personal pride in their positions and power more important than they govern, I think I spilled out what the consequences are already.
In this case, you can call Yang Wenli as a representative of the people of the Free Planets Alliance here. He never speaks for himself and suffers a lot from the war. I’m not saying that there aren’t people in the Alliance that speak up, because there is, but most of them find themselves manipulative in ways that push their views aside or don’t affect their situation in enough significant ways for things to change. Their pride of who they are as a people is crushed. Poor Yang, poor Free Planets Alliance.
I would like to thank everyone who has read this post. If you are interested in more OWLS content, look at Taku’s post from yesterday and look forward to Crimson’s post tomorrow. Also, here is our blog schedule so you can check out who is or already posted this month. Once again, thanks for reading.