krpalmer: (anime)
Each successive volume of Legend of the Galactic Heroes arriving translated in print raises my hopes we’ll really get to the end of the series, even if it’s a conclusion I’ve already experienced through the anime adaptation. The eighth volume was where I supposed that this time for sure we’d be faced with a shocking development, one that would shake up certainties and leave the survivors in the story trying to make a new way forward. Once it had passed, though, I did have to recognize I’d forgotten some of the particulars of just how it had happened. In any case, with the various tactical schemes of the space opera battles easy enough to just sort of accept (a lot of the action in this volume is set in a choke-point in space set up beforehand as somehow constraining fleet deployment) the development did get away from everything else seeming to revolve around how enlightened a despot Kaiser Reinhard von Lohengramm is. Yang Wen-li, even holed up in a last redoubt, remained skeptical about what might happen “after Reinhard”; I’m afraid I was inclined to stay skeptical about the way Reinhard was himself presented and to muse about just what “the average folk” might wind up for whatever reason holding up, although it does seem like it just might be more interesting to provide an opposing argument by setting up a different fictional scenario than to just complain about the way a particular fictional scenario has been designed.

The omniscient narration of the book did seem to keep alluding to future developments I’m also familiar with. One thing that did surprise me, though, was a third translator showing up. I can’t say Matt Treyvaud’s work seemed any better or worse than what had come before; there was a certain bit of familiarity in the Imperial marshal Oskar von Reuentahl, who has one blue eye and one brown eye (a trait at least a minor fetish scattered through other anime series) being described as “heterochromiac.” I did look ahead again and see a pre-order listing for the ninth volume of the series, but it’s a long way away yet; even if getting to the end of the series keeps feeling a bit more likely, I can admit to feeling freer to wonder if that’ll happen this year.
krpalmer: (anime)
Seven Legend of the Galactic Heroes novels having been officially translated into English and sold in bookstores ought to be something, but I admit I was still relieved all over again on the appearance of the latest volume that "losses hadn't been cut in the face of seemingly inevitable book-to-book sales declines." Anyway, as I started into the seventh volume I did wonder about the recently concluded new anime adaptation (which hadn't even adapted to the end of the first volume) and its slicker character designs coming to mind; as I kept reading, though, my older memories of the older anime did seem to return.
What I remember may surprise you )
krpalmer: (anime)
For the third season in a row, I was attracted enough by the first descriptions of and reports on several new anime series being streamed on official services I already have subscriptions for to watch "with everyone else." By now, though, with that good fortune a little more familiar I was conscious first that all of the series I'd settled on had the leg up of connections to existing franchises (a little too resonant of certain rhetoric weighing on merely "domestic" productions these days) and second that the message board I follow has slowed down a great deal these days, with two or at the most three people commenting on new episodes. Presumably, seeing positive reactions from other people is a major point of watching things one episode a week.
Taking things my way: V Gundam and Chihayafuru 2 )
Continuations: Lupin the Third series 5 and Yamato 2202 )
A different revival: Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These )
Mecha multiplication: DARLING in the FRANXX, Full Metal Panic IV, and Gundam Build Divers )
Finishing off: Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card, Girls und Panzer das Finale, and Star Gunman Bismarck )
krpalmer: (anime)
The appearance of another translated volume of Legend of the Galactic Heroes was in some ways a simple relief to me, given I still remember the days of a decade past when translated novels connected to anime series always seemed to stop appearing after their third volume, doomed by low sales. Even though some of Yen Press's translated "light novels" have run for a lot longer than three volumes nowadays, Legend of the Galactic Heroes being translated by a company connected to Viz does keep me wondering. At the same time too, the sixth volume showed up at an eventful yet controversial moment for its whole franchise over here.
Two anime adaptations and one translated novel )
krpalmer: (anime)
The fourth volume of Legend of the Galactic Heroes was one whose translation hadn't been promised back when the first appeared, so it was as welcome as any of them so far to me. I hadn't seen the part of the anime adapting it back at my university's anime club, so while I do have to admit to having managed to see it since then, as I read the book I did have a slight feeling of greater unfamiliarity. At the same time, I did have a sense the story was moving into an ominous endgame as the military genius Reinhard von Lohengramm exploits idealistic exiles and self-centred politicians while colluding with interstellar oligarchs to set up a full-scale invasion of his tottering opponent. I do keep thinking the focus of the series on "the appearance of an epoch-opening genius" can be balanced against "is it also possible a good many 'ordinary' people might only be convinced of that?", but just because a work of fiction raises a question it doesn't have to answer it itself.

Something about the translation did start feeling a bit odd to me as I worked through this volume, and I wound up going back to the earlier books to see they'd been translated by a different person. Whether this amounted to "an unfortunate cost-saving measure" or was just an inescapable necessity, I don't know. I had wondered on the way through if the entire book would amount to "preparations for battle," only for diversionary warfare to break out in the final chapters. This included a hand-to-hand battle between two high-placed subordinates, if one without quite as much significance as some might have anticipated. On getting to the end of the book without a preview page, though, I got to worrying again about this amounting to "everything hinges on how this volume sells if it hasn't already..." Looking a little further, however, did turn up some preorder listings for two further volumes. As I understand it this still won't complete the translation of the series, but there does seem to be a bit more to look forward to at the moment.
krpalmer: (anime)
In getting to read the Legend of the Galactic Heroes novels in translation at last, I am always sort of conscious of having managed to see their anime adaptation first. (At times, too, buying the novels does sort of seem a no doubt inadequate effort to try and "make up" for just how I saw the anime...) At the end of the second novel, I was as inclined as anything to keep seeing the story as pausing at a moment of great impact, but remembering a change in the anime's opening and closing credits (after a good number of episodes spun out of two novels) was one more sign of that. As the third novel picked up, I could see the Galactic Empire's protagonist Reinhard von Lohengramm as having been isolated by that, with his not nearly as totipotent counterpart on the other side of the interstellar space opera war, Free Planets Alliance Admiral Yang Wen-li, isolated in turn by being hauled before a kangaroo board of inquiry. I can understand this steady emphasis on the degradation of the Alliance (with an enigmatic third party meddling all the while) troubling people who might read the novel now; at the same time, I'm conscious of having become more dubious about invocations of "front-line military leaders who possess inbuilt dignity and reasonableness" since I first read the Robotech novelizations long years ago. The one point that might be made in favour of Legend of the Galactic Heroes could be that by this point in the story, the aggressive Alliance commanders have been killed off.
Space opera in the meantime )
krpalmer: (anime)
The second Legend of the Galactic Heroes novel has now been translated. At the back of this volume, there's the promise of at least one more instalment to be released, although I still don't know if the gloomy anticipations of other fans that "of course these books won't sell well enough to be fully released" will be realised. In any case, this volume gets a fair way into the story as I've experienced it in its anime adaptation, if still seeming to be a self-contained instalment in the story by itself. Both galactic factions turn to deal with internal dissent, which might only seem to feed into the air of reinforced genius of a still-rising star if not, perhaps, for a very significant loss at the close of the book.

I don't know if the translation has improved to any extent from the first volume, although I did seem able to cruise through it where I've found myself slogging through some of Yen Press's translated "light novels"; whether it's just a matter of this particular subject matter appealing more to me is a reasonable question. I did get to thinking again about the visual reality provided by the anime adaption. In the first volume, the uniforms of the opposing fleets are described well enough that I could envision what was ultimately drawn in my mind; however, there didn't seem anything said about the civilians in the corrupt democracy on one side (comments about the war eating away at its general vitality seem something I don't remember from the anime) dressing in late-twentieth-century fashion or the civilians in the aristocratic empire on the other side wearing late-eighteenth-century European fashions. There are also descriptions of the ultimate space fortress Iserlohn that seem different from the "liquid metal" surface it got in the anime as if to distinguish it from the most familiar visions of spherical space fortresses. However, the novel did get to setting up the "space-ax" combat that's long provided a more striking alternative to just zapping opponents. I can wonder how much more will provoke reflections back to the anime, but I've kept finding interest in what we've managed to get.
krpalmer: (anime)
When I joined my university's anime club, more than a few years ago now, members in the know were talking up a series called Legend of the Galactic Heroes. By the time I graduated, the club had started showing the series "fansubbed," and I did find its austere military-political space opera set to classical music interesting. In the years that followed I learned more about the series, but the sense did also build the time when it might have been licensed for an official release over here had passed; even its invocation as a way of showing just how refined your tastes were, or how much better anime had been once upon a time, seemed to fade away.

Then, all of a sudden it was announced the series had been licensed at last; what was more, another announcement declared the first of the novels the anime had been adapted from were to be translated. The conditional nature of "first" did lead to some dark suspicions that would be all we'd get, but as we keep waiting for the anime to show up the very first novel has been released. I did take longer than some to get around to reading it, but I have now read it.
Thinking back, looking ahead )
krpalmer: (anime)
In my first term at university, the big anime club I was one tiny part of there put out a newsletter talking up various titles, whether well-known among fandom at large or just the favourites of the writers. One of the articles in it promoted a series called "Legend of the Galactic Heroes," an apparent favourite of some of the club executive, and the description of space opera involving a clash of personalities with a soundtrack of classical music caught my attention, even if I had no idea how I would ever get to see it. Several terms later, approaching the end of my time at university, the club started showing the series, and as I began watching it at last I found myself quite interested in it. I knew it was a very long series, though, and I would only get to see a part of it... and then, technology I could at best dream of when I first joined the anime club gave me a chance to see the whole series for myself. It still took a while, and probably placed my karmic balance in deficit in the process, but it was an impressive experience. In a way, "Legend of the Galactic Heroes" may embody the appeal of "story" in anime to me, an appeal that first grew when I could do little more than try to remember "Robotech's" composite story while hearing the first whispers that there really were other animated series a whole lot like it. It's lengthy and complex, developing and changing along the way, and the main characters on both sides of the battle can't be summed up and dismissed as just "good" or "evil."
I don't think I give any secrets away, but it is kind of lengthy... )

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