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It’s the LEGEND OF THE GALACTIC HEROES giveaway contest!

by nickmamatas

We know you’re excited. Get more excited. Our Legend of the Galactic Heroes, v1: Dawn product page is up, and our friends at io9.com are running an excerpt today. So, now it’s time to channel that excitement into the possibility of a few copy of the book!

We’re giving away six copies of Dawn, and it’s easy to win. Just leave a brief essay, or poem, on the comments of this post, basically flipping out at us about how much you love LOGH. You can talk about the anime, the manga, your attempts to learn Japanese to read the books, dreams you’ve had, how you think it compares to other space operas…whatever you like. The six best essays and/or poems will get free copies! We read English, Spanish, German, Japanese, Chinese, and Greek around here, and we ship anywhere, so please try! We’ll announce the winners around noon, Pacific time, on Friday, March 4th.

 

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17 Responses to “It’s the LEGEND OF THE GALACTIC HEROES giveaway contest!”

  1. Raymond Webster says:

    Legend of the Galactic Heroes is a piece of science-fiction that absolutely deserves accolades; as a series, it has a scope beyond most space opera anime both in terms of raw length and more subtly in terms of political ambition. It would be easy to read it in terms of the usual sympathetic “hero” and “villain”, telling a war from the perspective of two men equally convinced they are right yet one must necessarily be wrong for the purposes of drama. Yet it is not; both of its leading characters are filled with respect for each other as men of conviction, as tacticians and soldiers and as representatives and servants of political ideals. Indeed, even its politics deserve closer consideration. It frames itself at first as democracy versus tyranny, but this is quickly undermined; democracy is shown to be fallible as soon as the “wrong” candidate is elected. Job Truniht may as well be David Cameron or George W Bush – someone democratically elected yet unpopular, who makes decisions that are shown to be harmful and yet escapes responsibility. In an era when the representative nature of democracy, and indeed the risks of a politically unaware electorate, are in the headlines every day, a story about a “failed” democracy – and one which by the series’ 3/4 mark is well and truly done for – is timely. It is a series that tackles political corruption head-on; its villains within the FPA are career politicians, chickenhawks and the corrupt. Yet Yang Wenli admits that a democratically elected government one disagrees with must be permitted to govern, because that is democracy.

    The FPA is set against the Galactic Empire, a monarchy that has reformed from a truly tyrannical past and is – under the control of Reinhard – on a course of still greater reform. Reinhard is the archetypal Good King, the fair and just chosen one who, having experienced injustice seeks to undo it and clip the wings of the elite. Yang is filled with admiration for this, and sees this compassionate “tyrant”, this unelected politician who nevertheless is fairer and more just than his own elected government, as a good thing for the Empire. Yet as he muses, one good king may be succeeded by a less good king, and without the democratic process to legitimately depose bad rulers the people will suffer.

    Immediately this political conflict is an interesting one, one that encourages the viewer to challenge their received political wisdom. It is complicated further by the other two factions who ultimately drive the plot as much as the great empires – the Earth Cult, a fanatical religious organisation that seeks political influence if not direct power, and Phezzan, the capitalist neutral state that exists purely as a facilitator. A four-way power struggle defines Legend of the Galactic Heroes – on one axis democracy and tyranny. On the other, capital and religion trying to sway political leaders.

    It is a grand-scale political narrative, one unafraid to have factions lose and face extreme setbacks. One that builds its drama upon grand-scale decisions made as a result of tiny, personal things and one that can spend episodes on the ramifications of very personal decisions. It is absolutely the sort of ambitious science-fiction that we need – something that frames political questions people may not want to consider in an exciting, in-depth story of relatable characters. One can read as much of the modern day into it as one wishes, or as much historical context as one wishes, or read it as a parable.

  2. Tori Napierala says:

    Legend of the Galactic Heroes because it is the most realistic portrayal of war that I have personally seen in an anime. It is a series shows that a war isn’t just those fighting on the frontlines, but also politics and the effect that a galactic war has on everyday citizens. Everything in the show was relevant and it did not seem like there was any moment that was just “filler” material (at least thats how I see it. I’m super excited to be able to now have the opportunity to read the novels!). The characters were all unique and none of them really fit into the archetypes that are often present in other anime. The charcters all had something memorable about them, even the most minor character. LOGH is my favorite anime off all time and I don’t think that there is another show out there that will ever to be able to top it in my eyes. Legend of the Galactic Heroes is truly the epitome of sci-fi anime.

  3. Timothy Jackson says:

    Haikasoru, I have a Haikuforu.

    Alcohol, my friend.

    Can I abandon a friend?

    Buzz off, Julian.

  4. Josh Mochty says:

    Roses are red

    violets are blue

    Reinhardo-sama, I give my heart to you

  5. Luke says:

    LOGH seems amazing
    Never had it in English
    Awaiting it now

  6. Joe Pineda says:

    Legend of the Galactic Heroes is a story about great men and how their will alone can alter the course of history. Most importantly, it’s a story about talent and youth.

    By far the most striking thing about the plot is the rivalry between Yang Wen-li and Reinhardt von Musel, later Lohengramm. Both men are geniuses in their own right, but that’s where the similarities end. While Yang is an apolitical man who enlisted to get a college education, Reinhardt is passionate about becoming the emperor to change the galaxy for the better. One is pragmatical and the other is ambitious and their motives make all the difference.

    Another fantastic analogue in the story happens between the Empire and the Free Planets Alliance. The Empire shifts little by little to a benevolent dictatorship while the Alliance, a republic by definition, becomes corrupt as its leaders refuse to accept change and cling to their power. In this way LOGH also analyzes the dynamics of political upheaval and how far people will go to either maintain the status quo or topple it.

    This is, in my opinion, one of the best science fiction stories in terms of character development and metaphors. I don’t think it’s possible to watch it (or read it) without walking away with some new and interesting insight about our world. Bradbury, Heinlein and Asimov would be proud.

  7. Heng says:

    *Cue Hollywood Trailer music*

    What happens when a bumbling Chinese alcoholic goes up against a calculating Teutonic pretty boy? Sparks fly as the misunderstandings, hijinks, and massive fleet battles pile up! Join the whole gang as Reinhard, Yang, Kircheis, and Julian decide the fate of entire planets!

    Will the best buds Mittermeyer and Ruental find a way to outdo each other?
    Will that creepy guy Oberstein ever crack a smile?
    Will sauve ladies man Walter Schenkopp ever settle down with just one lady?

    Find out this summer! Coming soon on FOX!

  8. Cristina says:

    It’s difficult to write about Legend of the Galactic Heroes because my words can’t do this show justice. It’s a magnificent epic, brilliant from beginning to end, and one of the best shows I’ve ever seen in my entire life. LOGH is so great that I can’t really compare it to anything else. I love everything about this franchise, the most memorable characters, Reinhard and Yang are the protagonists but underneath them are a large cast of characters and all them are fascinating. The plot is a mix of amazing dialogues, military space opera, sci-fi, politics, drama and impressive development. The war portrayed in LOGH was so realistic to me that made me reflect on the society we live in and what we can do to make these stories will never be repeated, as despite the history of men is the history of war, we can use the lessons of our past to create a better future.
    This masterpiece makes me feel very proud being an anime fan and I definitely would love to read the original source of it.

    “The legend ends, and history begins”

    P.S.: Sorry for my bad English, it’s not my native language 🙂

  9. Maxwell says:

    I’m currently studying Japanese at GCSE (in the UK), with plans to go on to continue my studies at university. My dream would be to one day become a translator in the publishing industry and therefore I have been reading up on the manga/Light Novel industry a lot lately. Subsequently, I have begun learning, little by little, more about Japanese literature, and in turn, the Legend of Galactic Heroes! My interest has been piqued, as it sounds like my kind of series! I look forward to finding out about the political parts of the plot!

    みなはがんばってください!

  10. Brandon Perkins says:

    Dr. Tanaka’s epic “Legend of the Galactic Heroes” is a fantastic work of science fiction not only because of the epic space battles and political intrigue, but also because of the rather deep and thought provoking political and philosophical questions it raises.

    “Legend of the Galactic Heroes” does not really have what one could call villains in the purest sense. The closest villain of the story is someone who has been dead for centures, than being Rudolph Von Goldenbaum. Goldenbaum, who was the dictator-turned-emperor that founded the Galactic Empire, was a tyrant whose wickedness was so through and who tyranny was so horrifically violent that his actions ultimately cast a bloody shadow across both the Galactic Empire and the Free Planet Alliance centuries after his death.

    However, when it comes to real political philosophizing this story is ultimately a dialogue between Autocracy and Democracy. This is probably best represented by the two main protagonists of this saga, Reinhard von Lohengramm and Yang Wen-Li.

    Both of these men are extremely admirable people. Both are amazing military strategists. Both have amazing people skills. Both have the ability to bring out the best in their subordinates. But most amazing of all, both are deeply loved and respected by not only their own people, but even the people of their respective opposition!

    And yet, ideologically they could not be more different. Reinhard Von Lohengramm is unequivocally a son of the Empire. He may detest the aristocracy and the Goldenbaum Dynasty it helps support, but he still believes that Dictatorship is a far more effective form of governance for getting his reforms implemented. Simply put, he is unequivocally an Authoritarian (albeit with Benevolent intentions).

    Yang Wen-Li, on the other hand, is the opposite. Much like Lohengramm, he is very much a son of his homeland, in this case the Free Planet Alliance. Yang Wen-Li is under no illusion about the rampant corruption in the FPA’s government and detests individuals like the warmonger Job Trunicht, but his belief in Liberal Democracy is absolute and unshaken and in his mind is the best shield against the rise of something like the Goldenbaum Dynasty. Simply put, he is unquivocally a Libertarian (albeit with the understanding of Democracy’s flaws).

    Ultimately, although the Empire will win the war militarily, the FPA in the end wins the war philosophically. Kaiser Reinhard ultimately recognized the Ba’alat Starzone (which made up much of the FPA) as an independent and autonomous nation at the end of the war. His successor, Kaizerina Hildegard, was instructed in his will to create a Constitutional Monarchy is she believed that their children did not live up to Reinhard’s ideals. Whether or not this happens is up to the reader to decide.

  11. Lyryken says:

    I have one hundred billion LOGH-related good memories, one hundred billion reasons that makes this show special to me. But I’m going to tell just one occasion that sums up the galactic extent of my love for this show.

    One day at a party, a boy tried to flirt with me. He probably expected to get my facebook or phone number. He only left with one thing: a recommendation to watch Legend of the Galactic Heroes.

    Sorry boy, the fleet is my lover.

    ****

    Thank you very much for publishing the book – I’ve been waiting for it in my heart.

  12. Benjamin says:

    Longest OVA

    So Many Lives Reduced to

    Naught but Cosmic Dust

  13. Isabelle Ryan says:

    Two stars shone brightly in a dark sky.
    One flickered and flared;
    One burned with red flames close by.
    No matter which one,
    People stopped and they stared,
    Agape and unbelieving,
    At the history repeating,
    Wholly unprepared.

    One star –
    Uncertain but loved –
    Drew friends and fans and foes.
    The other had but one.
    One star grew strong and scorched the skies.
    The other’s light grew dim but once,
    And all stars then held close those cries.

    They wept.

    Two stars shine brightly in a dark sky,
    Both feeling love, joy, hope and pain.
    And despite how it may seem,
    To those who love this epic dream,
    All this will happen once again.
    As in the historian’s old refrain:
    In every age,
    In every place,
    The deeds of men remain the same.

  14. Karine Z. says:

    In this little part of the galaxy, men are repeating the endless circle of history, prisoners of a fatality that drives them to indefinitely shed blood in whatever age and place… Our conflicts written with red ink in our history may seem insignificant compared to the greatness of the universe … Yet, two supermen will devote their lives to break this circle and build the bridge of peace. These men are heroes, their greatness is beyond imitation, they’re impressive, real, their presence surpass historical characters’; “meteors meant to enlighten their century”, stars whose light outshines their fellows, but beyond all, humans… Two little men bearing on their little shoulders the weight of the life and death of billions of people. More than peerless strategists, they also embody with all their being and soul two philosophies they’ll confront and defend to their last breath.

    Reinhard stands, high, as The ideal Machiavellian Prince, a great, wise, charismatic ruler and conqueror, but he also hides a small part of the Little Prince of St-Exupéry in him, a very lonely being, wandering in the sea of stars, from planets to planets, trying to fulfill that void in his heart. Prey of a dream way too great for him, he chose to live this ephemeral dream in the most intense way possible and finally got consumed by it … Yang is a lone philosopher, whose belief in the democratic system and its people despite how disappointing they may be ,reveals his respectable integrity. But his submissiveness to the flow of destiny that he wanted to observe as an historian but ended up being dragged by, will lead him to his loss.

    Behind those two great stars, are a lot of people attracted by their lights. They’ll hide in their shadows or help them to shine as long as possible, even if it means sacrificing their own brilliance…

    Yang said that “space is a theater”. The character all take part to a theater play, where they distinguish themselves by their incredible eloquence, a literary virtuosity revealed through its dialogues …

    He added “in which every tragedies and comedies eventually end at some point”. What did I feel after the end of this grandiose play ? An interstellar void in my heart. The feeling I’ll never experience something that great for a while. An experience that now belongs to the past, to the memories. But a theater play, it never dies, it’s relived by its different adaptations. This journey, this dream is not ended yet, not until this story can be told in different ways. I know the versions of the two mangas and the anime.
    Let me witness history again with the novel.

  15. Bruno says:

    I need this.

    I just… I… I physically need this.

    I remember back in the 90s, in an era before cable modems and fast internet. Worse still, the 90s in Brazil, with hyperinflated prices (more than 1000% a year – seriously), when anime culture was on the rise thanks to a highly succesfull airing of Saint Seiya on TV. But still, there were too little real good options to see.

    A whole subculture grew back then on fansubbing, not online, but by copying and distributing series on VHS, since we couldn’t either import nor watch them on crunchyroll. Evangelion, Gunbuster, Dragon Ball, Gundam… That would be the only way we could watch it for a good ten years still.

    I remember that series I saw on a really bad VHS copy, with blurry image and hissing sounds. It told a story about spaceships and space travel, but also about politics, romance, culture. It reminded me of Robotech and Macross, which bizarrely had both been aired on brazilian TV, on competing channels, when I was a little younger – but this one was still so much longer, and deeper, and more meaningful than those two had ever been. And I fell in love with it, and with every single minute of it.

    So, I… I need this.

    I physically need this. Really.

  16. accosteddarling says:

    I grew up in a small, conservative town; to a pair of conservative parents. After moving into the city, I was bombarded by progressive peers implying who I should vote for and why. I was taken aback with the ugly political atmosphere I saw around me and in the media, and struggled to reconcile the ugly, contrary attitudes I’d seen in friends, teachers, and family members – people who I looked up to and liked.

    It was during this time, where I was learning to navigate through the world in this way, that I watched LOGH, more or less on a whim.

    LOGH didn’t give me an easy solution to reconcile these things. But it gave me people and showed me the ways they try so hard to be Good People Who Do The Right Thing. These are people who are stupid, lazy, insecure, arrogant, violent, and opportunistic; but at the same time, are wise, kind, funny, generous, and gentle. We see people who choose not to take the easy way out, people who put others before themselves, people who cling to integrity in impossible situations. They are people trying their best to work with what they’ve got.

    LOGH did not tell me which political viewpoints are right and which are wrong. LOGH told me to look past my own biases and a little closer at the people around me, and to listen a little carefully to the things they had to say. LOGH told me to view contemporary issues, not as insignificant or unworthy of attention, but as smaller affects and echoes in a much vaster framework of human action and reaction.

    Basically, I give LOGH credit for pushing me to think more critically about “the issues,” while at the same time making me think less judgmentally about other people in general. Life is hard. Getting things done is hard. Maybe it’s better to extend a little grace and understanding.

    Thanks, Haikasoru, for all the hard work.

  17. Zack says:

    My introduction with LotGH may not be the same as most people, it did not start with unicorn and rainbow. I was feeling particularly morbid one day and was looking for anime with epic death and LotGH was recommended by many posters in forum and discussion sites. Many years later whenever I think about this experience it made me chuckle because who would have thought a google search of “Epic anime character death” would bring me to discover one of the most epic story ever told (yes, to me LotGH is the most epic story ever told). I never was into space opera or political story in general before, but it got me hooked by it many awesome memorable quotes, beautiful storytelling, political dynamics and most importantly I did find the epic death that I was looking for (It was Reuenthal’s, it took 98 episodes but totally worth it.)

    For me the next step after watching the anime, is to read the source material of which the anime was adapted from. That was 6 years ago when no version in any language that I understand available. Naturally, determine to read the novel I enrolled myself in Japanese lesson, it was a slow progress especially when the lesson was on and off. However when I found out that Haikasoru had license the novel I was ecstatic because despite my effort (and my teacher’s) I still have very long way to go before I can read books in Japanese.

    I’m glad this beautiful story got picked up to be translated in English. Hopefully Haikasoru will pick up the rest of the volumes and also the gaiden.

    Ps: Did I mention that I bought the whole novel set in Japanese and other LOGH material books for the past years after got hooked by the anime?

    (third time leaving comment, first two aren’t even show).


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