Episode 13, "Amritsar"
Synopsis: The Free Planets Alliance, after a disastrous invasion of the Galactic Empire, gathers the remains of its expeditionary forces at Amritsar, where they plan to make a stand. Yang Wenli takes in the tattered 10th Fleet in addition to his 13th, with a plan to escape the battlefield with as many ships as possible. As the Imperial fleet encircles, Attenborough engages in diversionary tactics which confound the Black Lancers, allowing the Alliance ships to escape.
I'm a lot more thrilled about more Die Neue These than I expected to be! Don't get me wrong, I wanted to see more ever since the previous episode, and I bought those first twelve episodes on Blu-Ray (average dub, by the way) with the anticipation for more. I just didn't think I was going to be a giddy as I was when I saw that a new episode was finally available (I knew the "movies" were coming out already in Japan, but I didn't expect new episodes over here quite so soon). It's not like Crunchyroll actually formally announced that they had the next parts, and I certainly didn't see anything on ANN about it being there. Outside of a single tweet about this episode, you'd think CR was trying to hide the fact they have this show.
But LoGH is back, baby! And I am over-the-moon happy to see it. Even if I know what's going to happen, seeing Reinhard, Yang, et al, again is like reuniting with old friends.
Speaking of knowing what will happen, this episode covers the entirety of Chapter 9 of the first Legend of the Galactic Heroes novels, as well as the first few pages of Chapter 10 (which is the last in the book). The next episode should, finally, wrap up the adaptation of the first book, and the episode after that should begin the second, with all it's intrigues and internal strife. I thought it was really weird how the first "season" ended before they even finished the first book. I wonder how far the new group of episodes will get into Volume 2.
The Battle of Amritser is less a battle and more of the FPA's desperate ploy to escape Imperial territory now that they've screwed up the invasion. After their supply lines got blasted and they were overwhelmed by Reinhard's forces' strength, their final gambit relies entirely on Yang and his group's cleverness to break through the enemy line before it encircles and finishes them off. Clearly there was no way the FPA could win this battle, but Yang's fleet, through his and his subordinates' ingenuity (special shout out to Dusty Attenborough for his unmanned ships pushing meteors) managed to get whatever was left of the fleets away from the battlefield and back into FPA territory.
Of course, they would have had a harder time doing this had they been unable to fool Bittenfield, the leader of the Black Lancer group, ever so thirsty for combat glory that he ended up deploying his fighters too soon and got in his own way. Reinhard was none to happy about that because it spoiled his perfect victory against the FPA. We can see that while Kircheis makes good counsel to the "blonde brat" (and make no mistake, he's being a bit petulant here), Oberstein is not fond of the special influence the red haired man has over their leader. Oberstein's feeling is, there can be no "number two", there must be a gulf between Reinhard and his subordinates, Reinhard and Sieg's past aside.
The FPA's higher ups all have to retire, aside from Job Trunicht, who manages to get a promotion to the head of government. Seeing Cornelia Windsor, who'd been so taken with the idea of "freeing" the Empire's subjects, have to walk away in shame, put a smile on my face. Don't let the door hit you on the way out, you warmongering harpy. And Andrew Fork... sorry, Falk, is confined to a hospital bed, though he seems to already be up to something (keep your eye on that asshole). Because Yang was the only really effective military leader, he was promoted to full admiral, and put in charge of Iserlohn Fortress, where his 13th Fleet (including Julian) calls home. Clearly he seems a bit put out by this, since he wanted to retire, but the others are more than happy to call him their admiral.
I think my favorite part of this episode was Yang's line about how the importance of life is seen differently depending on the situation. It seems like a thought that drifted in from nowhere at first, but when you think about the justification for the invasion it becomes clear exactly what he means. Little scenes like that are what differentiate LoGH from your typical sci-fi schlock.
Anyway, next time we get to see some of the fallout of the death of the Kaiser and maybe a scene on Phezzan!
4 out of 5
Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These can be watched on Crunchyroll. (NOT THAT THEY'D TELL YOU, FOR SOME REASON.)