Episode 26, "The Twin Pillars"
Synopsis: The pasts of admirals Wolfgang Mittermeyer and Oscar von Reuenthal, the "Twin Pillars" of the Imperial Navy, are revealed in a series of flashbacks. Mittermeyer is a happily married man, whereas Reuenthal has trouble trusting women due to his troubled childhood. The two officers recall the Klopstock Incident and its fallout, in which Mittermeyer defied the aristocracy by executing a relative of theirs for violence.
This episode recalls a few elements from the original anime, the OVA, in its execution.
Part of the episode is an adaptation of Chapter 2 of the third Legend of the Galactic Heroes book, with Kempf returning from the battle of the previous episode unsuccessful and a part that is about the pasts of Mittermeyer and Reuenthal. However, it's far from a straightforward adaptation of the chapter. The section about Mittermeyer's childhood and courtship of Evangelin and the section about Reuenthal's childhood and his trouble with women are both expanded upon in a way that is much like the OVA's own depiction. In addition, there's the inclusion of the Klopstock Incident, which was a side story, but was incorporated in the original OVA's main storyline. This includes the aftermath with Mittermeyer's execution of the murderous subordinate and the consequences we'll probably see in the next episode. It's all material that wasn't in the main books. It's an interesting approach.
I think what it accomplishes is deepening the characters of Mittermeyer and Reuenthal earlier than they were fleshed out in the books, much like the OVA did. They're both very compelling characters, and doing this will allow the audience to get invested in their doings sooner than the books allow. It's fascinating that DNT would do this so similarly as the OVA, though mixing things up a bit with the connection to the Klopstock Incident. This show is keeping me on my toes more than I expected.
I'm actually currently listening to the third (and unfortunately, last) audiobook for the LoGH novels, which covers material this current season is likely to cover. Some of the pronunciations are different from either the Japanese or English dub of the show (three different ways to pronounce "Kircheis" - KIRI-HEISS, KIRK-HEISS, KIRSH-EISS), but I like the reader and his different voices for certain characters.
As for the content of this episode, Mittermeyer and Reuenthal are two of my favorite characters in LoGH. Mittermeyer is this pillar of integrity and honor, a fierce combatant, but one with a lot of moral character. He doesn't put up with corruption or needless brutality. And his marriage to his wife is sweet. Reuenthal, on the other hand, is kind of a dark cad, but is very loyal to his friend. Despite his filandering ways, he is, at heart, a good man struggling with a lot of issues from his past. Besides which, Reuenthal is a badass in fleet combat, second only to Reinhard on the side of the Empire.
Oh, another thing I noticed about this episode is the use of music. I could swear that there was some actual, real classical music in some scenes of this episode, like in the OVA. If it's just the regular DNT music composer, they're doing a fabulous job, because this episode sounds very much like an episode of the OVA, and I mean that in the best way.
Next time, I guess we'll see Reinhard and Kircheis finally meeting Reuenthal and Mittermeyer in the flashback. Maybe we'll flash forward to the fortress combat plan, too.
4 out of 5