Die Neue These Synopsis
As Yang is ordered to appear before the Free Planet Alliance, he’s shaken by the corruption he discovers. Meanwhile, Marshal Reinhardt uncovers disloyalty under his command as an upstart admiral launches a vicious offensive to retake the Iserlohn Fortress. Struggling to make strides in this never-ending bloody war, these two finally see their true enemy lies not from without—but from within!
This new adaptation will forever be cursed by its superior 80s version. What the staff wanted to do here is to give Die Neue These a life of its own. As a result, the immense amounts of anime only content in the 80s adaptation, and the changes they made, are absent here. That’s why it feels so empty to me, who hails the 80s adaptation of Legend of the Galactic Heroes as one of the greatest political wonders in anime, and second in my own taste, only to Ashita no Joe. And this is not a bad thing about Die Neue These’s approach. It’s just much more faithful to the novels.
Take the 80s OVA series
You can see the obvious Kai influence from Mobile Suit Gundam in their own version of Poplan. It’s even the same voice actor. There’s Noburo Ishiguro‘s comedic style from Macross‘s influence. The love triangle between Jean Robert Lap, Jessica Edwards, and Yang Wen-li was given immense amounts of extra content from the same people that worked on romances also from Macross and Orgus.
Their depictions of war are brutal from their influence from Mobile Suit Gundam, Ideon, Macross, and Space Battleship Yamato. Many of the staff even worked on some of those. As a result, the 80s version of Legend of the Galactic Heroes was blessed with staff who had made the classic space operas.
It’s a culmination of all this talent from the 70s and 80s; a product of it’s time. They tried to improve the novels as much as they could, and even boosted Dusty with a much heavier presence than in the novels. The character designs, though suffers from its original animation, are still beautiful and tell you a lot about the characters. It was a passion project that didn’t even air on television.
Die Neue These abandons most of this.
It had a rough start. The earlier episodes before Collision were rough. They watered down the politics, the music was laughable, the character designs an insult to the characters and 80s version viewers, the battles lost their fangs and brutality in execution, they cheapened out on the melee battles, the CGI looks like it has no heart put into the ship designs, and it felt like slideshows to my absolute frustration and disappointment. Even as a stand alone, it was doing nothing for me.
With Collision, the improvements have been major. This adaptation is getting better and better as it goes. I actually have hope for it now. I’ll always be mentally scarred from the character designs. But I have to say that Collision was very enjoyable and made me stop cursing at the staff.
Seeing all these characters again has been an emotional journey.
Watching Reinhard burn with his ambitions, Oberstein’s Machiavellian brilliance and truth that no one can debate, Kirchei’s struggle to be a strong moral force, and Yang Wen-Li’s humble political analysis and leadership as a talented tactician, is inspiring to see. There are so many wonderfully written characters that I could go on and on about all of them. I don’t want to waste too much of your time, however.
With Collision, Ruenthal and Mittermeyer’s friendship gets fleshed out. For me, it was the inquiry episode I was anticipating, and it didn’t disappoint me. I’ll never get tired of Yang Wen-Li bravely putting parasitical politicians, like the ones in our world that claim to be leading us, in their place. Rupert’s cunning was introduced, and Rubinsky playing space chess with the Empire and Alliance is always amusing to watch. What I do appreciate about Collision are the new things it’s doing. For example, Oberstein’s humane side is shown more by putting more focus on his dog, and how he gathers intelligence behinds the scenes.
It feels surreal to be alive during a new adaptation of this series. Even though it’s mostly ignored where I live, even by seasonal addicts, it’s still special to me because it’s a strong story. The series goes on to critique democracy and defend the Empire’s autocracy. Democracy can be led by corruption, and an autocracy can find hope in a just ruler. The politics are always wonderful to think about and discuss. It’s really still just the beginning.