As a fan of Anime, you’re bound to have stumbled upon the supposed masterpiece Legend of the Galactic Heroes at one point or another. You may be a huge fan of it. You may be someone who’s seen it on a list of “the greatest Anime ever made”. Or maybe you haven’t heard of it at all and have no idea what I’m talking about.
Regardless of your position, Legend of the Galactic Heroes is kind of a big deal. It’s a pretty old series of OVA’s about an ongoing war between two complicated factions complete with tactical naval space battles and complex characters that sometimes use medieval battle axes for close combat in a world where such weaponry should be completely obsolete.
It’s a show that many have hailed as the greatest Anime of all time, and for good reason. The Legend boasts one of the most grandiose, well written narratives to ever come from the medium, and while I don’t necessarily think it has the best writing ever or that it’s perfect, as many fans would claim, I’ll give it credit where it’s due: it’s pretty good. I appreciate the series for what it is: classy, tightly written fun with an epic narrative that succeeds in bringing its ambitious vision to life.
So, Legend of the Galactic Heroes is getting a remake. Or a re-adaptation of the original novels. Or… Something. Regardless of what it is, the story of the original novels is getting another Anime adaptation. A modern adaptation. This year. And rather than be overjoyed that the series they worship so much is coming back, most of the fans are already complaining about it.
So I have to ask: Why?
Why are people complaining about this?
It’s funny I ask that really, because I already know why so many people are complaining.
“The original was perfect! What purpose does this remake serve? They’re going to kill the best Anime ever!”
I find this complaint weird because we’ve seen practically nothing from this new series yet. Literally all we’ve seen is a key visual, which looks absolutely gorgeous and significantly better than anything the original series showcased over its 12 year release schedule, and a few casting decisions that are hardly significant at this stage because we haven’t heard them yet!
Outside of those two things, the only thing we know is that this new series is essentially going to adapt the original novels that the OVA series was based on into a new Anime TV series. And if it follows those novels perfectly, just like the OVA series did, I see nothing to complain about. At all.
As for the purpose of this new series, that answer should be obvious to anyone.
Like it or not, Legend of the Galactic Heroes is old. It’s really old. It predates a significant chunk of Anime that many would consider timeless classics and in a lot of ways it’s a product of its time.
When I watched Legend of the Galactic Heroes for the first time two years ago, there were so many moments where the series showed its age. Be it through a poorly directed scene that was shoddily made on purpose to save budget or through some horrendous dialogue that just sounded stupid, the series feels old and stuffy at several points.
That’s not much of a mark against the shows overall quality, but it is an issue. The series is old. It’s dated. And it could use an update in several departments both in terms of visuals and writing.
Because despite what people will continuously tell you, Legend of the Galactic Heroes is not perfect. It’s riddled with tiny flaws that damage the overall experience. Time has not been kind.
And I believe that a remake could fix these flaws. Can you imagine those epic, tactical, naval-space battles with modern day animation? Wouldn’t that make the genius battles you’re so fond of that much better? What about if the new series tightened up the pacing a little and fixed the sometimes glacial pace of the original that was completely unnecessary? Wouldn’t that be great?
There are so many tiny issues that this new series has the potential to fix. You should be excited for this.
And to top it all off, this is 2017. The internet is a thing. The internet wasn’t a thing back when the original OVA’s were first coming out.
Fans of the Legend have been trying to get as many Anime fans as possible into this franchise for years with “meh” success (because they tend to be nasty about it). This new series could be the best way to make that happen. You want people to watch Legend of the Galactic Heroes and understand why you love it so much? You finally have your solution. A new series. In 2017. Where the internet is a thing. Where people will be seeing it in the “currently airing” discussions everywhere. The series will be in the spotlight more than it’s ever been before. Rejoice!
I get it. People don’t like change. People don’t like seeing their beloved franchises remade into something “modern”. And considering some of the remakes we’ve had in recent years, I don’t blame them.
Berserk (2017) wasn’t the sequel we wanted to the fantastic original series. A lot of people didn’t like Rebuild of Evangelion, for some reason. A large amount of Fate fans despised Unlimited Blade Works.
But sometimes remakes work. Just look at the 2011 Hunter x Hunter adaptation. Everyone loved it. It improved on the original both visually and narratively in every way imaginable, and it skyrocketed the series to mainstream success and it’s now one of the highest rated and most popular Anime series of all time.
Maybe Legend of the Galactic Heroes (2017) could be another Hunter x Hunter (2011). Wouldn’t that be great? Isn’t that prospect something worth celebrating?
I think so.
Or don’t and keep clinging on to the past like a particular retro-loving snob who still watches Anime for some reason.
I for one, can’t wait to cross the bridge of light again.
What are your thoughts on the Legend of the Galactic Heroes Remake?