The 3rd and final Legend of the Galactic Heroes movie takes the story from the aftermath of Tiamat though the battle at Astate. The movie takes in 2 separate story lines revolving around Yang and Reinhard before circumstance brings them together for the 2nd time in battle. Ultimately, this proves to be a much more comprehensive and refined look at Astate than the main OVA’s first pair of episodes.
The final episode of Dishonor sees the detective story come to a rather dissatisfying end for almost everyone concerned. Kircheis talks to Johanna who happens to have been a key player all along. However, she forces Hoffman and Kircheis to go straight to Basel to try to incriminate him. They nearly have him before Johanna enters the story again at the climax. However, Keyserling returns to save himself at enormous emotional cost.
The 3rd episode of Dishonor takes the mystery in an entirely different direction than I had expected. After meeting Basel and Keyserling, Kircheis then follows a man acting as though he was on drugs. He is then ambushed and survives before going on to save a woman from a hostage situation. He finally figures out who is behind the drugs plot, but he has to convince Keyserling to revisit what he had said at his court martial.
The 2nd episode of Dishonor sees Kircheis move from meal to meal with an attempt on his life in the middle. He first ends up getting invited to dinner by Keyserling, who shares a story of unrequited love before Kircheis as he waits for her arrival at the station. Hoffman then shares more information that reflects poorly on Keyserling. That night, Kircheis is woken up by a dream about Annerose only to be in the midst of an attempt on his life. He finds air quickly enough to save himself, and he discusses the incident with Hoffman who reveals more about Keyserling. Finally, the episode ends as he sits down for another meal with Keyserling.
The first episode of this arc takes place on a vacation that Kircheis does not welcome. After Reinhard is given several admirals to serve under him for the next expedition, he also reveals that he will take on the Lohengramm name after he is promoted to High Admiral. Then, he also asks Kircheis to take a vacation because he doesn’t want Annerose to think he is treating his friend badly. He ends up heading to the satellite Kreuznach II which he sees as a sinful place. Once there, he saves a disgraced former officer and gets dragged into an investigation of a drug smuggling operation.
The 2nd of 3 Legend of the Galactic Heroes movies is mostly devoted to two separate battles which showcase the talents of Yang and Reinhard and marks the beginning of the rivalry between the two. The first is a battle on the Planet Legnica before concluding with the 4th battle of Tiamat. In that time, the weakness of those higher up than Yang and Reinhard are fully revealed.
The conclusion of the 3rd Battle of Tiamat, as well as the final episode of the second Gaiden series sees Reinhard come to the rescue of the Imperial fleets on the battlefield. That also means the end for Holland, though his fellow commanders could see that coming from miles away. They do well to avert further disaster which earns them respect from Reinhard, though that would not come to fruition for years. Finally, Reinhard earns his promotion to Admiral at just age 19 and with it a prize bestowed on very few.
After the conclusion of the events at Iserlohn, the Empire launches an offensive on the 30th anniversary of Friedrich’s coronation. Reinhard is pleased that he’s able to participate in an expedition, but at the same time he’s reach a new level of cynicism because of how they got there. On the Alliance side, Rear Admiral Holland sees himself as the new Ashbey and the higher-ups pretty much let him have their way. When the battle gets underway, he impresses everyone on the Imperial side, except Reinhard and Kircheis who are unimpressed by his abandonment of tactics.
The final episode of this arc ends with the Alliance managing to turn a moral victory into a humbling defeat. Who else but Reinhard would cause that of course. The real story from this episode was a generational one. The Empire relied on its younger commanders to engineer a victory, while the established order in the Alliance rank stood in the way of Yang and his ilk.
The penultimate episode sees the 6th Battle for Iserlohn get underway, which allows Reinhard the opportunity to do some damage on the Alliance forces. Eventually, the battle becomes a mess which leads him to withdrawal. Meanwhile, the Rosenritter wreak havoc on the battlefield and Luneberg is successfully called out. After he meets his end, Kesler reveals all he knows about Luneberg’s family thanks to Grimmelshausen.
The 10th episode of this story finally gets back to what Legend of the Galactic Heroes always did best, fleet battles. In the latest battle for Iserlohn, Reinhard now finds himself in charge of a fleet of 1000 ships and takes the opportunity to take out one of the Alliances young guns. Meanwhile, a plan suggested by Andrew Fork is utilized in this battle because no one else could think of anything better. Yang also gets involved and indirectly clashes with Reinhard for the first time. Also, Schenkopp wants to kill Luneberg among other details.
The 9th episode begins with social formalities and ends with preparations for the next expedition with near fisticuffs in the middle. Reinhard heads to a formal dinner to celebrate Grimmelshausen’s promotion, which happens to be one of the events where Imperial policy is decided. Luneberg is also there and the two of them get into a disagreement over Reinhard’s assisting Luneberg’s ill wife. Kesler breaks things up before the fight begins, however. Prior to the next expedition being announced, Friedrich makes his decision on Reinhard’s future.
The 8th episode of this arc is a strictly social one with a look at both aristocratic and common life on Odin. Kircheis returns home for the first time in eight years to reunite with his parents and those he knew when he was younger. He also visits the former Müsel residence; now owned by another family with tragic circumstances. Meanwhile, Friedrich thought he made a decision to make Reinhard’s life easier by allowing him to inherit a noble title. This, however, would not go down well with the rest of the aristocracy. Also, a strange rumor about Luneberg’s heritage begins to gather steam.
The 7th episode of this arc brings the collision of court politics and the military to the fore. Reinhard and Kircheis adapt to the new level of respect they get following their return, while Luneberg visits Ovlesser to try to form a pact to stop Reinhard’s progression only to be met with stern resistance for who he is. Reinhard and Kircheis then visit Annerose to catch up and following that meeting Kircheis is promoted because of Grimmelshausen’s recommendation. Kircheis visits him alone and after a brief and honest conversation about Reinhard, he leaves in haste.
The 6th episode sees the conclusion of fighting at Van Fleet with the capture of Cerebrese by Reinhard. The aftermath focuses on the Imperial side where promotions get handed out to all with accomplishments in the battle, and cleanup of the base on the Alliance side. While the latter showcases war fatigue, the Imperial side continues to be ruled by politics over all else.
The 5th episode is the classic case of a battle being shaped by location more than the combatants. This is seen as fleets descend on Van Fleet 4-2 only to discover that there was little room to maneuver. However, the action on the ground was holding up a change of location. Ultimately, it proved to be a situation where everyone was unhappy where they were at, but no one could do anything about it.
The 4th episode of this arc took on a very different tone and look from the previous episodes. While the annoyance with incompetent commanders still existed on both sides; Reinhard with Grimmelshausen and Luneberg and Schenkopp with Cerebrese, the tone was really about the future. Reinhard has to deal with continuing his duties as a subordinate while at the same time Schenkopp takes over as interim commander of the Rosenritter and puts his own stamp of authority on proceedings. By the end, the battle had begun on what would be a bloody day.
The 3rd episode of this arc sees a little more filled in on Luneberg’s history, especially with regards to the Rosenritter. Schenkopp’s career gets a much needed boost, though not in the way he probably would have wanted it. Ultimately, the real theme of the episode is on how some people are not able to adjust to positions of power.
The 2nd episode of the arc sees the introduction of the Rosen Ritter and their rather jaded history as a remote area of the battle begins the take center stage. The Grimmelshausen fleet is sent to a satellite of the 4th planet in the Van Fleet system, which also happens to be where an Alliance base is located, where the Rosen Ritter are stationed. Conflicts over recon missions on both sides lead to a situation where Reinhard is serving under Luneberg and Schenkopp is chasing after his own commander.
The first episode of this longer Gaiden arc sees Reinhard, now at the rank of Commodore, in charge of a group of 205 ships as the Imperial Space Fleet takes on the Alliance. He has to deal with an elderly commander who seems not up to the job and those who enable him. On the other side of the battle, decisions were being made by those lower down the chain that would eventually have a deciding influence on the battle.
The final episode of this arc sees Reinhard and Kircheis crack the case of Karl Reifeisen’s death and the culprit would prove to be unexpected based on the last episode. The two head back to the crime scene where a bag of grain that nearly hits Reinhard proves to be what sealed the the case from his perspective. They then confront Steger and expose Hase before the conversation takes an unexpected turn.
The third episode of this arc is a story of death and funerals as Reinhard and Kircheis close in on the killer and his motives. Karl von Reifeisen’s funeral is observed by our protagonists who note Hase’s dispassionate speech. Reinhard is then notified that his father had died of cirrhosis and they must go attend another funeral. When they return there had been another murder, but the nature of the attempted cleanup ultimately leads Kircheis to the murderer, though Reinhard was bothered by something.
The 2nd episode of this arc focuses on the beginning of Reinhard and Kircheis’s investigation into the murder of Karl Reifeisen. They tour the grounds of the academy and talk to a few people. After asking Hase about Karl, Reinhard finally came to a conclusion for why they were assigned this job.
The next story arc begins with a detective story which provides the foundation of corruption within the Imperial Police. Reinhard and Kircheis are between assignments on Odin as they visit their old academy. While taking in a lecture, Reinhard’s desire to bring change to the Empire grows larger. While looking into the military police, they are called in and asked to investigate. Despite Kircheis’s protestations, Reinhard takes the assignment.
The final episode of The Retriever sees a surprising decision from one crew member and the intervention of other future players to help Reinhard and his crew return to Iserlohn. Reinhard, Kircheis and Bendling make the deal with Margareta to get access to the zephyr particle machine and the secret information that was stored inside which would shake the foundation of the dynasty were it revealed. In response to all he had seen and heard, Bendling makes the decision to defect with Margareta as her guardian. Though she is disappointed that Kircheis would not make the decision, she understands Kircheis’s decision once Reinhard tells her he is his friend. The Hässliche Entlein then uses the machine to break through the Alliance blockade of the corridor with some outside assistance. Finally, Reinhard uses the information to advance his and Kircheis’s career another step.