Episode 7 of Legend of the Galactic Heroes sees the conclusion of Yang’s plan, some Holocaust decision-making by Imperial admirals and thinly-veiled references to the end of World War II. In all, it was an episode with a solid beginning and end, but with a baffling middle section.
The episode begins with by tracking the progress of the Rosen Ritter in their attempts to infiltrate the ship. Walter von Schonkopp plays the role of the injured commander of the ship that barely made it to Iserlohn intact. He says he has confidential information that he must relay to the fortress commander. Thomas von Stockhausen, the fortress commander, decides the information is so urgent that the Rosen Ritter do not even need to properly identify himself upon seeing Yang’s forces performing random fleet exercises in the distance.
The Rosen Ritter quickly take control of the situation by making von Stockhausen a hostage and having him order the rest of the crew to drop their weapons to save his own life. Unfortunately for the Rosen Ritter, the fortress’ functions are locked off by one of von Stockhausen’s subordinates.
In order to regain control of the fortress, the gang of commandos needs to take out the remaining garrison of 50 troops guarding the central computer. In the meantime, the fortress fleet receives a message telling them that the fortress was taken over, falsely. Paul von Oberstein suggests that the message is a decoy to Admiral von Seeckt and that they should go in and attack Yang’s fleet which is only half their size. The fleet commander chooses to ignore him.
The episode continues with three Rosen Ritter men and their attempts to go after the central computer. Using gatling hooks, harpoons and a zephyr particle bomb, they manage to take out a few Imperial soldiers. Due to the effects of the particle bomb, all remaining combat becomes hand-to-hand. Thanks to their apparently superior skills at wielding axes in close combat, the Rosen Ritter get to the central computer quite easily. Finally, by just mentioning that they are the Rosen Ritter, they get the remaining troops guarding the computer itself to surrender.
The signal is sent that the fortress is under Alliance control, and at that point von Seeckt decides to have a go at attacking the fortress. Again, von Oberstein tells him he’s making a tragic error and this time von Seeckt tells him to leave the ship entirely.
Yang responds by using the infamous Thor’s Hammer, the main weapon of Iserlohn and takes out 1,000 ships instantaneously. The Alliance soldiers are mortified at the power of this weapon and Yang decides to relay a message asking them to surrender and withdrawal from battle. Deciding that certain death would be preferable to going back to the Empire in disgrace, von Seeckt pushes on. Yang targets von Seeckt’s ship alone, and after it is destroyed the remaining Imperial ships withdrawal.
The scene quickly shifts back to Yang’s decision before the battle to retire if his plan was a success. Admiral Sitolet convinces Yang to stay on by saying the 13th fleet still desperately needs the leader it admires. Even von Schonkopp is convinced in the end that Yang made the correct decision to stay on.
Other Thoughts: Some sort of Thor’s Hammer-U.S. use of the atomic bomb comparison could be a fun discussion…From my estimate thus far, younger commanders have made better decisions on every occassion through seven episodes than the older ones…Heavy axes have to be amongst the worst weapons to use in hand-to-hand combat. The only reason I can think of would be the lack of such incidents over the centuries of the war…The video source for this episode was rather appalling, it’s a minor miracle I even got one decent screenshot out of that scene…The unintentional comedy bits in this episode:
- The stretcher filled with all sorts of odd weapons under the bed
- That fight scene
- Yang’s fleet exercises
- Drunken fortress soldiers thinking it was all a drill.
- The woman doing absolutely nothing after seeing a guy hanging suspiciously be a rope
The next episode I’m guessing will feature Reinhard again and the Empire’s reaction to losing Iserlohn in such humiliating fashion.