The 13th episode of Legend of the Galactic Heroes focuses mainly on life on the first planet that will experience the Alliance’s invasion. It also serves as a break from the Yang and Reinhard dominated episodes of the past few weeks and instead focuses on how a simple plan can have a large impact on those far away from the decision making.
The episode begins with Reinhard’s team of admirals planning to combat the Alliance invasion. Reinhard sees this as a chance to smash the Alliances forces and he has a plan to do so. His plan is to let them into Imperial space to such an extent that they are unable to maintain their supply lines. At that point, they will step in and attack the Alliance’s force.
Mittermeyer believes it will take some time before the Alliance reaches that point, and Reuenthal believes that will cause the high nobles to step in. However, Reinhard has a plan to expedite the process. He has Oberstein explain the plan, which is simply to withdraw all supplies from planets the Alliance is “liberating.” They will then be forced to go through food and supplies much faster than expected if they are indeed liberators.
Reinhard sends out Ulrich Kesler to handle this plan. Kesler receives the order and personally heads to his home planet and talk to its leader Kleingelt.
Kleingelt is introduced as he has to make a choice about the future of his citizens. He is faced with a difficult choice. For the sake of the citizens, they should submit to the Alliance, but in the process his family’s name will be ruined. His daughter-in-law Vier and her young son Karl would have to carry on in shame.
Kleingelt is told of the plan by Kesler, and he is outraged. The Empire should be defending its people rather than taking away their food and supplies. Kesler tells him that he must comply and return to the Empire’s home world or they will go through with the plan in their own way.
Vier interrupts the meeting and recognizes Kesler, but he tries to leave quickly. He is followed by Karl, who believes Kesler looks like his father Aubend if only because he is wearing a military uniform. Vier then tells Kesler that Aubend had died two years earlier and the two then go on a little walk.
Here, there is a flashback scene in which Vier plays around with Kesler as teenagers. Vier believes at the time that the two of them will be happily married some day. Then, it transitions to a scene where Kesler says farewell to Vier as he is off to join the military, and keep everyone safe.
In the present, Vier tells Kesler that the Kleingelt family is all that she has left, and war has taken away everything that she has loved.
As the sun sets, two farmers discuss their feelings about the invasion. One says that he looks forward to being liberated by the Alliance because the Imperial forces only work for the nobility. The other says he does not wish to be liberated because Kleingelt seems to be a good man who has their best wishes in mind. They do agree that they do not want to be in the middle of a battle, though.
The second half of the episode begins with Reinhard waxing philosophically about stars sacrificing themselves. Meanwhile, Kleingelt comes to the realization that the destruction of his planet will mean nothing to the Empire or the universe itself. The family’s prestige is nothing more than decoration.
At the same time, Vier remembers the last time she saw Aubend before he went off to war. He promised that he would come back alive, unfortunately it was not to be.
Morning comes, and the Alliance forces are approaching faster than previously thought. Kesler is forced to expedite the plan and he goes to make a final offer to Kleingelt. Kleingelt accepts the plan, on the condition that he stays and takes Karl and Vier to Odin. Kleingelt wishes to die on the planet he calls home, but wants to protect the rest of his family. Kesler accepts and goes for one last conversation with Vier.
Kesler begs Vier to leave, but she loves their planet too much to desert her family. She can’t bring herself to leave it as part of a military order.
Kesler and the Imperial fleet leave with all of the food and supplies, and the Alliance fleet arrives from the other side of the planet. The citizens greet the Alliance as liberators and happily take their rations.
The counterattack waits.
Thoughts: There was a certain chemistry between Vier and Kesler, it was almost like they were married. Oh, their VAs were married. How about that?…The transition seemed a little too smooth at the end of the episode. They might as well have had children with flowers running up to Alliance soldiers…Part of me is wanting this invasion to be a complete shambles in the end, and I don’t believe I’m that far off in my prediction…With a character named Vier, I just could not get away from thinking about one of my favorite numerically named characters. I just have to remember the happy times.