The 47th episode of Legend of the Galactic Heroes takes us back to Julian’s struggles to get back to Yang’s side. At the same time, Reinhard insists to his subordinates that he be the one to lead the final battle. On the Allied side, Bucock and his advisers come to an agreement that they will eventually have to take on the invading Imperial forces, but that the timing will be key.
The episode begins with Reinhard receiving Reuenthal’s report on the capture of Iserlohn. Reinhard is impressed that his admiral does not claim any more credit than he deserves for Yang fleeing the fortress safely. Hilde says that Yang must be hoping to take on Reinhard directly, but Reinhard says that the Alliance could fall before he gets there.
Elsewhere on Phezzan, Julian is about to go check out what is happening in the city, but Mashengo tells him not to carry his gun as it would be suspicious. As he heads back with some food, Reinhard’s procession heads through the city. Then, he reaches for his gun only to remember he doesn’t have it, before remembering that Yang once told him that terrorism or occultism have never changed history in constructive ways. Julian spots Oberstein in one car and Reinhard in another before Marinesk interrupts his gawking.
Marinesk asks him how he feels after seeing Reinhard for the first time. Julian says he feels overmatches, but Mariensk is quick to point out the disadvantages that Reinhard has had throughout his life, and the very fact he could owe his career to his sister being sold to the Kaiser. Julian though, points out that Reinhard than he at this point in their lives. Mariensk says that Julian has been successful in his own way before pointing out that Yang was just a normal student at Julian’s age, so he is actually ahead of him. Julian stops Marinesk at this point, and says that although he appreciates Marinesk’s attempts to raise his spirits, this discussion is having the opposite effect because of who he is being compared to. Marinesk says he was just trying to make the point that heroes come from all kinds of backgrounds, but he drops the matter.Two points of irritation about this scene for me. On a superficial front, the animation of Marinesk talking as well as the people walking in the background is shocking. Secondly, it seems like only Julian would be offended by this small exposition dump, but really what was the point of this conversation?
Mariensk then moves on to why he needed to talk to Julian. He says that they have to go pick up another one of his customers for the transport to get them off Phezzan, and that Julian alone would not be enough to pay for the trip. Julian asks who it is, and Marinesk tells him that it is a priest from Earth who he thinks might be a bishop for the Terraist cult.
Reinhard, meanwhile, is having a conversation with Hilde as they make their way toward the space port. They both know that Yang needs to kill Reinhard on the battlefield, but Hilde questions why he still feels the need to head into battle himself. He says that he has to fight his own battles and that makes him different from the nobles he fought and defeated. She still advises him to return to Odin and leave the invasion to Reuenthal and Mittermeyer who will deliver victory eventually. Reinhard, though, says that it is his desire to fight. She thinks to herself that for Reinhard fighting is living, and moving him away from battle would be like caging a predatory bird.
Back in the city, Marinesk and Julian pick up Degsby from the rat-infested apartment Kesselink had him living in. While Bittenfeld’s and Fahrenheit’s fleets arrive on Phezzan to deliver Boltik, who will administer over the planet, before heading off for Alliance space shortly after.
At the Drakur bar, Cary Willock expresses his outrage that a traitor like Boltik gets to rule over them. Another patron says he is a true Phezzani in his willingness to sell the entire nation at the right price, but Willock says that it isn’t fun being considered a commodity. While the patron points out that the Empire is becoming more democratic and that Phezzan has representation in government, Willock says that is not the point. He says that it is more about self-determination, and Boltik is just riding on the Empire’s wagon. They all begin to wonder what has happened to Rubinsky and why he is sitting back and doing nothing.
Rubinsky is in fact hiding out with Dominique Saint-Pierre in an undisclosed location. He comments that while she’s a good singer and dancer, she’s a terrible actor. She says his son was convinces, but he responds by saying he just saw his own delusions in her. She goes on to warn him that she did not willingly submit to having Kesselink killed, but he says that it was because she profited more from betraying him. The conversation continues to focus on Kesselink. Rubinsky says he would have supported him fully if he went into the arts or some other field, but he was too much like himself. He goes on to say he doesn’t want to stand by the Terraists for much longer and for his own good as Dominique pities him.
The next day, Julian and Mashengo head up the Space Elevator on Phezzan with Marinesk to meet the rest of the passengers. Marinesk points out that by keeping ships out of the atmosphere, it improves both the environment and the economy. Before the board, Marinesk tells all the passengers that they are going under the cover of going to an Imperial system. As they head toward the Beryoska, Marinesk discloses that he disclosed that some of his passengers would be trying to head to Alliance territory, but that would be a routine thing to say. Julian asks Mashengo for his opinion, and he says they are better off leaving it to the person with experience in these matters. Julian then remembers another conversation he once had with Yang who said it was best to leave things that can’t be done on one’s own to those who are willing to do them.
Once on board, Marinesk introduces Julian to Willock, who says that he is impressed by Julian and will do anything he can to get them to Heinessen before disparaging the small ship they are on. Marinesk takes offense, but Willock says it is good they are helping the Alliance. He believes even if the Allied government falls, the combination of Phezzan’s economy and the remaining military force of the Alliance could take on the Empire. He asks Julian what he thinks, and Julian says he appreciates the thoughts, but he shouldn’t think of the Alliance as dead since Yang is still alive. As they leave the port, Julian comments on how he saw lots of things on Phezzan, but ultimately was powerless to do anything.
The second half of the episode begins with a meeting between Reinhard and the other admirals involved in the invasion. Mittermeyer believes the Holbit system is as far as the Alliance can let them advance unopposed, and their Phezzani sources say the nearest inhabited planet is Rantemario which will likely be where the battle takes place. Reinhard agrees with the assessment and says the Alliance will have to fight soon because the people will demand some action is taken and they will reply with their two-headed snake tactic. Reinhard insists on taking the front, but Müller objects using similar logic to Hilde and says Reinhard should stay near the rear. Reinhard points out that there is no front or rear in there array, and that the primary front will be the middle where Mittermeyer’s forces will be located. Mittermeyer expresses some concern, but Reinhard says that he has no intention of staying where it is safe. Reinhard gives out assignments for the battle at Rantemario then leaves. Mittermeyer comments after that Reinhard thinks like a fighter and only seeks the meaning of life through winning battles.
As Reinhard heads through a corridor he is stopped by a young boy who reminds Reinhard of a young Kircheis. The boy asks Reinhard if he can win and therefore unite the universe. Reinhard asks for his name, which is Emil von Secla. Reinhard almost apologizes to Emil by saying there may be no enemies left for him in the future. Reinhard then goes on to say that he wants Emil to go home and tell his family that his words inspired him to victory at Rantemario.I know the point of this scene was to re-humanize Reinhard since he seems entirely devoted to victory in combat lately. However, I can’t help but ask why a kid is on Reinhard’s ship, and why I have a sinking feeling he’s going to play too important a part in the future.
On the Allied flagship Rio Grande, Bucock talks to his men about Imperial movements through the Holbit system. He lists the planets they would pass through on their way to Heinessen, but says that Rantemario is essentially their last line of defense. Trung Yu-Chang builds on that thought and says there are plenty of doubts within the country since every patrol and defensive ship in the Alliance is part of this operation. It might spread fear that they will only try to protect the capitol and abandon the rest of the Allied planets. Bucock says that the outlying planets have permission to surrender when attacked, but some planets may take advantage of the situation and secede from the Alliance outright and become neutral while being under Imperial rule.
To prevent that from happening, Bucock says they have to fight a battle and win. Carlsen has doubts of his own and says the difference in forces will be too large. Bucock says that if Amlitzer hadn’t happened they would be fine since just 2 years ago they were fighting the Empire as equals, but they’ve been relying too much on Yang for years. Mouton asks for an update on Iserlohn, and Trung tells him that Yang abandoned it 2 weeks earlier. Trung says that it will take time for Yang to evacuate civilians to safe planets, but they should be able to meet at Rantemario in the middle of February in just over 2 weeks time. Trung then says that despite what was said earlier about the timing of the battle, they need to wait as long as possible to engage the Empire. They need to start the battle in the time between Yang joining up with them and Reuenthal’s fleet joining with the Empire’s forces. There are still fears that there could be an attack on Heinessen while the battle is occurring, but Bucock says many civilians have been evacuated from there.
Back on the Beryoska, Julian and Mashengo express their concerns over the health of Degsby, who has been coughing up blood when not drinking or doing drugs. Marinesk says he can only tell the doctor, but Degsby hasn’t responded to anyone else on the ship. Julian also has concerns that the Empire might start checking civilian ships, but Marinesk doubts Boltik would do anything to anger Phezzan’s merchants. He goes on to say that it is physically impossible to check every ship, and doing so would lead to revolt and sabotage.
Willock interrupts their conversation as he receives information that Boltik has hired Phezzani to work with Imperial patrol ships. He tells Julian and Mashengo that Viola has been arrested by one of these ships. Julian then remembers another thing Yang said, which was that collaborators from an occupied power are more meticulous in simple tasks than those from the occupying power. An Imperial ship soon approaches, and Marinesk says they will have to give up here. However, Julian has an idea based on how Yang took Iserlohn.
The Beryoska sends a message to the destroyer saying they have captured two Alliance officers who threatened to blow up their ship with explosives that turned out to be fake. They now want to turn them over and continue on their journey. They come aboard and the Imperial officer jokes about how desperate the Alliance must be to be depending on kids like Julian. The restraints are quickly released on Julian and Mashengo and they quickly take control of the ship.
Julian and company have to continue their journey on the Imperial destroyer, but they are destroying the Beryoska as cover. After that is done, Willock wonders what they should do about their prisoners, as he especially wants to hurt the Phezzani traitor. Julian says they will release them when they get to Alliance space, but Willock says they should just kill them if they will do that. Julian, though, will not accept that as an option. Marinesk interrupts their conversation to say that he would like to take ownership of the destroyer since his ship was destroyed and the the new ship has plenty of cargo room.
The episode ends as the Imperial fleet is just six days away from Rantemario.
Thoughts: There was no OP or ED in this episode, and the rushed narration showed that a lot. However, I think there were probably a couple of scenes that were unnecessary and the quality of the episode suffers for that…It looks like the battle is about to start soon, and the Alliance putting their forces in one location seems like a tactical error waiting to happen.