The 66th episode of Legend of the Galactic Heroes is mainly an episode devoted to what Reinhard will do next. Various groups of admirals talk about what they believe should be done, and the justifications for doing so. Ultimately after a final meeting, Reinhard does reach a decision which will have consequences for everyone.
Oberstein, Reuenthal and Mittermeyer wait for Reinhard to arrive. Reuenthal asks why they have been called before correctly guessing that it has something to do with Lennenkampt. Oberstein tells the other two that Lennenkampt is dead, and when asked how he tells them it was suicide. Mittermeyer says that means they cannot tie his death to Yang, but Oberstein says they can blame Yang for putting him in a situation where he would commit suicide and it is inevitable that he would be held responsible. Reuenthal then conjects that after his 2 defeats at Yang’s hands, he went ahead and arrested him without evidence only to fall victim to a counterattack. Mittermeyer adds that Lennenkampt was always unfair to his subordinates, and Oberstein adds that it was unfortunate that Yang was not one.
Mittermeyer then turns his attention to Yang and says he believes Reinhard would have been more upset if Yang had died instead of Lennenkampt. After Vermillion, he believes he would have wanted to add Yang to his ranks, and he may not have yet given up on it. Reuenthal turns to Oberstein and says he knows Oberstein opposed adding Yang and says he would have set strict conditions on his serving. Oberstein asks if Reuenthal would want to hear them, but Reuenthal says he knows already. He says Oberstein would have had Yang fight his former subordinates, simply because Oberstein likes putting people through ordeals rather than gathering talent. Oberstein says he thinks it is fair to see if the talent is trustworthy. Reuenthal asks who would serve as judge, and Oberstein says Reuenthal and Mittermeyer can since the military power of the Reich lies in them. As Mittermeyer prepares to speak, Reuenthal points out that authority actually lies with Reinhard alone and that they act merely as the agents of his power. Oberstein says that Reuenthal should have no problem with his definition of fairness since Reinhard would be the ultimate judge of his own fairness. Reuenthal objects, and Mittermeyer tells the both of them to cut it out before Oberstein leaves to get Reinhard. Reuenthal tells Mittermeyer that he knows he was being immature in stealing the role of arguing with Oberstein that Mittermeyer says he normally holds.
Reinhard starts the meeting by saying that while Lennenkampt was not a perfect man, there was no reason for him to die in the fashion he did. Reuenthal asks who should take responsibility for what happened, and Reinhard says they should look ahead rather than at the past. He says he wants to take advantage of the cracks that have opened between Yang and the Alliance government and invite Yang to serve under him. He asks Oberstein for his opinion, and he says it would be a good idea under certain conditions. He must be forced to sever all ties with the country he has served under his entire life, but he likely will not agree to those conditions. Reinhard asks if that means he will never have Yang serve under him, and Oberstein says that is what he believes. Oberstein then moves on talk about issues in position Yang will be given and how it would affect the other admirals, before Reinhard decides to put the issue to rest.
Reinhard goes on to say that it is a shame that a democratic nation can be so narrow-minded, but Mittermeyer says that the people in charge are more important than the structure of government. He uses the Goldenbaum Dynasty’s treatment of Reinhard as an example, and Reinhard gets the point. Reuenthal asks what Reinhard wants them to do next, and asks if they will annex the Alliance. Reinhard says they could do that, but it might be better to see the Alliance’s leadership exhaust themselves.
After the meeting, Reuenthal thinks to himself that he hopes Reinhard gives him no reason to rebel. Passivity and stability were not the reasons he decided to follow Reinhard, rather ambition and aggressiveness are his true strengths.
Meanwhile, Hilde charts the remaining political powers, which she says are the Lohengramm Dynasty, the Alliance, Yang and his independent force, the Phezzani merchants, the remnants of the Goldenbaum Dynasty, El Facil and the remnants of the Earth Church. She takes out the Goldenbaums and the Church and says if the rest unite under Yang, they could pose a threat to the Reich. However, she thinks Yang may believe their military strength alone isn’t good enough, so he really shouldn’t be considered a threat. Though, if he could beat Reinhard, Hilde wonders if Yang would have a vision of the future afterward. If Yang were eliminated, there would be no uniting force, but they would have to be defeated one at a time. Hilde wonders if Reinhard is being indecisive because of that last point.
So Hilde gets to fill the exposition dump role in this episode. She also foreshadows a little with her inclusion of Earth Church remnants.
Reinhard walks in and asks Hilde if there is anything on the agenda. She says there is the resignation of Assistant Secretary Gluck. Reinhard asks why he would resign, and she says that it has to do with Silverberche. When Silverberche became ill, Gluck filled in, but many of his tasks were backlogged. When Silverberche returned, Gluck became despondent at how easily Silberberche was able to resume the backlogged work and decided to resign. Reinhard agrees to meet with Gluck.
Reinhard meets with Gluck and tells him that he is the Assistant Secretary because his talents aren’t at the same level as Silverberche’s. He then asks him to stay on in his current role, which Gluck agrees to. Later, Reinhard tells Hilde that when the situation settles down, Gluck would be the ideal man to run a stable Ministry. Anything that Gluck cannot handle will be delegated away from him, and that is what a functioning organization looks like in his opinion. The current model of relying on one man’s genius fits an immature organization. Hilde then thinks that Reinhard might actually run the Reich under the same model.
At a construction site, Silverberche takes a tour of his work. Other men praise the Minister for being able to potentially finish the capital in under ten years. However, they ask him what he will be doing with all that spare time in the prime of his life afterward. As he enters a car to leave, he tells them in that case he will be Prime Minister of the Reich.
I actually liked the stunned expressions of the rest of the work crew at Silverberche’s remark. They really don’t expect someone to openly declare their interest in filling a large portion of the Kaiser’s job. Silverberche seems like the kind of character who would burn himself out before then though.
On November 1, Lennenkampt’s funeral was held. It was a small ceremony for someone of his rank, but the fact that his death could not be made public along with his dishonorable death made it necessary. Müller asks Mittermeyer for confirmation that Lennenkampt would not be made a Fleet Admiral posthumously, and Mittermeyer says that it was because he did not die in battle. Müller asks if dying in the line of duty would be the same and Mittermeyer nods to confirm. Bruno von Knafstein and Alfred Grillpalzer approach the two of them and express their support for Lennenkampt before asking if a revenge expedition could be set up. Mittermeyer tells them that the situation is not so simple and needs to be dealt with in a politically sensitive way.
It is then revealed that Knafstein and Grillpalzer were the twin starts of the next generation of admirals, but they had divergent personalities. That was especially the case for Grillpalzer, who while known for his military prowess, was also interested in exploration to the point where he was known as the “Explorer Admiral.” He was delighted to receive the news that he would admitted to the Imperial Geographic Museum Society.
It’s is good to see that there are Imperial Admirals who are basically like Yang, only more free to pursue their real interests because of conditions. Grillpalzer definitely fits the case here.
Reinhard later calls a meeting of his High Admirals, where Müller and Mecklinger talk about the structure of the military. While Mecklinger says it is strange that he complains about the decentralization of military power when he directly benefits, he believes it could lead to trouble if the central authority degrades. Müller says that should not be an issue since Reinhard should be able to hold everything together. Mecklinger says he agrees, but Reinhard will not live forever. Müller responds by saying that in order of all of their ages, Reinhard would be the last to die, so it is an issue for the next generation. Mecklinger then goes on to say that he thinks Reinhard’s spirit is down lately. He compares him to a poet that does not need words, and as a result, the current stagnation and stability do not suit him.
The admirals talk before Reinhard arrives. Reuenthal continues to asks about the situation in the Alliance, which Mittermeyer says can be described as utter confusion which will eventually lead to chaos. Bittenfeld says they should take advantage and start wreaking havoc. Mittermeyer says they cannot since their supply lines aren’t sufficient. It would end up like Amlitzer only in reverse for them. Bittenfeld then says they could just seize Alliance supply bases, but Mittermeyer says they have no legal basis to do so. When Bittenfeld asks why that is important, Mittermeyer says the Barlat Treaty prevents them from interfering as long as the Alliance government can suppress rebel movements. Bittenfeld says that capability is obviously not there, and Mittermeyer says he agrees, but that he had to voice a cautious opinion since Mecklinger isn’t there.
Mittermeyer then surveys the group and comments on how much it has changed since they fought the Lippstadts. Reuenthal says that Mecklinger, Lutz, Steinmetz and Kesler have moved to assigned posts; Wahlen is being treated for his injuries; while Kircheis, Kempf and Lennenkampt are all dead. Bittenfeld says that it has gotten lonely, and the rest of the admirals nod their heads in agreement.
This was a rather nice break from the conversations. Even the characters are willing to take a break and realize just how much things have changed over the course of the series. No mention of the new faces by Reuenthal unsurprisingly.
Mittermeyer resumes the conversation saying the matter ultimately lies on whether the Alliance or the Reich treated Yang more unfairly. Oberstein disagrees and says they should focus on a course of action first. Mittermeyer disagrees and says that examining the past and determining who Yang will act against will help them determine what to do first. Reuenthal says that if it is determined that Yang’s force is a threat to the Reich, then they can act against him, but that could gather all anti-government forces against them. Bittenfeld says that is fine since it will allow the rebels to all be destroyed at once rather than one at a time. Mittermeyer raises the possibility that they would not be able to control an anti-Reich force, since it is unlikely they would all gather at one battlefield. The rapid expansion of the Reich has left many areas thin. That combined with Yang’s talents could lead to another situation like Vermillion. Either way, Mittermeyer says they face a tough decision.
Müller speaks up and asks about the rumor of Merkatz being alive. Mittermeyer says they should assume it is true at this point. Fahrenheit then thinks to himself how things have changed. He fought alongside Merkatz at Astate and with the Lippstadts, but they would likely never see each other again. Fahrenheit thinks he cannot die so easily until he sees how the changes all end.
Reinhard walks in and the meeting begins in earnest. It is revealed that Reinhard has been stagnant and unhappy because he has had to balance his desire to do something with his own fears of turning into another Rudolf if he used his absolute power. As Bittenfeld tells Reinhard that his victories have been because he has held control of history and that he shouldn’t let history control him here, Reinhard has an epiphany. He immediately says their just cause is uniting the universe and small legalities shouldn’t matter. He then orders Bittenfeld to send the Black Lancers into Alliance territory, and join with Steinmetz at Uruvasi and wait for the rest of the main fleet to arrive. Reinhard then tells Hilde that Lennenkampt’s death will be made public soon, and that he will put the blame on the Alliance government, so he wants a speech prepared. Reinhard prepares to leave, and Bittenfeld stops him to ask about the fact that Reinhard does not have a location for the Imperial throne. Reinhard says that the Brünhild should be considered as the location of his throne. By confirming that he rules from the battlefield and not the palace, Reinhard had reaffirmed the confidence the admirals placed in him.
On November 10, Bittenfeld and his Black Lancers set off for the first expedition under the new Reich, a mere 141 days after Reinhard took the throne.
Thoughts: It finally looks like the action is going to start up again. What seemed like a fairly pedestrian episode picked up only in the last minute or two. I’m kind of curious as to how exactly the Alliance and Yang will be able to fight this attack off, since there’s not really enough military power to fight them as is.