Blogging Legend of the Galactic Heroes Dishonor Episode 4

Oh hi, now that I'm introduced I have to go about destroying myself as a character

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.

This final episode of the first Gaiden series (from my perspective anyway) comes to a rather dissatisfying end. I can’t think of any character in this arc who comes out of this with any shred of dignity.

Those eyes look troubled, as though something is going to happen to her at that fire later.

Let’s start with Johanna, the wife of the villain Christopher von Basel. Kircheis gets information from her that she had been the one leaking all of the details that Basel was behind the drug ring. However, she won’t turn him in because it would make him unhappy if she did it. So she wants him to get caught because she loves him, but doesn’t want him to be caught because she loves him. That might make sense if she were younger, but she has the emotional stability of a 16-year-old here.

Moving on, Hoffman and Kircheis have to go another route if they are to catch Basel. Their plan B is to get him to incriminate himself. It works far too easily as he doesn’t even try to deny Kircheis’s accusation that the captured hitman fingered him as the suspect. He has plausible deniability after all, why go straight for trying to bribe Kircheis into keeping his mouth shut. They probably just had him admit it so they could fit the plot into the episode.

Damn, how dare you get me to so easily spill the beans. I'm a criminal mastermind

After a few minutes of angrily arguing the logistics of how he would be prosecuted, Hoffman lets himself down by letting Basel call Johanna on the phone. He tells her to destroy the evidence against him. So they go from one plot device to shorten the episode, then another to lengthen it.

Thanks for allowing me to have evidence destroyed

So back over to Johanna’s room where Kircheis finds her holding papers over a fire. She managed to have her husband incriminate himself so she wouldn’t be the one to put him away. Yet since she completely lacks the will to act on her own and do nothing, she says she must destroy the documents because he ordered. The only way she wouldn’t do it is if Kircheis shoots her. Kircheis then goes through moral dilemmas in his head only to decide he can’t do it.

But wait! Keyserling appears out of the blue and does it for him. There’s a bit of conflict in his actions here. He shot the woman he loves just to save his honor that he lost in battle, which appears pathetic. At the same time, he shot the woman who could be seen as being the cause of his life not going to plan. That latter one is pretty weak justification in my eyes, since it was really Keyserling’s own inability to move on from rejection.


In the end, Basel gets caught, Johanna’s dead and Keyserling has dignity again in the eyes of the Empire. These people were friends for 40 years? Anyway, Kircheis has an incident to store in his personal archives . As he sees Reinhard again, he comes to the realization that he can’t do things the way Reinhard does. I suppose that’s a legitimate point to make in the end.

At least these two will be up to something much better in the near future.

Thoughts: This was the penultimate post in the Blogging Legend of the Galactic Heroes series of posts here and the final one that isn’t a movie. It’s unfortunate that the Gaiden stories ended on such a sour note, though I don’t think there was that much to really write home about for quality. So next week brings Overture to a New War and marks the return to where this blogging series began. I suppose I was due another shot at it 350 posts or so after writing those first few.

5 thoughts on “Blogging Legend of the Galactic Heroes Dishonor Episode 4”

  1. This Gaiden seemed at bit pointless to me. I suppose it was meant to give Kircheis some alone time and show what he was capable of without Reinhardt. I agree with your assessment that he really couldn’t do things the way Reinhardt did. He was a man full of talents but lacked Reinhardt’s flair and over the top personality.

    You’ve really made a titanic blogging effort. Going through that much material, of which let’s face it, some of is less than stellar, show’s real commitment to blogging. I salute you sir.

    1. I think if I had started with the Gaiden I probably would have just quit halfway through the very first story and then nothing would have ever come from this blog on Legend of the Galactic Heroes.

  2. Prequels are by definition pointless, no? Since we already know where all of these characters end up. Its a good thing though that the vast majority of the mediocre material is concentrated in the prequel stories.

    As for this arc, I liked it better than any of the other non-combat arcs – not really sure why. Keyserling killing Johanna was a genuine surprise for me – whatever his motivations actually were, he could certainly say that she was trying to protect a damnable criminal who caused the deaths of several hundred thousand men – Keyserling’s honor or no.

    1. Keyserling’s killing of Johanna was a genuine surprise simply because it never looked like Keyserling would be that sort of character. I suppose he ultimately did the right thing to save thousands of men, but he could have done it before it ever got to killing the one love of his life.

      As for prequels, yes they are largely pointless. I think they just come largely from a desire to build up characters more than they already were built up in the main project. I think part of it the expectation that a character was the same in the past as the present, so when a character is made less developed for a prequel it disappoints.

  3. If you want a good example of a prequel, see Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. A lot of people think Spartacus is just some violent, sex and nudity filled trash, but it really is fantastic television, and the 6-episode prequel aired between seasons 1 and 2 (as a result of the illness and subsequent death of its main star, Andy Whitfield) is a lesson on how to do a prequel properly – the villains/ antagonists are further developed, organically building on their appearance in the first season, and new characters are introduced whose fate is unknown, who are then brought back for later seasons, so there’s never any sense its a pointless exercise. Difficult for conventional prequels to do this, though.

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