5 June 2013 | gorankostanski
THE space opera
Yes, folks, this is it. Look no further if you are a science-fiction fan. There is no bigger space opera than this. The whole galaxy is the stage. Though, to be frank, that can sometimes be a drawback, too: the too big ensemble of characters is sometimes an overkill, and the storyline is so long you must spend some 25 episodes (10 hours) just to start appreciating it. However, the setting is thought out down to a T. There are many characters, but I can still name a dozen at the top of my head - Yang Wenli, Reinhard, Hildegard, Julian, Merkatz, Poplan, Schenkopp, Muller, Oberstein, Rubinsky, Siegfried...All of them are just cogs in the big machine called history, but since there are so many possible variations and destinies, it is impossible to predict what will happen next. The outcome can be anything.
This is the main trump card of writer Yoshiki Tanaka: pure, raw inspiration. He did not have a big budget at his disposal at that time, which is why the animation in the first third of the show is dated, the camera work is slightly flawed and the marketing was so scarce that many of you probably never heard of it. You probably heard of The Fast and the Furious, but your intellectual potentials are lost on that one. I for one, though, prefer a technically modest, flawed and unknown presentation of a story - as long as the story itself is worthy to be told. And my God, is this a story to be told. You will never view democracy or autocracy with the same eyes again. You can watch perfectly filmed big budget blockbusters, with perfect editing, lighting and sound, but you know deep in your heart that it lacks soul. I am still at wonder that something like this was ever made, at all. Babylon 5 does not even hold a candle to this. My favorite part has to be the middle, around episode 50, where Kaiser Reinhard and Wenli start an epic space battle at Vermilion - believe me, you will not stay indifferent when Wenli gets Reinherd in the crossfire. If there is one thing I have to object to strongly, though, then it is the sometimes fascist tone in this. Maybe I am just imagining things, but the total authority Reinhard wants over the whole galaxy does tend to turn unbalanced at times - except without the killing of anyone different, but tolerating them. However, you have to see this and make your own mind. Your science-fiction knowledge will not be complete before watching this.