10 August 2018 | Shostakovich343
How not to do a reboot
With not even 1,500 user ratings on IMDb, it would be hard to call the original "Legend of the Galactic Heroes" a hit, but the series (based upon the novels by Tanaka Yoshiki) has gained a reputation as a cult classic, growing a dedicated fan base and proving the potential of its concept. Thus, 30 years later, the series has been rebooted, although "reskinned an dumbed down" might be a more accurate term, for "Die Neue These" has failed on mostly every level to improve upon the original.
The creators were right when they decided that the story could use some trimming. The original series' 110 episodes featured - especially in the first two seasons - some that could be considered filler, and a deliberate cropping could have resulted in a more focussed main story. Unfortunately, the new series has not so much cut the crap as swung a scythe through the script, severely damaging the quality of the writing. Because many of the standalone, more personal episodes (like "The Actress Exits") have been cut out, the world building and character development - which was surprisingly good in the original - suffer. Even more so because of the clumsily written fragments of dialogue left over, which serve to further the plot and nothing else: The essential actions are represented well, but the lack of depth results in diminished involvement in the events.
Since the script obviously was not the creators' focus, one might suspect the reboot to mainly profit from a graphical advancement, and indeed there was room enough to improve upon the not-so-high-budget 80's animation of the original, but the filmmakers have bitten off more than they could chew. Computer Generated Imagery is prominently used to create the space battles, despite being not very good, which is a bit of a bother, seeing how there is hardly a shot without any. And how ironic, that a series set in the vastness of space can feel so crowded. A preference for more cinematic angles is understandable, but the frames are filled to the brim with uncomfortably close characters, overdesigned props, unconvincing CGI, and lens flares - all in all a nauseating experience.
The new designs are a rather awkward as well. The characters are mostly taken plainly from the OVA but made more... anime-y, which undermines the more grounded approach to storytelling the original series preferred, and besides the viewer's immersion. The spaceships too - for as far as they are distinguishable in their wobbly CGI - look notably worse than they did before, with their overcomplicated and unpractical designs, the culmination being Flagship Brünhild, which looks more like an artist's impression of Yog-Sothoth from Devianart.
To take one last dump on everything new: The OVA gracefully solved their budgetary problems by composing a handful of themes and effectively using classical music the rest of the time, which should have been taken as an example for the reboot, instead of using cheap, bad and surprisingly distracting tracks.
If you have actually bothered to read the paragraphs leading up to this rant's conclusion, you might have guessed that I do not find "Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These" very good. Admittedly, it is not without charm, but everything good about it is taken from either the books or the OVA, and everything added (or removed) has made the series uglier, dumber, and by this even somewhat boring and a reboot that utterly fails to improve upon the original has no reason to exist. If the concept or story interests you, look up the OVA, otherwise don't bother.