Legend of the Galactic heroes (LotGH) is considered a hidden gem in the anime community. All those who’ve watched it have become massive fans and refuse to compare it to any other anime.
The anime is truly a masterpiece. It tackles questions about politics and governance.
Is it better to have a righteous dictator rather than a corrupt democracy? The anime presents various arguments regarding both the sides without really answering the question. It depends on the viewer to decide which one’s better or disregard both the options.
Along with philosophical questions, there are grand battles, expanding throughout the galaxy with heavy spaceships and modern machinery. If you love movies like Star Trek and Star Wars, you’ll surely find Legend of the Galactic Heroes worth a watch.
1. Legend of the Galactic Heroes (Classic version)
- Legend of the Galactic Heroes Series 1 (1988-1989)
- Episodes: 26
- Legend of the Galactic Heroes Series 2 (1991-1992)
- Episodes: 28
- Legend of the Galactic Heroes Series 3 (1994-1995)
- Episodes: 32
- Legend of the Galactic Heroes Series 4 (1996-1997)
- Episodes: 24
- Legend of the Galactic Heroes Gaiden 1 (1998)
- The Silver-White Valley (Episodes 1-4)
- Dreams of the Morning, Songs of the Night (Episodes 5-8)
- Dishonor (Episodes 9-12)
- A Hundred Billion Stars, a Hundred Billion Lights (Episodes 13-24)
- Legend of the Galactic Heroes Gaiden 2 (1999-2000)
- Spiral Labyrinth (Episodes 1-14)
- The Mutineer (Episodes 15-18)
- The Duelist (Episodes 19-22)
- The Retriever (Episodes 23-26)
- The Third Battle of Tiamat (Episodes 27-28)
- My Conquest Is the Sea of Stars (1988)
- Golden Wings (1992)
- Overture to a New War (1993)
III. Chronological Order
It is smooth sailing through the main OVA series and then you hit the Gaiden iceberg. It will be tiresome to watch the Gaiden series since you’ll be jumping from one arc to another, but it will be worth it!
- Golden Wings (movie)
- My Conquest is the Sea of Stars (movie)
- Overture to a New War (movie)
- Legend of the Galactic Heroes (OVA Series 1-4)
- Legend of the Galactic Heroes Gaiden Series
- Spiral Labyrinth (Gaiden II, 01-14)
- Valley of White Silver (Gaiden I, 1-4)
- Mutineer (Gaiden II 15-18)
- Duelist (Gaiden II 19-22)
- Those Who Recapture (Gaiden II 23-26)
- Morning’s Dream, Night’s Song (Gaiden I, 5-8)
- A Hundred Billion Stars, A Hundred Billion Lights (Gaiden I, 13-24)
- The Third Tiamat Battle (Gaiden II, 27-28)
- Disgrace (Gaiden I, 9-12)
Note: You can skip Golden Wings (movie) since it has inferior quality in terms of animation and story-telling.
2. Legend of the Galactic Heroes (New Adaptation)
I. TV Series
- Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These (2018)
- Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Die Neue These – Seiran 1 (2019)
- Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Die Neue These – Seiran 2 (2019)
- Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Die Neue These – Seiran 3 (2019)
Note: All of these have four episodes each.
III. Chronological Order
- Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These
- Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Die Neue These – Seiran 1
- Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Die Neue These – Seiran 2
- Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Die Neue These – Seiran 3
3. LotGH 1988 vs. 2018
The new adaptation is not a carbon copy of the older version.
There are many changes in the animation and the narrative of the 2018 adaptation. The character design is quite faithful but are given a bit of a bishonen edge. The spaceships are all CGI and look awesome. The animation, in general, has improved a lot.
The narrative of LotGH 1988 was told in a documentary style with animated historians talking about the events that occurred. This kind of narrative gives a lot more information on the world where these events and battles take place, and the world-building is hence, a lot better.
Another noticeable difference is the amount of story both of these adaptations cover. The classic anime has over 100 episodes in the form of OVAs and three movies. On the other hand, 2019 adaptation has only 12 episodes and three films.
4. Which Version Should you Watch?
To determine which version would suit you better, consider factors such as investment of time, animation quality, and narrative.
If you want to watch the entire series with an in-depth explanation of every detail, have loads of time and are okay with watching vintage animation from the 80’s watch the older version.
If you’re new to anime and feel intimidated by the plethora of content in the older anime, watch the 2019 adaptation. The animation is beautiful, and if you’re a sci-fi fan, you’re going to love Legend of the Galactic Heroes.
Regardless of which version you decide to watch, you must pay attention to everything. LotGH demands a lot of attention; otherwise, it can get very confusing later on.
The older version has far more episodes as compared to the new adaptation.
If you’re going to watch the older version, it is highly recommended that you follow the chronological order even though it seems all over the place. It is also recommended to skip Golden Wings (1992).
The new adaptation is released in chronological order, but it still has a long way to go since all the episodes from the older OVAs haven’t been adapted yet. Do not skip any episode.
6. About Legend of the Galactic Heroes
The Galactic Empire and the Free Planets Alliance comes to an end when a new generation of leaders arises. The military genius, Reinhard from the Galactic Empire and a reserved historian, Yang Wenli from the Free Planets Alliance.
Reinhard sets his goal to unify all of humanity and overthrow the corrupt democracy of Free Planets Alliance. Each leader has unshakable beliefs that cause many casualties during the war. After losing numerous lives, they are forced to reconsider their strategies and morals.