With Azur Lane on hold and me behind on Rifle is Beautiful, let me try to fit this entry in before all the Christmas festivities I’ll be having with family and last-minute stuff at work. I added some real-life commentary but I hope it isn’t too strong.
LOGH – DNT: Episode 17 Summary and Thoughts:
On the capital planet of Heinessen, Commodore Falk tries to obtain a job back with the military by directly appealing to Admiral Cubersly. When Cubersly deems him unfit for command still, Falk attacks him in a fit of rage and seriously wounds the Admiral.
Admiral Bewcock passes over the position of interim chief and that falls on Admiral Dawson. But the ills of the Alliance military grow as mishaps lead to the deaths of young officers. This is added on with political agitation from those who desire peace. Bewcock laments his case of an old soldier living with the young dying and applauds efforts like Jessica Edwards to bring that to light.
Back at Iserlohn fortress, the interim chief, Admiral Dawson, orders Yang to put down some rebellious territories, even if it means unguarding Iserlohn fortress in the meantime. Yang takes stock of his orders and notes his own fame and Bewcock’s own age when compared to the interim chief. News though reaches Iserlohn later of a coup d’état.
In the backdrop of a haughty, patriotic speech, coup forces arrest those who are not aligned with their views in the military and civilian government, or engage in intense and harsh firefights with those who refuse to submit. Calling itself the National Salvation Military Council. The provisional government has the capital planet of Heinessen under martial law and announces its leader as Admiral Dwight Greenhill, shocking many, especially Fredricka.
As Bewcock is arrested by his own staff no less, he states his disappointment in Admiral Greenhill’s decisions. While he agrees the current system is corrupt and stifled, he asks what were to happen when his own NSMC turns power hungry and corrupt. Elsewhere, Admiral Dawson is also arrested though High Council Chairman Trunicht eluded arrest.
Back on Iserlohn, Fredericka seems to be under house arrest, not an unwise precaution as she is the daughter of the coup leader. Yang still intends for her to be his adjutant, giving her the chance to right her father’s wrongs.
Speaking with Schönkopf, he regards Yang as a walking contradiction, hating war yet being the best in it. And even faced in equal odds against Reinhard, Schönkopf believes he’d win. Their talk goes to the rot and corruption evident in the Free Planets Alliance, and how Yang is deeply aware of it. Yet Yang is focusing all his energy to save that same rot and corruption, yet another contradiction.
It is here that Yang explains his philosophy of better over the best, noting that the NSMC’s actions prove they are worse than the corrupt politicians that helmed the FPA. Schönkopf entices him with his own offer, to let the NSMC clean house before swooping in to displace them and become the military dictator. Yang rebuffs this, and since Schönkopf has yet to tell anyone else about his plan to install Yang as the military dictator, it has become a dropped issue between the two.
Back on Heinessen, with Yang failing to support the NSMC, the Alliance’s 11th fleet is dispatched to confront Yang and force him to submit or die before the NSMC’s guns. When asked about his daughter, Admiral Greenhill merely responds that he gave up on her the moment he started down this coup.
It also seems that on Iserlohn, Julian has made a name for himself promoting Admiral Yang’s actions as the best, gaining the support of the civilians and military personnel who were still unsure on who to support. Schönkopf notes that Julian makes a far better solider than Yang ever was. He does note that Yang had wanted Julian to stay away from the military. Yang notes that as a solider, he is beholden to the ones writing his paycheck, but as Julian is still unofficially one, he wants him to be able to decide his own destiny with his own talents.
With all the preparations complete, the Yang fleet sorties, its final stop is Heinessen.
= = = =
Well then, the coup that Yang had seen came to fruition, though it came as a surprise on who would be heading it. Admiral Greenhill was well respected by both Bewcock and Yang and so both did not realize he could launch such a thing.
I imagine that Yang and Bewcock had their eye on Falk. He has been unhinged since the invasion of the Empire, and was seen as some as a likely candidate in the secret meetings. While we as an audience knew that Dwight Greenhill was the commander of the coup from the get-go, Falk’s status has been ambiguous from the start.
Planned or unplanned, his attempted assassination of Chief Cubersly managed to lay the groundwork for the coup, serving as an example of the calcification of the current corrupt civilian government to the woes of its servicemen and women. I’ve noted before that for us Americans, civilian control of the military is sacrosanct. But for a conflict that is nearly equal to the time the United States existed as a nation, some sort of sedimentation would occur.
While we as an audience know this is a farce orchestrated by Marquis Reinhard von Lohengramm, the reason it managed to take off was it was already there. An undercurrent of death and stagnation that has gripped the elites of society and the uniformed officers of that society’s military.
The civilian voices rallying against it cannot reach the positions where it can make changes due to the good old boys and girls club, and it falls on the jingoistic patriotism of those most willing to right the ship of state while those who have the power cannot act without drawing a target to themselves. And so, a coup happens.
The coup not being bloodless was a good move for the series. When it comes down to it there will be some who will vehemently oppose any such actions. It is those who are either wedded into the corruption, or who are truly taking their oaths seriously. Doesn’t matter what their reasoning they will oppose those who decide to take the reigns of power by force.
It also doesn’t help that those coup forces are conducting their orders with zealotry, many willing to pull the trigger on former colleagues, some who seem to have only been there at the wrong place at the wrong time, questioning why armed men were barging into locations where they weren’t allowed in.
This was much more dynamic and adds the sense of despair and urgency that seemed lacking from the original OVA’s depiction of the coup, which was a series of shots being shown while the Fezzani leader’s secretary, Nicholas Boltik, explained to his boss and to the audience what had happened.
Overall when comparing episode 19 of the original OVA with this, there is more meat in the bones, more narrative structure in showing just how messy a coup can be. A coup launched with a small cadre of influential officers can tear up a system, and those who don’t go along can either be afforded all courtesy as possible, or shot for resisting.
I wanted to add on this bit. For my fellow Americans, and really, fellow Virginians, many know of the rise of the ‘2nd Amendment Sanctuary’ movement. This has led many counties and municipalities to declare themselves sanctuary for the right to keep and bear arms, as enshrined in the US Constitution. I won’t get too deep into the politics, as many other blogs and videos do a much better explanation, but I found it an interesting parallel to the series at this time. Potential laws to be signed into being this coming July would enforce a California-style Assault Weapons Ban on the state of Virginia, once the least restrictive in terms of firearms ownership.
Many local officials and sheriffs have vowed to ignore such overreaching laws and the threat of a National Guard deployment was put forth by the ones proposing the restrictive laws. Suddenly national guardsmen were flooding their chain of command, many of whom wanted clarification that they would not be enforcing any sort of confiscation or arrest of their neighbors. This is by no means similar to the coup in the futuristic fantasy nation of the Free Planets Alliance, but shows how an abrupt and fundamental shift in the status quo could lead to confusion and misinformation.
I long tried to ease much of my personal politics as I can in my observations of anime, but I added this mainly because of that confusion at the time of the coup. As Bewcock’s own surprise at being arrested by his own staff notes, one didn’t know who would shelter you or shoot you. This oddly, fairly or unfairly, seems similar to what is going on now. Art imitates life as the saying goes.
LOGH – DNT: Episode 18 Summary and Thoughts:
At Geiesberg Fortress, the nobles are restless and want to engage Reinhard and his fleet. While Merkatz manages to restrain them from needlessly sailing fort to their doom, a recommendation that they quickly rush to recapture the capital and have the child emperor proclaim them to be in the right forces his hand.
Merkatz lets the nobles do as they wish, hoping the eventual defeat would allow him to hold a tighter leash on the inept high nobles. The punitive expedition is led by a former Imperial Navy admiral and instructor, Staden, who is as imaginative as a wet dishrag.
Mittermeyer is sent to defeat the punitive expedition, employing a minefield to halt their advance and forcing the two composite units to split up around it, before pushing through the field in pre-made safe lanes. With this Mittermeyer is able to achieve victory by destroying Count Hildelsheim’s fleet and forcing Admiral Staden to retreat to nearby Rentenburg fortress.
Rentenberg represents a major logistics base for the Lippstadt Nobles Coalition, and Duke Braunschweig orders High Admiral Ovlesser, the commander of the Imperal Navy Armored Grenadiers to take charge of its defense. Reuenthal and Mittermeyer are given the job to capture the fortress.
While their fleets battle outside, Armored Grenadiers under the command of the Reuenthal/Mittermeyer forces attack the lone passageway headed to the fortress’ main powerplant. The passageway filled with zeffle particles, the forces face off with melee weapons as shooting lasers in the passage would roast them all and destroy the fortress from within. It is here that many of the combined fleet’s forces would die in the hands of High Admiral Ovlesser, who is clearly in his element in hand to hand combat in armored suits.
As a man who was born to beat people to death, he and his forces appear to be using a drug to keep them fighting at peak efficiency for eight hours. While the plan was to originally kill him, Ovlesser’s battle manic transmission insulting Reinhard and his sister breaks his cool and he orders the two Admirals to bring the uncouth man to him, the two of them undoubtedly with a difficult task in hand.
Later, the two young admirals face off against the older barbarian of a man. Pleasantries exchange, Ovlesser seems to be toying with both of them as even with their combined might, Reuenthal and Mittermeyer cannot beat him. Retreating, the High Admiral gives chase only to fall into a pit trap Reuenthal and Mittermeyer created that immobilizes him, allowing their forces to take the passageway and the powerplant.
Ovlesser is freed from his armor and brought before the two admirals, but Oberstein arrives to release the High Admiral. With protests from the two men, who note the amount of men he had killed, he says he is acting in Reinhard’s authority. Oberstein releases Ovlesser, providing him the transport back to Geiersburg to act as an intermediary for a quick resolution to the conflict. Ovlesser agrees, though notes he may not do as requested.
Ovlesser returns to a rather cold reception. Gaining an audience with Duke Braunschweig, he informs Ovlesser that it is said that his men were publicly executed while he was let go. This puts his status in question and is branded as a traitor sent to kill Braunschweig on behalf of Reinhard. Enraged at the obvious lie, Ovlesser angrily approaches the Duke while stating his innocence.
The Duke, fearing for his life from the High Admiral’s growing rage, orders his execution. Several shots from the court guards do not stop him. Ovlesser shrugs off the shots and instead manages to incapacitate many of the guards before he is killed by Duke Braunschweig’s chief aide, Commodore Ansbach.
The High Admiral’s final thoughts, aside from the laser pulse burning through his brain, would be the warning that Gregor von Mückenberger told him prior to the garden party that established the Lippstadt Noble’s Coalition. Asked how they should explain his death, Braunschweig doesn’t hide the fact that Ovlesser had turned traitor to their cause before walking away.
As Commodore Ansbach looks at the dead Ovlesser, he asks him not to look at him with his face full of bitterness and regret, and should be thankful for having died before the end. Back at Reinhard’s fleet, Oberstein explains his reasonings. By turning Ovlesser into a supposed traitor, it was meant as a ploy to cause dissent and unrest amongst the nobles, many of whom aren’t fully committed to each other as they like to present to the rest of the empire.
Elsewhere in the Imperial Frontier, Siegfried Kircheis’ fleet encounters the merchant ship Berezka from Fezzan, captained by Boris Konev. Passing the inspection, Siegfried lets them go after providing medicine and supplies to the people the Berezka was transporting. Truth be told they were not migrant farmers being shipped as cargo because of their poverty, but Earth Cultists making a pilgrimage to humanity’s birth world. As he and his manager discuss how nice Siegfried was, they both agree such a person would not last long in current times.
= = = =
The action heats up and in essence, shows the deficiencies of the Noble’s Coalition. The courtly politics and backstabbing that went on for generations did not lend well to a hodgepodge alliance for their very survival. With the overall goal as ambiguous as theirs, it was bound to fall apart. And yes, it is ambiguous from the start.
To prop up one high noble over the other to ensure the continuance of the current order, unable to understand the rot that has infested their ranks. Very few could see it, acknowledge it. And all unable to act on it. Ansbach and Merkatz are too deeply wedded into the system, held hostage by the courtly titles and peerage that have swept them off their feet into open rebellion against the truest legitimate heir to the deceased Emperor. Merkatz at least had the luxury of having been coerced, forced, into rebellion.
Ansbach is loyal to Duke Braunschweig even though he knows it is going to lead them all to ruin. He can’t do anything and it’ll just get more and more evident as the rebellion continues.
Now, when I first watched this episode, I was expecting quite a scene especially since the animation and pacing has not really disappointed yet. The fight with the Armored Grenadiers and High Admiral Ovlesser took the roughness from the OVA and polished it off a bit, and I think it makes him even more of a tragic character.
Compared to the utter brute he was in the OVA, this one who seemed to brood half the time I see was more of a tragic character than anything. It helps drive home Mückenberger’s warning to him prior to their rebellion that Duke Braunschweig would not tolerate anyone that insists he has no clothes.
What I didn’t like was the design of the armored grenadier suits, looked like headless knights, though still a bit better than the high heeled skull-headed armored grenadiers from the OVAs. I do like the more ornate weapons and brutal bolt-gun like firearms they employed. They have this solidity and heftiness to it that just underscores the statement that ‘Ovlesser was a man born to beat other men to death’.
As the seeds of doubt and the fracturing of the coalition starts to play out, Admiral Merkatz’s position starts to be more perilous as the nobles are in full denial at this point, and the attempt to prove their loyalty would make em rush into decisions that only play into Reinhard’s and Oberstein’s hands.
Nice that we also got a little bit of foreshadowing by our honest Fezzani merchants. Their comments in regards to Admiral Kircheis is especially apt in light of the tides of the time. While comparisons to Yang Wen-li’s supposed naivety can be made, Yang at least can play the politics without truly playing favorites. Everyone who has seen the original or have read the book know what is going to happen.
Episode 17: https://imgur.com/a/e4bwjvE
Episode 18: https://imgur.com/a/AWUy61c