So I haven’t been able to keep up with new anime these past few weeks, but I’m glad to have been able to catch up with LoGH’s new adaptation, aka Dieee Neueee Theeeese. Take note that I’m a newcomer to this series, so please bear with me. :'D
I guess I could describe the experience as something quite like listening to classical music: I totally get why some would find it boring (and sometimes I do feel that way), but there’s a lot to love from its writing.
I’d say the least interesting thing about the show for me is the action spectacle. They look nice, certainly, but as someone who’s not used to watching war drama, they’re kind of hard to follow, though I do get what’s going on on a surface level. Though the bigger problem for me is that most of the time there’s not a lot of emotional hook to them, so it’s kind of hard for me to invest on the pew pew lasers. The exception to that so far is the Death Star-esque fortress invasion episode, where the procedure is much easier to follow, and at the same time the feels hit me very hard – it’s very understated and I’m not going to spoil it but you can really feel Yang’s seething anger as he is forced to do something he really didn’t want to do.
And with that, I’d say the strongest aspect of the show so far has been its characters. There’s a lot of really good characters in this show, and the chemistry between them is, hoo boi. Yang Wen-Li is so far my favorite character as he’s just naturally compelling and fun to follow, Oberstein is legit intriguing, Julian is currently my son (even if he has Yuuki Kaji’s distractingly distinct voice) and his interactions with his guardian has been hugely enjoyable, and Reinhard and
Car Keys Kircheis are totally gay and not even original author Yoshiki Tanaka can convince me otherwise. The female cast is unfortunately sparse and it makes it easy for them to fall squarely into archetypes (which is what I feel about Annerose and Frederica right now), but there’s a really good scene with Jessica in Episode 5. Actually the three we’ve been introduced with so far has been shown to be intelligent people, which I appreciate.
About the show’s political intrigue, hmm, I’m not really sure about it yet, though I do think there’s a lot of good observations that the show has made about war and politics.
Spoilers! Also, Politics :P
One scene I liked was when Reinhard observed how nobles are often put in high positions of power in the military without really directly experiencing the kind of violence that front-line soldiers generally go through. A similar message was also conveyed during the scene with Jessica and the Chair: the civilians lose people from war but the politicians who lead the warfare in the first place never really had to sacrifice anything. I don’t exactly get yet if Yoshiki Tanaka is coming from a Marxist perspective, but he has this observations of class divide that I find honestly intriguing, and I’m interested in how he’s going to move forward with it.
The other thing is how Tanaka observed how fascism happens in the first place, particularly with the scene with Yang talking about Emperor Rudolf with Jessica. It’s certainly true that the passivity of the masses creates a dictator, but it’s hard to wholly place blame on the masses when there’s this thing called hegemony that makes people extremely prone to trusting a dictator.
Still, this criticism of valuing individual comfort over pursuing widespread relief is a thing that holds true especially towards the middle class, who are in the best position to take an apolitical or neutral stance because instilling social change would demand going outside of their comfort zone but chances are they’re already comfortable with the semblance of privilege they have (I’m not throwing shade or anything; this is something I honestly struggle with as well, but I do think it’s important to be at least aware of it).
So yeah, I’m not yet sure where the show is going thematically yet (other than character deaths which I’m very well aware of based on my experience from the fandom of Tanaka’s other work, Arslan Senki), but there’s a lot of intriguing stuff going for it, and I’m already very invested in a lot of characters, so I’m looking forward where this is going next!
P.S.: I’m not yet sure if I’m going to watch the OVAs after this. In its favor, it has classical music as soundtrack, which I’m all for, and I heard it’s mostly Mahler, whom I need to get to at some point. On another hand, the length is kind of overwhelming… ;w;
P.P.S: Speaking of which, as usual I don’t care as much about Sawano’s soundtrack except for the OP, but I can’t for the life of me unhear Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now from the chorus.