Review: 銀河英雄伝説 1 黎明篇 [Ginga eiyū densetsu 1]

銀河英雄伝説 1 黎明篇 [Ginga eiyū densetsu 1]
銀河英雄伝説 1 黎明篇 [Ginga eiyū densetsu 1] by Yoshiki Tanaka
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So for that most part this book plays out like a shounen story. Each leader is super smart and powerful and knows how to out maneuver the regulars only with space ships and armadas. Only a shounen story told more intelligently and without 99% of the misogyny.

Don’t get me wrong. Tanaka’s views are rutted in the past, with the men doing everything and being the heirs of everything. However looking at some of his other works. it looks like maybe his views evolved over time since this was written in the 80s. Even then the women in this book usually have agency, like Greenhill, Windsor and an upcoming character. They are smart, some ambitions and feel as fleshed out (or un-fleshed out) as the male characters are. He does seem to describe the women by their looks, but not grossly so like modern light novels.

As for the shounen part. Our two main characters “power up” every so often, done by ranks and gaining ships and people. It’s done in a believable way and not like some inane “The power level of my ship is over 9000!”; through actual use of tactics and maneuvering. Now that part that feels shounen-y is the ass pulls that these leaders do. Like Kircheis
having Siffl particles to get through the minefield. Yang being the only smart one capable of holding his own, Yang being able to beat the BLack Lancers because of W/Bittenfeld’s sheer brain dump of tactics. Mind you that W/Bittenfeld was built up to be some kind of powerhouse too. So yes there’s a bit of that shounen flavor going on with the ass pull wins. The text itself however focuses on the people mostly than the fighting and if they are fighting, it’s mostly on how the people fight and not on tech specs of the guns and how they are exactly tearing apart the ships every single blast. Some is mentioned, but only for effect.

Really I would read this before starting the anime, or read along to the anime as there is a lot more explained in the book that you might not get watching the anime.

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