A Great Commander and Loyal Friend
- Episodes: 16+
- Genre: Military, Space, Sci-Fi, Drama, Action
- Airing Date: April 3, 2018 - Ongoing
- Studio: Production I.G
Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Die Neue These (Legend of the Galactic Heroes: The New Thesis)
Like it’s original 1987 counterpart, Die Neue These retells the novel series of Yoshiyuki Tanaka but with modern animation and updates to technology that have happened between the broadcast of the first series, and this one. The story tells the centuries war between the Galactic Empire and the Free Planets Alliance. Leading the forces of the Free Planets Alliance is Yang Wen-Li, an unassuming admiral who can instantly what looks like the brink of defeat, to a crushing victory like when Daigo Umehara beat Justin Wong at Street Fighter III in Evo 2004. For the Galactic Empire, their top military commander is Reinhard Von Lohengramm, who wishes to take over the universe, and genuinely wants to make it a better place. Assisting Reinhard is his best friend, Siegfried Kircheis, and that is who today’s HCW is going to cover.
Siegfried Kircheis Highlights
1. He’s An Excellent Leader
While he may be second-in-command to Reinhard, it doesn’t mean that he’s capable of being an excellent commander on his own skills and merits. Granted he’s not as ambitious as Reinhard but very early on, he shows that he could be equal or maybe even greater than Reinhard as a tactician. This is proven in episode 8 of when he suppresses The Castrop Rebellion. So, what was it about the Castrop Rebellion that made it look impossible? Maximillian Castrop, the son of the former treasurer, kept some money he stole from the Empire, and used an advanced weapons system to protect the planet he was on (we’re talking something almost akin to the Death Star). Kircheis found a way to make the system work against itself instead of fighting head on, and instantly proved himself to be a great leader based on his own merit.
2. He Keeps Reinhard Humble (and is a Supporting Friend)
Reinhard, his best friend since childhood, is rightfully an ambitious man with pure plans for galactic domination. Not just for the sake of money or power but to make it a better place! Reinhard was born from low nobility while Kircheis was born as a commoner. Growing up as neighbors, they played a lot and were both heartbroken when the previous Kaiser bought Reinhard’s sister from their father. Disgusted with how the upper class abuses their power, Reinhard wishes to take over and wants Kircheis to help him. While Kircheis supports his best friends efforts, his presence allows Reinhard to stay humble and remind himself why he wishes to take over since his ego and ambitions can get the best of him at times.
3. He’s a Nice Guy
OK, so he’s an admiral that orders people to kill one another, but that doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy. He’s just a soldier following orders and once you get to know him, he’s really one of the nicest people you could ever meet. After Reinhard wanted to punish another admiral for disobeying orders, Kircheis pleaded with Reinhard to be lenient with that admiral, and got him to calm down. When he visited the Alliance controlled Iserlohn Fortress to exchange POWs, he went out of his way to greet Julian, Wen-Li’s ward, to stay healthy and acknowledged him as an equal.
4. He Cares About Annerose
Annerose, the sister of Reinhard, is pretty much the object of Kircheis’ affection from the moment he set his eyes on her. Even after 15 years, his feelings for her never wavered as he was willing to put his life on the line for her. After the Kaiser died, everybody knew there was going to be civil war as Reinhard was gaining power through the chaos, and his enemies thought if they couldn’t get to him, they might as well get to his sister. Anticipating this would happen, Kircheis was already keeping watch at her compound and quashed any attempts on her life.
5. Yuuichiro Umehara
Inheriting the role from Masashi Hironaka, the original voice actor, is Yuuichirou Umehara, who you likely know as the voices of Goblin Slayer in Goblin Slayer, Takuma from Tiger Mask W, and Hazama Kuroo in Young Black Jack just to name a few. As Kircheis, Umehara does an excellent job of capturing the character’s composure, fairness, his boyish charms, and his relatable charisma of being someone who can connect to regular people despite his position. Thanks to his chemistry with Mamoru Miyano, the voice actor for the ambitious Reinhard, you get an effective contrasting of these two characters as both equals who can’t leave without the other, and as commanding officer and subordinate.
Considering that this series is a remake of the original, we can anticipate what happened to Kircheis in the original novels and series is bound to happen in Die Neue These as well. So before that happens, we thought it would be nice to re-explore this character for long dedicated and new audiences. Thanks to his presence and the impact he makes, you get a better idea of Reinhard and you get a different perspective as to how one rule monarchies can be applied. Pop culture tends to negatively portray them due to their histories. Kircheis’ presence gives a kind of motivation to Reinhard that maybe such systems can work under the right people, and if you’ve seen the original series (or when Die Neue These gets to that particular iconic scene), you get a better understanding of what we’re trying to say and why he’s a worthy HCW.