Format: 26 episodes
Dates: 9 Oct 2008 – 26 Mar 2009
Synopsis: For centuries, the empire of Tytania has controlled much of the galaxy, unrivaled and undefeated. Many planets are willing to submit to its rule just to not risk the possibility of a hopeless war. However, things are about to change as Tytania is embarrassingly blown its first defeat in 200 years by the hands of the unlikely hero Fan Hyulick.
Pacing: Good beginning and end; pathetic middle.
Characters: Not smart enough to be compelling.
Exposition: Improperly used.
Animation: So many glaring flaws.
Soundtrack: Weak into and outro, good BGM.
Potential: So much, but oh so squandered.
With the source material for Tytania coming from the same author as the much acclaimed Legend of the Galactic Heroes, people, myself included were in high hopes for what this spiritual successor could accomplish. It would have been unrealistic to expect the same sort of masterpiece that its predecessor was. Though I kept thinking to myself that even a step below absolute genius is still genius. There is a line in LOGH that goes something like, “true genius can never be imitated.” And unfortunately for Tytania, there is nothing more true.
To be blunt, Tytania is one mishandled project. I hate to start with such an easy target, but the animation has way too many obvious issues. The CGI is dodgy all around, and many little quirks become embarrassingly noticeable over time. But that aside, what is truly grating is its inability to successfully be an honest to god epic. What started out as strong and entertaining, lost steam real fast and resorted to little more than faffing about for the entire middle portion. Then there is the narration. In Gineiden, the narrator was an ingenious device that would expound on facts that would otherwise come off as artificial in dialog. By comparison, reciting facts, already presented artificially by the characters, comes off as a little dumbed down.
I kept getting the feeling that this show was supposed to make me perceive the characters as geniuses. Unfortunately, the cast is made mostly up of idiots with absolutely no common sense. To be specific, there is Idris, who is probably supposed to be in the same light as Gineiden’s Oberstein, and fails miserably at it. Zarlich Tytania could have been a ruthless warrior like Bittenfeld, but lacked the fiery passion. Then there is Fan Hyulick. Now I liked Fan Hylick, but as things went on, the impression I got from him was less like the expected Yang Wen Li, and more Yang’s “bad friend” Boris Konev. In Legend of the Galactic Heroes was a cast of generals, warriors, pilots, and even bureaucrats, all who had proven themselves on countless occasions. I wish I could say the same thing for Tytania. Though, if anything, this universal lack of competency does make for a compelling message on social stagnation, which is something, I guess.
To the show’s credit, it is by no means a lost cause. Within each bout of stupidity is some of the genius loved from its predecessor, especially later on. In all of the time wasting, the characters do happen to come off as likable. And, even if it happened a little too late, the show figures out what it is supposed to be in the last seven episodes. Most of all, the soundtrack itself is worthy on its own. I just can’t bring myself to hate the series in any way when I hear Fan Hyulik’s theme play.
I have no idea where things started to go wrong. Perhaps it was the incomplete source material that Tanaka Yoshiki hasn’t touched since 1991. It may as well been a tired production team. Perhaps the episode count spells out that this project wasn’t given half the tools it needed to succeed. Though for all of its problems, Tytania is by no means, a failure. It wasn’t the Romance of the Three Kingdoms inspired masterpiece I was expecting, but it was still entertaining none the less. Just don’t go around expecting LOGH from it. They may both be about Galactic Heroes, but this one is far from legendary.
The Rating: 5
Reviewed by: Kavik Ryx