Something Tells Me I’m Into Something Good
Their were many Prequel OVA’s for Legend of The Galactic Heroes released after the groundbreaking Original OVA’s that were released over the course of 10 years. This episode tells the story of how Yang Wen-Li became the hero of El-Facile.
Summary: The episode begins with a regular battle and both sides stage a retreat in the end. We see that Yang Wen-Li is on one of the FPA ships and he seems bemused at how he ended up in this situation. He says its all began 6 years ago. The scene then flashes back to a young Yang talking with his father about how he wants to study history at the Heinessen Academy. His father says he should worry more about learning things that will put money in his pocket. His father explains that money brings influence and allows one to get ahead in society. Yang doesn’t quite buy it and his father says not to worry, after all there are many people who have made money through history teachings.
Suddenly the nuclear reactor on the ship they were on begins to malfuntion and his father heads off to try and solve the problem. However, as a result Yang’s father contracts heavy radiation burns. These burns ultimately prove fatal and the scene flashes forward to a bank on Heinessen where Yang Wen-Li is receiving his inheritance. Unfortunately most of the heirlooms and artifacts Yang inherits turn out to be forgeries and he cannot liquidate any of them as a result. The evaluation however does cost him money and he is left all but penniless. Another flash forward shows Yang trying to apply for some sort of history course that does not require a cash advance for registration. The only option is the Alliance Commando School History Department, which means military service.
Welcome To Your Future
Yang enters the academy as he is left with no other choice. However, he is not happy with being forced into a position to do harm. At the academy Yang begins to make a name for himself in combat simulation strategy games against other students.
Not Super Robot Wars
When he is scheduled to play against the top student in his freshman class, White Boen, he uses unfamiliar tactics and never before seen strategic ingenuity that allows him to gain the upper hand. From hear on we flash forward again to year 3 where Yang is being sent to the actual War Strategy Unit effective at the end of his Junior Year. The instructor says that because the History Department has been terminated he feels this is the best option for Yang’s emerging tactical abilities and that he feels Yang will do well in the Strategy Department. Yang feels this is unfair as this was not the reason for which he came to the academy in the first place. The Director says firmly that Yang is a soldier and that he has to obey orders. He receives the rank of corporal and the face-to-face talk adjourns, but not before the instructor admiringly says that people like Yang are rare these days and the War Strategy Unit will mutually benefit from his enrollment.
You Will Be A Hero To The People Son
The flashback ends as Yang asks an image of his father if he is proud of him or not. Just then an operator announces that the Empire Navy has not in fact retreated, but has followed the Alliance in their retreat and opened fire. The Alliance admiral is advised to retreat from the El Facile Star System altogether by his Captain and Lieutenants, but he freezes in making his decision. Ultimately the Alliance calls it a loss and half the ships retreat from the system, while the other half stage a tactical retreat to the star itself, where they are likely to be sunk, but will save face in this latest war effort for the Alliances military. Ultimately those ships surrender.
Civil Unrest At It’s Tamest
The people on El Facile are not happy now that the system is destined to fail under the control of the Empire and are protesting in the streets. Others have headed for the Airport in order to leave the system as quickly as possible so as not to fall under the laws of the Reich Empire. However, this is not possible and others have come to protest at the Alliances last headquarters in the system (A bit Vietnamish here almost). At the base is Yang Wen-Li who the other advisors doubt is capable in helping in the retreat do to his age and inexperience. Nonetheless he is shown giving advice and information to the populace, but this ultimately tires him out as he has also taken the brunt of the angry mobs who blame advisors like him for the inevitable fall of El Facile, and he heads for the roof of the Alliance Headquarters.
In The Future These Two Will Do Great Things
Here he is approached by Frederica Greenhill, who 6 years later will become his most trusted Adjutant. She offers him sandwiches and coffee in an attempt to comfort him and laughs at his odd mannerisms and his joke about the fact that he has so much trouble swallowing the sandwiches.
The next day as Yang is attempting to pacify the populace, a wave of Alliance Army escape shuttles suddenly take of from the Airport. The people begin to panic and feel they are being abandoned, but Yang tells them not to worry and the Alliance has not forgotten about them. Yang tells them that the public ships have not left yet because they are being outfitted with stealth systems, while the army ones already have these and have left early (Somehow this seems suspect).
Bwok Bgok! Chicken!
Meanwhile, General Lynch’s fleet is shown surrendering to the Empire’s fleet and things continue to go poorly for the Alliance in space as they attempt to hold back the Empire so that the personnel can escape the planet. As the public vessels finally make their retreat the Empire is shown with a recon unit spotting them, however they determine the blips to be a meteor shower and do not pursue the matter any further.
Yang is lucky, but the people praise him as the Hero of El-Facile. The episode ends with the narrator saying that on this day a young hero was born, but the future points to this man becoming a great hero.
Thoughts: Here it is, finally, it took them till 1999, but we finally see how Yang Wen-Li earned the title “Hero of El-Facile” in coordinating the Alliance retreat nobody thought was possible, from the El Facile System. Yang never wanted to be a soldier as has been clearly established in the LOGH canon and we see that as a result of poverty he had to enroll in the History Department in the Military Academy. However, his own prodigal tactical genius was his own worst enemy and caused him to be promoted and shipped to the strategy unit. This series takes place before the LOGH TV Series and with Yang being hailed a hero and indispensable, his dream of studying history and leaving the army some day seem all to distant. It’s a sad fate overall for a man who just wants to learn, but is forced to put his genius to use in war, which he despises. It’s also interesting to see that even as a kid, before the stresses of war entered he life, he still had that head scratching nervous tick.
Rating: Eight Out of Ten