* AccidentalInnuendo: Well, this ''is'' the internet.
--> ''"But Bittenfeld, knowing it's a [[DudeLooksLikeALady trap]], decides to [[ThatCameOutWrong plunge in anyways!]]"''
* AdaptationDistillation: Not many people are aware that the anime is directly based off the novel series.
* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: Invoked very deliberately with most characters. The story is about the conflict between two galactic superpowers, and both sides have characters with sympathetic goals... whose means to reach those goals usually boil down to trying to destroy one another, as those goals often conflict. The series also doesn't shy away from showing that even fundamentally good men sometimes make short-sighted decisions that end up hurting innocents, even if it looked like the right decision at the time, nor are they immune from acting rashly on self-interest or sentimentality.
* {{Anvilicious}}: Surprisingly averted for the most part. While there are a good deal of filibusters and author tracts in-verse (even from the narrator), they come from different perspectives, all not necessarily treated as better than others. Yang himself lampshades this by pointing out contradictions and hypocrisies in his own beliefs. Those said, there are times when SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped.
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: Episode 62, in which Attenborough inexplicably shows up in a pirate costume for exactly one scene. This is never brought up again.
* CompleteMonster: [[TheEvilPrince Prince Otho von Braunschweig]] will take any measure to secure power, launching a civil war when the former Kaiser's grandson is made ruler of the empire instead of his daughter. Continuing the Goldenbaum Dynasty's despicable eugenics policy, Braunschweig allows himself and other nobles free reign to torment common folk, [[PoliticallyIncorrectVillain viewing the latter as inferior]]. An [[GeneralFailure incompetent but vile military commander]], Braunschweig threatens the family of a genius admiral to force him to serve; [[BadBoss executes the sole surviving noble]] from a lost battle for the mere suspicion of treason; and happily throws away the lives of countless soldiers for his war. For killing his oppressive nephew, Braunschweig orders the Westerland Massacre, [[NukeEm nuking the entire planet]] out of rage, not at the death of his nephew but at the commoners' defiance. This repulsive act causes even Braunschweig's own noble followers to commit mass defection and even suicide.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: You would expect that either Reinhard or Yang Wenli would be the most popular characters of the show. Granted, they are popular, but who is the absolute darling of ficwriters and discussants? The enigmatic, electronic-eyed and utterly ruthless [[TheChessmaster Paul von Oberstein]].
** In {{Website/Pixiv}} and similar circles, Muller is unusually popular, launching several rarepairs in the process.
** Attenborough, whose [[CompositeCharacter importance was]] [[AscendedExtra considerably pushed]] in the anime compared to the original books, is beloved because of his quotable lines and comic relief moments, and for being a reasonably competent tactician in his own right.
* EstrogenBrigade: Not all that surprising in hindsight.
* FanPreferredCouple: Getting Reinhard/Kircheis and Reuenthal/Mittermeyer out of the way first, you'd be surprised at how popular Ferner/Oberstein -- usually unrequited -- is with fanartists.
* FoeYayShipping: How some fans interpret the relationship between Reinhard and Yang.
* GeniusBonus: In episode 39, Yang explains his view on the political situation between the Alliance, the Empire, and Fezzan to Julian. Anyone with a background in political science (especially in international relations) will recognize his explanation as a simplified version of the Realist school of though, especially the Balance of Power theory.
* HarsherInHindsight
** There's a moment as early as episode 17 where a character mentions to another that if he's in trouble, "I'll get you to come save me". [[spoiler: And then, around sixty episodes later, Yang is shot and dies, with Julian arriving minutes too late.]] He died within a single year after marrying [[spoiler:Frederica]], and during which they spent less then three months living in peace together. Considering how things turned out in the end, his inner monolog after proposing to her about how he didn't peruse her romantically before this point because he doesn't deserve family happiness becomes tragically accurate. It becomes more heartbreaking considering Creator/KeiTomiyama's death.
** Oberstein's death can be much sadder when you consider Creator/KanetoShiozawa's passing.
* [[HeartwarmingInHindsight Heartwarming]] + HilariousInHindsight: Episode 13 has Kesler having to deal with Reinhard's "scorched earth" tactic on a planet, while dealing with a woman named Vier, whom he would have did ChildhoodFriendRomance with, but left to join the military, and when he sees her again, he hears she was married and has a son, but find out her husband died in combat, and the kicker, Vier is voiced by Creator/SakikoTamagawa, who is currently the wife of Creator/ShuichiIkeda (Kesler's voice actor).
* ItWasHisSled: It's pretty well known just ''how'' far the series takes its AnyoneCanDie policy.
** Likewise, [[spoiler:the Empire defeating the Alliance]] is a rather hard spoiler to avoid, given that it comes up in almost every discussion of the show.
* MagnificentBastard: Paul von Oberstein is the most ruthless of Reinhard von Lohengramm's inner circle. A man infamous for his DissonantSerenity and ruthlessly pragmatic advice, Oberstein devotes himself fully to Reinhard and his new dynasty, using his tactical and political brilliance to help entrench Reinhard as the rightful ruler of the crumbling Empire. Seeking to destroy the Goldenbaum dynasty, Oberstein hears that its mad prince Braunschweig is planning to nuke the rebellious colony Westmoreland, and intentionally delays Reinhard from hearing the news to let the attack happen. This has the effect of the entire empire unifying around Reinhard in revulsion, just as Oberstein planned. Oberstein makes himself a hated figure to keep any loathing directed from Reinhard, manipulating other admirals as he sees fit to keep Reinhard's empire safe and even uses himself as bait to lure out the last of the Terran cultists in the final episode to eliminate the final threat to Reinhard's rule, seemingly aware the empire he has forged has no place for him.
* MemeticMutation:
** [[http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b85/NiteRabbit/1268252176292.jpg Are]] [[http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b85/NiteRabbit/1265307751256.jpg you]] '''[[http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b85/NiteRabbit/1271877793442.jpg frustrated?]]'''
** [[http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu328/Smokie1/1310957216257.png?t=1311435488 This wiki would be better]] [[http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu328/Smokie1/Ifonly2.jpg if only Kircheis were here...]]
** Louis Mashengo. Yang Wenli never remembers who he is and often wonders why he is around.
** Taking Oberstein's ever-stoic face and captioning in things like "rofl XD"
** The screencap of "You may have killed millions of people, but at the very least, you made me happy." is sometimes used as a way to sum up the way people feel about their favorite morally questionable characters.
* MoralEventHorizon:
** Oberstein keeps teetering on the edge, and arguably crosses it with [[spoiler:the Westerland incident]] - made only worse by the fact that his actions proved to have an overall ''positive'' effect for Reinhard and his followers. [[spoiler:In the novels, both he and Reinhard charge straight toward the Horizon by simply and explicitly agreeing to let Westerland be attacked. The OVA adaptation has Oberstein give Reinhard an inaccurate estimate of how long he has to act; Oberstein quickly sends a recon probe to capture the propaganda footage, while Reinhard waffles and only sends in TheCavalry when [[YouAreTooLate it's too late]]. This results in Oberstein making a shallower approach -- since it's possible the faulty estimate was a genuine fault based on bad intel -- but still crossing the Moral Event Horizon.]]
** Of course, one can't mention [[spoiler:the Westerland incident]] without mentioning its architect, Otho von Braunschweig. There's a reason Oberstein's gambit worked -- nothing says "brutal, ruthless tyrant" like ordering [[spoiler:the casual annihilation of an entire planet's population for rebelling against him.]]
** Adrian Rubinsky starts out as a ruthless schemer who only cares about profiting from the war. At the end of the show, however, [[spoiler:he dies of a malignant brain tumor. ''Then'' we find out that his death would trigger bombs ''all over Heinessen'', killing god knows how many people in the process. Any why? Only so he ''might'' take Kaiser Reinhard down with him. For someone who was a MagnificentBastard for most of the show, this act of pointless destruction sure makes him seem like a monster.]]
*** People generally don't tend to think straight when suffering from malignant brain tumors.
* SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped
** [[MyCountryRightOrWrong Nationalism]] and [[TheFundamentalist Religious Extremism]] are nothing but tools for SleazyPolitician to meet their goals at price of others. These messages was given within the show that emphasized through the [[TheFederation Free Planets Alliance]]'s [[spoiler: the manipulation of nationalistic zeals for sake of public support caused them to launch a [[HopelessWar failed invasion]] into Imperial territories along with civil war among the disgruntled military and the government before its defeat by [[TheEmpire Galactic Empire]] due to its moments of weakness]] and the [[PathOfInspiration Terrarist Church]] who wish to restore the prestige of [[InsignificantBluePlanet Earth]] by [[BrainwashedAndCrazy any]] [[ChurchMilitant means]].
** Yes, DemocracyIsFlawed. While it may bring better standards of life and allow citizens to have voices to administration, it also allows ambitious politicians to take advantage of public approval to cause decay into the system. This is further emphasized by various cycles of democratic nations in the show to enter into its phase of authoritarianism and decadence that also led to cases like the Earth's downfall as the interstellar hub by the revolt of [[TheWarOfEarthlyAggression oppressed interstellar colonies]], the birth of [[TheEmpire Galactic Empire]] from Rudolf's exploitation of the Galactic Federation's politics during its stagnant final years stemming from complacent decadence and self-interest, and [[spoiler: downfall of Free Planets Alliance from an ill-fated invasion out of a bad idea to gain public approval]].
* StoicWoobie: Oskar von Reuenthal. He has mommy issues, which are his FreudianExcuse for never being able to form a lasting relationship with his lovers, knocks up a woman who ''[[SlapSlapKiss wanted to kill him]]'', and is wrongfully accused of treason ''twice'', the second time deciding to go along with it because he's too prideful to [[ClearMyName clear his name]] a second time despite knowing that he's outnumbered and will probably die. No wonder why he he's Mittermeyer's drinking buddy, who wouldn't want to buy the guy a drink (besides Oberstein and Lang)?
* ValuesDissonance:
** There are a couple of jokes about Frederica's cooking ability that given that she's both a naval officer and later, [[spoiler: a politician]] would seem a little out of place in a modern, western show.
** While Frederica may hold a relatively low official rank, the ''unofficial'' power she commands is rather substantial. [[spoiler: As both Yang's wife and his adjutant, Frederica is basically his closest and most important advisor, and inherits his full political power following his death. It also seems likely that, with the end of the war and the new peace, that she will continue to hold a prominent role in Heinessen/Imperial politics.]]
** A greater source of dissonance, at least from the point of view of modern liberal democracies, is the willingness to admit that autocracy can be preferable to democracy under certain circumstances. In the end, [[spoiler: the Autocracy dominates the entire inhabited galaxy (with Heinessen left as a Democracy reservation), though there are hints that it will become a Constitutional Monarchy through gradual reforms]].
*** This is especially troublesome since the [[UsefulNotes/ImperialGermany actual history]] of [[UsefulNotes/TheSoundOfMartialMusic the Empire's obvious inspiration]] does [[UsefulNotes/OttoVonBismarck not leave]] [[UsefulNotes/FrancoPrussianWar much room]] [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI to be hopeful]] and [[AMillionIsAStatistic millions upon millions]] [[FascistButInefficient of reasons]] to be doubtful.
*** What makes it troublesome is the way that it is portrayed : although the series is entirely willing to suggest that an enlightened autocracy may be preferable to a corrupt democracy, and that citizens themselves may prefer the rule of a dictator, it poisons an otherwise magnificent deconstruction of both arguments through a consistent bias in favor of the Empire. The portrayal of a corrupt democracy is far, far more convincing than the more one-dimensional portrayal of the Galactic Empire's corrupt autocracy, and Reinhard von Lohengramm's ascension and the defeat of the powerful nobles is treated like a panacea. Even without the worst of the nobles, the institutions that maintained them and the Empire's war machine, not to mention its ceaseless abuse of those not of Northern/Western European descent, are kept out of sight and out of mind throughout. Reinhard would never have been able to change the root of the problem and even if Hilda made the empire a parliamentary democracy, it is quite likely that the voters would decide to elect a militarist dictator through constitutional means. Which happened previously in series history as well as in real-life Germany with [[UsefulNotes/NaziGermany disastrous results]].
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