In 1998, after the end of the main OVA, the Lo GH
manga sidestories were adapted and released as their own OVA. The first 3 stories focus more on mystery and ground combat, and it's actually quite refreshing to have a break from the space battles. Although an episode or two from the mystery arcs feel a bit unnecessary, it retains the high quality of the original. The only strike against this series is that it shares the late 80s/early 90s-era animation of its predecessor which, while of good quality, may be jarring for some.
Overall, this OVA does a much better job of exploring Reinhard and Kirchieis's character arcs than Golden Wings
did. Not only do we get to see Reinhard's tactical skill on display—in ground combat no less (!)—as well as the conflicts he faces with his superiors, but we also get to see a different side of Reinhard; sometimes he shows a softer side that contrasts a lot with the brooding, contemplative personality he had in the main series. Kircheis also gets more screentime in this OVA, and it's good that we get to learn more about him given the comparitively limited exploration of his character in previous stories.
The space battle sidestory stays faithful to the aesthetics of the main series, and does a pretty good job of showing the fruits of Reinhard's meteoric rise. Most of the main Alliance characters get scenes too, and even though Reinhard steals the show it's good to see them in action again.
Sound and voice direction is just as good as in the main series. The Public Domain Soundtrack
is again used skillfully, and fits the situations it's played in just as well as before. There is one change in the voices, though: Hozumi Gouda
was cast as then-CAPT Wen-Li Yang, following Takashi Tomiyama's unfortunate death from pancreatic cancer. Even though a lot of the time he sounds like he's channeling the stoic Chirico Cuvie
, he's mostly competent at capturing the essence of our favorite heroic slacker and adds a unique take on Yang's character.
Overall, the story is accessible and doesn't spoil people who haven't seen the main series. The touches that made the main series so wonderful are on display here as well, though, and the series doesn't try to run away from them. If you're in either camp, there's no reason not to give this series a try.