Legend of Galactic Heroes (novels)

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Legend of Galactic Heroes (Japanese: 銀河英雄伝説, Ginga Eiyū Densetsu), sometimes referred to as 'Heldensagen von Kosmosinsel' (lit. heroic tales of the galactic island), is a series of ten science-fiction novels written by Tanaka Yoshiki, as well as a number of other, shorter stories set in the same universe, published in Japan by Tokyo Sogensha from 1982 to 1989.

The first book won the prestigious Seiun Award for "Best Novel of the Year" in 1988.

On 2 July 2015, Viz Media had announced that it had licensed the novels for release in North America under its Haikasoru imprint. The company had initially only licensed the first three novels, but later stated that it would license more if sales were good.

The first novel, Dawn, was released on 8 March 2016. The company eventually licensed and released all the novels, and the final volume, Sunset, was released on 19 November 2019. The novels were translated by Daniel Huddleston, Tyran Grillo and Matt Treyvaud.

The first three novels were also released as audiobooks by Simon & Schuster Audio, all three were narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds.



In the far future, two young military leaders rise above their peers. The invincible genius Reinhard von Lohengramm is matched only by the unbeatable magician Yang Wen-li; though the two share a profound respect for each other, they meet on the battlefield not as comrades but as bitter adversaries. Commanding thousands of warships and millions of soldiers, they lead giant space fleets into battle on behalf of the two interstellar states that have wrested for control of the Milky Way for over a century and a half.

The Galactic Empire, an absolute monarchy ruled by Kaiser Friedrich von Goldenbaum IV and an entrenched nobility, seeks to suppress the rebels daring to oppose the inviolable crown. The Free Planets Alliance, a representative democracy led by a corrupt High Council, degenerates as its elected leaders⁠ use war and conflict as a way to win popular support. Reinhard is a minor noble who became a High Admiral through his strategic brilliance and his sister's position as the favoured concubine of the Kaiser, while Yang is an avid historian and reluctant commodore hailed as a hero despite only using his tactical prowess to navigate around his leaders' incompetence. On opposite sides of the galaxy, the two men have wildly different visions for the future: Reinhard dreams of uniting mankind under his iron fist, while Yang wants only to carve a path to lasting peace. As the war rages on, Reinhard and Yang each strive for their ideals and secure their place among the stars as the leaders of a new era of galactic heroes.

Legend of Galactic Heroes

Vol. Title Japanese release English release
1 Legend of Galactic Heroes Volume 1: Dawn
(Japanese: 銀河英雄伝説 1 黎明篇)
30 November 1982
ISBN 4-19-152624-3
8 March 2016
ISBN 978-1-4215-8494-2
Prologue: A Brief History of the Galaxy (銀河系史概略)
  1. In the Eternal Night (永遠の夜の中で)
  2. The Battle of Astarte (アスターテ会戦)
  3. Empire's Afterglow (帝国の残照)
  4. Birth of the 13th Fleet (第十三艦隊誕生)
  5. Iserlohn Captured! (イゼルローン攻略)
  6. Each and Every Star (それぞれの星)
  7. Interlude (幕間狂言)
  8. The Verge of Death (死線)
  9. Amritsar (アムリッツァ)
  10. A New Prologue (新たなる序章)

The “golden brat” Reinhard von Lohengramm, a military prodigy and admiral of the Galactic Empire, has ambitions beyond protecting the borders or even defeating the empire’s enemies. He seeks to overthrow the old order and become a truly absolute—yet benevolent—dictator. His rival, the humble Yang Wen-li of the Free Planets Alliance, wishes to preserve democracy even if he must sacrifice his political ideals to defeat the empire. Their political and military battles play out over a galactic chessboard in an epic saga fifteen centuries in the making!

Release in English: Viz Media, translator Daniel Huddleston
2 Legend of Galactic Heroes Volume 2: Ambition
(Japanese: 銀河英雄伝説 2 野望篇)
30 September 1983
ISBN 4-19-152790-8
19 July 2016
ISBN 978-1-4215-8495-9
  1. Before the Storm (嵐の前)
  2. Ignition Point (発火点)
  3. The Yang Fleet Mobilizes (ヤン艦隊出動)
  4. Bloodshed in Space (流血の宇宙)
  5. The Battle of the Doria Stellar Zone (ドーリア星域の会戦)
  6. Valor and Fidelity (勇気と忠誠)
  7. A Victory of Whom? (誰がための勝利)
  8. The Golden Bough Falls (ゴールデンバウムは倒れた)
  9. Farewell, Distant Days (さらば、遠き日)

After a coup d'état erupts in the Free Planets Alliance, military strategist Yang Wen-li is ordered to use his tactical wizardry to put down the rebellion, but the ringleader holding the capital is someone he once trusted deeply. Meanwhile, in the Galactic Empire, Reinhard will soon face a new trial, as in the wake of the emperor's death he stands amidst an intensifying power struggle among the aristocracy. The unbeatable magician and the unstoppable genius: the battles these heroes wage will send shock waves across the galaxy!

Release in English: Viz Media, translator Daniel Huddleston
3 Legend of Galactic Heroes Volume 3: Endurance
(Japanese: 銀河英雄伝説 3 雌伏篇)
30 April 1984
ISBN 4-19-152894-7
15 November 2016
ISBN 978-1-4215-8496-6
  1. First Flight (初陣)
  2. The Fortress Takes Flight (はばたく禿鷹)
  3. One Slender Thread (細い一本の糸)
  4. Things Lost (失われたもの)
  5. Court of Inquiry (査問会)
  6. A Battle Without Weapons (武器なき戦い)
  7. Fortress versus Fortress (要塞対要塞)
  8. Return (帰還)
  9. Resolve and Ambition (決意と野心と)

A grand scheme for retaking Iserlohn is delivered to Reinhard, who with renewed determination seeks to become ruler of the galaxy and to fulfil the oath he made with a dear, departed friend. But what are the aims of Fezzan, the third force at work behind the scenes? Meanwhile, no sooner is Yang breathing a sigh of relief when Julian returns from his first combat mission than he is summoned to an inquest and departs for the capital of the alliance. As if waiting for this opportunity to strike, however, the imperial military's secret weapon appears right at the gates of Iserlohn. The battle begins! Who will endure?

Release in English: Viz Media, translator Daniel Huddleston
4 Legend of Galactic Heroes Volume 4: Stratagem
(Japanese: 銀河英雄伝説 4 策謀篇)
31 October 1984
ISBN 4-19-152978-1
20 June 2017
ISBN 978-1-4215-8497-3
  1. Thunderclap (雷鳴)
  2. The Maze (迷路)
  3. An Arrow Released (矢は放たれた)
  4. The Legitimate Government of the Galactic Empire (銀河帝国正統政府)
  5. A Start (ひとつの出発)
  6. Operation: Ragnarok (作戦名「神々の黄昏」)
  7. A Military Attaché: Ensign Mintz (駐在武官ミンツ少尉)
  8. Invitation to a Requiem (鎮魂曲への招待)
  9. Fezzan Occupied (フェザーン占領)

Remnants of the high nobility, manipulated by the “third power” of Fezzan, abduct the seven-year-old emperor and, with the cooperation of the Free Planets Alliance, declare the establishment of a traditional imperial government. Reinhard, however, has turned the tables by making a secret pact with Fezzan’s high officials and plans a grand invasion of the alliance by way of the Fezzan Corridor. So begins an epic battle between Yang—who, despite surmising Reinhard’s true intentions, must defend Iserlohn—and the Imperial Navy’s peerless fighter, von Reuentahl.

Release in English: Viz Media, translator Tyran Grillo
5 Legend of Galactic Heroes Volume 5: Mobilization
(Japanese: 銀河英雄伝説 5 風雲篇)
30 April 1985
ISBN 4-19-153068-2
21 November 2017
ISBN 978-1-4215-8498-0
  1. The Cold Spell Cometh (寒波到る)
  2. Admiral Yang's Fleet of Arks (ヤン提督の箱舟隊)
  3. Seeking A Free Universe (自由の宇宙を求めて)
  4. The Hydra (双頭の蛇)
  5. The Darkness at Dawn (暁闇)
  6. Battle after Battle (連戦)
  7. Battle of Vermilion (バーミリオン)
  8. Desperate Fight (死闘)
  9. A Sudden Change (急転)
  10. Long Live the Emperor! (「皇帝万歳!」)

Imperial forces have captured the Fezzan Dominion and draw ever closer to the Free Planets Alliance capital of Heinessen. Yang hurriedly abandons Iserlohn Fortress and heads for the capital to protect countless civilians. Taking out Reinhard is the alliance’s only path to victory. Despite the empire’s superior numbers, Yang continues to outwit its most resourceful generals via tactical wizardry. Reinhard, on the other hand, seeing through Yang’s devices, opts for all-out war. And so, the “invincible” and “undefeated” once again clash swords. Who will emerge victorious?

Release in English: Viz Media, translator Tyran Grillo
6 Legend of Galactic Heroes Volume 6: Flight
(Japanese: 銀河英雄伝説 6 飛翔篇)
31 October 1985
ISBN 4-19-153151-4
17 April 2018
ISBN 978-1-4215-8499-7
  1. Kümmel Affair (キュンメル事件)
  2. Portrait of a Certain Pensioner (ある年金生活者の肖像)
  3. Visitors (訪問者)
  4. Past, Present, Future (過去、現在、未来)
  5. Confusion, Confusion, Confusion (混乱、錯乱、惑乱)
  6. Holy Land (聖地)
  7. Combat Play (コンバット・プレイ)
  8. The End of Vacation (休暇は終りぬ)

After donning the emperor’s crown, Reinhard becomes the target of an assassination plot. Knowing that the Church of Terra is behind it, he deploys his troops to the church’s holy land: Earth. Meanwhile, Yang’s leisurely retirement is tempered by the surveillance networks watching his every move from both sides. And when he is one day visited by a group of men dressed in black, the galaxy, too, relinquishes peace to become embroiled in upheaval once again. Welcome to the turning point in the war for the fate of the galaxy!

Release in English: Viz Media, translator Tyran Grillo
7 Legend of Galactic Heroes Volume 7: Tempest
(Japanese: 銀河英雄伝説 7 怒濤篇)
31 May 1986
ISBN 4-19-153256-1
21 August 2018
ISBN 978-1-4215-8529-1
  1. Under the Goldenlöwe (黄金獅子旗の下に)
  2. Against All Flags (すべての旗に背いて)
  3. "Ragnarok" Once More (「神々の黄昏」ふたたび)
  4. Liberation, Revolution, Plotting and Etc. (解放・革命・謀略その他)
  5. Prodigal Son's Homecoming (蕩児たちの帰宅)
  6. Battle of Starzone Marr-Adetta (マル・アデッタ星域の会戦)
  7. Imperial Edict of the Winter Rose Garden (冬バラ園の勅令)
  8. The Long Road Ahead (前途遼遠)
  9. Before the Sacrifice (祭りの前)

Reinhard, under his Golden Lion banner, is setting out to bend history and the universe to his will. Meanwhile, with no flag of their own to raise, Yang and his compatriots have escaped the murderous hands of the Free Planets Alliance's government and dubbed themselves the “Irregulars.” Yang receives word that an Imperial fleet is closing in on the capital of Heinessen, and in a daring move, recaptures Iserlohn Fortress. In the meantime, Reinhard’s invasion of the Free Planets Alliance proceeds steadily apace. Standing in the path of the Imperial fleet is a fleet of FPA Navy vessels commanded by the elderly Admiral Bewcock. An old lion roars out a life-or-death challenge, and a young lion answers it—the final battle of the Free Planets Alliance now begins!

Release in English: Viz Media, translator Daniel Huddleston
8 Legend of Galactic Heroes Volume 8: Desolation
(Japanese: 銀河英雄伝説 8 乱離篇)
31 January 1987
ISBN 4-19-153384-3
18 December 2018
ISBN 978-1-4215-8501-7
  1. Roaring Winds into the Corridor (風は回廊へ)
  2. April Breeze (春の嵐)
  3. The Invincible and the Undefeated (常勝と不敗と)
  4. Kaleidoscope (万華鏡)
  5. The Magician Returns Not (魔術師、還らず)
  6. After the Sacrifice (祭りの後)
  7. Triumphant Return with Disappointment (失意の凱旋)
  8. Edict: Capital Move (遷都令)
  9. The New Government of August (八月の新政府)

After utterly defeating the Free Planets Alliance, Kaiser Reinhard has brought 99 percent of inhabited space under his control. Still, dissatisfaction and unease coil within his breast, for the galaxy's last remaining sliver of free territory is defended by none other than Yang Wen-li. Seeking decisive battle, the Imperial Navy moves to attack Iserlohn Fortress, but due to Yang's unexpected plan, the battle has already begun before Reinhard arrives. The Yang Fleet must overcome an enormous difference in force strength—while at the same time, a trap laid by the Church of Terra is closing in around Yang…

Release in English: Viz Media, translator Matt Treyvaud
9 Legend of Galactic Heroes Volume 9: Upheaval
(Japanese: 銀河英雄伝説 9 回天篇)
31 May 1987
ISBN 4-19-153445-9
16 July 2019
ISBN 978-1-4215-8502-4
  1. In the Distant Border (辺境にて)
  2. Roses at Summer's End (夏の終わりのバラ)
  3. Rumbling (鳴動)
  4. Burgeoning (発芽)
  5. The Urvashi Affair (ウルヴァシー事件)
  6. Rebellion Is Hero's Right (叛逆は英雄の特権)
  7. Live with the Sword... (剣に生き……)
  8. Die with the Sword (剣に斃れ)
  9. Endless Requiem (終わりなき鎮魂曲)

The irregulars of the Iserlohn Republic, still loyal to the ideals of their former leader Yang Wen-li, rally around Yang’s successor Julian as he strives to live up to his inherited responsibilities. Meanwhile, in the empire, Kaiser Reinhard survives an attempt on his life only to be confronted with the devastating sins of his past when he learns the true identity of his would-be assassin. Despite rumours of treason on the part of Neue Land governor-general Oskar von Reuentahl, the kaiser pays a personal visit to that territory, where an even greater shock lies in store.

Release in English: Viz Media, translator Matt Treyvaud
10 Legend of Galactic Heroes Volume 10: Sunset
(Japanese: 銀河英雄伝説 10 落日篇)
15 November 1987
ISBN 4-19-153530-7
19 November 2019
ISBN 978-1-4215-8504-8
  1. Hoffe Kaiserin! (皇妃誕生)
  2. Invitation to Rebellion (動乱への誘い)
  3. Cosmic Mosaic (コズミック・モザイク)
  4. Towards Peace, Through Bloodshed (平和へ、流血経由)
  5. Planet of Confusion (昏迷の惑星)
  6. The Burning of Holly House (柊館炎上)
  7. The Crimson Star Road (深紅の星路)
  8. Brünhild's Blood-thirst (美姫は血を欲す)
  9. The Goldenlöwe Flag Loses Its Lustre (黄金獅子旗に光なし)
  10. Dream: To See It to the End (夢、見果てたり)

Having taken his devoted confidant Hildegard von Lohengramm as his empress, Kaiser Reinhard awaits the birth of his heir. Much remains to trouble him, from the ongoing campaign of terror by Church of Terra diehards to the machinations of an erstwhile landesherr, and there are ominous signs that his own condition may be graver than anyone suspects. Nevertheless, it seems that peace has finally come to the New Galactic Empire. Meanwhile, in the Iserlohn Republic, Julian Mintz, successor to Yang the Magician, resolves to begin the first and final battle fought on the republic’s terms—the world-shaking conclusion to the Legend of the Galactic Heroes.

Release in English: Viz Media, translator Matt Treyvaud

Legend of Galactic Heroes Gaiden

Vol. Title Japanese release English release
1 Legend of Galactic Heroes Gaiden Volume 1: The Star Crusher
(Japanese: 銀河英雄伝説 外伝1 星を砕く者)
30 April 1986
ISBN 4-19-153236-7
  1. The Third Battle Of Tiamat (第三次ティアマト会戦)
  2. Cobweb (蜘蛛の巣)
  3. The Klopstock Incident (クロプシュトック事件)
  4. Reforming Military Regulations (軍規を正す)
  5. Interlude (間奏曲)
  6. The Actress Exits (女優退場)
  7. Enemy, Ally, Enemy, Enemy, Enemy... (敵、味方、敵、敵、敵……)
  8. Planet Legnica (惑星レグニツァ)
  9. My Conquest Is the Sea of Stars (わが征くは星の大海)


2 Legend of Galactic Heroes Gaiden Volume 2: Julian's Iserlohn Diary
(Japanese: 銀河英雄伝説 外伝2 ユリアンのイゼルローン日記)
31 March 1987
ISBN 4-19-153418-1
  1. Events in the Even Number Year (偶数年のできごと)
  2. The First Salary (はじめての給料)
  3. All Sets (全員集合)
  4. Proposal from the Empire (帝国の提案)
  5. Old Resident vs. New Resident (旧住民 vs 新住民)
  6. Prisoner-of-war Exchange Ceremony (捕虜交換式)
  7. The Dalton Incident (ドールトン事件)
  8. Secret Session on the Bench (ベンチの秘密会議)
  9. Night Before Launch (出撃前夜)


3 Legend of Galactic Heroes Gaiden Volume 3: One Hundred Billion Stars, One Hundred Billion Lights
(Japanese: 銀河英雄伝説 外伝3 千億の星、千億の光)
31 March 1988
ISBN 4-19-153634-6
  1. The Battle of Van-Fleet Starzone (ヴァンフリート星域の会戦)
  2. Drei Rot (三つの赤)
  3. Bloodshed in April (染血の四月)
  4. Chronicle of the Aftermath of the Chaotic War (混戦始末記)
  5. The Hard Wind of Early Summer (初夏、風強し)
  6. Candidate for Succeeding a Count's Family (伯爵家後継候補)
  7. Truth Is the Daughter of Time (真実は時の娘)
  8. A Hundred Billion Stars, One Ambition (千億の星、ひとつの野心)


4 Legend of Galactic Heroes Gaiden Volume 4: Spiral Labyrinth
(Japanese: 銀河英雄伝説 外伝4 螺旋迷宮)
31 July 1989
ISBN 4-19-153995-7
  1. The Hero's New Assignment (英雄のあたらしい仕事)
  2. A Short Trip to the Past (過去へのささやかな旅)
  3. Chronicle of the Second Battle of Tiamat (第二次ティアマト会戦記)
  4. Between the Mourning Dress and Military Uniform (喪服と軍服の間)
  5. The Prison Planet (収容所惑星)
  6. Prisoners and Hostages (捕虜と人質)
  7. A Rebellion of Microscopic Size (顕微鏡サイズの反乱)
  8. A Thread from the Past (過去からの糸)
  9. The Journey in Search of the Exit (出口をさがす旅)


5* Legend of Galactic Heroes Gaiden Volume 5: Golden Wings
(Japanese: 銀河英雄伝説 外伝5 黄金の翼)
25 June 2009
ISBN 978-4-488-72515-0
  1. The Chronicle of the Battle of Dagon (ダゴン星域会戦記)
  2. The Silver-White Valley (白銀の谷)
  3. Golden Wings (黄金の翼)
  4. Dreams of the Morning, Songs of the Night (朝の夢、夜の歌)
  5. Dishonour (汚名)
  6. Long Interview with Tanaka Yoshiki (田中芳樹ロングインタビュー)

In some print orders, it is not considered a part of the Gaiden series.

A collection of short stories and an interview with the author.

Individual stories were published as standalones before 1986 and later compiled in 2009 into this one volume.


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