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Legend of the Galactic Heroes Licensor Looks Into Report of Chinese Live-Action Series

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Original author's rights management company unsure of Chinese adaptation rights

The Twitter account for the TOHO Jimbocho bookstore briefly reported on a Chinese live-action television series adaptation of Yoshiki Tanaka's epic political science-fiction novel series Legend of the Galactic Heroes, but later removed the post following a comment by Hiroaki Adachi, the head of the Wright Staff company that manages Tanaka's business affairs. TOHO Jimbocho's post had referenced a May 10 article on the ITHome website, which said that the series will be on the iQIYI service.

In Adachi's comment following TOHO Jimbocho's news post, he noted that the adaptation rights to the novels were previously sold to another Chinese company that now no longer exists. (Jiaxuan Global Pictures previously announced in 2017 that it was working on an unspecified "screen adaptation.") Adachi speculated that the rights to the adaptation might have been sold along with other adaptation rights to a separate Chinese company, but pleads for some kind of contact with the involved company so that he can get a better grasp on the situation. Adachi asked fans to remain calm until he can further confirm the state of the adaptation. Adachi commented that he "can't understand that country," in reference to China.

Following Adachi's comment, TOHO Jimbocho took down its post and issued an apology, though the apology still contains an image referencing the original post. Adachi then removed his original tweets commenting on the situation, and apologized for his comment offending Chinese fans.

Tanaka's space opera novel series follows the epic conflict between the Galactic Empire and Free Planets Alliance, as well as the personal stories of Imperial Admiral Reinhard von Lohengramm and the Alliance's Yang Wen-Li. The 10 main novel volumes and four side-story volumes in The Legend of the Galactic Heroes saga have sold 15 million copies and earned Tanaka a Seiun Award. Besides Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Tanaka also wrote the original novel inspirations for The Heroic Legend of Arslan, Ryoko's Case File, Sohryuden - Legend of the Dragon Kings, and Tytania anime projects.

Viz Media's Haikasoru imprint licensed and released the original novel series in English.

The late director Noboru Ishiguro (Macross, Orguss, Megazone 23) and his Artland anime studio spent more than a decade adapting the novels into a theatrical and video anime franchise, with over 100 installments, from 1988 to 2000. Sentai Filmworks has licensed the video anime series for home video.

Production I.G most recently produced a new anime adaptation of the novels. The first season, The Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These Kaikō (The New Thesis: Star-Crossed), premiered in April 2018 as a 12-episode television series. The anime's fourth season, Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These - Intrigue, debuted in limited three-week theatrical runs last year on September 30, October 28, and November 25, before eventually debuting as a television series in October 2022.

Sources: TOHO Jimbocho's Twitter account, Hiroaki Adachi's Twitter account via Hachima Kikō

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