I'm not a fan of anime in general, especially subtitled anime. However, a few stand out as excellent, or at least a pleasure to watch. One of these is Legend of Galactic Heroes. The most important word for this series is Epic. The story is a classic space opera featuring a noble Empire squaring off against the democratic Free Planets Alliance. The story centers around the heroic admirals and other related personnel for each side, especially the Empire's Admiral Reinhardt and the FPL's Admiral Yang. Reinhardt is a paragon of nobility - far from being a villain, he is a man of honor and courage. Yang, a would-be history professor, is a paragon of democracy. He is loyal to the principle of civilian control of the military almost to a fault, and has no love of the military for its own sake. Both the proud noble and the humble professor are amazingly gifted strategists. They are among the literal thousands of characters, each one having a name and story. The story itself is told in a format similar to a historical documentary, with a continuous narration describing the events and proving background.
What prompted this discussion is my friend Silence over at Fortress Iserlohn has begun a project of identifying all of the flagships from the series. He just started, so there are only a few ships up as of yet. In addition to simply pointing any visitor in that direction, I decided to post a few thoughts on the weapons of LOGH. The predominant weapon is the beam weapon. The laser-like beam from the handheld weapon has been shown to go right through flesh, doing little secondary damage. Any heat effects seem to secondary, as the woulds are not cauterized. The small beams can be stopped with little secondary effect by armor or heavy objects. They also react explosively with zephyr particles, an aerosol mixture, resulting in melee units being rather common for a time the far future. This all leads me to the conclusion that the "blue beams" of LOGH are packets of atomic particles accelerated to a relativistic speed. The packet leave a trail of energetic gas behind them, which creates the beam effect. Then again, this is all conjecture.