Crest of the Stars (anime)

Anyone else seen this great anime sci-fi epic? I am on episode 7 and already I think it’s one of the best series I have seen.

The basic background of the story is a war between the rulers of space, the Abhs,and a human resistance group. The Abhs are a genetically modified human race who rule space while vassalizing various planets in the galaxy. In the first episode they are shown succesfully conquering a human planet. The ruler of the planet strikes a deal with the Abhs and his son Jinto becomes part of the Abh nobility.

The focus of the story so far is the relationship between Jinto and Lafiel an Abh princess. Lafiel has the responsibility of escorting Jinto to safety when their ship gets caught in the war.

The great thing about the serial is that it doesn’t telegraph who the good guys and the bad guys are. The first episode is from the point of view the humans struggling to stay free. But later episodes show the Abh point of view.

The relationship between Lafiel and Jinto is very nicely done as well and goes well beyond the usual anime teenage cliches. A fair amoung of time is spent with the two just talking with each other and describing their background. I guess some people might not like the leisurely pace of the first few episodes but I found it refreshing.

The other thing the serial does well is to flesh out the Abh way of life. Every episode has a few tidbits about Abh ideology and technology and there is even a separate Abh language which we hear every now and then. Like the best sci-fi, it’s not just about cool space-ships and weapons but a different kind of society and culture.

Anyway a great series so far. Anyone else seen it?

Thought I would bump my old thread and see if anyone else has seen the series.

I have also seen the first 9 episodes of the sequel which is called Banner of the Stars. It’s also very good. Lafiel and Jinto now serve in the Abh military and are fighting in the space war between the Abh and the United Mankind. The sequel has some great new characters and interesting interactions between them. For instance Lafiel’s boss is the sister of a character she kills in the earlier series. Does she resent Lafiel because of this? Maybe, maybe not; she appears to be friendly but there is a subtle tension between them. Also interesting are the details of Abh military tactics and strategy in the war and the battles themselves.

Incidentally watching this on DVD gave me the opportunity to check out the English dub ; it’s laughably bad and makes the series (which I obviously like) almost unwatchable. It made me realise how much the series is driven by high-quality voice-work which fleshes out the characters. So if you are watching this in English on cable try to rent the DVD’s and see it subtitled.

English dubbing is always a problem in anime. I’ve watched a couple of episodes on cable and I thought they were OK, but not as good as my all-time favorite Cowboy Bebop. If I can find it, I"ll give the DVD a chance.

Crest of the Stars is definitely in my top ten anime of all time. I liked Banner, but Banner II is much better in my opinion. I’m just sad that there aren’t plans as of yet to animate the story of their trip to Jinto’s planet (the series is based on a popular series of novels).

Agree about the dub. I don’t even like Bandai’s subtitles much, but they express much more of the sparkle and wit of the series’ dialogue. Great show.