Taut battles contrast with loose open relationships
Startide Rising | Seattle, WA USA | 08/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Crest of the Stars (Sekai no Monshou) is the first arc of a three arc literate character-driven drama based upon a set of novels (as opposed to manga). Perhaps this deeper background is why the world and background detail presented in the anime has a deep richness to it. Its taut clever battles contrast with the much lighter-hearted jockeying in the interpersonal relationship between her highness Lafiel and her charge Jinto. There are aspects of political relationships, class relationships, and space empire relationships demonstrated. Some of the smaller plot elements and relationship mysteries of the prior three DVD discs are concluded in this disc, but the larger scope epic items remain open for an obvious sequel.For those who wait through the final end credits, they are rewarded with a short animated epilogue that shows what happens to Jinto and Lafiel three years later after they had parted ways in order to perform their duties. After the first arc of Sekai no Monshou, there are two more series. The next story arc is Sekai no Senki (Battle Flag of the Stars). At this time, only Crest of the Stars has been translated into English, but other stories in this galaxy have been animated and are available in Japanese. In addition to Sekai no Senki, an OVA titled "Birth" and the "Crest of the Stars Movie" have been created. The movie version is a condensed version of the Crest of the Stars series and reuses the animation along with some new bits not present in the four discs of the first arc.Of note is that the Abh are an engineered race of humanoids originally created as living machines. They broke free of their human creators and destroyed that branch of humanity that created them. They then proceded to reproduce rapidly and at the point where Crest of the Stars begins, they control over half of the known "human" space and are genetically superior to normal humans. Intelligence, lifespan, reaction speed, psychic awareness of space, and other personal characteristics can be engineered and manipulated. If you can imagine a highly numerous race like Khan (from Star Trek II) at war with the remaining humans, then that is part of the aspect of this storyline. You get an idea very quickly from each fight which side is superior pound for pound. Although the Abh are presented in a positive light (as the show is mostly presented from their viewpoint), I feel sorry for the humans each time they lose a major encounter.Another nice part of the Crest of the Stars series (and this disc) is that the fights are done between fleets of ships. This differs from many other anime that tend to avoid fleet actions and is nicely done. Some of the English translations are in error in the series (and result in logic errors), but unless you have a eye for detail (and there is a lot of subtle detail) you may miss them as details sometimes come fast and furious and slow and langourous. I think that this show deserves to have the original Japanese books translated and released in a trade edition. Perhaps this could be bundled in a boxset with Sekai no Senki if it ever gets released in English."
A short end to a promising series...
Startide Rising | 12/21/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Abh fleet under Admiral Trife moves in on the enemy fleet. Under his command, Rear Admiral Lady Spoor decides to take the initiative to end the battle immediately by charging head on. Will her scout fleet survive or die like those of the patrolship Gosroth(for reference, the captain of the Gosroth was Lafiel's birth mother)? Meanwhile, Lafiel and Jinto are on the planet, trying desperately to evade capture from the enemy, the United Mankind. Instead, they are captured by rebels who oppose the UM and have an alterior motive. What will become of Jinto and Lafiel? Will they escape from their captors and make it the Abh fleet battling in space above the planet? Will their love flourish into some more intimate?
This is the last DVD of the series. Though it wasn't action packed like MS Gundam Wing (depending what series you've watched), the animation is a lot more detailed in terms of picture. The story of the whole series is comprehensive but could use some more details of the individual characters and the Abh race themselves, especially if they were to continue the series. But it doesn't seem like they are like some Japanese animation that leave their stories open... There are a few action scenes of space battleships fights but mostly tame, and the story in each episode can be a little short. I'd recommend this for those to enjoy watching animation but not if you are looking for a lot of action or comedy. I do wish they'd continue this series, I'd like to find out what happens between Lafiel and Jinto, they do seem to leave it open. I wonder if they'll they every hook up? Ooops...I hope I didn't spoil the end. Hope you like the series like I did."
Wow. (Enough said)
Startide Rising | 05/29/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It was wonderful. Far beyond my expectations. The series brought me to tears more than once (maybe it's just me...^^), and I TRULY hope Bandai releases the sequel. They didn't advertise for it, but I'm still hoping. *crosses fingers* Sci-Fi and angst lovers should check this out. The ending almost left me hollow. (Almost!) But the very end was great, telling the audience about the Abh Empire's crest. (Yes, the infamous dragon-crest-thing). And to top it all off, the name of the one who wrote the commentary on the dragon is a Latino! ^_^ I thought that was cute. (But enough about that...) It's great; I want the sequel. What a wild ride! ^_^"