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Crest of the Stars – Anime Legends Complete Collection (A J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

August 5, 2008 by  



“A series that I simply fell in love with and could not stop watching. Watched every episode in one sitting because I simply enjoyed it so much! ‘Crest of the Stars’ features a story with a lot of action, intrigue, interesting characters and a well-written storyline.”

DVD INFORMATION:

DVD TITLE: Crest of the Stars (aka Seikai no Monshou)

DURATION: 325 minutes

DVD INFORMATION: Animated, Color, DVD-Video, Subtitled, NTSC

CATALOG #: B000CQQI9Y

COMPANY: Bandai Entertainment

STAFF INFORMATION:

ORIGINAL NOVEL: Morioka Hiroyuki

DIRECTOR: Nagaoka Yasuchika

STORY: Yoshinaga Aya

CHARACTER DESIGN: Watabe Keisuke

ART DIRECTOR: Okada Tomoaki

MUSIC: Hattori Katsuhisa

MECHANICAL DESIGN: Shino Masanori, Tsuneki Shinobu, Moriki Yasuhiro

CAST

Lafiel – Kawasumi Ayako

Jinto Lin – Imai Yuka

Grieda – Uchikawa Ai

Saryush – Suyama Akio

Nantryua – Kurosaki Ayako

Plaxia Lexshue – Takashima Gara

Narrator – Jo Haruhiko

Jinto Lin’s life changes forever when the Humankind Empire Abh takes over his home planet of Martine without firing a single shot. Sent off to study the bah language and culture, Jinto must prepare himself for his future as an Abh nobleman. Entering the next phase of his training, he’ll meet his first Abh, the lovely Lafiel. However, Jinto will soon learn that Lafiel is more than she appears and together they will have to fight for their very lives. Based on the best selling science fiction novels by Hiroyuki Morioka.

For years, I’ve read and heard of how awesome the “Crest of the Stars” and “Banner of the Stars” series are and while I take a break from my “watch every Gundam series” marathon, I decided to purchase “Crest of the Stars” and “Banner of the Stars” and find out for myself why people enjoy this series.

This series could have been the sci-fi cliche of aliens go to planet, aliens threaten inhabitants of planet, inhabitants fight back and war ensues.

But fortunately, “Crest of the Stars” doesn’t go there.

“Crest of the Stars” is the first part of a trilogy based on the manga written back in 1996 by Morioka Hiroyuki. The manga was adapted to 13-episodes and featured on WOWOW back in 1999.

The anime was released in the US by Bandai Entertainment in 2001 and later aired on television on TechTV in 2002.

The story primarily focuses on two characters, terrran Jinto Lin and an Abh named Lafiel.

The first episode starts off when Jinto was a young child. His home planet, Martine, has been invaded by the Abh Empire. The inhabitants wants Martine to defend its planet over any takeover and fight but unknown to them, Jinto’s father, Rock Lyn, the governor of Martine secretly strikes a deal with the Abh.

The deal, he will surrender the Planet Martine to the Abh if he and his family are given a noble position within the Abh. Suffice to say, the Martine’s can not believe that their governor is a traitor and surrendered them to the Abh so easily.

Not knowing what is truly going on, since he was young child, the story flash forwards seven years later as Jinto is now a teenager and prepares for the military academy. He is treated as royalty by the Abh and is a Count and while waiting for his space escort, he meets an Abh girl named Lafiel (who turns out to be an Abh princess) and the two who are similar in age, start to get to know about each other and the differences and similarties between their two cultures.

The main storyline focuses on these two characters as the Abh transport ship they are traveling in, is attacked by the United Mankind (a collaboration between four anti-Abh nations).

Because Jinto is not in the military and Lafiel has not yet completed her full military training, Lafiel is ordered to escape with Jinto to another planet and to contact the empire that they are being attacked by United Mankind.

And the adventure of Lafiel and Jinto begins as they meet many obstacles on their way to another planet/outpost and the storyline focuses on how the two work together to survive, how the learn from each other and grow with each other.

The obstacles include the two needing to refuel and encountering a baron who seems to have plans of what he wants to do with Lafiel and Jinto and another obstacle that includes the two landing in planet that has been captured by the United Mankind and are literally wanted fugitives.

And that is the charm of this series is to watch these two progress and succeed when it seems all is lost. Also, where most of the sci-fi series that feature an occupying force and a clear antagonist and protagonist of the storyline is obviously clear, “Crest of the Stars” features Jinto as a person who really doesn’t have any allegiance to his home planet. All he knows is that he wants to protect Lafiel and be with her.

I just found this whole series to be enchanting, action-packed, beautiful and so original that I fell in love with the series.

AUDIO:

I listened to both the English and Japanese audio. I prefer the Japanese audio way much more over the English dub. Of course, this is an older anime series and I really didn’t expect too much in terms of overall audio but the series features mainly dialog and all in all, everything sounds clear from my sound system.

The background music was also well-done and managed to create an atmosphere for the scenes such as the various action scenes.

VIDEO:

Although an older series, from beginning to end, I really enjoyed the overall environments presented. Backgrounds look great and the character designs are unique to this series.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

The DVD features an image gallery and clean opening and ending themes. Also, a segment on Abh culture and history.

There are not too many series that make me want to watch everything in one sitting. Personally, I planned to only watch the first two or three episodes but I was instantaneously hooked to this beautiful series and couldn’t stop.

I really enjoy series that are well-paced and build on character development. I know that reviews I have read from some viewers found the pacing a bit slow for their taste. For me, everything was just right. A good balance of action but most of all focusing and building upon the character development between Lafiel and Jinto and this enhanced the overall story for me, as these two characters just simply make you care.

Also, because this is an older series, I know a lot of newer anime fans have a disdain towards older anime compared to modern standards but it would be a shame for anime fans to bypass “Crest of the Stars” because of its age.  It’s a wonderful series that should be embraced for its well written-storyline especially its strong character development and the balance with its action scenes.

The final episode was touching, especially to see how Jinto has grown through the short time he has been with Lafiel (and possibly vice versa) especially after the credits which shows the characters three years later and leads to the next series “Banner of the Stars” (which I’m currently watching now).

I just found the whole series to be quite special and unique. I wholeheartedly give this anime series a huge “highly recommended” review!

+ One of the coolest, original anime TV series I have seen in a long time!

+ Well-written storyline, characters you care about and a good balance with action!

+ Well done voice acting on the Japanese dub by Kawasumi Ayako (Lafiel) and Imai Yuka (Jinto).

– For those expecting a sci-fi series with more action than character development, you may be disappointed.

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