Banner of the Stars II
|Seikai no Senki II|
|Also Known As: Battleflag of the Stars II, BotsII|
|Format: 10 Episodes|
|Allegiance: Sunrise/WOWOW/Bandai Visual|
|Director: Nagaoka Yasuchika|
|Intelligence Agency Report by: Kuzu Ryu Sen|
|Following the overwhelming success of Operation “Phantom Flame”, the Abh High Command initiates Operation “Hunter”, designed to consolidate their holdings in their newly conquered territories. As a member of the 4th Hunter Fleet, the Basrogrh arrives at the newly liberated planet Robnasr II, only to be hailed simultaneously by four different people, all of whom claiming to be representatives of the ruling government. Jinto heads down to the planet to meditate negotiations between the four factions, leaving Lafiel to manage other affairs in orbit, just as a civil war breaks out on the surface…|
|Field Agent Report by: Kuzu Ryu Sen|
|(not an average)|
The third (and potentially final) instalment of the Stars saga takes us from the depths of planar space back to the surface of a planet, and back to the relationship between Lafiel and Jinto. Because of this, the general feel of this series is closer to that of Crest of the Stars, rather than that of Banner I. However, because we know much more about the characters than we did in Crest, Banner II becomes a much more powerful anime than its predecessors.
Plot wise, Banner of the Stars II has the best out of the three installments, despite having condensed the focus of the series greatly. For the first time, there are more than just two factions in conflict with one another, adding a whole new dimension to the good vs. evil plots of the previous instalments. But the plot is more or less just there to provide incentive for character development, and this instalment of theStars saga is mainly driven by how Lafiel and Jinto deal with not only the crisis, but their own personal feelings, including new ones that surface because of their extended separation. The emotional level ofBanner II is unparalleled in any of its predecessors, building until a very powerful climax, and for once, a conclusion that actually has a feeling of finality to it.
There really aren’t many flaws to this show at all, but the one noticeable thing is the introduction of CG to the series. While its implementation isn’t atrocious by any stretch of the imagination, some of the CG really sticks out like a sore thumb against the cel backgrounds. Otherwise, every other aspect of the series is perfectly solid, with a surprising improvement in the audio department with the addition of an ending theme that aptly captures the emotion of the anime.
The Stars saga is a rarity in entertainment, where each instalment actually gets progressively better. Action fans that were hooked by the epic space battles featured in the first Banner of the Stars might be a tad disappointed, but this series is an absolute must see for anyone who has seen Crest of the Stars. Here’s hoping for Banner III!