Banner of the Stars III

Seikai no Senki III
Also Known As: Battleflag of the Stars III, BotsIII
Genre: Drama
Format: 2 OVA
Allegiance: Sunrise/WOWOW/Bandai Visual
Director: Nagaoka Yasuchika
Vintage: 2006
Intelligence Agency Report by: Kuzu Ryu Sen
With the Robnasr II incident a thing of the past and Operation Hunter still proceeding according to plan, Jinto and Lafiel have decided to take a short break from the Star Forces. Accordingly, Jinto, accompanied by his cute princess, has set out for his home planet of Martine, which was recently re-acquired by the Star Forces. However, the situation isn’t all rosy, as Martine revolted against the rule of Jinto’s father Rock during the period of occupation by the United Mankind forces, and is now ruled de facto by the anti-Abh President Till Corint, Jinto’s childhood caretaker. To make matters worse, the Star Forces have decided to treat Martine as a hostile planet, and accordingly dispatch the newly formed 1st Scourge Division to the Hyde system…

Field Agent Report by: Kuzu Ryu Sen
Overall 8.50
(not an average)

After a long hiatus, Morioka Hiroyuki’s latest novel has been released as an anime. However, unlike his previous novels which were all released as TV series, Banner of the Stars III is only a two episode OVA, perhaps indicating the fading popularity of at least the Seikai anime series. As a consequence, this particular show eschews grandiose space drama for the most part in order to focus on a pivotal chapter in Jinto’s – and by extension, Lafiel’s – life.

Despite the brevity of the show, the producers still decided to include all the events from the third Banner of the Stars novel into the OVA. As a result, plot events unfold at an extremely rapid rate, leaving mere minutes for analysis and contemplation for both the audience and the cast. It’s a jarring departure from the usual Seikai pace, and consequentially, Banner of the Stars III is unable to deliver full emotional impact from its plot.

That’s not to say that the plot is particularly bad or that Banner of the Stars III is soulless however. There are some very evoking and poignant moments that occur, and Jinto and Lafiel do take another step in terms of characterization. It is astoundingly refreshing to see just how strong the bond between those two has become since they first met, and just how naturally the two interact now.

Unsurprisingly, animation technology improved quite significantly during the time between Banner of the Stars II and IIIBanner of the Stars III takes full advantage of this, and treats us to not only some very detailed scenery, well formed character designs, and a vivid and crisp palette, but also stellar and fluid animation. Voice acting is as excellent as ever, and the music consists of the same great soundtrack from prior Seikai titles, with the addition of the lingering ending theme “Tenohira no Yume” by Shiratori Emiko.

Banner of the Stars III is many things. It’s short, it’s rushed, but it’s also very poignant and a very important component of the Seikai canon. It’s also very pleasing to both the eyes and the ears. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, given the way the ending was delivered and the particular format of this show, Banner of the Stars III may have been our last chance to see our beloved cast on the television screen, making it an absolute must watch for any fan of the Seikai series.