Crest of the Stars by Drake

Seikai no Monshou
Also Known As: CotS, Crest
Genre: Action/Drama
Format: 13 Episodes
Allegiance: Sunrise/WOWOW/Bandai Visual
Director: Nagaoka Yasuchika
Vintage: 1999
Intelligence Agency Report by: Kuzu Ryu Sen
At the age of 10, Jinto Lin was forced to watch as his father Rock sold out their home world of Martine to the Humankind Reich of the Abh, becoming a traitor and pariah to the populace as a result. In return, Rock became the new magistrate of the star system, and as his son, Jinto became Abh nobility. After seven years of learning the “Way of the Abh,” Jinto is ready to journey to the Abh capital Lacmhacarh to serve his mandatory term in the Abh Star Forces. Assigned to escort him to the capital is a young Pilot Trainee named Lafiel, serving aboard the patrol ship Gauthloth. When the Gauthloth encounters unidentified craft during the journey, Jinto and Lafiel are evacuated as non-combatants for precautionary reasons, and are forced to find their own way to Lacmhacarh.

Field Agent Report by: Drake 
Overall 9.50
(not an average)

Without doubt, the Stars Series easily took the spot of my favorite anime from the moment Crest of the Stars began playing. This was mainly due to the amazing effort of Morioka Hiroyuki – author of the series – as he created everything from a unique language to extremely detailed cultures and etiquettes. As a result, the series is simply brilliant and well worth both the watch and the time taken to acquire the individual DVD box sets for the whole trilogy.

What really drew me into Crest of the Stars were not intense battles, but rather the main characters, Jinto and Lafiel, and their interaction with one another as well as their surroundings over the course of the series. This usage of dialogue over flashy action adds a unique element that is rarely found in any anime. It allows for character development, resulting in more depth and a broader understanding for the viewer. Even the minor characters, from Baron Feubdash’s vassals to the freedom fighters of Sfagnaumh, add more to the story – provoking a deeper understanding of the mysterious universe of the Abh. My personal favorite by far is most definitely Commodore Admiral Sporh. Her presence in the latter part of the series added some comic relief to a very serious series – as we, as well as her Chief of Staff, pondered her sanity.

However, what little we had in way of battle scenes were detailed beyond my expectations in terms of tactics in battle. In most battles in the sci-fi genre, we are used to seeing flashy ships blow up other ships with a super gun of some sort. In Crest of the Stars, the respective commanders are forced to utilize strategy in order to win, including a heavy use of flanking. On top of this, the battles are presented from the perspective of the bridge. The scenes on the bridge are so convincing that they drag you onto the bridge as one of the members of the ship. This is amplified further by the outstanding OST by Katsuhisa Hattori. Each track is a classical composition – save for the ending song “Ushinawareta Aozora” performed by TimeSlip-Rendezvous – that adds a much deeper flavor of emotion and feeling to the scene the song is played during.

Many people argue that the series was incomplete, and I must disagree with them on this point. The series is not incomplete, as Crest of the Stars does its job of giving the introduction to the greater saga while still offering sufficient closure on a chapter level. The questions left at the end will not detract from the CotS experience, but will urge viewers to go see the sequels out of sheer interest and curiosity. Though I will raise one complaint I had with the series, and that was the slightly low key animation quality, that gave off the feel of the series being older then it actually is.

All in all, I strongly recommend…no, I demand that you go out and watch this series, even if sci-fi is not your thing. This series is just truly that impressive with its intricate and complex level of detail. This is a great start to an amazing series of anime. You will instantly be urged to watch the three sequels and prequel, and maybe even seek the novels.