Crest of the Stars

Sci-fi/Drama is probably the oldest genre of Anime. Shows like Robotech and Gundam have reigned in the genre for years, offering epic tales and great character development. It's hard for an Anime fan to find something fresh and new, and sheds new light on this genre. But Crest of the Stars is just that - It's an epic tale that has interesting characters, and a vast world that is every bit compelling as the shows I've just mentioned.

The first episode introduces you to the young heir to an intergalactic civilization called Martine. At first we see him as a young boy, and his planet is being attacked by a rival civilization known as the "Abh". Jinto's father, Rock Lin, decides to surrender to this imperial threat. Rock is put into Abh royalty, so that means Jinto is destined to be an Abh ruler, although he's just a human being. Since the attack, humans have been turned into a lower class race, and they have grown bitter towards the Abh. Jinto has absolutely no prejudice towards the Abh, but all his close friends have chips on their shoulders.

After the prologue, we find Jinto in a spaceship docking station. He is going off to an Abh military school, and his pilot is a junior Abh pilot named Lafiel. Despite Jinto's vast knowledge of the Abh and their language, this is the first Abh he has ever met. While Lafiel doesn't express it openly, she is, in fact, the daughter of an Abh empress. As Jinto discovers more about the Abh race, the more respect he has for them, although some of Lafiel's actions are very risky and not always smart, he learns to accept the Abh race, and their noble actions.

Along with the great Romeo & Juliet-esque story, the animation is very smooth and detailed. The character and environmental detail help in complimenting the compelling story. While I don't usually care for English dubbing in my anime, the voice-acting in Crest of the Stars is topnotch.

This anime is fresh and innovative, and it builds on what it's forefathers have left behind. The only complaints I have is with the series' length - it's only 13 episodes long. Fortunately, the sequel to Crest of the Stars is being released by Bandai, and is called "Banner of the Stars". I couldn't recommend this series enough.

- - Grandlethal

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