Anime Me! #9: Crest of the Stars

Anime Me!  #9: Crest of the Stars

Crest of the Stars was released in Japan in 1999 and re-released in the United States by Bandai in 2001.  What makes this anime a bit different is that in most anime, it usually is an adaptation from a manga.  In this instance, the anime was born out of a trilogy of space opera science fiction novels written by Hiroyuki Morioka.  Beginning in 1999, the novels were adapted into multiple anime series.  The first of which ran for 13 episodes.  The initial trilogy was followed by another, ongoing novel series called Banner of the Stars, which in turn was also adapted into three sequel anime series, two recap movies, and an OVA called Crest of the Stars Lost Chapter.  A fourth anime series, adapting the third novel, Banner of the Stars III is an OVA released in Japan in 2005.

See sometimes I get in the mood for a good old fashioned space romp with battle scenes reminiscent of WWII, alien conquerors, and upheaval.  What you get is Crest of the Stars.  Surprisingly I was introduced to the sequel series first (Banner of the Stars).  I came into this anime not knowing it came first and actually tells the story of the 2 main characters first meeting.  Silly me.  In any event I was still not disappointed.

Crest of the Stars and it’s subsequent series follow Jinto Lynn, a young count whose world is taken over by the space-dwelling race of the Abh.  Through some back room dealings by his father, Jinto gains a position within Abh society and is sent off to school to learn the ways of Abh nobility.  The story of Crest of the Stars continues as he meets the young Abh princess, Lafiel as they are about to travel to military school for Jinto’s further training.  This is basically an origin story for the main characters.  Where both, in the midst of their travels, find themselves at the very beginnings of a huge war between the Abh Empire and the Four Nations Alliance of humankind.

One aspect that must be praised is the writing.  Not only did this anime begin life as a novel, the series are particularly notable for the fact that Morioka created an entire language (Baronh with an accompanying alphabet, Ath).  This language is utilized by the Abh when they speak, read, and write through out the series.

Crest of the Stars is by far a great ride.  At one point of the story you really do not know who the bad guy is.  As in most wars, each side believes they are right, and with this story it is no different as we are treated to both points of view.  Yet in what really is about the friendship between two people from two entirely different worlds.

Even for an anime, the music selection just works.  It has an orchestral reminiscent of the 1970’s Battlestar Galactica, or vintage Star Trek.  In this day and age of just throwing together the hottest flavor of the month for a soundtrack, it is relaxing to still hear theme music with as much emotion as the story it is representing.