The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Crest of the Stars

Title: Crest of the Stars aka Seikai no Monsho
Genre: Drama/Romance
Company: Sunrise/Bandai Visual/WOWOW
Format: 13 episodes
Dates: 2 Jan 1999 – 28 Mar 1999

Synopsis: Seven years ago, Planet Martine surrendered to a group of genetically engineered individuals known as the Abh. Martine’s president Rock Lin was labeled a traitor by his people for this surrender, but the Abh saw this pragmatic action in a more positive light and awarded the president the title of Count. After years of training, Lin’s son, Jinto, has succeeded his father’s title and is soon sent to space. However, a military assault by the United Mankind forces Jinto to escape through the vastness of space with an Abh princess, Lafiel.

The Highlights
Characters: Portrayed believably but aren’t developed much.
Story: Mediocre plot in a mildly fascinating scenerio.
Drama: Subtle.

Call me a victim of ADD if you wish, but I can’t truly enjoy an anime unless something explodes. It doesn’t have to be a flashy explosion – or even a literal one. I just need a concentrated dose of heartfelt passion before I can refocus my eyes with rapt attention. In a way, Crest of the Stars did catch my eyes since trusted sources touted it as an epic science fiction drama. However, when I actually got around to the DVDs, all I got was a run of the mill tale featuring an intergalactic journey that was far from explosive.

Crest of the Stars is essentially as show about the relationship between two individuals of opposite sex as they traverse through the various dangers that space throws at them. The story itself is stock standard, but the setting surrounding it is intricate and seamlessly portrayed. The writing is relatively unimpressive, but the presentation is engaging enough to be entertaining. Aesthetically, the animation is decent and the music works well with the events on screen.

For some, the real beauty of the anime lies in the subtle character interactions within the context of the show’s elaborately crafted world. For me, these interactions are so subtle that they come across as dull. While I do applaud the fact that the series doesn’t fall on common anime gimmicks to portray character interactions, the show lacks the range of small facial expressions and body movements to adequately communicate feelings in the absence of words and over-the-top visual reactions. Considering that the script doesn’t even provide meaningful internal monologues to establish a deeper connection between the viewer and the cast, even the most touching moments fall woefully short of heartfelt.

Crest of the Stars is by all means a competent anime that deserves a look if character driven science fiction dramas is near the center of your niche; however, don’t expect melodramatic fallouts, moments of deep self reflection or significant character growth. From what I’ve heard, if you truly appreciate the subtle interactions of the two protagonists, Crest of the Stars is sweet nectar akin to fine wine; in my eyes, the show was just some half decent booze.

The Rating: 6
6/10

Reviewed by: Shadowmage

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