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Crest of the Stars Review

Crest of the Stars is an anime series adapted from the beginning of a series of sci-fi novels written by Morioka Hiroyuki. The story revolves around a space-going species called the Abh, who resemble humans apart from their blue hair, long lifespans and apparent lack of aging.  In the beginning of the story, we are introduced to these people as invaders as they take control of the humans, one of whom is our main character Jinto.  The leader of the humans betrays his people and surrenders to the Abh with the condition that he, and therefore his family, are accepted into positions of nobility in Abh society.  Jinto, being his son, goes through the same treatment.  Thus the story really begins with Jinto as a teenager, getting ready to go into space for the first time and settle into his position within Abh society.  He is escorted there by a young trainee, who is a true member of Abh nobility from birth.  When their ship is attacked, they must escape alone.

I would say that if you absolutely cannot stand sci-fi or battle scenes, this one might challenge you.  Though the action sequences aren’t necessarily frequent, there’s enough of them that it might bore viewers who aren’t interested in spaceships battling each other, which I must admit includes me.  However, most of the action sequences involve main characters, which makes them a bit more interesting than not.  The world that the author has created is certainly rich in detail and feels unique, which is more than I can say for many other sci-fi stories.

And yes, the characters in this series are quite endearing and by a few episodes you will be very invested in their fate.  There are some nice moments of character interaction and development between the two leads, who are of different species and different backgrounds, yet have a common bond in that neither particularly enjoys the benefits of their nobility.  There’s also something of a subversion of typical anime cliches with the female character shouldering most of the bravado and taking the lead in many of the dramatic situations.  The male lead, Jinto, is a likable character to view the story from, unaware like the viewer of many of the intricacies of this foreign society.

Since this is the first part of many regarding this “franchise”, there isn’t a great climax or moment of character resolution.  This is really merely the introduction to a greater storyline that presumably will be followed in its sequels, as well as a first look at the main characters developing a relationship with one another.  Thus you won’t find too many heartgrabbing scenes of tension nor are there too many emotional or moving scenes, in my opinion.  Those are present in later installments of this series (and boy are those ones powerful).

The animation is perfectly fine but also visibly dated – you will be able to tell that it is not of recent vintage, which didn’t really matter to me but may do so for other viewers.  The music I enjoyed quite a bit, primarily orchestral with piano sequences interspersed here and there.  It certainly exceeded the level of the typical anime soundtrack.

Crest of the Stars is probably a godsend for sci-fi fans but even regular viewers like me have plenty to enjoy here.  As the first in a line of series, it does a good job of getting the viewer immersed in the series and its world.  If you absolutely despise space-bound action, you may have trouble getting through parts of it, but you would certainly be missing out on what promises to be a rather memorable lead partnership.

 1/2

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