While it was by far not magnificent in terms of its appearance or in terms of a number of those other elements that we greatly take for advantage from the more recent anime with improved graphics and sound, this older "space drama" drew me in from the first episode, beguiling me with its interesting story and interesting cinematography and storytelling. It's hard-pressed to find an anime like Seikai no Monshou, with its same blend of both serious and entertaining drama and dialogue, and its very intense space battle action scenes.
Seikai no Monshou has a story that was both pure in its innocence and compelling in
its complexity, featuring a not-so-simple delving into the politics of humankind and interstellar relations, as well as the genetically-enhanced race of the Abh, something just as interesting in its own right. Following closely, none of the episodes (as few as there were with only 13) failed to entertain me and none of them seemed off-key at all, blending into a story that was wrapped up without fail with the final episode, transitioning gently and with ease into the next "season" or series of the saga.
Like I said earlier, however, the art was lacking, but even then I was surprised by how much it fit and how little I was distracted by it. It's not something that I would entirely dock many points off for. Too, the cinematography and interesting angles used to portray the story would also help buoy this particular area up. The sound too was fairly "old", but still managed to fit with the show quite well; the voices, on the other hand, were done magnificently (in the subbed version, definitely not the dubbed).
The characters in this show, while not completely original, did progress and were developed well, the main two characters and their relationship even more entertaining to watch and feel how well they manage to grow into each other and balance each other out so nicely. They definitely did not feel flat, which I always hate.
Overall, this show is one I recommend to anyone who'd like to watch an intellectual sci-fi space show (with no mechas) that brings together politics and drama well enough to both entertain your adrenalin and give some practice for your brain. A great show that I really enjoyed!
A rating of 1/10 is way too low to be left unjustifed and that is why I wrote this review.
One of the oldest tricks in the trade is to create an overly intricate setting to try and mask the bias and deceit in an artwork. In my opinion, Seikai no Monshou does this and worse. I will try to explain why I came to this conclusion and I hope to do so in a way that will not seem offensive to anyone.
"Crest of the Stars" takes place in an imaginary future where a race, formerly engineered by humans, has created a
feudal empire which has become the greatest force in the galaxy. Opposing this empire are different human groups whose leaders are elected democratically. The Abhs are the genetically modified humans who rule the afore mentionned empire and the show focuses on a young human called Ghintec as he is escorted by the Abh princess Lamhirh. The story basically revolves around this duo and the evolution of their relationship as they are caught in a galactic war between the Empire and an alliance of democratic groups. I believe I can say this much without spoiling the show.
Throughout the 13 episodes, we see the Abhs portrayed as galant, prideful and beautiful beings (well people seem to think they are in the show) who are both impulsive and martial but also reasonable and compassionate (yes, it seems the author doesn't realise that the former are the opposite of the latter). We learn about their reproductive habits : basically they can reproduce with just about anything in any way imaginable. We also learn about their strength and their longevity: they are very long-lived and almost eternally young - yes, pretty creepy when your progenitor - can't really say parent - looks as young as you. Finally, we are told of their social structure which, on a private level, is just about non-existent and on a national level is exactly that of any monarchy of our past. We also learn that their violent campaign of colonization of the galaxy is justifed by saying that it is for the good of humankind and that it is carried out with the intention of bringing peace and development. That will sound familiar to any history students as basically all former colonial empires have justified the horror of their actions in that same way. The only (willingly) negative portrait of an Abh, is that of a noble from a recently created barony who basically loathes humans because his father was one and suffers from an inferiority complex. It really seems as if the author showed him to convince us that he wasn't completely partial but it's the exact opposite that transpires. He doesn't criticize in any way the Abhs or their society but only tries to convince us that only pure Abhs can make it work and that lowly humans can tag along as long they admiringly obey every command.
The democratic alliance on the other hand is portrayed as a rag-tag team of envious and imperfect (meaning normal humans) beings who stage an attack to create a conflict. All members of this alliance are shown as rather ugly people both of mind and body (one of the ambassadors actually has a scar and eyepatch...). Their reasons for going to war against the colonial empire ruled by another species are shown to be greed, cowardice and envy. Their words are shown as being those of hypocrites and all their speeches and annoucements sound like propaganda. The author tries to convince us that only despicable beings can fight against a colonial empire that plans to rule by destroying all existing social structures and imposing its culture and values and denying the human race its basic right to have a voice in the organisation of society.
Throughout the show, humans of the democratic alliance are portrayed in a very unflattering manner and the main protagonists are put into situations that further imply the "greatness" of the Abhs and the inferiority of the humans. The pure Abhs are never made to look bad and all their strange behaviors are passed off as the delightful quirks of rightful lords and ladies. The author went so far as to create a new language for this race in what seems like an obvious attempt to make this show seem awe-inspiring in its form so people would accept the content more easily. Indeed, a person is likely to be astonished by the effort taken to create such a detailed fictional world and not realise that it was done to push through some very twisted ideas and concepts.
It seems obvious to me that the author is a nostalgic of imperialism and this imaginary galaxy and its imaginary genetically superior race was his way of trying to make something so fundamentaly wrong as a feudal and colonial system seem to work just fine. Unlike in shows like "Legend of the Galactic Heroes", there is no debate here, only a mockery of one. Had the Abhs really existed, this anime would have made great propaganda for them. Furthermore, the fact that the Abhs are a GENETICALLY superior race of rulers reminds one of rather unpleasant memories of the past...
The work on these was rather pitiful in my opinion but still very much in accord with the purpose of the show. All Abhs (except for a black sheep) are grand beings and all humans are either dying of envy and hatred or are in unabashed admiration before the greatness of the Abhs... Ghintec would be one of the admiring ones. Lamhirh is a typical member of the ruling class of a colonial empire, sure of the righteousness of her purpose and unquestioning of the principles that govern her life.
I cannot comment on the animation as I have too little knowledge to do so. I very much disliked the art of the show. The exaggerated ugliness of the "inferior" humans was pretty annoying. The Abhs looked pretty freakish to me but I think it quite possible that perveted humans might create such beings to serve them.
Can't really says much about it except it didn't strike me in any way. I don't have much knowledge of music and the show was so annoying to me, no music could have salvaged it.
I have rarely ever been so annoyed by a show as this one. All that it tried to convey was in complete opposition to the values and principles I care for and defend.
One of the things I appreciate most in any work of art, even if the opinions conveyed are not ones I share, is honesty. To me "Seikai no Monshou" is a very dishonest work.
I believe that if you like intricately designed imaginary worlds then you might like this show. I also believe that if you value human freedom and the right to democratically elect your representatives and leaders, if you hate propaganda and dishonesty, if you hate being taken for a fool or when someone tries to fool you then you probably should not watch this anime.
Overview: Crest of the Stars is by far one of my all time favorite anime. That said it is not for everyone. The show is set far into the future were humans have colonized the entire galaxy. The two main characters Jinto and Lafiel are well developed and entertaining to watch. If there is a down side to this show it is that it is rather slow paced, and involves a great deal of dialog. Although there are action scenes in the show, this is not for people with short attention spans.
Story: There are two stories taking place in crest
of the stars, both of which are connected and continue into the squeals. The first story is that of Jinto and Lafiel, without giving to much away, suffice to say that a good deal of the show focuses on there journey as they are tossed around by the events around them. The second story is that of galactic politics. Both stories are well told, and they intertwine throughout the show.
Art: Although it is a bit dated by todays standards the visuals are still as stunning as when i first saw the show several years ago. This is a prime example of aged excellence.
Sound: Crest of the stars simply would not be as good a show if not for the amazing orchestra in the background. The opening theme song does get old after a while, but the music during the show is some of the best iv herd in an anime. This is not to say the music in and of itself is superb, but rather the fusion of art, sound and context of what is happening on screen at the moment is masterfully executed. (But the music is the strongest part hear because it invokes powerful emotion in various parts).
Charecters: All of the characters in crest of the stars are well portrayed and developed. The show even hints at cast members back ground just to give you more feel for the world. Also Jino and Lafiel are two of my favorite characters out of any anime.
Enjoyment: The reason why enjoyment is lower than the other areas is simply because crest of the stars is a slow anime. It can in certain places drag on a bit, when a more modern adaptation would be paced a bit quicker. Despite this all of the other elements that make up the show more than compensate for it. (once again though if you have a short attention span you will probably get board before any of the really intersecting things happen).
Crest of the Stars is a show that starts off with such great artistic promise, and such effortless mastery of the art of storytelling, that it might seem downright insane of me (or anyone, for that matter) to ultimately award it a score of 1. The problem then, is that it presents a distorted picture of its own premise, and it isn't until close to the very end that it reveals itself to be something that's shockingly nasty and horrifying, and in a way that makes its artistic accomplishments come across in extremely horrible taste. And till then, it comes across as an especially
charming and thoughtful show, carrying you along for a rather fascinating ride through its strange and curious world. But as I now intend to explain, it is this very "journey" that is a misdirection, and one carried out in unbelievably bad faith.
The show introduces a very intriguing concept - a race of genetically modified space-faring humans called the Abh, who are long-lived, youthful-looking and generally confine themselves to space colonies rather than live on terrestrial planets. These Abh have advanced far ahead of ordinary humans by utilising their genetic modification technology and the freedom of their space habitats to create a population of humans who are superbly adapted to even the most challenging conditions in space, and virtually never age until very late into their lifespans. Their society is also unbelievably permissive, where they can breed with just about anyone with the help of artificial wombs.
On the other hand, they are shown to be territorially aggressive, invading terrestrial planets where the regular humans (called Terrans in the show) live, and claiming them as territories of their Empire. They don't even want to live there (they seem to prefer their Space habitats), but they nevertheless exert their authority over the planets, going to the trouble of toppling the existing governments in place and appointing Terran puppet figureheads to rule on their behalf. This much is verifiable fact. This is also the premise around which the show revolves - just who are the Abh really, and why do they act this way? To demonstrate where they go with this premise (and ultimately get to WHY I'm denouncing this show in such strong terms), I'll need to give at least a general outline of the plot, but I'll try and describe only the broadest strokes, without giving away any spoilers:
In the beginning, the show focuses on the atmosphere of political upheaval caused by the Abh invasion and takeover of governance in a planet called Martine. Subsequently, we get to see the effects of this change on the fate of a young boy (our protagonist, Lin Jinto) caught in the middle of all this, an unwitting pawn in the game. Due to various events, he is thrust into a position of civil service, and is awaiting transfer to Abh country for further education and training. Here he meets our other lead, Lafiel Abriel - an Abh cadet assigned to escort him - and they develop a spontaneous but believable cameraderie and friendship. The stage then shifts to the inside of the Abh spaceship transporting them, where Jinto gets to meet the Abh in person for the first time, and through his interactions the audience gets to learn of their strange and curious ways. It's full of interesting little details that add a sense of charm to the whole thing.
Then, the ship they are travelling in is put in danger, and the focus shifts to the immediacy of the situation - how our leads are going to survive and reach their destination to carry out their duty. This setup makes for some genuinely gripping adventure, that carries this show into about three-quarters of its 13-episode length. The scenes are genuinely tense and suspenseful, and you really don't know what to expect next. And through all of this, you have gradually come to care for the two leads. They seemed really likeable to begin with, they are put through all sorts of danger, and then really come through for each other in ways that you can't help but be moved by. And so you find yourself caring about what happens to them when they finally reach their destination...
And it's here that the show delivers its killing blow: the trials and tribulations of our young heroes are ultimately relvealed to be nothing more than convenient plot devices to showcase the baseness and cruelty of the Terrans opposed to Abh rule. They are shown to be deeply envious of the eternally youthful and long-lived Abh race, and want to subject them to their own dominion and make them their slaves (I swear I'm not making this up). Any humans who are less than enthusiastic to the idea of Abh dominion are portrayed as grotesque caricatures of spite, envy, prejudice, greed, selfishness and cruelty, and even their visual portrayal looks obnoxiously cartoonish and ugly. And the Abhs, in contrast, are made to come off as larger-than-life beings who could do no wrong (unless of course they have half-human ancestry...), and they are accordingly animated to look stately and elegant, with their elf-like features, blue hair and proud but noble bearing. The show goes out of its way at every turn to illustrate how impeccable the Abh are in their character, and how even do-gooder humans are inwardly driven by rather unflattering motivations.
But as the show progresses, the Abh's own behaviour starts to seem increasingly strange, until somewhere along the line you realize with shock and horror that the Abh never had any real justification for their aggression to begin with: all the show's unexpected twists and turns were meant to turn your attention to the immediate danger facing the leads, and make you forget that it never actually provided any valid justification or redeeming context for the invasion shown in the beginning, and never had any plans of doing so. And consequently, all the seemingly nasty and unfounded things the Abh-haters said about them...were actually true. There is one scene in particular early on, where an old woman is overcome with an inexplicably hysteric reaction of sheer loathing and even dread, just at the mere sight of an Abh. In the context of the show's later developments, this reaction suddenly makes a frightening amount of sense. And in the face of this, the show continues to portray the Abh as humanity's only real hope - on one hand, it tries to pass off all their horrifying actions as extremely smart moves that are beyond the comprehension or appreciation of lowly mortals; and on the other, it tries to suggest that their enemies are actually driven only by bitter jealousy of the Abh's apparent "greatness" and superiority.
An important device for furthering this illusion is the show's own narrator, who speaks in Abh-language with an air of lofty detachment. At various points throughout the show, he plays the role of providing historical context to whatever is being depicted on-screen. But as the show progresses, he starts inserting one sneaky insinuation after another into his narration; until by the end, he is quite explicitly showering unconditional praise on everything Abh, and utter contempt for all Terran institutions. The show also executes another crafty sleight-of-hand to maintain the audience's sympathy towards its protagonist - through the course of the 13 episodes, it subtly shifts from portraying Jinto as an unwilling hostage of the Abh system, to a regular Earthling helping a stranded Abh out of ordinary decency, to an outright Abh sympathiser who implicitly approves of all the atrocities they would commit in the name of a "wronged" people, to a full-fledged member of a nobility that is subjugating his own home planet. And in the end, the show would have you believe that it was Jinto who was wronged by the anti-Abh faction.
And then there's the Abh themselves - initially portrayed as romantic star-faring gypsies dragged into a war they didn't want ("Kin of the Stars" is what the show poetically calls them), they are subsequently shown to be brave, chivalrous and decisive when pushed into battle...until somewhere along the line you realize that all the Abh you get to see are in fact soldiers in some or the other capacity, and their entire society is in fact organised along militaristic lines. The show has an enigmatic and bombastic prologue scene depicting the Abh fiercely engaged in what appears to be an epic and heroic battle for their lives - but all they were actually doing was destroying the defences of an unwary and ill-equipped planet that barely even knew of the Abh's existence. Quite the heroes, these guys...
Now let's just say that none of this really matters to you, and all you want to know is if this is an enjoyable show on the simple level of an adventure story, or perhaps a romance. Whatever the angle with which you may initially have approached the show - be it sci-fi, politics, drama, romance, or whatever else - in the end you'll find that your hand closes in on empty air. Why do I say this? Because when you get to the last couple of episodes, all the show's initial promise of thematic exploration and character development is crudely cast aside, because it's time to push their ultimate aganda. You can see this for yourself - the plot regresses into something jaw-droppingly preposterous (that is, until the conclusion, when the intent becomes sickeningly clear), and the characters are reduced to being zombie mouthpieces for the author's ideology. The transformation is quite shocking and hard to miss, and it's at this point that you're suddenly snapped awake, and suddenly become aware of the underlying immorality of the whole thing.
On a technical level, the show is extremely accomplished at evoking just the right kind of mood and ambience. The visuals are low-key and present an air of nocturnal tranquility, both in the surface worlds and in space (though in the later episodes it goes for the opposite effect). The music is equally serene, and has a distantly operatic feel. But that's precisely what makes the experience so jarring when you get to those last few episodes - the disconnect between the horror that's being shown on screen, and the way the show expects you to feel about it, induces a feeling of disorientation and nausea even at a basic sensory level. It's not an experience I'd recommend, to say the least.
As for the characters - Jinto initially comes across as an innocent and unwilling pawn in a game that he had no control over, but in the end you get to see his fawning admiration and sycophancy towards the Abh, to the point that he counts himself as one of them, and overlooks the fact that they are in fact invaders and unlawful rulers of his homeworld (I can only guess he will end up fathering another patricidal Abh in his own turn...) Likewise, Lafiel also initially comes off in a similarly sympathetic light as someone who is grateful to someone who saw her for the individual she was rather than for her status in Abh society, but by the end you see another side to her - a blindly self-righteous aristocrat who notes how her people were wronged in the past, but thinks nothing of the atrocities and injustices that her own people are committing on innocent populations. Ultimately, her purpose in the show is revealed to be that of a Starship Troopers-variety "Paragon Soldier", existing only as a mannequin model to exemplify all that is supposedly "noble" about the Abh. The Terrans are grotesquely ugly both in appearance and character like I mentioned earlier, but it's the Abh who will creep you out big-time when they finally reveal their true colours - only to get passed off as noble heroes by the show. Even creepier is the hornet symbolism of their emblems, which captures their shockingly blind hive-mentality, as well as their impulsive vengefulness and ferocity, rather too uncannily.
So there you have it - Crest of the Stars started out as a grandly ambitious and extremely promising Space Opera show that seemed to challenge even Legend of the Galactic Heroes in its scope and emotional impact. Instead, it turned out to be something so nasty it beggars belief, and leaves you feeling sickened and horrified. The world of this show is a quietly creepy theatre of cruelty, populated by ugly and horrible people on both sides, where fairness and decency never stood a chance because the stakes were rigged all along. If, like me, you feel nostalgic for 90's-era animation, or have a soft corner for shows with a tranquil and reflective atmosphere (and this show has it in spades), this show may seem like the best thing the anime medium has had to offer - at least initially. But in the end, you're left feeling thoroughly cheated at an entertainment level - and not to mention utterly appalled at the horror you had to witness.
People often have vastly different upbringings. While there are obviously certain positive or preferred ways in which to flourish, occasionally, given the situation, such luxuries cannot be granted. Sometimes it's entirely based off of financial standing or the location where one lives. Other times it's based off of racial or ethnic disparity. But no matter the case, it is almost always outside of one's control. And so it becomes less about how the world sees you, and more about how you see yourself. Such is the anime Crest of the Stars, a simple beginning to a galactic journey.
of the Stars places Jinto, a young male Terran-turned-Abh nobleman, into the spotlight. Before making his way to the capital of the Humankind Empire Abh, he is greeted by the heir to the jade throne, Lafiel. But before they can make it home, an unexpected event occurs.
The anime purports itself to be one about romance and space. But it becomes quickly apparent that the ideas and focus regarding the universe take precedence over the development of Jinto and Lafiel's relationship. In this way, the show is often aptly described as "Spice and Wolf, in space." And that's a compliment; while the character dynamics between our hero and heroine are looked at less than the world-building (galaxy-building), what is given is not to be scoffed at. Their adventure sees them come together, with protecting, quarreling, helping, annoying, caring, bickering, and understanding being rampant throughout. While it isn't actually romance, it's a start, for before a couple can be lovers, they must first become friends.
Hearkening back to the galaxy-building, this is perhaps Crest of the Stars's strongest point outside of the relationship between Jinto and Lafiel. There are a ton of different pieces of information given throughout the show. For example, there is an entire language specifically crafted for the Abh; factoids about the Four Nations Alliance and their tense relationship with the "Kin of the Stars;" scientific offerings in terms of measurements, space-travel, and technology; exploration into the Abh's culture and way of life; and minor yet intriguing pieces that round out the experience. It's done adequately enough, not feeling too overwhelming while still maintaining its own, unique identity.
Where the anime begins to misstep is in the events that take place, or more specifically, their importance. The show is roughly sectioned into two parts: a quarter of which deal with large-scale war skirmishes and the remaining focusing on Jinto and Lafiel's escapades. But where the macro instances hold both literal and figurative weight, the micro ones do not. That is, the main couple's actions never feel as if they mean anything, in any regard. Whether it's fighting their way out of a Baron's domain or hijacking a vehicle to make it to the nearest city, their mark on everything that is going on around them is significantly smaller. Now, the purpose of placing so much emphasis on the two makes sense; the idea is to establish, explore, and eventually enact the relationship between Jinto and Lafiel. And while their relationship was done nicely, the events around them were not.
Crest of the Stars also misaligned itself in regard to its overall focus. Here, the show at first plays with the idea of our characters being "birds trapped in cages." That is to say, their free but restricted in what they are capable of doing. Despite winning the hierarchical lottery, what the anime depicts are two young adults struggling to deal with a universe that looks at them for what they are, as opposed to who they are. And that's vastly interesting...but is sadly dropped. The show goes from showcasing Lafiel's interracial distance and Jinto's unfair discrimination to more action-oriented scenes and having Jinto "find his place." It's an awkward transition, mostly because the former thematic direction was well-crafted but is suddenly forgotten and replaced with a more general message.
The best way to describe Crest of the Stars's art and animation would be a "mixed bag."
The art for the anime can be rather pleasant at times. The battleships, the star systems, the surface of planets; there are a multitude of different areas that are explored, each providing an appropriate mood for the given situation. The inside of the ships match the blue-hair of the Abh; outer space is dotted with stations and stars; and amusement parks, city streets, and forests are interspersed throughout the planets. At times, though, the anime uses this strange filter to give the effect of light or brightness that deters from the visuals rather than supports them.
The character designs follow a similar trend. The Abh are beautiful and regal, with their pale skin, sharp eyes, and distinctly blue hair. Lafiel fits this description, but always sporting her military outfit. Unless, of course, the situation demands a change. Jinto dons similar attire, with a white-and-red cloak, brown, parted hair, and various costume changes when appropriate. The largest issue comes from their often irregularly shaped heads and jaws. It can, like the filtering, be wholly distracting.
Actual animation is normally average to above-average. While there is a lot of talking and sitting -- at dinner tables, in a shuttle, or within a strategy room -- characters are usually moving or reacting to the words and sentences being said. Furthermore, the aforementioned battles demonstrate their prowess, with huge explosions, lasers, missiles, cruisers, and gunfire going off at all times.
Crest of the Stars, while involving space and war, is still an anime about our main duo: Jinto the Terran and Lafiel the Abh.
As a descendant of the Abh, and especially of the royal family line, Lafiel finds herself in a precarious position. Direct yet respectful, she can normally be quite ignorant of the emotions and customs of non-Abh people. This is easily attributed to her race; they are taught to "move forward" when making decisions, are usually apathetic towards other species, and keep themselves away from non-Abh prevalent areas. But due to her logical reasoning and knowledge of the rest of the galaxy, she is able to support Jinto through the first half of their perilous adventure. And while she finds that completing one's mission is admirable, she wishes she could do more. That is, she looks at herself as being "useless" in the grand scheme of things. The attack on Gosroth, fleeing from ships encircling the planet of Sufugnoff, getting exhausted from an absurd amount of running; despite demonstrating her prowess as a capable woman and an amazing friend, she still believes herself to be bringing those around her down, or at the minimum, not contributing enough to the efforts at hand. However, Jinto believes otherwise.
Jinto was born and raised, for a time, as human. However, following a betrayal by his father towards their home planet, Jinto technically became a nobleman in the Humankind Abh Empire. Extremely caring to those around him and rather witty, he often finds himself being "useless" as well. More so than anything else, he feels useless alongside Lafiel. Not being able to console her during times of grief, taken hostage, unable to man spacecraft; he's described as nothing more than a "commodity" that needs to be transported from one area to the next. But he moves from being the helped to the helper come the second half of the anime. This movement, where the roles are switched between Jinto and Lafiel, also occurs with a shift in location. They go from Abh-controlled territory to United Mankind dominion, and subsequently Jinto becomes the leader. And after having been the one in reliance and the one relied upon, he discovers that everyone goes through what he has. That people hold "strengths and weaknesses," that everyone is a "bird in a cage." Everyone needs aid from time to time, whether you're a noble count or a royal princess. It makes no difference, for when one's weaknesses are at play, he or she must lean on someone's strengths. In other words, someone else will bring the key, open that birdcage door, and set that bird free.
Looking at both Jinto and Lafiel, both here and within the anime, it becomes evident: they're "the same, but different." It's not just about him being a Terran and her being an Abh, it's in the way they carry themselves, how they're perceived, and what they know of their counterpart's culture. In short, they learn from each other over the course of the show. Jinto realizes the difference between killing and protecting, and that there are times when one has to face danger head on. For Lafiel, she comes to understand that the logical choice isn't always the correct path; sometimes you have to do what's right instead of what's right. Beyond learning from each other, they learn about each other, too. Their various customs, lore, and upbringings allow them to connect with one another more so than with anyone else they have known their entire lives. And that's what Crest of the Stars accomplishes: creating the start of a dichotomous, trusting, and loving relationship.
The OP is quite orchestral in its composition. The track begins with hard drums and violins, leading into a fantastical arrangement with that strange feeling of space permeating it. With more trumpets, violins, and high and low points, the piece ends in mysterious fashion, making it a nice fit for the show at hand.
The ED is one of the most 90's songs I've listened to in quite a while. The slow piano and simple acoustic guitar playing fill the background initially. The vocalist is "by himself" for the first half, but when the second half kicks in, a common drum-and-cymbal beat appears alongside the, "I wanna fly away!" lyric. Coupled with the "oh-ohhh-oh" singing and its general slowness, it can actually be quite catchy to listen to.
The rest of the soundtrack mostly follows in the OP's footsteps. More space-like pieces filled with trickling instrumental effects and violins; flute and low-keyed piano ones during more tense situations; chimes, flutes, and violins in unison follow the more thoughtful moments; and guitar and drums when battles are underway. Each track fits well during the scenes in which they are played, but sadly, none are impressive on their own.
Voice-acting-wise, everyone involved performs in or around average. There are no special shout-outs to be had.
With romance as my favorite genre, I went into this one expecting to see a good amount of it. But as it went on, and as was already detailed somewhat, it was not about romance; it was about leading up to romance. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It was great to see Jinto and Lafiel risking their lives to save one another on numerous occasions, despite having only met a few days prior. And honestly, anything beyond what they gave near the ending of the season would have been too much, and would have betrayed what the goal of the anime was. Which, reiterating once more, is starting their relationship. In the following seasons, I'll be awaiting to see their blossoming romance unfold.
The war and the fights, both in space and on land, were fun to watch at times, but not nearly as interesting as Jinto and Lafiel's dynamic. There, it would be funny at times, with Jinto making jokes with Lafiel and her being rather fun herself, despite her background.
As a final note, Dorin Ku, Jinto's only friend back on his planet of Delktoe, had a surprisingly well done segment; from his ten minutes of screen time alone, he was able to personify the epitome of "best friend." Which made it a shame to see him leave as quickly as he appeared. But as a final negative, there were too many "100 vs 2" moments, breaking some of the "reality" of the situations that took place.
Crest of the Stars is an anime featuring racial disparity, space wars, and an interesting couple. While the story and animation are lacking, the characters and music help to alleviate some of its shortcomings. But this is just the beginning of Jinto and Lafiel's relationship, and subsequently the beginning of the series. Hopefully, what is left in store will be able to pick up the slack.
Story: Fine, "Spice and Wolf, in space," adequate world-building, weightless events, thematically lost
Animation: Fine, nice art style, weird filter, okay character designs, good actual animation
Characters: Good, Jinto and Lafiel begin their dichotomous, trusting, and loving relationship
Sound: Good, good OP, nice ED, good soundtrack, average VA work
Enjoyment: Fine, not enough romance to my liking, some fun writing here and there, they win too many clearly stacked battles
In the far future, mankind is on the brink of entering a galactic war with the alien race Abh, as earth is preparing for battle, without firing a single plasma beam, their leader Rock Linn surrenders. In the middle of all this is Jinto Linn, the cowardly leader's son whom is only at the time 10 years old. What will become of mankind after its conquering? Will the human race be destroyed? Who are the Abh and what are their intentions? These answers and more in the beginning of the epic Seikai saga!
The main story begins 7 years after mankind’s surrender to the Abh. Jinto
is now 17 years old. During the last 7 years Jinto was on Planet Delct, training for the Abh miltary as well as learning the Abh language. While departing, he meets the beautiful young female Abh solder Lafiel. Little does Jinto know, but Laifel is the future princess for the Abh. What we get out of the main story is not only adventure, romance and action, but international space politics that show the problems the nations are going through and what they want. Not many anime do this. If you are interested in an all action show you will not get it here. Yes there is great action, but most of that is saved for the sequel. This anime has a lot of dialog, but its not boring or pointless.
The artwork for crest of the stars is done well, even though it looks like how most animes in the 90s did. Where the art does well is the atmosphere. It feels very misty and dream like. The backgrounds on the space stations are creative. The art gives you a feeling of a living breathing world.
The music for crest of the stars is great, and help makes the show feel like a real scifi epic. (which it is) The opening song is a tribute to classic SciFi shows of the 1950s and 60s gives the viewer promise of adventure and wonder. The space battle music pumps up the action well, music and background music for calmer moments are at times dreamlike, it fits the space mood very well
The characters are very well developed, this is due to the many long conversations in the story. Jinto is put into a unique situation, but he is relatable since he is the only major human character. Laifel is the fan favorite, and she does not act like a wishy washy disney princess who just wants more of everything. She is logical but not a genius, she does what she thinks for her country. There are many more characters in the Crest of the stars saga and her sequel, and some are are as developed as Jinto and Laifel.
Crest of the stars is a great anime with a interesting story and superb character development. Its a shame it did not receive the attention it deserves in western countries. I blame this on the bad marketing bandai had as well as the bad English dub. (watch with Japanese subs) If you are into scifi, or just want a good story with good characters check out Crest of the stars.
Crest of the Stars is a tale of futuristic fighting between two factions: the "alien" race of the Abh and mankind. The Abh aren't necessarily alien as they are enhanced humans - they have altered genes that give them prominent features such as longer youth and blue hair. They were originally intended to be "living machines" to mankind but soon found independence on a space voyage for new planets to inhabit. They follow a imperial system, with influential families having elaborate names and taking top positions in the economy or military. Humans are split into 4 differ factions that ultimately make the United Mankind. A
majority of the ones shown in the anime carry a grudge against the Abh. This is due to the fact that the Abh have gone from rebels seeking independence to galaxy conquerors. The Abh have military and economic dominion over the United Mankind. Now, in an ironic move, mankind seeks freedom and independence from those that wanted their independence. Despite this seeming like a good start for a story, the anime does not focus on the huge war taking place. The effects and some small fighting moments are shown, but they are not the main story. Instead, it takes a more personal look at two characters caught up in this war: Jinto and Lafiel.
Jinto is a young boy who is the son of the Hyde star system's president. His father, Rock Lin, made a shady deal as their world was taken over by the Abh: rather than fight the invaders, he opted to become the territorial lord. This by effect made Jinto Abh nobility. Seven years after this event, he is on his way to a military college in the Abh's capital where he meets Lafiel. Lafiel also carries social influence - born in the Abriel family, she is a princess and the granddaughter of the Abh's empress. She currently works as a flying trainee trying to work her way up in the military. The anime follows the two trying to reach their destination only to be sidetracked by the war taking place - their tale turns from one of an escort mission to that of survival.
Their personalities, as you would expect, are quite different from another. Jinto is more relaxed and calm, while Lafiel is serious and straightforward. The two protagonists form an interesting dynamic with each other. Due to her military experience, Lafiel is sharp when it comes to controlling ships or coming up with a strategic plan. Jinto is more aware of social cues and is able to help them keep a low profile in enemy territory or ease a tense situation. With personality traits like these, they have good chemistry with each other (that also hints at a bit of romance). The moments where they are alone and discuss what to do next are some of the better moments in the series. The talk may be a bit more formal, but their conversations always have a friendly delivery with each other that feels natural for them. Had this show been a character study in a more low-key setting, it would make for a great series.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. Crest of the Stars still seeks to be a space opera full of grand bombast and wonder despite focusing mainly on two characters. Mixed between the relationship of Jinto and Lafiel are battle scenes and side characters that ultimately fall flat. This is due to not enough time being put on these elements. A show can't achieve a full complex environment in only 13 episodes and still spend a majority of its time on its two leads - some elements will have to be cut. This results in many of the dire circumstances feeling like "misadventures", such as when they are "held captive" by the Baron Klowal. Rather than fear for our heroes, I was ultimately watching as to when they will escape because of the lack of tension. The battles that Laimsairh and Spoor, two of the Abh ship leaders in the war, are involved in have no weight because we hardly know the opponent they're fighting. Additionally, because they interact so sparingly with the main two, it feels like episode fluff rather than seeing a smart or flashy military battle. Crest of the Stars wants to be a space opera but in reality is a romanticized adventure.
Character wise, Lafiel is fine due to her straight shooter attitude, but Jinto can be a bit questionable at times. I at first (and still mostly do) found him to be a breath of fresh air in terms of a lead. He's not the manliest guy, but he doesn't overreact or make a big deal of the scene around him, making him more human than cartoon. This goes a bit too far in situations where there IS something to worry about - in other words, he underreacts. In scenes where death should be lurking around his corner, he is strangely calm and makes lighthearted remarks. I can give him the benefit of the doubt and say he's near fearless, but his relaxed attitude makes it so any scene wanting to be intense feels deflated. The other characters are eclipsed by these two, so characters that could be interesting like the ones in Marca's group or Laimsairh are sadly sidelined.
In more general terms, the Abhs and mankind are also characters that can be faulted, but this is more of the way the show presents them instead of who they actually are. Some stories have very simple sides to choose (heroes vs. villains) while other stories like to show each side has mixed morals and ultimately either side is right in their means. Crest of the Stars wants to do both, trying to throw cries of independence and goodwill at both sides while making the humans have a more negative appearance (lying, violent propaganda) while the Abhs have a more positive appearance (graceful appearance, gentle yet firm speech). If this were a political piece, surely the audience would lambast this as strawmanning. Even the narrator's opening shifts sides, starting with an overview of the world before telling twisted tales of the Good Samaritan to bolster the Abhs. Though there's an argument for this show being imperial propaganda, I don't think it's as much imperial propaganda as much as it is bad directing/storytelling. It's much easier to write simple sides than to give each side its own reason for being good. Even shows like LoGH fall victim to this, albeit they do it in much less of a "kneejerk" way. Again, a lesser scope or more episodes can avoid this. Sadly, this is the end result.
These last two issues are not as dire as the first (to me, it's worse to be not invested in a show than anything else), but are still some faults of the show. Of course, all of these faults could ultimately be due to the adaptation. The novels the anime was based on won a Seiun Award, an honor given to the best Japanese science fiction works of the year. The novels may carry more detail than what the anime can show, so perhaps it needed 2 cours to fully show off its potential.
Visually, the animation is fine. It can come off as a bit on the budget side at times, but it looks decent in motion (especially in the faster paced-scenes). Adding to this is the good use of multi-tone shading, an older tradition that looks as great now as it did then. The character models can look a bit strange at times, with an odd curve in their skull (this is most apparent in Seelnay's appearance) but it stays consistent and there's really no off-models with the look. The soundtrack is very good, with big string sections and pleasant tracks giving the right mood to each scene. The ED, "Ushinawareta Aozora", is a catchy, nostalgic sounding sing-along and works great alongside the pictures of the two protagonists growing up. The voice acting is fine for what the show gives us - it's a formal setting, so formal voices are to be expected. A bit more passion from Jinto would and a slightly less annoying voice for Seelnay would be preferred, but they all do a good job playing their roles.
Overall, I give Crest of the Stars a 5.5 out of 10. The truth is that Crest of the Stars cannot do anything Legend of the Galactic Heroes does better in the space opera genre. A show like LoGH covers a wider and more detailed look at politics, tactics and human behavior than Crest of the Stars does, even within its first 13 episodes. A made-up language and fancy names can only distract a viewer so long. Crest of the Stars might be liked if you want something more romantic, but otherwise I would avoid unless you are an avid fan of the genre tags.
Do you like or dislike this anime? If you haven't watched it, are you encouraged to watch it or not? Leave a comment on my profile telling me what you think of the anime and/or my review.
Science-fiction has got to be one of my favourite genres. Some of my most beloved books are sci-fi, and it doesn't take much sifting through them to figure out what I like. I love the meshing of human and alien cultures; seeing how they interact with one another and how they compare and contrast is one of the most fascinating parts of those sort of books, in my opinion. Spaceship battles take a back seat – while they can be interesting, I have to be invested in the characters first. That's what psychology and the glimpse of a well-written and imagined society give me: grounds
to care for the characters, relate to them, and become concerned for their fates. So when I heard that Seikai no Monshou, or Crest of the Stars if you prefer the English title, combined science-fiction, politics, and romance, naturally, I was sold. Unfortunately, the end result proved to not be so captivating.
The series follows the main protagonist, Jinto, and his tribulations as he deals with becoming a nobleman of the Abh empire despite being a regular human. For the sake of simplicity, the Abh are basically space elves, although it's stated that they were descended from humans many years before. The second protagonist is Lafiel, a princess of the Abh empire and a full-blooded Abh herself. Naturally, one predicts they'll get together, but this is presumably reserved for later seasons. This one mainly focuses on the pair as they find themselves in the middle of a war between the Abh empire and an anti-Abh sect of humans.
Jinto is a scholarly, reserved young man looking to fit in; Lafiel is a blunt but honourable young woman who also wishes to fit in. Both feel incompetent or useless in their respective societies and circles. As such, they are similar yet dissimilar, and that ought to be more than enough grounds for their interactions to be compelling and interesting. Unfortunately, they aren't; the way Seikai no Monshou pans out, their actions and turmoils are highly insignificant in comparison to anything else. I'm left feeling dysphoric and completely uninterested in what Lafiel and Jinto are doing – even bored. I usually have no problem whatsoever with slow pacing; indeed, I hardly notice it unless it is pointed out to me. Seikai no Monshou's pacing is almost as painful as trying to swim in molasses, and left me yawning distractedly as I wondered when the episode would end.
One of the main problems the series has is that we have little to no reason to empathize with the main characters, partially because we hardly know anything about them. They simply react to the situations they are put into; as viewers, we feel detached from the action. To make matters worse, the anime pushes too many ideologies and too much information on us to be realistically manageable. This is usually achieved by a narrator at the start of each episode, reciting some explanations or historically significant event that seems, at the very best, loosely connected to the episode itself. I have no problem with politics and intrigue; in fact, I think it can be fascinating if done well, but Seikai no Monshou makes no effort to connect us to the information it is spewing at us.
Let's get a book as an example, shall we? C.J. Cherryh's First Contact series is, in a superficial way, similar to Seikai no Monshou (part of the reason I was so eager to start the anime in the first place). The books are centred around a human male protagonist and his experiences and trials as he learns to coexist in a completely alien culture. Politics play a large role in this series, but it is interesting, because the main character is involved and affected by the goings on around him. Not to mention, he's also a pretty capable politician. Seikai no Monshou doesn't do this. Instead of making the main characters a part of the intrigue, allowing us to learn with them and make connections with events ourselves, we are treated to a cheap form of exposition that does nothing at all to make us empathize or sympathize with, well, anyone, really. There is far too much “telling” me things, and not enough “showing”.
Luckily, episodes 9 and up are far more interesting and engaging than the previous ones. The sole reason for this is that Lafiel and Jinto actually get a bit of a breather and are able to interact with one another. In addition, they commingle with other people and have to figure out how to survive on a planet occupied by an army who does not like Abhs. That isn't to say that they didn't interact with people before; it's just that the majority of them were Abhs, and most of the interactions took place in spaceships. The problem, then, is that Abhs just aren't very interesting. I considered if this was because the Abhs can be thought of as quite “alien” and thus inaccessible, since they think vastly different from us lowly humans. However, upon further examination, I realized that this was simply not true. Plenty forms of fiction can make aliens different and perfectly strange, but still interesting. Thus, one's indifference to the Abh race can only be constituted as a product of poor writing.
Despite all this, when the anime skips all the dreary exposition, the battles in space that just feel like a time filler, and the dull character interactions, it can actually be pretty good. It does a decent job of building up a general idea of the atmosphere in the first two episodes, and, as stated before, the final four to five episodes are truly enjoyable and do make me more interested in the rest of the series. Overall, though, it would be best not to get your hopes up too much. It's a childish and draggy show at its core. Hopefully, the remaining seasons will redeem it. Since the anime was adapted from novels, I imagine that they handle the topic and plot far better.
Seikai no Monshou's soundtrack is quite good. Composed by Katsuhisa Hattori, it is very orchestral in nature and feels very “classical”. The opening theme is especially worth mentioning; it is a purely instrumental piece that is very pleasing to the ear and gets you excited for the episode to come, at least for the first couple times you hear it. The rest of the soundtrack, while more than satisfactory, tends to feel out of place in the grand scheme of things. It's rather as if the anime tries to feel more epic and sophisticated than it actually is. The ending theme is highly reminiscent of a ballad. Called Ushinawareta Aozora and performed by TimeSlip-Rendzvous, I personally wasn't too fond of it, but it's an acceptable bit of music. As for the voice actors, I didn't particularly find vexation with any of them, but I wasn't blown away, either.
Sunrise's artwork is honestly very hit-or-miss. The colours are typically bland and not all that eye-catching. There are scenes where the drawings are beautiful, but those are fairly few. More often than not, the characters look awkward, overly kiddish (and by that, I mean the art makes it seem like the anime's demographic is six year olds), or just plain deformed. The spaceship designs are pretty nice, though. Simply put, the art does its job, and while it's mediocre at times, it can occasionally impress.
Overall, Seikai no Monshou is an acceptable science-fiction show, and while it certainly won't have you on the edge of your seat, it's all right if you want to whet your appetite for aliens. What it doesn't offer is strong character relationships or an interesting plot, but it's all right for what it does. You could certainly do worse. Who knows, it might be the prelude to a truly epic tale that blows all the competition right out of the water – but for now, it's a pretty lacklustre start for the series as a whole. Tentatively recommended.
The very essence of cartoons is that they possess the ability to 'stretch reality'. In other words, to take an initial idea or assumption that we are all familiar with and then start pulling at it very hard. Taking that which is so clearly absurd and taking it to its logical conclusion.
This is why cartoons and satire make for excellent bedfellows. Since after all, the latter is doing exactly the same thing. From Hogarth to Watterson, with Tenniel, Shultz, Uderzo, and Groening somewhere inbetween. Yet rarely if ever has anyone dared to make a good space satire. Animated or otherwise.
Though it may seem at first
glance a simple thing to do. After all the sheer preposterous of the genre might lend suggest that it seems ripe for a good ribbing. But good satire requires a certain sense of subtlety, at least to start off with. Not an easy feat when the story begins with spacemen from the planet Zog.
There have been some noble attempts in the past, most notably Douglas Adam's sublime 'Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy'. Yet even then, an almost unrivaled comic flair (not to mention a quotability up there with Blackadder and Monty Python) is fatally undermined by an uneven narrative. '
Red Dwarf' on the other hand presents a much more conventional proposition. Being as it is a standard (albeit first rate) sit-com set in space, thus with all the jokes being references to the eccentricities and inconsistencies of its chosen genre. Thus what it presents in barrel laughs, it lacks in any sense of subtlety.
Which is what makes the entire 'Crest of the Stars' series such an astonishing piece of work. Unquestionably the single finest satire on the space (and/or space opera) genre that I have ever seen. All the great works from the Anglo-American tradition are put to the sword. Nothing is sacred, nothing is given quarter.
I for one welcome our new Ahb overlords.
Studio Sunrise just pumps out anime. Also, there are two people to note of in terms of the Crest/Banner of the Stars anime (Seikai Series), and those are unknown director Yasuchika Nagaoka whom worked on all of the Seikai Series before going freelance, and original creator Hiroyuki Morioka. Notably, Morioka created an entire language with an alphabet (Ath) called Baronh just for the main alien race, the Abh. From 1999-2005 the Seikai Series anime went through 3 separate seasons plus an OVA to finish up.
Seikai’s story focuses around a young man named Jinto. As a child, his planet was taken over by the Abh and
his father negotiates that he and his son be given nobility status within the Abh in exchange for the planet, in simple terms. Quickly Jinto goes off to nobility school to learn the culture and language of the Abh. Upon going off to military school, which is custom for all Abh, he meets the young Abh Princess Lafiel. Of course, their ship gets into conflict with a developing war, and the story goes from there.
Character designs are different to say the least. It tends to be a bit repetitive with the Abh, and humans are generally portrayed as Neanderthals. However, it does come with good reason. The Abh are a genetically engineered race that are supposed to look the same, while humans are meant to be portrayed as the inferior race. This also makes a point in the ways political conflicts are handled on both sides without giving away spoilers. Almost every detail in the Seikai Series has a point one way or another, and it’s done very well. From the opera music in this space opera anime, makes sense, to the written dialogue with not all races speaking the same native tongue, makes sense, the Seikai Series is an anime that really breaks boundaries on the typical sci-fi front. Even the romance is done well in how Jinto and Lafiel’s relationship develops from their first meeting all the way to the OVA. Next to the politics and space battles with subtle romance as a sub-plot, the only anime that comes close to this amount of detail is Legend of the Galactic Heroes.
From the hard space action of Crest of the Stars, to the political struggle and war of Banner of the Stars, even the romance development and civil conflicts of the OVA, the Seikai Series is an anime of wonder. Pacing is constantly changing and mostly holds up from start to finish. Highly recommend to say the least.
A master piece of an anime that is certainly lost in the time of the early 2000's. This series not only brings originality with story and the surrounding environment it also introduces the concept of love without the physical part. True emotional love and care between two characters in an all out war against humankind. Jinto is a well reserved and good manner male character that shows his lack of understanding of his environments and carelessness. Lafiel is a strong female lead that also has her own draw backs, but when the two face countless challenges and battles they make a perfect couple as each
ones faults or strength makes up for the other. If you like romance, and space battles this little gem is for you.
Seikai no Monshou is a must see for space-alien anime fanatics, of any age, despite that a lot of people do not like anime from before 2000. In my opinion, this show is great because of how successful it became, with two other full sequels and a bunch of ova's, specials, and movies to go along with. This series was fun to watch and easily got me hooked. As the story progresses, one can feel fully immersed in this space world, and even find themselves in relatable positions. The story is about a boy, Jinto, who is the son of the president of Planet Martine.
When the planet is invaded by the Abh empire, the president gives up without a fight in return for nobility status; thus making Jinto a minor prince. His title is his saving grace in more ways than one...
I can only judge the show based on this particular season without any bias from its' many sequels. This anime more or less always starts off with a 1-2 minute pre-intro in Abh language. It is a totally made up language, and dub or sub, I never got any translations. We have to use our imaginations for this part. Then the intro starts playing and it goes back into regular Japanese or whatever dubbed language it was supposed to be in. The anime has a major plot, with 3 main subplots that take up the entire 13 episodes. In my opinion, the 2nd arc was a bit lackluster, but it probably was put in to show the versatility/creativity of the characters. Still, it was just a three episode burnout, which is only really important for those who wish to complete the other sequels.
The art was great for an anime in the “despised era” of the 90’s and early 2000’s; a time many people try to specifically avoid because the art style is too old. It is actually done very well, and depict the scenes of space and some of its inhabitants on other planets pretty well. It does use some of the cliché’s, like the cliché for women to wear short clothes, but main characters usually have a full-body suit. The "humans" are also drawn more feral, in an attempt to make the Abh look even better. The ships are the standard many space operas have used. The attention to detail was also an important aspect of the art for the anime, with even background depictions surpassing many anime of its time.
The sound is excellent. The music really sets the scene and helps with the tone of the show. The space fights are better than many other space operas, such as Outlaw Star. The speech of the characters is varied a lot, helping set the mood of the nobility, where different people use different dialects. An important “sound” is that important “Abh speak”. It helps create the idea that the Abh really are a different species altogether with their own language and customs. Other than that, the opening and ending themes are very memorable.
The characters really make the show. Jinto is from a planet resembling Earth, so his character is easier for the audience to connect to. This is in contrast with the space princess Lafiel, which makes the audience want to get to know her better, because of her royal blood, but desire for military prowess. The characters are all well developed, though some names might be harder to remember, because they are Abh of course. The only reason I didn’t give the characters a 10 is because of that one arc I didn’t enjoy all that much, mainly dealing with a baron of the Abh Empire. He was still a good character, but I felt that it would have been better if he didn’t have a whole arc to himself. The characters and their behavior still pave the path to understanding the Abh people. This is contributed by the depth of the characters, and their beliefs.
Again, this is a must see for space opera fans. The entire Seikai series does an outstanding job of depicting a space age saga, probably comparable to the legendary Uchuu Senkan Yamato. I really did not expect to enjoy this anime so much, but the story was great, the characters even better, and just the idea of an interstellar romance was enough to draw me in. It is a great series that I would recommend to everyone. It was immediately added to favorites after completing it, because it was the building block for an even greater experience with the other series.
Since I still want to try to be objective, I’ll give it an 8.5-9. There were some things that could have been done better to make it a greater show, but there's no point in debating what could have been. It is a great anime that is worth everyone’s time and is easily a timeless 90’s space opera classic. If you must, just skip the first 2 minutes if the Abh speak confuses you too much. I don’t recommend it, but there were some times I just could not fathom what they were saying. If this anime is ever remade, I would love it for them to make the language more comprehensible to the public, but this anime is great just the way it is!
This anime has some of the best character portrayals I ever saw. The story also wonderfully handles exposition and calmly shows the world and its aspects.... the creators even went as far as to write full language for the universe. Every episode starts with small exposition and backstory told in that language. Coupled with amazing music, the whole thing feels magical.
So... why not 10/10? Well... there are few minor issues, and the anime is just too short. Only 13 episodes. When you watch it, it feels like you're seeing a beginning of something like another Legends of Galactic Heroes.... but then
it is over. The ending is handled very gracefully, however.
This is about space, futuristic societieis, differences between those societies, and the anime wonderfully presetns the world. There are, however, few scenes and one episode that felt a bit forced , but that is the only problem. The anime spends plenty of time describing world, interesting theories/ideas used by it, touches details on differences between races, and in the end this effort pays off -- Everything feels real and alive.
The art is a fairly good old-school drawing style. It is similar to maybe Magic-M66 or something like that. It does resemble Legends of Galactic Heroes in the way how it is executed. The problem is... I spotted some reused footage, and the "awkward episode" I mentioned in story section, felt like they had funding problems. So... there are few cost saving tricks noticeable. Aside from that, visuals look good, the actual style is somewhat unique, and nothing feels obviously rushed. Overall, I'd say that characters could use a tiny bit more detail, but for the purposes of this anime everything in the art style works.
Intro theme is magnificent and invokes feeling of awe. The issue here is that I don't really remember any track beside intro theme. They're there , and they do their job, and of decent quality, though. Voice actors are quite good, although I think there was only one famous name. Lafiel can sound a bit cold and indifferent, but that matches her personality well.
This is where anime shines. Almost every interaction between characters is completely believable, and beautifully crafted. Every person feels alive, it is very easy to sympathize with pretty much everybody on the screen is believable and looks like a person. There are also no steretypical characters here.
So... why not 10/10? Well, there is ONE subpar character in the show, which doesn't meet the quality standard by the rest. Thankfully, that character didn't get too mcuh screen time.
Very enjoyable. Pacing is slow, despite some events, but watching it was very interesting.
I highly recommend to watch this anime. Character quality is truly something in those series, music is great, and story - and the world are interesting.