Crest of the Stars
Jinto's father was prime minister of an insignificant star system. He can still recall the day the system was taken over by the space faring race known as the Abh. Jinto's father made a deal with the Abh to hand over the system in exchange for a place within their society. While the Abh are genetically engineered and elven in appearance, any person with the right credentials is accepted as Abh.
Now a teenager, Jinto is expected to attend an Abh academy. His first Abh encounter is with a tenacious, exceptionally serious girl named Lafiel. The two quickly become friends before he learns she's not just a pilot, she also happens to be an Abh princess. What should have been a routine transport mission turns into an epic adventure, as the Abh empire enters a war against the four allied human nations in the galaxy.
Crest of the Stars retains a true sci-fi novel feel, and I totally love that. It's an imaginative, highly detailed world revealed through dialog. Typically sci-fi tv/move adaptations concentrate on visuals and lose that kind of development. Not so in Crest of the Stars. The back story, environment, and plot details use the dialog centric approach of a book. This may not be to your liking though. Most expect science fiction to be about action and explosions. If that's what you want or expect, you may find Crest of the Stars long and plodding.
The series is intended to stretch multiple novels. This anime covers the beginning. It's not exactly intended as story with a finally, but instead as an introduction to Jinto and Lafiel - giving them (and the Abh war) a foundation for the story later on. Their adventure does come to a close, but a "to be continued" feel is something you should expect.
As a side note, strategy is involved in Crest of the Stars space battles. Nearly everything comes from the Abh perspective, and little is shown from other points of view. I know people freak out about "what where the other guys doing?". That's the POINT of strategy. The Abh don't have psychic powers, so strategy is based off of experience, logic, and intuition. Taking things from their perspective; we're as much in the dark as they are. Without concrete knowledge of the situation, we have our doubts about the Abh assumptions as much as they do. Later on, some failures in assumptions even have severe consequences. This franchise plays on this for suspense, however you'll never really know enough details to work out what's going to happen on your own. It's an unusual approach rarely used in anime, so depending on your tastes, it's not a given you'll like this.
The style is a bit weak, and the characters look downright awkward. Hyperspace has a "grainy" look which can make it difficult to see what's happening during ship combat. As a show coming into the new age of computer animation, it struggles with CGI stuff in general, but for its vintage, looks decent.
If you're the kind of person who requires explosions to keep you entertained, this isn't your series. Crest of the Stars is imaginative, and great science fiction, however it is HEAVILY dialog based. I pretty much worship this show, and saying I loved the hell out of Crest is pretty accurate. It's quality science fiction like this which is rarely seen these days (or ever really), so perhaps that's why I fiercely cling to it when I find it.
ExO: Transmission from HQ.
Spoor: Read me the text.
ExO: "Trample them". That's all.
Spoor: This is my first mission with Admiral Trife.
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