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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anime sci-fi at its finest
I'm surprised at how often this classic anime is overlooked by even the most dedicated anime fans. Crest of the Stars is the first installment of the Stars collection (Banner of the Stars, and Banner of the Stars II being the other two). This anime mainly focuses on the building of the relationship between the Abh princess Lafiel and the up and coming human, turned Abh,...
Published on September 5, 2006 by faster

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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Quality of Product
"YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR" axiom rings true for this purchase! Very dissapointed with these new cheap flimsy plastic one box with multiple discs packaging. Sub-standard image and translation (english sub-titles) quality on the discs when compared to the original versions I once borrowed long ago from my local DVD rental outlet. On the first disc, there is no proper...
Published on October 11, 2007 by Anil Katheappa


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anime sci-fi at its finest, September 5, 2006
This review is from: Crest of the Stars - Anime Legends Complete Collection (DVD)
I'm surprised at how often this classic anime is overlooked by even the most dedicated anime fans. Crest of the Stars is the first installment of the Stars collection (Banner of the Stars, and Banner of the Stars II being the other two). This anime mainly focuses on the building of the relationship between the Abh princess Lafiel and the up and coming human, turned Abh, Count Jinto and the events leading up to the intergalactic war between the Abh Empire and the United Mankind.

This is a wonderfully told story filled with many dramatic moments ,some good laughs, and a nice score that help add to the epic feeling of the series. The relationship between Lafiel and Jinto is developed beautifully and found myself being pulled into their world almost completely absorbed in what was happening.

Even you're not into sci-fi at all I'd say there's still a good chance you will enjoy this anime.

There is also Banner of the Stars 1 and 2 which focus mainly on the war itself, and the first novel in the series is set to be released 9/30/06.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection that simple, September 29, 2006
By 
The Anime Adict (St. Cloud Mn USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Crest of the Stars - Anime Legends Complete Collection (DVD)
Finally a truly perfect series. Yes Crest of the Stars is perfection. The only flaw if you can call it that is the somewhat slow story progression. I personally prefer the pace as it gives you time just to get to know the characters. This series nearly perfectly balances plot and character development. The technology is believable and the cause for the resent of the rest of mankind towards the ahb is somewhat understandable. The music is incredible with the exception of the opening theme which just seems out of place. The ending theme in particular deserves note, I honestly didn't realize that a male human voice in any language could sound so torn up. The story is interesting and is constantly changing course. Character development is where this series truly shines, both main characters are so believable that you could easily walking up to them on the street and carrying out a conversation. All in all you do not have an excuse not to buy this series.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A series that I simply fell in love with and could not stop watching., August 8, 2008
This review is from: Crest of the Stars - Anime Legends Complete Collection (DVD)
For years, I've read and heard of how awesome the "Crest of the Stars" and "Banner of the Stars" series are and while I take a break from my "watch every Gundam series" marathon, I decided to purchase "Crest of the Stars" and "Banner of the Stars" and find out for myself why people enjoy this series.

This series could have been the sci-fi cliche of aliens go to planet, aliens threaten inhabitants of planet, inhabitants fight back and war ensues.

But fortunately, "Crest of the Stars" doesn't go there.

"Crest of the Stars" is the first part of a trilogy based on the manga written back in 1996 by Morioka Hiroyuki. The manga was adapted to 13-episodes and featured on WOWOW back in 1999.

The anime was released in the US by Bandai Entertainment in 2001 and later aired on television on TechTV in 2002.

The story primarily focuses on two characters, terrran Jinto Lin and an Abh named Lafiel.

The first episode starts off when Jinto was a young child. His home planet, Martine, has been invaded by the Abh Empire. The inhabitants wants Martine to defend its planet over any takeover and fight but unknown to them, Jinto's father, Rock Lyn, the governor of Martine secretly strikes a deal with the Abh.

The deal, he will surrender the Planet Martine to the Abh if he and his family are given a noble position within the Abh. Suffice to say, the Martine's can not believe that their governor is a traitor and surrendered them to the Abh so easily.

Not knowing what is truly going on, since he was young child, the story flash forwards seven years later as Jinto is now a teenager and prepares for the military academy. He is treated as royalty by the Abh and is a Count and while waiting for his space escort, he meets an Abh girl named Lafiel (who turns out to be an Abh princess) and the two who are similar in age, start to get to know about each other and the differences and similarties between their two cultures.

The main storyline focuses on these two characters as the Abh transport ship they are traveling in, is attacked by the United Mankind (a collaboration between four anti-Abh nations).

Because Jinto is not in the military and Lafiel has not yet completed her full military training, Lafiel is ordered to escape with Jinto to another planet and to contact the empire that they are being attacked by United Mankind.

And the adventure of Lafiel and Jinto begins as they meet many obstacles on their way to another planet/outpost and the storyline focuses on how the two work together to survive, how the learn from each other and grow with each other.

The obstacles include the two needing to refuel and encountering a baron who seems to have plans of what he wants to do with Lafiel and Jinto and another obstacle that includes the two landing in planet that has been captured by the United Mankind and are literally wanted fugitives.

And that is the charm of this series is to watch these two progress and succeed when it seems all is lost. Also, where most of the sci-fi series that feature an occupying force and a clear antagonist and protagonist of the storyline is obviously clear, "Crest of the Stars" features Jinto as a person who really doesn't have any allegiance to his home planet. All he knows is that he wants to protect Lafiel and be with her.

I just found this whole series to be enchanting, action-packed, beautiful and so original that I fell in love with the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful ending saves what otherwise would have been a boring and tiresome show, November 26, 2007
This review is from: Crest of the Stars - Anime Legends Complete Collection (DVD)
Crest of the Stars starts out very promising, with a mysteries empire know as the United Mankind Empire Abh launching a surprise invasion of our main characters, Jinto, home planet. When it becomes clear to the defenders that fighting back would result in the destruction of their planet, they decide to surrender without firing a single shot. The first episode, without question, is very engrossing and manages to catch the viewer's attention early; however, the follow up is hardly as noteworthy. The rest of volume one is as boring and dull as the first episode is captivating and exiting. I can 100% appreciate a slow, well thought out show, after all, Haibane-Renmei: Complete Vols. 1-4 is one of my favorite animes, but there comes a point where the story has to move forward and for the longest time this one didn't. For three episodes after the opening we are given very little besides horrendously long conversations that go on and on and on without any sort of break in between. Many times I felt like yelling, "Get on with it already" as the show sloshed its way forward. Although we get to learn a lot of history behind our characters, information that is very good to know, there is really little actual development until later in the show. Their personalities, their fears, their hopes and their dreams are all put away to the side in favor of their histories.
Lafiel, an Abh princess and female lead for the series, and Jinto, the male lead, make a pretty good team throughout the story, each playing upon each other's strengths in order to find ways out of tough situations. Although Jinto seems pretty useless during the first three volumes, his weaknesses as a character are more then made up for in the last volume when its his tern to save the beautiful (and lets not forget smoking hot) girl instead of her saving him all the time. It is also to be noted that Lafiel plays the strong female as well, if not better, as any Miyazaki character I've ever seen. She reminded me a lot of Nausicaa from Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, or San from Princess Mononoke. How could such a young, skinny, beautiful girl be so darn deadly? Japan has a thing for beautiful worrier princesses, and Lafiel fits in with the best of them.

The story seems to pick up around episode five when there is a battle between an Abh space ship and a small fleet of United Mankind ships, an alliance of human nations which have put aside their differences to fight the aggressive Abh's. Unfortunately the battle itself is very dull, most of it only being shown on radar screens as if they were submarine battles, and the main characters go on a four episode sub plot that, quite frankly, was unnecessary and derailed the main plot considerably. The middle part of this series has little in the way of entertainment, substance, or character development, its just a really long and really annoying subplot. The one thing this part of the series really does well is give us a better understanding of how the Abh live, what their culture is like, and what their motivations are. At this point, I would have given the series a three star review, but fortunately it really picks up in the final volume.

Where the beginning and middle part of the series seemed overly long and boring, the final picked things up to a pace fitting of a sci fi classic. Gone are the fifteen minute conversations and stupid scantly clad bimbos prancing around without a clue as to what is going on, replaced by a generous dose of good action, some real character development, and well thought out scripts. No longer is Jinto some useless piece of meat who gets in the way all the time and always needs saving, now he is the one who's needed, and Lafeil might as well be Cinderella. As an Abh, she has lived her whole life in outer space, so when these two end up on a surface world they are on Jinto's home turf, and he shines like never before proving to himself and Lafiel that he isn't so worthless after all, not to mention Lafeil is even more striking in black hair if that is in any way possible. The last three episodes really do a fantastic job of wrapping up the series and making me want to see the next two installments, Banner of the Stars - Anime Legends Complete Collection, and Banner of the Stars II - Complete Collection. Although it doesn't quite end on a cliff hanger, it does give you enough of an incentive to want to finish what you've started, which is what I plan to do some time soon. Do not get this show if you don't want to watch all three installments. If you don't like it, you'll have wasted your money, if you do like it you will have to see the other two.

Whatever you do, please for the love of all things holey, do NOT watch this series in English. I am normally very tolerant of English dubs, but after five minutes of watching this one I had to tern it off. There is really nothing good I can say about this dub, the acting is bad, the voices are bad, and the main character comes off as gay in it, which he most definitely is not. Its a shame that a show like this gets such a bad dub, but I suppose that not every dub can be as good as Kino's Journey - The Complete Collection or Serial Experiments Lain - Boxed Set (Signature Series).

Although not perfect, the soundtrack for this series is very fitting and nice. When I first heard it, it reminded me of ET and some old 70's sci fi music, but I also heard a lot of similarities to Star Wars and Now and Then, Here and There (Complete Collector's Boxed Set). Very nice music, with woodwinds and strings being the most present instruments. Unfortunately, if also suffers from being played too much. Although I really enjoyed listening to it, I didn't enjoy it so much that I wanted to hear the same exact songs every single episode. I suppose that's to be expected, but still I would have liked to hear a little more variation with the song selection. the opening has a very old fashioned sc-fi sound to it, which makes it seem like an old classic as opposed to a futuristic tale, while the closing delivers yet another mediocre song to go along with a whole host of mediocre anime closers like Cowboy Bebop - The Perfect Sessions (Limited Edition Complete Series Boxed Set), or EVA, but that, too, is to be expected.

Overall I'd make the same advice for this show as to someone looking to see Haibane-Renmei: Complete Vols. 1-4, if you HAVE to see action in every episode, if you NEED to see people get their arms ripped off and huge space battles, then this isn't a show for you. It isn't Star Wars, and it isn't Star Treck, there isn't a lot of action at all and is very limited in regards to its space fights as well. It's also very slow and hard to get into, but the rewards are there for those patient ones who are willing to sit though the fifteen minute conversations to get to the gold at the end. There's a light at the end of the tunnel in this series, but you have to struggle though the muck to get to it.

Re-play value; high.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A unique and well thought out story., October 31, 2012
By 
KevinB "The Honey Badger" (High Point, North Carolina) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Crest of the Stars - Anime Legends Complete Collection (DVD)
Jinto is a young nobleman. He joins the space forces and is escorted to the Royal Palace by Princess Lafiel. Lafiel is the Granddaughter of the Empress of the Abh Empire. This story chronicles the beginning of the love the that Jinto and Lafiel will soon discover. It also marks the beginning of a war that will spread across the known universe. Most of this story is about Jinto and Lafiel being chased across space from planet to planet by the enemy. It's a very good series. The story is very well written. It focuses on the strengthening of the relationship between the two young characters as they fight for their lives. My only complaint with this series is the animation. While the special effects are pretty good, the character drawings are very rigid an not fluid at all. You can kinda tell that from the picture on the box. This anime isn't new or anything; but I've seen animes 10 or 15 years older that had better animation. Don't, however, let this turn you off. The animation doesn't hurt the series. It's a great story and I recommend it to any anime fan.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Anime of All Time, June 18, 2010
This review is from: Crest of the Stars - Anime Legends Complete Collection (DVD)
The characters develop a great rapport. It is a fun story with some good action and most importanly, characters that are really likable. This never shows up on top anime lists, which is too bad because it is really pretty great. The graphics are not the end all be all, but they are pretty decent and anyway the story carries it. The first episode lays some of the framework and then it really gets going with the second episode. This is a "space opera" of sorts. If you are looking for some sort of ultra-depressing psychological drama that has you wanting to shoot yourself at the end, like Evangelion, then this is not for you (yes the guy who made Evengelion really was mentally disturbed and he was trying to show that in the last two episodes, which is why they did not make any sense. Those episodes did not make any sense because he could not make any sense of the world himself--read up on him a little).

In any event, Banner of the Stars is the continuation of the Crest of the Stars story three years later and is pretty great too. I watched Crest of the Stars with subs and really enjoyed it. I later watched a dubbed version and the dub was awful--it really ruined it, so try to watch the subbed version. I am not saying that because I have to have Japanese to enjoy the anime, it's just the timing of the dub was pretty poor, the voices did not fit the characters, the timing was off so it seemed stilted, and the translation in the version I saw really lost something. There is a third and a fourth installment of the series that I liked too (so: Crest, Banner I, Banner II, Banner III). In total there were four books written by the Japanese author, which this is based on. The Crest of the Stars was translated into a book version and you can buy that, it is published by TokyoPop (The first of the four Japanese books is broken into three books in the English version--Crest of the Stars). The translator tried to be a little too cute with slang, but still the story shines through for fans. I am trying to convince TokyoPop to translate the other books, because they give more detail than captured in the anime--though the anime follows the story line pretty closely. TokyoPop was really great and responded to my request for the translation,thanking me for my interest, but apparently with the economy right now can't get to it. They asked me to follow up in a few months.

Do yourself a favor and watch Crest of the Stars. Oh, one last thing, the author went through the huge effort of creating a whole new language for this, sort of like Tolkien did for the elves in Lord of the Rings. So when you start watching the first episode, they start out with that language, so don't get thrown off by that--I though I was watching the Czech version or something at first. Keep watching and eventually it swithces over to the Japanese with English subs.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Boy, Was I Ever Wrong About This..., November 24, 2008
This review is from: Crest of the Stars - Anime Legends Complete Collection (DVD)
I have been avoiding this title ever since seeing the trailer on many other Bandai DVD's - they could've scarcely made it appear less interesting or worthwhile, featuring as it does both poorly-selected and animated scenes from early episodes, coupled with the sappy narration and dubbing that has rightly made so many of the reviewers cringe. I finally broke down and tried this "Anime Legends Complete Collection", and am I ever glad I did! Not that it's perfect, by any means; but I too was quickly hooked by its compelling characterizations and overall storyline. This has been expounded on enough here, so that rather than describe the plot again, I'd like to make a few observations.

First, the animation leaves a LOT to be desired, and is one thing that turned me off in the first place. The characters are very unevenly portrayed, and too much is decidedly "cartoony". The first glimpse we get ( unfortunately in either the trailer or the series ) of "the LOVELY Lafiel" is anything but, as she appears in stop-motion emerging from the crowd at the spaceport. Her design suggests too much the angular "bug-eyed alien" from so much cliched fiction, despite the blue hair and Vulcan/elven ears. Jinto suffers almost as badly, looking at times like a fugitive from "The Archies", especially in some of his profiles. It is not until they speak, and we begin to get to know them that they become the truly attractive people they are; which is finally reflected in some later animation of them, like in the shuttle. Some of the supporting characters have similar problems, being much too simply drawn to be memorable, like Jinto's surrogate father.

It's when we finally meet Lafiel and break free of the confines of the planet Martine ( which doesn't happen until the second episode ) that Crest springs to life. I listened to just enough of the dialog in English ( the final scene between now-Captain Lafiel and Jinto ) to heartily agree that this MUST be watched in its original language to fully appreciate it; the Japanese voice acting is as excellent as the English is atrocious! It should be noted that BOTH main characters are voiced by women - a common Japanese practice that works well so that juvenile males don't sound like either whiny little boys or adults. Jinto is believably voiced by Yuka Imai, probably best known here as the young male protagonist Otaru in the Saber Marionette series. But it is Ayako Kawasumi's Lafiel that really stands out.

This is really Lafiel's show, and some of the fairly long stretches when she's not onscreen can seem a little tedious. Kawasumi brings exactly the right balance to the straightforward and guileless Lafiel; who nevertheless has streaks of innocence and naivete, as well as determination and ruthlessness. Raised a princess, she has no reason to try to impress anyone; and as an Abh, no reason or desire for deception. She wants everything to be as simple and as obvious as she herself tries to be. Kawasumi's delivery expresses this perfectly, and is definitely NOT without emotion; but is more akin to Vulcan-like "logic", simply expressed as fact. Only rarely do we get a glimpse of the volcano hidden beneath her stiff demeanor; but it's definitely there, and not something to want to be on the recieving end of!

As a fan of Sailor Moon, I would like to also recognize two other deft characterizations I noticed: Mika Doi's ( Queen Serenity ) cool, aloof, and appropriately regal Empress Ramaj; and especially Rica Fukami's showboating yet teasing Vice Admiral Spoor, who didn't sound at all like the often airheaded Minako Aino/Sailor Venus! Other seyuu were simillarly appropriate and contributed greatly to the overall impression of this imaginary universe. This is especially vital to a story as dialogue-laden and driven as this one is; and the poor quality of the dubbing is probably what has turned off many potential fans.

In closing, I'll mention three "easter eggs" I found on the final disc, none of them particularly interesting. If you press the "1", "2", and "3" buttons on your remote, you get: 1) a repeat of the the clean opening; 2) BOTH clean closings, and 3) the original trailer I first mentioned. It was good to see it again after watching the entire series, to see both how right I was about my first impression; and how terribly wrong about this wonderful if flawed series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest Anime ever., November 17, 2009
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This review is from: Crest of the Stars - Anime Legends Complete Collection (DVD)
These are simply some of the best stories I have ever seen. Every episode is packed with content. An amazing amount of story is displayed in thirteen episodes. The continuing saga of Banner of the Stars is like wise incredible. The intrigue and compeling story are some of the best in the over fifty anime titles I have seen (Yu Yu Hakisho, Burst Angel, Cowboy Bebop, Full metal Alchimest, to name a few).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Space Saga with romance, July 15, 2013
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This review is from: Crest of the Stars - Anime Legends Complete Collection (DVD)
I really love this story. A super race of altered humans have conquered the spaceways and humanity is in revolt. Very akin to the Gundam story line. We have a "Lander" human in love with an Abh pincess in line to be the future Queen of a matriarchal society that rules a galictic empire. The characters are also great, both casts. I wont ruin it, but there is a drawback. The story is split into 4 series. I give it 4.5 stars because the fourth series is not released and may never be in America, since Bandi went under. Of course there is hope that Funimation may get the rights, but not yet. Still the third series ends well enough to keep the marks high. The last two available series are Baner of the Stars and Baner of the Stars II. Baner of the Stars III is not available at this time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile slow-paced, character-driven anime, August 9, 2012
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This review is from: Crest of the Stars - Anime Legends Complete Collection (DVD)
Defining Crest of the Stars makes for a difficult introduction. The series is similar to Spice and Wolf in terms of tone and pacing-- though of different genres, both are slow-paced and almost entirely character driven.

Thematically, Crest of the Stars follows two individuals, Jinto and Lafiel, caught up in a war between the United Humankind and the Ahb Empire. Aboard the Ahb starship Gosroth, they are ordered to escape and deliver the ship's log to the planet Sufugnoff. Arguments are quickly struck down with the captain's declaration "You're not attached to any of the battle divisions... you are nothing more than extra bodies...." Though she later confides in her first officer "They could prove to be very important people in the future...."

Jinto is an honorary Ahb nobleman and Lafiel is a member of the royal family--they've potential to be very important, but for the moment they are nobodies. The struggle to become, then, is the central core of the story. In alternate situations, one must depend on the other to carry through, as they journey toward their own futures. Both are inconsequential to the conflict itself, but prove invaluable to each other as they struggle to survive.

Plot-wise, the story may focus on Jinto and Lefiel, but it's hard to ignore the impressively crafted universe around them. The mythology of the Ahb and the technologies that drive the universe are engaging and even lead to tender moments (such as when Lafiel relates a childhood fear that half of her genetic material might come from their household cat).

From a technically standpoint, Crest of the Stars was released in 1999 and was drawn in cel rather than computer animation. It looks good artistically, but the animation never impresses--this isn't an action anime, so it serves the series well enough.

Sound-wise, however, it's a mixed bag. The English dub is passable by mid-series, but it takes the actors a long while to slide into their characters--you may want to watch this subtitled. The musical score is an entirely different matter: it sounds fantastic, but too familiar to other pieces. When playing this in a separate room, one of my siblings was convinced I was watching one of the original Star Trek movies.

Do any of these negatives detract from the overall experience? Not really, and since seeing it years ago, it has quickly become one of my personal favorite animes. Crest of the Stars is not for everyone, but it definitely bears a quick look.

The Anime Legends release itself is composed of 13-episodes over four discs in a double-sized DVD case. I will be uploading pictures of the set in the near future.
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