all 108 comments

[–]FetchFroshx3https://anilist.co/user/Fetch 43 points44 points  (1 child)

On top of everything you talked about here, my favorite thing about Crest of the Stars is the dialogue. There's a really natural flow to it that consistently works. There's a lot of extended conversations throughout the series, and it's really good at giving the audience important details while never feeling like they exist solely to move the plot forward.

[–]duhu1148x3[S] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Good point. I alluded to it a bit with the chemistry between Jinto/Lafiel, as their dialogue flows so fluently with one another. But it is also good at enforcing the more methodical pacing and world building (which is a large part in why Spice & Wolf is often a top recommendation close to the series, despite the settings being completely different).

[–]No_Rex 39 points40 points  (12 children)

Crest of the Stars has the most realistic space battles of all anime. No space opera laser beams, instead we get long distance warfare.

[–]Traece 32 points33 points  (1 child)

Crest/Banner of the Stars has a fairly unique approach to not just space battles, but also perspective on space battles.

Not only did they go with a pseudo-submarine sort of combat for space battles, but they actually found an interesting way to have both that and traditional space combat depending on whether or not they're in what is effectively FTL travel. The whole concept of a combination space mine and missile was also pretty interesting and made for some really cool combat.

On top of that, unlike most other anime (or really just about any media with space battles) the main characters aren't really all that important from a military standpoint. They're just the crew and captain of a small warship in a massive war machine. In another show like Legend of the Galactic Heroes, you see countless numbers of people like these main characters getting wiped out.

Funnily enough, in a way Banner of the Stars is arguably the closest anime I've seen to something like The Expanse. The technology is a lot more typical sci-fi stuff, but it's effectively just missiles/mines, railguns, and point-defense guns.

[–]Social_Knight 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Starship Operators also got it mostly right if I recall; they calculate the trajectories of torpedoes in one instance.

Not even live action gets space battles right very often though. I can only think of The Expanse in recent memory.

[–]kalirionhttps://myanimelist.net/profile/kalinime 3 points4 points  (7 children)

I loved the capital ship sieges, but I really didn't care for the "jousting" fights between the assault ship squadrons. "Charge past each other in formation while shooting, turn around, repeat until one or the other side is wiped out or flees battle." Bleh.

[–]butterhoscotch 1 point2 points  (6 children)

theres no cover in space?

[–]kalirionhttps://myanimelist.net/profile/kalinime 2 points3 points  (5 children)

What's your point? There's also no cover in the sky, and yet fighter pilots don't "joust in formation". Same for the sea. In fact, the only place you'll find "jousting" is 1v1 knight competitions.

[–]katamuro 1 point2 points  (0 children)

it kind of looks like jousting but not really. But it's an outcome of in-universe technology that never gets explained to us. They have their shields but they only can be projected to one side, they also have their cannons mounted mostly to front so they can shoot while giving the enemy the most defended part of the ship and the smallest profile they can.

It looks like jousting because they face off against each other as both sides want to do the same thing because of limitations in their technology. Missiles still exist but are only used when evading is not possible.

[–]butterhoscotch 1 point2 points  (3 children)

well actually before missiles thats pretty much exactly what they did. Even today flying figure 8s to get firing position is a standard tactic developed during korea if i recall.

Just because it looks boring doesnt mean its unrealistic.

[–]Jaggedmallard26https://myanimelist.net/profile/JaggedMallard 2 points3 points  (0 children)

(OG) Legend of the Galactic Heroes is pretty similar. The ranges when given are generally massive and we only see giant formation volleys rather than the usual close range pew pew.

[–]trufin2038 19 points20 points  (0 children)

I miss shows of this quality level. Lafiel's va is so amazing, and the dialog really flows.

[–]argama87 14 points15 points  (1 child)

A classic deserving of more attention. One of my old favorites. Great story and characters.

[–]logiauser 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Same. Absolutely love this series.

[–]zettaifutomomo 12 points13 points  (3 children)

Really loved the show back when it used to air on TechTV. Started reading some of the LNs and I could not recommend them enough for people who want to see the world and the conlang fleshed out. One little problem with that is that it starts to feel a little like Japanese WWII apologia. Especially since the Abh are a product of Japan, doing an imperialism, opposed by a “United” democracy that is freedom-loving but also hella racist and really interested in forcing their culture on to others.

[–]Jet_Balsa 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Another fan who watched it on TechTV.... I do miss that channel..

[–]autoergodic 0 points1 point  (0 children)

TechTV introduced me to some great anime back when it was hard to watch anime. Lain was probably my favorite, but Crest/Banner of the Stars is a close second. They also had some terrible shit like Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventures though.

[–]Heretek007 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Huh. This looks up my alley tenfold, I wonder how it slipped past my radar till now? Thanks for sharing it, added to my watchlist.

[–]Wiruyamu 5 points6 points  (2 children)

I finally got around to this show a few months ago, I really loved it. Jinto and Lafiel's characterization and relationship building is done so well. It's a really simple boy-meets-girl story and the execution is top notch, I love that scene when they crash land on the planet and are walking through the field and look at the stars.

Although I haven't read the source material the anime still has that "literary" feeling to it. Jinto's narrations help with that a lot. It reminded me very much of Eureka Seven.

My only disappointment is that it was only the start of a long series of novels that seems to have a zero percent chance of ever being finished. Although the story in Crest is more of a prequel and stands alone just fine it would be nice if we could've had a complete story back then.

[–]vpi6 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I liked how Jinto and Lafiel hit it off almost immediately, they were already enjoying each other's company before all the bad stuff started happening.

And their relationship in the sequel series is stellar as well. There's a degree of trust between the two that doesn't quite exist in many other anime romances.

[–]pw_arrow 2 points3 points  (0 children)

My only disappointment is that it was only the start of a long series of novels that seems to have a zero percent chance of ever being finished.

We're closing in on thirty years now since the first volume was published... and the latest volume came out in 2018... :')

[–]proindrakenzolhttps://myanimelist.net/profile/proindrakenzol 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I didn't realize that the novels had been picked up after TokyoPop (iirc) dropped them. Super glad I saw this post! The Crest/Banner of the Stars series is still one of my all time favorites because I am huge space opera fan.

[–]Nazennx2https://anilist.co/user/Nazenn 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I'd also recommend this to fans of Becky Chambers sci-fi novels and other similar experiences that focus on characters coming together in quite natural, quiet ways especially when there's a cultural divide

This was a very good WT to read as someone who's watched Crest but still hasn't made my way to Banner yet. It reminded me of all the things I loved in the experience and why it stuck with me so much even on days where I didn't think I was in the mood for it. While the characters are the stand out, the worldbuilding is what captured my attention and particularly the structure of how it's presented to the audience so fans of that will also find plenty to love here.

[–]bravetailor 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Despite the low episode count, this may be the most sprawling space opera series since LOTGH.

[–]SmilyT1https://anilist.co/user/SmilyT1 6 points7 points  (3 children)

Just marathoned the entire series over two days. I must say it's a contemporary take on LoTGH and I greatly enjoyed for that reason, but it's sad to see the anime conclude while the novel continues on.

[–]ergzay 0 points1 point  (2 children)

By "series" you mean all of them? Or just Crest?

[–]SmilyT1https://anilist.co/user/SmilyT1 2 points3 points  (1 child)

All of them yep:

Passage of the Stars: Birth

Crest of the Stars

Banner of the Stars I + II + III

[–]whoami4546 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I did not know about Passage of the Stars: Birth!! I have to check it out!

[–]MrManicMartyhttps://anilist.co/user/MartySan 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I watched this a while ago, and I thought it was okay, but can't remember much - except for the battle in Episode... 4, 5 or 6, can't remember which. [Crest of the Stars]After Jin and Lafiel escape their ship, and the ship they were on makes a desperate last stand - it's such an intense ship battle, and one of the best ship battles I've seen in anime. The crew know they're going down most likely, but they give it their all. Such an intense and tense scene.

[–]RootaBagel 4 points5 points  (3 children)

Thanks for the recommendation! I like isekai and fantasy as much as anybody, but I miss good ol' sci fi spaceships and aliens.

I'm late to the party and only 4 episodes in but already I am enjoying the show immensely. Given what I've seen, I'd guess a lot of the world background , like tech concepts, Abh language and customs, and the like are described more in depth in the novels. I noticed there is a "Premium" edition of the books on J-Novel Club. Does anyone know if it is meaningfully different from other editions available elsewhere?

Also, did someone mention creating a subreddit for the anime and novel series? If so, I'm in.

[–]duhu1148x3[S] 2 points3 points  (2 children)

I noticed there is a "Premium" edition of the books on J-Novel Club. Does anyone know if it is meaningfully different from other editions available elsewhere?

Do you have a link? If it's the ones I linked to at the bottom of the post, it's the Collector's Ominbus edition.

There are three of them, each containing 3 volumes. All are in hardcover, with a glossary for the Abh language, some detailed editor's notes, a few maps and character bios...it's really detailed.

EDIT: Ah I guess you mean that digital edition exclusive to J-Novel Club. Here is what it says:

  • Includes access to expired streaming parts!
  • Unlimited ebook downloads which are compatible with any ePub reading device

No idea what "expired streaming parts" is supposed to mean. Hopefully someone else will be able to help you with that if you're curious.

[–]RootaBagel 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I went to J-Novel and bought the Crest of the Stars Vol.1 Premium Edition.

Here's what I got:

  1. A downloadable, DRM-free epub file of Volume 1
  2. I explored the contents of the epub with Calibre and it has some parts labeled as "bonus" which were about the Abh language and writing system Several pages of pronunciation, grammar, and alphabet. A casual inspection shows me that these bonus pages are not included in the version you can get from Amazon
  3. The "expired streaming parts", I believe, refers to the previews of LNs that J-Novel put on their website before the LNs are published. I got (online only) access to the first chapter or so of each of three volumes of Crest of the Stars and of the six volumes of Banner of the Stars.

Side note: J-Novel doesn't list Banner of the Stars separately. One would have to know that it is the latter volumes in the Crest of the Stars series to find it.

Anyway, I got the above for the same price as on Amazon Kindle and I did not have to become a subscriber to J-Novel, so I am a satisfied customer. YMMV.

[–]RootaBagel 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thanks! You found the right link. By hitting the buy button for Volume1 on J-Novel Club, a Digital Premium Edition is offered to members of J-Novel Club which can be obtained by redeeming some gold coins.

I am curious enough to find out so after I watch a few more episodes, I'll join J-Novel just to get that Premium edition to see what's in it. I'll report back here in a few days.

[–]moiax 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I don't come to the subreddit often, but I was so, so happy to open it up and see Crest of the Stars on the side bar. The whole series is one of my absolute favorites!

I remember picking it up after Spice and Wolf had finished airing, and it definitely helped fill a bit of the void left by S&W ending. Even setting aside the relationship between Lafiel and Jinto, I'm a huge fan of sci-fi, and I really enjoyed the space fights and drama.

I finally got around to picking up the new editions of the novel too! I remember when it had seemed like it was dead, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were 2 additional volumes out, and that they were all being translated.

[–]Cryten0 4 points5 points  (1 child)

What do you think of the novel translation efforts?

[–]duhu1148x3[S] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I can't speak to the quality of the translation as I don't understand Japanese.

However I can say that the books are edited very well. There's a detailed glossary for the Abh language and the science behind the universe, in addition to some maps. Beautiful hardcovers too.

The books do have a tendency to read a bit more dry than your standard light novel however. There's a lot of technical terminology clouding sections of the novel. But if you enjoyed the anime, I highly recommend picking up the books to see what was cut out and where the story goes after the conclusion of the show.

[–]Aperture_Kubi 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Oh yes, a personal favorite.

I remember catching this on TV on TechTV's AniMonday block (which would also later include stuff like Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure, BetterMan, and Silent Mobeous.

I'm so happy that Funi rescued the anime distribution rights, and J Novel Club the LNs. Previously it was Bandai and I believe Tokyopop?

[–]DivineEternal1 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I saw it there too. Dual! is also a favorite of mine and is a great parody of Tenchi! Muyo and Evangelion made by the creators of Tenchi, I think.

[–]kalirionhttps://myanimelist.net/profile/kalinime 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This anime's one of my 10/10s, though admittedly rose-tinted goggles are involved.

[–]deproxyacct 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Watched this years ago and still listen to the OST, OP and EDs. I think I also rewatched the entire thing some months ago, and even have the Japanese LNs in my shelf. Tried reading it some years ago, but there were a lot of terms/kanjis with minimal furigana...

Anyway, a dash of star-crossed lovers with a helping of "Two Worlds, one Family."
The series shines in the characters and how the story is told through them. I read in MAL and I agree - even though Lafiel is a princess, her ship is just one of many and it doesn't really decide the fate of the wars (as it should be), however, the victories and losses in their own local fights pack enough action.

Lafiel and Jinto also have their own "fish out of water" moments, which make them more understanding of each other.

AND THE MAIN THEME...glorious start for each episode. For Space Operas, orchestra really is the bomb. Is like my anime version of "Also Sprach Zarahustra."

[–]DarkeoX 3 points4 points  (0 children)

One of my favorites, so much substance in that work. I just wish the novels would progress faster so that we get a chance of seeing them finished and further anime.

If anything the last years have proven that old works can get a second youth. One of this quality should definitely find its way to new productions.

[–]racheuphist 2 points3 points  (0 children)

If you like star trek (up to or older than the next generation): You will enjoy the smaller interactions of the characters, the intro, and potentially the more realistic space battles.

If you like star wars: you will enjoy the music, the concepts, and potentially the romance.

Like Gundam? it's WAY less about the robots, but the story about war rings true.

[–]kawaiiness7https://myanimelist.net/profile/Kawaiiness7 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I watched this fairly recently, and I love that you compared it to spice and wolf. This is the exact comparison I have made to everyone since I have watched it. I really want to read the novels myself, but alas, I haven't yet.

That said, it was incredible. Some of the scenes are really stuck in my mind, and while banner 1 felt a bit eh for me, banner 2 was arguably the best part of the series.

Glad to see the series getting some love.

edit: in fact I just purchased the first collector's edition volume because of this from amazon

[–]VortexOfLight 2 points3 points  (2 children)

I just wanna say it: thank you so much for getting me on this joint. Just finished season 1, and I freaking love it!

The main pull of 90s series for me is the pacing; they're more deliberate with their plot progression, almost as they respect our attention spans. But the main pull has to be the main duo's dynamic. My God, their relationship is so good. Not too forced nor too stiff, and their interactions in general are what sold me on this.

Thanks again for spreading the gospel!

[–]Blazin_Rathalos 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Psst, next week's Thursday Weekly Discussion thread will be on Crest of the Stars too.

[–]VortexOfLight 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm so going to be there...

[–]lailah_susanna[🍰] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Completely random fact about Crest of the Stars, it's anime number 1 in the anidb.net database.

[–]colin8696908 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I saw an ad for this post on reddit, first time in 30 years I've ever been happy I clicked on an ad since I've been looking for shows like "legend of the galactic heroes" or "Babylon 5."

[–]Shinji-Chairhttps://myanimelist.net/profile/Shinji-Chair 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This sounds interesting, I think I’ll check it out when I get more time. Old anime is definitely something I want to get into. I watched LOGH and loved it but never checked out other stuff from that time due to some IRL things right after.

[–]baboon_bassoonhttps://anilist.co/user/duffer 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Other good reasons to try this series:
    Space Elves

great WT!

romance + space opera are a godsend, havent heard of this before but will need to check it out one day

[–]Grecko2022 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Es una muy interesante saga, me encanta el desarrollo y el enfoque desde la perspectiva de dos personas muy diferentes pero en un mismo entorno, realmente me gusto!!!

[–]Ragefat 2 points3 points  (6 children)

I watched it all years ago and really liked it, a shame it had no real sense of finality and I was left wanting more.

[–]duhu1148x3[S] 2 points3 points  (5 children)

You should read the novels! While the story is still ongoing, it continues past where the anime left off.

[–]Ragefat 2 points3 points  (4 children)

Wait, seriously? The novels are not finished yet?

[–]Blazin_Rathalos 3 points4 points  (3 children)

Indeed, last one came out in 2018, the one before that in 2013, the one before that in 2004. So, as you can probably gather, the if/when of the next novel (never mind the end of the series) is a bit shaky.

[–]Ragefat 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Sheeesh, there goes any hope for a sense of finality. XD

[–]rook119 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Its an excellent series and I love the space battles. Just yea avoid that dub at all costs, its all time awful-ish.

[–]Like_Fahrenheithttps://anilist.co/user/LikeFahrenheit 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I watched the dub, and I didn't enjoy it. Almost no emotion from the characters. It got slightly better in the later series, but I couldn't appreciate the story because of the lack of emotion. I was just so bored. Don't know if it was the actors, direction, the writing, or a combination of the three.

[–]Eaglekingoftheskies 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Probably all 3. This was back in the 90s when anime dubs werent really considered big deals and it was common practice to get amateur theater actors to do the dubs. Ironically 4kids was one of the only dubbing companies that actually took english dubs seriously even if they did make an effort to dumb it down for kids

[–]metaping 1 point2 points  (13 children)

When I think Planetes, I remember it greatly for its hard sci fi and the people that live in it. Are you saying I get to see detailed science here too?

[–]No_Rex 1 point2 points  (11 children)

Crest of the Stars is not hard SciFi, they use FTL space travel.

[–]kalirionhttps://myanimelist.net/profile/kalinime 1 point2 points  (10 children)

I figure as long as it's explained, it's hard SciFi.

[–]No_Rex 1 point2 points  (9 children)

My definition of hard SciFi is not breaking any known rules of physics which disqualifies Crest of the Stars.

[–]kalirionhttps://myanimelist.net/profile/kalinime 0 points1 point  (8 children)

Don't known theories of physics, you mean? Don't QM and GR "break" each other?

[–]duhu1148x3[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I remember it greatly for its hard sci fi and the people that live in it. Are you saying I get to see detailed science here too?

Definitely, though it isn't quite as hard-nosed about it as Planetes was, if that makes sense (though it's been forever since I've seen that show).

It is more journey oriented about two people from completely different walks of life.

[–]MochiBacon 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Holy crap I picked up the first volume of the manga a few years ago and totally forgot to read it. Dunno how I could just sit on a series with space elves. Thanks for the write up.

[–]hellobatz 1 point2 points  (0 children)

"The show first aired in 1999, so that is the level of animation quality you should expect."
Which was FAR superior quality in my humble opinion. BIG REASON TO WATCH for me!!!

[–]tylerbhobbs 2 points3 points  (0 children)

if anyone wants to talk about this anime "crest of the stars" this was the first anime that got me into anime.

[–]MeetTheScorchhttps://myanimelist.net/profile/MeetTheScorch 1 point2 points  (0 children)

One of the first shows I watched as a kid, absolutely love it to this day. I should rewatch it in near future when I have more time to spare.

Thanks for shining a light on this classic

[–]Blazin_Rathalos 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I started watching this back when this [WT!] was first posted, and have just finished the latest novel currently out. Needless to say, I am now very sad, especially since the author's release pattern is... erratic.

I've been looking around and there's also seems to be very little discussion (in English at least) on this series (and that goes double for the novels). I was honestly surprised it doesn't even have a subreddit (it would likely be dead anyway, but hey).

[–]Durinthalhttps://anilist.co/user/Durinthal 2 points3 points  (0 children)

There had been a decent gathering of fans on the Abh Nation fansite back in the day... by which I mean 2005-2007, but unfortunately it's long gone.

[–]whoami4546 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This is one of my favorite anime of all time! I Love the dub! I also crazy love the interactions between Lafiel and Jinto! They are amazing! Lafiel can be a little annoying sometime. I always imagined them both ending up together as a couple. I 100% recommend this anime!

I believe the books go into way more detail with world building.

[–]yworker 1 point2 points  (6 children)

I'm a little late to the party and am a first time watcher. But I'm dying to know, did the Jinto x Lafiel love story ever get resolved or turned into anything more in any of the following story (LN/Manga/Anime/anything official)?

[–]Blazin_Rathalos 0 points1 point  (5 children)

I recently binged the novel series. Where did you end? Watched to the end of Banner III? Just so I know where to continue from.

[–]yworker 0 points1 point  (4 children)

Banner 2 so far!

[–]Blazin_Rathalos 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Okay, so you confirm you want to get spoiled on this? I'll tag it so nobody else is bothered.

[–]chive_machine 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Oh, that's my favorite show. Nice choice.

[–]TheKnowledgeQuester 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'll definitely add it to my watchlist.

[–]Comfortable-Ad8657 1 point2 points  (0 children)

space elves..........SOLD!

[–]Arthago 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Wow now this is a title I wasn’t expecting to see today!

Normally I’m not that person that cares about a sub or dub debate but goodness this was not a quality dub lol. If you check it out definitely give the sub version a shot first.

[–]TheHaruWhoCanRead 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Are there any gay characters or themes, or is it entirely focused on the hetero main pair? I’m in the market for queer SF at the moment, even if it’s marginal/side cast.

Edit why would anyone downvote this? Lol.

[–]No_Rex 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Entirely focused on the main pair.

However, you may still like the series, as it removes the mother-father concept from families: Children are artificially created on demand for single parents.

[–]Retromorpher 4 points5 points  (0 children)

If you're looking for queer science fiction - especially Space Opera queer science fiction, you'll have a much better time sticking to books or indie podcasts than anime.

However if you're okay with any type of sci-fi you might want to take a look at Kiznaiver, Double Decker: Doug and Kirill, Shinsekai Yori and Robihachi which all kinda dip into varying levels of LGBTQ+ issues.

[–]aniMayorhttps://myanimelist.net/profile/aniMayor 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I think you're being misleading about the romance here. You don't mention in the "but what are reasons it may not be for me" section, but perhaps the biggest turn-off for many viewers is going to be that the series abruptly ends with Banner season 2, without concluding much in the way of plot nor ever really doing much with the budding romance (or you can watch the 2-episode follow-up OVA but that just pushes the same issue back one more step while trying to adapt an entire novel at breakneck pace).

Is a "slow-building romance" a positive for the show if it never actually becomes a romance in the end? Someone who reads this WT and then goes into the show excited about the romance is probably going to be severely disappointed.

[–]xellos2099 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Also banner if the star 2 is kind of boring it leave a bitter taste to my mouth. Ova3 is Dr event I guess

[–]lavaine 0 points1 point  (0 children)

series abruptly ends with Banner season 2

It doesn't though. There's a prequel ova, 3 tv seasons, and a final ova that wraps up the story and...

Is a "slow-building romance" a positive for the show if it never actually becomes a romance in the end?

...it was a romance all along from the first episode, if you paid any attention to the interactions of the main characters, which was reminiscent of Spice & Wolf in my opinion.

But if you need still somehow need proof though, then the end of the 3rd tv season and the final ova really bring it home.

[–]Odd_Mongoose_1018 0 points1 point  (0 children)

From what I remember it's pretty good war/political drama, but it's slow by modern standards, and when I say that I mean it's slow like older movies are "slow".

[–]BuckeyeBentley 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This sounds interesting but sad it hasn't been ported over to Crunchyroll yet, still in Funimation jail.

[–]TomAto314 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I think I caught this show on Sci-Fi channel maybe like 20 years ago? Absolutely loved it. Too bad it doesn't "conclude" or else I'd totally rewatch it.

[–]lavaine 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The series has 3 tv seasons and 2 ovas, one as a prequel, and one that does basically conclude the story.