I think we can see where the designs for the Otome uniforms originally came from.
When Jinto was just a boy, his father handed his world to the Abh Empire, a mighty stellar force of genetically modified human who believe their empire is the best buffer against instellar war. Flash forward a few years, and Jinto is now an honorary Abh being given the same off-world education as any noble in the Empire. On his way to military college, however, he not only undergoes a fateful meeting with the beautiful and proud Abh Lafiel, but becomes embroiled in the forefront of events when the so-called United Mankind decides to declare war on the Abh…
Sometimes, hearing too many good things about a series can become counterproductive- the more you read about how great it is, the more you become sceptical of its merits. By the time I came to watch Crest of the Stars, I was beginning to feel that it couldn’t possibly be as good as it was cracked up to be, but fortunately for me, it was better than I had dared hope- in fact, it was one of those rare series where each twenty-five minute episode seemed to pass by in a flash.
A sci-fi series set in the far future, Crest of the Stars effectively interweaves two connected tales- in close up, we see the character drama of Jinto and Lafiel’s adventures, whilst on a larger scale a more complex story of galactic politics and impending interstellar war is slowly fleshed out. The result is an absorbing combination of the best of both worlds, but unfortunately, it is one that a mere thirteen episodes cannot do justice to. Thankfully, having whetted the appetite, the franchise isn’t about the leave its viewers hanging- the story is continued in the three Banner of the Stars series.
Integral to this world is its varied selection of characters, with Jinto and Lafiel heading up the roster. Almost everyone we meet proves to be an interesting and well defined personality, but unfortunately, time restrictions once again come into play, with some of the more appealing supporting characters pushed to one side in favour of following the leads.
Since the series was made in 1999, the animation is beginning to show its age a little, but it nonetheless remains generally strong. As far as character designs go, most normal humans are on the generic and uninspiring side, but in contrast the blue and purple-haired Abh are always aesthetically pleasing, with a surprising degree of variation on their defining racial characteristics. Background music is solid, with a well-suited grandiose ‘space opera’ theme for the OP, and a gentler ballad covering the ED.
An intriguing peek into a well-plotted sci-fi universe, Crest of the Stars not only draws the viewer into its world, but whets the appetite for more. If you haven’t picked it up already, be sure to add it to your viewing list.