Anime suggestion: Crest of the Stars / Banner of the Stars
I’ve decided to add recommendations for anime series I’ve watched (got to do something during my lunch at work). They won’t be full reviews, just some quick impressions to pique your interest.
The first one is a collection of 4 series in the Space Opera genre. It starts with Crest of the Stars, followed by Banner of the Stars (I, II, & III).
The series features young Jinto on his home planet, just as the fleet of human-derived Abh appear overhead. The Abh are elf-like space dwellers, not really interested in what goes on down on the planets, but they are determined to control space in the area. The humans are hopelessly outgunned, and Jinto’s father surrenders the planet in exchange for nobility for his family. Jinto is shipped off to train for the nobility- which in this case means work and duty.
“Oh no, not another “Shonen” series!” I thought. (That’s an anime genre with a boy as the protagonist, with stereotypical themes.) There are way too many of these, and I get tired of them if they don’t have enough going on. “A boy and his Giant Robot”.
But- Huzzah! The 2nd episode has Jinto returning after completing his schooling! He’s assigned to a small attack spaceship, commanded by young Lafiel, who we met in ep. 1.
From there, we get a mix of well-done space battles, and a developing relationship between Jinto & Lafiel. This takes a more interesting turn because the Abh are engineered to live long lives – 200 years or more, and they don’t age. Jinto is a normal human. This is also echoed with Jinto being given a cat. One of the other Abh enjoys the cat, but hates to get involved with them because they’re so short-lived. The same thoughts must be going on in Lafiel’s head.
The series continues with several iterations of Banner of the Stars, which bring grander space battles between the Abh empire and an alliance of human groups. There are also some episodes set on a former human alliance prison planet.
It has a nice supporting cast with interesting characters. One of the stand-outs Banner is Admiral Beneej Spoor (delightful) and to a lesser degree, the twin Beebaus brothers.
Definitely worth a watch, especially if you like space opera with grand fleets. It reminds me a bit of David Weber’s Honor Harrington novels in the ‘huge ships get blown up by storms of missiles’ department. It’s also different because the semi-alien Abh and their empire aren’t cast as the bad guys.
Give it a try!