Crest of the Stars Vol. #1 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: C
  • Extras Rating: C
  • Age Rating: 12 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Bandai Entertainment
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Crest of the Stars

Crest of the Stars Vol. #1

By Chris Morse     February 07, 2002
Release Date: June 05, 2001



The Review!
Content:
This disk is a must for space opera fans; high drama has returned to outer space! Hiroyuki Morioka's space opera trilogy has been faithfully converted to a 13 episode anime series, the first four of which are on this disk. One irritating thing about the way Crest of the Stars is being divvied up for US release is that all of the arcs with the exception of the introduction arc are broken; the first episode for a new arc is always the last episode of each disk, making for some horrible cliffhangers. In the first disk, you will be introduced to the story's two main characters, Jinto and Lamirh. The first three episodes feel quite slow, as they are devoted to establishing the main characters. A lot of this is done through long discussion scenes between the two (sure makes the animator's job easier.) In these sequences, once certainly may feel as if they are watching a novel, so to speak. The pace starts picking up with episode 4, part one of the Gaulroth's battle.

Audio:
Clear and clean Japanese audio, no errors. As for the English dub, Ocean Studios has left an extremely bad taste in my mouth with the atrocity known as Jubei Chan. It seems like their dubs rise above the adequate mark for programs to-be-aired, but from what I've seen (or in this case, heard) of their video/DVD release only dubs, most of it has made my ears bleed.

Video:
Absolutely beautiful. No noticeable artifacting, no rainbowing from what I can tell. This is a prime example of an excellent transfer. This series has the benefit of having being released on DVD in Japan beforehand so it is highly likely that an excellent master was available.


Packaging:
The same image for the Japanese DVD #1 is used for the cover of the US volume 1 as well. It looks great!

Menus:
This suffers from the same problems as the early Fushigi Yuugi DVDs. Did I really select that option? A light flashes, then goes away, then you're not quite sure what language or subtitle option you really selected. When I played this disc on my friend's table top DVD player and I tried to select Japanese with English subtitles, only one of the two options was correct. Use your DVD remote to select your language/subtitle options. The main menu looks pretty cool. The orchestral opening theme plays and the menu uses the Abh font(English will appear above an option when selected) which I thought was a very nice touch.


Extras:
The textless opening is nice, but there wasn't that much text on it to begin with. Why there wasn't a textless ending(so you can view all of Takami Akai's beautiful illustrations) is beyond me, as it had more text as well as more to look at. Prehaps we'll see one next volume? The Abh History is a very welcome addition. Reading it before watching will help the viewer understand some of the character dynamics at play. The Japanese release of Crest included a sheet with all the character and mecha designs used in that paticular volume; I wished Bandai USA would include the print out or make a gallery with them.



Review Equipment
Toshiba 16X DVD ROM, Sound Blaster Live Value with Altec Lansing surround sound speaker system, Matrox G400 video card. AND Samsung 20" stereo TV, GE tabletop DVD player

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