Crest of the Stars Vol. #3 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 12 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Bandai Entertainment
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 75
  • 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. #3

By Chris Beveridge     October 16, 2001
Release Date: October 16, 2001


Crest of the Stars Vol. #3
© Bandai Entertainment


What They Say
A civil war erupts in the Febdash territory, as some of the vassals remain loyal to the sinister Baron and some side with Lafiel and the Empire. The Baron, however, refuses to give up and plays one final card?
Afterwards, Lafiel and Jinto resume their flight plan to Sufugnoff. But along the way, they encounter some enemy ships. Alone in an unarmed craft, Jinto and Lafiel don?t really stand much of a chance at armed combat.

When they land on a nearby planet, they find themselves in a potentially hostile environment. Lafiel, being an Abh, has never really spent much time on the ground, and she is uncomfortable and nervous. And, despite Jinto?s best attempts to hide Lafiel?s true identity, they are soon being hunted by the local authorities and the United Mankind!

The Review!
With each release, I simply can't believe each volume gets better and better. This disc is certainly no letdown and only provides more entertainment. But it also provides fear, in that there's only one more volume left in this season and no word on the other two seasons, side-OVA or the move compilation yet.

Audio:
For our primary review, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. Much like the first disc, the vast majority of the audio on this disc is really dialogue with some ambient subtle music playing along. There are many moments when the music is subtle enough that you almost don't hear it. What may confuse some people however is that there's a third language spoken in the tracks, the alien Abh language. Many times when Abh is spoken it's not translated. It was the same for the Japanese viewers as well. Times when it is translated, there are burned in Japanese subtitles. If you don't see those but hear someone talking in a different language, it's Abh.

Video:
Outside of some slight color banding, this again looks to be a solid looking releases. Cross coloration is practically non-existent, there's very little shimmering during panning sequences, and the dark blue sky/space regions look very solid. This volume continues the solid level of quality as seen in the second volume, which means that we just got really absorbed into the story here.

Packaging:
The color scheme changes a bit here, but brings the Febdash related characters to the front cover with the Baron and Seelney. Its style is still definitely like the previous two, and the spines match colors with previous releases, so it looks good all around. The back cover provides a few more animation shots as well as a good summary of the events. Episode numbers and titles are clearly listed and technical and creative information is set up nicely. The insert provides another shot of the cover while opening it up provides the family lineage for the Abh Imperial Family and information about the various families.

Menus:
The menus function similar to past ones, with a bit of animation playing into the menu and then some simple background animation running. The theme is set up as the Imperial symbols, with Abh language for selections that turn to English when you click over them. Access times to the menus are nice and fast and the layout works nicely.

Extras:
There's two extras included this time around, both of good value. The textless ending #2 is the one that focuses on the growing up of Lafiel from a baby to her entry into the Star Forces. It uses the same music I believe as Jinto's closing, but I really liked watching this one to see the evolution and to see more Abh. There's also a multipage text history of the Abh that goes and explains about the Imperial Families and their relationship to their vassals.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Crest of the Stars continues to provide solid entertainment with an odd feeling. There's quite a bit going on, but at the same time, it doesn't feel it.

The opening episode brings about the resolution to the Febdash barony problem, with the Baron now chasing after Lafiel across his outpost station with the help of his vassals. Lafiel takes her position a step further by offering to take any and all people on board the baroney into her vassals should they help her. This bewilders the Baron who doesn't believe a word of it and only serves to rile him up more.

The episode has some solid action. There's the daring escape sequence with Jinto and the older Baron and the chase between Lafiel and the younger Baron in their starships. The episode does bring a good resolution to the storyline and helps to really expand what we know about the Abh in general, but Lafiel more so and how the Abh minds work. The small bit of verbal sparring between Lafiel and the older Baron over his sons fate was splendidly played out.

With this side adventure finally done, Lafiel and Jinto head off to their original destination to warn of the invading fleet. Their arrival on Sufugnoff reveal that they're definitely too late though, as the Abh bases have practically gone into hiding while the United Mankind fleet has essentially taken complete control of the planet. The little cruiser that Lafiel has is no longer and good, and though she's prepared to simply fight the fleet to the death (with no weapons on board), Jinto convinces her that it's better to land and find another way.

After a quick emergency crash landing, Lafiel and Jinto travel by night and sleep by day as they move towards one of the cities. These journey's prove to be very enlightening, as this is one of the first times Lafiel's ever been on a planet, which adds to her anxiety but to Jinto's familiarity. He ends up taking some of the the lead for this segment of their journey. They're keeping their heads low, but listening on the radio to the propaganda broadcasts going on by the United Mankind.

Things in one of the larger cities aren't going to well for some of the citizens during this takeover, nor for the police who find themselves now reporting to the United Mankind military people. Regular citizens who have blue hair are being taken off the street and forced to change, those with Abh looking clothes are getting the same. Jinto finds most of this out during a solitary foray into the city for food and clothing, and is smart enough to pick up some hair coloring for Lafiel.

To counter this smaller personal adventure, we also have a meeting between the Abh Empress and representatives from United Mankind and three of the more neutral human systems. The Empress goes through the meeting with an almost bored look and tone, listening to what each is saying and letting them essentially subtly hang themselves. When the neutral nations begin to speak of the accords and how they'd have to align themselves with United Mankind, the Empress simply asks them to just stop lying, as it's obvious they've already formed an agreement. She then provides one of the single best lines in anime I've heard in a long time, with "Well then, let's go to war". This is said in such a casual and relaxed manner, it's a wonderful representation of their thinking. They know that half of mankind is against them, and they're plotting and lying. So let's just do it.

Crest of the Stars continues to fascinate and provide exceptionally good entertainment on both a character level and on a galactic level. This is one of the reasons I got into anime in the first place. Very highly recommended.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Textless Ending #3,Crest of the Stars History

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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