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REVIEW: Crest of the Stars DVD


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Psajdak



Joined: 12 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 11:13 am Reply with quote
This series loves imperialism to the sickening degrees.
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John Thacker
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 11:48 am Reply with quote
Psajdak wrote:
This series loves imperialism to the sickening degrees.


Nah, to the extent that Jinto is the normative character, it's more that the series loves pacifism. It's true that its skepticism of nationalism, genetic similarity, and even democracy as being things worth fighting for end up being what you might call functionally pro-imperialism in its acquiescence to it. But considering Jinto's final feelings, I think it's closer to the Oxford Union King and Country Debate than truly loving imperialism.
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nhat



Joined: 21 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 11:53 am Reply with quote
CoTS is one of my favorite series. It really does the characters right, really fleshed out and interesting especially if you liking coming of age type of stories and even if you don't the series and world is very interesting as a whole.

I definitely recommend this series to anyone
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Levonr



Joined: 19 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 12:05 pm Reply with quote
If you have the old Bandai DVD's keep them because these FUNimation DVDs are actually lower quality. FUNi's video is a little more cropped, blurry & with other small artifacts. Its not a massive difference but if you're someone who really wants the best video quality seek out the old Bandai release. Its cheaper too.
Seriously how can a modern release look worse than a release from over 15 years ago? FUNimation Rolling Eyes
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Psajdak



Joined: 12 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 1:04 pm Reply with quote
John Thacker wrote:
Nah, to the extent that Jinto is the normative character, it's more that the series loves pacifism. It's true that its skepticism of nationalism, genetic similarity, and even democracy as being things worth fighting for end up being what you might call functionally pro-imperialism in its acquiescence to it. But considering Jinto's final feelings, I think it's closer to the Oxford Union King and Country Debate than truly loving imperialism.
From what I remember, series focused on telling us how ruling Abh are the most awesome beings ever, super intelligent, heroic, hot, never-aging, while normal humans are biggest pieces of shit since the dawn of history.

Even Jinto becomes something of an Abh noble, and their top cheerleader.
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FinalVentCard



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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 1:22 pm Reply with quote
I have the old Bandai release. I always did love seeing Jinto and Lafiel flirt with each other. True chemistry like theirs is entertaining.
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Cardcaptor Takato



Joined: 27 Jan 2018
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 2:23 pm Reply with quote
I haven't watched Crest of the Stars in a long time but I really enjoyed it when I first saw it several years ago. I loved how in depth the world building was and the relationship dynamic between Jinto and Lafiel and I loved the art style and character designs. I never saw the follow up seasons which I still need to watch as well. I feel like Crest of the Stars is one show I wish Funimation had redubbed because the dub wasn't too good even back then.
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Zeino



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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 3:04 pm Reply with quote
Psajdak wrote:
This series loves imperialism to the sickening degrees.


It really does and that is Crest/Banner of the Stars' biggest flaw. Granted, the series has yet to finish in novel form and probably never will get another anime adaptation, so it hard to tell what it's ultimate thesis statement will end up being. And the series does try to aim for gray and gray morality and a refusal to fall into easy stereotypes regarding the great conflict between the Abh and the United Humankind.

The problem is of course, that unlike the Legend of Galactic Heroes which at least gives even time between the viewpoints of The Galactic Empire and The Free Planets Alliance, Crest/Banner's viewpoint is 99% on Jinto and Lafiel so the Abh do end up getting all the best arguments as benevolent overlords that know what is best for you. And it becomes somewhat difficult to see The Human Alliance as anything but the worst of the two sides once you understand their stated goal is either the eradication or re-enslavement of the Abh as a species.


So it's a well-written series and Jinto and Lafiel are a very cute couple but it's political and philosophical dimensions due border on the realm of evil in normalizing the ideas of empire as being acceptable. Even a moderate leftist will tell you that there is no good form of imperialism regardless of who does it and what their reasons are.


Last edited by Zeino on Sun May 19, 2019 8:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NiPah



Joined: 11 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 3:43 pm Reply with quote
Levonr wrote:
If you have the old Bandai DVD's keep them because these FUNimation DVDs are actually lower quality. FUNi's video is a little more cropped, blurry & with other small artifacts. Its not a massive difference but if you're someone who really wants the best video quality seek out the old Bandai release. Its cheaper too.
Seriously how can a modern release look worse than a release from over 15 years ago? FUNimation Rolling Eyes


I was ready for a day one pre-order when I saw the license rescue years ago, but was extremely disappointed when it was just a DVD rerelease. I still may get the last season because I believe they added the OVAs but still staying with my old bandai releases (as seen on tech TV sticker and all).
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Barciad



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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 4:06 pm Reply with quote
Two points.
1. The dub is mindblowingly awful. To be honest, I would have either redone it or just not included it.
2. Crest of the Stars, and all of its subsequent sequels are not to be taken seriously. It is a satire. A gloriously black, bleak demolition job on the Western Space Opera Tradition. So to get all het up about its seemingly 'pro imperialist' stance. You might as well start complaining about the militarism of 'Doctor Strangelove'.
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Zeino



Joined: 19 May 2017
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 4:26 pm Reply with quote
Barciad wrote:
Crest of the Stars, and all of its subsequent sequels are not to be taken seriously. It is a satire. A gloriously black, bleak demolition job on the Western Space Opera Tradition. So to get all het up about its seemingly 'pro imperialist' stance. You might as well start complaining about the militarism of 'Doctor Strangelove'.


And your proof that it is meant to be a satire and not meant to have it's ideas taken seriously at all beyond you're saying so is what now?
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Kicksville



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 6:22 pm Reply with quote
Levonr wrote:
Seriously how can a modern release look worse than a release from over 15 years ago? FUNimation Rolling Eyes

It seems probable this is just one of those "given bad material by license holder and they were stuck with it" situations.

Although, I suppose it could just as well be "also because they didn't try or didn't care". This was one of the fruits of the 2013 Bandai Entertainment Corpse Lootathon, and (speaking for popularity, not quality) is one of the "lesser" titles on their list next to Cowboy Bebop, Outlaw Star, Escaflowne, etc. In fact, I think the Stars shows may the last of that batch, unless there were any others beyond these? So I dunno, seems like they're just kicking it out there, maybe.

I'm sure they're not complaining, since they managed to get nearly all the major titles, and then Sentai picked up Big O and the leftovers. I'm still wondering if Sentai will ever even bother to release Z-Mind, King Gainer, Zegapain, Kurokami, Brain Powered, etc, at this rate.
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zrdb



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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 7:00 pm Reply with quote
I used to be a science fiction aficionado before I got into anime and I can tell you that the plot and characterization of Crest and Banner is first rate. As far as this new release I'll stay as far away from it as possible, my Bandai sets are all that I need.
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Errinundra
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 7:10 pm Reply with quote
Zeino wrote:
And your proof that it is meant to be a satire and not meant to have it's ideas taken seriously at all beyond you're saying so is what now?


Satire is notoriously difficult to prove. Like beauty it can very much be in the eye of the beholder. Having said that I've always read a level of satire in the Crest / Banner franchise. I see it most strongly in later instalments with the acerbic and clever Abh commanders (especially the twins) who are, nonetheless, a bunch of clowns.
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Key
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 8:06 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, the English dub for Crest is notoriously bad; about the only performance I did like was that of Spoor. The performances of the two leads do improve some as the series progresses, and some much better-voiced regular supporting characters get added in Banner I, so I'll be curious to see what Nick's view is of the dub in the later installments.

As for the "pro-imperialism" argument that's been brought up in this thread, I think getting that interpretation requires taking the most cynical possible view of the series. I have watched part or all of Crest several times over the years, and I never felt it was much glorifying the Abh as benevolent overlords. They're not cruel or directly oppressive and mostly take a laissez-faire attitude towards running territories they conquer, but they can be rigidly conformist (the ship ownership issue that comes up at the end of this series) and more than a bit dickish about how they handle things. I felt the franchise also made it clear that there's nothing pure or noble about the Empire's motives; they just want to be in control of things. The franchise also indicates that the genetic engineering necessary to achieve the "elves in space" effect is not highly-regarded outside of the Empire.
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