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Banner of the Stars

a.k.a. Battle Flag of the Stars

a.k.a. Seikai no Senki

bannerstars-2
Genre: Action/Drama
Company: Bandai Visual/Sunrise/WOWOW
Format: 13 episodes
Dates: 4/14/2000 to 7/14/2000

The war between the Abh Empire and the United Mankind continues to be waged with relentless fury and viciousness. However, both sides are decimated and call a temporary ceasefire to rebuild and reorganize their forces. Lafiel is now the commander of her own ship and Jinto is a part of her crew. Will these two friends survive the harshness of space combat?

summary by Eek

 

Reviewed: 12/12/2003 by
Grade: 88% av-Eek

Highs: Intelligent sci-fi that keeps pushing forward

Lows: Faceless enemy; end theme song just feels wrong

Many people will claim to not know anything about Banner of the Stars; perhaps sci-fi anime fall into a smaller niche than even FLCL. This is truly a shame because those many people are missing out on a great series.

Crest of the Stars began a science fiction epic involving the Abh princess Lafiel and the Terran count Jinto, and Banner of the Stars merely continues to follow their friendship as they are thrust into the middle of a war. However, much of the focus of the series shifts from being drama to action as many parts of the war are chronicled, yet it is never dumbed down at all. Every battle and every ship movement is thought out thoroughly as each character knows that many lives depend on them. This anime also expands its cast to include many other people in the Abh Empire’s Space Force; from the bridge crew of Lafiel’s attack vessel up to the commanders in charge of entire fleets, none of the characters are stupid by a long shot.

While much of the Space Force is expanded, the United Mankind’s forces are left being anonymous. It is necessary to display much of the Abh’s thought processes and explanations for why events are done a certain way, but that does not excuse the fact that we are never clued into how the enemy thinks. There is not even a single character from the United Mankind’s fleets that is revealed, and they are left as being whatever they were in the previous series: a warmongering, xenophobic organization. As a lesser flaw, the end theme song, Pink by YUAMU, just does not fit in the series. Most of the music throughout is orchestral, and the sudden addition of a J-Rock song does not flow with everything else.

Banner of the Stars continues the animated version of a series of science fiction novels. Packing a lot of action and still retaining intelligence, this is a great series and comes well recommended.

 

See also Banner of the Stars II

There are a number of other Banner/Crest of the Stars series and movies which we hope to post reviews for in due time. Volunteers welcome! av-Gendo

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