Crest Of The Stars is an excellent anime/book series that works on several different levels. A cursory look might be deceptive, as both enemy and allied propaganda regularly resort to stereotypes and cliches. These presentations are commonly at odds with what we observe ourselves. Occasionally I have found viewers who seem to have missed the point. We are not supposed to accept the propaganda at face value, instead we are to consider how both sides fall short of their ideals. Other times propaganda we dismiss out of hand as too outlandish to be true, is in fact, the truth. It truly is Gray And Gray Morality. Personally I find myself in agreement with the philosophy of the Designated Villain, yet at the same time cheering for our protagonists. First, as a matter of Science Fiction, Crest fills a void, as an excellent modern example of "hard" sci-fi, but with the same vision about the potential of science as older sci-fi by greats such as Jules Verne or Isaac Asimov. Particularly in the books, which develop a unique description and plausible theory of how "hyperspace" travel would actually work. Second, Crest has pitch perfect development of our two lead protagonists, and develops secondary characters as well. While the books allow for a more extensive character development, the anime does a superior job at developing the chemistry between the two leads. Third, the plot is strong, and develops at a good pace. It begins with a great hook, as the main protagonist's (Jinto's) home world is invaded by the Ahb. Jinto's father betrays his people to the Abh, and Jinto is shipped off to Ahb school. The story then follows Jinto as he becomes more involved in the Ahb's war against the rest of humanity. Finally, Crest challenges many of our assumptions who is right and who is wrong, and also about which side we should choose, both of whom are flawed. One of the more moving elements is the implication that Jinto himself is not in agreement with the Ahb philosophy, preferring that of his enemies, and yet he is bound to the Ahb by personal loyalties to his comrades. This is actually quite realistic. The sequel series to Crest: Banner Of The Stars I, II, and III, while still quite good, do not rise to the same level of perfect balance. Either they over focus on specific portions of the plot, or they do not fully develop the plot.
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