At a Glance: Crest of the Stars
Crest of the Stars is a story that begins when our main character, Jinto, was a boy and his country was being invaded by a vast space empire called the Abh. Abh people have blue hair, long life-spans, and have made their home in the stars, controlling vast territories throughout space. When Jinto was a boy, the Abh took over his home planet, but a condition of their surrender allowed them to choose their own leaders, meaning that Jinto's father, Rock Lynn, would maintain his leadership position. This makes Jinto an Abh nobleman, although he doesn't grow up knowing much about the Abh and their customs.
At the age of 16, young Jinto is sent off to an Abh school to learn their ways. He meets imperial princess Lafiel, and the two bond over their shared problems having to do with being a noble by birth but wanting to be treated like a regular person. On their way to training school, the Abh ship becomes caught up in a newly developing interstellar war between the Abh empire and a rebel group. Since Jinto is human like the rebels and not biologically one of the Abh, this conflict will test his loyalty.
Crest of the Stars
Novel Series (3 books) by Hiroyuki Morioka
Sci-Fi, Space Opera
Manga, OVA, Films, Sequel Novel Series (Banner of the Stars)
Crest of the Stars to me seems like a good original story, but not necessarily the best animated adaptation. The first few episodes that I watched were frankly, boring. That is why, despite the fact that I love the concept of this story, it did not win in my top sci-fi anime showdown. The pace was slow, the animation was clunky, and the dub's English voice acting made the whole thing sound like a bad hentai, minus the sex. I have no idea why the voice actors always sounded like they were about to fall asleep, but their stiff, emotionless delivery makes the show much more boring than you'd think it should be, given that the plot itself is in fact interesting.
So, my advice for the hard-core sci-fi anime fan? Ditch the anime, and especially the English dub, pick up the manga. There's a detailed conlang that the Abh speak. I guess some people like those, but I think they often hamper storytelling more than they help. I guess in this setting, it serves to set the Abh people apart even more from regular humans as their hair, ears, ages, and strange customs.
I would read the novels, but the anime seriously suffers from being too slow-paced. In a 13-episode anime, you cannot start off slowly. I saw 20% of the content like I'm doing with every other anime on my list, but it felt like the beginning of a much longer-running show, not a quickie one-cour. If you have more episodes, you can take more time to slowly introduce your characters and the conflict, but in such a short anime, you kind of need to get moving with the action a little faster. I predict that the anime has an unsatisfying conclusion, and is probably just another case of "the anime is just an ad for the source material". So in this case, just skip the anime, it's probably not worth even 13 episodes of your time. But do check out the manga and original novels.