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Seikai no Monshou

Episode 4: Surprise Attack

Copyright: © 1999 Sunrise Inc., Bandai Visual
Length: 25 minutes
Rating: NR, Parental Guidance Advised
Format: Original Japanese Dialogue, English Subtitled, English Dub (VHS, DVD)


dvd jacket

Jinto Lin, escorted by the lovely Lafiel, has boarded the patrol ship Gosroth and is headed for the Abh capital, where he will be trained as a war secretary. After a heart-to-heart conversation with the possible girl of his dreams, Jinto begins to study on the manners he will need to convey and display during his training, while Lafiel continues her duties as a pilot trainee. What these two unsuspecting souls don’t realize is that their destiny is now in the hands of the Gosroth’s captain, Lexshue, and the enemy that harks upon them: the United Mankind.

capsule review:

I’d like to preface this review with a little tip for those who may be misled by the episode title. There is no attack here. There is no battle (yet). I don’t know why they decided to name this episode in such a manner, but titles aside, this is the best episode of the series so far (or so I had thought, until I saw the next one).

We open the episode at almost the exact point where the last one left us, with Lexshue turning to her first officer and saying “The United Mankind.” Before the opening, we get a little blurb about the United Mankind, which is a group of four planets that have managed to retain their independence from the Humankind Empire Abh. Since the Abh conquer planets only for trade and economic domination and not for military purposes, one has to wonder what the United Mankind’s goal is by resisting Abh rule. One also has to wonder why this makes the Abh worry; an emotion the viewer was not presented with until now.

Lexshue’s napping when her first calls her up, and in an odd moment we get a bit of fan service as she slips on her uniform. I was a bit put-off by this, since the show had not followed any typical anime conventions, such as fan service or “blush because you love them” until now. That aside, we get a good idea of how this crew works together as Lexshue is provided with information about the situation. Apparently, when traveling in “plane space” you can detect other ships as things called space-time orbs. There are a few of them heading in the direction of the Gosroth, and they appear to be the size of military vessels.

From here, the episode breaks down into scenes of tense dialogue between Lexshue, her crew, Jinto, and Lafiel. When Lafiel resists Lexshue’s order to escort Jinto to a safer place (since he’s a non-combatant), Lexshue’s character grows in her rapid-fire response to Lafiel, about her being nothing but an extra body, and how she’s running away from an extremely important task if she resists. The scene shows Lexshue, the charismatic and sharp commander, as the concerned commander, and also suggests some kind of emotional attachment to Lafiel.

Lafiel accepts the assignment, and Lexshue also asks Jinto to watch over Lafiel and keep her safe, but in typical Jinto fashion, he says that he can’t imagine a situation where she would need him. Once our two leads are safely away in their own ship, the situation shifts from character building and back to the threat of the United Mankind, where a simple Gosroth introduction signal is met with a deadly challenge signal, leaving you with an easy to digest, low-fat cliffhanger.

The animation came back up a notch, and the characters were looking better than they ever have. I haven’t talked much about the directing of the show, because it’s very subtle…while not very dynamic in shot choices or epic in tense sequences, the goal seemed to make to you, the viewer, divert your attention to the dialogue and the characters on the screen, not necessarily how dramatic the shots were or whether there were any big, flashy explosions.

Crest of the Stars is a nice blend of character drama, space opera, and an introduction into a completely different universe than most Anime series. The series continues to improve with each episode, something that is hard to find in more recent animation from Japan or otherwise.
- JS 2003.05.31

café rating (english dubbed):


3 star

[3 / 5] - Nothing earth-shattering here, but the hint of things to come and the development of Jinto, Lafiel, and Lexshue make this episode what it is.


3 stars
[3 / 5] - Again, nothing terribly dynamic, as the show’s direction tends to blend with the other elements. It backs up the story and the animation and does it well.


4 stars
[4 / 5] - Basing this on the English version, the person clocking in as Lexshue really turned in a fine performance, matching the emotions on the character’s face and making you feel them in your gut. The rest of the cast is firmly established at this point, so there are no quibbles with them.


4 stars
[4 / 5] - The head shrinking/growing problem from the previous episode is gone, and there was a touch more detail in the animation during this episode than previous ones.


4 stars
[4 / 5] - The opening theme is great as always, but the winner here is the flute solo played during Lexshue and Lafiel’s argument. Sad, melancholy, and a great reflection on what must have been going through the character’s hearts at those moments.


[N/A] - Based on the English dub version

Overall Rating:

4 star
[4 / 5] - All the elements combine here for a solid episode that lets the characters grow and advances the series into its next stage.

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Page last modified 2003.05.31