I just watched “Crest of the Stars.” It’s a 13 episode (about 25 minutes each) on 4 disk anime.
Both these reviews pretty much sum up my thoughts on this series: T.H.E.M. Anime Anime Planet
In a nutshell this is a character driven “boy-meets-girl” drama set in an epic space opera but w/o becoming soap opera-ish. The animation is substandard for today but doesn’t detract from the main point of the series, the story. The audio is nothing spectacular but the music does enhance the space opera setting. Plot progression is slow for those into action/monster of the week fare, however being sourced from a novel shows though in the rich presentation of the story and characters. Despite being a clichéd topic, boy-meets-girl, the way it’s presented lends a whole new life to the old genre.
This series continues with “Banner of the Stars,” “Banner of the Stars 2,” and AFAIK “Banner of the Stars 3,” and a movie. The first two also get high marks from reviewers for the same reasons a “Crest of the Stars,” but I haven’t read any reviews of #3 or the movie. I’ve just stared “Banner of the Stars” and it’s pretty much holding up with “Crest of the Stars.”
Note that if you plan to watch these do it in order or you will miss out on the story progression and character development. Also note that at both the beginning of “Crest of the Stars” and “Banner of the Stars” they start with a battle where it sounds like everyone is speaking Japanese w/o subtitles even if you’ve selected the English dub. However, this is not Japanese and it “is” intentional. It is a made up language of one of the races, appearing again at the beginning narration of each episode (with subtitles this time). Fooled me into not watching it for a long time until I read a review and realized what was going on.
If you like a good dramatic story with interesting and likable characters this is a must try. If you prefer most of today’s Hollywood movies and American TV shows run away very quickly.