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Dated 27 November 2005: Seikai no Senki III

I've been so out of it that I didn't even know the third Banner of the Stars was out already. Being a big fan of space opera, and the earlier Crest of the Stars and Banner of the Stars installments, I was all over this.

Lafiel
Lafiel

Somewhat surprisingly, I was unprepared for how much I enjoyed hearing Ayako Kawasumi's voice again.

Let me back up a bit: I went anime-less cold turkey for three months—long enough that hearing Japanese again sounded weird as all Hell. I got used to it, of course. The first show I caught up with was Gundam SEED Destiny, and while it was nice hearing Fumiko Orikasa and Tanaka Rie again, I can't honestly claim that the experience was especially noteworthy.

Lafiel
Lafiel

Ayako Kawasumi's voice, on the other hand, was very welcome. It certainly helped that the character Lafiel is one of her best roles (if not her very best role), but in any case I reaffirm without reservation that the AYAKO DOCTRINE remains good law.

Given my immediate reaction to hearing Ayako Kawasumi's voice again at the start of Banner of the Stars III, I was naturally quite pleased with the OAV's ending. It was definitely appropriate.

Lafiel and Jinto
Lafiel and Jinto

I'm not bestowing enough import upon Seikai no Senki III itself. The Crest/Banner of the Stars saga is a great series, and I was stoked to learn of this new installment. Even if I wasn't a sucker for space opera, the relationship between Lafiel and Jinto makes them one of the most compelling couples in all of anime—at least in my opinion.

Dated 10 January 2006: Seikai novels licensed

Oh, sweet. Tokyopop has licensed the Seikai novels. For those not in the know, these are the books from which Crest of the Stars and Banner of the Stars are based.

I can already hear the crying for someone to license the Marimite novels, with the follow-up chorus crying for the licensing of the Marimite anime.

And while we're at it, someone please license the Kokoro Library anime, eh.

Hey, it could happen. We finally got Full Moon wo Sagashite. Perhaps this has turned the tide of the war! Maybe the licensing of the Full Moon wo Sagashite manga last year was the Battle of Midway.

Okay, maybe that wasn't the best metaphor I could have used....

Dated 8 November 2007: Using Banner of the Stars to alleviate Lovely Complex withdrawal

Diaho, Lafiel, and Jinto
Lafiel and Jinto spend some time with Diaho.

Take a Lovely Complex-inspired desire to watch more relationship anime, coincide that with the GREAT RE-WATCHING PROJECT, add a soft spot for space opera, top it off with the AYAKO DOCTRINE, and you'll find me enjoying my Banner of the Stars II DVDs again.

Lafiel
Lafiel.

The best part of the Crest of the Stars and Banner of the Stars series is the relationship between Jinto and Lafiel. It's one of the rare occasions where I don't object to a couple's apparent lack of progress. While there is no reason to think that Jinto and Lafiel are tearing each others clothes off in-between scenes, the lack of eros doesn't compare with Keiichi's and Belldandy's infuriating self-imposed celibacy, mainly because Jinto's and Lafiel's relationship actually progresses over the course of the series. Also because they don't act like idiots. There is that.

Dated 21 June 2008: Crest is second to Banner only alphabetically

I don't know how anyone can watch Banner of the Stars without first watching Crest of the Stars. Banner is excellent, but skipping Crest means missing out on the very beginning of Jinto and Lafiel's relationship.

I assume it's that one screenshot of Jinto and Lafiel riding on a robot horse that scares some people away from Crest of the Stars, because as good as the Banner sequels are, they are not "universally acclaimed as far and far away superior over [their] predecessor" by any means.