Let me start off by saying although this is an anime produced in the late 90's, it's characters and story arc deserve praise.
So, the story it takes off by introducing us to the main character, Jinto, as he was a child. This anime wins points by introducing us to character backgrounds off the bat; Jinto is the son of a politician who sold out to the Abh empire during the invasion of his homeworld Maritime, and Jinto inherits the opportunity to be an Abh noble. Jinto meets the series' second protagonist Lafiel, an Abh noble, when he is a few years older and is undergoing training to be an Abh noble. Lafiel is to be his escort to the school where he is to be trained.
I tend to give more interest towards character devlopment/romance in stories, and from the moment Jinto met Lafiel I knew these two were going to be a couple I adored. Their relationship feels real and natural, where their experiences and learning of one another contributes to the growth of their partnership. Although the tighter romancing takes place in Banner, Crest lays the foundation for a great series.
Sometimes the action and diplomatic factions can be hard to follow, but upon re-watching the series I managed to identify each with clarity, and since the anime is just that good re-watching was a great experience anyways.
Crest is in no way an innovative art work; but from a 1999 series, what can you expect? Sometimes the way Lafiel is drawn looks awkward as well as Jinto, but adjusting to it is fairly easy. I give it a 7/10 because there are better quality anime out there, but this aspect is easily forgiven in lieu of the narrative.
The sound for the anime is good, but I wish there were more variety. I know the studio had to save money by repeating certain scenes and music, but more variety would have been nice. However, this is easily forgiven as well.
Sometimes it sounds as if Jinto and Lafiel are speaking to each other through an old transistor radio; the voice acting is not so clear at times, but not enough to make me cringe.
For an English nerd, the lack of contractions in the dialogue was irksome. Lafiel would always say "I am" instead of "I'm"; "Cannot" instead of "can't"; so on and so forth. It seems too formal for two close friends to be speaking without any use of contractions, but back in the day I suppose the use of contractions was unpopular among writers.
The sounds are not unpleasant, however they are not the best.
In this category, Crest of the Stars takes a major win.
Jinto and Lafiel are definitely in my top 10 favorite anime couples, due to their real and naturally progressing romance. From the moment Lafiel gets excited about being spoken to like a normal person, proudly telling Jinto "You may call me Lafiel!!" you will be hooked on the characterization and development.
Crest creates real, solid characters which are not present in many modern-day anime. The supporting characters are not memorbale, though their role in the story fits well as the focus remains on Jinto and Lafiel throughout.
The best thing about their relationship is it leaves room for more, giving the audience something to look forward to in Banner of the Stars.
Crest of the Stars is a truly unique anime among its peers. It has a solid story with compelling narrative, characters who are believable, and two protagonists who are lovable and certainly memorable. What the anime lacks in technical details, it makes up for in its well-done cast and magnificent narrative. If you've seen this or are wanting to see it, make sure you take a look at Crest's sequel, Banner of the Stars.