This is perhaps the weakest section of the Stars anime saga, but it doesn't necessary mean it's all bad. You get the same political tensions and character developments that made the series worthwhile from previous shows. This time around, Jinto and Lafiel get their first experience at handling the tensions between different factions on a prison planet. Their bond is put to the test as both are separated from each other as Jinto settles things on the planet's surface and caught in the rebellion. The developments make for the most intense moments in the Stars saga as Lafiel's resolve is put to the test throughout the entire ordeal.
However, a few decisions in the choice of plotting cripple this series a bit. The beginning of the first episode pretty much spoils the emotional finale to the series and teases you with it throughout narrations from Jinto at the end of the first few episodes. The new characters also lack the intrigue and interest I got off the Abh Star Force members from Banner of the Stars. Their motivations are pretty predictable once you learn about how the prison system works on the planet and there isn't too much depth given to their intentions.
Visually, Banner of the Stars II has improved artwork and polish from previous seasons with brighter color and more detail from the scenery and characters. For music, the opening music used for the past two shows is retained though the closing song sounded powerful going well with the mood for this series.
It isn't perfect, but Banner of the Stars II features the same old characters and political tensions that hooked you into the first two series. With greater focus on Jinto and Lafiel's bond this time around, fans of the pairing should still be able to enjoy this chapter of the Stars anime saga.
Last updated Sunday, August 17 2008. Created Sunday, August 17 2008.
[Score: 86% = "Buy"]
The Characters are mostly those we already know, plus the leaders of the planet where Jinto has to operate as territorial deputy ambassador. So they're not as new and refreshing as they were in the prequel, but they still have their strong scenes.
Then again, some scenes shown in the very first episode (telling the audience significant parts of the story development, and not even subtitled because all characters are using Abh language instead of Japanese) turn out to be a horrible suspense killer. And the episode previews are horribly spoilerish as well, you really need to skip them during the first pass of watching. Certain decisions during battle look questionable this time, unlike the prequel. All in all the Series Story is the weakest aspect this time.
This one might have been the best season of this saga if it had been told in conventional style, as the diplomacy aspect of this story on a prison planet taken over by the Empire (plus certain tricky situations asking for complex decisions) is the most challenging theme of the whole Seikai Saga so far, and some developments were really surprising. Unfortunately, the most important ones were not, and unnecessarily so. But still, this is a good show that won't disappoint the Seikai fans.
Last updated Friday, July 18 2008. Created Thursday, November 23 2006.
Shifting the story from deep space conflict and battles, to one of politics and Abh policy, Jinto shows his patience and compassion in getting Lafiel’s permission to travel to the planet to study the on-planet situation and listen to the concerns of the leaders. The penal planet is broken up into three penal sections. Reproductive females in one section, reproductive males in a second section and third section of non-reproductive mixed sex prisoners. The leader of the males section is intent on staying on the planet and starting families to continue their existence, while the leader of the female section is hell-bent on getting off the planet, (and away from the violent and aggressive males). And the wardens of prison have an agenda to getting their families off the planet and away from the pending fight between the two very polarized and hostile factions. And in a battle of control, one of the factions makes a very unwise move and decides to take Jinto captive in a desperate power play.
1- Operation Hunter
2- Planet of Exile
3- Emigration Plan
4- The Hunters
6- Abh Hell
7- The Flag of Gatharsr
8- Things to Protect
9- To Lay Down the Bow
10 -An Abriel`s Tears
If you enjoyed the earlier seasons, then this one should be considered a must watch type of anime, but be prepared for a step down in the quality of the story. Everything (the characters and the complexity) are still there, but the 3rd season just does not 'click' like the previous ones... (but it is still alot of fun!)
Last updated Saturday, November 18 2006. Created Tuesday, August 02 2005.
|Official Japanese Series Web Site