Posted by psgels on 30 January 2010 with categories: Seikai no Monshou



I love how this series plays around with morals. In the first episode, it really seemed like the Abh were your stereotypical evil empire full of evil emotionless Nazis that like to conquer people. And yet now that we’ve gotten to see a bit of their side of the story, then we suddenly see that these people are surprisingly human, and despite having power-hungry leaders, it’s not like all of them are heartless monsters. Cultural values and differences also play huge differences on hate and distance between the Abh and other nations. That makes me wonder what the Abh themselves think about their habit of not getting involved with the nations they conquer. Could it be that it’s not like they keep out of the nations they conquer because they believe they’ll be hated and nobody would want to cooperate?

This episode was mostly about these complex kinds of politics, rather than two previous episodes, which were more focused at just Jinto and Lafiel. And it did well in making it sink in that wars can take multiple centuries before being resolved. I hope that one of the future episodes will show the story from the perspective of the opposing alliance of those four countries. That will really allow us as viewers to form a complete picture. That sudden attack of them to the ship came seemingly out of nowhere, so I’m very interested in their exact reason and mindset for initiating that attack.

Overall, we probably won’t see her again after this point, but I liked that captain of the ship a lot. Before she appeared, I had this totally distorted image of the Abh, but she showed that the Abh are a varied race. That’s something that I often miss in stories that make up their own races: sure, the humans are varied, with all sorts of different bastards and nice guys walking around. And yet the elves are tree-loving, intelligent and use bows, dwarfs are small, grumpy and live in caves and the angels are all stuck-up and pretentious. With small tribes, I can understand: the herd instinct will likely develop these people with slightly similar personalities. But entire races? Nah.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

10 Responses

  1. tzuge says:

    From this point on, Seikai no Monshou gets a bit more personal with the lead characters. Their involvement in larger events picks up in Seikai no Senki. The series does an absolutely amazing job of telling an intimate story set against a backdrop of larger events. Best of all the two leads do not dominate the flow of history with their actions; Jinto never pilots the magic mecha that determines the outcome of the war on his whim.

    Later on in Seikai no Monshou, they do reveal a bit about the motivations of one specific non-Ahb ‘villain’, and that does provide some insight into the antagonism of the Ahb. However, don’t expect any scene that spells out the motivation behind the war. The show does not really frame the war in terms of good and evil. It is simply a conflict between empires to determine who holds hegemony over human space, and the Ahb are never explicitly the ‘good guys’ or the ‘bad guys’.

  2. Kanao says:

    “and despite having power-hungry leaders, it’s not like all of them are heartless monsters.”

    I really don’t understand how you form these misconceptions when you know nothing about the Abh leaders at this point.

  3. Drask says:

    The Ahb basic goal is to control all space travel and to ban humans from space. To insure piece in the galaxy they claim. Humans are to live on planets and do as they are told. Sometimes the Ahb allow a few humans to go to space but only as crew members on Ahb ships without any power. Whether the Ahb are good or evil depends mainly on the point of view. The humans banned from space will never consider them good for example.

  4. Mike says:

    they’re not “banned” from space, they can rent ships and passage through space much like any other Abh and citizens of the Empire. What they’re prohibited from is building their own ships.

    This is one of the methods the Abh came up to preserve peace through out the colonized human world, which is a duty they consider to be theirs to fulfill, due to a previous incident in the past.

  5. Sywen says:

    The Abh just don’t have any interests in the “lander” worlds (the planets themselves) only in the trade rights and the control of the space between the planets. they leave the planets to their own. Season 3 will explain that to you in great detail.

    Also your misconception about the abh as an evil race is probably due to the speech of the conqueror in the first episode, and that will be explained in season 2 and 3 ;)

    The reasons for the Four Nations Alliance to attack is not stated specific anywhere, but will be somewhat made clear during the seasons (for example the narrator at the start of each episode will give some views of how the Four Nation Alliance think about the abh and through some interactions with the conquerors later in the season )

  6. uhuh says:

    “In the first episode, it really seemed like the Abh were your stereotypical evil empire full of evil emotionless Nazis that like to conquer people. ”

    Only if you turned your brain off while watching the episode it did…

    “we suddenly see that these people are surprisingly human, and despite having power-hungry leaders, it’s not like all of them are heartless monsters.”

    Seriously, were you on drugs when you watched this?…

  7. Sacket says:

    Actually the reason for the attack by the four nations is made clear in the novels, but not so far in any of the anime episodes.

    Basically the capture of Jinto’s homeworld by the Ahb allowed them to seal off all nullspace nodes that lead outside the galaxy. Giving exploration of those areas exclusively to the Ahb (since they don’t allow other nations to use their space routes). In fact the Ahb specifically attacked Jinto’s homeworld in order to to do this, and ensure that the other four nations would be in a position of inevitable decline in power relative to the Ahb.

    Seeing this threat and determining that the Ahb intention is eventual rule over all worlds, the four nations realized that only by uniting now and attacking could they hope to defeat the Ahb.

  8. Adam says:

    Sacket, WHERE did you find a translated copy of the books?!

    That aside, its fair to assume that everyone commenting has watched Crest of the stars, and most likely banner of the stars as well. Dont criticise the Abh being initially taken as evil conquerers, because from just what we had seen so far, they are. I’m assuming that the Nazi comparison was there not because they’re Nazi like or anything, but because Nazi’s are by far the best representation of an evil conquerer that the past few generations can name.

    Everyone’s quick to jump to the Abh’s defence, but really, they are taking away freedoms from people. In terms more familiar, what they are doing is similar to a country invading and conquering another country bloodlessly, then requireing that citizens can’t leave the country, unless its on their terms. And that’s just the main restriction taken into account.

  9. Ed says:

    The first series of novels was translated to English by Tokyopop and is available from most book sellers.

  10. uhuh says:

    “That aside, its fair to assume that everyone commenting has watched Crest of the stars, and most likely banner of the stars as well. Dont criticise the Abh being initially taken as evil conquerers, because from just what we had seen so far, they are. I’m assuming that the Nazi comparison was there not because they’re Nazi like or anything, but because Nazi’s are by far the best representation of an evil conquerer that the past few generations can name.”

    Oh, is that right? Knowing next to nothing about the Abh, we can still safely infer that they’re “evil”? For pete’s sake, considering how loaded that word is, comparing someone to the Nazis when you know diddly about them is not a great show of intelligence. If you need to jump to conclusions, why not peg them as Americans instead, sailing up in their black ships and making ultimative demands?

    “Everyone’s quick to jump to the Abh’s defence, but really, they are taking away freedoms from people. In terms more familiar, what they are doing is similar to a country invading and conquering another country bloodlessly, then requireing that citizens can’t leave the country, unless its on their terms. And that’s just the main restriction taken into account.”

    OK, you’ve convinced me, the Abh are terrible. Now let’s get a move on with spreading freedom and democracy by invading other countries, the way it’s supposed to be done…

    Anyway, what I said was not about whether the Abh have their faults, it was about the blogger making hasty assumptions while knowing diddly about the whole setup. I simply can’t fathom where the idea that all Abh are heartless monsters could reasonably come from when watching this show, but apparently the blogger had this idea or he wouldn’t be talking about his surprise that they aren’t.

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  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:10 AM)
    Seeing Hoffman in before the devil knows your dead and his character being dependent on drugs, that was another thing that hit me a bit knowing the circumstances of his death. Watching most wanted man I could also see that he was wearing out physically.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:00 AM)
    This is not Anno bitching about otakus jacking off to his characters and turning around and selling Rei panties, this isn’t the idiots at Shaft throwing around meaningless camera angles and the oh-so-symbolic teeth brushing scenes, this is a human being looking you in the eye with fear and telling you that he’s dying; morbid, honest, moving and remarkable.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:55 AM)
    Given my rants regarding Birdman it should be clear that I’m a sucker for these rare instances where the line between movie and reality get blurred- when an actor looks at a camera and just bares their heart out. This is the realism that reality tv tried but could never capture. this is art in one of its most sincere forms.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:50 AM)
    Oh yeah Hoffman was a massive talent and a beloved actor, so I don’t take it lightly when I call Synecdoche his greatest role ever. Given his death and knowing the circumstances of his life at the time imbues this performance with a chilling sincerity that just breaks your heart and leaves you in awe.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:42 AM)
    Oh Andrew Niccol, oh how the mighty have fallen.
    Hoffman showed up in Capote and most wanted man, the latter which I especially love and there need to be more thrillers of that vein coming out.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:37 AM)
    It’s funny how they also each have a Nicolas Cage movie. Kaufman has Adaptation and Niccol has Lord of War. Although despite the usual Cage antics neither of those movies is really that bad.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:33 AM)
    Eternal Sunshine and The Truman Show are the two roles where Jim Carrey really demonstrated his acting chops well outside of his usual comfort zone. But Kaufman moved forward from Sunshine with the superior Synecdoche, while Andrew Niccol went from doing Truman Show and Gattaca to doing young adult garbage like The Host *wretches*
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:28 AM)
    @Emma: yeah you’ll most likely enjoy it. On the surreàl scale it lies somewhere between Birdman and Holy Mountain, so although it’s peppered with symbolic imagery and thematic shots it’s still a personal story about a man’s struggle when faced with his own demise. Although a lofty statement, this is in my onion philip seymour hoffman’s best performance, and his untimely death adds another incredibly rich level of nuance to this movie.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:20 AM)
    @Bam: Adaption, Nicholas Cage =< a guilty pleasure actor to watch for the most part and little more.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:12 AM)
    @Bam: The more you mentiom Synecdoche, the more interested I get. Malcovich was a creative idea for a film and Eternal sunshine was a good spin on the romance genre which gave Jim Carrey a film worth acting in.
    Riki-oh if anything is just a heck of alot of fun.

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