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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  • Bam
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 05:54 AM)
    The episode was alright and felt dense as I watched it, but in hindsight only really moved the plot forward incrementally. Lancer not untying Tohsaka as soon as he killed Kirei and then not killing Shinji when he clearly had the chance left a bad taste in my mouth. That and Shirou’s heavy plot armor at this point is becoming reminiscent of another famous anime dual-wielder. Not a compliment.
  • Bam
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 05:46 AM)
    UBW 20 felt like another rendition of Eva 26 (Take care of yourself), complete with character analysis, battle with one’s Jungian Shadow, and loosely Buddhist ideas of self-actualization. It even featured the repetitive monologue shots that fade to black (with “I saw Hell” instead of Rei’s “Sky. Red, red sky”). It never went as far as Eva with “which way is up?” type of Soliloquy, but that’s probably a good thing.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:48 AM)
    Ashura was an excellent example of how to through anime illicit and emotional response in an honest, non-melodramatic way.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:46 AM)
    @Bam: I’d be more than happy to take a look at some of those shorts anytime.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:44 AM)
    @Emma: there’s a lot of European animators that got active in the last 10 years or so that are really reinvigorating their animation scene, and every now and then I get introduced to some fabulous shorts.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Emma: no I don’t really mind gory ‘for the fuck of it’ violence, I even like it in some grindhouse type of works, but I just don’t think it’s always effective as a shock factor. Live-action is the most sympathetic for obvious reasons, but there are animated works that do elicit a deep response. Probably because of circumstances but also the details of the in-between animation, which can induce certain feelings of disgust.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:39 AM)
    *here and there
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:35 AM)
    @Bam: I really wish there was more arthouse anime now to give some kind of a balance to everything thats out these days.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:33 AM)
    Now I like my exploitation every so often, but yes Bam I really do wish that adult and mature storytelling could be better associated with truly, more pure mature themes.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:25 AM)
    I get choked up over Bergmans cries and whisper and Autumn sonata, I look back on a work by Key and Jun Maeda and wonder, think of how silly it looks to me now.

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