Posted by psgels on 10 March 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Seikai no Monshou



I like how, even though it’s a direct sequel, Seikai no Senki is completely different from Seikai no Monshou. It shows that the creators aren’t one trick ponies, and it makes the premise much more dynamic to see it explored in all those different ways. Seikai no Monshou was pretty much a space adventure series. Seikai no Senki however, is war. And let me tell you, I can count the series that managed to portray science fiction battles in a more realistic way than what we saw here on one hand.

During the battles, the lead characters Lafiel and Jinto may not be the centre of the focus. They may not hold the key of victory, and they may not possess a god-mode weapon that can take out several enemy ships in a row. Their ship may not magically dodge bullets, and they also may not fight according to their own battle plans, and instead have to follow orders. But that’s the great thing about it! The battles here are believable and purposefully kept from going over the top. 2000 years (or however long humanity may take before developing stable spaceflight) into the future, I can totally see large-scale space battles happen in a similar fashion.

As compared to Seikai no Monshou, which walked all over the place, Seikai no Senki is a very focused story, and much more consistent. It tells two stories at the same time. One part is focused at a single ship, and the people who command it. The other focus is at the top officials and admirals, who attempt to steer the battle in the right directions. Due to the large amount of time that it spends fleshing out these people through their dialogue, it becomes fascinating to see these people strategize.

As for the dialogue… well, Seikai no Monshou did just about everything there was to do in terms of hard-hitting and confronting dialogue, so there was no way for Seikai no Senki to beat it. Instead, the dialogue is much more subtle. It’s still very noticably there and Jinto and Lafiel still don’t hesitate at all to speak their minds in a very un-Japanese-like fashion, but it lacks the edge it once had. This one is also much more about creating an atmosphere of what it’s like to command a small battleship at the front lines. The dialogue instead excels in the small things, like characters taking subtle jabs at each other, or subtle hints that are actually meant to flesh out characters beyond what they tell straight-forwardly. Oh, and I loved that cat, who just keeps coming back. There’s hardly anything comedic about it, but it brings a surprisingly human side to the main cast.

I can’t say which one of Seikai no Senki and Seikai no Monshou is the better one. They’re too different to really say for sure: Seikai no Monshou had a bit of a disappointing finale, but an excellent beginning. Seikai no Senki instead doesn’t really have an episode that I’d crown as awesomeness, but instead was excellent from beginning to end. Still, Seikai no Senki did have the advantage that it could use the build-up that was provided by Sekai no Monshou, without which I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as I did.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Very realistic space battles. No God-mode beams whatsoever and it’s still an action-packed series.
Characters: 9/10 – Less focus on character-development, but the dialogue is incredibly rich in fleshing out its cast.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Still solid, but nothing really special for its time.
Setting: 8/10 – Not as interesting as in Monshou, but still very solid.

7 Responses

  1. Thorben says:

    Did you review only the first Seikai no Senki series or all three of them?

    Unfortunately the third series Seikai no Senki III with only two OVA episodes never was released in the west.

  2. Dan says:

    Its unfortunate you don’t have the time to watch Legends of Galactic Heroes. Its got a superb storyline and really epic battles that still remain realistic. I’d highly recommend you watching it if you have time for a week long marathon ;b (100+ episodes with ovas etc)

  3. Sywen says:

    i really loved the dialogues aswell, especially the banter between the bebaus brothers and Admiral Spoor-XO. I look forward to your senki no seikai II review, its the best of the 3 seasons imo

  4. Camario says:

    Well, I guess this answers my question. ;)

    Banner of the Stars tends to get a bad rep in some circles, as one might expect, but I definitely came to appreciate the new focus on the ship and its crew. Lafiel and Jinto were still pretty important, obviously, though it’s been a few years so my memory isn’t the best, but I believe this particular series still managed to portray the conflict’s scale very convincingly in spite of everything else.

    Banner of the Stars II will probably be yet another surprise for you, at least at first, though not a bad one in my opinion. I’d like to see how you react though.

    And yes, I agree with the previous comments, in at least one sense. I can tell you would almost certainly like Legend of the Galactic Heroes a lot.

    Even if you only saw one or two of the movies and left the bulk of the series for another time, hopefully you will have an opportunity to check that other great anime at some point in the future.

  5. karry says:

    “The battles here are believable and purposefully kept from going over the top. 2000 years (or however long humanity may take before developing stable spaceflight) into the future, I can totally see large-scale space battles happen in a similar fashion.”

    What a load of bullshit.

  6. Moondark says:

    I can’t really… I can’t stop recommending Legend of Galactic Heroes… :P You will like it a lot, I’m sure… It have every aspect you always said to expect from those series… EVERYTHING!

  7. PL says:

    I just wanted to stop by and tell you that your writing has gotten really, really good. I would NEVER believe English was not your native tongue if I hadn’t been chatting with you and reading your blog so long.

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  • 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.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:24 AM)
    I also find it easier to get an emotional response from a honest drama, live action film, largely due to the real people doing the acting. Sometimes you get an actor whose just that good too…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:22 AM)
    I’ve gotten my odd emotional reaction here from anime and manga but a lot of the time it feels like the jump scare in a generic horror movie, I got shocked but I felt minipulated afterwards it wasn’t genuine, the same goes for some anime/manga drama when it takes a melodramatic turn instead of a bleak, honest one.

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