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