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File:Lafielresize.jpg
Once upon a time there was a traveler crouching in pain by the roadside. A man who was walking by sat next to the traveler before he could ask for help. The man lectured the traveler at length about having a healthy lifestyle in order to avoid sickness. Satisfied with his speech the man stood up and left. His name is the United Mankind. Next, a very beautiful woman approached the traveler with an inquisitive look on her face. The traveler said, "Well, don't just stand there, help me." The woman replied, "Do you want me to help you?" She then discussed at length the situation with the traveler until she fully understood the problem. And then she nodded and left. Shortly after, the woman brought all the doctors, nurses, and staff of the closest hospitals with her. Her name is the Humankind Empire Abh.
—A political allegory from the planet of Midgrat

Crest of the Stars (aka Seikai no Monshou) is a novel written by Hiroyuki Morioka as a prologue to his Banner of the Stars series. It was later adapted into a twelve episode anime in 1999. Anime adaptions of his Banner of the Stars novels have followed and a prologue to Crest of the Stars was produced titled Lost Chapter of the Stars.

Crest of the Stars follows the story of Jinto and Lafiel as they get themselves involved in a war between the Abh and the United Humankind. Jinto Lin is a young boy living on the planet Martine when one day his planet is visited by a massive fleet of the Humankind Empire Abh. The Abh announce that they are annexing the system and demand the planet's immediate and unconditional surrender. After anxious deliberation Martine's president Rock Lin, Jinto's father, surrenders the planet without firing a shot. In exchange for their surrender Rock Lin is accepted into Abh society as a noble and his son is sent off to an Abh integration academy to learn the ways of the Abh.

Flash forward: Jinto has completed his initial education and is on his way to the Abh capital to begin his military training and an obligatory 10 years' service in the Abh navy. He will also meet his first Abh. That Abh is the Princess Lafiel, granddaughter of the Abh empress, who is herself in training and serving her military obligation as an Abh noble. They set off together on what is supposed to be an event-less courier mission to take Jinto to a military academy at the capitol. But then the brown stuff hits the fan and things begin going very bad very fast.

Crest of the Stars and its sequels, Banner of the Stars, Banner of the Stars II and Banner of the Stars III, focus on the developing relationship between Jinto and Lafiel against the backdrop of an interstellar war between the Abh and the allied powers of the United Mankind. Lost Chapter of the stars however, is a prologue to Crest of the Stars and deals with the relationship between Lafiel's parents.

One of the most interesting conceits of the franchise is that, in basically any other kind of space opera, the imperialistic, militaristic Abh would be the unquestionable villains; and, indeed, at times when the bigger picture is put on prominent display it can be a bit uncomfortable to realize just what Jinto and Lafiel are a part of. In the latter Banner series, even the residents of Jinto's home planet want to know just why the hell he's loyal to the all-conquering Abh at all. A large part of the point of the show is a refusal to fall into easy stereotypes, however, and no side of the great conflict is black-and-white pantomime evil.

The franchise is known for its deep characterization, colorful characters, and ability to go into long conversations over very trivial matters without seeming bland (in the second series, two characters get into a surprisingly interesting conversion over wine). There is some action, but if that's the only reason you're watching this you'll be bored to tears. Overall it's quite an entertaining and memorable series, as long as you don't mind long stretches of talking heads.

Tropes used in Crest of the Stars include:
  • Absent Aliens - The Abh are a servitor species created by humans.
  • Achievements in Ignorance - Jinto succeeds in befriending Lafiel, the 3rd in line for the Imperial throne, by asking her for her name, which no one had ever done before.
  • Air Jousting - In a flashback Lafiel is shown Air Jousting in a zero G chamber when she was still attending the Abh Military Academy. She was apparently very good at it.
  • Alliance, The: The Four/(later) Three-Nations Alliance aka Nova-Sicilia Nations against the Humankind Empire of Abh.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation - Present In-Universe. Spoor believes Jinto to be a clever, resourceful fellow; Lafiel disagrees, considering him foolish and thoughtless.
  • Applied Phlebotinum - It's what allows for interstellar travel.
  • Artificial Gravity - Standard issue for all major ships, space stations, and space cities.
  • Bat Deduction: Subverted in Episode 7 of Banner I. Lafiel apparently figured out which oncoming fleet was the allied fleet when her space-time communicator and IFF were down, running on nothing but intuition. Actually, she just knew that she had to make a coin-toss decision based on no information, and her apparent certainty was just to keep the crew confident in their captain.
  • Bathe Her and Bring Her to Me - Lafiel is bathed in episode 6.
  • Battle Butler: Klowal's maids wash his back, pour his wine, maintain his space station and fire rifles.
  • Bishonen - Every Abh male.
  • Blood Knight - Spoor. Its even stated in one of the opening blurbs that she could have retired and lived a life of leisure but has decided to remain in the military because wars are apparently more exciting. Not that this stops her from complaining of boredom while her ship is under heavy bombardment.
    • Ekuryua shows a trace of this when piloting; in Banner III, her eyes positively light up when she's doing a High Speed Laser Dodge.
  • Brilliant but Lazy - Most of the Abh high command doesn't seem very motivated, but they have their positions for a reason.
  • Casual Interstellar Travel - Although interstellar travel is owned by the Abh, there is little or no restriction to traveling between systems. It's treated like a commercial airline.
  • The Captain - Plenty over the series. Part of Lafiel's Character Development is growing into this. Becoming this was the sole reason Spoor joined the Star Forces, though ironically when the war finally breaks out she's been Kicked Upstairs to become an Admiral.
  • The Cavalry: The final act of Banner I is the heroes waiting for Dusahn's fleet to back them up at the Abticate Gate.
  • The Chains of Commanding - Lafiel in Banner of the Stars II
  • Character Development - This and Character Depth are the main draws of the show.
  • Chekhov's Gun(boat) - The towers first seen in the distance in episode 10 are revealed to be coffin-rockets that are used by Jinto and Lafiel to escape the planet.
  • Clasp Your Hands If You Deceive - The Baron.
  • The Chessmaster - In the novel Lafiel's father planned Jinto and her meeting on the Gosroth.
  • Con Lang - Crest Of The Stars uses Baronh, based on an ancient Japanese, and complete with its own alphabet.
  • Cute Kitten - Diaho's utter adorableness cuts through any scene he's in.
  • Data Crystal
  • Deadpan Snarker - Abhs do this a lot.
  • Distressed Dude: Jinto early on. Lafiel has to rescue him. "I'm at a loss without you around."
  • Drives Like Crazy - Ironically, it's Ekuryua, her driving is so bad that she induces motion sickness in a shuttle full of Abh. Abh are genetically engineered to fly in ships without inertia dampening.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything? - In the novel, they explain that the Abh are descended from an Island nation, which feared the loss of its culture, and so created a race of beautiful blue haired, almost androgynous elves.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome - the last stand of the Gosroth.
  • Dye or Die - Lafiel is forced to dye her hair black as blue hair is one of the Abhs' defining traits. She is not pleased.
    • Spoor got a lot of mileage out of this.
  • Emotionless Girl - Ekuryua, unless Diaho is involved.
    • Most Abh especially those of higher rank are encouraged to be this. Ekuryua just takes it to extremes.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses - Lafiel is a princess. Her military superiors exploit this by ordering her on diplomatic missions which deny her the martial glory she craves.
  • Explosive Decompression (Averted)
  • The Face: Deconstructed with Jinto feels about being forced into this role. Because he seems to get along with everyone (perhaps because he wasn't born into Abh society like everyone else) he has to act as a go-between both inside the Basroil's crew and with other soldiers. This means shouldering everyone's emotional baggage and translating it for one receiving the message.
  • Fantastic Racism - Abh and Humans
    • Played out straight with the "human" nations allying in war against the Abh under the pretense they are soulless biological machines.
      • Which is then subverted when the Abh confirm that all the humans claim about them is true. They are biological creations who then exterminated their creators.
    • Subverted by the views of the Abh towards "normal" humans, who can become members of the Abh (Jinto/Ghintec being an example) and usually get treated equally.
    • There actually are two meanings to "Abh": Abh nationality and Abh genetic traits. The latter are not required to acquire the former, but all newborns including descendants of human-born Abh must have both (through pre-natal gene tweaking).
      • Genetic tweaking is only required for the noble class. Humans in the Abh Empire can have all the human-babies they want, provided they aren't inheriting titles.
      • The Abh themselves tend considering anybody of Abh nationality as their kin regardless of their genetics. At times even excessively: they've been shown to assume human-born Abh can stand the same extreme accelerations as genetic Abh, for instance. Which they don't.
      • Humans in general and the human nations in particular, on the other hand, squarely define as "Abh" whoever possesses their genetics. They look down on human-born Abh as defectors.
    • The non-Abh factions are also down on any other human colonies that used any kind of other genetic modification, even if this had nothing to do with the Abh. One man with tweaked genes for a longer lifespan talks about how he's treated as a second-class citizen and is overzealous in his attempts to prove his loyalty.
  • Fantastic Rank System: The Abh have one. See the trope page for details.
  • Fictionary - The Abh speak Baronh, a language created by the author. It follows Japanese rather than English structure.
    • Baronh is an uncanny mix. Its grammar leans towards Latin (strongly-inflected words), its pronounciation and spelling towards French (large set of vowels and nasal sounds, mute consonants), and its vocabulary is based on ancient Japanese.
  • First-Name Basis - "You shall call me 'Lafiel'!"
  • Foreign Queasine - Cat is considered a delicacy on Samson's homeworld of Midgrat. When the United Mankind sent ambassadors, the locals were repeatedly lectured on democracy and how unhealthy it was to eat cat. The Abh didn't say anything. According to Samson, this is why Midgrat joined the Abh Empire.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams (averted to some extent)
  • Full Name Ultimatum - Lexshu gives one to Lafiel.
  • Generation Ships - The planet Martine was settled by one of these and the Abh's original home was one as well before they cracked the FTL issue.
  • Gene Hunting: Lafiel did this pre-series to find out who her mom is. Her dad told her it was Captain Lexshue.
  • Godiva Hair - Lafiel pulls this in one episode during her Shower Bath Scene. When her hair's not strategically covering what needs to be covered, it's either camera angles or reflections of light.
  • Gratuitous English - The language of Jinto's home planet Martine is explicitly mentioned to be descended from English; when it's spoken at the end of Banner III, it's identical.
    • Translation Convention - In the Japanese-language version of the first episode of Crest, the radio chatter on Martine following the emergence of the first Abh vessel is initially in Gratuitous English before fading into Japanese.
    • IIRC, this is explained by Martine being settled by an STL sleeper ship that took a *long* time to find a planet, like 1800 years. So from their POV they're only 200 years in our future, and pretty behind the tech level of the rest of the galaxy.
  • Gray and Grey Morality - Because the story is told from the Abh's perspective, the Alliance is not nearly as evil and the Abh are not nearly as angelic as initially presented.
    • The alliance lets you join willingly; keep your spacecraft; participate in interstellar politics; and provides security, infrastructure, and technology at no apparent cost. On the other hand they they force planets to culturally assimilate, set down very intrusive policies in the name of security, and will take over your government and run it like a military dictatorship if they feel they need to.
    • The Abh respects the culture of the planets in their empire, allows governments to maintain their sovereignty with a few minor caveats, and provides aid no strings attached if it is requested. On the other hand they force planets into their empire, will confiscate all ships capable of intergalactic travel, and only Abh nobility may own the means of interstellar trade and travel.
  • Gilded Cage: Klowal wants to puts Lafiel in onehe keeps his father in one because he's still human and Klowal is ashamed of him.
  • Heel Face Turn: Lafiel recruits Klowal's vassal, Seelnay, as her own and together they take over Klowal's Mission Control.
  • Hegemonic Empire: The Humankind Empire Abh practises a different type of hegemonic influence - diplomacy. The Abh expand by military conquest, but this "conquest" will often consist of a single ship delivering a treaty of surrender, with no shots fired. The Abh then order the conquered world to surrender all long - range space travel capabilities to the empire, install an Abh noble to rule over the planet (who is sometimes chosen from the local population rather than imported), set up trade routes, and then as long as the ruling class follow the rules and the people don't cause too much trouble, pretty much leaves things alone except for an occasional military recruiter or observer.
    • The Alliance follows a fairly more straightforward method of this, as explained on the Black and Gray Morality trope above.
  • Heroic BSOD - The novels imply that Spoor, of all people, suffered one between Banner II and Banner III.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Captain Ragash and his bridge officers agree to be left behind in Plane Space without fuel, so Lafiel's less-damaged ship can get most of his crew to safety.
  • High-Speed Missile Dodge - Standard operating procedure for Abh attack ships since they're fast and maneuverable but have little or no defense.
  • Honor Before Reason - The Abh follow their system of honor to the letter, keyword here is their system of honor.
  • Hope Spot - Captain Lexshue, outnumbered 10 to 1, succeeds in destroying 9 enemy ships but suffers terrible damage in the process, and is almost about to destroy the final enemy ship, when it hits her with a Wave Motion Gun.
  • Ho Yay - When Jinto says goodbye to his best friend before heading to the academy, he remarks that "I'd rather be with you than with any beautiful flight attendant."
  • Humans Are Bastards - There are many exceptions, but the 'United Mankind' subscribe to this. They want to reinslave the Abh since they see them nothing more than automatons, using human shields in battle to play on the Abh sense of honor and exploit it, and oppressing anyone who chooses to dye their hair blue.
  • Impoverished Patrician: Jinto may be a count but the only thing to his name is his position in the Star Force. He comments on this and his quarters on the ship has a sign declaring, "The tiniest noble mansion in the empire."
    • At least until Banner III, when Martine is finally recaptured and (pretty reluctantly) agrees to stay with the Empire. Jinto still doesn't get to set foot on his home planet again, as this was one of the conditions Martinians required.
  • Incest Is Relative - Asking a close relative for their genes is considered perfectly acceptable among the Abh, though the process doesn't involve sex and genefixing presumably clears up any of the problems of inbreeding.
  • Info Dump - The beginning of every episode of the anime begins with an infodump relating to whatever is about to happen in the episode.
  • Instrumental Theme Tune - Crest Of The Stars and its sequels use a brass-heavy symphonic theme.
  • Insult Backfire - Admiral Spoor's chief of staff is rather appalled at her attitude during combat and calls her Lady of Chaos - a title which she immediately adopts.
  • Jerkass - Its hard to tell weather Rear Admiral Spoor is simply a jerkass or a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. In Banner of the Stars II she goes from pitying Lafiel to bullying her Chief of Staff.
  • Just a Machine - The United Mankind Alliance view the Abh to be biological machines built to serve humanity.
  • Lady and Knight: Technically it would be 'Captain and Supply Officier' but Lafiel and Jinto fullfil the spirit of the trope. He takes care of and otherwise protects her, while she is a good-hearted princess with a drive to serve her empire. On other hand, since Jinto is arguably The Quisling, his fellow humans see them as the darker variety.
  • Large Ham - Trife: man can't seem to deliver two words without some kind of dramatic pose or overemphasis. Backfires badly in one scene.
  • Latex Space Suit - The Abh have the skin-tight version (worn by pilots), and the bulky version (used by mechanics, workers and damage control crews).
  • La Résistance - The Independence Party, present on Sufugnoff. In a twist, they've been unable to drum up much support against the Abh, and the United Mankind occupation forces want to arrest them because they're afraid the Independence Party will be resisting the occupation. They end up helping Jinto and Lafiel escape to Spoor's fleet.
  • Macross Missile Massacre - Crest Of The Stars and its sequels made their battleships purely missile platforms that take Macross Missile Massacre to the absolutely ridiculous extent (the majority of the mass of ships multiple kilometers long consists solely of thousand and thousands of missiles). The sheer weight of fire ONE battleship could deliver would put David Weber to shame. Of course, they were almost entirely Point Defenseless, but that's another matter.
    • Not as spectacular but still of note. By the second season the Humankind Alliance has developed a new weapon that can overwhelm almost any point defense. Missiles that split into more missiles when shot at.
      • In the novel, the effectiveness of those missiles were neutralized in a few hours
    • Also in the second season are mineshipes: several times longer than battleships, oriented horizontally, and bristling with enough missiles to wipe out an entire fleet. The Abh deploy them in the hundreds.
    • An interesting twist on this occurs in the second season where multiple episodes are devoted to nothing but the Abh fleet defending against wave after wave of Macross Missile Massacre.
  • Male Gaze - Present during a conversation between Jinto, Ekuryua and Samson, where Samson is talking about his experiences as a mustang (enlisted man promoted to officer). It suggests that part of the reason Samson has been in the Star Forces for 20 years is because of the pretty girls in latex space suits.
  • Mayfly-December Romance - Abh live much longer than landers, meaning that Lafiel is painfully aware that she's going to outlive Jinto.
    • Not so surprisingly, Jinto is actually the one that acknowledges this the most as Lafiel still wonders at time if she and Jinto is a different race while Jinto is ALWAYS conscience of the difference.
  • Meaningful Echo - "You shall call me Lafiel!" Possibly also the first series' Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
  • Mildly Military: Jinto brings a cat on board a vessel that's going into combat. Admiral Abriel and his chief of staff insult each other even more than usual for Abh. Spoor treats The Laws and Customs of War as nuisances to be ignored when she wants to terrorize the enemy (including one instance where she makes up a loophole that allows her to kill prisoners in cold blood, and threatens her chief of staff with disciplinary action when he protests). Oh, and Nereis likes to take baths when there's a pitched battle going on.
  • Never Be Hurt Again: The backstory has the Abh overthrowing their human creators and masters, then going on to conquer most of the known universe, while in the process of conquering the rest.
  • No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine - Happens in the first series.
  • Not Helping Your Case - Nereis and Nefee are part of a family known for its spectacular insanity. They claim they want to redeem their family's reputation, but they're not doing a very good job of it.
  • Obfuscating Insanity - Aside from Nereis and Nefee, Spoor's reputation for being nuts even by Abh standards covers her brilliant tactical mind.
  • Older Than They Look - Abh physically stop aging at somewhere around twenty-five.
  • One Product Planet - Interstellar travel relies heavily on Gates. During Jinto's and Lafiel's adventures, they see a Factory asteroid (producing Antimatter), a Strategic planet, enforcing a planetary Blockade, and latter coming across a rather civilized Penal world.
  • Out-Gambitted: How Lafiel and Klowal's battle ends.
  • Our Elves Are Better - A mashup between High Elves and Space Elves.
    • One possibly confusing thing is that most Abh have normal ears; hair color is the marker, not pointy ears. Those ears belong only to the royal family. Given Lafiel, we just get to see them an awful lot. This doesn't stop Abh from being like space elves (pretty and long-lived) but it's not the ears.
  • Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions -- the Abh are repeatedly described as all atheists, though the Banner I anime has Lafiel mentioning praying and souls briefly, in context I forget the details of. Banner II has them talking about an 'Abh Hell' they've created for when they need to inflict revenge worse than death, Web-allegedly a planet of medical experiments.
    • I may have imposed my reconstructed memories; I haven't found mention of the word 'atheist'. But they do ridicule all organized religions (3rd novel, Chap 11), and don't believe in a higher power (Empress/ambassadors in the anime) or ethics (same scene, novel version.)
    • The series has known translation errors where the translators didn't know that Abh are atheists and inserted religious references, and it's possible those prayer and soul references are this.
    • Chapter three of the first novel. Jinto wonders if fryum neg is a religious concept, but remembers that 'the Abh are atheists'. Of course, at that point of the story, Jinto gets a lot of things about the Abh wrong, and there are ample references to prayer later on, in both novel and anime. The impression I get is that: 1) The Abh are mostly nontheist. They don't have any strong opinions about any god or gods. The concept is just not part of their culture. 2) They don't trust organised religion. They find them alien and a little disturbing. 3) They are comfortable with individual religious belief and have a great respect for ritual. (See e.g. dinner on Baron Febdash's birthday.) 4) Abh culture contains spiritual ideas and practices. The Abh do not have private religious organisations, but I do not think they fit this trope.
    • In the third novel of Banner (not Crest), Abh are described by Jinto to be have reach a spiritual enlightment that they feel perfectly comfortable putting spirituality in their everyday conversation and jokes. The scene is in the movie, but the internal monologue of Jinto was left out.
  • Overly Long Name - All the Abh have these with at least four names and Landers who become Abh legally change their names to match. For example the main heroine's full name is: Ablïarsec Néïc Dubleuscr Bœrh Parhynr Lamhirh.
  • Penal Colony - The Abh wind up conquering one of these in Banner of the Stars II. Lafiel is put in charge of figuring out what to so with the inhabitants, much to her displeasure, specifically the guards and some of the female prisoners who want off.
  • Point Defenseless - While most of its ship classes aren't much in point defense department (for example, destroyers have only two rather slow-firing (although, as an aversion, almost always hitting) laser turrets), author clearly didn't miss this shortcoming, and created the whole ship class that is solely a point defense platform and mount CIWS stations by the hundred, creating veritable (and almost impenetrable) Bullet Hell around its charges.
  • Pointy Ears - The Abliarsec royal family. Nobody else is allowed to have this.
  • Pretext for War - The Alliance spent years planning an elaborate pretext to drag the Abh into a war. When they move to start the final step in the pretext, they're cut short when the Empress recognizes the plot and declares war rather than drag the process out.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning - The red eyes, blue hair Abh commander embodies this trope. And yet she's on the "good" side...
  • Retired Badass - Prince Dubeusec, Lamhirh's father, looks generally like Uncle Pennybags in the first novel/series. Only later it was revealed that he was a high-ranking general and retired after his brother Dusanh became a Crown Prince per Abh custom (apparently adopted from their creators, as there is the similar one in modern Japan, where all classmates of a person, who reached a position where There Can Be Only One, are generally expected to retire). When the war with the United Mankind intensified, he was recalled to service and distinguished himself even more.
  • Robot War - This is what's going on with the Abh from the perspective of their enemies, although through genetic engineering rather than robotics. The Abh consider themselves human of course.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something - noble rank Abh (the ones who own territory) must serve in the military, and members of the royal family are expected to be extra awesome, competing for the rank of commander-in-chief to become Crown Prince and the next Emperor. Old Kings and retired Emperors form the committee that scrutinizes the career and promotion of royals. Plus the Abliar, the royal family, are in a sense the living role model of the Abh ideal. And can't cry or show favoritism.
  • Sadistic Choice - The bad guys try to use Jinto as a bargaining chip to force Lafiel to leave the female refugees behind. Sobaash's speech about what they'll do to the bad guys if they carry out their threat is both Take a Third Option and Crowning Moment of Awesome.
  • Scary Dogmatic Aliens - The entire premise is a subversion of it. The 'aliens' in the Abh are both scary and dogmatic but become peace loving elves once they conquer you.
    • Lots of people resent the limitations they bring, so it actually becomes the basic conflict of the whole series. Morioka is quite a master of the subtle, yet profound detail.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely - The impression of the crew of the Basroil, upon seeing Lafiel elegantly attired as per page image for a private dinner. She got this reaction from Jinto twice. First when she walked out and second when taking off her shawl.
  • Shipper on Deck: Former baron Febdash is sure that Jinto and Lafiel are a couple because of First-Name Basis and the trust between them. He even offers to give Jinto baby raising advice.
  • Shoot the Hostage - In the first season an alliance ship tries to use several Abh royalty as hostages: Spoor says they should feel fortunate to be able to die in the presence of Abh nobility.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Lafiel, polite and proper even when threatening someone. By her strength of will and cleverness, she recruited Klowal's pet-like maids into a rebellion against him. As for 'being in charge' she may be a princess but she's still a 'pilot trainee' and has to obey her superiors.
  • Slasher Smile - Lafiel gets to display one when she's having dinner with the Baron.
    • The novel indicates that the Slasher Smile is pretty much present in the social arsenal of every Abh, and the meaning of it is unmistakable, something along the lines of getting "a bouquet of scorched roses".
  • Slave Collar: All the Baron's maids wear one; Lafiel compares them to trained cats.
  • Sociopathic Hero - Admiral Spoor. She ain't called "the Lady of Chaos" for nothing. She finds anything less than a life-or-death struggle 'boring' and when she captured an enemy vessel she once gave the crew the choice between execution or 1 year's rations for 100 year journey home through normal space.
  • Space Opera
  • Space Romans - Abh didn't copy all the external bells and whistles, but many features of their life are a dead ringer. Their penchant for conquest, their four-level citizenship structure (very similar to the late Republic to early Principate plebes-patricians-equestrians-senators) and demography, their love for intrigue, the level of autonomy they usually give to conquerred provinces, etc. Even their controversial status as a good guys is similar.
  • Spell My Name with an "S" - From Baronh to English by way of Japanese.
    • Varying degrees of Did Not Do the Research and They Just Didn't Care, depending on whether you're talking about the English anime, manga, or novel releases. As noted in Cot S's entry on the trope page, the information on Baronh is out there -- Morioka was very thorough in his Con Lang creation.
      • Justified somewhat in that authentic Baronh spellings would drive anyone but hardcore linguists crazy. "Lamhirh" is most closely pronounced "Lafiel"? It's actually somewhat questionable why authentic latin-alphabet spellings even exist for Baronh, seeing as it has its own alphabet...
      • Japanese has both its own alphabet and authentic latin-alphabet spellings. Presumably it was done to facilitate communication.
  • Strange Salute - Abh uses the Polish-style two-fingers salute, except that in this version, the palm is facing downward.
  • Standard Sci-Fi Fleet - Played with in the Crest Of The Stars. There are several superficially recongnizable ship classes, all with the familiar names... But then you suddenly understand that these names are translations from the local Con Lang and all these classes reflect completely different fleet organization and tactics. What about their battleships being completely Point Defenseless missile platforms and shifting all point defense onto special ship class, and so on...
  • Stun Guns - Abh blasters can be this since they have variable settings that range from flashlight to hand cannon.
  • Super Human Trafficking
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky - Snarking is a highly developed art form in Abh culture, and it can be argued that all their social life revolves about exquisitely polite and witty ways to insult each other.
  • The Bridge - Crest Of The Stars partially goes for the standard aversion, making the bridges of its ships cramped and flight deck like,.. but only for the lighter units. Capital ships feature standard elevated platforms for the captain (with enough room to swing the ceremonial sword), loads of Bridge Bunnies etc. Although both the capital ships and the lighter elements have their bridges in the heart of the ship and not exposed ? this comes as a major plot point in one series when Lamhirh's friend and mentor dies in a doomed destroyer's bridge.
  • The Empire - The Humankind Empire Abh , though Your Mileage May Vary. Their mode of operation is to forcibly take over planets that do *not* have faster-than-light travel, though oddly they do not interfere with those planets which have purchased the technology from others. In the novels this is explained by the fact that their empire began on an interstellar merchant ship, and that they still respect "vested rights". They do not seem to be overtly oppressive towards the planets they control, but they do not allow *any* starship not owned by the Empire to be armed or use faster-than-light travel technology. Then there's the fact that only the "space elves" in charge are able to command warships, though this is due mainly to their physiology, not overt racism.
    • Interestingly enough in a semi-subversion (depending on whether or not you believe them to be The Empire: The Abh nation is titled an empire while the antagonists have a Federation, a Republic, and a Union.
  • The Fog of Ages - The Abh touch upon this. They live for between 200 and 250 years and their genetic engineering technology is such that they can live much longer. It's not enough to stop The Fog Of Ages setting in though, so their bodies are designed to shut down while their mental faculties are more or less intact.
  • The Quisling - Ghintec, our hero, of all people can be interpreted as this. By the time Banner I opens, he's unflinchingly loyal to the Abh (by way of, well, his loyalty to Lamhirh) and doesn't really seem to care too much about his old home anymore; this kind of comes back to bite him in the ass later on, as quite a few of his former friends consider him an example of this trope in-show.
    • He is very well aware that his position is of "traitor" in most of his subjects; the rest only consider his father the real traitor (He did surrender the world to the Abh and get a noble title for it), and are convinced Ghintec can be "corrected". When that doesn't happen, they're usually none too happy. At the end of the anime series, they agree to stop rebelling and stay an Abh system under the condition that he, and those who inherit his title over the system, never return.
    • This is also attributed to the fact that he left his homeworld at a very young age and in a very lonely way with even his fatherly figure hating him. Although in the novel, he is shown to be much more loyal to his home planet as he is shown to be very emotional to every thing said or done to his home planet.
  • The Stoic - Nearly every Abh in the show.
  • This Is Gonna Suck - Pretty much the general feeling on the Gosroth, when they see they're outnumbered 10 to 1.
  • Took a Level In Badass: By Banner III, Jinto is showing that he's grown up and is fully qualified to be a feudal lord, even if his chance to do so is spiked by circumstances.
  • Touche: Lafiel to Klowal when he destroys the fuel asteroids she needed. Klowal to Lafiel before she kills him.
  • Transhuman Aliens - The Abh. Engineered to be space explorers they have a third eye and some modifications to the brain so they can navigate better in three dimensions. Also longer life and adaptations to cope with extended periods of microgravity with periods of high acceleration since they were created before the in universe discovery of Faster Than Light Travel and Artificial Gravity. We can only assume that it's because they were created by an ultra nationalistic Japanese group as for why they all have blue hair.
    • Though as noted below, the inhuman hair color was a slave marker. The other thing about this trope is that while they were produced by dystopic transhumanism, and depend on advanced reproductive technology themselves, as well as 'upgrading' the children of politically Abh humans, their attitudes are rather bioconservative. It's 2000 years on and they're still the Abh they were; they're very proud of having *stopped* evolution, not accelerated it. It's just that the bio they're conserving is a bit nonstandard.
  • Tsundere: Not at first, but Lafiel becomes this after arriving at Sfagnof; she gives Jinto a hard time in between moments of affection and vulnerability. She invokes Baka complete with Luminescent Blush while telling him to shut up. Being out of her comfort zone on land probably makes her irritable.
    • By Banner of the Stars she's taken to regularly insulting Jinto despite the Basroil's entire crew acknowledging him as her 'special friend'.
  • Truly Single Parent - Abh do not practice marriage, so their children (generally custom-made by genetic engineering) legally have only one parent. On the other hand, they can, and often do maintain long-term relationships, and children are often born from such relationships; Lafiel is one of those "children of love" because the donor of her genes gave them out of love. It's seen in their society as a charming romantic eccentricity and looked well upon, but such kids are still registered as having only one parent.
  • 2-D Space - Hyperspace in the Abhverse is two-dimensional, with important strategic and tactical consequences.
  • Undying Loyalty. Jinto for Lafiel. Yes, it sounds like a marriage vow.

 -- I always want to be there for you, Lafiel, through thick and thin; through good times and bad times. I know I'll grow old faster than you because I'm a lander but to me that doesn't matter. I'll be there. If you become empress I'll be there. If we become dust in the emptiness of space I'll be there.

  • Unfortunate Names - Spoor. Get a dictionary and laugh. It's because of lame phonetic transcription, because the correct form of her name in Latin script is Spaurh.
  • Unusual User Interface - The genetically engineered Abh from Crest Of The Stars have one extra sensory organ in the middle of their forehead designed to interface with the sensors of spaceships in a read-only way.
    • It's more then that, the sensory organ also give the Abh an innate feel for 3D space and moving in free-fall. To develop this, Abh children are put in zero-g crèches in their infancy as its necessary to experience free fall for the organ to develop.
    • The sword mentioned above also fits this trope. The captains aren't just swinging them around for fun, they operate as a combination remote control and laser pointer, allowing the captain to issue orders to anyone connected to the ship's computer.
    • So do the tiaras worn by the Abh. These are actually big sensor bands that literally allow an Abh to have an eye in the "back of their head". Jinto remarks on this when Lafiel escorts him to the Basroi in the novel.
  • Unwinnable Training Simulation - The beginning of Banner of the Stars first episode.
  • Uterine Replicator - Abh reproduction involves in vitro fertilization and, usually, artificial wombs. Their genome is so tweaked, they can't even naturally conceive healthy offspring. Woman still occasionally choose to carry the embryo to term the old fashioned way, the Abh consider this to be a charming romantic display of love.
  • Villain by Default - The Abh subvert this trope (though they seem to embrace it at first). They have an interstellar empire acquired through conquest and they ban space travel for everyone but the Abh. It's all for good reason however; i.e., trying to prevent a vast and destructive conflict.
    • Given that they are trying to avoid a vast and destructive conflict by means of a vast and destructive conflict, there's arguably some crossover here with Well-Intentioned Extremist and Villain Protagonist.
    • They seem to embrace their reputation as "villains" because their political rivals aren't going to stop fighting them even if they go out of their way to deny it. They're all in the same business, rulership and conquest; add in the belief that the Abh are some kind of inhuman biological robots, a politically convenient excuse for fighting whether one believes it or not. It really doesn't matter what the Abh say about it, war's gonna happen.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds - Given how large part of their social life is based on a culture of polite insult, it's not surprising that most of the Abh friendships happen this way. Among the best examples are Bibauth brothers, Crown Prince Dusanh and his Chief of Staff, and Admiral Spaurh with, well, everyone.
  • Warrior Prince - The basis of Abh society, as their royalty is expected to be extra awesome in the military department. Crown Prince Dusahn and his brother prince Dubeusec (Lamhirh's father) definitely qualify, as was their mother the Empress and countless other ones.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist - Intergalactic peace is a good goal, but intergalactic conquest and total annihilation of your enemies are rather extreme methods.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: The Bibauth family is famous for two things (other then being a root family): Giving birth to geniuses and giving birth to lunatics. The culture of the Empire says one cannot have the former without the latter.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair - The Abh take this very seriously: unnatural-looking hair in colors ranging from blue to purple or even green are a required genetic trait for newborn members of their race.
    • Abh backstory spoiler: The Abh were engineered slaves, and blue hair was the marker of their sub-human status; they keep it in defiance and in memorial.
  • You Never Asked - Involving funeral traditions at the end of the first series.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Klowal concocts one with himself to break ties with the Abh empire because of the incoming enemy fleet. In his mind he can't lose. If the enemy comes he can trade Lafiel for his own safety; if the enemy doesn't come he can elevate himself from baron to king of his tiny domain. Finally, if the Abh do come back and re-annex him, he can hand Lafiel over and possibly escape punishment through a quirk of the Abh honor code.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: How the Abh avoid the Unspoken Plan Guarantee despite constantly making plans. "This is only a rough Plan. Until we know the enemy's movements its a start."
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