Starship Troopers

Title:Starship Troopers
Uchuu no Senshi (Japanese)
宇宙の戦士 (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: HAYAMI Shoo
IKEDA Shuichi
INOUE Kazuhiko
SUZUOKI Hirotaka
An anime adaptation of the classic science fiction novel. "Plotwise, this OVA is considered the most accurate adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein's novel, despite the fact that many liberties were taken with characters and events." (Anime News Network)

The fansub team releasing this series reports that this series never made it to DVD and it is being sourced from a LaserDisc

Animation by Sunrise & Bandai
Six (30min) episodes or three (50min) episodes
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 6 6 5 6 6 6 AstroNerdBoy [series:1742#436]

Considering this was supposed to be the most accurate adaptation of the original Starship Troopers (which I haven't read) and considering I enjoyed the live-action movie from a few years ago, I felt I should add this classic anime title to my list of watched titles.

The series moves at a slow but stead pace. The first episode introduces us to Johnnie and Carmencita and his decision to join the military. The next three episodes feature Johnnie in training, where we do get a feel for the aliens, but the focus is more on the training and its impact on the characters. Unfortunately, I didn't feel any closer to any of the characters and no matter what happened, I didn't feel happy or sad. I just had no attachment for any of the characters. By the fifth episode, the training is over but the story is still about other things, in this case, the army and the navy not getting along. The final episode finally gets us into the war, but sadly, I've no clue what happened to anyone but Johnnie and Carmencita. Indeed, the final scene of the OVA just ends in mid-scene. What the heck is up with that?

The romance between Johnnie and Carmencita is a laugh. While her character design is OK (for the 80's) in the first episode, after that, she is ugly! OK, there's someone for everyone, but as I didn't care for the characters, there was no spark for me to care about them as a couple, or potential couple. There was just so little character development, which ultimately is the biggest failure of the series.

After completing the series, I wondered, "What was the point of this series?" I'm lead to understand that the original novel is an allegory about defeating the communist in addition to whatever else it might be (not having read it, I can't say for sure). The live-action movie in the 90's was an enjoyable popcorn movie (nothing special, but entertaining) that did look at the horrors of war (WWII in a sci-fi setting). This anime has no point that I could see. The war is just there, but there's nothing to explore it (even if the alien attack on Earth is much more believable than the one in the live-action movie). I've already mentioned that the characters are poorly developed and mostly forgettable. As such, spending three episodes in training comes off pointless. Spending an episode with Johnnie and Smith on leave before heading to their first duty station to await transfer to the Rodger Young means little (through there is a moment of rare humor here). Basically, it all is pointless in the end.

One thing I'd like to mention is beer. I'm relieved to know that in the future, Budweiser remains the King of Beers. Seriously, as you can see here (mild spoilers in the text, but just look at the purty pictures and their bubble captions if you are worried about that), it is all true.

Bottom line: The series didn't bore me, but at the end of the day, asking "what's the point?" means this anime isn't that good. With a lack of good character development and nothing to help fill in the void, I can only give this a "Watch."

Last updated Tuesday, July 01 2008. Created Saturday, December 29 2007.

Unevaluated Stretch [series:1742#628]
There seems to be a sci-fi bonanza this Christmas season for otaku who've been good this year. Starship Troopers opens with an intriguing note that these 20-year-old OVAs were salvaged from laser disc format--apparently, some people can still do things like that. There is a warning that the technical quality may have suffered somewhat, but I haven't noticed any serious problems. It opens with a confused battle on some godforsaken planet, and even before reading the ANN comment I immediately got the feeling that this was going to be much more faithful to the book than the big budget movie was (largely because this series is specifically dedicated to Robert Heinlein). I have only given this a brief look so far, so more later...

Last updated Saturday, December 29 2007. Created Friday, December 28 2007.

Other Sites
Wikipedia entry for Heinlein's Story
AstroNerdBoy's Anime & Manga Blog
The Starship Trooper's episode reviews by AstroNerdBoy.

Community Anime Reviews

anime mikomi org