Starship Troopers: The Anime?

AnimeBefore there was the Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles animated series by Columbia Tristar/Sony Pictures, before even the Paul Verhoeven movie, the Japanese had already beaten them to the punch with the release of Uchu no senshi way back in 1988.

A six parter anime based on Robert A. Heinlein seminal book, Starship Troopers, and produced by Bandai Visual and Sunrise, it presents a different take on the story when compared to the movie and English animated series. Apparently, it is also considered the closest interpretation of the story but having not read the book, I’m not in a position to comment.

One of the major differences between the anime and the movie (and the English animated series), is the depiction of powered armour. In the movie, the troopers were just equipped with body armour and while the Roughnecks continued in this tradition, the animated series also showcased, albeit sparingly, 10-feet tall and human piloted exoskeletons.

The anime however, potrayed troopers fighting entirely in powered suits. The designs looked more at home with series such as Macross, and it’s no surprise since the designs were done by Studio Nue.

The aliens themselves, portrayed as insect-like in the English movie and animated series have a more organic look in the anime. The method of attack is also different, with energy beams emitted from the mouth being the weapons of choice.

Being a product of the late 80s, Uchu no senshi (translates to English as Soldiers of Space) doesn’t really age well. This was done way before CG was popular in film and animation. One peculiar thing about this anime is the fact that the intro and ending songs are in English, albeit with a Japanese twang.

In any case, Starship Trooper fans may want to check this out anime. I’m still waiting for parts 5 and 6 to be fan-subbed.

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