A Six part OVA produced by Sunrise/Bandai Visual that is based on the book Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein.
Johnnie Rico loves the beautiful, willful Carmen, his high school sweetheart. When she signs up for the war against Earth's alien assailants, he follows suit in the hope of impressing her, but they get different assignments-she as a trainee pilot, he as an infantry grunt. From the studio that brought you Gundam, cited by its creator Tomino as one of his inspirations, this is an animated version of the Hugo-award winning 1959 novel by Robert Heinlein. Amino's version retains the scenes of training and combat but also focuses on time off the battlefield. His soldiers get into barroom brawls with disgruntled civvies, bury one of their comrades, and are then forced to attend his girlfriend's wedding to a new lover. The romance between Johnnie and Carmen becomes more central, ending with their tearful reunion in the hospital, to which they have both been evacuated with injuries. Carmen, absent for the bulk of the novel, has regular appearances in the anime to remind viewers what Johnnie is fighting for. In addition, each episode closes with Carmen bouncing along a beach in a bikini.
Johnnie's mother, Maria, also has a larger part to play. In the anime, she opposes Johnnie's enlistment, slapping his face as he prepares to leave. Her death is also made far more immediate; Amino's version keeps the trainees closer to Earth so that we see Johnnie and his platoon fighting fires at the Fall of Buenos Aires, unaware that his mother is breathing her last nearby. The only Japanese character in the original book, Private Shujumi, is not present in the anime, perhaps because a Japanese audience would not warm to a stereotypical martial artist. He is replaced by the jug-eared, happy-go-lucky Private Azuma, who has "dead meat" written all over him from day one.
Directing the adaptation amid the post-Top Gun glut of gung ho Hollywood movies, Amino tried to defang Heinlein's militarist text with some home truths about the evils of war, but he still ran into criticism at home for "over-Americanizing" the anime. Maybe he shouldn't have turned his Filipino hero into an all-American blond, but Paul Verhoeven's live-action Starship Troopers (1997) later followed the same route with Caspar van Dien looking about as Filipino as Bugs Bunny. One of Heinlein's references to his own military past managed to survive untouched in the anime; Johnnie's ship, the Rodger Young, is named after a real-life Ohio private who was posthumously decorated for singlehandedly destroying a Japanese gun emplacement in 1943.
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|Romaji:||Uchū no Senshi|
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|Aliases||Soldiers of Space|
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