It’s been a while since I’ve posted a review, so now it’s time to switch gears and blast off into space with Starship Operators, a drama, military, political space opera!
For the 73rd class of cadets of the Defense University of the small planet Kibi, a cruise on the fleet’s new starship Amaterasu is a fitting last moment before graduation. As they return to their home planet, however, they are shocked to hear news of a declaration of war by the aggressive Kingdom against Kibi. When their planetary government surrenders without a struggle, the cadets decide to launch their own war, aboard the Amaterasu. To gain funding as a self-government, they make a deal with a galactic news network – and find themselves the stars of their own reality show.
Starship Operators is a 13-episode space soap opera series, and is one of the few rare anime series that incorporates political themes. Politics is usually a dry topic for most people to delve into, but this anime has done a well good job playing with the politics and consequences of the decisions made by the governments. The premise, at first, may seem cliché with the subplot of having teenagers fight a major force by themselves, but this series has turned over all stereotypes and tossed them out the window.
The political theme is very interesting here, as the progression throughout the series have been realistic and legit. The students get funding from a media-broadcasting network, making for subtle jabs against media culture, and everything is strategized carefully and thoughtfully. The power of politics is more apparent in the incredible final episode, and we can really see and feel the consequences and emotions.
Since this is only 13 episodes long, the characters are not as fully developed themselves but when it comes to the crew as a whole, that’s where they shine. Each character has his or her own role in navigating and managing the Amaterasu, and there are a few characters who you will grow to care about. For me that character was Kouzuki Shinon for her romantic relationship which I shall not go into details to avoid spoilers. Also, this is the kind of series where people do die when killed. You can expect some angst, but the right kind of angst to deal with.
The animation is pretty nice, and the space battles are very impressive and realistic in terms of strategies and maneuvering spaceships. The character designs are okay to me, but the real defining point of this series would have to be the music. The opening is nothing really special, but I took a great liking to the ending with its stark visual artistic style and a great song. Starship Operators is an extremely good anime series that brings everything together in the end, and still leave no bad taste.
So would I recommend watching this anime series? I’d say yes, if you have a strong interest in politics. If you do, then you’ll be in for an excellent time!