If the disappointing Monochrome Factor should be used as a poster boy as an exhibit about how filler episodes can ruin a series, the shorter anime titled Starship Operators shows why a filler-free title makes it much more pleasant to watch. This is a 2005 anime, therefore none of the ‘Anime of the Year’ title holders will be challenged.
Sometime in a distant future where interplanetary travels are common, a bunch of university students are having their internship aboard their planet’s state of the art starship en route of their graduation. Just as their test flight is about to end, their home planet was invaded by a vastly superior foreign force. With their planet’s government quickly raising the white flag faster than the French, the students takes the matter into their own hands and started to rebel against the conquerors, while being filmed by a galactic TV network.
The story itself is quite good although not on the same level as the one in Tytania or Legend of Galactic Heroes. But what this anime has (and so are Legend of Galactic Heroes) that Tytania lacks is intense space fleet warfare with good tactics and strategies. The main female protagonist of this anime is definitely better than Fan Hyulick or any of the Tytania Dukes, and she probably can easily become one of Kaiser Reinhard’s generals. Without any useless filler episodes, the director make full use of all 13 episodes to show us a high-paced storyline and almost perfect scene transitions and plot developments. The story has some nice plot twists (what else do you expect from a space opera) but the romance elements here are crap.
Character developments is probably an aspect where this anime has not done very well, mainly because this anime has a huge cast. Many characters simply doesn’t have enough airtime for their development inside that starship filled with women. The main female protagonist is definitely the best character in this anime, considering her role in the starship and the amount of screen time she has. The ending is actually very good too, and provides a great closure to a decent anime. No hurried endings because of the lack of episodes, because the director has given the ending all the air time it needs.
Character design in this anime is plain average overall with your usual shounen genre designs. I do not remember any black hairs, but then again this anime is set up in a futuristic future where hair dye usage should be common.
Voice acting in this anime is excellent, with the main female protagonist and the captain of the starship being the best of them all. Definitely a positive point overall.
The OST is good, but not so for the OP/ED themes.
The animation in this anime is very well done, but it can be jerky sometimes in fast-paced scenes. 3D CGI animations are even better, but integration with main 2D animation is not seamless. Choreography is non-existent in this anime. The directing is excellent as mentioned before above.
9 out of 10. A very good watch for any anime junkies who like space wars. This is the first post in this blog that will not have any screenshots.