Posted by: Ji-L87 | January 19, 2008

Stratos 4

stratos4_500.jpg

Girls? Check! Aircrafts? Check! Epic storyline? ….hold on….err..no D:
Stratos 4 is a 1 TV & 3 OVA series long show (or 2 OVAs, depends on how you count) by Studio Fantasia, which also is responsible for shows like AIKa and Najica Blitz Tactics, which main features lies on girls and aircrafts, driven by a B-film science fiction story.

For some reason or another, the fact that meteorites seems to be on a more or less direct collision course with earth has become a fact and to counter this, highly skilled pilots attack them with specially built spacecrafts called “Comet Blasters”.
However, since it’s hard to destroy a meteorite completely, another wave of attack needs to destroy the bigger fragments before they hit the ground. This last line of defense is called “Meteor Sweepers” and utilizes aircraft that’s launched from ground, capable of reaching an altitude high enough to be able to launch a warhead into what’s left of the meteorite.
Story mainly follows the people on the Shimoji island Meteor Sweeper intercept base, where the four main characters are stationed and being trained in order to maybe one day become Meteor Blasters themselves.

Like the other works of Studio Fantasia I’ve seen, there’s a pretty high “geek factor” when it comes to the vehicles and weapons. While normal weapons doesn’t have a high appearance ratio this time, aircrafts sure do. However, I actually feel a little disappointed this time around because the crafts seen most of the time are fictional and not always that very interesting.
I really think Stratos 4 could’ve gained greatly by making use of more modern-day aircrafts.

It’s kinda uneven character-wise too, especially since I never managed to really like the main character, Mikaze Honjou very much. Another problem would be Karin, who shares some of the visual attributes from Karen (AIKa R-16) except in loli-form.
She has blue hair, yellow eyes and also a butterfly-like marking on her chest. She also reminds me pretty much of Lila, the pink/purple-haired humaritt from Najica Blitz Tactics and that’s not a very good thing in my eyes. Thankfully, she’s a little better than Lily personality wise.
And luckily, some of the other characters are pretty good so they kinda balance things up. 🙂

Visually, especially in the TV series, the drawing style is very much like the one from Najica (although pretty simple) but it gets a bit more detailed in the OVAs. Throughout the series, 3D CG is used for meteorites, air/spacecraft and some first person views. Aircrafts are all 3D CG in the last OVAs. It’s not perfect though but it gets better.

To round things up I’ll mention that the soundtrack(s) didn’t really make a lasting impression on me (or rather, only a few tracks I can remember that I liked) and that I noticed something that annoyed med greatly:
In the TV series, especially in the beginning, Mikaze & co is part of a whole school class but as the series progresses the rest of the class seems to have been forgotten completely as the show only focuses on the important characters.
In the 2nd OVA, Stratos 4 Advance, 3 new characters are introduced and even though they do get their time in the limelight, they never manage to feel “important”, which is kinda sad because I liked them ^^’

All in all, it’s far away from perfect but it’s still very watchable if you happen to like aircrafts or this kind of thing 😀

Some more sceencaps:

Bonus fanart by me D:

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Responses

  1. It is Comet Blasters not Meteor Blasters…


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