Hein (fub) wrote,
Hein
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Finished series: Starship Operators

We've finished watching Starship Operators. My first episode review is here.

When the kingdom of Kibi surrenders to the Alliance after a single attack, the space cadets on board of the new spaceship Amateras decide to buy the ship. They get money from the Galactic News Network, which sponsors their fight against the Alliance in exchange for embedding one of their reporters on the ship for a reality show.
It's a pretty weird setup, but it does give a perfectly reasonable explanation for the fact that the captain is male and every other bridge officer is female: the GNN wanted it that way, because that would attract the most viewers. ;)

Obviously, the Alliance isn't going to take this lying down, and they sent ship after ship to hunt for the 'pirate ship'. The Amateras has to fly from neutral planet to neutral planet for their supply runs -- with the Alliance ships always waiting just outside of the neutral planet's territorial space...
There are FTL drives, but, just like in the old Elite games, the FTL drives deposit you quite a bit away from the planets. This means that the crews of both ships have days to prepare for combat.

And prepare they do. Well, Sinon (arguably the main character) does. She runs simulation after simulation, and she always thinks of a cunning plan to save the hides of her crewmates. Her onorthodox tactics and manoevers make her the mastermind behind the Amateras' continued survival.
There are other factors at work that help the crew: the Alliance is a roughly thrown together group of planets. The military of subjugated planets is added to the Alliance arsenal, which makes for a ragtag band of ships that have no uniform tactics. Add the 'advisors' jockeying for position, and the Alliance is much less effective than it could be.

All in all, a really enjoyable series. The fights are quite exciting, even though you're only watching a few blips on a sensor screen... It has the same sense of urgency as, say, The Hunt for Red October had. But with the various supply runs, there is also ample time for some off-board activity, which gives quite a nice change of pace. We get to see heroic sacrifices, narrow escapes and clever manoevering -- what's not to like?

The animation is pretty basic, though. It's not necessarily bad, but it's certainly not detailed. And with the fast pace of the series and the attention given to the tactical situations, there is little room for character development. It is, in fact, sometimes hard to tell the various small roles apart.

Good points:
- Excellent take on spaceship tactics;
- Interesting plot.
Bad points:
- Uninspiring animation;
- Little character development.

All in all, a 7.5.
Tags: anime, full review
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