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Number of Episodes

2

 

Language Options English/Japanese/English Subtitles

 

Released by

Bandai Entertainment

 

Extras

- Reversible Bikini Cover

- Stratos 4.1 Mini Special Code: XXX Dutch Roll

 

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Stratos 4 OVA: Return to Base (DVD)

 

The four gorgeous girls, the elite interceptor force known as the “Meteor Sweepers”, return to relax and celebrate their latest success. Annette and Chizuru fly in to visit while their orbital station is taken offline for repairs. Their brief time off soon turns to tragedy when an accident in space sends Orbital Station 7 hurtling on an uncontrollable crash course to Earth! The visiting girls are quickly launched back up to the station to help: however, the station’s lifeboat leaves without them. It’s now up to Mikaze, Shizuha, Ayamo, and Karin to save the planet! But will they be able to save their friends during the process!

 

Stratos 4 is one of those anime that brought a very realistic and methodical look at science fiction – all of the technology is rooted in current science, and no pieces of equipment seem extraordinary in their use or design. To me, it beckons to a more pioneering experience instead of the ho-hum approach to space flight. “Pfft lasers? I eat lasers all the time!”. The OVA starts off pretty much where the anime left off, with the girls just having saved the planet.

 

stratos 4 ova review           stratos 4 ova review

 

Code X-1: Return to Base

The girls are ready to return to Earth for a little R&R, but wouldn’t you know it? Nothing goes right. On approach, their landing gear won’t descend properly, and they end up fighting over who will go check on it. Despite the girls’ status as saviors of the Earth, they haven’t exactly arrived, as they quickly get suckered into helping at Ko-chin before they can finally go for a swim. Annette and Chizuru report to the base to meet with the Commander, and they come bearing information. The disc is from the personal effects of Miharu Ohzora, and it’s a video diary from her past: starting out with her exuberance at being pregnant, you slowly see the changes to her personality from her time with the agency, and the eventual lunacy during her time 

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building the Comet Blasters base. It scares everyone one else to realize that the agency was experimenting with their own people, and that Karin could have ended up the same way if she wasn’t saved.

 

Mr. Sako goes to visit his wife in the hospital, but while he’s leaving – he’s approached by a security guard who seems insistent on having him examine something. While he looks at the object in question, two girls beckon him from behind bars telling him 

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that they were former subjects who want to escape, and that the Comet Blasters may be disbanded soon. They state that he should tell the Commander as soon as possible, and so he heads back to base as fast as he can go. The next morning, Annette and Chizuru have awoken before the 4 girls, and so they head into base. When the others finally arrive, they learn that those 2 have a small plan for some fun – a joyride in the trainers. While tower control watches the girls wreak havoc on the planes, they learn of an accident on the station. As a result of a collision with debris, the Orbital Station 7 has sustained damage and is losing orbital altitude, and is going to start to enter the atmosphere in 72 hours.

 

Code X-2: Dispersion

The on board repair crew tries desperately to escape, but they have become trapped in a sealed room. They are without pressure suits, and cannot escape. Annette and Chizuru are summoned back to their home base, they are going to be the rescue team for the Station. Immediately launching, the two make way and link up with the station; they quickly find the survivors, one of whom is seriously hurt, and put them into their shuttle. They intend to set explosives to blow up the station, then escape using the drop-ship.

 

In the mean time, the station has entered the atmosphere and interceptors are being prepared for duty. The girls manage to snag both prepped ships and are on stand-by to launch. Once cleared, they are appraised that the drop-ship has left the station so they prepare to fire, except another hit on the station caused a massive explosion near the drop-ship and it has started re-entry without any passengers. Annette and Chizuru are now looking frantically for an escape, and they believe that they’ve found one – the launch bell that the girls brought to the station originally. So the two are going to launch the bell in less time than it takes for the interceptors to have to abandon their mission due to fuel concerns. They’re going to try it, and they launch missiles just as they have to return to base. Thankfully, the pair were able to get clear and the base was destroyed before it hits anything important. The episode ends with everyone finally making some decisions about what they want to do: the girls have decided to become Comet Blasters, and their foils have decided to step out on their own – they’re going to enter the test pilot program! It’s changes abound at the end.

 

This OVA has certainly told a succinct story and given some nice closure on the characters. Decent little plot-line, excellent character development, worth it for fans of Stratos 4.

 

- Tazman

(October 2, 2005)

 

"It'll be good if you're a funny looking kid who doesn't know they suck."

"I'm a 'coming, Krusty!"

           - Krusty and Milhouse (Simpsons)

 

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Anime:  Android Kikaider Vol. 4 (DVD)

 

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