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Stratos 4: Return to Base (OVA) PDF Print E-mail
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R1 DVD Reviews
Friday, 22 July 2005 12:23
Stratos 4 - OVA Cover ArtStratos 4 returns for the first of its OVA outings (no word of Stratos 4 Advance coming to R1-land yet, but I'm assuming it's only a matter of time).  Normally OVA = extra fanservice, especially from Studio Fantasia, but once again they're remarkably restrained.  Sadly, this 2-episode story doesn't really do anything spectacular - if you want that, you'll need to watch the omake episode...

X-1: Return to Base
Life on base has returned more-or-less to normal.  Mikaze and the others have finally managed to get the Stratos Zero flying (although they've renamed it the Stratos 4), while CEMA is working on repairing the damage done to the orbital stations.  The number of meteors approaching Earth has dropped significantly, so for once there's no pressure on anyone.  When the base receives some unexpected visitors, however, they bring with them some disturbing information about experiments CEMA have been sarrying out using the star seed.  Meanwhile, something has collided with Orbital Station 7 and knocked it out of orbit towards Earth.  Was it an accident or something more sinister..?

Stratos 4 - Mission successStratos 4 - In the cells

X-2: Dispersion
Station 7 continues its fall towards Earth, with the maintenance crew trapped on board.  With only 70 hours before it enters the atmosphere, Annette and Shizuru are ordered to the station to mount a rescue operation - and a few other jobs besides.  Their parting gift is to leave Mikaze her invitation to test for a place with the Comet Blasters, but for some reason Mizake doesn't seem to happy to have the opportunity.  Meanwhile, up in orbit Annette and Shizuru have managed to evacuate the station's maintenance crew, but have problems carrying out the rest of their mission after the station is hit by another object.  With the station due to fall to Earth within Shimoji Island's intercept range, Mikaze and the others are dispatched to shoot down the station before it hits, but with Annette and Shizuru trapped on board after their shuttle is destroyed, time is running out...

Stratos 4 - Trapped repair crewStratos 4 - The Meteor Sweepers head into action

XXX: Dutch Roll
A short 5-minute omake episode, where the Comet Blasters are testing out their new CB-X interceptors - no Trident missiles here, but fully-armed craft with incredible weaponry.  Their target comet is no ordinary one, though, easily annihalating the CB ships.  That means it's up to the gang from Shimohima base to complete the job with their all-new giant mecha, piloted by Admiral the cat.  All I can say is... WTF!?

Stratos 4 - Mikzae's new plane.. er, mech...Stratos 4 - Saving the world, one paw at a time

The most annoying part of these episodes is the little story points that just get left dangling.  For example, Sako-san meets the other imprisoned Comet Blasters (the 'infected' ones), who give him a message - and then nothing more is mentioned of them.  Is this part of the setup for Advance?  Who knows.  Mikaze's application to join the Comet Blasters obviously is, but those pointers are really the only thing of substance here.

Episode one has the feel of a 'day off work' episode as the gang have fun during Annette and Shizuru's visit - it even has a short swimsuit scene, which is about as fanservice-y as this disc gets - with only the last five minutes or so bringing the 'real' story into events.  Episode two brings the meat of the story, but in a lot of ways feels like a re-run of the final episodes of the TV series.

It's all fun enough to watch, if you can bear the sense of deja vu that pervades the whole thing, but original it isn't.  For completists only.

Oh yes.  The DVD comes with a little bonus on the reverse of the cover inlay (which you can't normally see, thanks to Bandai using a black keepcase.  Enjoy - it's probably the best part of the disc... :)

Stratos 4 - Bonus poster.  Service, service!

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