The Starship Troopers Anime Series Fans Need To Discover, Stream Right Now

By Robert Scucci | Published

starship Troopers Anime

If Starship Troopers is one of your favorite science-fiction properties, then you need to take a trip back in time and check out the 1988 anime version that you may not know exists. This six-part miniseries was released by Sunrise in 1988, and like the 1997 Paul Verhoeven-directed movie, is based on the same 1959 novel of the same name by Robert A Heinlein. Unlike the Paul Verhoeven cult class that we all know and love, this version of Starship Troopers plays out more like a drama than it does a satire, but you’ll quickly get hooked in by its storytelling and amazing animation.

The Movie And Anime Are Worlds Apart

starship troopers anime

By the same token, if you think you’re going to enjoy the Starship Troopers anime by virtue of the fact that you enjoyed the movie, you may be in for a rude awakening. Paul Verhoeven admitted to only reading two chapters of the novel before getting bored with it and doing his own thing.

Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers was a satirical take on the source material that was intended to undermine the concepts of fascism and militarism while the anime that predated it by a decade explored the same themes at face-value and portrayed the military in a more positive light.

In other words, the Starship Troopers film you’re familiar with does share some familiar beats that are found in the anime, but Verhoeven takes a considerable amount of creative liberties in his adaptation.

An Adaptation More True To The Source Material

Fans of the original novel have celebrate the Starship Troopers anime as the most faithful adaptation of the source material that they’ve seen so far. The story centers on Johnnie Rico, a high school football player who decides to join the military when learns that his crush, Carmencita, will join upon graduation. When Johnnie breaks the news to his parents, his father, Emilio, reveals to him that his company, Rico Food Company, has been fulfilling food supply orders for the Federation in the from of front-line military rations.

Despite his father’s warning of a war that’s either rapidly approaching or already underway, Johnnie says goodbye to his parents and begins his training.

Getting Justice For His Family

In the Starship Troopers anime, Johnnie works his way through boot camp, preparing for war against an unknown enemy. He struggles with the power armors that are depicted in the novel but absent from the film, but quickly finds himself preparing for battle. He continues training after finding out that the first wave of alien attacks on Earth decimated his hometown, killing his mother.

The Power Armor The Live-Action Movie Lacked

starship troopers anime

Unlike the Starship Troopers anime, the 1997 live-action adaptation didn’t utilize the power armors that were featured prominently in the original novel. While you’ll notice some similarities between characterization and general plot points, Verhoeven’s version starts to deviate from the source material because he didn’t like how the novel glorified armed conflict. Verhoeven disagreed with the book’s premise due to his upbringing in the German-occupied Netherlands when he was a child.

You Can Watch It On YouTube Now

While there are obvious thematic differences between the Starship Troopers anime and feature film, they’re both worthy intellectual properties in their own right. What we’d suggest doing is watching the entire miniseries on YouTube and then watching the movie. You can watch the entire run in under three hours, and if you find that it’s too intense, you can follow it with Verhoeven’s version to take the edge off.