Stratos 4


Stratos 4

Infobox animanga/Header
name = Stratos 4


caption = Title screen
ja_name = ストラトス・フォー
ja_name_trans = Stratos4
genre = Science fiction, Slice of life
Infobox animanga/Anime
title =
director = Takeshi Mori
studio = Studio Fantasia, Bandai Visual
network = flagicon|Japan Animax, Bandai Channel
flagicon|KOR Animax
first = January 5 2003
last = March 30 2003
episodes = 13
Infobox animanga/OVA
title =
director = Takeshi Mori
studio = Studio Fantasia, Bandai Visual
episodes = 2
released = 28 May 2004
runtime =
Infobox animanga/OVA
title = Stratos 4: Advance
director = Takeshi Mori
studio = Studio Fantasia, Bandai Visual
episodes = 6
released = 25 March 2005
runtime =
Infobox animanga/OVA
title = Stratos 4: Advance Kanketsu Hen
director = Takeshi Mori
studio = Studio Fantasia, Bandai Visual
episodes = 2
released = 22 September 2006
runtime =

Nihongo|"Stratos 4"|ストラトス・フォー|Sutoratosu Fō is an anime series by Studio Fantasia and Bandai Visual, and directed by Takeshi Mori. Originally spanning a 13-episode anime TV series, which premiered across Japan between January 5 2003 to March 30 2003, the series was continued onto three OVA-series sequels, the first of which was released on 28 May 2004 and spanned 2-episodes, followed by "Stratos 4: Advance", which spanned 6 episodes and was released on 25 March 2005, and "Stratos 4: Advance Kanketsu Hen", which was released on 22 September 2006 and spanned 2-episodes, respectively.

The series has been broadcast by the anime satellite television network, Animax, across its respective networks worldwide, including East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Latin America, and other regions. The original 13-episode television series and its first subsequent two-episode OVA series were licensed for North American distribution by Bandai's distributive unit across the region, Bandai Entertainment.

tory

Fifty years before the series begins, scientists learn that a group of comets will enter the Solar System on a collision course with Earth. The United Nations set up a two-tiered global defense system against the threat: the primary one being a space-based Comet Blaster group and the secondary being a ground-based Meteor Sweeper group. Most of the series takes place on an airbase on Shimoji Island in 2024, where Mikaze and her friends are tasked to defend the Earth from large fragments left over after a failed attempt by the Comet Blasters, who are based on one of seven space stations, to annihilate a comet. All is going well until a large meteorite crashes into a lightly populated island leading the girls on a run to find out the truth about the comets.

Characters

Main characters

*Shimoji airbase:
**Nihongo|Mikaze Honjou¹|本庄 美風|Honjō Mikaze, (Seiyū - Yumi Kakazu), (English - Rachel Kempel), candidate pilot. The protagonist and a slacker, 16 years old, despite coming from an elite class pilot family, Mikaze initially had no interest in becoming a pilot and was an underachiever. However, she learns later the importance of piloting.
**Nihongo|Shizuha Doi|土井 静羽|Doi Shizuha, (Seiyū - Kaori Shimizu) (English - Lisa Enochs), candidate pilot and also the daughter of a photographer. Studious and ambitious, Shizuha is the yes-woman of the group. She is 16 years old.
**Nihongo|Ayamo Nakamura|中村 彩雲|Nakamura Ayamo, (Seiyū - Shiho Kikuchi/Mie Sonozaki in Stratos 4 Advance Kanketsuhen) (English - Elisa Fiorillo), candidate pilot and also the daughter of politician. Ayamo is fiery and hot-headed and eager to become a Comet Blaster and is fed up with Mikaze's laziness. She is 17 years old.
**Nihongo|Karin Kikuhara|菊原 香鈴|Kikuhara Karin, (Seiyū - Fumiko Orikasa) (English - Stacey Q), candidate pilot. Karin is a quiet girl who seems to be distracted from reality and likes to text-message her cell phone. She is afraid of cats in general and is 15 years old.
**Nihongo|Sayaka Kisaragi|如月 沙弥華|Kisaragi Sayaka, (Seiyū - Sayaka Ohara) (English - Michael-Ann Rowe), sub-commander and instructor. She is in her mid-twenties.
**Nihongo|Kazuma Iwasaki|岩崎 和馬|Iwasaki Kazuma, (Seiyū - Kōji Tsujitani) (English - Greg Lastrapes), official pilot and instructor. He is in his mid-twenties.
**Nihongo|Kouichiro Sako|佐古 浩一郎|Sako Kōichirō, (Seiyū - Mitsuo Iwata) (English - Milton Lawrence), chief mechanic. He is married to Miharu, but has been separated from her for various years when the series starts. He is 36 years old.
**Nihongo|Robert Reynolds|ロバート・レイノルズ|Robāto Reinoruzu, (Seiyū - Yousuke Akimoto) (English - Lou Savage), Shimoji base commander, he is of British nationality and is 63 years old.:Note 1 - Alternate spellings: Honjo

econdary characters

*Shimoji airbase:
**Nihongo|Kei Fujitani|藤谷 圭|Fujitani Kei, (Seiyū - Tomokazu Seki), (English - Thomas Scofield), official pilot and instructor. He is in his mid-twenties.
**Nihongo|Tsubasa Miyazaki|宮沢 翼|Miyazaki Tsubasa, (Seiyū - Hideki Tasaka), (English voice - Devin Kamin), candidate pilot. He is 17 years old.
**Nihongo|Sora Ikeda|池田 空|Ikeda Sora, (Seiyū - Hiroyuki Yoshino), (English - Chris Ogden), candidate pilot. He is 16 years old.
**Nihongo|Touko Mukai|向日 塔子|Mukai Tōko, (Seiyū - Misa Kimura), (English - Alla Kardot), air traffic controller
*Kouchin Restaurant:
**Nihongo|Rin Mikuriya|御厨 リン|Mikuriya Rin, (Seiyū - Hisako Kyouda), (English - Debbie Grattan), Kouchin restaurant chef
**Nihongo|Ran Mikuriya|御厨 ラン|Mikuriya Ran, (Seiyū - Michiko Neya), (English - Carrie Gordon), Kouchin restaurant waitress. She is 22 years old.
**Nihongo|Alice "Admiral" Mikuriya|御厨 アリス(テイトク)|Mikuriya Arisu (Teitoku), (Seiyū - Mayumi Asano), old female cat of 18 years old.
*Orbital Station #7:
**Nihongo|Miharu Ohzora³|宙 美春|Ōzora Miharu, (Seiyū - Yōko Soumi), (English - Leisa Jo Waller), Orbital Station #7 commander. She is 28 years old.
**Nihongo|Chizuru Kubo|久保 千鶴|Kubo Chizuru, (Seiyū - Akiko Hiramatsu), (English - Sara Sido), member of Comet Blasters
**Nihongo|Annette Kerry|アネット・ケイリー|Anetto Keirī, (Seiyū - Megumi Toyoguchi), (English - Laurel Hatfield), member of Comet Blasters
**Nihongo|Betty Boozeman|ベティ・ブーゼマン|Beti Būzeman, (Seiyū - Satsuki Yukino), (English - Alla Kardot), member of Comet Blasters
**Nihongo|Chris Calman|クリス・カルマン|Kurisu Karuman, (Seiyū - Yuu Asakawa), (English - Melissa Saltzman), member of Comet Blasters:Note 3 - Alternate spelling: Oozora

Background

Locations

*Shimoji Island
**Shimoji airbase
***Control tower
***Hangars
***Runway
***Classrooms
***Simulator rooms
***Gym
**Kouchin Restaurant
***Boarding house
*Okinawa Island
**Agency building
*Guam Island
**Andersen AFB
*Tanegashima Island
*Outer space
**Orbital Station #7
**Orbital Station #8

Technology

Some of the technological devices and systems used in Stratos 4:
*Zero-Length Launch (ZELL) system, a TELAR truck-based method for runway-less takeoff of interceptor aircraft, similar to surface-to-air missile launcher trucks
*Rocket-Assisted Takeoff (RATO), booster rockets fixed under the wings of the interceptors
*Reaction Control System (RCS), a system of puffers used to turn air- and spacecraft in very thin air and outer space
*Lightweight Pressure Suits, special suits worn by crews for high-atmosphere and space flights

Vehicles and weapons

The aircraft used in the anime span from the 1950s to the present day. All spacecraft are fictional.

Most aircraft are from the Cold War era, retrofitted with modern powerplants, avionics and flight control systems. The anime demonstrates well a hypothetical joint-use of American, European, Soviet and Japanese technologies for the common goal of shooting down meteor debris and protecting the Earth.

"Stratos 4" (TV) - 2003

Aircraft

"Stratos 4: Return to Base" (OVA) - 2004

Same as "Stratos 4" (TV) - 2003.

"Stratos 4: Advance" (OVA) - 2005

Aircraft

Flight profile

In the event a comet approaches the Earth with a high collision probability, all Meteor Sweeper (MS) bases are put on Standby. In the case where the Comet Blasters fail to shatter completely the comet, allowing one or more fragments to fall into the Earth's atmosphere, the Meteor Sweepers in the expected impact zones are dispatched to intercept those fragments.

Stratos 4 focuses on one such MS team, located on the island of Shimoji in Japan. The Shimoji MS squadron operates a fleet of TSR-2MS interceptors, each armed with one Trident anti-meteor hi-explosive missile, and equipped with an internal booster (named "Third Engine") and two booster packs (RATOs).

The aircraft take off in a rocket-like manner where it is launched at an angle from a truck-mounted railed launchpad rather than taking off conventionally by runway (except in episode 10 and OVA 5 of "Advance"). For redundancy reasons, always two aircraft are launched together per dispatch. The pilots fly the aircraft in a prone position. This is never explained; it is assumed to be used to counteract G-force. At mid altitude (30,000-40,000 ft), the boosters burn out and are dropped.

The TSR-2MSs rise swiftly into the stratosphere, where they fly in an inverted position like the space shuttle before delivering their payload. The "Third Engine" is ignited while inverted. At high altitude (80,000-100,000 ft), jet throttle is reduced, then, at very high altitude (120,000-150,000 ft), "Third Engine" throttle is also reduced. Both aircraft return to an upright attitude, lock onto the target and fire the Trident missile one after another (within approximately 5 seconds apart).

The TSR-2MS is depicted in episode "CODE 103: Decision Height" as being able to fly high enough to reach low Earth orbit before it runs out of fuel and stalls. The TSR-2MS has no braking chute, but has an arresting hook for emergency landings. The aircraft that "gets the kill" is later painted with a red comet icon on the fuselage side.

With the meteor destroyed, the base returns to Standby.

Episodes

tratos 4 (TV, 2003)

*"CODE 101: Initial Point"
*"CODE 102: Fox One"
*"CODE 103: Decision Height"
*"CODE 104: Tally Ho!"
*"CODE 105: Go Around"
*"CODE 106: Checking Six"
*"CODE 107: High Speed"
*"CODE 108: Go Gate"
*"CODE 109: Vapor Trail"
*"CODE 110: Mission Abort"
*"CODE 111: Target Merge"
*"CODE 112: Engage!"
*"CODE 113: Final Approach"

tratos 4 OVA (2004)

*"CODE X-1: Return To Base (28/05/2004)
*"CODE X-2: Dispersión (27/08/2004)

tratos 4 Advance OVA (2005-2006)

*"CODE 201: Wave Off (25/03/2005)
*"CODE 202: Roll Out (27/05/2005)
*"CODE 203: Angle of Attack (22/07/2005)
*"CODE 204: Clear Air Turbulence (23/09/2005)
*"CODE 205: Dash One (25/11/2005)
*"CODE 206: Lost Position (27/01/2006)

tratos 4 Advance Kanketsu Hen OVA (2006)

*"CODE 207: Cross-Wind Take Off (22/09/2006)
*"CODE 208: Piper on the Target (27/10/2006)

Music

The music for "Stratos 4" was composed by Masamichi Amano.

Theme music

;Opening theme:"1st Priority" by Melocure (Ritsuko Okazaki & Megumi Hinata);Ending themes:"Himawari" by Melocure (eps. 01-12):"So Far, So Near" by Melocure (ep. 13):"Rainbow Kind of Feeling" by Melocure (first OVA series):"Chiisa na Uta" by Megumi Hinata (second OVA series: "Stratos 4: Advance")

Original soundtrack

*01 - S.S. Keikaku
*02 - 1st Priority (TV size)
*03 - Mikaze no Theme
*04 - Uturo
*05 - Suisei Sekkin
*06 - Hijyou Keikai Taisei
*07 - Kunren
*08 - Kunrensei no Nichijyou
*09 - Ashita wo Yume Mite
*10 - Nigiyaka na Nakama-Tachi
*11 - Akogare
*12 - So Far, So Near (TV size)
*13 - Kinkyuu Hasshin
*14 - Geigeki Kaishi!!
*15 - Kyodai Suisei no Kyoui
*16 - Semarikuru Kiki
*17 - Hisho! Stratos4
*18 - Yujyo
*19 - Madoromi
*20 - Heiwa Heno Inori
*21 - Himawari

Character song album

*01 - 1st Priority
*02 - Tojei Jikake no Tsubasa
*03 - Mabushii Kara
*04 - Doko ni Ite mo
*05 - Sabishii Mama de
*06 - So Far, So Near (Acoustic version)
*07 - Himawari (TV size)
*08 - Unnamed BGM 1
*09 - Unnamed BGM 2
*10 - Unnamed BGM 3
*11 - Unnamed BGM 4
*12 - Unnamed BGM 5
*13 - Unnamed BGM 6
*14 - Unnamed BGM 7
*15 - Himawari (Original karaoke)

Trivia

*In episode "CODE 108: Go Gate", Dita Liebely and Meia Gisborn appear as cameos.
*Most of the seiyū who provide the voices for the characters in the series also provide the voices for the characters in Vandread. This anime was also directed by Takeshi Mori.
*In episode 11 of the TV series, there is a chase between a few cars. In one scene, the license plate is shown. The car has a European license plate with a "D", which stands for Germany. The complete code is "BYA-AD-2003". Note that "BYA" is not an official beginning of a German license plate.
*In Mikaze and Shizuha's room, there is a official US Air Force F-15 Eagle Poster. The poster is first seen in episode one and again in other episodes.
*The four main characters of Mikaze, Shizuha, Ayamo and Karin make a cameo appearance in Najica Blitz Tactics as the 4 C'zNs (Four Seasons idol group) under the names Haruka, Akina, Fuyuki and Natsuyo.

External links

* [http://www.stratos4.jp/ Official Stratos 4 website] jp icon
* [http://www.b-ch.com/cgi-bin/contents/ttl/det.cgi?ttl_c=147 Bandai Channel's official homepage for "Stratos 4"] jp icon
* [http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=1969 "Stratos 4" at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia] en icon


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