Stratos 4

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Stratos 4
Startos 4, DVD Cover.jpg
Cover art of the DVD
GenreAction, comedy, science fiction[1]
Anime television series
Directed byTakeshi Mori
Produced by
  • Masashi Tsukino
  • Kiyoshi Sugiyama
  • Hitoshi Yagi
Written byKatsuhiko Takayama
Music byMasamichi Amano
StudioStudio Fantasia
Licensed byBandai Entertainment (expired)
Original networkTV Saitama, CTC, Kids Station, tvk, Sun TV
English network
Original run January 5, 2003 March 30, 2003
Original video animation
Directed byTakeshi Mori
Produced by
  • Masashi Tsukino
  • Kiyoshi Sugiyama
Written byKatsuhiko Takayama
Music byMasamichi Amano
StudioStudio Fantasia
Licensed byBandai Entertainment (expired)
Released May 25, 2004 August 1, 2004
Runtime29 minutes (each)
Original video animation
Stratos 4 Advance
Directed byTakeshi Mori
Produced by
  • Masashi Tsukino
  • Kiyoshi Sugiyama
Written by
  • Takeshi Mori (#1, 6)
  • Katsuhiko Takayama(#2, 5)
  • Atsuhiro Tomioka (#3-4)
Music byMasamichi Amano
StudioStudio Fantasia
Released March 25, 2005 January 27, 2006
Runtime25–28 minutes (each)
Original video animation
Stratos 4 Advance: Final
Directed byTakeshi Mori
Produced by
  • Masashi Tsukino
  • Kiyoshi Sugiyama
Written byTakeshi Mori
Music byMasamichi Amano
StudioStudio Fantasia
Released September 22, 2006 October 22, 2006
Runtime27 minutes (each)

Stratos 4 (ストラトス・フォー, Sutoratosu Fō) is a Japanese anime television series by Studio Fantasia and Bandai Visual, and directed by Takeshi Mori.[2]


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 with defending 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.


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. The series was then followed by Stratos 4: Advance, which spanned 6 episodes and was released on 25 March 2005, and Stratos 4: Advance Final, which was released on 22 September 2006 and spanned 2-episodes, respectively.[3]

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 Entertainment USA. However, when Bandai Entertainment USA shut down, the series became unlicensed.

The series is one of the "main JSDF collaborative anime works", as noted by scholar Takayoshi Yamamura. The show's producer, Sugiyama Kiyoshi, is said to have conducted "extensive research about JSDF" with Yamamura saying that Kiyoshi is considered an "industry expert regarding collaboration between anime and JSDF."[4]

Episode listing[edit]

Stratos 4 (2003-2004)[edit]

CODE Title Original air date
101"Initial Point"January 5, 2003 (2003-01-05)
The pros show the rookies how it's done.
102"Fox One"January 12, 2003 (2003-01-12)
The rookies have a chance to show off.
103"Decision Height"January 19, 2003 (2003-01-19)
Mikaze breaks previous height record, but is short on fuel on the return trip so she ends up landing in Guam.
104"Tally Ho!"January 26, 2003 (2003-01-26)
The comet fragment that Mikaze's team is intercepting suddenly changes course inexplicably, resulting in a small disaster.
105"Go Around"February 2, 2003 (2003-02-02)
Mikaze, and later Shizuha and Ayamo are summoned to the mainland for an inquiry into the previous incident by some shady politicians with ulterior motives.
106"Checking Six"February 9, 2003 (2003-02-09)
The cat Admiral sneaks into the base, and hilarity ensues.
107"High Speed"February 16, 2003 (2003-02-16)
Mikaze and the gang chip in to help Mr. Sako rebuild the vintage space vehicle Stratos 0.
108"Go Gate"February 23, 2003 (2003-02-23)
The Shimoji Island base holds its 38th festival. Mikaze, Shizuha, and Ayamo's families all come visit for a fun-filled day. However, since Karin's parents have died when she was younger, she has no family members to visit her. She feels lonely and stays away from the festivities but her friends find her and cheer her up.
109"Vapor Trail"March 2, 2003 (2003-03-02)
It's time for a vacation to the hot springs resort, hence fanservice a-plenty.
110"Mission Abort"March 9, 2003 (2003-03-09)
Communication with Orbital Station 7 has been cut off and an emergency has been declared on Shimoji Island base. Karin collapses just when a comet was destroyed, and she was taken away by the shady politician to an unknown destination.
111"Target Merge"March 16, 2003 (2003-03-16)
Mikaze and Shizuha request time off from work in order to track down and help Karin, but their investigation reveals that mysterious alien lifeforms (referred to as "Star Seeds") have arrived on Earth via the comets. They can control human minds, and those under control have taken over most of Orbital Station 7, where Karin has been sent.
112"Engage!"March 23, 2003 (2003-03-23)
The Shimoji Island base comes under lockdown by some government military unit. Mikaze, Shizuha, and Ayamo's sneak onto a transport rocket bound for Orbital Station 7 in order to save Karin.
113"Final Approach"March 30, 2003 (2003-03-30)
With Mikaze, Shizuha, and Ayamo's help Orbital Station 7 is back under control. Together with Karin they pilot 2 comet blaster spacecraft (SAC-1B) and successfully intercept a giant comet heading for Earth.
X–1"Return To Base"May 25, 2004 (2004-05-25)
Annette and Chizuru visit Shimoji Island base carrying video recordings of Miharu's deteriorating condition in the days and weeks after alien infection. In the meantime Orbital Station 7 is hit by space debris which sets it on a collision course with Earth.
X–2"Dispersion"August 1, 2004 (2004-08-01)
Annette and Chizuru return to Orbital Station 7 aboard a cargo vessel to rescue injured and stranded crewmembers as well as retrieve some secret data for the shady government bureaucrat. The station is then destroyed mid-air by Mikaze's team.

Stratos 4 Advance (2005-2006)[edit]

CODE Title Original air date
201"Wave Off"March 25, 2005 (2005-03-25)
202"Roll Out"May 27, 2005 (2005-05-27)
203"Angle of Attack"July 22, 2005 (2005-07-22)
204"Clear Air Turbulence"September 23, 2005 (2005-09-23)
205"Dash One"November 25, 2005 (2005-11-25)
206"Lost Position"January 27, 2006 (2006-01-27)

Stratos 4 Advance Final (2006)[edit]

CODE Title Original air date
207"Cross-Wind Take Off"September 22, 2006 (2006-09-22)
208"Piper on the Target"October 22, 2006 (2006-10-22)
As the three giant meteors descent, causing mass panic, the CEMA takes a stand against them. Commander Reynolds then secured permission to use Stratos 4 craft confiscated earlier, and summons Mikaze, Shizuha, Ayamo, and Karin to pilot them alongside other Comet Blasters and Meteor Sweeper pilots taking care of the last two meteors while Mikaze and the rest destroy the first due to a slight change in mission plan. The mission is completed and the extraterrestrial threat is eliminated. End credits shows the reunion between Sako and Miharu in an abandoned research facility and integration of Rei into the society, as well as fates for other main characters.


The music for Stratos 4 was composed by Masamichi Amano.

Further reading[edit]

  • Beveridge, Chris (October 25, 2004). "Stratos 4 Vol. #3". Mania. Demand Media. Archived from the original on October 17, 2012. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  • Johnston, Chris (August 2005). "Stratos 4: Return to Base". Newtype USA. Vol. 4, no. 8. p. 146. ISSN 1541-4817.


  1. ^ "Stratos 4 - Stratos 4: The Complete Box". Bandai Entertainment. Archived from the original on March 21, 2006. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
  2. ^ "New Anime in Japan". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
  3. ^ "STRATOS4 OFFICIAL WEB SITE". 2005-02-11. Archived from the original on 2005-02-11. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
  4. ^ Yamamura, Takayoshi (2017). "Cooperation Between Anime Producers and the Japan Self-Defense Force: Creating Fantasy and/or Propaganda?". Journal of War & Culture Studies. 12 (1). doi:10.1080/17526272.2017.1396077. hdl:2115/74922. S2CID 165803736.

External links[edit]