Cover of 1st volume Region 1 DVD of Starship Operators.
|Genre||Drama, Military science fiction, Space opera|
|Written by||Ryo Mizuno|
|Illustrated by||Ryu Naito
|Published by||MediaWorks (2001-2008)
ASCII Media Works(current)
|Original run||March 10, 2001 – May 10, 2005|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Takashi Watanabe|
|Original run||January 5, 2005 – March 30, 2005|
Starship Operators (スターシップ・オペレーターズ Sutāshippu Operētāzu?) is a science fiction light novel series written by Ryo Mizuno. Six volumes were published by MediaWorks (now ASCII Media Works) between 2001 and 2005. A 13-episode anime adaptation produced by J.C.Staff was aired on TV Tokyo in Japan. Starship Operators is licensed in English in the United States by Geneon.
Starship Operators is about the 73rd class of the Defense University of the Planet Kibi. As they are returning home after the maiden voyage of the Amaterasu (アマテラス?), they find that their home planet, Kibi, has been taken over by one of the Henrietta region's super powers, Henrietta Alliance of Planetary Nations.
The original command crew all abandon ship, as per the conquerors' demands. Left alone on the ship, the cadets decide to keep their command and fight on. To this end, they have decided to ask Galaxy Network to fund the operation of Amaterasu as a fleeing self-governed nation in exchange for letting them broadcast the ship's adventures live - as a reality TV program.
The novel's storyline also features Amaterasu finding its way through space to reach the control zone of another super power, the Henrietta Independent Federation, for protection.
The Amaterasu command structure is divided into three bridges. If the first bridge is inoperable or unavailable, any of the other two may assume command. The Operators' uniform color signifies their station.
Primary (Command) Bridge
Operator uniform color: blue
Sinon Kouzuki (香月シノン Kōzuki Shinon?)
- Sinon is the main protagonist and executive officer of the Amaterasu. She is a brilliant strategist in combat, often providing CO Kanzaki with a voice of reason. She is also one of the most resistant in fighting with the Amaterasu against the kingdom. Sinon has some problems when is comes to understanding feelings and thus may appear cold.
- Voiced by: Shizuka Itou (Japanese), Kelly Sheridan (English)
Alley Hisaka (氷坂アレイ Hisaka Arei?)
- Alley is quiet and reserved, and often handles the ship-to-ship communications. She is fighting to avenge the destruction of the Maizuru that her father commanded. This hatred results in her being one of the most driven members of the crew to the point of near recklessness at times.
- Voiced by: Akeno Watanabe (Japanese), Paula Lindberg (English)
Miyuri Akisato (秋里ミユリ Akisato Miyuri?)
- Miyuri is one of Sinon's close friends, and the chief astronomer. She joined the Defense Forces because the starships, in particular the Amaterasu, carry the best observatories in the galaxy. Miyuri has some of the best eyes on the ship and spends most of her free time observing the stars.
- Voiced by: Masumi Asano (Japanese), Nicole Bouma (English)
Cisca Kanzaki (神崎キスカ Kanzaki Kisuka?)
- The commanding officer of the Amaterasu. He is an excellent administrator but easily cracks under the pressures of battle. The only thing that prevents him from totally folding under the pressure at times is his pride as a man and officer. Captain Kanzaki is slightly pessimistic but he and the others use that nature to find flaws in combat plans and ways of improving the plans for maximum efficiency. Cisca is considered to be one of the leaders by the Kingdom. He was one of the two people on the ship that is aware that someone else is pulling the strings behind the scenes.
- Voiced by: Yukimasa Obi (Japanese), Andy Toth (English)
Secondary (Fire Control) Bridge
Operator uniform color: orange
Sanri Wakana (若菜サンリ Wakana Sanri?)
- The shy and relaxed teenage daughter of the president of a Kibi corporation called "Wakana Rare Metals". She has a two year crush on Takai Kiryu but has not acted on it all.
- Voiced by: Mamiko Noto (Japanese), Ashleigh Ball (English)
Imari Kamiya (神谷イマリ Kamiya Imari?)
- Although she is one of the youngest members on board, she acts as the crew's "big sister".
- Voiced by: Yuko Kaida (Japanese), Laura Drummond (English)
Yukino Nanase (七瀬ユキノ Nanase Yukino?)
- A short cadet who is cheerful and lackadaisical.
- Voiced by: Satomi Arai (Japanese), Tabitha St. Germain (English)
Takai Kiryu (桐生タカイ Kiryū Takai?)
- The fire control chief, and commander of the second bridge. Nicknamed the "King of Fighters" among the cadets, he is also an accomplished marksman. A very laid back young man with a strong will that doesn't give into peer pressure and doesn't believe that others should either, thus he gets frustrated with the other crew members who feel forced into staying on the ship. Takai also lost a father on the Guard Ship Maizuru but rather than fighting for vengeance like Alley Hisaka, he is more concerned about the justice of the Kingdom’s actions and uses the battles as a form of protest. Takai is considered third in command of the ship even though he directly states that he is unsuited for full leadership.
- Voiced by: Masayuki Katou (Japanese), Kirby Morrow (English)
Tertiary (Conning) Bridge
Operator uniform color: red
Akiho Maya (摩耶アキホ Maya Akiho?)
- An easygoing cadet who has a good sense of humor.
- Voiced by: Atsuko Enomoto (Japanese), Leah Breen (English)
Renna Satomi (里見レンナ Satomi Renna?)
- Text-message pals with Sinon, but an otherwise quiet young woman. Renna is an agent of Kibi Intelligence that was to keep and eye on the ship. She dies from gunshots from soldiers while on the planet of Shu. Renna desperately wanted to be a full member of the crew but was unable to due to her job as spy.
- Voiced by: Yuu Asakawa (Japanese), Holly Eccleston (English)
Rio Mamiya (間宮リオ Mamiya Rio?)
- She is from a family of diplomats and politicians, and brought her uncle, former Kibi Prime Minister Tatsuma Mamiya, on board as head of the government-in-exile. She is a very politically intelligent woman who at times acts as the public face of the crew. Rio is one of the two people who knows that someone else is pulling the strings behind the scenes. While she puts on a strong face, Rio is afraid of dying in the fighting. She only ever allows this vulnerability to be shown around Cisca Kanzaki. She was head of the debate team while in the academy.
- Voiced by: Ayako Kawasumi (Japanese), Anna Cummer (English)
Shinto Mikami (三上シント Mikami Shinto?)
- The navigation control chief, and commander of the third bridge. In addition to being the helmsman of the Amaterasu, Shinto also pilots the Amaterasu's small shuttle, and is among the best flight controllers in the Defense Forces. He was given officer status due to his high grades and the fact he is one of the few males on the ship. That was done for the Network. Shinto's piloting skills have allowed him to save a number of his fellow crew's lives.
- Voiced by: Tomohiro Tsuboi (Japanese), Michael Coleman (English)
Other Amaterasu Crew Members
Operator uniform color: purple
- A child prodigy, he holds mathematics and theoretical physics degrees at the age of 15. He is also the systems administrator of the AESOP computer, and is the only commissioned officer who remained on board the Amaterasu. Shimei spends most of his time away from the rest of the crew because of the need to work in a sealed room with AESOP. He always seems to smile even when in the face of imminent doom. Shimei dies in the final episode piloting the Amaterasu as a fireship, asserting his official rank as superior to the cadets'.
- Voiced by: Miyu Irino (Japanese), Samuel Vincent (English)
- The ship's only medical staff, who was a trainee during the shakedown cruise. She is highly pressed for her medical skills.
- Voiced by: Yu Kobayashi (Japanese), Rebecca Shoichet (English)
- The ship's supply chief, and an expert economist.
- Voiced by: Kaori Shimizu (Japanese), Sylvia Zaradic (English)
- The chief engineer of the Amaterasu. He is nicknamed Oyassan (Old Man) by fellow crew mates, to his annoyance. Kouki does his best to keep the engineering crew from panicking but due to the high demand for his level of skill, the chief engineer can not always break up every dispute. Kouki tries to act like a father to the young crew, especially Sinon.
- Voiced by: Shinji Kawada (Japanese), Brian Drummond (English)
Henrietta Planetary Alliance
Admiral Dul Elroy
- The commanding officer of the Alliance heavy cruiser Conquistador. He is the first to start treating the Amaterasu as a real threat while his constitutions cannot see beyond the fact that the Amaterasu's is made up of mostly children. The Admiral believes that only a three to one advantage over the Amaterasu will have a chance of beating the warship and its cunning crew. Elroy was responsible for sinking the Shenlong. While he is an officer of the Alliance, this man is willing to directly challenge orders if they go in the face of destroying the Amaterasu.
- Voiced by: Hiroshi Matsumoto (Japanese), Michael Dobson (English)
Hans Georg Hermann
- An intelligence officer in the Alliance military.
- Voiced by: Kan Tanaka (Japanese), Alec Willows (English)
- The enthusiastic reporter for the Galaxy Network reality show Starship Channel. She starts to sympathize with the crew and at times forgets that she isn’t officially part of the crew itself.
- Voiced by: Hitomi Nabatame (Japanese), Rebecca Shoichet (English)
- The cynical, sarcastic producer for Starship Channel that heads the show and provided funds for the ship. He cares more about the ratings then the lives of the crew and only cares about the show.
- Voiced by: Tomoyuki Shimura (Japanese), Paul Dobson (English)
- Amaterasu - 3rd Freedom Guard Ship, Kibi Planetary Nation
- (name origin: Amaterasu (天照), a sun goddess and a principal Shinto deity)
- CO: Cisca Kanzaki
- XO: Shinon Kouzuki
- Crew: 46
- Length: 310 m
- Width: 105 m
- Primary Armament: 4600 mm Plasma Cannon
- Secondary Armament: Torpedoes/Missiles
- Tertiary Armament: one "Revolver" - 5 chamber LASER cannon, one Pulse LASER, one Plasma Coil Gun
- Defensive Munitions: Anti-Laser Defensive Systems
- Kasumi (霞, "misty") - Magnetic wave reflection plate
- Ikasumi (烏賊墨, "squid ink")- Magnetic wave absorption fiber
- Armor: Hotaru (蛍, "Firefly") Heat Protection Plates
- Sensor: Kamioka (神岡) - Neutrino emission Sensor
- (origin: Kamioka Observatory)
- Onboard Artificial Intelligence (AI): AESOP (Artificial Encephalon System by Optical Processor)
- (name origin: Aesop, an ancient Greek story teller)
- Propulsion: 2 main thrusters
- 6 sub thrusters
- Max acceleration 5G+ (with auxiliary boosters)
- Trafalgar - 21st Battleship (Destroyer Class), Henrietta Alliance (15:50 Ep 2)
- (name origin: Battle of Trafalgar, British naval victory over combined French and Spanish fleets, 1805)
- CO: Captain Joseph Meyer
- Primary Armament: Laser cannons
- Defensive Armament: 10000 mm Plasma cannon
- Destroyed: EP 2
- Maizuru - 2nd Freedom Guard Ship, Kibi Planetary Nation (07:52 Ep 3)
- (name origin: Maizuru (舞鶴市 Maizuru-shi), a city in Kyōto Prefecture 京都府, headquarters of the JMSDF Western District fleet)
- CO: Captain Hisaka Jin
- Destroyed: EP 1
- Aboukir - Stealth Ship, Henrietta Alliance (7:30 Ep 4)
- (name origin: Battle of Aboukir Bay, Japanese name for Battle of the Nile, British naval victory over French fleet, 1798)
- CO: Admiral Ricardo Fares
- Destroyed: EP 4
- Actium - Stealth Ship, Henrietta Alliance
- (name origin: Battle of Actium, Naval victory of Gaius Octavius' over Marcus Antonius and Cleopatra VII, 31 BC)
- Primary Armament: Laser Cannon
- Defenses: Invisible to active and passive sensors
- Destroyed: EP 12
- Solomon - Flagship, Henrietta Alliance
- (name origin: Battles of the Solomon Sea, Japanese name for a series of naval engagements during the Guadalcanal Campaign, 1942.
- CO: Fleet Admiral August Perry
- Appeared in novel
- Shenlong - Battleship, Shu Planetary Nation, (12:35 EP 7)
- (name origin: Shenlong, (神竜, Shinryū, lit. "Spirit Dragon"), a spiritual dragon from Chinese mythology)
- CO: Captain Wong
- Primary Armament: 1 Plasma Cannon
- Secondary Armaments: 4 missile launchers
- Tertiary Armaments: 4 pulse lasers, 2 pulse beams
- Propulsion: 1 main thruster
- 2 sub thrusters
- Max Acceleration: 7 G
- Destroyed: EP 8
- Conquistador - Battleship, Henrietta Alliance, Gordova Planetary Nation (13:03 EP 7)
- (name origin: Conquistador, a term used for Spanish and Portuguese explorer-soldiers during Spanish conquest of Americas)
- CO: Admiral Dulle Elroy
- Primary Armament: 1x 4000 calibre Plasma Cannon
- Secondary Armament: 1x 300PM class LASER Cannon
- Propulsion: 2 Main thrusters
- 8 sub-thrusters
- Max Acceleration: 10 G
- Destroyed: EP 13
- Lissa (Dragonfly) - Warship (Skipper Class), Henrietta Alliance (13:10 EP 7)
- (name origin: Battle of Lissa (1866), Austrian naval victory over Italy; Battle of Lissa (1811), British naval victory over combined French and Venetian squadron)
- CO: Captain Harrel Naja
- Primary Armament: Lisa2 - Assault Module (pulse laser), capable of precision short-warp
- Propulsion: 1 Main thruster
- 4 sub-thrusters
- Max acceleration: 8 G
- Destroyed: EP 11
- Leyte (Hammerhead) - Armored Battleship (Corvette Class), Henrietta Alliance (13:28 EP 7)
- (name origin: Battle of Leyte, Japanese name for the Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 1944)
- CO: Captain Yun-suk Lee
- Primary Armament: 4 Separating turrets (1 plasma cannon, 3 laser cannons)
- Propulsion: 1 Main thruster
- 4 sub-thrusters
- Max Acceleration: 7 G
- Destroyed: EP 8
- Mariana (Hedgehog) - High Speed Warship (Frigate Class), Henrietta Alliance (13:35 EP 7)
- (name origin: Battle of the Marianas, Japanese name for the Battle of the Philippine Sea near the Mariana Islands, June 1944)
- CO: Admiral Louis Belmont
- Primary Armaments: 4 LASER Cannons
- Propulsion: 2 main thrusters
- 6 sub-thrusters
- Max Acceleration: 9.5 G
- Destroyed: EP 11
- Levant, Recon Ship, Henrietta Alliance (19:27 EP 9)
- (name origin: Battle of the Levant, Japanese name for Battle of Navarino, 1827)
- CO: Captain Tiet Langa
- Incapacitated: EP 11
- Earth Federation Warship (EP 12)
- CO: Captain Josef Truman
- (possibly a reference to former American President Harry S. Truman)
- Primary Armament: 4 LASER Cannons
- Unknown Henrietta Alliance warship (EP 1)
- Primary Armaments: 1 Railgun
- Support facilities: Onboard refinery capable for producing ammunition from nearby Asteroids
- Destroyed: EP 1
Additional info - First names of ship captains from 
- Henrietta Alliance of Planetary Nations (ヘンリエッタ星域惑星国家同盟 Henrietta Seiiki Wakusei Kokka Dōmei?)
- (Name origin: Henrietta, a feminine given name ultimately derived from the Germanic name Henrik, which means "Ruler of the home" or "Lord of the house.")
- Militaristic alliance of nations within Henrietta region of known space. It has forced several neighbouring planetary nations into submission, and after securing nonagression treaties, purchases their weaponry at ridiculous bargains. Because of such practices, this alliance is nicknamed the "Kingdom".
- Planetary Nation of Kibi
- (Name origin: Kingdom of Kibi (吉備国, Kibi no kuni), a kingdom based in Western Japan during the 4th century)
- Home of crew of Amaterasu. Currently has a pacifist administration. Surrenders to Henrietta Alliance after destruction of 2nd Guard Ship, Maizuru.
- Planetary Nation of Shu
- (Name origin: Kingdom of Shu (蜀國), an ancient state based in what is now Sichuan, China.)
- Government which used to be closer to Henrietta Alliance before the Amaterasu incidents. The Amaterasu and its crew have many fans in Planet Shu.
- Galaxy Network
- Large media corporation that finances the purchase of the Amaterasu and its crew's fight against the Henrietta Alliance, by creating a reality show based on it. Starship Channel broadcasting is based in Hollywood.
- Arima General Industrial (AGI) Corp.
- (Name origin: Arima clan (有馬氏, Arima-shi), a Japanese kin group.)
- Large conglomerate that is equivalent to today's Boeing, and the company that developed and built the Amaterasu. AGI also acts as an intermediary for sale of military hardware.
- Henrietta Independent Federation (ヘンリエッタ星域自治連合 Henrietta Seiiki Jichi Rengō?)
- Alliance of planetary nations that competes for power with the Kingdom.
- Appeared in novel.
- Earth Federation (Originally: Earth Alliance Planetary Nation)
- A political power centered on Earth, rivalling or surpassing in power all others.
(name origin: Kingdom of Kibi, 4th century western Japanese kingdom that acted as cultural bridge between Korea and Yamato, conquered by Yamato)
- Home planet of Amaterasu and its crew.
(name origin: ancient Phoenicia, located north of the Canaan, enterprising maritime culture, conquered by Persia)
- Neutral system where Amaterasu sought temporary sanctuary. It is located near Kibi.
(name origin: Shu (state), one of major states during China's warring states era, conquered by Qin)
- Planet of origin for Captain Wong and Shenlong
(name origin: Cordoba, Spain, Spanish city conquered by Moors)
- Planet of origin for the Conquistador and its original crew.
(name origin: Palmyra, Ancient Syrian city, conquered by Romans)
- Location of Arima General Industry (AGI) Headquarter
- by Mami Kawada
- arranged by Tomoyuki Nakazawa
- Chi ni Kaeru ~on the Earth~
- by Kotoko
- arranged by Yoichi Shimada
- Director - Takashi Watanabe
- Screenplay - Yoshiko Tomizawa
- Music - Kenji Kawai
- Original Work - Ryo Mizuno
- Character Design - Fumio Matsumoto
- Mech Design - Kimitoshi Matsumoto
- Sound Director - Toru Nakano
- Geneon Entertainment, Inc.: - Production
- J.C.Staff - Animation Production
- MediaWorks - Production
- TV Tokyo - Broadcaster/Production
- Starship Operators (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- TV Tokyo's Starship Operators website (Japanese)
- Starship Operators at the Internet Movie Database (IMDB)