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 Final, which was released on 22 September 2006 and spanned 2-episodes, respectively.
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.
Mikaze breaks previous height record, but is short on fuel on the return trip so she ends up landing in Guam.
January 26, 2003
The comet fragment that Mikaze's team is intercepting suddenly changes course inexplicably, resulting in a small disaster.
February 2, 2003
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.
February 9, 2003
The cat Admiral sneaks into the base, and hilarity ensues.
February 16, 2003
Mikaze and the gang chip in to help Mr. Sako rebuild the vintage space vehicle Stratos 0.
February 23, 2003
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.
March 2, 2003
It's time for a vacation to the hot springs resort, hence fanservice a-plenty.
March 9, 2003
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.
March 16, 2003
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.
March 23, 2003
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.
March 30, 2003
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.
"Return To Base"
May 28, 2004
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.
August 27, 2004
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.
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 misison 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.