North American Venus Wars DVD cover
|Genre||Adventure, Science fiction|
|Written by||Yoshikazu Yasuhiko|
|Published by||Gakken, Chuokoron-Shinsha|
|Original run||1987 – 1990|
|Directed by||Yoshikazu Yasuhiko|
|Written by||Yoshikazu Yasuhiko
|Music by||Joe Hisaishi|
|Released||March 11, 1989|
|Released||October 14, 1989|
Venus Wars (ヴイナス戦記 Vinasu Senki) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko. It was serialized in the Gakken magazine Nora Comics from 1987 to 1990. In 1989, The Venus Wars was adapted into an anime film directed by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, and co-written by Yuichi Sasamoto and Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, and produced by Bandai Visual, Gakken, and Shochiku.
The manga was originally published in Japan by Gakken from 1987-1990, and then by Chuokoron-Shinsha in 1999. The manga was translated into English by Dark Horse Comics in 1993.
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In the year 2003, a comet designated Apollon collides with the planet Venus and disperses much of the planet's atmosphere, adds enough moisture to form acidic seas, and speeds up its rotation to give it a day that matches its year. This unlikely yet scientifically sound accident enables humanity to partially terraform Venus, sending the first manned ships in 2007 and begin colonizing it in 2012. By the year 2089, Venus has a population in the millions and is divided into two separate nation states, the northern continent of Ishtar and the southern continent of Aphrodia.
Susan Sommers, a bubbly reporter from Earth, travels to Venus hoping to get a scoop on the military tensions that have arisen between the two nations. She arrives in the Aphrodian capital of Io shortly before the city is invaded by the forces of Ishtar, led by General Donner.
Meanwhile, a brutal, Rollerball-esque racing game is being held in a local stadium. One team, the Killer Commandos, is led by hotshot Hiro Seno. The game is disrupted by the invasion and the team quickly evacuates. Hiro's teammate Will picks up Sue on the way and takes her to the garage where the rest of the team is lying low. The invasion of Io is completed in one day, and the politicians, police, and press submit to Ishtar's authority. The city is put under martial law and a curfew imposed. Many of Io's citizens, including Hiro's girlfriend Maggy, try to pretend that nothing has changed since the invasion, but Donner's iron grip on the city is too tight to ignore.
Hiro visits his teammate Jack, who's staying in his uncle's high rise apartment. However, the police see them as trespassers and lead an unprovoked assault against Hiro, who makes a daring escape from their custody. However, his leg is pierced by a bullet and he barely makes it to Maggy's home before he collapses. Hiro reveals many of the terraforming farms funded by the Aphrodian government were frauds simply meant to secure land away from Ishtar and that their crops continually kept failing since the plants couldn't endure the constantly changing weather conditions of the planet, despite the planet's politicians saying otherwise. This upsets Maggy so much that she breaks down in tears prompting a concerned Hiro to comfort her. Hiro and Maggy share a passionate kiss before Maggy's father returns from work, forcing Hiro to hide in a back room. Maggy's father, a bureaucrat, reveals his plan to have himself and Maggy evacuated out of Io as he did with her brother and mother. Maggy defiantly stands up to her father and defends her friends, before he furiously shouts her into silence as Hiro secretly storms out.
Meanwhile, Miranda of the Killer Commandos discovers that their manager, Gary, has been secretly smuggling arms into the city. Raiding his cache, she reveals her plan to demolish the Ishtar tanks that are parked in the old stadium. Gary says that the Commandos would be fools to try such a suicidal mission, but Hiro likes the idea and inspires his teammates. The Killer Commandos lead an assault against the tanks, but underestimate the strength of Ishtar's military. Jack and Gary are killed in the melee, and Hiro nearly shares their fate. At the last minute, however, the team is saved by the Aphrodian Freedom Force, which had also been planning to attack the stadium that night.
Sue and the Killer Commandos are forcibly recruited by Lt. Kurtz, who thinks that their skills as monobikers would be useful in his Bloodhound Squadron. Tensions run high among the Killer Commandos and the team is divided; Will and Sue think that it's important to fight for Aphrodia's freedom, but Hiro and Miranda want nothing to do with war. Will is called out on a mission and Sue begs him to take her along. He instead convinces her to wire her camera to his monobike so he can film their attack. But to Sue's horror, Will disappears in battle. Sue steals a buggy to search for him on the battlefield, only to stumble upon the terrible truth of his death.
Upset over Will's fate, Hiro and the Commandos demand to be freed from the Freedom Force's custody. Lt. Kurtz and Hiro quickly strike up an animosity, and Kurtz challenges Hiro to a race across a ravine in their monobikes. Despite having a ten-second head start, Hiro is taken out by Kurtz. Nevertheless, Kurtz is impressed by Hiro's raw talent, and makes him a deal: he will release the Killer Commandos on the condition that Hiro joins the Bloodhound Squadron. Hiro grudgingly accepts his offer, and says goodbye to Miranda and his friends.
Back in Io, General Donner is visited by Sue, who requests an interview with him for the Independent Press on Earth. Once alone with him, Sue pulls a gun and threatens to kill him in order to avenge Will and all the other innocent people who have died in the war. She fails to release the safety however, and is quickly disarmed and arrested. Displaying his sadism Gerhard accosts Sue, snatches away her firearm, then discharges her pistol inches from the side of her head, before putting it to her skull and pulling the trigger, cruelly revealing he's used up all the bullets.
Kurtz leads the Bloodhound Squadron in a surprise and intense strike on Io. Kurtz is disabled, but Hiro manages, through sheer luck and skill, to corner Donner's tank and destroy it by getting Gerhard to fire on him (raging that he shall not be beaten by children), with his shots missing Hiro and striking a runway that collapses on top of (screeching with frustration) Gerhard in his tank. With their leader dead, the Ishtar forces are quickly disbanded and Aphrodia is freed from their control. Kurtz and Hiro end their animosity and Kurtz gives Hiro his monobike as a sign of goodwill. While driving through the streets, Hiro encounters the recently released Sue, who's being evacuated to Earth. She thanks him for all of his help, and he tells her to come back and visit Venus again.
Following Sue's tip, Hiro makes the long trek to a refugee camp; there, he and Maggy are happily reunited (thanks to her siamese cat Andrew). Back on Earth, Sue has given a world exclusive on the Venus Wars. She plans to spend her vacation on Venus so she can rejoin her friends.
|Character||Japanese voice actor||English voice actor|
|Hiro||Katsuhida Uekusa||Ben Fairman|
|Susan||Eriko Hara||Denica Fairman|
|Gary||Goro Naya||Bob Sessions|
|Will||Houchu Ohtsuka||Bradley Cole|
|Gerhard Donner||Kaneto Shiozawa||Peter Marinker|
|Cathy||Konami Yoshida||Stacey Gregg|
|Rob||Masami Kikuchi||Michael Morris|
|Kurtz||Shuichi Ikeda||William Dufries|
|Sims||Tesshō Genda||Sean Barrett|
|Maggie's Father||Yousuke Akimoto||Sean Barrett|
|Maggie||Yuko Mizutani||Anna Alba|
|Miranda||Yuko Sasaki||Jocelyn Cunningham|
Venus Wars Soundtrack: A remastered version of the soundtrack was released January 2, 2006 by Sony/Columbia Records.
The Venus Wars film was localized in the United Kingdom and the United States by Manga Entertainment and Central Park Media respectively, gaining recognition when it aired in heavy rotation on the Sci-Fi Channel "Saturday Anime" movie block in the late 1990s. The movie was licensed by Central Park Media was released on VHS on October, 20th 1993 in North America. It was later released on DVD on November 3, 1998, and again on DVD on January 28, 2003. In Australia and New Zealand, it was distributed by Madman Entertainment. Discotek Media later licensed the film and released it on DVD in 2012 from a new film print which has anamorphic widescreen, a significant upgrade over the old Central Park Media release, which was letterboxed and from a grainy, stretched source. Discotek later released the film on Blu-ray on December 15, 2015.
Based on the movie, Venus Senki is a Nintendo Family Computer strategy game with an innovative battle system. The story is about eight Hound Combat Bikers fighting against the invading Ishtar Empire forces in an effort to liberate the city of Io and driving Ishtar out of their homeland of Aphrodia.
- "Discotek Licenses The Venus Wars Sci-Fi Anime Film". Anime News Network. January 20, 2012.
- "Discotek Adds Hana Yori Dango, 07-Ghost, Beelzebub, Kyousougiga, Getter Robo Armageddon, Z-X Ignition, Karate Master". Anime News Network. August 27, 2015. Retrieved December 24, 2015.