Plot: What’s it about?
The threat of the bug invasion has forced mankind into a constant war with the arachnids, which means a lot of fatal losses and a heavy need for new soldiers. If the attacks of “join up now” ads won’t nudge you to sign up for service, perhaps the lure of citizenship will, as it has done for so many others. With citizenship comes many rights and honors, which means lots of folks risk their lives in order to gain that status and most of them don’t survive the effort. This series follows the shock troops of the human forces, which serve as little more than fodder at times, sent in to attack before the heavy guns. This often results is heavy losses, but it does clear the path for the others, even at the expense of the roughnecks. In this round of episodes, we watch as the Pluto Campaign is mounted, with Johnny Rico, Dizzy Flores, and the others pushing ahead to ensure the future of their species. But with the odds stacked against them from the start, will any of the roughnecks survive this campaign and if so, what about the next one?
I liked the movie and novel of Starship Troopers, so I knew this television series would be worth a look. But when it ran well before my alarm clock rings, I never had the chance to see many episodes for myself, until now. This animated series packs a punch though and I was impressed, I hope to see the rest of the series released on our beloved format soon. This series takes on more of the novel’s elements, which is good and most of the characters were in the film, so those unfamiliar with the book won’t be lost here. The new characters are well interlaced here and the old ones are fleshed out more, which I think makes the film that much better to watch afterwards. The storylines are basic, but effective and the voice actors seem well chosen, so this one has the basics more than covered. Lots of action and lots of bug guts, Roughnecks is more violent than most cartoon shows, so parents need to make sure their kids can handle that. The animation is cool visually, much like a feature length video game cut scene, that’s the best way I can sum it up. This disc contains all the episodes that cover The Pluto Campaign and with ninety-seven minutes of content, I think there’s more than enough value to recommend this release.
Video: How does it look?
Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles is presented in full frame form, which is how the series was shown on television. This kind of animation shows some edge enhancement and shimmering at times, but in the end, I feel this is a fine visual treatment. The colors display the intended dank, drab hues well and flesh tones, while a little wax like, seem in order also. The contrast here is very dark and dismal, but the black levels ease up when needed, to allow some extra detail to pass through. This is sharper and more refined than it looked on television, which is about all you can from this one.
Audio: How does it sound?
This one is loaded with audio potential and as such, the included Dolby Digital 5.1 is able to shine here. Since the series is almost constant action, the surrounds see a lot of use here, much more than you’d expect from a cartoon series. The gunfire, explosions, and massive engine noise all comes through here, very impressive indeed. But the music and dialogue never become lost in the mix though, also in clean and crisp form at all times. I knew this would be a good track, but those expectations were surpassed and then some. This disc also includes 2.0 surround tracks in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese, as well as subtitles in English, French, Spanish, Korean, Thai, Portuguese, and Chinese.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes a selection of production sketches, diagrams, and character design drawings.