Follow TV Tropes


Manga / Venus Wars

Go To

The 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 Yasuhiko, co-written by Yuichi Sasamoto and Yasuhiko, and produced by Bandai Visual, Gakken, and Shochiku.

The manga was translated into English by Dark Horse Comics in the early 1990s. The anime was localized in the United Kingdom by Manga Entertainment and the United States by Central Park Media, gaining recognition when it aired in heavy rotation on the Sci-Fi Channel "Saturday Anime" movie block in the late 1990s. The film was relicensed in 2012 by Discotek Media, who re-released the movie on DVD and Blu-ray, but their rights have since lapsed; it is currently licensed by Sentai Filmworks, as of 2020.

In the year 2003, a comet designated Apollon collides with the planet Venus and disperses much of the planet's atmosphere, adding enough moisture to form acidic seas, and speeding up its rotation to give it a day that matches its year. This event enables humanity to terraform Venus after 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. The two countries are on the brink of war just as an Earth reporter, Susan Sommers, lands on Venus looking for her big story on the tension that has arisen from the two nations. As Ishtar suddenly invades Aphrodia's capital city of Io and war breaks out, the team of a Battle Bike Tournament called the Killer Commandos lead by Miranda and hotshot biker Hiro Seno are also drawn into the mayhem. They eventually run into Sue as they look to escape the war-torn city. Venus Wars follows the struggle of members of the team trying to survive the war after forcefully being drafted into the Aphrodian army and Sue navigating through the chaos to get her scoop.

Both the Manga and the Anime movie provide examples of:

  • Action Survivor: Sue and Maggie in the manga.
  • Adaptational Badass: Three:
    • The Octopus tank in the Manga is a fairly tough heavy twin-barreled tank, while the version in the OVA is a rolling fortress at least three times the size with several more weapons and capable of surviving attacks that would have destroyed the manga original.
    • Aphrodia's war bikes in the manga carried conventional 80mm rifles and anti-tank rockets, but their animated counterparts were equipped with railguns.
    • Aphrodia's army: in the manga it's eventually defeated, leading to Ishtar winning the war, but in the OVA it wins. Justified by the manga version facing a full scale invasion and the Mesada coup forcing on the various units political commissars that force suicidal charges and waste Aphrodia's combat potential (it's implied that the Battle of Route 1, fought after the professional Aphrodian officers managed to take control back, would have ended in a complete victory if more forces had survived the early defeats, especially as it was an extremely close thing).
  • Adaptational Wimp: In the OVA, Io City falls against the airborne invasion, but in the manga the garrison (barely) manages to repel it, leading to escalation and a full invasion.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Rob
  • Arms Dealer: Gary
  • Attack Its Weak Point: In the manga, the combat bikers of Aphrodia's army are specifically instructed to attack Ishtar's Octopus tanks by shooting the troop hatch and the oxygen tanks of the NBC protection, as the sheer size and armor of said tanks make them practically invulnerable to their weapons (or the heavier weapons of most tanks) otherwise.
  • Badass Biker: Hiro, Miranda, and Kurtz, as the best among the Hound riders, but to ride them one has to be badass enough to handle them even before training, with different reasons between manga and OVA:
    • In the manga, the Hound battle bikes mass one tonne. For obvious reasons the rider needs to have great arm strength to steer them, with the training being aimed in large part to increase said strength and stamina (plus handling the rocket boosters).
    • In the OVA they're monowheels, with the rider needing great skill not to get toppled.
  • Badass Biker: Miranda
  • Badass Driver: Will
  • Blind Alley: How Hiro ultimately escapes from the cops with help from an explosion. He falls through a side alley door as the police believe he's blown up with the bike.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The three main women in the series being Sue, Maggie and Miranda respectively.
  • Car Fu: Gary drives a truck and tanker full of oil into a tank in hopes to blow it up.
  • Char Clone: Kurtz, the leader of the Hound combat motorcycle corps, cheerfully admits most of his men are as expendable as his machines to his superiors. However, Kurtz eagerly manipulates rebellious protagonist Hiro to remain under his command by hook or by crook, because of the talent he sees in the youth. Beyond that, Kurtz is blond, wears either glasses or keeps his helmet's visor down, said to be gay, and voiced by Char Aznable's VA Shuichi Ikeda himself!
  • Chase Scene: Several in the manga and the movie.
  • Colonel Kilgore: Donner is revealed to be this.
  • Cool Bike: The battle bikes, in different flavors depending on the media:
    • In the manga, they're simply large bikes... Massing a tonne, and armed with 80mm rifles and missile launchers.
    • In the OVA they're monobikes with railguns.
  • Cool Shades: Kurtz sports a pair.
  • Day of the Jackboot: Ishtar's invasion of the Aphrodian capital and its aftermath. Most of the second act of the film shows Hiro, Maggie, and the other Killer Commandos trying to keep their heads down during the invaders' increasingly draconian occupation until they're inevitably forced to fight back.
  • Demoted to Extra: Lieutenant Helen Macluth doesn't appear in the movie.
  • Dub Name Change: Hiro's name was changed to Ken in the Dark Horse Comics release of the first manga series.
  • Expy: Hiro is the spitting image of Yoshikazu Yasuhiko's Arion from the manga and film of the same name.
  • Fiery Redhead: Miranda
  • The Fundamentalist: The MESADA in the manga is a religious movement that, after Aphrodia's near fall in the initial Ishtar attack, takes over the ineffective government and imposes Political Officers whose main job is to impose the new government's ideology and interfere with military decisions. It's heavily implied that they're responsible for Aphrodia's defeat, as the political officers wasted much of their military force in reckless attacks before the career officers managed to wrestle back control and come close to destroy Ishtar's 2nd Army Corps.
  • Genki Girl: Maggie
  • Gunship Rescue: Villainous version in the manga: in the Battle of Route 1 the remnants of Aphrodia's army have decapitated and decimated Ishtar's 2nd Army Corps and are about to finish it off when attack choppers from the 1st Army Corps, led by Rado (the main villain of the second part of the manga), decimate the Hounds and their carriers, allowing the 2nd Army Corps to rally and overpower the Aphrodians through the sheer power of their Octopus tanks.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Miranda, Hiro
  • Hiro Stole My Bike
  • Hot-Blooded: Hiro and Miranda to a lesser extent.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Sue, one of the main viewpoint characters. In the anime adaptation, she's fresh off the newest shuttle from Earth in order to write a story about the Cold War on Venus, only to get more than she hoped for.
  • Japanese Delinquents: Except for Maggie, members of the Killer Commandos team are mainly from the wrong side of the tracks. Hiro in particular is a rebel without a cause in the anime even before the Day of the Jackboot.
  • The Juggernaut:
    • The Admiral A-1 (the "Octopus" to Aphrodia), Ishtar's main tank, is presented as this, as it 1-meter thick armor needs a 150mm gun to be penetrated (and Aphrodia doesn't have vehicles with such a large gun) and has an overwhelming armament of a 160mm main gun, a coaxial 220mm missile launcher, and a 20mm autocannon on the commander's hatch for the small fries, and carries a squad of soldiers. Then Aphrodia's soldiers start to target the troops' hatch and the oxygen tanks of the NBC protection...
    • The OVA version fully qualifies: aside for many just ignoring everything the Aphrodians throw at them during the assault on Io, the one attacked by the Killer Commandos is hit with half a dozen anti-tank missiles and a humongous truck full of high-powered fuel and doesn't suffer any visible damage, much to the shock of the attackers and its own crew (after the truck exploded, the tank stopped moving and firing for a few seconds before they started moving), and is only destroyed by repeated attacks from a building-sized scraper. It takes railguns to reliably defeat these monsters... And even then, the sheer size allows them to take multiple hits before being destroyed.
  • Licensed Game: For the Famicom
  • Lip Lock: A particularly bad one in the English dub, as Jack exclaims "I said, 'Let's chill OOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUT!'"
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Miranda
  • Lovely Angels: Maggie and Miranda for a while in the manga.
  • Magnetic Weapons: In the OVA, Aphrodia's war bikes have been equipped with railguns to take on the Octopus tanks.
  • Majorly Awesome: Kurtz
  • Medium Blending: Some of the Venusian landscape we see in the anime is actually tinted live action footage, with animated bikes and tanks overlaid on the footage.
  • Monowheel Mayhem: In the anime movie, where the Hound battle bikes are reimagined as single wheel motorcycles.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Hiro
  • Ms. Fanservice: Miranda and Sue.
  • Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!: Hiro to Kurtz, which Kurtz was counting on.
  • Not With the Safety On, You Won't: Happens to Sue when she attempts to assassinate the Ishtar commander Donner after arranging an interview with him.
  • Pimped Out Bike
  • Plucky Girl: Maggie
  • Ramming Always Works: Subverted because it doesn't.
  • Ramp-rovisation: Hiro is being chased by police and surrounded. So he lifts the monobike onto the side of the highway guard rail to make an escape.
  • Reckless Gun Usage:
    • In the anime, after getting weapons some of other Killer Commandos are improperly holding them. One is pointing a rifle at another member, and several have their fingers on the trigger. Despite falling over and one playing around with a weapon, no accidents occur.
    • Rob and then Sue forgets to remove the safety lock from her gun before shooting recklessly at Donner and missing.
  • La Résistance: The Commandos form a small one before being recruited by Kurtz's Freedom Force.
  • Reporting Names: Ishtar's giant tanks are officially named Admiral A-1, but Aphrodians invariably refer to them as "Tako" (Octopus). The official name is never mentioned in the anime, and in the manga it's mentioned outside of captions exactly once, during Rado's coup in the second part of the manga (cut from the animated adaptation).
  • Tank Goodness: Plenty of battles featuring tanks. Most notably the Octopus, massing 110 tons (150 tonnes) and almost invulnerable to everything, unless hit in the troops' hatch or the oxygen tanks of the NBC protection.
  • Technically a Transport: In the manga Aphrodia starts supplementing its bikes with civilian pick-up trucks equipped with anti-aircraft guns and heavier anti-tank weapons after the bikes' success in the initial Ishtar attack on their capital. The anti-tank variant is easily destroyed in combat due not having the manouverability that made the Hounds effective to begin with, while the anti-aircraft is wiped out to a vehicle by an air raid during the final battle due being caught completely by surprise but managed to take out many attackers un the process.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Miranda and Maggie. Particularly in the manga.
  • True Companions: The Commandos make an odd sort, but they prove to be this since they always back each other up.