Thanks to zaitcev, I finally watched and finished Starship Operators. I did remember watching the first episode when it first aired but I got turned off by the idea of selling broadcasting rights so I never did follow up. When zaitcev mentioned it, I was bored and I remember having the DVD versions, so I took them out and watched.
Surprisingly, it was good and felt real enough to feel that the kids were being thrown in to a hopeless situation at the behest of some rather idealistic or unscrupulous people for their own ends, and it is kept that way until the end, despite some rather unfavourable odds stacked up.
One of the characters I quite liked was the producer, Peter, who might be seen as a selfish person intent of using the kids as much as he can but he redeems himself just right enough at the series end to make me actually feel sad for him.
Seiyuu performances in the show are good, with a mix of recognizable names and unknowns. Itou Shizuka does well at her part but it feels cookie-cutter rather than unique. Perhaps because I am too used to hearing her as Hinagiku. Ayako Kawasumi and Noto Mamiko felt a bit underutilized, but understandable given the number of characters.
Overall, it feels like an incomplete series though, as the end is rather ambigiously done. It would have probably fared better if they animated the rest of the novels which deal with the crew’s fate afterwards, from what I heard. In any case, it’s not a bad show and well worth watching for fans of space political drama.
Rewatch: If they produce a second season.