Star Trek has been around for a long time, 50 years now as a matter of fact. Over the years, Star Trek’s writers, producers, and directors have proven that not only are they sci-fi fans, but they’re fans of anime as well. As part of my two-part Senpai’s Seven list celebrating the 5oth anniversary of Star Trek, here are seven anime references that have appeared in the Star Trek franchise.
7. S.S. Urusei Yatsura
In TNG‘s “Up The Long Ladder,” a search result list of interstellar expeditions mentions the S.S. Urusei Yatsura, a reference to the magical girl comedy manga and anime of the same name.
6. Anbo-Jyutsu Arena
Another Urusei Yatsura reference appears in TNG‘s “The Icarus Factor.” Riker and his dad fight in an Anbo-jyutsu (a Japanese martial art completely made up for the show) arena decorated with Japanese characters. A group of characters on one of the wall scrolls read “Urusei Yatsura,” and you can see names of the main characters, Lum and Ataru, written on the floor.
5. The Treaty of Armens
In the TNG episode “The Ensigns of Command,” the Treaty of Armens is very briefly shown on screen. The text of the “treaty” contains several in-jokes and references, including explicitly mentioning AKIRA, Ranma ½, Urusei Yatsura (the producers of TNG really loved this anime), and Rhea Gall Force.
4. Operation Lovely Angel
The battle simulation in TNG‘s “Peak Performance” is named Operation Lovely Angel and two of the planets in the Braslota system are named Kei and Yuri. Both the planet names and the operation name reference the main characters in the anime Dirty Pair. Also, the system’s innermost planet, Totoro, is a reference the the Hayao Miyazaki movie My Neighbor Totoro.
3. The Nausicaans
This (usually adversarial) alien race was introduced in TNG‘s “Tapestry,” and have appeared at least once in each subsequent Star Trek series. Their name is a direct reference to the Hayao Miyazaki film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.
2. USS Yamato
The sister ship to the Enterprise-D in TNG, the USS Yamato is a reference to the titular ship of the Space Battleship Yamato (known as Star Blazers in the U.S.) anime franchise.
1. Akira-class Starship
This starship, which made its debut in the movie First Contact and appeared in several episodes of Deep Space Nine, has become a favorite among Trek fans. Its class designation comes from Katsuhiro Otomo’s 1988 anime movie AKIRA.
Live long and prosper.