old short story and newer anime where soldiers "respawn"?
March 21, 2014 8:21 PM   Subscribe

bookfilter: I remember reading a sci-fi (short story?) where the key element was that once a soldier died on the battlefield, they respawned into a new body and had to keep fighting. I believe it was a classic sci-fi because the enemies were russian, I believe. I was telling my friend about this and he said that there was an anime with a similar plot element, but he can't remember what it was. Can you tell me the names of these?
posted by rebent to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
All you need is kill. Recently made into a tom cruise movie.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:24 PM on March 21, 2014

Response by poster: according to wikipedia, that's about a time-loop. The story I remember saw the soldiers having a quota of respawns into new bodies they had to fulfill before they could get a discharge.
posted by rebent at 8:28 PM on March 21, 2014

In Kiddy Grade the two main characters work for a special government agency which recruits people with special talents to act as agents.

It is revealed late in the series that the head of the agency herself has a special talent, which permits her to reincarnate her agents if they get killed. Which happens to the main characters of the series a couple of times during the series and apparently happened to them many times before the series. The odd thing about it is that they themselves don't know it's happened.

They look quite young and they think they are young, but it turns out they've been on this treadmill for a couple of centuries.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:31 PM on March 21, 2014

Angel Beats! is an anime which takes place in an afterlife where characters cannot die. They quite often get "killed" in combat and then regenerate.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:08 PM on March 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Dunno but you might be interested in the literature/anime tabs for Resurrective Immortality and Body Backup Drive on tvtropes.
posted by luckymudz at 10:22 PM on March 21, 2014

It sounds like the basic plot of armor by John Steakley although there were no russians involved.
posted by ianhattwick at 10:53 PM on March 21, 2014

There was an episode from the 1st season of Deep Space 9 with this basic plot. Nanobots would revive soldiers indefinitely to keep a war going.
posted by tau_ceti at 11:05 PM on March 21, 2014

Not classic scifi, but this is the idea behind Richard K. Morgan's book Altered Carbon and it sequels.
posted by graxe at 11:38 PM on March 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

The anime might be The Sky Crawlers, but that's about pilots rather than soldiers.
posted by BinaryApe at 2:41 AM on March 22, 2014

Best answer: It might be "If the Red Slayer" by Robert Sheckley. I can't find the full text online, here is a sample.
posted by Behemoth at 3:57 AM on March 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: ah yes, that is a name I recognize! I'll have to go find my copy of the Store of Infinity. Thanks Behemoth :)

I'll show the rest of these to my friend, find out if one of them is the anime he mentioned
posted by rebent at 5:08 AM on March 22, 2014

Btw, this largely the setting for the online first person shooter mmo called planetside (1 and 2). The persistent world and lack of meaningful deaths make it very different than call of duty or other similair shooters
posted by bartonlong at 2:30 PM on March 22, 2014

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