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 Saturday, November 17, 2018
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» Cover

» Company
ADV Films
» Running Time
30 minutes (plus 75 minutes of extras)
» Genre
Action, Drama
» Type
» Final Score
» User Rating
No user votes yet.

Voices of a Distant Star

» written by Dark Wind [Discuss]

The year is 2046. A mysterious alien force has attacked a Mars base and is escaping from the solar system. Earth drastically sets up an attack mission to chase the aliens and a girl is chosen to be a part of the crew. She leaves to go fight the aliens, leaving her boyfriend Noboru alone. The only connection they have between each other is through cell-phone text messages, which first takes days, then months, and then years to reach each of them. Can their love survive the years of loneliness?

Voices of a Distant Star is the hard laborious journey of it’s creator Makoto Shinkai. He, alone on one iMac, made this 30 minute anime film and is one of the most impressive works of an independent filmmaker I’ve ever seen. It’s powerful and sad, uplifting yet depressing, and in the small time of 30 minutes the film will draw upon every ounce of your emotions to send you through one of the most memorable animes ever. I kid you not. The two main characters are interesting, you feel for their plight, the action is actually fairly cool with these ethereal alien designs and very gundam-esque designs for the Earth’s mechs and the story is gut-wrenching. I haven’t felt so depressed in such a short amount of time.

Mikako’s journey through the stars is a long, arduos journey of longing for the one thing she really wants, but cannot have. It’s made all the worse when the ages between Noboru and Mikako start to spread out because of Mikako’s space travel outside of our solar system. At one point in the film, a text message is sent to Noboru from Mikako saying, ‘Happy 24th birthday from your 15 year old girlfriend.’ It was an emotional strain for me just to hear it, and that’s when you know you are watching something so powerful, so visceral that it might just be something stunning.

The Breakdown
I really have said everything I wanted to say. There are only so many ways one can say: ‘buy this good sh** [editted for the kiddies, just to show you we care] now.’


» The Pros
An excellent story told in an extremely short amount of time. Wonderful, thoughtful characters who you not only care for, but feel the emotions they do. The background animation, using a brilliance and tact for lighting, will take your breath away. The action, as well, is also interesting, with Mikako's cockpit being a seat with controls in the middle of a spere that represents her view of the outside. The music is also a lilting orchestral soundtrack that it quiet and really sets the mood.

» The Cons
The story, while good, could have been even better had they made this a little longer. Also, the character designs and foreground animation aren't that great and really stand out to the absolutely amazing backround animation.

» Animation
I have to give credit to Shinkai, who pulled off one hell of a feat by making this film all on one little iMac. The backgrounds are lush, beautiful, and breathtaking. Makoto has an excellent handle on using lighting to create the mood. What knockes it down a bit is the poor foreground animation and character designs.

» Sound
Nothing to write home about, the simple orchestral soundtracks are nice and really work with what goes on screen. There is also a fairly nice vocal song near the end of the film, unfortunately, it was masked by the sound effects.

» Story
The cell phone bit may seem gimmicky, and this sort of thing has been done before, but this really made an impact and pulled off a tried and true formula with some twists.

» Recommend
Absolutely everyone must give this a try. That is, unless you hate high art.


» Other Information
Language: English/Japanese with English Subtitles

Over 75 minutes worth of supplemental material, to much to write down here.

Very nice, with Mikako in the foreground crying in her mech cockpit while holding onto her phone, with Noboru slightly to the left and in the background looking into the sky and then finally the mech standing there with a sun setting. It's pretty cool. Not much else to say.



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