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 Tuesday, December 11, 2018
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» Cover

» Company
ADV Films
» Running Time
70 minutes
» Genre
Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
» Type
» Final Score
» User Rating
No user votes yet.

The Five Star Stories

» written by Dark Wind [Discuss]

Among the five star systems known as the Joker Systems, there are many kingdoms, each under the protection of valiant knights that control massive robots called Headliners. Bound to the knights are fatimas. Human in appearance and mind, the fatimas possess expanded physical capabilities and make it possible to control a Headliner. The  Five Star Stories follows the ascension of two such fatimas - Clotho and Lachesis, the latest and greatest creations of famous fatima designer, Dr. Ballache - each on the verge of their ceremonial unveiling to the world of the God of Light, Amaterasu, and his Mirage Knights.

Well, this is an interesting little nugget of a film. An anime adaptation of a very very long running manga series by Mamoru Nagano (currently unavailable in the US), The Five Star Stories is a 70 minute long adaption of the first volume (or volumes, I’m not sure how much has been covered in these 70 minutes, though I’m told it adapts the manga to a tee, so I imagine they didn’t animate too much of the manga). What’s presented here is a small tidbit of what one could expect from a much larger story. It’s a very cohesive tale, but doesn’t go anywhere. When it wraps up, the board has been set for, say, a long TV series or something similar. But instead, it just ends, and there’s no animated sequel of any kind. Think of this as a pilot to a television series, or a long commercial to goad us into buying the manga (it worked, I want it). Unfortunately, this was made back in 1989, so I think it’s doubtful to expect some sort of continuation of the story.

Which is a real shame, since what’s presented here is really interesting. It introduces us into this whole new world (the Joker Galaxy), which has it’s own rules, solar systems, machines, politics, etc etc. They properly and slowly introduce all of this, and I liked what I saw. The only problem is, it ends too quickly, as I said earlier. This could have been really great, and it’s no wonder the manga is so popular.

There’s not much more I can elaborate on. The story (even in this short OVA), is very detailed, and to try and explain it would only confuse you. I do recommend people check it out, only if to see a nice, old-school anime done right, at the peak of the 80’s anime industry before the anime bubble burst.

The Breakdown
I’m really glad I was able to see this after all the controversy of it having been lost from existence. I had heard the premise of the manga story and ever since couldn’t wait to see the short anime adaptation (since the manga isn’t available here). I was lucky enough that ADV did license and release it, and I’m pleased to say I wasn’t dissapointed. I only wish someone would license the manga and bring that over to the US as well, because I want to know where this story heads. I hope people give this a shot, more of this needs to come over here and be licensed, but that’ll only happen if releases such as this sell well.


» The Pros
Very nice, detailed, and seemingly deep story. Fun characters, and cool looking mechs and fights. The animation is of very good quality, and the music was pretty good.

» The Cons
Very short story that only introduces us to the beginning moments of a much larger tale. The adrogeny of the main character is almost disgusting to look at, as I kept mistaking him for a female whenever I saw him.

» Animation
It's very well done for 1989, but it's not 1989, it's 2005. Animation has improved a huge amount since then, and the age of the animation shows.

» Sound
The music is nice '80's fare. Nothing to spectacular, but it doesn't get annoying either.

» Story
The story is very interesting and creates a very deep, detailed world, but it ends before it can begin.

» Recommend
I recommend it if only because people need to support these releases of older animes, especially hard to obtain animes such as this. Without supporting it, we'll never get the truly good stuff. That being said, there's also a nice story here that can be enjoyed in the context of the film itself.


» Other Information
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles Only

Original Japanese Promo Video and Cast and Crew Bios and Insert Booklet

A very slick cover, with a black slipcase that uncovers the actual main cover, which replicates that of the cover of the manga's Vol. 1. It's very nice.



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