[Anime] Voices of a Distant Star

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[Anime] Voices of a Distant Star

Postby PaladinBlue » Thu May 19, 2005 3:50 pm

Voices of a Distant Star
Licensing: ADV Films
Dubbing: Industrial Smoke and Mirrors
Genre: Romance/Drama/Sci-fi
Age Rating: 13+
Length: 30 minutes

I bought Voices upon hearing so many great things about it (and upon seeing it for $15.99). Well, I'm here to tell if the hype was right or wrong.

Story: In 2046, a mysterious alien force has begun its annihilation of the human race. Mikako leaves to go to space to fight this force, and, in doing so, leaves behind the one she loves, Noboru. As she goes further and further into space, the rift between her and Noboru steadily increases, and their only link is text messaging through their cell phones. While Mikako keeps mankind safe, Noboru waits for her messages. Growing at an even greater rate than the distance is their age difference. While Mikako barely grows older in the timelessness of space, Noboru ages at a normal rate. The two lovers desperately attempt to maintain their connection while the gap between them grows and grows.

Voices' story is incredibly well-told. Within the OAV's thirty minute timespan, creator Makoto Shinkai manages to cram more emotion into Voices than almost all other movies can manage in three hours, and yet it never feels too artificial or cheesy. "A love story that transcends time and space" is truly an apt description of this story.

Animation: Voices would look amazing even if it was done by a big animation studio, yet this was a solo project with the creator using game design software (as revealed in the interview portion of the extras), only making it better. The characters themselves have a preliminary sketch feel to them, and look excellent when blended with the CG elements. As a plus, the last few minutes of the film compose the most incredible animation sequence in the history of the visual arts (despite what Dreamworks tries to tell you). An amazing feat in its own right.

Music: The music in Voices is just as incredible as the animation. The last moments of the film include "Through the Years and Far Away", a beautiful song that is even more heart-rending than End of Evangelion's "Komm Susser Tod" (not an easy thing to do).

English Dub: I've always thought highly of Industrial Smoke and Mirrors' dubs, and this one is no different. ADR Director Steven Foster makes great use of the two actors required (three if you include Mikako's mecha's computer). This aspect of Voices really feels like an independent film, only worlds better.

Japanese Dub: Interestingly enough, there are two Japanese dubs. One with two professional actors, and another "Director's Cut" version with creator Makoto Shinkai and his (at the time) fiance. Both tracks are very good, though, I prefer the Director's Cut dub, myself.

Extras: This DVD comes with a ton of extras in addition to a great film. The usual clean opening/closing are not present (because the film has none in the first place), but there are still the ADV Previews. Aside from that, there is Shinkai-san's first animation, the five-minute long She and Her Cat (a good bit in itself, but nowhere near the calibur of Voices); the extra Japanese dub; an interview with Shinkai-san; original production animatics; and 4 original Japanese trailers.

I'll not waste words with this. Voices is a masterpiece among masterpieces and one of the greatest works of art since the Mona Lisa (no exaggeration). I can say without a doubt that you'll love this film, even those who dislike romances.

Voices of a Distant Star gets a 5 out of 5.
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Postby coldfusion5050 » Wed Jun 15, 2005 3:04 am

:x How did you read my mind? :x
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Postby Evosp3c » Thu Jun 16, 2005 12:09 am

I think it's good, the only thing that really bugs me is that it was unfinished. I know that it's supposed to be like that and I know that there is a written ending to it. But if the written ending was added into the short movie then this film would've been flawless.
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Postby MGS05 » Thu Jun 16, 2005 1:21 am

Does anyone have a link to that written ending? Because I really couldn't figure out what exactly happened at the end...
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Postby coldfusion5050 » Thu Jun 16, 2005 1:59 am

Evosp3c wrote:I think it's good, the only thing that really bugs me is that it was unfinished. I know that it's supposed to be like that and I know that there is a written ending to it. But if the written ending was added into the short movie then this film would've been flawless.

I think the novelization does add more closure to the story, but I think if it had been animated, the OAV wouldn't of had the power that it did.



And for those who are wondering about the conclusion from the written verison: http://world.std.com/~chadwick/Translat ... no_Koe.doc .
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Postby Evosp3c » Thu Jun 16, 2005 2:03 am

True, I guess I really liked it because it left me wanting more. No other anime besides Mahoromatic, has done that for me. Although it would've been nice if they added an animated ending as a bonus feature.
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Postby Kruszer » Mon Jul 18, 2005 11:28 pm

While good and all, it was way too short and left too many things unanswered for me to call it a masterpiece. It could have been so much better as a feature length film that could tell both stories at once in better detail.
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Postby RenoVSCid » Mon Jul 18, 2005 11:43 pm

Kruszer wrote:While good and all, it was way too short and left too many things unanswered for me to call it a masterpiece. It could have been so much better as a feature length film that could tell both stories at once in better detail.


Interestingly enough Matoko Shinkai (dir of VOices ) just had a nw movie come out in the US.. 90 mins... THe Place Promised in Our Early Days.
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Postby TifaOnACloud » Tue Jul 19, 2005 7:00 am

Though I loved Beyond the Clouds, I still haven't gotten around to this yet.
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Postby BBboy20 » Sat Mar 10, 2007 6:33 pm

Kruszer wrote:While good and all, it was way too short and left too many things unanswered for me to call it a masterpiece.  It could have been so much better as a feature length film that could tell both stories at once in better detail.
Maybe he was just trying to go for a minimalistic direction then the usual taking 2 hours of story development? To think about it, maybe he was trying to pull a long distance of time in the plot and taking a extreme short amount of time for the plot. Wasn't sure if I was suppose to cry or feel major emotion but it was heart touching.

(I've read that Promised had a similar theme to it so I guess that's was his answer to Voices)
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Postby Veoryn87 » Mon Mar 12, 2007 2:29 pm

I still need to see this.
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Postby BBboy20 » Mon Mar 12, 2007 2:40 pm

Veoryn87 wrote:I still need to see this.
And I thought I was bad. =/
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Postby Veoryn87 » Mon Mar 12, 2007 3:32 pm

BBboy20 wrote:
Veoryn87 wrote:I still need to see this.
And I thought I was bad. =/


They aren't on the top of my buy list and if we put it in our Netflix list it will take forever to get to them because we're watching so much already.

Maybe I'll get them once I'm done buying FMP: TSR.
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Postby Veoryn87 » Fri Mar 30, 2007 10:47 am

OK, I watched it a few times.

Maybe it was all the hype I heard about it.  All the talk about it being "so heartbreaking," but my heart didn't break.  I didn't feel much emotion watching the show, but it was a sad (and genius) premise.  After watching it I still felt a little down and that last line of the movie [spoiler]I am here.[/spoiler] was a great ending line that did leave me feeling a little sad.  Even though I don't love it like I love FMP or Gankutsuou, I still have a large appreciation for what it is.

The script changes for the English script were annoying and Noboru sounded too old in the beginning, but I have a much easier time identifying voice tones and moods in English than I do Japanese, so in a way I liked the English version.

Also, Voices is very good looking for a show that was only animated by one person, but I don't think it's the most amazing looking show out there.  It's still beautiful.

So there ya go.  Let me guess....  I fail.
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