Interstella 5555 - The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem

sort

Reviews

vivafruit's avatar By vivafruit on Apr 18, 2007

Story

Interstella 5555 - the 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem manages to provide a surprisingly entertaining, albeit simple, science-fiction caper. I was impressed pretty much throughout the show at how well they managed to synch the mood of the song with what was happening in the story (although as mentioned below, the synching of the animation to the music was less impressive). Overall, quality work from start to finish.


Animation

The animation is certainly not bad by any means, but in the end is somewhat unimpressive. I enjoyed the unique character designs and the liberal use of color, but found anything regarding actual motion to be rather workmanlike. I also have a complaint about the synching of the animation to the actual music. While there is definitely some interaction between what happens on the screen and what plays in the background (high points are the sequences for “Harder Better Faster Stronger” and “Crescendolls”), in the end the synching technique isn’t nearly as nice as what I’ve seen in homemade AMVs on animemusicvideos.org (although perhaps that level of quality is impossible for those who are actually interested in making money).


Sound

The score that anyone gives this category will depend almost entirely on musical taste. In my opinion, Daft Punk’s CD Discovery is good, but suffers from issues of consistency. Most of the albums’ best tracks are lumped together at the beginning, and thus leave the final half of the work feeling anticlimactic and slow. This is especially important due to the fact that the anime depends almost entirely on the album for things like mood, pacing, and storyline. When the music begins to lag in the latter half, the actual show soon follows.

Overall, however, I was very satisfied with how the music was used to aid the storyline, and the first 5 tracks of "Discovery" are some of the best dance music that Ive heard.


Characters

If there’s one thing that this anime proves beyond a doubt, character development simply cannot exist without dialogue. The director tries a lot of different things to increase the overall appeal of the characters (most noticeably the character designs and some half-baked romance), but in the end his efforts merely elevate them to mediocrity.


Overall

Interstella 5555 belongs to a genre of anime that I prefer to call “noble experiments.” These shows try something completely different from anything that has been done before, often at the cost of what many consider to be basic requirements for a show. Cat Soup got by with just about no character development or storyline, FLCL’s wackiness cost the show a lot in terms of general coherency, and Texhnolyze's minimalist approach carried out a good portion of its story with absolutely no dialogue. Interstella 5555, on the other hand, is an hour-long AMV set to a Daft Punk album... nuff said.Unfortunately, unlike Cat Soup, FLCL, or Texhnolyze, the movie doesn’t bring enough to the table to really be called a classic. While the sheer novelty of the production goes a long way towards making the film entertaining, its numerous faults prevent it from being truly spectacular.

While I’ve spent most of the review bashing the shortcomings of the anime, I still enjoyed it a fair deal. The sheer idea of the work makes the movie seem very fresh and interesting, and the storyline is surprisingly engaging when all is said and done. If you’re a fan of Daft Punk’s work, I’d definitely recommend this. Do not, however, expect greatness. In the world of experimental anime where shows are usually either hits (Kino's Journey) or misses (Angel’s Egg), Interstella 5555 is decidedly lukewarm.

7/10 story
5.5/10 animation
8.5/10 sound
4.5/10 characters
6.5/10 overall
Lagore's avatar By Lagore on Dec 10, 2009

Many less-enlightened persons have labeled this movie as "experimental" or "a glorified music video".  I am here to assure you that those people wrong.  Interstella 5555 is one the most utterly fun and entertaining movies I have ever seen.  Let's explore why, shall we?

-SOUND-

Let's start by saying that there is absolutely no dialogue, and very few sound effects in this movie.  The audio in this is taken up entirely by the music from the band techno-pop band Daft Punk.  Many viewers have assumed that this movie only exists as a way to deliver this music, much like a music video.  But this could not be further from the truth.  What has been created here, is perhaps the greatest movie soundtrack of all time, and I do not say that lightly.

Unlike almost all other films, the music in this works hand and hand with the story.  It is not simply incidental, coming up only when it is needed.  The music supports the plot, and the plot supports the music.  Together, they combine to tell a beautiful story.

-STORY-

The plot in Interstella 5555 is pretty simple, but don't let that tun you off.  People often see the word "simple" as a negative attribute.  However, with this movie, it feels more like it has trimmed away the unnecessary parts to streamline the film.  The story is fun and original, and it will leave you satisfied and  feeling all warm and fuzzy.

The basic premise is that a music group on an alien planet has been kidnapped, and it is up to a rugged intergalactic hero (who is also their biggest fan) to come to their rescue.

You may be surprised to find that the story has many layers.  On one hand, it serves as a scathing indictment against the music industry.  On another, it is a tale of sacrifice and love.  And, of course, it is also just a fun intergalactic adventure.

I have watched this film more times than any other anime, and each time, I find something new.  There are many, many minor reoccurring characters and settings that pop up throughout the film, creating a vibrant setting that feels alive.

-CHARACTERS-

Okay, I will admit this to you: characterization is not this movie's strong suit.  Without the aid of dialogue, it is tough to develop a character to their full potential.  And it doesn't help that the movie only has one hour to build up these characters.  But Interstella 5555 isn't terrible at this, despite what you may assume.  By the end, I did care about the characters, but there were indeed several I didn't know or care much about.  And besides, it still feels weird to me to say that a movie has good characters when I don't even know their names.

-OVERALL-

There are something that cannot be gauged by reading the above data.  And that s entertainment value.  Some things are just fun to watch.  And, as you may have guessed, Interstella 5555 is a good example of this.  This is simply a fun, entertaining movie that is enjoyable for everyone from infants to the elderly.  There is nothing objectionable in this, it tells a fun little story.  If you're like me, you will want to watch this again and again, especially with your family and friends.

7/10 story
8/10 animation
10/10 sound
4/10 characters
9/10 overall
Omurqi's avatar By Omurqi on Oct 26, 2009

If you are a fan of Daft Punk, you might've stumbled upon one of these music clips with blue men or something that seemed like a part of a story. In that case, you have unconsciously already seen one of the thirteen parts that make Interstella 5555 one long AMV. That's what it is, an AMV, featuring a whole album instead of just one song.

The "story" of Interstella 5555 is a sci-fi one. It follows the members of a popular band on some alien "blue people" planet, how they end up on Earth and their escape from the villain. To be frank, the story and the characters were pretty bad and not having any dialogue whatsoever did not help the character development. However, this is forgiven by the awesome music that accompanies the story. It is, after all, an album presented through a bland sci-fi tale, not the other way around.

In short, this movie is something for Daft Punk fans only and is an enjoyable way to go through their Discovery album, featuring ever popular songs like "One More Time", "Digital Love", "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" and more.

5/10 story
5/10 animation
8/10 sound
4/10 characters
6/10 overall