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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
In a far-off galaxy, there exists a world much the same as Earth. Save for blue skin, the people are near identical - especially with their taste for rockin' dance music. When a strange alien abduction craft lands on the planet to steal their most popular band, however, all hope seems lost. With their story told entirely via Daft Punk's album Discovery, join The Crescendolls in a journey to rediscover both themselves and their music in a galaxy millions of light years away from home.