Posted by psgels on 15 April 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews




My first experience with Matsumoto Leiji’s typical character-designs… was actually from a Daft Punk music video (One More Time!). I watched it before even discovering anime online, so finally sitting down and watch the entire movie of Interstella 5555 was a definite nostalgia trip.

There have been anime music videos, but I don’t think that it has ever been done as ambitiously as with Interstella 5555: it’s basically just one giant music video. There is no dialogue and the entire story gets told through both the animation and the music, both of which are excellent. Daft Punk’s style of trance works really well with this kind of media, and the graphics are full of neat designs, ideas and details in order to provide plenty of eye candy for an entire hour. It’s definitely a unique watching experience.

One of my fears was that, since this entire movie is based on one of Daft Punk’s albums, that it would be too much of a self-promotion of the band. It could have gone much worse, though. The people from Daft Punk only make an appearance as a cameo in one scene and do not feel like they’re stroking their own egos. The one problem that this movie does suffer from is that you can clearly see the borders between the different songs. Every song on the album pretty much got its own music video, and the transition between one song to the other is a bit stiff. On the other hand, that does make each song stand out and make it distinct, rather than just being a rehash over and over.

With no dialogue you obviously can’t get really that complex of a story nor characters. And indeed, those are not the main focus of this movie. The story mainly exists in order to make all of the music videos different yet coherent, while the characters… are just there. Instead I just want to praise the way in which the creators delivered this story, and how they used these simple ingredients to make something really enjoyable here.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Great delivery and a very enjoyable and unique ride.
Characters: 7/10 – Enjoyable, but very one-dimensional. No dialogue is great, but it comes with its sacrifices.
Production-Values: 9/10 – A great multimedia project. The music and visuals really bring this one to life.
Setting: 8/10 – It screams Matsumoto Leiji, and it definitely has a cool albeit sometimes cliched, universe.

Suggestions:
Amazing Nuts (yes, there really is an anime out there called “Amazing Nuts”. Don’t ask).
El Cazador de la Bruja
Mr Stain on Junk Alley

6 Responses

  1. Xyst says:

    I think that is a good movie and its a great work of Daft Punk and Matsumoto Leiji.

  2. Rex says:

    I for one loves this movie, best “silent” movie ive ever seen, if you even can call it a silent movie.
    Even shed a tear at a certain scene, thats how good i think it is.

  3. I’ve always loved Leiji Matsumoto. Star Blazers was my first exposure to anime growing up in the early 80s. (Wave Motion Gun Fire! =D ) This movie was pretty good, although I did have a pretty bad “There is no Santa!” moment when I learned that Daft Punk’s music was so heavily sampled. I actually thought they were doing everything on their own with synths and drum machines. :(

  4. synkronized says:

    So glad you got to watch this movie!

    I agree with all the points except the cliche setting comment. The Daft Punk Discovery album definitely hit on the early 80’s nostalgia wave that had risen up around early 2002. Leiji’s style in this movie naturally reinforces that tone and vibe.

    In other words I thought the movie setting nailed what it aimed to do perfectly, which was a homage to old school sci fi both visual and audio.

    Just my 2 cents at least.

  5. sywen says:

    this may sound strange, but his movie is what got me into anime. Being a huge daft punk fan this is my first anime movie watched

  6. zutto says:

    5555 has one of the best endings of all the anime movies I’ve seen. Never fails to tear me up (in a positive way).

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 01:41 AM)
    Ha, so I wasn’t wrong when I came across that film Chappie and thinking that the robot resembled Briareos from appleseed, the director’s a fan of Masume Shirow’s work apparently.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 12:16 AM)
    @Brendan: That completely hinges on your personal taste, but Vagabond is one of the best Chanbara ones around, with superb art, fast pacing and entertaining storyline. Berserk should go without saying as it’s a codifier for many Seinen conventions, but Vinland Saga is another great series which is in similar vein. Biomega and Drifters are also worth a look.
  • ANIME CAMPUS
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 07:27 PM)
    Durarara!!x2 Shou Episode 8 | Anime Campus
    Watch English Subbed, Subbed, Sub.
  • BrendanVGC
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 06:22 PM)
    Hey guys, any good seinen manga you can recommend me? Im not talking about crap like Death Note or anything like Gantz.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 11:46 AM)
    Wait, wait scratch that, that was an old article/rumour…feck…
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 11:39 AM)
    @Bam: I was quite fond of Gillian Andersons character.
    Apparently Laurence Fishburne wants to quit the show =<
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 10:44 AM)
    I really enjoyed Alana Bloom’s shadow transformation during the season two hypnotherapy sessions. I thought was visually stunning and thematically relevant. Bryan Fuller has managed to gather quite a bit of talent around himself in the recent years, but Mads is undeniably both the egg that holds this cake together as well the cherry that’s sitting on the top.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 10:37 AM)
    Word of mouth and good reception managed to raise the viewership near the tail end of the 2nd season, that and the aforementioned cosponsorship managed to pull a hallelujah and bring the show back from the verge of death. And I’m glad tha happened.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 10:32 AM)
    I also always felt that their screen chemistry was mesmerizing and am very surprised that some critics found that it was lacking in that very same department, but to each his own I guess. The budget is not all that low actually, and the reason the 3rd season was greenlit was in part due to a dedicated fanbase, as well as the fact that this is a joint effort between NBC and a European studio who undertakes portions of the expenses.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 10:08 AM)
    There is this…certain chemistry between Dancy and Mikelson in that show too.

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