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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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:32 AM)
    @Ninja: no I met most of them at Burning Man.
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:23 AM)
    @Bam I see I just figured that if you had a lot of friends in KY you must have lived in the region.
    @Friend Yeah or involved desserts like Palmiers or Croissants. I actually am pretty decent at making croissants from scratch but it’s a pain in the ass.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:21 AM)
    And that’s … The More You Know ;)
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:19 AM)
    “Iran” originally means “the land of the Aryans”. The European settlers of Aryan decent are correctly labeled Indo-European as they traveled from north of India across Iran and the Caucasus mountain range (hence the term Caucasian) and settled in pastural lands in Europe. Hence we are the original white people. Go figure.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:14 AM)
    @K-off: some good-looking corn there m8.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:13 AM)
    @Ninja: No I’m Persian since I was originally born and raised in Tehran/Iran. I am mostly of Parthian decent with a quarter of Kurd in me. I have moved around the globe since I was 16 and now live in Sacramento California.
  • Friend
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:13 AM)
    @ninja Some party foods like the brochette dijon flambe are too hard for me to prepare/mass produce at home, so it’s definitely worth eating out for things like that O.o
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:10 AM)
    I’m not sure what’s with me and demonyms tonight, but don’t be offended since, they’re more of a term of endearment for me. But if you really are offended then chances are that you deserved it in the 1st place.
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:08 AM)
    @Bam lol, it never came up. Are you a Southerner/Midwesterner as well?
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:07 AM)
    @Friend Yeah cooking is definitely a better deal most of the time. Although for certain kinds of food, you can get a surprisingly good deal eating out. But it also just feels empowering to cook for yourself.

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