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
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 10:44 AM)
    In a world where Urotsukidoji gets 3 series of OVAs there is nothing you want to make that is too risqué or edgy that nobody would want to pick up. I get a small startup trying to push their fist film out, but most big Kickstarters are ran by bigname talents that already have a string of hits on their resume. C’mon, just have some faith in your work, it’s just crazy to ask for money upfront.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 10:37 AM)
    SuperMario: I assume you mean Charlie Kaufman’s new film, in which case he already did pretty much whatever he wanted. Have you seen Synecdoche, New York and Adaptation? Now I’m a big ran of the man, but this creative control card gets a bit overplayed. The Under the Dog producers claim the same thing, but looking at their trailer it doesn’t look like anything that Japanese studios don’t already greenlight.
  • SuperMario
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 09:01 AM)
    for me though, I only pay for projects that I’m certain to watch (and have to pay for it eventually), so I don’t see the point not to “helping” them out. It’s all the same for me.
  • SuperMario
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:58 AM)
    @Bam I think the core concept is 1) with Kickstarter, many projects that otherwise never could have made is get supported here and 2) creators have more artistic control over their project. Take Amonalisa for example, big studios was very hesitate to fund the film, because of the commercial failure of his first film, but he insisted to get crowdfund and we have one of the more creative animation output last year.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:53 AM)
    A lot of the tech stuff is things you will never use twice; like a smartphone microscope attachment. they’re usually pretty shifty with it too. Yeah I’m sure it takes the price of a house to make a video series about sexism in videogames- right? And it takes almost a million dollars to make a 4 level indie game with three guys- seems legit. Must be pretty nice to basically do business with zero chance of failure.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:47 AM)
    I just don’t get the core concept of why I should pay for someone else’s business endeavors? They’re going to reap the benefits, they usually have money, let them pay for it. I get it if it’s research, or some strange art project for the sake of the art, but movies, games and anime that are going to get a commercial release? I swear people are so easily bamboozled.
  • SuperMario
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:21 AM)
    @Kaiser:I have been supporting Kickstarter for a while, but not for games or movies, but for animation projects. I think it’s worth it. But like Bam, Aiden and K-Off said, sometimes it gets a bit muddy. For movies for example there are a lot of projects that was just ideas… and ideas alone are not enough.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:08 AM)
    Ah but that would frustrate me in muv-luv, I’d be the one suffering as a result of having to wait for the characters suffering to start.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:06 AM)
    I’ve heard kickstarter being used for crowdfunding indie films, honestly as a film buff I really should get on that and start supporting.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 07:41 AM)
    I generally don’t pre-order unless its a gift for someone else, so I can guarantee for 100% sure I can get it for them and it won’t sell out.

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