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 29. 2015 05:18 AM)
    Oh, awesome, dark horse is releasing volume 10 of black lagoon in April, its been nearly five years since the last complete volume…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 03:56 AM)
    @Aidan: I think theres something seriously wrong when theres the actually possibility of there being a good PA works anime but we all have our opinions =P
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 03:13 AM)
    @Raggers, I will go into detail when I review it. But I think something is seriously wrong when I get a far more satisfying ending out of shirobako than Death parade.
    Looking forward to writing a review of shirobako too.
  • Raggers
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 02:56 AM)
    @Aidan: it wasn’t bad though. I think it suffered from too high expectations and lack of focus (or overreaching).
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 02:29 AM)
    Well. Death parades ending was quite underwhelming.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 11:21 PM)
    Waiting between releases for this will be a good thing, its the sort of manga you pick up and put down, then go back to with breaks in between.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 11:13 PM)
    13 volumes into dorohedero, I’ve found it good enough to buy now that I’ve caught up with the official English releases. While the plot meaders and is kind of messy, isn’t up to much, I love how crazy the gory action is, the gritty artstyle/world and the black comedy more than well make up for it. It works best when focused on those masked gangster magician guys and also the main character, the others are only alright.
  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 02:19 AM)
    @Aidan: true, but I don’t think the level is anywhere close to a true shounen. And once the basic rules are established it’s strategising and straight out fighting.
    I’d be more inclined to call it seinen with shounen elements than actually shounen.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 09:59 PM)
    Good all action finale to cap off Garo there, went out with a bang, though thing is I have no idea where their going to go with this when the movie, second season comes along, this seems like a pretty good point to finish.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:35 PM)
    I think that just about all the manga serialized in ultra jump feel less seinen than those serialized in other seinen magazines.

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