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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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:51 AM)
    Fury, like blackhawk down, weren’t really of note, they were just action movies, never poor, never great.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:49 AM)
    Theres an old French documentary, it might be from the 50s or a bit later than that which dealt with the holocaust.
    Shoah is another long loooong doc about WWII.
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:46 AM)
    Haven’t heard of men behind the sun.
    And I actually didn’t want to watch inglorious basterds because I was certain it was gonna treat a serious subject unseriously.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:45 AM)
    @;(: I had to watch boy in the striped pajamas twice to really appreciate it.
    Pianist is more my thing because its bleaker and in general I’m quite the fan of Polanski’s films.
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:43 AM)
    @Emma: actually I found boy in the striped pajamas to be underwhelming in comperasion to how holocaust stories are. And the pianist is a great movie. But when you think about it, the guy kind of avoided a much worse fate by hiding and never being found.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:42 AM)
    I still need to see all quiet on the western front.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:41 AM)
    *goofy
    Men behind the sun shows the torture of the Chinese under the Japanese, its on the wrong side of exploitation cinema.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:39 AM)
    Some war movies go the goo route like inglorious basterds and the black book.
    Unfortunately there are also films such as men behind the sun.
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:37 AM)
    @Emma:
    Yes, it is controversial there.
    Both the attacks they received and especially dealt seem to be a taboo subject there. I think they omitt most of what they did in China from their history classes in highschool.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:37 AM)
    @;(: The bombing scene in Gen is still a pretty powerful thing. I believe theres something biographical in grave of the fireflies…

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