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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Voices of a Distant Star
Voices of a Distant Star
ADV Films // Unrated // June 10, 2003
List Price: $19.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Buzz Burgess | posted May 27, 2003 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
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P R I N T
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MOVIE
Leaving her boyfriend Noboru behind, Mikako, a high-school girl is called in to help fight off an alien invasion. Set in the year 2046, "Voices Of A Distant Star" follows the young pilot as she travels throughout the solar system pursuing the Tarcian invader while trying to keep in touch with boyfriend back home. As she travels farther out into space, it takes increasingly longer for Noboru to receive her messages and they begin to question if their relationship can survive the time and distance between them. And there is another problem, with her age slowed due to her faster than light travels, when they do reunite, will Mikako still be a teenager while Noboru has grown old.

"The Voices of a Distant Star" is an amazing accomplishment and the brainchild of Makoto Shinkai. Shinkai, born in 1973 in a small town in Japan's Nagano prefecture, majored in literature at Chuo University. After graduating, he worked as an Art Director and moonlighted on his own creative projects. He later left to further pursue those personal projects in which one of those, "The Voices of a Distant Star " was born. Single handedly written, directed, edited and animated by Makoto, the film was created using an Apple Macintosh along with some professional-level design and animation software programs. He is credited for every aspect of the film except the sound, music(composed by Tenmon) and voice acting.

In the amount of time that it takes most anime titles to getting going, Makoto presents us with a well defined and interesting plot wrapped in romance and intrigue using likable characters that tells a full story in the space of 25 minutes. Even with the short run length of this one-shot OAV, the two characters and their relationship show considerable depth and development of the fine details such as several interactions of the couple during routine daily tasks done together.

Using a mix of traditional cell animation and computer techniques in such an impressive manner won him the "Most Valuable Newcomer Award" at last year's Tokyo Anime Fair 21. The film made its North American premier in August, at the San Diego Comic-Con in which A.D. Vision sponsored a panel discussion featuring Shinkai. It then made its world premiere in January at the Future Film Festival in Italy and was presented at the Seoul International Animation Festival in May.

 

DVD
Starring : Makoto Shinkai
Encoding: Region 1
Format: Animated, Color, Full Frame
Studio: A.D. Vision, acquired from CoMix Wave, Inc.
Japanese Title: Hoshi no Koe ©2002 Shinkai Makoto / MangaZOO
Created: April 19, 2002
DVD Release Date: June 10, 2003
Runtime: 30 minutes
Closed Captioned: No
Audio: Dolby Digital, English, Japanese
Subtitles: English and Chinese
Reversible Cover: ("She And Her Cat")

 

MENU
Interactive menus with scene access.

PLAY FEATURE

LANGUAGES
English 5.1
English 5.1 with song subtitles
Japanese 5.1 with English subtitles

EXTRAS (75 minutes)
Bonus Short - "She And Her Cat"
-animated short won two grand prix awards in Japan
Interview with the creator Makoto Shinkai
Director's Cut (with alternate vocals)
Original Production Animatic
4 Original Japanese Trailers
ADV Previews

 

VIDEO
I was quite impressed by its beauty and attention to detail, vibrant colors and beautiful animation. Crystal clear and bright without any artifacts.

 

AUDIO
Very good sound, clean, bright, with good effects.

 

EXTRAS
Interview - Makoto Shinkai - Creator
Bonus Short - "She And Her Cat" in Digest, 3 and 5 minute versions
Alternate Versions of "The Voices of a Distant Star" including
Director's Cut (with alternate vocals - Makoto's & wife)
Original Production Animatic
4 Original Japanese Trailers
Text/Photo Galleries of Production Art

 

SUMMARY
Patiently developed, the story is interesting and heartfelt throughout and ends with understanding and sorrow. More than just a technological achievement, it gives the viewer a rich emotional experience tied to the needs of the main characters. Makoto is off to a great start proving that creativity and art are not lost in this age of technological FX. Recommended.

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