THEM Anime Reviews  
Home Reviews Extras Forums  
 
[Official DVD box art.]
AKA: Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem
Genre: Sci-fi house musical
Length: Movie, 65 minutes
Distributor: Available from EMI / Virgin
Content Rating: 7+ (mild violence)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express 999 (the Leijiverse)
Notes: While this was not produced as animation specifically for the Japanese market, the fact that this is a work by Leiji Matsumoto lands it squarely in the realm of Japanese animation.

Chapters of this story were previously released individually to music video channels, as this is a compilation of music videos for the French electronica duo Daft Punk (Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem Christo).
Rating:
 

Interstella 5555

Synopsis

Four famous (?) intergalactic musicians are holding a concert on a planet far away from earth just as the planet is raided and the musicians kidnapped by what appears to be an evil artist/band manager. They are then taken to earth and put to work becoming the next big thing all for the evil manager's evil purposes.

Is that the only intent or is there more to this?

Review

I've been waiting SUCH a long time for this DVD. The time I first laid eyes upon the video to "One More Time", I was pretty much enthralled because it looked to me like the video was made for the song. Which it was, as I later found out. And then, MORE videos came.

I couldn't help but notice that not only were there next videos strangely fitting to the songs used from the Daft Punk album "Discovery", but the plot of the video were following a rather solid, single thread AND were made in the same order as the music on the CD's. To say that I was intrigued would be an understatement. It was only later I learned that this piece of work was intended and rumors had it that ALL of the album was going to be animated like that. By that time, however, four videos had been released and that was all I heard about the subject for a rather long time. Until just recently.

The news of the "to-be-released" Interstella 5555 had me frantically put in the order for it, as I really, really wanted to obtain a copy of it. And did it live up to my expectations? Oh, yes!

For one thing, this movie (or musical, if you will) has some serious eye candy. (It has more than that, but we'll get to that shortly.) The animation is top notch and it practically GLOWS with vibrant colors and life. I'm sure most of the Leijiverse fans among you have recognized his particular style in just about every character in this title. This should come as no surprise since he DID do the visual supervision on it. Either way, it's a marvel to behold and should satisfy just about everyone.

I guess one of the big demands this movie makes is that you like Daft Punk's music, or rather; their latest album, since it accounts for just about all the aural feeding you receive from this title. (I know a lot of Daft Punk fans were dissatisfied with it.) Since I liked Daft Punk's latest CD quite much, I had no problems getting into the musical itself. It should be noted anyway, even though it really goes without saying.

The musical's main thread -- its plot -- isn't all that hard to pick up on. You might accuse it of being very basic, but seeing as Leiji Matsumoto's art style as well as Daft Punk's music practically screams the 80s, it's fitting to a tee. In fact, it even managed to put in a few surprise twists here and there and ended on a very positive note almost guaranteed to put a big smile on your face. All right; certain plot elements might be a tad farfetched. (Mainly involving a certain ... ingredient needed for something. I don't want to put up any spoilers in this review, so I won't go more into that.)

Another thing you'll notice is that the whole movie has a somewhat episodic feel to it. Each and every song/melody is broken off with total silence and, as such, so does the various scenes in the movie/musical. I'm not saying that it's bad (because I don't think it is), but it might take some time getting used to.

This has been a title I've been waiting for for a long, long time. I was even unsure whether it would be made at all, with the complete silence following the release of the first four videos. It's arrival wasn't particularly loud and flashy either, but the impact.... oh, the impact it left on me after I had viewed it.

THIS is certainly something I can shout about.

Five stars. Remove one star if you don't like the retro style this movie features. Remove two or three stars if you don't like Daft Punk, or don't like their Discovery album.Stig Høgset

Recommended Audience: Some typical sci-fi violence and deaths. Relatively minor violence, though. And while you do get to see Stella (the female bass player) in what amounts to underwear, the fact that it's in a scene where she practically has her skin repainted along with everything else in her appearance changed, it should count for nothing, really. Leiji Matsumoto usually draws women tall and elegant, and they rarely, if ever, come with greatly exaggerated physical attributes.

So, minor violence and some deaths + close to no fanservice = suitable for all but the VERY youngest.



Version(s) Viewed: All-region commercial DVD
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Interstella 5555 © 2003 EMI Music