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Voices of a Distant Star

Anime & Manga and Science Fiction & Fantasy movie directed by Makoto Shinkai

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This is Makoto Shinkai's first major work after She and Her Cat

  • Nov 11, 2008
Voices of a Distant Star is an anime Original Video Animation (OVA) directed and produced by Makoto Shinkai on his Macintosh computer. The film tells a love story between Mikako (a middle-school girl drafted into the UN Space Army) and Noboru. They try to stay in communication by utilizing the e-mail capabilities on their cell phones. As the ship Mikako is on travels deeper and deeper into space, the time it takes for a message to reach Noboru on Earth takes longer. Mikako's final message takes eight years to reach Noboru.

Voices of a Distant Star uses the theory of relativity to tell an interesting story. However, the production only runs for twenty-five minutes, and it feels like the story isn't finished. As a viewer, I really wanted to know what happens to both Mikako and Noboru. The animation is lush, and the music is beautiful, but it feels like Shinkai ended the story too soon. However, when you watch this film, you can see the filmmaking style that Shinkai used when he produced The Place Promised in Our Early Days.

The DVD release of Voices of a Distant Star includes some extras. The first is three versions of She and Her Cat, one of the first shorts Makoto Shinkai produced. There is a "Digest Version" that runs for one-and-a-half minutes, a three-minute version, and a five-minute version. It's a black and white piece that tells the story of a cat and a young woman who owns him. There is an interview with Makoto Shinkai, a "Director's Cut" of Voices of a Distant Star, the Original Production Animatic, the original Japanese trailers for Voices of a Distant Star, and ADV Previews.

While Voices of a Distant Star was an interesting story, I'm not sure I could recommend purchasing this DVD for full price. Between the short runtime for the actual production, and that most of the extras are alternate versions of the production, I'm not convinced it's worth the cost. However, if you can track down a used copy of the DVD for a cheaper purchase price, then it might be worth the money to pick it up.

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More Voices of a Distant Star reviews
review by . October 24, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
First if you read most of the other reviews you notice that all of them including mine agree on some things. First the story and animation are very beautiful but where's the rest of it. I have no problem with short anime movies I've seen a bunch but everyone knows some are meant to be short and some are not. This movie to me was not thought out well the story line is so good it needs more to it. Imagine how shocked I was to hear nobody wondering if they were ever going to meet again.     The …
About the reviewer
Lesley Muir Aeschliman ()
Ranked #37
I'm a freelance writer whocovers anime and manga on her blog, Lesley's Musings... on Anime & Manga. I also have a music blog called AeschTunes that I post at every once in a while.   … more
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Although it looks like a studio work,Voices of a Distant Staris a personal film, made almost entirely by a single artist, Makoto Shinkai. Mikako and Noboru are separated at the beginning of high school in 2046. She's accepted into the training program formechapilots to fight the aliens who attacked human settlements on Mars. As she moves across the miles and, ultimately, light years, she sends messages that the forlorn Noboru patiently awaits. The animation is largely restricted to camera moves over still artwork and CG objects, but Shinkai is a skillful enough director to tell this melancholy sci-fi romance through the strong music and vocal tracks.Voices of a Distant Starpacks more of an emotional punch than many elaborate studio films. (Rated 13 and older, but suitable for viewers 2 years younger: minor violence)--Charles Solomon
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Director: Makoto Shinkai
Genre: Sci-Fi, Animation, Fantasy
DVD Release Date: June 10, 2003
Runtime: 25 minutes
Studio: Adv Films
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