Interstella5555: The 5tory of The 5ecret 5tar 5ystem
All Interstella5555: The 5tory of The 5ecret 5tar 5ystem released episodes
Daft Punk's Discovery album is my favorite album of all time, in fact I have a vinyl of it hanging up on my wall. And this film right here is why I love it so much. When I was about 14, my parents were getting a divorce and I was going through a rough time, and somehow I stumbled upon this movie, and for some reason it really helped me through what I was going through. The plot is simple, a band is kidnapped from another planet and transported to earth, all their memories are changed and they are made to look like humans so they can play music on earth for Earl Darkwood. Meanwhile some kind of policeman from the band's planet comes to the rescue, and is more than willing to since he has a crush on the bassist. Like I said, basic plot, but that doesn't make it bad by any means. The whole entire movie has no dialogue and still portrays it's plot extremely well, which is an amazing feat to say the least. The animation is where this loses a few points though, while I personally love the way it looks a lot, I can see why some people say that it has aged somewhat poorly, but for its time, this level of quality was amazing, so keep in mind what time period this was made in. And as for sound, the soundtrack is the entirety of Discovery in order, and it is damn amazing, I already liked Daft Punk before this movie, but after seeing this, they really became one of my favorite bands ever. If Daft Punk isn't your kind of music, you might not enjoy this movie as much, but if you do like their music, get ready to dance in your seat when you watch Interstella 5555.
*"It's Fucking Daft Punk" -Weapon* Who doesn't like occasional music, and also who on this website wouldn't like anime. This is the best of both worlds.
If you enjoy aliens, good ol' fashioned techno, and the duo of robots themselves, Daft Punk, you will enjoy this anime movie. Amazing quality animation and you can really feel the characters through their expressions. Simple story but you're still guaranteed to get into it and hope for the best for the protagonists.
*Interstella 5555* glides seamlessly through Daft Punk's album, Discovery, track by track, portraying an extensively visual, energetic story with appealing characters and vibrant animation. The imaginative, intergalactic setting fits with the easy going entertainment. The sound effects, animation, characters, and music support the tale. Sound effects are minimal and occur during song transitions. The scenes that include rain begin with the splattering of rain and at one point there is even a loud car crash. Otherwise, the music provides sound effects, typically with flashes and movements aligned to bass beats or some predominant instrumentation. These pairings between the music and the animation unifies both, making sure they don't come off as disjoint. There are portions where the beats and animation are syncopated which can be a bit dizzying, but works well for the fast-paced, jarring scenes. The characters are defined primarily through character design, facial expressions, and actions, since no dialogue takes place. The band members, Shep, the Earl de Darkwood, and the executive at R company are effortlessly differential, having really cool hair styles, colors, and faces. Many of the side characters look great too, especially the Earl's minions. The goofy stylization of the characters makes them fun to watch and parallels the whimsical story. Facial expressions convey emotions. Stella, for example, looks sad most of the time, particularly when she thinks of Shep. Ohhh, a love story, how quaint. Hold that thought. The actions of the characters do most of the telling. Shep is developed by showing his dream of Stella, then he works to free them from their captivity because he's creepily in love with Stella and, like all the blue people, he loves the Crescendolls. These aspects of the characters, particularly their animation, make for unique characters where motivations are sussed out and made clear to the viewers through expressions, actions, and context clues, like the Earls book and Shep's posters. The fact they do explain character motivations, however simple, adds a lot to the story. The rest of the animation does what it needs to do, keeping the viewers attention and telling a story. The scenes often involve quick cuts to other scenes and back and forth, constantly drawing the viewers attention. The loads of movement in the scenes, help too, and detailed side characters become staples that increase interest. There's plenty of trippy sequences to also keep the audience engaged, like the ships flying through space and Shep's spirit. In regards to storytelling, the animation is bomb. It tells the viewer, in no uncertain terms, that this band of blue people has been abducted by a human to monetize on their musical talent, transforming their memories and bodies to make them human and so on. Later, the character's feelings are portrayed fluidly when they are freed from the mind control devices. You understand they are struggling with doubt and confusion. For the hot tamale now, the music. Discovery is a big album, one that has garnered plenty of praise and reviews itself. In short, it is a synth-driven, pop-disco-dance album with better-than-your-average lyrics. Like how many hyphens I placed in that last sentence? Anyways, the music makes you want to get up and dance. With each song disparate, the cohesiveness of the story is left to the animation and each song provides a unique theme for the specific part it portrays. The emotional “Something About Us” is used to great effect to capture the sadness and meaning of the scene which portrays a wounded Shep proffering his hand to Stella. “One More Time” is the opening act literally depicting a stage performance by the band, and “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” drives the bands transformation from alien to human. “Aerodynamic” is used to backdrop the infiltration of the Earl's soldiers. What I am getting at is that each song is used differently within the movie. Some songs have meaningful lyrical content to the story, others have less connection, like the instrumental tracks. However, each song sets the mood for its scenes, appropriately and effectively forming the emotions of the audience. “Crescendolls” and its accompanying sequence are rather jarring, and the tune has always been my least favorite on the album, so perhaps my bias made it feel like it didn't fit for its section. That is the only song that didn't seem to mesh for me, but it did create excitement. This is a film set to a progressive dance album, so the setting and animation fit. In part, so do the lack of character development and compelling themes. Considering the music and animation-driven story, one wouldn't be surprised by little character development in the movie. All the characters are the same as they are at the beginning. Many of the songs don't have big themes and as I mentioned previously, neither does the album as a whole. Some tracks do have deeper feelings and weightier messages, i.e. “Digital Love” and “Something About Us”, which are depicted well in the movie, I'll give them that, but the love-at-first-sight romance undermines both of these songs. There's depth in “Digital Love” that would have been stellar to include in the drawings and story. The pacing of the album is fast, steadily picking up speed at the beginning and gaining intensity. The first three quarters of the film keep this pace and build perfectly. I was entranced by this portion of the movie. After the battle with the Earl de Darkwood, things settle for what is the last quarter of the album and movie. This doesn't feel quite right for the pacing because the climax has already been concluded and the movie still has about fifteen minutes left. This portion started to drag because of lack of anticipation and energy, though the movie finished still strong. Making a track by track rendition of an album into an anime, with this album in particular, would be nigh impossible to do without calming down for the last quarter. It makes sense in how it was produced, and they did a great job of keeping me on edge to that point. Movie-wise, that slow down doesn't jive with the feverishness of the first forty five minutes. The references in the movie are fun, too, with a Daft Punk cameo and song titles that are inserted cleverly. “Crescendolls” becomes the name of the band and “Veridis Quo” is the name of the Earl's tome. There are fun little references like these interspersed throughout. Daft Punk's *Interstella 5555* is what you would expect of an animated film set to the album Discovery, a fun, poppy action flick that is zany with a tinge of melancholy. Nothing deeper, but there is no warrant for a meaningful movie here. Discovery is no concept album exploring introspective emotions, pressing issues, or thought-provoking ideas. It is a fun, conniving album boasting beats that jolt your body into dance mode. That's precisely what you get with *Interstella 5555*.
Episode Director, Storyboard
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