Voices of a Distant Star - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Voices of a Distant Star Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ January 24, 2009
Makoto Shinkai takes the romance and layers it with science fiction to create a short animation with a suitable title, Voices of a Distant Star.At a brief 25 minutes, this animation packs a punch when it comes to story concept and character. The idea of text messaging with cell phones through space is highly amusing. As the characters grow, their text messages travel years through space to reach their destinations, which creates some emotional interactions between the two leads.The science fiction space battles, while not the highlight of the film, are fun and backed with some excellent sound effects. If there is one thing lacking here, it is the build up of the Tarsian aliens, although they are background when it comes to the relationship between Mikako and Noburo.There isn't much to the voice work, since there are only 2 characters and one "operator" that need voices. All that needs to be said is Mika Shinohara, Makoto Shinkai, and Donna Burke get the jobs done.Voices of a Distant Star is easily a film to make time for. Give it a try. It's only 25 minutes.
Super Reviewer
½ September 10, 2008
Most prior reviews have said what needs to be said: this is a brilliant short animated film, with a plot and theme that are at once sincere and beautiful simple human emotion yet also high concept and metaphysically reflective.

The most striking thing about this project's creation is that is entirely auteured. It begs the question that if one man with a bit of his wife's help can achieve this splendor, then why do teams of fifty plus struggle to crank out the slightly better than mediocre?
Super Reviewer
March 20, 2007
Shinkai Makoto really knows his stuff.This anime manages to effectively combine high-flying mecha space battles with a sweet, sentimental romance that spans the galaxy itself, and all in the span of 20 minutes. Though this may not sound like a formula for success, it works a hell of a lot better than it sounds, and the end result of Hoshi no Koe is something so poetic and heartwarming that it gave me shivers.

In short, Hoshi no Koe is not really trying to tell a long, drawn out epic of a story. It only wants to demonstrate the love between two young students and how it transcends any sort of physical or temporal boundary. The backstory or plot progression may not be incredibly powerful, but it is a fairly unique premise and certainly one that succeeds at what it's trying to get at. The characters and story make the perfect vehicle for reaching an emotionally charged climax and conclusion; they are simple and elegantly portrayed, used as tools for producing emotion in the viewer. Though forcibly attempting to invoke sadness in an audience very often ends in failure and melodrama, Hoshi No Koe goes about its duty in a very classy and understated way. On that note, there is not a lot to say about the characters in this anime, since they receive very little development in the short time span. Like the plot, they are merely used for the emotional message that this story propagates.
My one nitpick is a very irrelevant one, and that runs on the principle of Murphy's Law. Why is the male lead still using the same cell phone that he owned nine years ago? Certainly he would have purchased some other portable device that had been invented, or at least an improvement on the one that he already owned. Perhaps, even though he claimed he no longer awaited Makoto's mail, there was still a little bit of hope locked away in the back of his mind...

Hoshi no Koe is so romantic in the simplest and purest of ways. It has that infallible spark of hope to it, with so much heart that I couldn't help but appreciate it. Though I am not a mecha fan, the robot fighting was used in a very interesting moderation, and the relationship took the forefront. This anime is a wonderful effort by a single man, and worth anyone's 24 minutes.
Super Reviewer
½ November 16, 2010
Voices of a Distant Star, short but sweet. As a one off OVA by acclaimed director Shinkai Makoto it comes with a rather impressive pedigree. The story tells of a young boy and girl who are separated by an intergalactic war. Sounds excellent, but it never really gives you a sense of why they are fighting or even who they are fighting. The animation and art direction are where Voices of a Distant Star really stand apart. In every scene the smallest details are animated perfectly and realistically. The CG mechs are very well done, especially considering this was produced six years ago. The backdrops and the sky in particular are always top notch and very well drawn. Top marks all round. The character models were a little goofy looking, but it wasn't enough to bother me to any extent. The music and sounds really give a sense of distance. It's an odd way of describing it, but the music really gives scale to the battles and makes you feel like something epic is taking place. If I had a complaint about the sounds it would be the voice acting. It wasn't poorly done, but it could have been better. The characters, Mikako Nagamine and Noboru Terao, are the only characters in the story. As it is only a one episode OVA there isn't a chance to see any back story or flesh out the story any way. In the time provided it was mostly focused on their desire to be together and how much they loved each other. They have no personality at all and are very one dimensional. I was expecting a lot better out of this OVA, but it is a nice quick watch none the less. As a movie I think this would have been much better and would be placed up with other top notch movies.
½ November 23, 2011
a beautifully-rendered short about a (truly) long-distance relationship and the emotions amid the busyness and inter(planetary/stellar) divide. Waiting half a day for an sms to get thru from Pluto/Charon is possibly bearable, but 8+ years? are they (on) sirius!?! looks like we'll have to tap these FTL-neutrinos pretty soon ;-)
June 6, 2007
This is easily the most beautifully depressing movie I've ever seen. The concept like the movie itself culls from the best of sci-fi short stories.
November 19, 2009
Poetic, beautiful, heartfelt, heartbreaking, mesmerizing, original, stirring, and that song that plays at the end is haunting in the most perfect kind of way.
½ April 6, 2009
A powerful piece with great sensibility...although it is set in outer space with a futuristic atmosphere, its universal theme is very grounded: love! Distance cannot curtail the feelings that one in love can bring. The characters are thorough, deep, smartly created; the plot refreshing; the storyline enjoyable, gripping and beautiful. The anime was quite sharp and spirited, nothing really amiss. Shinkai has a shrewd talent for storytelling and lots of heart! Wish it could have been longer, but this way the impact was a slam dunk.
½ January 11, 2009
it wasn't as long as i thought it would be. too short. the ending was sorta like a cliffhanger. pretty sad ending i guess. but still ok. i like the idea of exchanging emails thru space
½ June 27, 2008
Fantastic short film, all made by one man on a mac. Voices Of A Distant Star is the story of a future intergalactic war, and young couples seperated by minutes, months, and eventually years communicating via texts, in one of the most entertaining mov...(read more)ies about long distance relationships Ive ever seen (the first one with space fights anyway). The direction alternates between simple objects and images caught in daytime shadows, and grandiouse sweeping shots of ultra violet skys and vast alien landscapes and space. Likewise the plot alternates between introspective voice overs about longing and the passage of time, wonder at the magnitude and beauty at the pyshical world, and anime style space battles with giant mech soldiers, aliens who resemble T1000esque Crustaceans, and Space Vessels which look like swans. Emotionally and visually moving anime, about growing up and growing apart.
April 10, 2008
A beautifully animated short film. A story about separation and longing during war, plus giant mechanized robots blowing up aliens. Ok. the robots and aliens are really just part of the backdrop.

The story is actually quite moving; it's impressive how much emotion the film packs into the short running time.

The animation is, for the most part, simply gorgeous. The backgrounds in particular. It's mind-boggling that one person made this on their home computer, as it easily rivals or even exceeds the work of professional animation studio releases from the same year. It was obviously a labor of love.

4 stars for the work itself; I haven't given it any kind of bonus just because one person made it. Even though it might deserve one.
March 17, 2008
This Was Brilliant. My Career Is In Graphic Designment, Therefore I Tend To be Critical On Designs of Video Games and Mostly Anime Movies. But This One Seemed like It Was Spent ime On. And the Plot was Excellent. XD
September 11, 2007
That was an interesting and moving anime film! "Voices Of A Distant Star" is space drama of two lovers divided by war and space travel that got me into the action. Wow....can you believe that everything- the voice acting, the graphics- was done on the computer by only one person? Yes, and I already believed that- the anime was created by Makoto Shinkai. I give "Voices Of A Distant Star" four blinking stars from the sky!
July 13, 2007
Makato Shinkai did a really good job with this. Sometimes it's hard to believe he didn't have any previous drawing lessons. Unfortunately, it's a real tear jerker.
May 28, 2007
Simple, CG animation done mostly in Flash. But the cartoon is phenominal.

It is truly beautiful and saddening and inspiring in a way that very few animes are, especially in this day and age when they're a dime a dozen.

Voices of a Distant Star offers a lot to contemplate, including time, love, war, nature, technology, and life...all within a span of 30 minutes. Truly, it is a masterpiece.
May 19, 2007
Written, voiced, and drawn by 1 man. Short sci-fi story that imparts a sense of wonder, with time dilation to boot.
April 21, 2007
This is a cool little movie, but when youfind out that one dude made the whole thing itself, it eems even more cool.
March 20, 2007
love this movie to! its got a sad feeling to it when you watch it even though its a anime cartoon yet agian.......
March 19, 2007
Excellent Anime love story, with a twist, the woman goes off to war and the man stays behind on Earth
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