Tag Archives: Music

The conflict and goals are based around music.

Nana – Anime Review

Japanese Title: Nana

 

Similar: Paradise Kiss

Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad

Kids on the Slope

 

Watched in: Japanese & English

Genre: Music Comedy Drama Romance

Length: 47 episodes

 

Positives:

  • Instantly likeable characters, flaws and all.
  • Balance of comedy and drama.
  • Punishes mistakes.

Negatives:

  • Poor structuring at times interferes with the flow.
  • Doesn’t do the music element as strong as other music-centric anime.
  • The end.

(Request an anime for review here.)

A train delayed by snow brings two women called Nana together. One Nana has no goals in life other than to be independent, hopefully breaking away from her incessant need to fall in love with every guy she meets. The other Nana, fiercely independent, seeks stardom as a punk rock vocalist while burying the hurt she feels from her ex-boyfriend, who abandoned her for another band. Love is far from her mind.

To make things simpler, I will refer to one Nana as Hachiko (her nickname given in the show) and the other as Punk Nana. As always, the anime’s name is in italics – Nana.

These women present themselves as likeable characters right away, conveying their personalities in an authentic manner on the train. Hachiko’s bubbliness spills forth as she gives Punk Nana an earful on her amazing current boyfriend. Meanwhile, Punk Nana’s reserved nature and maturity billows off her like the smoke from her cigarette. The two may be opposites but she can’t help smiling at the endearing Hachiko. The first encounter between these two girls is a masterclass in giving the audience a feel for the characters in minutes.

After the opening episode, we go back several years with Hachiko to her high school life of moving from one love to the next (Punk Nana receives similar flashback treatment later). Hachiko keeps falling for one guy after another, each older than her. She gives new meaning to falling in love at first sight. Guy delivers pizza – she’s in love. Guy cooks at the restaurant – it must be love. Guy breathes – love! Get a grip, Hachiko! None of these men return her attention except for a married man a decade her senior. Like the introductions, this is another case of excellent writing, for it establishes her flaw and its resulting conflict without a drawn out explanation.

Hachiko is a stupid girl, a girl that claims independence, but is entirely dependent on others, has no skills and no direction in life. She sounds like a terrible character, so why do I like her? She is authentic and the story doesn’t let her get away with anything. Her hypocrisy about independence leads to the negative turn after act 1. Her stupidity results in…well, to avoid spoilers, let’s just say I hope none of you, dear readers, makes the same mistakes she does. Her romantic view of life and love is punched in the ovaries by reality and maturity. A craving for love or rather, what she thinks is love leads her down a path of mistakes – to put it mildly. And as any great writer will tell you, the theme for your ultimate conflict works best when you start it early, giving the conflict time to resonate throughout the story until it builds from a ripple into a tidal wave that crashes over the protagonist.

Ever wonder why a story that suddenly goes dark in the finale never feels right, even if you can’t quite put your finger on the reason? It’s because it lacks that resonance. The story didn’t foreshadow properly, obfuscating its goal for the sake of shock value. Nana doesn’t make that error. Now, it never becomes dark like those other anime, but my point is that its heavy drama never comes out of nowhere, even when it barges into what we thought was a comedy episode. When a dramatic change occurs, it feels right because Nana never lied to us. It makes sense.

The relationship pacing for both Nanas and their respective boyfriends recalls His & Her Circumstances (don’t remind me of that ending! T_T) in how well they move forward, free of artificial stalling. The story does slow when needed through effective use of internal monologue in contemplative moments, which unlike Honey and Clover doesn’t tell us how the characters feel.

Due to the strong writing and fast pace, I couldn’t stop going from one episode to the next, watching 20 in my first sitting – even the terrible idea to repeat episode 1 as episode 6 didn’t stop me. However, the second act seems to double the cast overnight and both old- and new-comers must have their dedicated arcs. Like the author’s other famous work, Paradise Kiss, this doesn’t work. Side characters are side characters for a reason. You can’t make everyone lead singer. This is especially noticeable in the third act, where seemingly everyone must wrap their respective arcs before the Nanas can take their bows. The finale feels like having to shake everyone’s hand at the end of a wedding rather than riding off to the honeymoon. Between the flashbacks, repeats, and tangents, I could make a case to remove near 10 episodes’ worth of content from the total. The worst part? A random time-skip in the final episode raises several new questions with the Nanas and gives no answers. The manga is on permanent hiatus, I understand, but one has to choose such a weak end by design.

The end is similar in unconventionality to Paradise Kiss, which I liked in that anime, but Nana doesn’t guide us to that end with the thoroughness it requires. Relegating protagonists to the sidelines before the finale is not a good idea.

My other serious complaint would be with the music side of the story. After Beck, Nodame Cantabile, and Your Lie in April had such strong understanding of music and the industry, it’s a shame to see Nana offer so little. The bands don’t have many songs, there are no standout musical performances (the aforementioned three feel like nothing but standout performances at times), the concerts lack animation, and the industry insight only meets minimum requirements for fiction. The best music is in the opening and ending credits, not within the story. The sole detail of the music plot that stood out to me was its exploration of one’s fame affecting friends and family around you. I like how some react with joy, others with jealousy.

Ultimately, the characters carry Nana, especially with many being such engaging train wrecks. You can learn many lessons on what not to do in life here, which is where great drama originates.

Art – Medium

The characters have a distinct style and their animations are expressive, but that’s really it. Everything else from environments to animation is average.

Sound – High

I listened to the OP and ED most episodes. Sadly, music within the story is nowhere near the level achieved by other music anime. The voice work is great in Japanese and English, though I preferred the latter for giving Punk Nana a raspier voice.

Story – High

A fateful encounter brings two women with the same name yet opposing personalities together as they deal with love and life in Tokyo. Nana’s strong characters, complemented by punishing drama, make this anime an engaging ride despite some excess fat in the structure.

Overall Quality – High

Recommendation: A must for fans of intense drama meets comedy. Though Nana is a great anime, its crazy drama and ditzy protagonist may make your head spin before you reach the end of its long runtime.

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Awards: (hover over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)

Positive:

Strong Lead Characters

Negative:

Weak End

Your Lie in April – Anime Review

Japanese Title: Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso

 

Similar: AnoHana

Kids on the Slope

Nodame Cantabile

Chihayafuru

 

Watched in: Japanese & English

Genre: Music Drama Romance

Length: 22 episodes, 1 OVA

 

Positives:

  • The protagonist’s arc and conflicts.
  • Balance of humour and drama.
  • Gorgeous music in both audio and visuals.

Negatives:

  • Love interest lacks a dimension.
  • Finale climax isn’t as strong as the mid-point.

(Request an anime for review here.)

Your Lie in April was the fan darling of the fall/autumn 2014 and winter 2015 seasons and though I avoided discussions, morsels still fell off the grapevine to inform me of its heavy emotional content. I feared another Clannad. But after several requests for review, it was time to step up.

Since the death of his mother, former piano prodigy Kousei can no longer ‘hear his music.’ The world is monotone in his eyes. Along comes Kaori, his opposite, a violinist with energy, colour, and humour he has never had. Her exuberance forces him back onto the stage to play a duet with her in a contest. She sees the potential to revive his passion.

Your Lie in April shows its strengths within minutes. First, I love the humour, which punctuates the drama to avoid depressing the audience – “The school shouldn’t be standing in the ball’s path!” Kousei’s childhood friend says after she smashed a baseball through a classroom window. In contrast, we have the foreshadowing, hinting of the sobriety and weight that is to come. The absence of his mother, the abuse he received by her cane, his lifeless view of the world, and his lack of joy are excellent foreshadowing. This is how you do dramatic storytelling – not by suddenly throwing it in for the final act.

As Kousei’s backstory unravels and his arc progresses, we see April’s most brilliant quality – the love-hate relationship between Kousei and his mother. The writer could have left the backstory at child abuse or even just having a dead mother, but this delves so much deeper. Boy abused by his mother – that’s the basic level. Boy abused by his mother, who wants him to be the prodigy she couldn’t be after illness claimed her motor functions – interesting. Boy abused by his voyeuristic mother, whom he still loves and wants to impress despite an awareness of the abuse – now you have my full attention. And she affects him more in death than in life? I can only be so engaged! Remember, this is just one thread in his arc.

The way the narrative shows this internal drama is spectacular. The spectre of his mother leering over his shoulder during a performance conveys all we need to know in a single image. That said, his inner monologue could do with trimming in parts.

Where Your Lie in April stumbles is in Kaori. If someone has recommended this anime to you, they have most likely done so by focusing on her and her arc as the best aspects. However, Kaori lacks the dimensions seen in Kousei. Earlier, I talked of the several layers in Kousei’s conflict with his mother, but for Kaori, she stops at the first level. She’s a girl with a serious illness. And that’s it for her conflict layers. By no means does this make her a bad character, yet for someone that is near equal protagonist to Kousei, it isn’t enough. Having a tragic circumstance doesn’t make a character deep – that way lies emotional manipulation.

Her main purpose is to be Kousei’s opposite as she brings him back to life, which she does excellently. The problem dwells in the two-way exchange. Because her own conflict is only surface deep, Kousei does not have much to help with in exchange. She complements him, but he doesn’t complement her with even a tenth of the effectiveness. For a great example of her role done right, look to Kimi ga Nozomu Ein, where the love interest also has to bring the protagonist back to life. The difference between Kaori and Nozomu’s girl is that the latter has her own intangible weakness to interfere with her good qualities. She’s helpful and kind, but also selfish, never mind the seed of resentment buried deep within her towards the protagonist’s previous girlfriend, who was also her best friend (drama!). This gives the protagonist an angle to help the love interest in return. Kaori is kind – no but. Yes, she’s sick, though as mentioned earlier, that doesn’t automatically give emotional flaws. Now, if the illness made her bitter or some such, then we’d be talking.

Kaori’s design problems also result in her finale having half the impact of Kousei’s dramatic high note at the mid-point. If their relationship had had more give and take, her finale would have struck better. The finale is still good regardless because of his perspective on the events and the spectacular final performance (bloody hell that is beautiful).

Also, she’s too whimsical. Her introduction has her dancing and playing music atop a kids’ igloo, tears in her eyes, as birds fly around her. I know her liveliness is to juxtapose his introduction – the episode is titled ‘Monotone/Colourful’ after all – but this is so whimsical that a flock of tweety birds now serenade me awake every morning and bring me my slippers.

Again, I want to stress that Kaori is not a bad character. She is plenty of fun and complements Kousei well, but is average beyond this and not the reason to watch Your Lie in April.

I wish I had more space to explore the childhood friend’s arc – my word count is already high – so a quick note, since it’s worth mention. She realises she has feelings for Kousei only once he takes an interest in Kaori. She was there for him through the worst and now…he’s turning away. This is an effective subplot in showing another consequence of Kousei’s actions. I feel so sorry for her.

Well, here we are, the end of an anime I both looked forward to and dreaded. Your Lie in April turned out much better than I anticipated (Kousei’s arc, honestly, brilliant) and I would recommend it to most viewers.

Art – High

Colourful and vibrant art makes this anime leap off the screen, especially in the spectacular final performance. Full animation when playing music is great to see and they mask the CG well.

Sound – Very High

Piano and violin? You truly are trying to make me love you, aren’t you? The VO is great in both languages, as should be expected these days.

Story – High

An aimless pianist has colour injected back into his life when a girl his opposite forces him to tickle ivory again. Your Lie in April has one of anime’s greatest character arcs in its multi-layered protagonist, but the love interest, who should by all right be his match in quality, doesn’t leave his shadow.

Overall Quality – High

Recommendation: Watch it. Your Lie in April is a great anime, worth it for the protagonist alone. Even viewers averse to heavy drama will find the humour enough to stave off depression after the story’s darkest moments.

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Awards: (hover over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)

Positive:

Deep NarrativeExtensive Character DevelopmentGreat Music

Negative: None

Nodame Cantabile – Anime Review

Japanese Title: Nodame Cantabile

 

Related: Nodame Cantabile Paris Chapter (season 2)

Nodame Cantabile Finale (season 3)

Similar: Kids on the Slope

Honey and Clover

Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun

Your Lie in April

 

Watched in: Japanese & English

Genre: Music Slice of Life Romance Comedy Drama

Length: 23 episodes (season 1), 11 episodes (season 2), 11 episodes (season 3), 3 OVA (1 per season)

 

Positives:

  • Great setup.
  • Main couple’s chemistry.
  • Beautiful music.
  • Serious about the classical industry, even when hilarious.
  • Exemplar of the ‘slow build’ relationship.

Negatives:

  • Concerts need more animation.

(Request an anime for review here.)

There was once a time in my life when I had no interest in music. Whether it was dancing, playing, or even listening to it, there was no appeal to me (classic Disney movies were the exception ~Oh rinky, tinky tinky. Tout le monde veut devenir un cat~). Even video game music didn’t matter to me beyond the game itself. I wonder if others experienced this. It wasn’t until my mid-teens when film/TV/anime tracks started to click because of their story context. Listening to a track standalone instantly evoked the emotions I felt from the show. Now that I love music and listen to it every day, stories centred on music have newfound appeal. Nodame Cantabile has been on my list for a decade (thanks to it starring my favourite anime voice actor) and at last, I have opportunity to watch it. Do not let me down!

It took me, what, ten minutes – if that – to love Nodame Cantabile?

Chiaki is prodigy at the piano and violin with dreams of conducting, until his arrogance and a spat with his teacher gets him demoted to the delinquent class. Not all is lost, however, when he hears piano played in an untamed yet inspiring manner. He must find the player! Well, all is, in fact, lost, for the player turns out to be his neighbour Nodame, who lives like a hobo. Flies crawl inside cans, half-eaten noodle packets replace floor tiles, grunge leaks from the very walls, and a general aroma of ‘loser’ fills her apartment. Worse yet, she declares herself his girlfriend after he cleans her pigsty. He pretends not to know her in public because she’s so embarrassingly filthy.

Having seen nothing but the cover art, I expected Nodame Cantabile to be a lovey-dovey romance. I did not expect these characters. Their opposing personalities and styles – her trashy freestyle and his clean precision – create instant chemistry and had me laughing right away. Furthermore, this dynamic isn’t contrived, forced to work because the writer said so. You believe that despite her being everything his isn’t, her random play style enthrals him because it shouldn’t work, not according to his meticulous studies. Inversely, she also has much to learn from him about taking the music seriously when needed.

One of the truly remarkable qualities about Nodame Cantabile is how it succeeds at making Chiaki and Nodame’s relationship a slow build. One major irritation with anime romance is never getting the couple together until the end. Oh, we know from episode one they will be together – it’s obvious – but the same nonsense will keep resetting their progress every episode. Our eyes can only roll so much. Nodame Cantabile never resorts to the one joke or gimmick to keep you on the hook. (See B Gata H Kei for a serial offender.) When Chiaki receives an offer to conduct an orchestra in another city, of course it’s going to set back the relationship. It makes sense. Nodame has opportunity to study under a master? Naturally, it means putting the relationship aside for the time being. Their relationship progression mirrors how it would be putting career first in real life.

Though primarily focused on comedy, Nodame Cantabile knows how to tackle serious subjects such as the worry of being able to constantly one-up oneself – “Have I hit my peak already? Will I ever perform better than this? – and the difficulties of managing a global career alongside a domestic relationship. It handles these issues well in a comedic manner without undermining their severity.

The main thread of the series is Chiaki’s journey to become a conductor, which starts at the academy when he gathers an odd bunch of characters like a rock violinist and a flamboyant percussionist to form an orchestra. Despite Chiaki’s handsome features and popularity with the ladies of the group (they like the way he waves his baton), his expectations of perfection make him difficult to work with. Seki’s inner Coach Sagara emerges here. It doesn’t help that their orchestra teacher from Germany always seeks the punani, even leaving Chiaki in charge just to go on a date. Everyone thinks the teacher must be some evil twin of the real famed composer.

The second season in Paris had me in hysterics. Nodame lives next to an actual Weeaboo, who’s about to learn from her what a real otaku is like. Her freak reaction to the French greeting (kiss on the cheek) is flawless as well. (Pro tip: Don’t greet a Japanese woman that way unless you are already friends. One woman called the police on an Italian tourist for this.)

Lastly, the music itself is top notch. The pieces are indistinguishable from a concert recorded at the Sydney Opera House. It gave me shivers. I found myself leaning back and simply closing my eyes to listen. I now listen to the soundtrack when writing reviews.

Art – High

The style is a bit long in the face. When playing music, the fingers are in sync with the notes for close-ups, but often static at a distance. Good framing and visual style ease the limited technical budget. This would warrant a Medium rating; however, season two improves everything with more animation, more style, cleaner characters, and concerts receive full animation through CG. The CG only falters when focused on a single character trying to move too much.

Sound – Very High

Ma boi Tomokazu Seki! What can I say? Superb as ever, especially opposite the female lead – the Japanese track is a must for the acting chemistry between these two. When in France, hearing people speak actual French is nice. It’s a shame they had locals voiced by Japanese actors with heavy accents. Seki, who’s character is meant to be Japanese with an accent, sounds better than the French waiter who’s supposed to have no accent! They nail the classical music. Any weak music comes from several out of place OPs and EDs, though the Paris ED is beautiful – actual French singer too!

Story – Very High

A hardline classical musician and his [alleged] girlfriend pianist pursue their dreams in music. With a dynamic main couple, great cast, beautiful music, hilarity, and drama where it matters, Nodame Cantabile hits the perfect note.

Overall Quality – Very High

Recommendation: Must watch. Nodame Cantabile goes above its genres by never falling into a routine or the predictable path. Even those with no interest in classical music will find reason to love the characters.

(Request reviews here. Find out more about the rating system here.)

 

Awards: (hover over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)

Positive:

CharmExtensive Character DevelopmentGreat MusicHilariousStellar Voice ActingStrong Lead CharactersStrong Support Characters

Negative: None

Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad – Anime Review

Japanese Title: Beck

 

Similar: Kids on the Slope

Legend of Black Heaven

Detroit Metal City

Nana

K-On!

 

Watched in: Japanese & English

Genre: Music Drama

Length: 26 episodes

 

Positives:

  • Dives into the struggles of musical success.
  • Creates a complete album for the story.
  • Depth of music knowledge.
  • Excellent soundtrack.

Negatives:

  • Unremarkable first act.
  • Engrish, if accurate, may be too much to handle in the Japanese track.

(Request an anime for review here.)

Beck is the story of a group of teenagers on the path for music stardom. On their journey, reality will throw all of life’s problems in the way as trials to overcome, should they ever take dreams seriously. We follow 14-year-old Koyuki and his encounter with decrepit guitarist Ryuusuke before joining his new band BECK.

I was not optimistic for Beck. Its first few episodes aren’t particularly interesting nor do they have that certain something which promises greatness further on. Take Koyuki for example, whose slant is complaining about how his life is at a dead end. He’s fourteen! This conflict hook didn’t convince me, never mind the stereotypical bullies that torment him. Even Ryuusuke, a guitarist fallen from grace having once played in a famous band, lacks a reason for sympathy. Sure, his Engrish lisp is amusing, but that doesn’t hook a viewer.

But then things start to change.

A girl enters the picture. Her relationship with Koyuki has a natural quality to it that I find refreshing, free from hype and melodrama. There’s also the crazy former Olympic swimmer turned guitarist who has to butt in and correct any swimmer with poor form. He coaches Koyuki in aquatics and music – his pet bird can only say “asshole.” Then they reference established pre-millennium rock bands – Beatles, Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine, The Who, Rolling Stones, etc. (the list is lengthy) – with a serious understanding of the bands as they write their own tracks, showing research on the subject matter by the writers. And once Koyuki starts playing and singing, in particular, Beck had me. Koyuki performs a song around the middle that is truly beautiful. The mid-crescendo in the plot erased the dull start. One of the greatest surprises comes from those bully stereotypes I mentioned earlier, for they evolve into complete characters by the end. This never happens.

Better yet is the second half when Koyuki gets serious about making it as a musician. He and the band struggle to book gigs, afford equipment, manage personalities and egos, all while working side jobs to pay the bills, and surviving high school on top of that. Beck leaves no corner of the music industry unilluminated from how to craft a melody to contracts to advertising and agencies – even a dip into the darker corners of music to spice the final act. Beck has the reality check that Shirobako should have had.

I love that Beck goes through an extensive arc from middle school through high school and beyond. Often with single-season coming-of-age anime, they only show a year or two of school and leave too much up in the air. To me, the result of the characters’ education is just as important as the journey that made them learn. I always feel unsatisfied when they leave the result in the ether. It’s like watching a film about someone training for a match but it fades to black just as they step onto the field for the big game (What the hell?). I am so glad Beck doesn’t torture like this.

The first half could do with a few episodes’ compression, but the second half is excellent. I experienced the passion for music in these characters.

Art – Medium

Has a distinct style with a drained colour palette that suits the underground music scene. Animation is wobbly and low FPS, but improves in the second half.

Sound – Very High

For a show about rock music, you would expect great rock music. Beck delivers. Beyond its references to rock classics, many original songs were created for the band’s journey, adapted by the actors in both Japanese and English versions. More than the music, the acting is good. In the Japanese, characters sing and speak in Engrish, which is technically correct, for they are Japanese. That said, it might become unbearable to some viewers. Ryusuke in particular has a thick accent with an Engrish lisp. On the other hand, Koyuki sounds almost native when singing English. Americans voice American characters even in the original track, but their dialogue is subpar, which the dub rewrite fixes. Japanese version: technically accurate. English version: easier on the ears. Up to you.

Story – High

A band starts in middle school and aims for stardom through to adulthood. The deep insight into rock music and the industry more than make up for the tepid first half, and is one of the few anime to portray the struggles of professional industry accurately.

Overall Quality – High

Recommendation: A must for music fans. If you love rock in particular, Beck is a treat. If music isn’t your passion, Beck may still engage you with its characters, but music is the focus.

(Request reviews here. Find out more about the rating system here.)

 

Awards: (hover mouse over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)

Positive:

Deep NarrativeGreat Music

Negative: None

Interstella 5555 – Anime Review

Full Title: Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem

 

Similar: Legend of Black Heaven

Bohemian Rhapsody

The Galaxy Railways

 

Watched in: N/A (99% music)

Genre: Music Science Fiction

Length: 1 hr. 7 min. movie

 

Positives:

  • Daft Punk music.
  • Visually striking.
  • A complete story, despite the music focus.

Negatives:

  • The need to get from one song to another without downtime in between.

(Request an anime for review here.)

Something many anime fans don’t know about is the prevalence of anime and manga in France. After all, the word ‘anime’ is French (hence the odd pronunciation in English). In the manga industry, there’s something called the ‘French Exception,’ where a series can fail in all Western markets except France. Many avant-garde or niche manga find more success in France than in Japan itself. France also localised works much sooner than other regions for a long time. I recall seeing the final season of Dragon Ball Z on French TV while the US had only begun dubbing to English. With all this in mind, it comes as no surprise to see French music duo Daft Punk collaborate with their childhood manga hero, Leiji Matsumoto (Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express 999), to create Interstella 5555.

Interstella 5555 is an anime visualisation of Daft Punk’s “Discovery” album. It opens on an alien planet to a band of Smurf-looking people playing “One More Time,” until invaders kidnap the group and take them to Earth. They manage a distress signal out to space pilot Shep. Down on Earth, after receiving the Michael Jackson treatment to pass for human, the brainwashed aliens become the Crescendolls, a band destined for earthly stardom under an evil music mogul. It’s up to Shep to slap the human out of them.

There’s no dialogue beyond a foreword and any lip-sync to the music. Sound effects similarly are at a minimum. However, there is a complete story here, one I enjoyed for its oddities featuring heroes, villains, and conflicts with resolution as it plays through the album. This is simultaneously the selling point and greatest flaw.

I don’t know if it’s because I don’t like musicals (outside Disney’s ‘occasional song’ style), but the jump from one song to the next felt a tad rushed, working best when the band played on-screen or during action. I would have liked moments between songs to give the music a rest. Outside of Shep, we don’t get to know the characters well. Twenty to thirty minutes woven between songs would have been great, especially since Shep has the best parts of the story. Imagine this across all characters. Dialogue isn’t necessarily the answer – just downtime.

Most, if not all, of Interstella 5555’s appeal rests on the soundtrack. If you don’t enjoy Daft Punk, then there’s nothing for you here, whereas fans will love it. Those with no strong feelings for the band either way? 50-50.

Interstella 5555 is an hour of Daft Punk set to anime. Simple as that.

Art – High

Interstella 5555 has a very 80s colour palette and character design like Captain Harlock. The pilot’s sideburns! Gorgeous shots of space and good animation too.

Sound – High

It’s Daft Punk music throughout, with minimal sound effects and no dialogue outside the introduction. Not much else to be said.

Story – Medium

An Earth villain kidnaps an alien music group to bolster his success. While I appreciate the inclusion of a full story arc, the focus on getting from one song to the next doesn’t allow us to meet the characters fully.

Overall Quality – High

Recommendation: Try it. If you’re a Daft Punk fan, then you must watch Interstella 5555 (if you haven’t already). For others, it’s worth a try. The soundtrack predicates your enjoyment.

(Request reviews here. Find out more about the rating system here.)

 

Awards: (hover mouse over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)

Positive:

Great Music

Negative: None