Title: Voices of a Distant Star
Genre: sci-fi, mecha, romance
Released date: February 2, 2003
Running Time: 25 minutes
Director: Makoto Shinkai
Comment: Voices of s Distant Star was made almost entirely by Makoto Shinkai. He directed, produced, wrote and even did the voice acting in the first version of the anime. This anime brought him quickly to fame and won several awards. Despite its 25 minute running time, Voices of s Distant Star was one of the most powerful love story I’ve seen. Two high school students, Mikako and Noboru, were in love but they had to part because Mikako was chosen by the US space army to be a pilot in the interplanetary war against some invading aliens. Mikako had to travel to planets light years away from Earth and she communicated with Noboru by sending messages via her cell phone. Due to time dilation, Mikako’s words would take years to reach Noboru. I was devastated in the scene which 24 year old Noboru receive a message from 15 year old Mkako. It was just tragic. The anime did well in emphasizing the loneliness and sadness of the two characters by using tear-squeezing conversations, lonely backgrounds (such as empty classroom and deserted streets in the rain) and beautiful music. The visuals might look crude and not very smooth but was forgivable since the anime was produce by only one person. I secretly wished that more would be explained about the war and the aliens. There were things that bothered me like why did Mikako still wear school uniform and use her own cell phone even when she was in space? Conclusion: Good anime doesn’t mean big budget or long running time but rather good script, good idea and direction. I would have cried in the end if I were a girl or a few years younger.