Voices of a Distant Star follows the love (and tragedy) of two young people (Noboru and Mikako) who have just finished their final Junior High exams. They make plans to go to the same High School together, however before they start at their new school, Mikako is called upon by the U.N. Army to help fight in a war that is raging far from Earth with the Tarsian’s (an invading alien race).
The only way for Mikako to contact her boyfriend is via text messaging from her mobile phone, but as time and space passes, the time it takes a message to reach Noboru back on Earth increases. Months and years pass without any contact from Mikako, so Noboru eventually decides the only way to move forward is to put his love and feelings for Mikako to the back of his mind and to try to get on with his life.
The catch is, while Noboru grows older on Earth, Mikako never ages a day since she’s travelling at the speed of light; light-years away on the other side of the Solar System.
The art in this is fantastic; the backgrounds are highly detailed and combine CG seamlessly. The characters are rather simplistic in design but blend well with the overall feel of the OVA. The lighting and rain effects blew me away while watching this, the way the Sun just bleeds through the clouds is simply awesome. The only bad thing is that the fluid movements aren’t the best, but as this is more talking about feelings than action (albeit at the end) it doesn’t really matter.
Being only 25 minutes long, Voices of a Distant Star surprisingly develops the characters and their (epic) relationship very well.
You can feel their sad desperation for each other; visually conveying a very real sense love and pain.
I’m not into watching lovey-dovey things, but even I’ll admit that watching this was quite heart-breaking.
The tiny things that are wrong with Voices of a Distant Star can be forgiven when you find out that it was created entirely by one (yes one) man– Makoto Shinkai.
Makoto is a very talented individual indeed; a man who in just seven months created this piece of art (on a two-year-old Mac computer) using his knowledge about animation from when he worked for a game company.
He did everything on Voices, from the conceptual phase up to animating and even originally voicing Noboru (naturally, his wife was the only help he had, voicing Noboru’s girlfriend – Mikako).
I have to say that I wasn’t expecting much from Voices of a Distant Star given that it’s only 25 minutes long, but boy was I wrong! Those 25 minutes were spent very well and are even some of the best minutes that I’ve spent watching anime.