Interstella 5555 - The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem

UK Distributor:  Virgin Records / EMI (DVD & CD)

BBFC Certificate:  PG

Suggested Retail Price (SRP):  19.99

Running Time:  65mins (approx.)

Audio Options:  English 5.1 & DTS

Subtitles:  None

Reviewer:  Joe Leythorne


Its been a couple of years since Daft Punk released their second album Discovery, but that album is bound to get a bit of interest stoked up in it again with the release of Interstella 5555, a film that is essentially one long anime video for the album.  Fans will probably recall a fair chunk of it as it was chopped up and used for the videos for their singles, but now we are finally treated to the whole thing.

Because the album is of a retro-disco nature, the visuals are typically retro to suit it.  Don't expect any flashy computer animation, or in fact any of the innovations that have cropped up in the last twenty years of anime, cause this is total back to roots stuff from Leiji Matsumoto.  But this is roots-revisitation in a good way, and not the snobby nostalgia that usually crops up in association with retro-anime.  In fact, its actually quite preferable, and quite charming in a camp kinda way.

The story, as you would expect, is completely bizarre.  A band from another galaxy is kidnapped by an evil music manager, who wants to create the greatest band on Earth, and only the greatest space pilot in galaxy (who flies a ship shaped like a Flying V) can save them.  See?  but don't let that put you off, because there's some sly comment about manufactured bands and the evil nature of the music industry in there somewhere.

But lets get down to brass tacks here.  If you are a NuMetal fan you will hate this film.  In fact, if you aren't a fan of Discovery then you will probably find this film hard going.  There is no real dialogue, as the vocals and moods from the album do all the talking.  I quite liked it myself, but having to sit through the songs I didn't like was a bit annoying.  Then there is the animation itself.  If you aren't fond of that whole Battle of the Planets style that was the norm in the '70's and early '80's, you will find Interstella 5555 as annoying as our Linkin Park fan.  But if you dig the disco style, and aren't afraid of anime that isn't all big guns and panties, or even just want to rekindle your love of French/Japanese collaborations, then this film is an absolute treat and a rare find indeed, as it is a total labour of love for all that were involved in its creation.  See it and be stoked!

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