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The Five Star Stories (2005)

 Unrated |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Format: Animated, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Section 23
  • DVD Release Date: March 15, 2005
  • Run Time: 70 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007D4MDQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,794 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Within the five star systems known as the Joker System, the struggle for power has spanned centuries. Under the guidance of the Emperor Amaterasu, the brave Headliner knights, along with their Fatima counterparts, pilot powerful battle robots to ensure the safety and stability of the empire.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
THE FIVE STAR STORIES (1989) is just over an hour long and is so far the only animated OAV volume yet made from Mamoru Nagano's long-running manga about war, politics, ritual and romance amidst the four solar systems of the Joker Galaxy in the year 2988. (The planet on which this volume takes place, Delta Belune, looks and sounds an awful lot like Earth of past centuries.) Those anime fans who are only concerned with how a storyline plays out and how it ends may not be pleased with the way numerous details of the backstory are glimpsed but never fully explained and the way the ending leaves room for sequels which never come. If, however, you're enamored of the look and feel of 1980s anime and you appreciate beautiful artwork, a dreamlike mood and imaginative imagery, then FIVE STAR STORIES just might enthrall you as much as it did me.

There is just enough of a comprehensible storyline to keep one's interest. It has to do with the impending debut of two new "Fatimas," beautiful young female androids who are to choose masters for whom they will pilot giant mecha fighting machines called Mortar Heads. They are expected to choose from among assorted noblemen and a class of fighters called "Headliners." The handful of major characters include the two Fatimas, Clotho and Lachesis; a roving Headliner named Voards Viewlard; and Ladios Sopp, a handsome long-haired young man in the "bishonen" mode who knew Lachesis as a little girl and has plenty of flashbacks to those days. The gluttonous, hard-drinking mini-tyrant Duke Juba has designs on both Fatimas and takes custody of them from their father/creator Dr. Chrome Ballanche. Other characters flit in and out as needed.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Intro to an Epic Manga May 13, 2005
Based on Mamoru Nagano's epic manga "The Five Star Stories" that was serialized in Japan's Newtype magazine, the anime adaptation was released in 1989 as lavish and big-budget motion picture. Based on an early part of the manga, the film was set to become a huge event in Japan but was quickly overshadowed by Katsuhiro Otomo's "AKIRA" which opened in theaters just a few months later. The motion picture had been largely forgotten - so much so that ADV Films couldn't do an english dub for this 2005 US release as many of the original sound tapes have been lost. Thankfully the Japanese soundtrack survives and here many US viewers have the opportunity to see a great piece of classic anime.

Thes story takes place in the Joker system which is filled with countless kingdoms, all vying for dominance. Battles are fought with Mortar heads, large hulking mecha which are piloted by Hedaliners and Fatimas-beautiful android women. The Fatimas are key to the story as they choose their pilot and the two latest Fatimas have secretly been given Free Will.

The story is a great intro to the very epic manga (26+ volumes in the US alone!) and a nice one off story. The animation is surprisingly crisp even compared to todays vivid anime.

Big Robot fans will no doubt want to take a look at Mamoru's Mecha as will most Sci-Fi anime fans. A great release!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By E.j
Verified Purchase
This is an anime movie from 1989. Audio is Japanese by default, with English subtitles. There is no English dub available.

**Minor spoilers follow**

The plot centers around a very androgynous blond man (his gender is even mistaken in the film) named "Ladios Sopp", and his efforts to free his childhood android love interest "Lachesis" from the clutches of a fat, nasty tyrant who apparently has a thing for synthetic flesh (no rape scenes). You see, she's a "Fatima", made as an essential component in the operation of "mortar heads" (mechs), and all the "headliners" (pilots) want her. It's a straight forward story, and really more of a companion piece to the manga series, than a stand alone film. Newcomers can still appreciate it as such; I did.

Our heroes have an incredible strain of good fortune, and in the handful of brief action scenes, unexpected allies eviscerate (quite literally) the bad guys with no effort whatsoever, which I personally feel robs some otherwise nice animation of it's potential excitement value.

Overall, I'm happy to add "The Five Star Stories" to my collection; it's attractive (in that old school way), and somewhat dreamy, but I'd warn those looking for either hard action or heavy plot that "The Five Star Stories" isn't much more than a pretty face.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars for the Five Star Stories! January 14, 2008
This is one of the great unsung anime epics of the late eighties. Released at about the same time as Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira, this 90 minute film got eclipsed by the tremendous hoopla surrounding the Otomo flick, and never really took off. It was a staple of the fan-subbing crowd for many years afterward, and I, for one, am glad to see it on DVD at last. The characters are interesting and compelling, from Ladios Sopp to Lachsis to Voardis and Duke Ballanche, and the story, while simple in its plot, moves along at a good pace. AD Visions did well to bring this gem to DVD. I highly recommend this work.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great to have this classic on DVD! August 13, 2008
It has been well over a decade since I first came across "THE FIVE STAR
STORIES" in the issues of Newtype Magazine.
I was totally unfamiliar with this manga series (created by Mamoru Nagano)
but what I do recall were these interesting looking manga characters with what I described as having triangle faces and thin bodies in violent battle scenes.I was so curious that I definitely had to do my research and learn how epic the manga series was and also how challenging it was to create the animated film.

Why is that? Well, unlike other animations based on manga series at that
time such as "Hokuto no Ken" (Fist of the North Star) and "Dragon Ball", "The Five Star Stories" was not a story that focus on one or a few major characters, the manga series was so epic that it focused on characters from four different solar systems and over 400 characters.

When the film was created, it focused on one part of the "Five Star Stories" storyline and that focused on the characters of Ladios Sopp and Fatima Lachesis.

To take on the challenge of creating a film on "Five Star Stories" were Nobeteru Yuki (character designs), Akinoria Endo (screenplay), Tomoyuki Asakawa (music) and Kazuo Yamazaki (director) who were known for their works on other well known anime.

For those wondering what the epic of "The Five Star Stories" is about, the story revolves around the galaxy's four solar systems, countless kingdoms that are vying for ascendancy with mortar heads, war machines of godlike capabilities.

The only people who can pilot these mortar headds are headliners along with a fatima, which are androids created to serve its master (usually a headliner).
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