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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
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...
Published on May 13, 2005 by B. Ackley

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully-designed 1980s anime with complex backstory
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...
Published on June 25, 2005 by Brian Camp


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully-designed 1980s anime with complex backstory, June 25, 2005
By 
This review is from: The Five Star Stories (DVD)
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.

There's not much suspense or dramatic tension since the good guys seem to outnumber the bad and have various allies, such as the Mirage Knights, popping up frequently to lend a hand (or chop one off, thanks to their lethal light-sabers). We see some mecha action and occasional bursts of blood-spouting violence as the blades of light slice through opponents' heads, arms and bodies quite effortlessly. But overall, it's a piece that's more character- and dialogue-driven. A lot of thought went into the art direction, the backgrounds and the design of the characters, costumes and mecha. It's a breathtakingly beautiful hour of animation. As long as you can get past the occasional narrative confusion and plot omissions. And the weird names (Voards Viewlard?!).

There are detailed liner notes, including a timeline, accompanying the DVD, although you may want to read them after viewing because of spoilers and then view it again armed with all the extra info you may need to understand it all.
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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
This review is from: The Five Star Stories (DVD)
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
2.0 out of 5 stars Visually competent, but somewhat lacking in plot, and thrills., February 10, 2010
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This review is from: The Five Star Stories (DVD)
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 review is from: The Five Star Stories (DVD)
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
This review is from: The Five Star Stories (DVD)
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).

Duke Ballanche, known for creating Fatima's created three fatima's (Lachesis, Atropos and Clotho) to subvert the oppresive system under which Fatimas are pressed into service.

Instead of being assimilated like other Fatimas, these three Fatimas have two new features that make them special and that is "emotion" and "free will".

In the film, it's the debut of the Fatimas as they must choose their master.

Many are vowing to become master and for Fatima Lachesis, she waits for the man that she wants to be her master, Ladios Sopp.

My first impression when I watched the film, I was a bit shocked to see the male hero, Ladios Sopp look like a beautiful woman and interesting enough, many of the characters that meet him, mistake him as one.

In reality, Ladios has a special secret which is revealed at the end of the film (or the insert, if you happen to read that first).

The anime is quite beautiful and even though it's nearly two decades
old, it amazes me how beautiful the anime was created, frame after frame.
As for the DVD, the anime is presented in anamorphic widescreen. The
audio is presented only in Japanese and in 2.0. As for special features,
there are only the Japanese preview and ADV trailers but perhaps the best thing that the DVD comes with in my opinion is the insert.

The insert contains character information,anime synopsis and details that go into the challenge of creating this anime. The insert is very good in explaining things but also contains spoilers.

I really enjoyed "The Five Star Stories" but it's one of those anime
films that require multiple viewings (like "Akira" and "Ghost in the Shell").

In a way, it is a bit sad that this was the only animated production of this film but to definitely have appreciation for this film is reading the manga series.

Several issues were released in the U.S. and there is no reason why not to
bypass it.

If there is one thing that this film suffers is that it's not necessarily the beginning nor the end of the popular manga series.

It's merely an anime created on the popularity of the manga series and to
see how it would look to be created on the big screen.

So, anime purists who expect more will be disappointed that they will need
to go to the manga to know more about the series.

This DVD was definitely long due and in my opinion one of the most important films from anime history that I'm glad anime fans can experience today.

A cool film with s storyline that hasn't been duplicated. As the epic
manga series was unique, this film is unique as well.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Shame that the rest of the stories were never animated, September 23, 2013
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This review is from: The Five Star Stories (DVD)
This is a relatively old story, from the mid-1980s, so the animation style is a bit dated. To some extent, the character designs remind me of Leiji Matsumoto's designs (Harlock, Emeraldas, Galaxy Express).

This doesn't get top marks from me simply because there are far too many loose ends that aren't tied up with what should have been the start of a very long series of movies. It's a pretty good story, well told, but this was just the introduction to the setting and a few of the characters. Without any more stories to continue, It feels a bit lacking.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the classic Japanese animation, November 9, 2009
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This review is from: The Five Star Stories (DVD)
This is one of my favorite japanese animation. I had the comic series and decided to buy the DVD again with the special package. I hope that a Blu ray will be available in future. Much have if you love Japanese animation.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MY BELOVE - FIVE STAR STORIES, November 24, 2005
By 
This review is from: The Five Star Stories (DVD)
OH MY GOD> Finally come to american market. I am crazy about FFS for 20 years, GOT TO READ THE BOOK. MAMORU NAGANO, such a great musician, designer, artist also a writer. He has the all. If you love FFS, try find the music album, hope they will re-produce the old music album in US, because NAGANO is a great compsor as well.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars finally!, June 30, 2005
By 
collegeguy "bob" (santa barbara, CA, usa) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Five Star Stories (DVD)
another anime dvd brought onto dvd, i could have bought a laserdisc player, but now that FSS is on dvd i could buy it and get started into anime.
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The Five Star Stories
The Five Star Stories by Artist Not Provided (DVD - 2005)
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