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Voices of a Distant Star

4.2 out of 5 stars 121 customer reviews

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(Jun 10, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A love story that transcends time and space. Approximately 30 minutes (+ 75 minutes supplemental materials). Features English 5.1 and Japanese 5.1 with English subtitles.


Although it looks like a studio work, Voices of a Distant Star is a personal film, made almost entirely by a single artist, Makoto Shinkai. Mikako and Noboru are separated at the beginning of high school in 2046. She's accepted into the training program for mecha pilots to fight the aliens who attacked human settlements on Mars. As she moves across the miles and, ultimately, light years, she sends messages that the forlorn Noboru patiently awaits. The animation is largely restricted to camera moves over still artwork and CG objects, but Shinkai is a skillful enough director to tell this melancholy sci-fi romance through the strong music and vocal tracks. Voices of a Distant Star packs more of an emotional punch than many elaborate studio films. (Rated 13 and older, but suitable for viewers 2 years younger: minor violence) --Charles Solomon

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Donna Burke, Adam Conlon, Cynthia Martinez (II), Sumi Mutoh, Mika Shinohara
  • Directors: Makoto Shinkai
  • Format: Animated, Color, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • 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:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Section 23
  • DVD Release Date: June 10, 2003
  • Run Time: 25 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008G8QC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,573 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Voices of a Distant Star" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
For those who say this is eye candy - well, they're absolutely right, but to say it's just that - well, they couldn't be more wrong. "Voices of a Distant Star" is a short 30 minute animation by Makoto Shinkai that uses both 3D and traditional drawings. And while the graphics are visually stunning with otherworldly effects that will keep you captivated, it's the story that did it for me. Although I do wish this film had been longer to give us viewers more insight on the depth and history of their friendship/relationship, quality rules over quantity here and you can't help but feel the strong connection they have for one another right from the start...

Nuboro and Mikako had hopes of attending the same high school together but when a strange alien force threatens the human race, Mikako gives in to her fascinations with the sky above and decides to become a pilot for the UN Forces to help save mankind. But in doing so she was forced to leave behind the one person she cared about more than anything: Nuboro. Their only means of communicating is through text messaging but the further Mikako goes out to space, the longer the messages take to reach him (1 month, 1 year, 8 years...) as he grows older and she remains young.

There's of course a sprinkle of battle scenes here and there with sci-fi imagery but "Voices of a Distant Star" mostly relies on emotional impacts to keep one entranced and Makoto has done that with misty-eyed perfection. In short, this is a breathtaking anime about one couple's heart-wrenching struggles and how they deal with being apart. It shows that no matter the distance, true love can withstand the test of time, despite how difficult it may be.

{This DVD also includes the independently produced "She and Her Cat" which won Makoto several awards}.

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Format: DVD
If you were ever looking for an anime that could be used as an introduction to the world of Japanese animation, look no further than Voices of a Distant Star.
I will not give away too much of the story other than the basic plot of the movie. First off, if you are looking or a big mech fighting melee, look somewhere else. Not to say that there isn't any of that, it is primarily a love story about two people torn apart by war. This film has just the right amount of mech fighting to balance the whole thing out.
The story is told entirely through the two main characters, one from the soldier traveling light years through space, and one from the man that she left behind back on earth.
Now, enough of the story, now onto the details of the film:
The DVD Menus:
This is one of the cleanest DVDs I've seen in a while, no excess junk on any of the menus. I'm a firm believer in the whole "less is more" concept, and this DVD adheres wonderfully to that. From the minute I put the disc in, I found my self hunting through the menus so I could listen to the music clips that were on each one.
The Music:
From the music on the title screen, you will be hooked on the perfectly fitting piano score selected for this story. Throughout the entire film the music changes to help with the emotional direction of the story. Even the battle theme managed to turn a soft piano song into a believable fight song. I found myself scouring the internet trying to find the music for download.
The animation:
The animation on this DVD is mostly computer generated. The character designs look a little choppy compared to the 3D rendered mechs, buildings, and spacecraft scattered throughout the feature. Still, they don't look out of place at all.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
So much anime is dull, and over used plots and ideas. Many are just ways to joke about sex and look at cartoons in swim suits (pathetic).
And then there is anime like Voices of a Distant Star. Also called Hoshi no Koe in Japanese this is an incredible anime. An amzing adventure, while short, will leave you breathless. More character depth than almost any other anime out their. This should be what people watch and compare other animes to. Now the most amazing fact: This enitre movie was animated, and computer graphics and colorized, and scripted by one man. Not a whole team of "pros" just one man and one Power Macintosh G4 400. The best version is to watch him and his wife do the voices(with subtitles),they get so passionate towards eachother it is amazing. I've read that this version will be inclueded on the DVD I can't wait to watch this movie with correct subtitles! The music was fantastic, I hope they release the soundtrack for America as well. Everything in this Anime flows like nothing you've ever seen, an emotional journey, breathtaking and lovey, I hope other Animes learn from Makoto Shinkai.
For those of you wondering how I saw this, an american version has been released already. It has very poor sub titles and no english voices. I wouldn't recomend it, since in 10 days the offical american version will be released.
I wish there was an extra star to give to movies like this, also if you enjoy this Anime stay alert, Makoto is working on his next anime...Andrew
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Format: DVD
Hi folks, I usually don't write reviews unless I like the anime DVD or series. ... on the work of art even though it was low budgeted and done by one man with the help of a few others like his wire.
It is a touching romantic story of two high school separated by space. The boy fails the Earth Defense exam and loses his chance to go with the first expedition force to take the war to the aliens who destroyed their colonies on Mars. However, she passes and is sent out with the expedition. It is so touching because though separated by space and time, their love continues. The only way to communicate their love is by phone messages/e-mail yet because it only travels at the speed of light, at first, it would take weeks, then months, and then years for him to receive her messages of love.
For those who are science buffs or taken basic geography like I did, you know that as you travel outside our solar system towards the middle of the universe, time seems to stay the same but from our perception, it actually speeds up. Or to be more technical, as you get closer to the middle of the universe, it is older and your existence of time which is based on our galaxy, slows down especially when you have to travel hyper speed (faster than the speed of light) so what maybe a year on Earth would be an hour of your life in space (when going farther from Earth). The movie points this concept out in the movie as the girl travels further from Earth, her boyfriend gets older and she stays young, which enhances the drama and enhance the messages of love.
For the technical parts, the DVD has great music. There aren't many lyrics or no lyrics to the music but it really reflects the personality and the emotion of the movie.
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