Amaterasu is the god of light, the future emperor of the Joker Star System. Under the guise of young mecha conceptor Ladios Sopp, he is compelled by an old friend, Dr Ballanche, to save his two latest Fatimas Lachesis and Clotho. And so began the stories of the Joker System, as well as Amaterasu's love for Lachesis.
The Five Star Stories is a notoriously complex and detailed manga by Nagano Mamoru, who also worked on L-Gaim, a mecha show that Yoshiyuki Tomino fans should be familiar with.
The movie, however, had minimal involvement from Nagano, and only tells the story of the first 3 or so volumes of the manga or the first "book" released here in the U.S. and so by the end it feels like it has just set the stage for an epic, interstellar adventure filled with androids, robots, and androgynous gods. And that's it. That's where it stops. This could be seen as a major flaw, and it
is, for those who don't ever plan on reading the manga. For those who have had the pleasure to experience the story on paper though, this movie is a great visual treat. The story we get to see is nothing but an introduction, so it does feel a bit weak, even if there is an action packed climax at the end.
The art style gives away the era it is from quite easily, and will invoke nostalgia in many veteran anime viewers, and possibly repulsion by those newer and more spoiled. The mech design, though barely seen here is fantastic. I can't stress enough how amazing Nagano's mechanical designs are. If you can get this movie in 1080p, DO IT!
The music from what I remember was great, the notes that bombard your ears as soon as the title screen shows up is very fitting for the type of story this is. The theme played in the credits is catchy and again, very nostalgic for its era.
The characters are all great, and I love them. But this is from the perspective of one who has read the manga. You don't get to really see their full potential here, but there are some glimpses of what they may become.
This movie is just fun to watch, I wouldn't say it's the pinnacle of cel animation, I'd shift more towards "Do You Remember Love?" for that, but this is definitely up there. For those interested in this series, I recommend this movie as an introduction, then the manga as a followup. Grab yourself every artbook you can find, I know there's gigabytes of material out there, they're all worth it, Nagano is fantastic.
Any fan of mecha, especially of the fantastic variety (Escaflowne, Magic Knight Rayearth, Dunbine) should look into this series. You won't regret it.
A fairly standard story. A young man must save his true love from a greedy merchant. Decent way to spend an hour.
-- (Nice aesthetic) - Renaissance Italy combined with mecha and other classy tech
-- (Specificness) - the story is a small piece of a larger tale, so instead of being another tale of The Ultimate Hero defeating The Ultimate Evil, it's a more personal journey of a man realizing that he loves a woman and should save her, even though they're not lawfully allowed to be together
-- (Engagement) - the story is fairly absorbing and moves along well. We have sympathy for out hero and
root for him to outwit his enemies
-- (Overcomplicated) - This is a fragment of a larger universe, so not only is there an infodump at the beginning, but one needs to go to Wikipedia if one is to understand what exactly is going on.
-- (Straightforward) - The actual plot is basic: hero vs. irredeemably greedy, lusty, and gluttonous old ruler. Guess who wins?
-- (Deus-ex-machinas) - The story is so simple, you'd think this isn't needed; but apperently the plot must go in a certain direction, and several fortuitous coincidences conveniently steer it the right way.