Apr 20, 2015
milnivek (All reviews)
I first watched this movie in 2004 in university and remember being blown away by the sheer depth of emotions and feelings that this short film manages to convey in the time that the typical shounen anime may have managed to advance the plot by about 2 screams, a power-up and a fireball.

Coming back to this film over 10 years later, I was apprehensive at how my memories of the film would hold up to a rewatch by my older, cynical, 30-something self.

The art is pretty mediocre especially given the advances in animation in the past decade. The faces especially tend to be distorted and out of shape though some of the landscape shots were pretty breathtaking. The plot is also pretty normal and if summarised is nothing special. In the short amount of time we spend with the 2 main characters, we don't really find out much about their history or motivations driving them.

With all these flaws then, why does this film deserve a 10/10, a PERFECT score??

Makoto Shinkai (the director) somehow takes these somewhat mediocre elements, mixes them together and then turns them into an amazing film which is greater than the sum of its parts. Somehow, despite the mediocre and simple art, you really get a sense of the vast emptiness of space, and the loneliness and isolation that Mikako feels as she is separated further and further from Noboru by both distance as well as time. Somehow, despite the limited characterisation, you really come to understand how strongly they feel - their despair, their love, their hope. And to top it all off, Makoto Shinkai somehow did all this on his own using a home computer in 2002, when most people were still discovering how to use a computer to surf for porn and such.

Hoshi no Koe is a movie about feelings, and how it conveys these feelings so forcefully in 20 minutes is truly impressive.