After watching the amazing 5 Centimeters Per Second, I figure I owed it to myself to watch Shinkai Makoto's first work Voices of a Distant Star. Reviews praised it and I assumed that it must be good. Well you know what they say about assuming.
Right off the bat I was unsure about the story. I liked the concept of love separated by distance as it worked quite well in 5cm Per Second, but the idea of lagging text messages is just ludicrous. You'd think that in the year 2046 we'd have invented a more effective form of communication, but I guess Shinkai Makoto didn't think so. Also look at the phones! No effort was made to even design phones that even had a hint of futuristic technology. Oh yeah, they could invent gigantic, space traveling, mechas, but more advanced forms of mobile communication devices are out of the equation! Moving on, the story gets no better from beginning to end and nothing is resolved. Practically no attempt is made to even strengthen the audience's true understanding of the connection that Nagamine and Noboru share. They just sort of tell you that they like each other and expect that to mean something. The years fly by without any coherent sense of meaning and the progression of time ends up not feeling quite right. Things don't change drastically enough for Noboru or Nagamine for me to even care. The story is just a mess. A pretentious, self-indulgent, mess. 5/10
First impression was a mixture of confusion and disgust. The characters are HORRIBLY designed. From scene to scene, depending on the angle, they look so different that I sometimes couldn't realize if they were one of the leads or a new character. Proportions were also SO off at angles that I had to really try to resist the urge to punch the screen out of anger. Emotions don't quite come across as clearly as I would expect which just compounds with all the other flaws making this OVA nearly unwatchable. The space battle scenes actually stand out as the best art in the OVA, but the doesn't mean anything. The mecha designs and animation is average and uninspired. Yawn. 3/10
The sound in this also blows my mind at just how horrible it is. You know how bad the music is? So bad I can't even remember what it sounded like. I can't even remember what if there WAS music in this! And the seiyuu are as lacking in emotion as the Twilight movie actors. The sound effects in the space battle scenes are average, just what you'd expect for that kind of thing, so they leave no impression whatsoever. 3/10
There were characters? Really? I just thought there were talking slabs of painted wood. Not that they had much to say. The characters are just so lacking in any relatable emotion since the OVA didn't spend enough time establishing the nature of Nagamine and Noboru's relationship to make the audience give a car that they are separate. I'd like to see what exactly they love about each other. Noboru is a distant, blank, emotionless guy and Nagamine is a clingy, whiny, child. Neither are developed and both are just without any sort of distinguishing personality. And the whole lack of ANY other characters just blows my mind. Really. 2/10
5 Centimeters Per Second is, to this day, one of my favorite anime movie/OVAs of all time and I think, since it came after this abysmal pile of filth, that Shinkai Makoto is a very talented man. He knows how to establish atmosphere and characters, situations and emotions that you can relate to. He brought none of his skills in these areas to this OVA. Flat characters, a ridiculous premise, emotionless seiyuu and horrible art all make this one of the WORST anime ANYTHINGS I've ever seen. I will never understand how so many people could enjoy this trash, but they can if they want. I do not suggest watching this. Save your time for Shinkai Makoto's other works as they are worth the investment. 4/10