September 02, 2011

Voices of a Distant Star

I came across this awhile back, actually back in the summer of 2004 at the AMV showing of Anime North. Whoever put together the AMV used Richard Marx's "Right Here Waiting" as the music and it caught my eye immediately. I was blown by it! Still trying to find his AMV online. Then I watched Makoto Shinkai's first short - She and Her Cat, then 5 Centimeters per Second and now after 7 years, I finally get the chance to see Voices of a Distant Star. Next on my list of Makoto's work - The Place Promised in Our Early Days then eventually - Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below.

Voices of a Distant Star is a love story about two people who went to the same school but one goes off into space to battle some aliens while the other stay on Earth. The two keep in touch through text messages, which I think is Makoto's analogy to how people used to write letters. This becomes more apparent when one character goes farther off into space and it takes longer for the text to reach Earth.

What I love most about Makoto's male characters is that they don't play the traditional male role, as in the one who goes off to places where the girl waits for him. He reverses the role which is quite fitting as the gender role has somewhat switched in today's time. In Voices and 5 cm unlike your Disney films, both the guy and the girl are somewhat of the hopeless romantic,which is a more balanced portraying.

The other reason that I liked his work a lot is that as an audience you get to see his work progressively changes from this to She and Her Cat and 5 cm per second (also, all with very interesting titles). Also, Makoto captures the simplest life's moment and transform it into this piece.

This one will definitely resonates with those who are currently in love especially those who are in a long distance relationship wanting to be with the person they love but couldn't. Well, if you are not, I would still recommend this short to everyone as his work is always interesting and it is only 20 minutes. Again, this may make you tear up or emotional so Happy viewing!

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