Hoshi no Koe - A Weak Start

I'm back! Going to be releasing bi-weekly posts from now. This one is a bit on the shorter side, but I'll be writing about currently airing shows starting two weeks from now. Every other week I'll be writing for my own blog.

One of the most talked about directors in regards to anime as of recent years is Makoto Shinkai, and it's not difficult to see why that is. The guy came made one short film by himself, and suddenly he started directing feature length movies, and somehow managed to make the highest grossing anime movie worldwide ever. But, about that short film he made. I haven't watched any of Shinkai's later works, not yet anyways, but Hoshi no Koe (Voices of a Distant Star), how do I put it... It's not very good.

It's about a boy, and a girl. They're in a relationship, but the girl has to go to outer space and fight monsters in a mech. Due to... space being space, text messages take longer and longer to arrive the further out from Earth you go.

Now a little bit of background regarding the production. The movie was created entirely by Shinkai himself, save the voice acting of one character, which was done by his girlfriend. But the thing is, I don't car. It doesn't matter one bit to me, the point is this movie is bad. The character art is nothing short of atrocious, it gives me flashbacks to Kamichama Karin-if you haven't watched that show, I'll save you the trouble of looking it up: the character art is horrible. It's also incredibly boring. The movie is about waiting, waiting for a message from your loved one. And that isn't neccesarliy a bad concept, I like slow moving dramas a lot, but I don't like waiting for absolutely nothing to happen! The CG is also horrible, obviously. CG has come a long way in anime from back then; sadly this wasn't produced today. I also feel the need to mention the mechas themselves, because this is a mecha anime. They're just kind of there, they don't look particularly look, nor do they really add anything. The characters could have been fighting in space ships and it woudn't really have detracted from anything.

But I guess you can't really mention a Makoto Shinkai movie without talking about those backgrounds of his. Well what can I say except they don't really look that special. Sure, are they full of detail? Yes, but the badly drawn character art really detracts from the backgrounds, they just don't mesh very well together. It's like putting soda in cereal. Sure, the soda is delicious, but the cereal? What is even doing there? More than anything though, it just the fact that it doesn't fit the aesthethic that the rest of the OVA is going for. And my goodness the music, I swear it is literally impossible to make a more melodramatic sounding soundtrack. It's as its screaming into my face: "ya feel sad yet? hey, do ya feel sad yet?" Guess what, I don't. Add the angsty sadboi dialouge and lackluster, and at times even comical voice performance to the mix, and you have a feeling comparable to accidentaly getting soap into your eyes while showering. In truth, the only good thing about this short film, is exactly the one thing it gets right: it's short.

Even so, it's important to remember not to judge all of Shinkai's library on this one OVA. Sure, it might be subpar in terms of quality, but the guy has done a lot of work and honestly, I'm looking forward to seeing in what ways he manages to improve upon his work. And if nothing else, at least he can draw nice background art.