Voices of a Distant Star tells the tragic story of a young couple whose relationship is strained due to the fact that the female protagonist, Mikako, has been chosen as an officer for the UN Space Fleet. The narrative alternates between Mikako’s and Noboru’s interrelated story. Throughout the OVA, Mikako travels further away from earth,as she chases a hostile alien race through space, whilst Noboru is left to wait on his love’s return. These two plot lines are connected by heartfelt communications between the couple.
Voices of a distant Star tells a thought provoking tale of young love, loneliness and coming of age in a beautifully rendered, sci-fi space setting. Melancholy is weaved through each line and into each scene. By alternating between space and earth, Voices of a Distant Star uses contrasting settings to emphasis Mikako’s and Noboru’s feelings of isolation. The Characters areincreasingly impacted by separation from one another throughout the story. Mikako’s sends all of her communications within a weeks from each other, however, as she journeys deeper into space, it takes longer and longer for these to reach earth. The scenario of a 24-year-old Noburo trapped in the past, as he continues to receive messages from Mikako, 8 years on. In this way, the film compares the characters’ different experiences of time to add another layer of depth to its narrative. Anyone watching Voices of a Distant Star who has ever been in any kind of long distance relationship will be able to relate to the hopeless loneliness both characters feel.
The animation and art style in Voices of a Distant Star is, for the most part, great. Backgrounds and scenes are produced fantastically, enhancing and complementing the tone of the film. There are several excellently choreographed battle scenes, where Mikako pilots her Mech against hostile Tarsian aliens. Tarsians themselves look okay, but could have been a little more imaginative. The attention to detail in the space scenes and planet landscapes is wonderful. In particular, the alien planet in which the final few scenes of the film take place is hauntingly beautiful, making a perfect place for the film’s crescendo. Whilst the majority of Voices of a Distant star looks great, the actual character models are somewhat generic and dispel the atmosphere that other elements of the movie create. The music throughout the film works really well and the poignant main theme complements the sadness and isolation of Mikako and Noburo.
Voices of a Distant Star is a great story that progresses in such a way that avoids what could have been a generic and clichéd plot. It provides a fresh perspective on the “young lovers separate by a cruel fate” plotline. Whilst the film works well as a short OVA, there is definitely enough substance to have made it longer. Greater fleshing out of the characters and the back-story could have made Voices of a Distant Star a classic. Poor character models detract from what is, an otherwise, a beautiful film. However, an excellent script and thought provoking plot made, what could have been a generic story, into a deep and tragic film that everyone should take some time to see.