Voices of a Distant Star

aka Hoshi no Koe

Voices of a Distant Star is a ~30min OVA by by Makoto Shinkai. It’s a typical romance anime. Visuals aren’t very good. But what makes this anime OVA so so damn special is this: This anime was made by Makoto Shinkai ALONE. That’s right. He wrote, directed and produced this anime ALONE, armed with only his Mac. Reference here. (He had help from his fiancee for voice-over and a friend for the soundtrack)

Now that we know that this was a solo job, all of a sudden, the graphics in this anime looks so damn awesome. It looks like crap compared to pro studio productions (that can make even crappy anime look good). But it is way beyond what you expect one man to achieve.

The background, the environment, everything is so drawn so richly and vividly. There isn’t any skimping on the art. The hand-drawn computer-enhanced art gives this anime a unique flavour. My only gripe is that the characters look a bit…weird…

The romance story is really sweet and beautiful. It’s about 2 young lovebirds communicating via email after 1 gets sent out to fight a war. As the war pushes further away from Earth, their emails take longer to reach each other. Their last messages took years to be received. Very touching. My younger sister even cried.
This anime is absolutely recommended for anime fans (especially those who love creating fanart) as it sets itself apart from typical run-of-the-mill animes. Work hard and you may one day create anime as good as this!
Download it here.


Karas Anime Review

Basically, Karas is the coolest anime ever. No anime can surpass Karas in any aspect. I watched this anime and I was totally blown away. Karas isn’t just an anime. It’s a work of art, that took many many anime artists years to perfect. Karas is the Mona Lisa of the anime world. Perfect, yet available cheaply in your local anime DVD store!

Karas, as an action anime, has the coolest fight scenes ever. Forget Bleach. Bleach’s fight sequences are too repetitive and boring. Compared to Karas, it’s a snore.
Karas Fight Scene
Just look at that! OMG. That just makes me want to jump at someone, and give him a Karasy kick! Heeeya! One flaw is that the anime’s fighting doesn’t quite make sense (even in anime-sense). But hey! It’s cool! How cares?

Now, let me tell you why Karas is a work of art. The world in Karas is drawn with so much detail that it’s almost real. Every effort is put in by the producers to make every scene amazingly vivid and realistic.
Karas Scene
A great example is the screenie above. Don’t you wonder why Japan seems very empty, quiet and cold in animes? When it’s not that way in real life? Well, because most anime artists are lazy. That’s why even cities are empty, except for 1 or 2 extras. It’s not easy to draw lots of people in anime. Takes a lot of effort. And that scene alone must have taken the artists weeks to draw. When watching Karas, do pay attention to the details in every scene and compare it to your daily dose of animes. You’ll be pretty surprised at the huge difference!

Karas Scene 2

The only drawback is the story. Don’t get me wrong. The story is amazing, highly believable and very interesting. The problem is, at only 6 episodes (only 4 released so far), it’s squeezed a bit too tightly. It takes 3+ re-views to fully understand the plot. This sounds scary, but, it’s not really that hard. Watching it again allows you to find things you missed out initially. A lot of fun for me!

I’d say this anime gets 9.5/10. A must-watch for everyone, not just anime junkies!

Download it for free here.