Manga  > Single Volume & Self Contained Works

Voices Of A Distant Star


Voices Of A Distant Star Voices Of A Distant Star

Voices Of A Distant Star back

Makoto Shinkai & Mizu Sahara

Price: 
10.99

Page 45 Review by Jonathan

"Award-winning director and author Makoto Shinkai offers a romantic sci-fi tale about young love and space adventure, based on his 2003 animated film. Sixteen-year-old Mikako Nagamine enlists as a pilot to fight in the interstellar war against a force of alien invaders, leaving behind her one true love. Mikako's only connection to Noboru Terao, who's living the life of an ordinary high school student, is through cell-phone text messages. As Mikoko travels farther away, it starts to take longer and longer for Noboru to receive her messages, until finally one arrives eight years and seven months after she sent it. When at last the fighting ends, she is left stranded on the spacecraft carrier."

I've actually excised the final couple of sentences of the publisher's blurb as I felt we were drifting dangerously into spoiler territory faster than Mikoko was last seen drifting into deep space. If you like your romance to smoulder at a low injection burn rather than going straight to escape velocity this could possibly be for you. I haven't seen the film, which came first, so I can't comment on the similarities / differences though the artist comments in his "sort of an afterword" that he imagines fans of the film will feel there are some aspects lacking or disappointing.

I have to say there is very, very little actually going on in terms of plot here. It is, in essence, two people clinging on to the single thread of the teenage romance that they never actually had. Now, separated increasingly by space and time, it seems like they never, ever will. But still they keep in touch, in classically ultra-restrained Japanese fashion, because neither is willing to let go.

The final chapter or two hint at more to come (again, maybe there is in the film by the sounds of it) and there's a decision which perhaps really could have been made a lot sooner, if only one of the star-blocked lovers had spent a bit more time thinking about things rationally instead of mooching around aimlessly waiting for angst-ridden interstellar text messages.

spacer