I Remember Digital Love: Interstella 5555

interstella 5555 crescendolls blue ver

[This post has no spoilers]

2003 was a bit of a lull in my anime watching;  it was the last year of my life that I could tell myself I wasn’t an otaku. I had been watching anime pretty much all my life and was pretty intense about Macross, but I was casual about everything else. But this was before I discovered Cowboy Bebop and Neon Genesis Evangelion, and before I had met my wife who’d turn out to be one of the best people to watch anime with.

During this time I still watched a lot of television, and fairly enjoyed discovering new music via the different music television networks. It was then when I discovered this video ‘One More Time’ by Daft Punk. What was incredibly striking about it was that it was wholly and unmistakably anime.

I couldn’t put my finger on it at the time, but later on I figured out that the very distinct character designs reminded me of Space Captain Harlock and Space Battleship Yamato — both shows from very vague memories of my childhood. Harlock I saw via a movie, Arcadia of My Youth (1982) which I had seen in black and white as a 9-year old back in 1986.

I had seen only four of the videos, including ‘Aerodynamic,’ ‘Digital Love,’ and ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.’ In fact I was mostly ignorant of the whole concept album ‘Discovery’ and the project Interstella 5555 until I had recently read the delightful blog post on it at kritik der animationskraft. I had just seen it just before I wrote this, and I wholeheartedly recommend it. It’s a very interesting and entertaining extended music video in the tradition of Macross Flashback: 2012; while being a much older work (1987) did a pretty good job of using new and existing animation to make a swan song for Minmay and the primary cast of SDF Macross.

interstella 5555 digital love stella shep dream

Of all the pieces in the film, I adore ‘Digital Love’ the most.  Why? I can wholly relate to the Shep daydreaming about Stella, the bassist of his favorite band. The whole dynamic of loving from afar, silly indulgences, and a poster on the ceiling… it’s marvelous. Instead of me talking and talking about it, here it is:

It’s a silly sweet love song, hardly relevant to me at present, if ever. I never really daydreamed about pop stars, but why do I feel so strongly about this? I mean, I really find this compelling and affecting! I really thought about it, and I realize that while I never really dreamed of pop star love, I had lived vicariously through a pop star loving teenager before I even knew anything about love and infatuation. It was such a strong image from my childhood and stayed with me through my adolescence. I’m talking about Ichijyo Hikaru’s pining for Lynn Minmay in SDF Macross. I had met them as a 7-year old kid, and was probably one of the formative love stories that formed the foundation of my narrative experience. Macross after all, gave me my prototypical love triangle (if Tossho Daimos gave me my prototypical star-crossed lovers).

macross mikimoto haruhiko minmay hikaru dreamingmacross mikimoto haruhiko minmay hikaru lovers letter

I had attempted to replicate Shem’s dream of Stella using the gorgeous Mikimoto Haruhiko drawings of Minmay and Hikaru. Hikaru too is a pilot, who wished he was the boyfriend when Minmay sings ‘Kyuun~ Kyuun~’ about a pilot boyfriend. Like Shep in Interstella 5555, Hikaru gets called to rescue Minmay. animekritik called it right when he implied that Shep is an avatar for us fans, only more awesome. We cannot act on our fandom the way he does — to rescue the band when they need him, the way Hikaru fights giants to protect Minmay. While Shep may represent fans, he is an avatar for Daft Punk in particular, who get to remember love for Leiji Matsumoto’s anime by making their own and fulfilling his dream of making an animated musical.

Omake: Bassists to Love

Star of the moment: Akiyama Mio, K-ON!

k-on akiyama mio poster

Mio’s pretty hot, and moe to a ridiculous degree by being picked on by Ritsu and Sawa-chan, and by being a scaredy-cat. She’s the most serious about music among the original club members, and the best student.

Star of Stars: Stella, Interstella 5555

interstella 5555 stella doing her thing

The film may be about the Crescendolls band, but there’s no doubt that Stella is the star. She displays some of the best aspects in Leiji Matsumoto character design.

Star on Fire: Mylene Flare Jenius, Macross 7

macross 7 25 eyecatch 2 mylene bass awesome darkish clouds bg

I’ve said it before, Mylene is the most winsome idol in the Macross pantheon of pop idols. I’m a loyal Minmay fan, and give Ranka lots of love, but Mylene is it. Best bassist chick in anime. [->]

(Sorry FLCL fans, I’m not feeling any love for Haruka).

Further Reading

Macross Flashback 2012 is all about ‘Tenshi no Enogu’ [->]

Watashi no kare wo pairotto [->]

More Interstellar Love (spoilers): (animekritik 2009/06/06)

More Mylene images! [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
This entry was posted in comparative, fanboy and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to I Remember Digital Love: Interstella 5555

  1. Necromancer says:

    I downloaded this last night! though I’ve still to actually watch I have seen the 1st 4 music videos in it and agree Digital Love is the best and not only because having a guitar shaped spaceship is awesome (like Silverhawks! if only the rest of that would actually get released on DVD). Glad to see someone else who actually likes Macross7, though I always prefered Basara to Mylene…

    • ghostlightning says:

      LOL There’s a lot of love for M7 here, just help yourself to the archives. Now if that guitar ship had a gerwalk mode…

  2. Ryan A says:

    Sorry FLCL fans, I’m not feeling any love for Haruka

    lol, Haruka as a musician can probably be contested. I consider her, “in the know” but mostly an instrument groupie (guitar-power-fetish). Love that outrageousness all the same.

    Za Musica!

    BTW, Daft Punk ++

  3. Doctor says:

    I remember seeing snippets of the movie around that time, but I was never able to properly watch it. I don’t think it was until I got to college and mastered my Internet-fu when I finally watched the whole thing. Ended up sharing it with the rest of my anime club.

  4. gloval says:

    I was anticipating this entry!

    I saw this last year and it was awesome. My favorite is “Something About Us” (and it has an emotional video to boot). I find it comparable to “If” by Bread, simple love songs with strong impact, and I like this kind of love song.

    For the Macross connection, I always imagine the Protoculture to be be those blue guys, especially as depicted in the “One More Time” video. This might interest you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz0EB06gFjQ

    I see you also made the connection upon discovering that Stella plays bass.

    • ghostlightning says:

      LOL the blue guys as protoculture. You know what, I like that. Mylene is the best anime bassist EVAR.

  5. Sakura says:

    I’ve always liked Daft Punk’s stuff but never really took the time to watch their videos. Now I have to!

  6. omisyth says:


  7. animekritik says:

    i wonder what would happen if daft punk got to animate their newest album.. it’d be something insane!

    i think my favorite song/video/story combo is “harder, better…”, coz the song is so robotic and it matches the transformation of the Crescendolls so well.

    • ghostlightning says:

      That was a real good bit yes. The transformation was so much fun, though I feel bad that the Earth version dolls moved robotically. Later on they got ‘animated’ when Shep freed them, but at what cost? ;_;

      The whole thing, the control of the universe through song is very much a Macross theme, though song was never used for that purpose. I mention it only to underscore how easy it is for me to enjoy this.

  8. maAkusutipen says:

    I remember this! I first saw the whole movie (the music videos strung together to become one large music video) when our Asian History professor screened this for us as a free tidbit. It was really entertaining. I really think that Kayne West got wind of this that is why he befriended daft funk and had a Japanese phase, ne?

    • ghostlightning says:

      Interesting theory on Kanye West, I don’t think it’s far-fetched. You have quite an interesting Asian History professor! What was the context of his sharing this film? I’m dying to know.

  9. maAkusutipen says:

    well he just wants to share his Japanophile love… he just wanted people to turn in something a reflection paper of sorts how Japanese history may have influenced its modern cultural imports.

    • ghostlightning says:

      Whose cultural imports? Tell me about you wrote and how this anime figures in it, if you won’t mind sharing.

  10. Pingback: Not Cheatin’ on Mai Waifu I Promise! Anime Women that I’d Marry Had I Been Single « We Remember Love

  11. Can you tell us more about this? I’d care to find out some additional information.

  12. Pingback: Freaky Friday : Robotech / Macross | Fan Actuel

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