Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem
The film is the visual realization of Discovery, an album of the French House band Daft Punk. Each track from the album has been animated as an episode in the story of the abduction and rescue of an interstellar pop band. It was produced by the Japanese production studio Toei Animation and animated by Leiji Matsumoto, famous for many other anime series such as Captain Harlock, and Space Battleship Yamato, and Galaxy Express 999.
The film has no dialogue and minimal sound effects. The first four episodes were played on MTV and Cartoon Network in 2001, and Cartoon Network hosted the episodes online as part of their short-lived Toonami Reactor project.
The story begins when four blue-skinned music stars (later given the names Octave, Arpegius, Baryl, and Stella) on an alien planet are abducted during a concert. The enemy is the mysterious Earl de Darkwood, who changes their blue skin to human flesh colors, edits their memories to make them believe they grew up on Earth, and implants each of them with a mind-control device to keep them docile. The band, (re)named The Crescendolls, immediately becomes a hit on Earth and they win a gold record. But a friend and fighter pilot, Shep, has followed from their home planet and fights to rescue them.
Many elements common to Leiji Matsumoto's stories, such as a romanticism of noble sacrifice and remembrance of fallen friends, predictably appear here as well. Similar to many of Matsumoto's other heroes, the band includes a tall slender woman and a short guy with a big grin (who at one point appears wearing a pirate's cape like Harlock's and a wide-brimmed hat like Tochiro's). At one point, a spaceship blasts off on a long, tall track like Galaxy Express 999. Occasionally characters can be seen saluting with the fist-over-heart gesture used in Space Battleship Yamato.
Daft Punk themselves make a brief cameo appearance in the film during the Golden Record Awards scene (obviously, losing to The Crescendolls).
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