Director: Hiroyuki Yamaga
Cast: Masahiro Anzai, Shôzô Îzuka
Running Time: 121 min.
Plot: On a far-off planet, a Kingdom tries to launch the planet’s first manned spacecraft. This ten year old project not only faces funding and technical problem, but also is subject to political conspiracy and the neighboring Republic’s aggression. It’s all up to Shilo, the first spaceman to be, his friends and their faith to make the space program a success.
Beautiful animation marks this interesting narrative. It traces the origins of space travel, but not as they occurred. Rather, it creates a fictional universe, in which space travel is the experiment of a group of old men in beards and robes. Technology appears very advanced in this fictional place, but people live in a very anachronistic-looking place, kind of a reworking of Hobbitton for bigger people.
The art and set design is the main reason to see this movie; both of them are bright and vivid, and the result of real creativity. But the storyline is terrible strange, with very little characterization and a funky kind of bent. The main message of the movie is for people on Earth to stop fighting. The astronaut pleads for an end to war when he is up in the first space launch, and his asexual girlfriend spends her time handing out evangelist pamphlets advocating the same thing. But it seems like they ought to know by now that it takes something else besides a space launch or a faith healing to make the world a peaceable place.