I'm a bit disappointed with the story. Visuals are good as always. Maybe some "3d" effects are not my kind of visuals, but still great pictures drawn by Makoto. Excellent play with light and water effects. Sound track is accurate for that movie, but for me '5cm per sec' OST is still better.
But the story hasn't got me. Got tears in my eyes for like 2 secs, the rest was not that moving like "5cm per sec" or "The Place Promised ...". Maybe not my kind of the story, maybe I haven't got it (guess I got it), but I was hopping for something better, something more. But maybe I've been hoping for happier ending?
At the moment that is 4th best Makoto picture. 1st still 5cm, 2nd The Place Promissed, 3rd Children Who Chase ... and 4th this one.
I guess my expectations after watching "5 centimeters per second" were too high, that's why I was a little bit disappointed with "Hoshi ...".
The story line is not that original as "5 centimeters" or "The Place Promised in Our Early Days". I can see scenes which are based on "Princess Mononoke", "Spirited Away", "Kaze no tani no Naushika". It looks like Shinkai watched all Hayao Miyazaki pictures just before making his own. Of course story line is not based on any of those, but some scenes, characters or plots are. There is also possibility that all are based on the same mythology or same symbolism that European person like me is not similar with, but I guess you can see lot of analogies with other anime movies. But this is not that bad, story is still very absorbing, you cannot wait to see what's gonna happen next, and you wait for the happy ending. My rate for the story is 7.5.
But as you can expect visual side of this movie is masterpiece. I'm going to watch it second time today, just to see how great those scenery is, how nice is play of the light, how detailed world is. Landscapes made by Shinkai are something like French impressionistic paintings (especially Monet's) but they are much more detailed, with better colours and lighting. I'm not big fan of character animation in this movie (or anime character animation generally) so it not impress me much. But still the whole picture is rated 10. GREAT.
Music is another Tenmon line. It's somewhere in the background, not killing reception of visual side. I think it's accurate, sometimes it reminds me "5 centimeters .." sound track, but it's different. It fits here great, but it's a bit less then visual side. So my rate is 9.
I thought that movie gonna be better than any Shinkai movie or any anime at all, but for me it's not. I guess this is because of story line. It's touching but not that touching as "Grave of Fireflies" or "5 centimeters". I got tears in my eyes like twice watching this and yes I lost someone close too so I should feel the empathy for the characters, but I didn't fully. But my expectations are always very high, so there is no doubt they were too high here. Anyway great movie, guess one of the best movies of 2011 (or the best).
First of all I'm not anime fan, although I like Miyazaki movies very much.
Next thing is that giving 10 is hard thing for me, cause I always think there is (or will be) something better.
But this movie is a masterpiece. For me the best part is storyline. Most intensive drama I've ever seen. I would never think that animated movie could touch such topics and more important that it would do this in such a great way.
I've already watched it 3 times, and every time I cried like a girl. Maybe this is because I've been in all those situations. I've been like Takaki (loving someone with the purest love of all - love of a child). I've been like Kanae - loving someone and not having courage to say it. I've been on the other side, like Takaki again, being with someone who loved me when I was still with love with someone else. And again been like 3rd chapter Takaki, daydreaming of love that is gone, that would never come back ...
In that move all those feelings are drawn so gentle and sharp at the same time. I've never seen feelings pictured that great and I've seen plenty of movies.
Storyline is something great here ... but scenery is another masterpiece. After watching that movie Japan seems the best place on Earth to live. Sea, heaven, clouds, grass, wind, mountains, everything here seems so alive. But the best thing is play of the light. Everything here is so natural, sometimes even seems better than in real world. All lightning here brings memories of places and things I've experienced before.
Characters seems to be kinda mysterious, cause they are Japan. Japanese people keeps their feelings deeper then Europeans, so sometimes this could look a bit odd. But even though I feel like I'm experiencing all those things again. Some says that animation of characters is a flaw here, but for me it's at the proper level. Just where it should be.
And last piece of this puzzle is music. Not overwhelming and greatly composed into this picture. And ending song ... even I don't understand Japanese at all, it makes my eyes wet every time I hear it.
Seen tons of bad, average, good and great movies, but this one is the best I've ever seen.