Let's talk Five Star Stories

The place to discuss anything relating to anime or manga.
Post Reply
User avatar
Koshernova
Posts: 375
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:30 am
Location: Glasgow (the city, not the Knightmare Frame)

Let's talk Five Star Stories

Post by Koshernova » Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:17 pm

So the last post I can find about FSS was in 2013 and with the Gears Online forums down, this is a good place for FSS fans and mecha fans to maybe have an ongoing FSS-related discussion?

I'm not up to date on the latest happenings. I recently managed to get a hold of all 12 of the original run tankoubon in a language I can read (Italian). Much cheaper than English, let me tell you! I'm a huge fan of FSS and I'm glad I'm finally getting to read a significant chunk of it.

tl;dr for newcomers:

The Five Star Stories is a manga series created by Mamoru Nagano. It began serialisation in Newtype magazine in 1986. It draws heavily in its plot and characters from Heavy Metal L-Gaim but spins off into its own thing with a much greater scope (and more science-fantasy than L-Gaim's straight up mecha sci-fi). It's a story that spans thousands of years and tells the stories of dozens of different characters across multiple kingdoms, planets, and star systems. It has a cult following due to its incredibly intricate mecha and character designs and its millenia-spanning storyline (of which the manga only shows us snippets!).

The story begins with Amaterasu, the God of Light, Emperor of the planet Delta Belun, and his meeting and eventual marriage to the Fatima (a kind of bio-mechanical artificial being) Lachesis, as well as the loves, hates, and wars they and many other characters get into. In the world of FSS, wars are waged with Mortar Headds, huge mecha that require two pilots, a Headdliner (or Knight) who is a human of a particularly strong genetic stock, and a Fatima who acts as liaison with the computer systems inside the (possibly living) Mortar Headd. There's more than that of course, with psychics, magicians, and oh yes, one of the protagonists being an actual God.

There's only been two animated productions in the FSS universe: a movie in the 80s (simply titled The Five Star Stories) and a 2013 production called Gothicmade.

Mamoru Nagano is known for going on long hiatuses. He went on a very long one to work on Gothicmade (GTM), which was later folded into the larger FSS continuity. However, this came with the controversial 'Gothicmade retcon' in which a lot of character names, concepts and mecha were drastically changed to fit a different sort of aesthetic. There are new 'reboot' volumes of FSS out, which I believe are the same material with retconned names changed (but I'm unsure, can't find further info).

tl;dr let's talk FSS!
"There's always hope tomorrow will be taco night."

User avatar
Chris
Administrator
Posts: 4670
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 5:20 pm
Contact:

Re: Let's talk Five Star Stories

Post by Chris » Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:43 am

I've only ever seen the OVA and read the first volume, but I dig it. I really wish some Western publisher would put it back in print (and more affordably, this time).
"What did catch my eye, however, was a podcast named Gundamn!. At first I thought it was a podcast about firearms and [rednecks] discussing their collection, but after looking at the episode titles I was sold." - Xhavalor

PSN: amuromsz006
Nintendo Network: mariomsz006

Henyo
Posts: 621
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2014 10:24 am
Location: Hidden Tramo Village

Re: Let's talk Five Star Stories

Post by Henyo » Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:13 am

my only exposure to FSS is the Movie. that animation is SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!
we need an FSS anime this decade. just so that the young whippersnappers see some awesome and meticulous mecha designs.(and please let it not be CG for the mechs.)

as for Gothicmade, that's what it was? wow. BTW, any news on how it did in terms of sales/reception?
details are so scarce online.
MOOK: ITS A YURI FANBOY!

User avatar
Koshernova
Posts: 375
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:30 am
Location: Glasgow (the city, not the Knightmare Frame)

Re: Let's talk Five Star Stories

Post by Koshernova » Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:02 pm

Chris wrote:I've only ever seen the OVA and read the first volume, but I dig it. I really wish some Western publisher would put it back in print (and more affordably, this time).
I think Vertical would be perfect for a release. The problem, however, is that Mamoru Nagano is, to put it lightly, a bit of a control freak. He's very very protective of his baby. However it'd be great if that could be achieved. There's so much extra material they could pack in double-length volumes, too!
Henyo wrote:my only exposure to FSS is the Movie. that animation is SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!
we need an FSS anime this decade. just so that the young whippersnappers see some awesome and meticulous mecha designs.(and please let it not be CG for the mechs.)
You know how I was saying Mamoru Nagano is a control freak? He apparently did not care for the animation of the movie. This is why we have never gotten more animated FSS until Gothicmade, because the original FSS movie was done in the traditional way, that is to say, the mangaka doesn't get a lot of input.
as for Gothicmade, that's what it was? wow. BTW, any news on how it did in terms of sales/reception?
details are so scarce online.
Originally nothing had been announced and everything regarding GTM seemed to point to it being a very similar world to FSS but not the same... until Nagano confirmed it was within FSS continuity. Details are very scarce indeed. The reason GTM was created was because Nagano directed it, did the screenplay, storyboard, photography AND Key Animation. He put FSS on hiatus for it because he was basically one-man-banding it.

I don't know how it was received in Japan and haven't really seen anyone mention that aspect aside from comments that it didn't do good box office. FSS is very niche even in Japan, and most anime/manga blogs outside Japan don't really care for FSS (they barely care for Mecha anime and FSS is a niche within a niche) so they won't report on it. Also, it was released around the same time as Evangelion 3.0 and whatever you think about Eva in general or Rebuild in particular, it's a much more popular franchise than FSS, so it probably eclipsed it too.

I have seen some reviews of Gothicmade but haven't watched it myself. Reviews tend to say it's interesting but has limited animation and it's probably too ambitious for its own good. It was released in 2012 and I can't even find Japanese listings for DVD/Bluray, the official excuse was that it was shot in 4K and they didn't want to downsample it which is... ridiculous. Also bear in mind the film was announced in 2006, which means it took 6 years to make. It kinda looks like Nagano put a lot of work into that film and it didn't turn out that good... and then he proceeded to reboot/reimagine the entire FSS universe based on the story/aesthetics of that unpopular film. Yeah.
"There's always hope tomorrow will be taco night."

Henyo
Posts: 621
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2014 10:24 am
Location: Hidden Tramo Village

Re: Let's talk Five Star Stories

Post by Henyo » Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:35 am

He's THAT Hard? no wonder FSS still hasn't be included in SRW.
also, Nagano tried to be a ZUN but failed! XD

i am now thankful that we got modern versions of JOJO.

BTW, can you post FSS' Story Arcs and brief descriptions? i'll try to read the manga when i get the chance. oh and another thing, how much do those Mortarr Head Plamos cost. in general of course. :D
MOOK: ITS A YURI FANBOY!

User avatar
Koshernova
Posts: 375
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:30 am
Location: Glasgow (the city, not the Knightmare Frame)

Re: Let's talk Five Star Stories

Post by Koshernova » Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:20 pm

There aren't good summaries anywhere on the net, and I'm afraid I can't summarise them too precisely yet as I'm still on the second arc (Clotho, the Sleeping Witch).

In short:

Act 1: Destiny Three Fates
-Part 1: Lachesis
Volume: 1
Shows how Lachesis was presented for her Fatima inauguration on the planet Addler, and how Amaterasu rescued her in the Knight of Gold.

-Part 2: Clotho, the Sleeping Witch
Volumes: 2-3
Tells the story of how the Trio de Colus gets involved in a war with a rival nation, Hagooda, who are secretly in cahoots with the more powerful Fillmore Empire, rivals of Amaterasu. King Colus creates the MH Junchoon with Clotho, Lachesis's sister, as his Fatima.

-Part 3: Traffics
Volumes: 4-5
Several stories about more minor characters.

-Part 4: Wandering Atropos
Volumes: 6-8
Stories about the travels of Atropos, sister of Lachesis and Clotho, who is more rebellious than them by nature.


Act 2: The Majestic Stand
-Part 1: The Chivalries
Volumes: 9-10


-Part 2: The Majestic Stand
Volumes: 11-12 (unreleased in English)

I'm afraid I don't know much about the post-Destiny Fates story arcs, but I will learn that in time as I read my Italian volumes. I also don't know where Gothicmade fits in, nor where the newest FSS chapters fit in.
"There's always hope tomorrow will be taco night."

User avatar
Outlaw
Posts: 808
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:51 am
Location: Washington

Re: Let's talk Five Star Stories

Post by Outlaw » Mon Aug 22, 2016 5:37 am

Oh man, this is one of those series I'd love to get into. From what I've seen I'm hit or miss on the visual style, but the scope of the story and setting is something you don't see everyday.
Chris wrote:I've only ever seen the OVA and read the first volume, but I dig it. I really wish some Western publisher would put it back in print (and more affordably, this time).
Maybe we could beg Vertical to take a crack at it. :lol:
"“As a species we're fundamentally insane. Put more than two of us in a room, we pick sides and start dreaming up reasons to kill one another."

User avatar
YokozunaBulldozer
Posts: 692
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:52 pm

Re: Let's talk Five Star Stories

Post by YokozunaBulldozer » Mon Aug 22, 2016 6:37 am

This was probably what got me into anime alongside the brave series, Slayers, and Cyberformula. The details in the manga blew my mind and I was hooked despite my brain unable to process what is going on story-wise. Most of those around me were all about the Eva 01 but I was more attracted to the LED Knight and Vashu The Black Knight designs. And the dragons were gorgeous.
SIXSHOT HAS NO GAME AGAINST SEVEN CHANGER

User avatar
Quiddity
Posts: 194
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 12:13 am
Location: The Ephemeris

Re: Let's talk Five Star Stories

Post by Quiddity » Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:43 am

I've always wanted to get into it because I was a big fan of L-Gaim and find Nagano's design work and world building really unique and interesting. I saw the movie many years ago, and have read a few chapters of the manga but its been quite a long time. Hopefully at some point I'll be able to get into it again. Have been wanting to see Gothic Made for years (never realized it was part of the FSS continuity) but with the decision to not release it on Bluray/DVD haven't been able to. :(
MAHQ Staff - Dunbine, L-Gaim, Escaflowne, Ideon, Gasaraki, The Big O, Overman King Gainer, Zambot 3 and FLCL
In my search for justice, I created war. In my search for war, I created death. In my search for death... I have lost my soul.

Henyo
Posts: 621
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2014 10:24 am
Location: Hidden Tramo Village

Re: Let's talk Five Star Stories

Post by Henyo » Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:36 am

Outlaw wrote:Oh man, this is one of those series I'd love to get into. From what I've seen I'm hit or miss on the visual style, but the scope of the story and setting is something you don't see everyday.
i hear you on that. some can't handle the noodle people character designs. i'm gonna seriously hit them with a MH's Lancer weapon if they ever so happen to be fans of CLAMP's second art style.
and that lead to even more irony when you consider how many can handle One Piece's character designs just fine.

most character designs don't hold a candle Nagano's fashion sense.exceptions being JOJO's Araki and CLAMP(CLAMP fanboy here.)

we should wait a few years. IIRC Nagano gave in and allowed the FSS Movie to have a DVD release.
MOOK: ITS A YURI FANBOY!

minase
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 5:23 am

Re: Let's talk Five Star Stories

Post by minase » Mon Aug 29, 2016 5:28 am

new guy here ^^

anw, i like FSS, i adore Lachy so much
my first encounter is not the anime or the manga tho, its the Wave's 1/100 LED Mirage Boomerang unit hahaha

from what i read until vol.4, FSS is a basic love story, but with extraordinary world setting and tech

User avatar
Amion
Posts: 2167
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:43 pm

Re: Let's talk Five Star Stories

Post by Amion » Sun Sep 04, 2016 9:57 am

I always thought of FSS as having a similar design goal to One Piece, different and unique for the purposes of world building. It's not sexy most of the time, and it isn't meant to be, for either work.

My beef is that I didn't get enough time with the characters, at least from what I've read. It's too ambitious, FSS, without enough space to flesh out like it deserves.
They don't know the power of a balanced vision.

Zeonista
Posts: 1176
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2009 5:47 pm
Location: in ur colony, steelin ur gundam

Re: Let's talk Five Star Stories

Post by Zeonista » Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:22 pm

Chris wrote:I've only ever seen the OVA and read the first volume, but I dig it. I really wish some Western publisher would put it back in print (and more affordably, this time).
Good luck on that affordable price in this day and age, Chris, at least in the USA. The books will never be inexpensive because Five Star Stories was published in Newtype in a non-standard format. The large splash pages and big pan shots of the mortar hedds were done in accordance to that format. TO force them into the standard manga digest size would be a crime against art.
"I am fire. I am death. I am Hashmal."

"Discontent is the first step in the progress for a man or a nation." - Oscar Wilde

Post Reply