Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem is an anime-style visualization of the Daft Punk album Discovery. A group of blue-skinned extraterrestrial musicians are kidnapped, brainwashed, and altered, mind and body, to be identical to ordinary humans. Under the control of their abductors, they become rock stars on Earth, playing their music and skyrocketing to massive fame. Can an alien pilot rescue the band, return their memories and get them home? Or will they be forced to play their part in the scheme of the evil, greedy Earl de Darkwood?The music tracks are the same as the Discovery album:
"One More Time"
"Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger"
"Something About Us"
"Face to Face"
Interstella 5555 provides examples of the following tropes:
Ancient Conspiracy: It's heavily implied that the whole Earl de Darkwood business has been going on for a VERY long time. Especially obvious because aliens resembling everyone from Mozart to Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin make an appearance during the history revelation scene.
Beware the Nice Ones: Baryl the drummer seems to have a rough streak. While the other Crescendoll's memories while they were being rewritten were standard childhood fair like riding bikes, Baryl was being held back after knocking another kid to the ground.
The Cameo: Daft Punk show up in animated form at the Gold Record Awards. They're nominees in the same category as the Crescendolls. Bangalter asks Homem-Christo if he's happy with the nomination, to which Homem-Christo responds with indifference. When they find out they lost to the Crescendolls, Bangalter cheers on the winners with "GREAT" displayed on his helmet. Homem-Christo claps politely, but still has a "heartbreak" symbol on his helmet.
Deal with the Devil: Earl de Darkwood made a deal with an unidentified supernatural entity, in which he will sacrifice 5,555 award-winning musicians to it in exchange for cosmic powers. The main characters will be #5,555 if he isn't stopped.
Freeze-Frame Bonus: Near the end of “Crescendolls,” the covers of the Monthly Charts (seen briefly before each chart position of “One More Time”) show issues labelled September, October, and November. It took at least three months for the Crescendolls to become famous and for Shep to find them.
Frozen Face: The brainwashed band and all of Earl de Darkwood's victims.
Gas Mask Mooks: The band's kidnappers are an army of identically-dressed gas mask-wearing humanoids. Justified in this case since the mooks use knockout gas to subdue the band and audience.
Honest Corporate Executive: The Crescendolls' human manager. In contrast with the Earl de Darkwood, he's shown as young and likeable, earnest and enthusiastic about the music, and when the aliens are later revealed, he helps them regain their planet.
Humans Are the Real Monsters: Seemingly played straight when it turns out the malevolent invaders are from Earth, then subverted when the rest of the population is informed of the Earl's plans and do everything they can to help the Crescendolls.
Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: Or in this case, a very funky and psychedelic place with big shiny objects that can heavily damage your ship.
Knockout Gas: The band is kidnapped with the aid of sleeping gas which somehow keeps them unconscious during the lengthy "processing" which turns them into the Crescendolls. Though the band's prolonged sleep may be due to the pods they were transported in.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: Conducted not by just wiping the memories, but by rewriting them to take place on Earth.
Load-Bearing Boss: Earl de Darkwood. Justified in that his falling into the lava beneath his mansion could conceivably... somehow... make it explode. Maybe.
Lost Superweapon: The object that landed on Earl de Darkwood's family manor centuries ago has an unusually high-tech feel about it. Especially since it's already calibrated to disguise aliens as other species and brainwash them; they didn't have that in the days of the first Darkwood.
Schizo Tech: The Earl has Faster-Than-Light Travel, a starship that can disguise itself as a 747 jumbo-jet, and various machines that can alter a person's appearance and memories. He's had some of these since the mid-1700s, and by the time the story takes place, people are still using video cassettes, cathode ray tube televisions, and 78 RPM Longplay records.
Self-Deprecation: Daft Punk appear as themselves in a cameo at the music awards ceremony, where they lose to the main characters. In case you don't get the significance of that, in a 65-minute video (opening and credits included), they have a five-second cameo, and then they lose to a Fake Band playing their music.
Shoot Him, He Has a Wallet!: Octave, when sneaking into the record company is confronted by security guards and gets tasered when he reaches into his jacket for the papers about the memory disks he's trying to retrieve.
The guards at the record company watch a soccer game between France and Japan. This is a subtle nod to the cross-cultural cooperation that produced a Japanese anime set to the music of the French Daft Punk. (Note the score: 2-1 for the French — the Daft Punk duo and the one Leiji Matsumoto.)
Soundtrack Dissonance: The music and action, awesome as they may be, rarely have much to do with one another. Particularly unsettling when a rather upbeat tune plays during the burial scene about midway through the movie. Then again it is an anime movie. Anime has always had a talent for misdirection when it comes to their soundtracks.