[[caption-width-right:350:''We are far, far, very, very far apart; but it might be that thoughts can overcome time and distance.'']]

''Voices of a Distant Star'' (''Hoshi no Koe'') is Creator/MakotoShinkai's first major work. This 2003 short film is considered one of the most poignant {{anime}} romances around, though it is particularly well-known for another reason: Shinkai scripted, drew, animated, and produced the entire movie by himself.

Middle-school student Nagamine Mikako and her friend Noboru had looked forward to attending high school together, but when humanity declared war on an alien force known as the Tarsians in 2046, she was drafted by the UN Space Army to serve as a [[HumongousMecha Tracer]] pilot in a task force assigned to the spaceship ''Lysithea''. Mikako leaves Noboru behind on Earth as the UN Forces pursue the Tarsians deeper into space. During their separation, she communicates with Noboru via email -- but as the fleet travels farther from the Earth, the transmission time grows increasingly longer, until eventually Noboru must wait ''years'' for any word that Mikako is even still alive.

!!''Voices Of A Distant Star'' provides examples of:

* AdaptationExpansion: The manga expounds considerably on the film, introducing new subplots and characters into the mix. All while retaining the same focus and plot.
* AlienSky: From Agartha's surface, [[https://web.archive.org/web/20110915142232/http://duplave.freeblog.hu/files/voices_of_a_distant_star_006.jpg the sky is a green tinge and at least one of its moons]] are visible.
* AllThereInTheManual: Those who missed the newspaper headlines in the movie's finale might misinterpret it as either a DownerEnding or a [[BittersweetEnding bittersweet one]]. However, those headlines report the ''Lysithea'''s victory at Agartha. Additional details like Noboru's Navy uniform in the closet suggest his eventual reunion with Mikako. The supplementary {{Novelization}} states outright that the ''Lysithea'' won the battle, but their FTL drive was damaged beyond repair, so they had no choice but to call for help and wait eight years for the message to reach Earth. Furthermore, the UN is said to be deploying a second fleet on a rescue mission, with Noboru being part of it.
* BenevolentAlienInvasion: It is implied the Tarsians attacked humanity to [[spoiler: give them the motivation to venture into space]] and challenge them as a species.
* BerserkerTears: Mikako weeps like the [[{{Angst}} anguished schoolgirl she is]] during much of the FinalBattle. [[spoiler:Until she [[TranquilFury stops crying]], that is.]] That doesn't stop her from being frighteningly effective.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: What happens when Mikako gets over her {{Angst}} with [[spoiler:victory in battle as her only option to see Noboru again]].
* {{BFS}}: The Tracers possess a powerful [[LaserBlade beam saber]] that can be used to [[spoiler:slice an alien battleship in half]].
* CoolStarship: The ''Lysithea'' and its sister vessels of the UN Navy possess [[FasterThanLightTravel a warp engine]] and beam weaponry that can [[{{Roboteching}} curve at right angles]] to hit enemies.
* ChildSoldiers: Mikako is decidedly of the precocious variety, being the only member of the fleet's crew to appear in the anime.
* FalseCameraEffects: This aspect is particularly impressive and demonstrates Shinkai's attention to detail, giving the anime a greater degree of realism.
* FantasticRomance: The degree of separation between Mikako and Noboru is a consequence of FTL Travel.
* ForeignLanguageTheme: "Through the Years and Far Away" (performed in English by LOW aka Yuuki Mizusawa) is played during the final battle.
* FTLTravel: The UN vessels, like the ''Lysithea'', are capable of FTL travel using warp engines, although they lack the FTL communications capabilities to complement it.
* HighPressureBlood: Tarsians bleed in dramatic delayed-reaction jets when they are critically injured.
* HumongousMecha: The suits deployed by the UN Navy are called Tracers.
* IWillWaitForYou: Noboru struggles a great deal with whether or not to keep waiting for Mikako, and tries to give up on her a few times. Ultimately, the trope is subverted when he chooses to follow her into space.
* LaserBlade: Energy swords are part of the Tracer's combat loadout.
* LimitedWardrobe: Mikako still wears her school uniform while fighting Tarsians, contrasting the expectation that pilots would be supplied with [[LatexSpaceSuit plugsuits]].
* LongDistanceRelationship: Noboru and Mikako attempt to do the best they can to maintain contact during the latter's deployment. Even when this involves light-years of separation between them.
* MacrossMissileMassacre: The Tracers wield missile pods as part of their loadout.
* MagicSkirt: The skirt of Mikako's school uniform stays down even in zero-g.
* NoEnding: The anime is open-ended and only subtly implies that Mikako and Noboru are eventually reunited. Conversely, the manga adaptation adds some resolution.
* NoNewFashionsInTheFuture: Fashions don't seem to have changed much over the course of the story. Noboru's UN Navy tunic even resembles something a UsefulNotes/ColdWar-era officer would wear rather than someone about to go into space.
* RainAura
* {{Roboteching}}: Ships in the Lysithea task force use their particle cannons to great effect against the smaller Tarsian mecha: the cannons are mounted in groups and fire beams that can curve at right angles.
* SceneryPorn: The landscapes and attention to detail are staggering; terrestrial locations within the film were designed from [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/ae/Voices_Screenshots.JPG actual locations in Japan]].
* ShortAnimeMovie: The running time of the film is 25 minutes.
* StarfishAliens: The Tarsians have an anatomy similar to those of starfish
* SubspaceAnsible: Inverted; while UN spacecraft are capable of FTL travel, they lack FTL communications. Ironically, a newspaper near the end of the film reports that the generation of starships built ''after'' Mikako departed will have the FTL communication capability that the ships of her fleet lack.
* SuperCellReception: Accommodated by the Lysithea's communications array, Mikako's phone is able piggyback on the network to send out messages to Noboru at increasingly long intervals.
* SurprisinglyGoodEnglish: The ComputerVoice of the ''Lysithea'' is voiced by a native English speaker (the same actress who provided the voice of Raising Heart in ''MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha''), and thus her pronunciation and intonation are flawless, although the word ordering is unusual in some places.
* TimeDilation: While the fleet has FTL travel, its vessels lack FTL communications and so, it takes an increasingly long amount of time for Mikako's messages to reach Noboru as she travels farther from Earth; she compares it to twentieth-century air mail.
* TimeTravelRomance: Time travel is not explicitly involved, but the lack of FTL communications means that past Mikako is essentially sending messages to future Noboru.
* UmbrellaOfTogetherness: Mikako and Noboru in their flashbacks.
* {{Wangst}}: {{Invoked}} in all but name by Noboru at the start of in his final part, which resumes as "I've been complaining and doing nothing for too long - now I am ''doing'' something".
->''[[spoiler:...I am here.]]''