[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hoshinokoe_8597_7851.jpg]]
[[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 on his own. In its original release, Shinkai himself voiced Noboru, as well.

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.

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!!''Voices Of A Distant Star'' provides examples of:
* ActionGirl: Mikako is a capable combat pilot despite her emotional burdens.
* 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.
* AlternateSelf: Possibly. In a MindScrew sequence late in the film, Mikako sees another version of herself, one who is older and has a wedding band. Whether this is a self-induced hallucination out of her anguish, a psychic attack from the tarsians or something else is left unanswered.
* {{Angst}}: The genuine, increasing anguish of both characters resulting from their separation is central to the story.
* AsteroidThicket
* BenevolentAlienInvasion: It is implied the Tarsians attacked humanity to [[spoiler: give them the motivation to venture into space]] and challenge them as a species.
* {{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.
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: Despite her young age and appearance being out of place in a military setting, Mikako proves to be a highly effective pilot, engaging and defeating numerous Tarsians during the film's final battles.
* DarkestHour: For both characters, it is not the FinalBattle, but how dangerously close they are to reach their DespairEventHorizon over their separation.
* {{Determinator}}: After coming to terms with her feelings for Noboru during the FinalBattle, Mikako realises that she desires nothing more than to return to his side and subsequently displays a hitherto unseen combat prowess, shooting down multiple Tarsians in the process.
* 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.
* GraveClouds: When Noboru is waiting futilely for Mikako's messages the first winter of her being out at space, the weather is overcast and snowing.
* GrayRainOfDepression: It is raining heavily when Noboru tries to gather the resolve to let go of Mikako. [[spoiler:And then the message she had sent 1 year ago arrives; by the time he finishes reading it, so does the rain.]]
* HeartbrokenBadass: When the fleet is makes a series of long-distance jumps, it increases the communications delay between her and Noboru. Their increasing distance leads Mikako to wonder if Noboru will wait for her, and this culminates in her putting her feelings into the final battle, where she tallies a large number of kills against the Tarsians.
* HeroicBSOD: Thinking about the distance between herself and Noboru causes Mikako to bawl her eyes out in her cockpit mid-battle, but she manages to pull herself together.
* HeroicSafeMode: Mikako's longing to reunite with Noboru drives her into fighting the Tarsians with a much greater resolve and ferocity.
* HighPressureBlood: Tarsians bleed in dramatic delayed-reaction jets when they are critically injured.
* HowWeGotHere: The anime starts with Mikako already a spaceborne Tracer pilot, then flashbacks to before her enlistment.
* HumongousMecha: The suits deployed by the UN Navy are called Tracers.
* HyperspeedEscape: When a large Tarsian force approaches near Pluto, the ''Lysithea'' task force bugs out via FTL jump rather than take their chances trying to fight the enemy head-on.
* 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 [[SchoolUniformsAreTheNewBlack 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.
* ProductPlacement: At one point, a can of [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qoo Qoo]] is shown.
* 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]].
* SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: Several times, the ''Lysithea'''s computer declares that Tarsian forces are at something thousand without stating any units. From context, distance of some sort is implied, but never outright stated.
* ShortAnimeMovie: The running time of the film is 25 minutes.
* ShoutOut: A couple of times, trains bearing containers marked "[[Anime/{{Macross}} United Nations Spacy]]" are seen.
* 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 to piggyback on the network to send out messages to Noboru at increasingly long intervals, first interplanetary and then interstellar distances.
* SurprisinglyGoodEnglish: The ComputerVoice of the ''Lysithea'' is voiced by a native English speaker (the same actress who provided the voice of Raising Heart in ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha''), and thus her pronunciation and intonation are flawless, although the word ordering is unusual in some places.
* ThemeAndVariationsSoundtrack: Many of the songs in the soundtrack share motifs with either "Through the Years and Far Away" or "Ame no Boss Tei/Rainy Bus Stop".
* 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.
* TranquilFury: Once she realizes that defeating the Tarsians is [[spoiler:the only way to see Noboru again]], Mikako stems her tears and proceeds to decimate opposing Tarsian forces with surprising efficacy.
* UmbrellaOfTogetherness: Mikako and Noboru in their flashbacks.
* {{Wangst}}: Noboru falls into a depression when he feels that he's been idle for too long, but near the film's end, it's revealed he's also joined the armed forces to both be actively engaged in defending their planet, in addition to the prospect of reuniting with Mikako.
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->''[[spoiler:...I am here.]]''
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