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Anime / Interstella 5555

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Let's start the dancing.

Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem note  is a 2003 anime musical sci-fi film produced by Toei Animation with visual supervision by Leiji Matsumoto. The film is a visual companion to Daft Punk's second album Discovery; it does not contain spoken dialogue, instead using the full album as its audio with minimal added sound effects. Clips from the film were then turned into official music videos for the album.

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 idea of making a feature film to visualize Discovery was born early during the album's recording sessions. While Daft Punk initially conceived a live-action film, this approach was scrapped in favor of animation. Several styles of animation were considered, but that of Matsumoto was ultimately chosen because he was a childhood hero of the duo.

The music tracks are the same as the Discovery album:

  1. "One More Time"
  2. "Aerodynamic"
  3. "Digital Love"
  4. "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger"
  5. "Crescendolls"
  6. "Nightvision"
  7. "Superheroes"
  8. "High Life"
  9. "Something About Us"
  10. "Voyager"
  11. "Veridis Quo"
  12. "Short Circuit"
  13. "Face to Face"
  14. "Too Long"

Interstella 5555 provides examples of:

  • Acid-Trip Dimension: The wormhole is a vortex of multicolored swirling lights with a trippy vibe.
  • Admiring the Poster: Shep has posters of his favorite band all over the personal quarters of his ship, including a large one of his (obvious) Celeb Crush Stella on the ceiling over his bed. We see him fall into a romantic reverie in which he imagines Stella reaching out of the poster and pulling him in.
  • Afro Asskicker: Octave has an afro in both his alien and human forms, and it's him who breaks into the record company to retrieve the band's memory disks.
  • Alien Abduction: More like Human Abduction, as the roles are changed. For once, those are humans from Earth kidnapping aliens. However, technically it still counts, as on their planet humans would be the aliens.
  • Alien Blood: It's golden yellow, even though their skin is blue and Shep blushes red.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Well, singing English, without any explanation or justification. Then again, there's no actual dialog for the entire movie, so...
  • Alliterative Title: With the sub-title Letters 2 Numbers S-to-5, Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem
  • All Just a Dream: The last scene implies that the whole movie may be what some kid imagined his toys were doing while he listened to a Daft Punk record.
  • Almost Kiss: Shep and Stella during the dream sequence in "Digital Love" before the ship's warning signal starts sounding.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: A non-video game example; the vortex where Darkwood's spirit is sent away by Shep's spirit is a spiralling tunnel with rainbow colors everywhere.
  • America Saves the Day: America helped start the plan to send the aliens back home.
  • 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.
  • And I Must Scream: The band seem at least somewhat aware that their minds and memories have been altered, but they can't do anything about it.
  • And You Were There: The characters in the film are based on toys that a little boy owns in real life.
  • Animated Music Video: The whole movie is essentially a glorified one.
  • Arc Number: 5 and variants, most notably 5555, as that's how many golden records the Earl needs to conquer the universe.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Darkwood, in addition to being a record company manager (who abducts and brainwashes alien musicians), is an Earl, and has the Big Fancy Castle to prove it.
  • Ascended Fanboy:
    • Quite literally in the case of Shep. He saves his favorite band, dies, then comes back in spirit form to save them for one last time.
    • In a sense, Daft Punk themselves, working with their favorite anime director to create the movie.
  • Backup from Otherworld: Shep saves the Crescendolls' ship in hyperspace from the evil spirit of Earl de Darkwood.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: The story implies that Mozart, Ella Fitzgerald, and Janis Joplin among others were previous alien victims of the Big Bad.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Baryl the drummer seems to have a rough streak. While the other Crescendolls' 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.
  • Big Bad: Earl de Darkwood is the one who kidnapped and brainwashed the titular group of aliens to become his musicians.
  • Biting the Handkerchief: Baryl is shown biting his hat when Shep is dying.
  • Boom, Headshot!: One of Earl de Darkwood's security guards fatally shoots Shep in the back of the head just as the Crescendolls are escaping.
  • Bound and Gagged: Octave ties up, gags, and steals the clothes of a janitor to disguise himself.
  • Brainwashed: The Cresendolls were abducted from their home planet and brainwashed into thinking they were human so that they would perform.
  • Broken Masquerade: Not only did everyone learn the Crescendolls are aliens, but became aware of Darkwood's secrets.
  • Canis Latinicus: "Veridis Quo" is not a real Latin phrase. Of course, this comes from the name of the song playing in the scene, which means "Very Disco" AKA "Discovery" when switched up.
  • Car Chase: Shep's initial rescue attempt of the Crescendolls ends with him and the male band members fleeing in a van while the Earl's security gives chase.
  • Cartoonish Companions:
    • Baryl is shorter than the other characters and has dots for eyes. This is a staple of Leiji Matsumoto's style.
    • The diminutive fashion designer that shows up later is also drawn a lot more cartoony than the other characters (and doesn't even have the excuse of being an alien).
  • Cat Folk: The true form of the alien that got turned into Janis Joplin is a humanoid with catlike attributes.
  • Celeb Crush: Shep has one on Stella, as shown by his Dream Sequence during "Digital Love". He's able to go through another, similar fantasy with the real Stella during his dying moments in "Something About Us".
  • Celebrity Paradox: Daft Punk appear cheering on the Crescendolls at the award ceremony and don't seem bothered that they lost to a band that plagiarized their songs.
  • Children Are Innocent: Children in this film are often portrayed as sweet, Wide-Eyed Idealist, dreamers, particularly the one who dreamt up the entire movie's premise of good triumphing over evil and music connecting the universe.
  • Cleavage Window: Stella's alien dress has one with a very unconventional design.
  • Cool Shades: Subverted; they're part of the brainwashing process (that's why they're screwed into place). If they break, it wears off.
  • Cool Starship:
    • Shep's is shaped like an electric guitar!
    • The Earl's spaceship is quite impressive too and can change its appearance for camouflage purpose.
  • Cosplay:
    • In one scene during "Crescendolls", you can see two little kids dressed up as Octave and Stella. Shortly afterwards a kid dressed like Arpegius gets an autograph from the man himself.
    • Later in the movie, after the Crescendolls have been revealed to be aliens, two kids are shown wearing blue facepaint.
  • Crapsaccharine World:
    • Earth; all of the Crescendolls' fans hear great music and have no idea about the brainwashing. However, once they do find out, they waste no time in supporting them.
    • The Crescendolls' homeworld; everyone was too busy enjoying the concert to worry about planetary security in the first place.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Even though the band will be mind-controlled, the Earl has their memories modified to make them think they came from Earth in case they ever break free, so they would have no idea that they are aliens.
  • Creator 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.
  • Cross-Cultural Handshake: Averted; the alien race in this film doesn't appear to have a special handshake, as Arpegius shakes hands normally with the Crescendolls' human manager towards the end of "Face to Face".
  • Cult: The Earl appears to be running one, as shown by the hooded figures worshipping him.
  • Damsel in Distress: Stella falls into this trope a few times. She is the last of the Crescendolls to be rescued from the Earl's clutches, remaining under mind control longer than most, and is put into the Earl's machine at the story's climax.
  • 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.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Somewhat downplayed; while the Crescendolls are made out to be the main characters, so is Shep, as heavy focus is placed on him during the first half where he attempts to save the band, but he is killed in the process and the Crescendolls fully take over the role of protagonists after his death, though he isn't forgotten after the fact and returns in spirit form twice.
  • Disney Villain Death: Earl de Darkwood falls to his death in the lava below his mansion.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: After freeing the other members of the Crescendolls from the mind control, Shep turns to Stella, but is so taken by her beauty that he freezes long enough for Earl de Darkwood to intercept him.
  • Doom Troops: The Earl's soldiers are cloaked in black, wear imposing gas masks, and abduct the Crescendolls mid-concert.
  • Dream Sequence: Shep's introduction has him resting in his room, and then daydreaming about Stella taking him on a magical flight.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Baryl, with his long hair, could be mistaken for a girl at first in his alien form especially since the film lacks dialogue; it's more clear that he's male in his human form, though.
  • Due to the Dead: When Shep dies, the first thing the Crescendolls do is go out to the countryside to find somewhere to give him a proper burial. After they make it back to their home planet, they attend a ceremony where a statue is erected in his memory.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: The "Something About Us" scene is framed as one of these from Shep to Stella, with the "love confession" part of the lyrics playing over him holding his hand out for her.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: During "Crescendolls", the montage of the group sweeping over the world with their music includes shots set in France, Italy, China and Brazil, recognizable thanks to the monuments seen in the background.
  • E.T. Gave Us Wi-Fi: Apparently, some of the most popular musicians in history were the result of abducted aliens being forced to perform while brainwashed.
  • Failed a Spot Check: One of the security guards in "Short Circuit" somehow doesn't notice that the janitor's uniform Octave is wearing is several sizes too small. Though Octave did make sure to hunch over, with his back to the guard, and in the shadows.
  • Fake Band: The Baron takes manufactured bands to a whole new level, with an actual production line for them.
  • Fake Memories: The Crescendolls' memories are altered so they believe that they were born and reared on Earth — such as kid Arpegius riding a hover-scooter being changed to him riding a tricycle.
  • Fanservice: The band spends most of "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" in their underwear as the Earl's machinery brainwashes them and gives them human appearances.
  • Fanservice Extra: A Brazilian dancer during "Crescendolls" is shown wearing skimpy clothing.
  • Fashion Show: While Stella is still captured, the rest of the band sees her attend one.
  • Female Rockers Play Bass: Stella is the bassist and only female member of The Crescendolls.
  • Fictional Counterpart: The Golden Record awards to the Grammys.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: The song "Aerodynamic" has ominous bells at the beginning and end, and plays when the alien band is being kidnapped.
  • 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.
    • The same sequence also briefly shows us the names and ages of the Crescendolls' members, as well as their likes and dislikes.
  • Frozen Face: The brainwashed band and all of Earl de Darkwood's victims have a non-emoting vacant stare. Stella also appears to have Dull Eyes of Unhappiness.
  • Galactic Conqueror: If the Earl gets all the records, he can take over the universe.
  • 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.
  • Go-to-Sleep Ending: At the end of "Too Long", the story is revealed to have been in the imagination of a kid who fell asleep while playing with his action figures and listening to a Daft Punk record. His mother tucks him in, kisses him goodnight, and turns off the record player.
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: The Crescendolls, Shep, and all the other aliens from their home planet have teal skin.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Twice in the movie, with the guards watching TV instead of their cameras. First time benefitted the villains, the second the heroes. Though the guards in question were both overnight civilian security guards at low-risk sites.
  • Her Heart Will Go On: It's shown after Shep's death that Stella did have feelings for him.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: During his attempt to rescue Stella, Shep is badly injured but lives long enough for the others to rescue her.
  • Hollywood Cyborg: The two bodyguards for the band are revealed to be Terminator-like cyborgs at the end of "Superheroes".
  • Honest Corporate Executive: The Crescendolls' human manager. In contrast with the Earl de Darkwood, he's shown as young and likable, earnest and enthusiastic about the music, and when the aliens are later revealed, he helps them return to 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.
  • If Jesus, Then Aliens: The Earl made a pact with an unidentified dark entity, which he fulfills by sacrificing space aliens to it.
  • Industrialized Evil: The band are put through an automatic brainwashing assembly line in the "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" segment.
  • Instant Sedation: The knockout gas subdues everyone within seconds.
  • In the Hood: Shep conceals himself on Earth using a hood.
  • Jukebox Musical: Sort of, with all the music being already established Daft Punk pieces.
  • Knockout Gas: The band is kidnapped with the aid of sleeping gas and remain unconscious until revived, though we can assume other treatments were applied to them, since the audience wakes up moments later.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The memory-wiping process for the Crescendolls is conducted not by just wiping the memories, but by rewriting them to take place on Earth.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: 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.)
  • Letters 2 Numbers: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Earl de Darkwood falling into lava leads to the destruction of his mansion. 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.
  • Male Gaze: Stella gets tons of it; her first close-up is of her backside. And again in the finale, the camera lingers on it for several seconds before panning out.
  • Manly Tears: Octave, Apregius, and Baryl, the male members of the band, all have their strong moments in the story (fighting back against the Earl etc.) but shed tears during Shep's death.
  • Masquerade: Enforced by Earl de Darkwood who covers up the existence of aliens by disguising them as humans until near the end, where it gets crazy subverted when the people on Earth discover that the Crescendolls are aliens and are actually accepting of it, launching an operation to get them home.
  • Meaningful Name: The band (which, remember, is hypnotized) is called the Crescendolls. It also fits in with the reveal at the end that the story was all in a child's imagination, with the characters in "real life" being action figures.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The Earl's two bodyguards are actually robotic minions. After they are damaged in a car crash, it's trivial for the Earl to rebuild them.
  • Men Can't Keep House: Shep's quarters on his guitar ship are pretty messy.
  • Mime and Music-Only Cartoon: Think of it as an Animated Music Video for an entire album, instead of one song, with no spoken or sung words save for the songs' lyrics.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Arpegius, Shep, and Octave are all athletic and muscular, and are treated to the same kind of camera attention as Stella.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Stella is tall and curvy, and the camera occasionally pays special attention to her curves.
  • Mugged for Disguise: Octave steals a janitor's clothes when breaking into the record company.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Earl de Darkwood is arguably a mild example of the trope, if only because "dark" is in the name.
  • Navel-Deep Neckline: The dress Stella wears on her home planet has a heart-shaped Cleavage Window just above her breasts (i.e., in the usual place) that descends into a very thin division between the two halves of her bodice, before fanning out to become another, also heart-shaped (this time upside-down) cutout several inches below the waist. The effect is oddly innocent — similar to a midriff-baring top — but just try to pitch that design to anyone on Earth.
  • Near-Villain Victory: The Crescendolls were the last of the 5,555 musicians Earl de Darkwood needed to sacrifice to attain enough power to conquer the world. He never achieves that goal as the band fight back and make him and his followers fall into lava before he can fully succeed in his plan.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Before the Crescendolls, Earl de Darkwood's previous victims were famous musicians who look an awful lot like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Jimi Hendrix, Ella Fitzgerald, Janis Joplin and Jimmy Page.
  • No-Dialogue Episode: The entire movie contains no dialog, only song lyrics.
  • No Name Given:
  • The Nudifier: Once kidnapped, the Crescendolls are fed into a machine processor that proceeds to strip them to their underwear using lasers that cut off their outer clothing.
  • Older Than They Look: Potentially. Baryl looks like a teenager or a little kid but the age given during "Crescendolls" puts him at 20.
  • One-Winged Angel: The Earl comes back from the dead as an Energy Being to thwart the Crescendolls' return to their planet.
  • Our Wormholes Are Different: One connects The Crescendolls' galaxy to our moon. It's rhombus-shaped, looking like a white version of the Phantom-Zone Picture in the Superman movies. The interior is an Acid-Trip Dimension full of large objects that can damage spaceships. Both ends disappear after the Crescendolls use it to get home at the end of the movie.
  • Punny Name:
    • Octave is a music term, and Arpegius is based on arpeggio, which is also a music term.
    • Shep, who is in charge of the guitar spaceship.
    • Stella's name means "star", which is fitting for someone who is both a music star and an alien.
    • While Baryl's might seem like an odd one out, it's very similar to the word "barrel", and what is another word for "barrel"? A drum, of course!
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Stella wears a very fashionable teal dress for the "Gold Record Awards".
  • Pretty Boy: Shep, Octave, and Arpegius are all slim and toned, with soft, handsome features. In his alien form, Arpegius is so pretty that he's nearly identical to Stella.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Arpegius wields a baby pink guitar.
  • Retraux: The art style from this movie evokes a similar feel to some manga and anime series from the '70s. Not surprising, considering the characters designs are made by Leiji Matsumoto.
  • Rock Opera: The entire film is a silent rock opera.
  • Rousseau Was Right: After humanity learns the true identity of the Crescendolls, they spare no expense in setting things right.
  • Save the Villain: Attempted by Arpegius with the Big Bad. As Earl de Darkwood falls, Arpegius attempts to pull him back up, but lets go, leaving the Earl to his demise.
  • 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 33⅓ 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!: When sneaking into the record company to retrieve the band's memory disks, Octave is confronted by security guards and gets tasered when he reaches into his jacket for the papers explaining himself.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Several shout-outs to Leiji Matsumoto's works:
      • The hand-on-heart salute of the alien is similar to the one in Space Battleship Yamato.
      • One of the families dancing at the beginning seems to be based off of the Yamato's doctor's character design.
      • During the music award, Baryl's disguise includes Captain Harlock's coat and hat, and his humanized character design resembles Captain Harlock's Tochiro.
      • Toward the end, Shep's ship uses a lengthy trail to take off, a reference to Galaxy Express 999.
      • The "5tar 5ystem" (star system) in the title is a reference to what Osamu Tezuka calls his stock of Reused Character Designs, which he kept track of as if they were film actors playing parts. It's become a slang term in Japan for other artists doing something similar, Leiji Matsumoto among them.
    • Several allusions to 2001: A Space Odyssey with Shep's spacewalk and the psychedelic wormhole. Discovery was released in 2001.
    • The Earl's spaceship, both through its looks and its ability to change shape, is very similar to the protagonist's spaceship from the French graphic novel The Vagabond of Limbo.
    • The "Crescendolls" logo is inspired by Coca-Cola's.
    • When "One More Time" climbs to #2 on the charts, #1 is "High Anxiety" by Mel "Bean" Brooks — High Anxiety being the title (as well as the title song) of an actual Mel Brooks film.
    • The cyborgs' car is crushed by a truck, and when emerging from it, the damaged cyborg has a red eye behind sunglasses, like in The Terminator.
    • Darkwood Manor looks an awful lot like a certain vampire's castle. The music in that segment wouldn't be out of place in one of those games either.
    • The arrival of the band at a spooky castle, in a van, at night, is reminiscent of the start of many Scooby-Doo episodes.
    • The true form of the alien who got turned into Jimmy Page looks like a Ferengi.
  • Showgirl Skirt: The dress Stella wears to the awards show does go all the way around the waist, but the front is a lot shorter than the back, to invoke this trope.
  • Shrine to the Fallen: A statue dedicated to Shep is built on The Crescendolls' home planet at the end.
  • Signature Headgear: On their home planet, the Crescendolls wear distinctive silver headbands with red gemstones. Earl de Darkwood seems to recognize or treat them as valuable, as he has the machine store them away safely instead of destroying them like the rest of the Crescendolls' clothes.
  • Skin-Tone Disguise: The Crescendolls, a band of blue-skinned aliens kidnapped and brainwashed by humans, are covered in a substance that turns their skin and hair human colors.
  • Slasher Smile: The Earl's face when he receives his 5,555th Golden Record. Collecting exactly this many Golden Records will allow him to take control of the universe, explaining this.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Stella's the only girl in the band. Doesn't help that her original blue-skinned self actually resembles a bishoujo Smurfette.
  • 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, if contemplative, tune plays during the burial of Shep about midway through the movie.
  • Strange Salute: Aliens in this movie salute by holding a closed right fist over the heart.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: The second Earl de Darkwood — our Big Bad — grows up to look a lot like the first, only lacking his father's brown hair color and pencil-thin mustache. It's a portrait of the first Earl in the entrance hall of Darkwood Manor that tells the Crescendolls they're on the right track.
  • Subspace Ansible: At the end, people on Earth (including one guy on the International Space Station) are shown watching a live concert from The Crescendolls' homeworld.
  • Sung-Through Musical: Has no dialogue besides the songs.
  • Supernaturally Marked Grave: After Shep gets buried, The Crescendolls hold hands and meditate around his grave. Blue flowers instantly grow on it and his ghost appears and flies off.
  • Surveillance Station Slacker:
    • The three soldiers watching the "One More Time" concert rather than paying attention to planetary defense.
    • The Record Company guards are too busy watching a soccer game to notice that Octave has broken in.
  • Tareme Eyes: Stella has the classic Leiji Matsumoto Female Character eyes.
  • Token Black: Octave, as a human, is the only black character in the main cast.
  • Undressing the Unconscious: While the band is knocked out, the Earl's production line cuts off their clothes with lasers. They all get new clothes put on them before they wake up.
  • Unmasqued World: By the end humanity is aware of aliens and seems to have contact with The Crescendolls' homeworld.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The manager of the record company. Thanks to him the Crescendolls turn into a worldwide success, and thus plays a key part of the Earl's evil plan. He also had no idea he was involved in a scheme to conquer the universe, and is actually helpful and kind to the aliens once said scheme is revealed.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: The Earl drops a business card with some plot info on it. Stella's the only one in the room and she's wearing a cleavage-heavy dress. Down it goes.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: With a dash of Lightning Can Do Anything — getting shocked by a taser not only incapacitates Octave, but also undoes the Earl's human disguise, returning his skin color to his natural teal.
  • The World Is Just Awesome: During the "Voyager" section, the Crescendolls are driving out from the city and into the gorgeously depicted countryside, passing by beaches, waterfalls, vast plains, and forests, seemingly for the first time ever. Despite this, the drive is tinged with melancholia as the entire purpose of their road trip is to find a burial place for Shep.
  • World Tree: Downplayed; the tree where Shep is buried is giant, but not absolutely massive, and supernatural things occur around it as when Shep's burial is finished, blue flowers grow over his resting place and his spirit flies away.
  • Would Hurt a Child: One of the musicians the Earl sacrificed as part of his Deal with the Devil was a Child Prodigy based on Mozart.