Could you get any more 80s than this? One day I’ll write a post about how long-running epic Five Star Stories is one of the great ‘lost’ mega-franchises that could have been, a mainstay of NewType magazines even to this day, and even partially translated into English, but now largely all but forgotten in the West, except by die-hard mecha fans.
I could talk all day about how Mamoru Nagano’s mecha designs are some of the most bewitchingly beautiful in the business, all baroque, skeletally thin elegance – like something out of a fashion mag or pop concert design sketches. But no, today I’m here to talk about the key song – Hitomi No Naka No Far Away – from the 1989 OVA adaptation of Five Star Stories. This OVA was released in the States by ADV as a subtitled only DVD edition that is no sadly out of print. It’s never made it out here in the UK.
But while my love of the arguably flawed hour-long OVA has wavered since I first saw it, my adoration for this song only grows and grows every time I hear it. Sung by long-time enka singer and Kohaku Uta Gassen regular Nagayama Yoko, the song oozes a breezy 80s class, from the synth trills of the beginning to the soaring, catchy chorus line to my favourite part of the song – that little piano hook that feels like it could have come straight off a Deacon Blue album. I have so much time for the style of production most 80s anisong occupies, and this song epitomises so many of its best parts.