The story is staged at an alien cluster of four major planetary systems. The God of Light, Amaterasu, the immortal emperor of the Grees Kingdom on the planet Delta Belune, is destined to rule the whole Joker System. He and Lachesis, his bride and fatima, are the main characters of this epic story.
An anime film adaptation of the first volume, directed by Kazuo Yamazaki, was released in 1989.
The Five Star Stories takes its name from the Joker Star Cluster where the stories take place. The star cluster is made up of four stars: Eastern, Western, Southern and Northern. The "fifth star" is a large comet named Stant that passes through that sector of space every 1,500 years pulling with it its own collection of orbiting planets. (Note that the term "Star Cluster" is somewhat inappropriate, considering that even the smallest real life clusters typically contain several hundred stars, although it may simply be that the "Five Stars" are the only ones out of a larger cluster that have planets. The Joker area is also frequently referred to as a galaxy, or even a constellation, although these descriptions are even less appropriate, constellations only being visible as such when observed from a distance. It is much more likely that Nagano Mamoru is simply unconcerned or unknowing of the minutiae of astrophysics.
In the distant past the Farus Di Kanon Empire, now commonly known as the "Super Empire", controlled all 4 solar systems of the Joker Cluster. They enjoyed a level of technology much higher than is currently known and sent explorers to the far reaches of the Joker Galaxy. Around the year 9000 AD (Ammon Duul) the empire collapsed due to internal strife. The explorers were called home and what remained of civilization focused mainly on survival. Much technology and knowledge was lost by the time the imperial families of Amaterasu, Fillmore and Hathuha gathered and established the JC era. JC stands for "Joker Calendar" and was meant to give a common frame of reference to all nations to help foster a lasting peace. The JC calendar was adopted but the dream of peace was never realized.
The first story of The Five Star Stories begins in JC 2988. At this time interstellar travel is common and genetically engineered "fatimas" are well established as necessary co-pilots of the fearsome mortar headds that dominate the battlefields. Warfare between nations is commonplace and few still hope for peace.
Mortar Headds are the combat mainstays of the Joker Universe. They are mecha which require superhuman reflexes and skill to control, and are therefore only utilized by headdliners with Fatima copilots. Fatimas are humanoid creatures genetically engineered for a life of service on the battlefield. Fatimas are necessary copilots for mortar headds and mentally merge with the computer systems of these devastating machines to control weapons, communications and other vital processes. As such, Fatimas are designed to have computational skills rivaling any computer.
So far, 12 volumes of manga have been published since 1986. There is an English version of the manga available, published by Toyspress, a company co-founded by the author. Each volume of the English version contained approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of the equivalent Japanese volumes. To date, 26 volumes of the English version have been produced, covering Japanese volumes 1 through 10. Volumes 11 and 12 have yet to be translated and the status of future English versions is unknown at this time.
The major story arcs of the manga are :
|Story Arc||Japanese Books||English Volumes|
|Destiny Three Fates Lachesis||I||1-3|
|Destiny Three Fates Clotho the Sleeping Witch||II - III||4-8|
|Trafficks 1||IV - V||9-12|
|Destiny Three Fates Wandering Atropos||VI - VIII||13 - 20|
|The Chivaleries||IX - X||21 - 26|
|The Majestic Stand||XI - XII||Not translated|
The 1989 film covers the events in the first arc of the manga- Destiny Three Fates: Lachesis. It was re-released in 2002 in DVD format. The licensing rights are currently owned by ADV Films, and an English version was released in March 2005. When asked about the film at a US convention, Nagano replied "they did a good job, considering that I was not involved in its production."
- Official FSS site - Japanese
- Site relating to FSS
- Five Star Stores at IMDB
- The Five Star Stories (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia