One of the excellent qualities of this movie are the subplots. A running theme throughout is the protagonist Shiro's religious conversion and how it applies to his increasing fame through the space program. The two different religions of the country that Shiro inhabits seem to emulate Christianity and Shinto (since this is a Japanese movie, the Shinto-like religion is the official state one) pulling some myths from other religions as well. Surprisingly, the Christianity-like religion is presented in a more favorable light than the state-sponsered one. That's not common in anime. Shiro is what I would consider the quintessential Gen-Xer.