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Poll: Millennium Actress Episode 1 Discussion

Nov 4, 2017 7:23 PM

Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 639
The Art direction is perfect, and the Soundtrack too. Satoshi Kon really was a genius.
Nov 6, 2017 7:58 AM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 0
Confusing at first but I understand it as the movie goes along

8 out of 10
Nov 29, 2017 11:04 AM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 53
Great movie, with stunning visuals and cool storytelling method. The story is simple but you shouldn't confuse simple with bad. Honestly, some of the comments are so irritating: "story is too simple, boo". Little Match Girl is simple. The Room is bad.
Dec 20, 2017 7:20 AM

Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 721
Beautiful yet undoubtedly tragic story. As mentioned above, the storytelling in the film was on another level - we were literally the audience, witnessing her life from start to finish.

Really loved the soundtrack, the scene where she jumped onto the horse followed by the series of time skips hit me in the feels.
Dec 28, 2017 2:22 PM

Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 6434
I guess she really loved the chasing until she died, probably she will still chase him to the afterlife. I didn't call that romance I called it obsessive behavioral, she was so obsessed with chasing that man's shadow even though they never mentioned his name or her remembering his face.
I called that being mentally disturbed and nothing about it was romantic, because she was clinging to shadows.

On the upside is the story telling which was displayed with scenes from her movies, what better way to tell an actress's story.
Truly marvelous indeed, so 7/10.
¡Ay, caramba! --- Bart Simpson

Jan 25, 2018 11:23 AM

Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 1011
The BD I've ordered months ago finally arrived this morning and I waited not even a minute to watch this masterpiece again. I was in tears for at least 1/3 of the movie and spend the rest with gilittering eyes, again.
As other have said above, the seamless transition between scenes and eras was unbelievable even for current standard. The unique way of approaching the story was a joy to watch. Beautiful cinematography and superb animation (comparable to today top tier anime), added with Susumu Hirasawa's masterpieces, and you got one of the best movie of all time, not just anime, but movie in general.

p.s I just watched Setsuko Hara movies (esp Tokyo Monogatari), waow just waow.

Objective & Obviously Best Girl Association.
Mar 24, 2018 1:00 AM

Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 1170
The art was nice. But this reminded me of the trippy shit that Paprika was. The story had no conciseness and just alternated between films and reality to just move the story forward.

I am never watching a Satoshi Kon movie again. Otherwise, I might get nauseated from all the dementia stuff in the movie.

I understand why others say this is a good movie, but for me, these kinds of trippy movies aren't for me. They should have classified this movie as dementia for all the fast as fuck transitions. If they had made the movie more smoother than being so jarred, it would have been better.

I get this is a historical movie, but jumping so fast between eras is just cheating. Transitions must be slow, calculated and focused to work. Take Stanley Kubrick's bone cut. It took the movement of a bone and interposed it with the space ship nicely. Contrast it with this movie. It just seems like one moment the actress is riding on a cart, and the other moment, when the driver falls, the cart rides over and then the girl was on a bicycle the next instant. I was scared with the implication that the driver was dead, but this movie just passes it off as a woman's delusions.

And that woman running around and just bumping and hitting other men and dropping the fucking key and then running and falling in the snow and chasing and then running around and just bumping and hitting other men and dropping the fucking key and then running and falling in the snow and chasing.... TAKE A FUCKING BREAK woman.

I wouldn't be surprised if more of Satoshi's movies are about women going in and about dementia stuff.

Without change,we end up becoming the very person we hate.

I was dead until the moment I met you. I was a powerless corpse pretending to be alive. Living without power, without the ability to change my course, was bound to lead me to a slow death.

Apr 8, 2018 8:20 AM

Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 123
I had a feeling the guy was dead, but to think he was dead from the jump... that’s kinda tragic. Overall, this was a great movie, and I really like the collage of events in her films coming together at the end to describe how she felt.
Apr 29, 2018 9:44 AM

Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 70
RenaPsychoKiller said:
If this is actually the best movie of Satoshi Kon (RIP), my disappointment becomes even bigger.
I watched Millennium Actress, my first movie by this author, a few days ago, and I was expecting a lot more.
The story is confused, messy, non-linear, and inconclusive.
The characters, apart from being very few, were nothing great, and Chiyoko was almost irritating. All she does in the movie is running and chasing for her beloved non-existant man while holding that goddamn key. lol @ the "omg, I lost the key, help me find it now!!!11!!1" scene.
The only things I liked were the animation, the character design, the music, and the "feudal Japan" parts. These things only are what makes the movie watchable.
I can't stand those productions that forcefully want to be poetic and touching at all costs, and seem sparkling masterpieces on the outside, while (in Millennium Actress case) they don't even have a coherent and well-written story or likeable main characters. And neither I will ever understand those who rate such things 10, saying "ooohh, it's so deep and graphically beautiful, let's all rate it 10".
Not a bad movie overall, but surely not a memorable one.

I feel the same way, like I am confused as to how this movie is so great. I mean yeah its sad that she has been chasing a shadow but I don't get how everyone loves this movie so much.
May 7, 2018 3:03 AM

Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 3992
Unique way of storytelling. I agree with that one review of the two film makers being an anchor to avoid confusions. I honestly really liked how Kon managed to insert the two without looking too out of place. I really can't understand people who do everything for love but I do appreciate the effort they make and to think such an encounter would greatly affect someone's lifestyle. Transitions are still on-point as far as this movie goes that's for sure. 8/10 but I still think nothing beats Perfect Blue, and Tokyo Godfathers was a tad bit better than this one.

I guess the saying "It's not about the destination, but the journey" applies to this movie
Modified by EGOIST, May 7, 2018 3:13 AM
Sep 5, 2018 6:58 PM

Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 5188
There will never be anything quite as hypnotizing and breathtaking as Satoshi Kon's directing. Transition to sublime fantastical heights, this man truly achieved bliss with this one. Plus the OST was so dream like and heart pulling, almost to the point of tears. Stunning, absolutely.
Feb 7, 2019 4:23 AM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 344
Damn, I've had this on my PTW for months and didnt realise it was a Kon Satoshi movie. I would have watched it ages ago if I'd known.

God, that man's death was such a loss to anime, and to film in general. There may be other giants of anime who were more influential (Osamu Tezuka, Osamu Dezaki, Leiji Matsumoto, Hayao Miyazaki, Katsuhiro Otomo,Mamoru Oshii for eg), but none beat Satoshi in terms of wild, outside-of-the-box innovation and convention-smashing creativity.

Dude was amazing the way he made these surreal, nonsensical, narrative shredding films, but they still ended up more engaging, and more instinctively easy to follow than much more linear, more conventional stories
Feb 17, 2019 4:35 PM

Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 5537
Dang, beautiful movie.
It was a fantastical experience seeing the journey of Chiyoko from her early days to her final day.
The directing of this movie was topnotch!

It's so different aswell from the other work I've seen from Kon Satoshi, shows how good of a director he was.
Unique way of story telling and it was amazing!

Mar 31, 2019 1:19 AM

Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 21884
personally i wouldn't call chiyoko chasing after him love. it felt more like it was she was obsessed with him, or that she felt obliged to give him the key back and later grew some sort of feeling. it doesn't change a lot of the message that "its the journey, not the destination" any less beautiful though. the directing, storytelling, and art also made up for some things i didn't like about it storywise.
Apr 17, 2019 1:42 AM

Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 551
This was great. I love that last line - the idea that the journey is worth more than the destination. Even if she didn't know him, he still gave her life meaning and color, and in the end it didn't matter that she was chasing a shadow, she resumed her journey after him. It leaves me teary eyed. And the concept of the old ayakashi lady was so great. I need to watch it again to truly grasp everything about this movie I think.
May 11, 2019 2:43 AM

Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 7495
It was ok. I feel like Kon is a hit or miss director, I liked Paranoia Agent and Perfect Blue, but I thought Millennium Actress was average as well Tokyo Godfathers.
Jun 25, 2019 9:55 AM

Joined: May 2016
Posts: 11873
Following Chiyoko's life story as she chased that mysterious man to the ends of the earth ever since he had first left behind the key to his art supplies with Genya and the cameraman was quite an experience that left me hooked right until the end. It was pretty confusing at the beginning with me not being able to tell which parts were from the movie and from her actual life but considering that she is an actress, there's no better way to tell her story than to completely blend the two most important aspects of her life together into one big movie. It was so satisfying for me when the pieces started to fit together with everything finally making sense later in the movie.

It was amusing to see Genya fanboy over her movies then starting to fill in for the other roles of her movies right before revealing that he actually had a way bigger role in her prime years after all. He was even the one who found out about the tragic twist of fate that befell on the person she was looking for all this time. She might not have returned the key to him when both of them were still alive, but he ended up letting her go on the biggest and most eventful journey she'd ever had. I have to say that I cried a little bit at the very last moments of the film and seeing her departure scene that was never really completed was beautiful.

I'm more of a fan of Kon's light-hearted movies with Tokyo Godfathers being my favorite so I loved this one as well.

Aug 13, 2019 9:16 PM
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 8427
Her savior by bringing the key back to her brought the love she chased through her movies back into her life on her last day
Aug 14, 2019 12:10 AM
Anime Moderator
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 7566
Watched it theaters today! I honestly wasn't expecting the movie to be directed in such a way, what a pleasant surprise! It was sort of confusing at first, but I think it started making sense as the movie continues. Each filmChiyoko acted in, she put her feelings for the man. While he was her goal, the chase was the best part. After all, he was the biggest reason why she decided to become an actress, and a great and loved one at that. What happened in the movies were a part of her, just like her real life was a part of the movies. What a unique way of storytelling, blurring the lines between reality and fantasy, only for it to come together so perfectly in the end and closing the loop.

I wasn't expecting to cry at all, but I did when my fears came true, that the man no longer exists, that Chiyoko would never reach him...except in death. The final scene where Chiyoko shot off into space was so beautiful, symbolic of her passing into the unknown, and as Genya said, never coming back. She confirmed the universal theme that the audience must've all figured out by then, that what she really loved was chasing after him. The journey is always the most enjoyable part!

Also, the OST was amazing! I honestly didn't know I'd come out with wanting to listen to the OST again. The ending theme was wonderful as well, end it with a bang!

The Fathom Event had an extra interview part at the end, where one of the questions was "Why animation and not live-action?" I really don't think a live-action movie would be able have such smooth transitions as this movie did, as well as having Genya and Kyouji show up everywhere without it feeling awkward. They also talked about how this movie came to be, brainstorming with Kon Satoshi. It's funny how they thought of something about an actress, and then ended up with this phenomenal storytelling. Honestly, the reason this has been on my PTW since forever is because I thought it was just a slice of life following an actress who grew to fame. I wonder why it never occurred to me that it'd be very different, given the high score and praise. I'm glad I was able to watch it in the cinema, what a wonderful experience!
Aug 15, 2019 5:36 PM

Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 6636
Good movie, saw it two days ago at my local theater but I got preoccupied and forgot to post here.

Definitely has a very unique style to it and the presentation of the story is interesting and has it's own charm to it. I think my biggest issue with this movie was that despite it's unique style, it wasn't all that gripping or captivating, Perfect Blue was definitely superior in that regard.

I think the transitions were the most incredible thing in the movie, so subtle, yet so sharp and so beautiful. The first one caught me totally off guard and that's the point at which I started wondering if everything upto that point was also just another story. If the entire movie had the same impact as the transitions between the different stories I think I would've liked this way more than I did.

The final few minutes were great, it was the chase she loved. :)

Aug 22, 2019 3:32 PM

Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 2504
Very mixed feeling with this one. The last part was absolutely brilliant and really one of a kind but on the other hand had to chore through those hour long of the mindless repetitive scenarios.. I find it very acquired taste that wasn't my liking.
Its impressive how managed to tell this a long story with a little depth premise plus executes with tricky flashback technique. I really think overall if only the total duration was shorten and with a better soundtrack then this could turn positive experience for me..
Oct 11, 2019 2:15 PM

Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 1900
Across all mediums of entertainment, this is one of five perfect "10"s I've ever given. Simply flawless.

For those who may not have fully understood the movie's purpose or message and would like to take a deep dive into what makes it such a stroke of genius, I strongly recommend taking a look at this video essay and then following up with a second viewing.

"I am not sure that I exist, actually. I am all the writers that I have read, all the
people that I have met, all the women that I have loved; all the cities I have visited.
― Jorge Luis Borges
goodreads | Letterboxd

Oct 16, 2019 12:25 PM

Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 1187
Greyleaf said:
Across all mediums of entertainment, this is one of five perfect "10"s I've ever given. Simply flawless.

For those who may not have fully understood the movie's purpose or message and would like to take a deep dive into what makes it such a stroke of genius, I strongly recommend taking a look at this video essay and then following up with a second viewing.

A true person of culture I see
Thank you for sharing that video, I want to consume all Satoshi-kon related content I can, especially related to Millenium Actress <3

This movie is, to me, a celebration of japanese cinema and art itself through animation - I always get chills and at least a tear is shed in that beyond perfect final scene!
Oct 16, 2019 3:32 PM

Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 1900
Nostalgik said:
This movie is, to me, a celebration of japanese cinema and art itself through animation - I always get chills and at least a tear is shed in that beyond perfect final scene!

Absolutely. It's one of the few anime that make me tear up every time I watch it. Definitely check that video out! iirc, the guy who made it spent upwards of 6 months doing the necessary research. Man, it really put so much about the film into perspective for me, especially regarding the symbolism of the lotus and the crane.

"I am not sure that I exist, actually. I am all the writers that I have read, all the
people that I have met, all the women that I have loved; all the cities I have visited.
― Jorge Luis Borges
goodreads | Letterboxd

Nov 14, 2019 8:05 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 1336
Personally, I couldn't really connect with Chiyoko. When I first started watching, maybe the first half hour, I was completely confused as to what was happening. I couldn't differentiate between what was reality and what was cinema. But that's exactly it, and what I think is the best part of this movie: the blurred lines between reality and cinema.

At first, I thought the plot was incoherent and difficult to follow. But as it went on, I started to appreciate how seamlessly the movie blurred the aforementioned lines. Unless it was really obvious, you couldn't really tell which part was real, which part was cinema, which part was a combination of both. It is a story within a story. Those movies weren't just movies for the sake of movies being there because the protagonist is an actress, but those movies themselves illustrate the very journey of life that the actress went through. Each of her characters seemed to share the same desire: to see and meet the enigmatic "him". I think it was quite a great artistic expression as well as an interesting storytelling and animation method.

As others have also said on this thread, I enjoyed around the last 20 minutes of the movie. That was the best part. The final quote was what put a lot of it into perspective: it was the chase she loved.

I came in here expecting some sort of masterpiece. Unfortunately, I just can't bring myself to call it a masterpiece. I don't regret watching it, it was interesting. It was a good movie. But that's as far as I can say about it. Not sure yet how to rate this.
Jan 27, 2020 1:55 PM

Joined: May 2017
Posts: 369
I'm speechless. It's going to take me a few days to digest what I just watched, as this was full of symbolism and really had a lot to say about living life.

There are a lot of things upon which I can reflect, and leaving a story with this feeling of fullness and completeness is something I rarely get to experience.

I sobbed my eyes out at the end. Absolutely beautiful and unforgettable work of art...
Feb 22, 2020 11:25 AM

Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 1229
Loved this movie. It was so unique. An 8/10 for me.
Mar 11, 2020 2:02 AM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 497
this movie made me realize that i don't yearn for love as much as i did in the past. but, i can still understand & feel the beautiful & bitter-sweet endeavor of chasing after your love.

i think it's pretty much clear that we should take Chiyoko's love pursuit as an analogy of our own endeavor & dedication to whatever we pursue in life. the message at the ending is pretty much one of the standard answers to existential crisis. it's the journey that matters.
Modified by finestseeker17, Mar 13, 2020 2:22 AM
Mar 28, 2020 4:21 PM

Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 2412
This movie was definitely a grower, not that I didn't love the set-up or the premise of telling her story through lens of the movies in her career, but for a good portion I thought this was going to wind-up as a 7/10 for me because the plot itself was becoming so repetitive. It felt like I was essentially watching the same scenes over again with just a different coat of paint for awhile there, once Genya started including himself in the roles particularly (although I absolutely loved the scene where we saw what was actually there, with the cameraman kinda just standing there while Chiyoko & Genya were sitting down and acting out the scenario) but once we got to the climax so to speak with Chiyoko running towards Hokkaido with all the different movie scenes being spliced in and out, I was in love. It felt like the movie's structural conceit was really paying off, and the whole last several minutes of the film were absolutely perfect, I was on the verge of tears for most of it. I suppose the movie being mostly predictable could be seen as another flaw, though with execution as flawless as returning to the astronaut movie for the ending while she says her final line it's hard to criticize it for that. Ultimately it winds up as just a beautifully constructed film, with several amazing transitions between different movie styles and some incredible shot composition, a fantastic soundtrack and the visuals were perfect. 9/10 for me, though I'll be honest and say I was debating between an 8 or 9 for awhile there. Oh, and I also loved the consistent use of the colour red throughout the film, the way it stood out on Chiyoko's outfit when she met the painter and how it came back as a signifier for him in the later portions (also his blood from the first part too), and the parallels with her devotion to him and Genya's to her will definitely be giving me something to ponder for awhile.
Modified by Terrestrious, Jul 8, 2020 12:44 AM
Jun 6, 2020 3:19 PM

Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 276
The format of this movie is unique. I love how they portrayed the interview as if the interviewers were there.
Jun 16, 2020 3:50 PM

Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 2791
I feel like there is a giant meme going on and I simply wasnt invited to it.

This movie is not amazing at all. What are you all talking about? It was very good on a technical level, but the characters were non existent to the point that you can describe the 2 main character with a single word. SIMP. And the story can be told in 3 minutes.

This would have worked better as a short movie, the middle part was just too repetitive and simply uneventfull. Repeating this chase scene for an hour didnt improve the movie and only served to bloat its screentime.

Dont get me wrong, its not a bad movie, its just the weakest movie from Satoshi Kon.

7/10 for the unique way of storytelling and good production quality.
"This emotion is mine alone.
It is for Madoka alone." - Homura
or how I would descripe Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica.
Jul 28, 2020 9:05 AM
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 62
this movie moved me so much that it made me ugly cry. i want to forget it and watch it again for the first time. when she met the man, it made my heart flutter that i teared up! and it's so sad that she never met him again but what she said in the end made me a bit happy. a film so ahead of its time, a masterpiece . definitely a 10/10 for me.
Sep 12, 2020 12:29 PM

Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 9324
What is the meaning in anything? That is what I thought watching this movie. Your life is free that.

Great way to tell a story about an actress.

Sep 13, 2020 6:02 AM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 0
The art style was different and I liked it. The scene transitions were a bit trippy, I needed to rewatch it to understand which were the actual flashbacks to movie sets vs. her irl life back then. Kind of obvious that the guy wouldn't return to meet his lover. Imo, they fell in love too quickly+his death could have some more depth to it. Overall pretty good way to portray a memoir of an actress, enjoyed the symbolism of the key too!

I kind of wonder what the key was for and what was all those earthquakes...
Oct 14, 2020 11:07 AM

Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 388
Many people can write stories like this but probably not produce it as good as Satoshi Kon. The directing is just excellent. Definitely isn't as heavy as Perfect Blue or ambitious like Paprika but this is the standard of his film making. Pretty high, yes. A very solid 8/10 for me.
Dec 11, 2020 2:58 AM

Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 2222
Amazing movie, definitely one of the best movies I've ever watched. Hypnotizing, beautiful, and thematic.

Satoshi Kon is a fucking genius.
Dec 27, 2020 12:38 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 16
Damn I was all emotional and crying, then she said "It's the chasing after him that I love" and I was so bruhhh. Great movie, playing with my feelings like that!
Feb 16, 8:53 AM
Joined: Oct 2020
Posts: 8
Last 5 minutes made me cry
Mar 18, 4:33 PM

Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 709
It was a bit confusing but it was so good. Ngl i did cry a bit for no reason lol.
Mar 31, 9:08 AM

Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 655
With this I have seen all 4 Satoshi Kon movies, and unsurprisingly all of them were amazing. Perfect blue is considered the best of the lot, tho personally I think all the other 3 are better than Perfect blue. Tokyo Godfathers has better dialogues, Paprika has a better design but tbh it was this movie that I can say was the best overall. The movie is absolutely amazing from the get go and hits you right in the feels again and again. Thank you Satoshi Kon for this and RIP....
Apr 4, 12:43 PM
Joined: Oct 2020
Posts: 55
smt different, an actress told us her life , using her filmology as a pretext for the true story which is that endless chase after her loved one. I think Satoshi Kon wanted to tell us that love breaks through time and space, therefore the last scene
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