£20 RRP (Online Price not avaliable)
First of all, apologies to those expecting this review by UK-Anime sooner. Its been a long time waiting, and finally, this semester’s work has been finished!
Perfect Blue and Millennium Actress are both directed by Satoshi Kon. You can expect the usual mind-games and the unforeseen plot twists and incredible immersing stories in these films as you see in his anime series. These do not disappoint by any stretch of the imagination.
The reputation this film carried for being both completely broken and violent put me off watching this film for many years. I dislike violent rape scenes, and after being told this film contained some quite graphic scenes did put me off, however, in this release, the scene that does contain rape, is merely part of the story and there to illustrate a particular idea within the story. She is an actress, doing a rape scene; it is all fake, nothing more. Anything more graphic than this, has been cut.
The story follows the immediate life of a young woman called Mima. She is currently a pop singer for the girl group Cham and is overall enjoying it. However, for reasons which become evident later in the story, she leaves the group to become an actress and get her career off the ground. Not everyone is happy with this choice.
It isn’t long that Mima realises that she has a stalker. Every aspect of her life is being written in complete detail on the internet. When people assisting her in her career are murdered she becomes delusional and paranoid and her world increasingly turns upside down as the faint line between fantasies; reality and her imagination become blurred and merge. Mima soon finds her own life in danger as she descends further into her delusions.
Perfect Blue can only be called a suspense masterpiece. I have completely regretted not seeing this movie sooner. That’s what I get for listening to friends! The movie is not as much of a brain strain as you are led on to believe and the twist in the truth of her delusions comes as a complete surprise. Perfect Blue deserves to be called a classic in every way.
Onto Millennium Actress…
Having being dragged to this film after several pints at Ayacon 2005, I very rapidly found myself becoming a fan of this genre of film. I was fixated by the way the story switched from Chiyoko’s real life, her movie career and her history; all of which are completely inseparable from each other in the flow of the film.
The film is the tale of Chiyoko’s search for the man she loves and her life. Her history is depicted as scenes from the films she has produced with historic scenes that span an entire millennium of history. Carrying the key which her love left for her in that fleeting moment, her entire career revolves around the single need to find him, and return the key to him, just as she promised all those years ago.
Millennium actress is a truly moving story that has on three separate occasions (including the very second in time as I write this review), brought me to tears. It’s beautiful and in a lot of ways, truly unlike what Satoshi Kon usually produces. His trademark plot twists, the suspense and the excitement produced by his works are still highly visible in this story. Add to this the truly beautiful non-CGI artwork, and you have a scrumptious feast for the mind and for your eyes. In addition, answering my own question, I discovered that the artist responsible for the Paranoia Agent musical score was used for the musical score for this film. Again, another precision strike to make my enjoyment of this movie absolutely complete! (Susumu Hirasawa for those who wish to look him up).
In regards to the set, I do find it odd that these films are being sold together, however I understand that Millennium Actress is widely regarded as a “sequel