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Anime Discovery presents: IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD HOUSE, part 6: Millennium Actress
From late anime filmmaker Satoshi Kon, (director of Paprika, Perfect Blue & Tokyo Godfathers) this is a story which may seem very normal and simple for unsuspecting eyes but from what I heard from people who loved his work and often reviewed it is that he has proven to have some phenomenal storytelling that can transform something so simple into a masterpiece of anime and so far, I have only seen Paprika and I was surprised that Chris Nolan was inspired by that movie to make Inception and yes, my rating for Paprika would be a First Class but right now, let’s focus more into this anime.
When Studio Gin'ei commissions filmmaker Gen'ya Tachibana to make a documentary in commemoration of its 70th anniversary, he travels to a secluded mountain lodge to interview the idol of his youth, the enigmatic Chiyoko Fujiwara, who was the studio's leading lady from the 1930s until the 1960s. As Chiyoko reminisces about her life, Tachibana and his cameraman suddenly find themselves on a rich and dazzling journey through time. Chiyoko's films and personal memories intertwine with present events and stretch the boundaries of reality.
Now what is actually unique about this story is that when Chiyoko tells the stories of her past, it isn’t just some flashback with none of the other characters involved and then they jump right back to the location, they are sucked into the stories like if they were actually there and actually experiencing the events she went through in her various movie roles and most of her personal ventures. It makes all the transitions in the movie cutting to the next scene of either from the train to the battlefield of Feudal Japan looking very well done and I’m impressed.
What I thought was kind of too farfetched was the plotline where Chiyoko’s love and devotion to an man that she’d only met once and spent most of her life trying to find him and while at first, it sounds somewhat sweet although foolish at some parts but it has made Chiyoko for she is and if it weren’t for that, she would’ve stay where she was and do whatever her stern mother would’ve wanted her to do.
Most of the character backstory we get from here is either Chiyoko or Gen’ya, the filmmaker who looks up Chiyoko as an idol of his youth and he doesn’t come out as an obsessed crazed fanboy, but actually has worked alongside with her in the studio but keep it low key and that did made him a better character throughout the end. The same can be said for Chiyoko. They are flawed characters but with the ongoing character development they get only in 90 minutes, which is completely acceptable and keeps it on a normal pace, it is perfectly fine.
The animation does show its age since the release of it in 2001 but it did aged well and doesn’t look too different from the current releases, maybe a little but it holds up good for what it is and some of the photo-realistic backgrounds do fit with the animation. The music I never did notice too much in the movie but like the animation, the music fits with the situations and the turmoil of the events in the movie.
FINAL VERDICT: I’m just going to say it. This is a great movie on the basis of storytelling and imagination. I can see why most people would love this movie and it is all of those things that I mentioned. It doesn’t get that confusing for some people and I didn’t get too brain-frazzled by it but I would recommended if you are both either an anime and/or a film fan.
So, Millennium Actress gets their rating of:
9.5/10 - FIRST CLASS
And until then (for the first time since this had started), I’m MAK2.0 aka HybridMedia, bringing all the crazy motherfuckers in one madhouse.
MILLENNIUM ACTRESS – courtesy of Madhouse/The Klockworx Ltd. (U.S. Distribtion by GO FISH Pictures)
- Anime Discovery presents: IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD HOUSE, part 5: Kaiba - Anime/Tokusastu Jul 22
- Anime Discovery presents: IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD HOUSE, part 1: Kemonozume (or Beast Claw) - Anime/Tokusastu Jul 01
- Anime Discovery presents: IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD HOUSE, part 2: Tenjho Tenge - Anime/Tokusastu Jul 08
- Anime Discovery presents: IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD HOUSE, part 3: High School of the Dead - Anime/Tokusastu Jul 15
- Anime Discovery presents: IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD HOUSE, part 4: Texhnolyze - Anime/Tokusastu Jul 21