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angelxxuan's Millennium Actress Tv Review

Millennium Actress Millennium Actress Screenshot Chiyoko Fujiwara and her many faces (scan found here on mt)

Millennium Actress tv Review

Story & Characters

There is no better way to start out this review than to state, this anime has a very unique style to it. It is unique for it's style of a play within a play, or a movie within a movie. The movie begins with a filmmaker by the name of Genya Tachibana and his trusty camera man Kyoji Ida on a mission to find someone and do a long awaited interview on the greatest film star of all time in the eyes of many. This film star is Chiyoko Fujiwara, whom we meet as an elderly lady first off before she begins her tale of her grand adventure through life, who openly admits she doesn't talk to anyone who doesn't make the earth move first.

As the story unfolds, both the camera man and filmmaker sets out to do a documentary of Chiyoko Fujiwara's life from the very beginning. But this is where it begins to get unique. As the story is being told, both the camera man and filmmaker find themselves being a part of the story, not just listening to it.

As Chiyoko Fujiwara speaks of how she was born, the times of which she was born in, the early 30s were a tough time for people. She was born in the earthquake of the 1930s of Japan where many perished, including her father that left a "shop" to her and her mother so they could live happily. One day a film director discovers Chiyoko and wants to make her a star, to this day Chiyoko never understood why. Her mother was greatly against this idea and believed in the traditional path for a woman should be at home, not entertaining others in this fashion. Chiyoko was just about to accept all this fate when she meets a stranger in the streets whom knocks her down in his rush, wounded, running from the government with a covered cloth tucked under his arm. We later learn he is a painter, we never know what is tucked under that cloth, but we do know he never forgets the young Chiyoko.

This stranger and then teenaged Chiyoko connect, sadly this first love was short, for when the stranger was strong enough he flees to another area, however he leaves behind a single key. To this very day Chiyoko never knows what that key is for, this gave way to the unfolding of the story which, over time, even the filmmaker got involved as some of the characters to help Chiyoko along with her goal of meeting this stranger to return the key and be with him. The stranger always being two steps ahead, as we follow through her movie career, as an actress and her search for the stranger, the story becomes intertwined.

Even when she loses the key for a short time and felt as if she had died a little with the loss, she finds it, confronts those that have a hand in destroying her free spirit and she sets off again to find the stranger with the key. This was her height of her career, about the time that the first man was being sent up into space, the 1950s. She never considered herself an actress, or a great star, she was always trying to find the stranger with the key.

She was constantly being shadowed herself by a phantom of an old woman, constantly keeping her from ever reaching her goal, even the old woman, whom sat weaving on a wheel tricked the young Chiyoko into drinking a tea of despair that would forever keep Chiyoko from reaching her goal, all because the woman loved her and wanted her to suffer as she had suffered.

What will become of Chiyoko as she faces life, confronting old shadows that reappear after age has taken hold, to facing the roaring times of attacks, war and even a point where it becomes confusing where the movie ends and the real life begins. Tune in and find out what becomes of the elderly, yet still beautiful Chiyoko, as she tells her tale of her life.

Rating: 8

Art

As some of the parts of the art were slightly off when it came to the point of real life, perhaps that was the creator's idea to possibly help, somewhat along, as to what was the acting career's path and what was real life. Mostly when it was career path life, it was mostly stop motion, Chiyoko would be placed within a scene and then a picture taken to pause it at times, or have Chiyoko running threw time with jaded images before and around her. Over all, this early 2k film will leave you breathless at the detail that was placed into the making of this film. 2001 to be exact, and nothing was spared to say the least. Even the detail to the artwork was not spared, dew drops on the lotus flower about to bloom, ripples in the water where they lay, to even the splatter of snowballs against a detailed brick wall was not deluded or thrown up carelessly.

Rating: 7

Sound

The sound was outstanding, you could hear birds chirping in the background as they sat talking in the living room when we first meet Chiyoko, the sounds of snow crunching under foot to the sounds of rain falling upon the ground, nothing was spared, there was no noise that was not placed that could have made this even better. Even the score and music for this anime was not cheap on the areas they appeared. Throughout the entire film there was some sort of background music playing, some sort of theme going, and you could still hear the noises in the background such as gunfire, arrows flying and so forth. This was an anime I have not encountered in some time to have bothered to have placed so much detail in it. Sadly I was only blessed with one version, possibly the best version of all, it's original version (subbed of course), so this is based entirely on this version and nothing more.

Rating: 8

Presentation

This anime I would strongly suggest you to watch and pay attention. There are so many points that reality and acting career blurred and I really couldn't tell the difference, but over all that didn't stop me from enjoying this film. I like films such as these, sure I've been doing reviews for comedies but this is no comedy. Sure you'll find a few short lines to make you giggle but this one has zero comedy style drawing to it. This is a historical film, that did great justice in that, the history references were perfectly on timing, someone went to great lengths to make this one correct. It also has romance in it (rare for me but the plot forced that one out) and above all else psychological, where it attempts to mold the mind, yet only causes more chaos. In this film you will find yourself cheering on Genya, being on the edge of your seat while Chiyoko struggles with always failing but never giving up, and with backstabbers and double crosser throughout her life's journey. I felt Chiyoko's pain as she never gave up trying, gaining so close yet still so far behind, crying as she never gave up even when all hope was lost. After all that is how life is, we're so close to our goal yet so far. Like Chiyoko never give up the idea of chasing shadows, regardless of what those shadows might be, while you attempt to return the mysterious key to that stranger and hope one day to obtain the answer to the mysteries.

Rating: 8

Final Verdict

7.83 (good)

Reviewed by angelxxuan, Aug 02, 2011

Comments

  1. evelluchia Aug 03, 2011

    you make it sound very good i would like to see it ^-^ thanks for sharing now ive got to find it hehe XD

  2. mbeckley Aug 04, 2011

    I always wanted to see this anime and never had the chance to.. Looks great and captivating. Great job on your review Angel!

  3. SnickerdoodleNinja Moderator Aug 07, 2011

    I've been wanting to watch this film for a while since my sister bought it because she thought it looked pretty. Now knowing that it has actual substance to it, I'm very excited to watch it!

    I think you did a lovely job on the review, being thorough but not too long (I can appreciate that, since I'm a long-winded writer sometimes :D )! It was also quite readable. Keep up the good work!

  4. tsuyutsuki Aug 22, 2011

    This fil is to die for. I loved Satoshi Kon's works. Tokyo Godfathers is awesome and Paprika is possibly one of my favorite movies EVER.
    The way Millenium Actress is told is also fantastic...
    Ah, the soundtrack is very nice too~! ˚¬ˆ

    And great review, Angel-san~!

  5. angelxxuan May 20, 2012

    I wish I had not deleted this off my hard drive, now I can't seem to find it anymore to watch it again :( it's one of those I seriously want to watch again and again.

  6. UberDog Mar 08, 2015

    Great review Bunny, can't argue at the very least. As I once owned this and have seen it a few times, you did a wonderful job on the review.

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