Anime Club: Millennium Actress

Hello everybody! For this week’s anime club we have yet another Satoshi Kon work, Millennium Actress.

MILLENNIUM ACTRESS

millennium-actress-poster

DIRECTED: Satoshi Kon

STARRING: Miyoko Shoji, Mami Koyama, Fumiko Orikasa, Shōzō Iizuka

GENRE: Anime, Drama

YEAR: 2001

COUNTRY: Japan

chiyokosA movie studio is being torn down. TV interviewer Genya Tachibana has tracked down its most famous star, Chiyoko Fujiwara, who has been a recluse since she left acting some 30 years ago. Tachibana delivers a key to her, and it causes her to reflect on her career; as she’s telling the story, Tachibana and his long-suffering cameraman are drawn in. The key was given to her as a teenager by a painter and revolutionary that she helped to escape the police. She becomes an actress because it will make it possible to track him down, and she spends the next several decades acting out that search in various genres and eras.

tumblr_m19c54aZJ61qzpdnho1_1280Hey all, what a surprise, yet another Satoshi Kon film! We are definitely fans of Satoshi Kon here at Media in Review, so be prepared to see most if not all of his work. As with the rest of Kon’s work, the animation is crisp and fantastic. This time around I watched the dub version, and the voice acting cast was properly picked and do a fantastic job. All of the characters are well-designed, as none of the feel out of place.

My biggest gripe is the story. While I admit that it has to be one of Kon’s best stories, it is rather confusing and difficult to follow. What exactly is Kon trying to say? His format for Millennium Actress, albeit many films within a single film, get the job done. Unfortunately this even further confuses the story. If I would have to compare it to anything, it would definitely be on the scale of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and Lynch’s Mulholland Drive.

PROS:

  • Crisp animation.
  • Fantastic voice casting.
  • Well-designed characters.
  • Films with a film format.

CONS:

  • Confusing as hell story.

SCORE: 9.0 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

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All check out my lengthier video game reviews over at Nerd Bacon Games.

Anime Club: Paranoia Agent

Hello everybody! For this week’s anime club we have the fantastically weird Paranoia Agent.

PARANOIA AGENT

Paranoia_Agent

CREATED BY: Satoshi Kon

NO. OF EPISODES: 13

GENRE: Psychological Thriller, Psychological Horror, Mystery, Satire

YEAR: 2004

COUNTRY: Japan

Tsukiko Sagi, a shy character designer who created the immensely popular pink dog Maromi, finds herself under pressure to repeat her success. As she walks home that night, she is attacked by an elementary school boy on inline skates. Two police detectives, Keiichi Ikari and Mitsuhiro Maniwa, are assigned to the case. They suspect that Tsukiko is lying about the attack, until they receive word of a second victim.

968full-paranoia-agent-screenshotSoon the attacker, dubbed Lil’ Slugger is blamed for a series of street assaults in Tokyo. None of the victims can recall the boy’s face and only three distinct details are left in their memories: golden inline skates, a baseball cap, and the weapon: a bent golden baseball bat. Ikari and Maniwa set out to track down the perpetrator and put an end to his crimes. Their hunt is unsuccessful, however, and the investigation eventually leads to both men losing their positions as police detectives.

I was absolutely thrilled to discover that Satoshi Kon actually developed a series rather than just a film. I was actually not sure what to think going into Paranoia Agent, as I actually had heard mixed reception. I want to say though, I was definitely not disappointed. For an older anime, which I consider anything over 10 years old, the anime style is done so well that I couldn’t be disappointed. The story is interesting enough to keep me attentive, but I didn’t think I wouldn’t be interested otherwise.24

Even though I am a huge fan of Satoshi Kon, Paranoia Agent is definitely not without fault. The pacing was incredibly slow starting out, and it took me a couple of episodes to get into the series. There were also a handful of episodes that I thought could easily have been cut. There were only a few filler episodes those.

PROS:

  • Satoshi Kon.
  • Animation style.
  • Interesting story.

CONS:

  • Pacing.
  • Filler episodes.

SCORE: 8.0 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

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All check out my lengthier video game reviews over at Nerd Bacon Games.

 

Anime Club: Perfect Blue

Hello everybody! For today’s anime club we have another Satoshi Kon filmPerfect Blue.

PERFECT BLUE

Pblue

DIRECTOR: Satoshi Kon

STARRING: Junko Iwao, Rica Matsumoto, Shinpachi Tsuji, Masaaki Ōkura

GENRE: Animated, Psychological Thriller, Horror

YEAR: 1997

COUNTRY: Japan

Mima was a pop idol, worshipped by the masses until fashion dictated otherwise. In order to salvage her career, she is advised to drop music and pursue acting. A soap opera role is offered but Mima’s character is less clean cut than perfect-blue-24desired. Regardless, she agrees and events take a turn for the worse.

She begins to feel reality slip, that her life is not her own. She discovers (imagines) her identical twin, a mirror image that hasn’t given up singing. Internet sites appear describing every intimate detail of her life and a figure stalks her from the shadows. Her friends and associates are threatened (and killed) as Mima descends into a dangerous world of paranoid delusion. She fears for her life and must unravel fact from illusion in order to stay alive.

Alright, im going to compare Perfect Blue here to Paprika, as both films were created by Satoshi Kon. Stylistically, you can see the differences between each one of the films, slowly improving with each new venture. You can really see the difference between the years, whether it be advances in technology or in the art of story telling. 2.bd-j

Story wise, I wasn’t as enthralled with Perfect Blue as I had hoped. It didn’t catch my attention fully until about the 45 min mark. I could have cared less about the plot until then. I also didn’t particularly care for the main character Mima either. I thought that she could have been developed more, but I did enjoy seeing her slowly go insane yet try to keep her bearings.

PROS:

  •  Two very different stlyes.
  • Animation.
  • Satoshi Kon surrealism.
  • Anime + psychological horror done right.

CONS:

  •  Didn’t grab full attention.
  • Mima characterization.

SCORE:6.5/10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

Remember: Like Media In Review @ https://www.facebook.com/MediaInReview?ref=hl Follow Media in Review @ https://twitter.com/Media_In_Review.

All check out my lengthier video game reviews over at Nerd Bacon Games.