Millennium Actress

Alt title: Sennen Joyuu

If you're looking for anime similar to Millennium Actress, you might like these titles.

Paprika

Paprika

In Japan, a team of scientists have created a medical breakthrough: a device that allows the wearer to enter the dreams of a patient, for the purpose of healing. The talented Paprika is a master at her profession, but complications have now appeared in the form of a “dream terrorist” – an unknown foe who inserts nightmares into the minds of those who use the device. The victims are swept up in a ghoulish parade of dolls, kitchen appliances, and musical animals, and are reduced to a vegetable state – or worse. Now, Paprika and the team of scientists must delve into the minds of those affected to figure out the source of the tampering before more people, including themselves, are damaged beyond repair.

7 votes

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Reasons you might like Paprika...

abunai abunai says...

Besides the rather obvious correlation that these anime are the work of genius Satoshi Kon, there is a more fundamental similarity, in that they both deal with an unreliable reality. In Paprika, the world of dreams intrudes itself forcibly on the world of the waking; whereas, in Millennium Actress, there is a gradual melding of the fictional world of film with the documentary reality of the actual world. This overarching theme of Kon's is also present in other works of his, such as Paranoia Agent.

knaecke knaecke says...

Although it might be because both movies are from the same director (Satoshi Kon) Millennium Actress and Paprika, while having totally different themes, create a very similar atmosphere when you watch them.

As both movies progress though their respective stories it becomes more and more difficult to distinguish the different layers of reality and fiction (Millennium Actress) or the psyche of the characters (Paprika).

Both movies are festivals of colors and imagination and succeed in engulfing the viewer in true fantasy cinema.

Nocturnalgloria Nocturnalgloria says...

Millennium Actress and Paprika share the same thematic core: blurring the borders between fictional projections and reality as we see it. MA blends cinematography with real life events while Paprika unleashes the world of dreams unto our own. Both are imbued with Satoshi Kon's unique flair for the bizarre and take anime as a medium to a whole different level; the stunning visuals fuse perfectly with non-linear plots that immerse the convoluted yet appealing narrative into the fabric of imagery itself.

AkiNoHoshi AkiNoHoshi says...

These two films, by the same Satoshi Kon, are very alike in that a lot of the time you find yourself asking, "...Wait, what?" They're intriguing and wonderful, and you can easily get lost in the storyline.

KittyEmperor KittyEmperor says...

Both series do wonderous work in blurring the line between reality and illusions.  In Millennium Actress it happens steadily as the movies the actress has been in slowly melds with documentary that is being filmed and in Paprika the world of dreams comes into the real world making it hard to distinguish between reality and fantasy.  Amazing visuals, sound, and storytelling all do wonders in drawing the viewer into either film as expected of any work done by Satoshi Kon.

Fargo Fargo says...

Aside from sharing the same director, these two movies detail a female lead experiencing several different adventures in very surreal environments within flashbacks or dreams. Paprika has more of a thriller plot whereas Millennium Actress recounts the bountiful life of its lead. Both movies also share themes of discovering one's self.

ShowerOfSunshine ShowerOfSunshine says...

Both films are from the same director (Satoshi Ken) and they both create a very similar atmosphere when you watch them.

Both of the films have elements of people being brought into the minds of others and gradually get more confusing as you progress through the complex storylines.

Tokyo Godfathers

Tokyo Godfathers

On a chilly December evening, Hana, a transvestite, Misaki, a teenage runaway, and Gin, a retired bike racer, found little Kiyoko in the trash. For three homeless people, finding an abandoned baby might not have been the best of luck, but with good intentions and two cents to chip in, the trio set out to find the parents of the child. But locating the mother will not be an easy task, and all they have to go on is a small key...

7 votes

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Reasons you might like Tokyo Godfathers...

paradigm paradigm says...

This film is done by the same director and has a great story just like this one. I recomend this one and Tokyo Godfathers to anyone I know who are weary of watching any anime because I know they will love this movies.

kilrothi kilrothi says...

Tokyo Godfathers and Millennim Actress are both made by MADHOUSE studio. Though not very similar in story line, both are poignant stories with lots of human emotion, breathtaking visuals, and a few scenes to make you cry.

AkiNoHoshi AkiNoHoshi says...

These two films, by the same Satoshi Kon, are very alike in that a lot of the time you find yourself asking, "...Wait, what?" They're intriguing and wonderful, and you can easily get lost in the storyline.

Menchi Menchi says...

Do you like anime that are a) realistic b) beautiful c) a little humoristic and d) made by Satoshi Kon? In that case Millennium Actress and Tokyo Godfathers are the right choise for you. They are both masterpieces from one of the greatest anime-directors, and worth their reputation.

AirCommodore AirCommodore says...

Most of Satoshi Kon's works are really screwed up and psychological, but Tokyo Godfathers and Millenium Actress are actually really heartwarming and sweet, with a bit of humor thrown in, and some really wonderfully-realized characters. Truely excellent.

KittyEmperor KittyEmperor says...

Visuaaly beautiful, amazing sound, extremely realstic, great characters, heartwarming, and directed by Satoshi Kon these are all things that these two movies have in common.  Both series are absolute masterpieces that any viewer should have on their watched list.  Completely captivating stories that will draw you in and have you actually care about the characters and what happens next.

valondar valondar says...

While Satoshi Kon is well known for his surreal mindbending fare - where reality being peeled away at the surface is a major part of the plot - it is interesting to compare these two obstensibly non-surreal, Kon anime set in the real world... because the surreal influences he is known for seep in in less obvious ways. In Millennium Actress, his penchant for blending realities is used to suggest memory and recollection - as an actress looks back on her life, with the added layer of the 'real' in her life often matching, contrasing or being melded with the fictions she played as an actress - while Tokyo Godfathers expresses the idea more subtly: While the story never leaves its 'real' trappings, it piles on implausible event after implausible event in a never-ending combination of climaxes. Both titles are heartwarming, though Tokyo Godfathers is hilarious to boot.

5 Centimeters per Second

5 Centimeters per Second

Although today Tono Takaki and Shinohara Akari live far apart due to a family move shortly after elementary school, they were once two shy young students brought together by their shared differences from their peers. It is because of this that the two built a bond of closeness between them that still survives through their continued correspondence, even over such a distance. Secretly they both fear the loss of this bond over time, and for this reason they arrange a meeting between just the two of them. The journeys both of them take in their minds and in their lives create an atmosphere of intense emotional upheaval, but also a sense of peace. It is a twist of fate and a series of decisions that put the two in place to carry what they choose of their pasts into the future they will create for themselves.

6 votes

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Reasons you might like 5 Centimeters per Second...

Temsik Temsik says...

I found Millennium Actress and 5 CM to be very similar. Each is about the pursuit of love - the characters "love to love" a unique person, ignoring even time as it passes by. Both main characters refuse to give the present a chance, and ignore all of the options that life and love offer to them because they are stuck in the past.

Sangokagome Sangokagome says...

In both of these series, while there is a romance going on, neither of the couples come into contact for much of the film. The romances are the centers of the films, and in the end, they conclude smiliarly. Their artwork is not to be overlooked, and are amazing pleasures to view. Enjoy!

uberrig uberrig says...

In Millenium Actress we have our protagonist, Chiyoko Fujiwara, chasing after a vision of a man she met once. In 5 CM we have Shinohara Akari chasing his memory of a promise that may or may not have been made with a childhood sweetheart. The chase, the dream, the vision ... the ending. Both bittersweet and both unrequited. I think you'll greatly appreciate the stretches of reality both protagonists put upon themselves in each film.

fizrox fizrox says...

"Where you lead, I will follow" - whether it means long train journey, waitng for years, or chasing after throughout the country... These two series show how strong love can be and how many problems it can overcome with its power, so in this matter they are much alike.

Omurqi Omurqi says...

Both Millennium Actress and 5 Centimeters tell the story of the pursuit of an unobtainable love. They both do so in a style unique to their director (Kon and Shinkai, two masters in their genre) and thus present their story in a different way. At their core though, they are about the same thing. If you loved one of these movies, make sure to check out the other as well.

Raspberries Raspberries says...

Did you ever see that movie Serendipity with John Cusack? I seriously think the writers watched these two shows and decided Hollywood needed a movie that followed the same basic plot. Both 5cm/sec and Millennium Actress are FANTASTIC, and though a bit slow-paced are sure to hold your attention till the end, where you finally get the conclusion you've been waiting for. 

Only Yesterday

Only Yesterday

Taeko Okajima lives a nondescript life in Tokyo performing office duties in the day and then coming home in the evening to listen to her mother’s remarks on the phone about her unmarried status. In a bid to escape the monotony, Taeko decides to visit the countryside she once loved as a child and spend time on a safflower farm run by relations of hers. But her journey awakens memories she thought she had long abandoned, and Taeko must once again decide the kind of person she truly wants to be.

4 votes

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Reasons you might like Only Yesterday...

Rar Rar says...

Both Millennium Actress and Only Yesterday centre around an older woman looking back over her life, and the history of Japan at the same time. Interestingly, both characters are thwarted in their early ambition to be actresses by their parents, though Chiyoko in Millennium Actress lacks the domineering father to stop her permanently.

ballooncity247 ballooncity247 says...

Both Only Yesterday and Millennium Actress are nostalgic in their tone. They are about women looking back into their past, something neither have considered in a long time. The women are able to see the past with new eyes and rekindle something inside of them.

Both use interesting flashbacks that come into present day. However Millennium Actress is far more abstract as most of Chiyoko's story is told through the roles she played blurring the lines between reality and fiction. This actually adds to the sense of time has past and how the memories come into Chiyoko's mind.

valondar valondar says...

Both of these anime are contemplative pieces about women looking back in events in their lives - in Only Yesterday's case, a woman's childhood, in the case of Millennium Actress, an entire life - and both films manage to be subtly affecting. One can't find better examples of mature anime in the best sense of the term.

snivets snivets says...

Both movies are a series of flashbacks, an older woman looking back over her life & childhood. They have a really similar feel: nostalgic, subtle, and mature.

Perfect Blue

Perfect Blue

When popular pop idol Mima decided to retire from her group, Cham, and become an actress, she had no idea that one person's obsession would soon spiral out of control. With death threats, letter bombs and a forged website which details her every move, Mima finds herself slowly becoming trapped in a nightmare she can't seem to escape. With murders piling up and her mental state slowly degrading, can she discover who the culprit is, before she becomes the next victim?

3 votes

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Reasons you might like Perfect Blue...

alienangel alienangel says...

The obvious reason for the recommendation is that these are both Satoshi Kon movies. Just slightly less obviously, they both deal with the lives of celebrities (the central theme of Perfect Blue, but almost a side issue in Millenium Actress). More importantly, they both blur reality and unreality in a mind bendingly skillful way, as, IMHO, only Satoshi Kon does this well. While both are relatively "normal" stories for anime - what I mean is, their plots could just as well have been applied to live-action movies - i don't think the effect would have been nearly as powerful if they weren't animated. Both movies take you deep into someone's emotions, and feeling some of them after they're over. If watching both for the first time, I recommend watching Millenium Actress first, because, well, I think Perfect Blue is better ^.^

Rar Rar says...

Most obviously, both Perfect Blue and Millennium Actress are directed by Satoshi Kon, and clearly share the same kind of aesthetic and themes. However the other reason you are likely to enjoy the other if you liked one is that both create a clever intermingling of fiction and reality in the film, though Perfect Blue does have a darker, seedier feel.

bshegg bshegg says...

Both Perfect Blue and Millennium Actress are directed by Satoshi Kon, fit into similar anime realism genres which are rich in Satoshi Kon's social commentaries, and have intellectually stimulating themes.

Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade

Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade

Constable Fuse is part of an elite Special Forces unit known as the Capital Police whose mission is to maintain peace during a time of civil unrest. Fuse becomes entangled within a web of intrigue and politics between the Capital Police, the government intelligence bureau, and a secret society known as Jin-Roh – the Wolf Brigade.

2 votes

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Reasons you might like Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade...

Rar Rar says...

Though the treatment of the story and feel of Jin Roh and Millennium Actress are rather different, both focus around a fragile relationship between male and female leads, and have a strong revolutionary undercurrent. Also despite being set in modern worlds, feature strong metaphorical and reality bending narratives, if you enjoy the style of one the other should appeal too.

cerberus38 cerberus38 says...

Both films have historical settings and have engaging plots. If you feel like watching something with much more substance than most anime, then these films are for you.

Voices of a Distant Star

Voices of a Distant Star

Nagamine is a young high school student who lives a fairly typical teenage life: hanging out with friends, attending class, and falling in love with a wonderful boy. But when she enlists in the galactic army, who is desperate for candidates to fight an alien war, she finds herself drifting farther away from her first love, Noboru. In the depths of space, where a simple email takes eight years to be delivered, will their love truly flourish, or simply fade away?

2 votes

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Reasons you might like Voices of a Distant Star...

alienangel alienangel says...

Two movies that deal with lovers torn asunder. While the emotions brought about by Hoshi no Koe are by far the more intensely painful (in a very very good way), those from Millenium Actress are no less deeply felt. And both leave you with an oddly uplifting mixture of hope and heartbreak.

xtruder xtruder says...

Similar (and expanded) themes, with a different setting.  Voices' setting is futuristic sci-fi, while Millenium Actress's setting is historical.

Memories

Memories

This set of 3 fantastic stories will take you from the haunting delusions of a space explorer, to a bio-chemical threat with the power to wipe out all of Tokyo, and finally to a day in the life of a young boy who lives in a world ruled by cannons. These stores will capture you with their intriguing storylines and awe inspiring artwork.

2 votes

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Reasons you might like Memories...

Rar Rar says...

Though Millennium Actress consists of a single narrative rather than the three short stories in Memories, the many tales woven into the central one create a similar feel. Also, the first of the stories in Memories is very close in theme and style to Millennium Actress, as it looks back over the career of a former star, and they use the same device of mingling the observers of the story into the action. Though the backdrop of these tales is rather different, the nostalgic and haunting atmosphere is very close, and if you liked one you should certainly try the other.

valondar valondar says...

Predominantly a rec for the first short of Memories, Magnetic Rose, which was written by Satoshi Kon - who also was behind Millennium Actress. Visions of female artists dominate both works - an opera singer in Magnetic Rose, an actress in Millennium Actress - and in either, the pasts of these artists intrude and affect the present in strange ways.

Spring and Chaos

Spring and Chaos

His father thinks he’s a failure, his students think he’s eccentric yet magnificent, and the impoverished farmers of his town think he’s an insufferably idealistic spoiled rich boy. Before renowned Showa-era poet and author Kenji Miyazawa became famous, he lived in a small town, struggling with personal philosophies that no one around him understands, and writing novels without resorting to selling out.

2 votes

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Reasons you might like Spring and Chaos...

VRDave VRDave says...

Although in Millennium Actress you have people and in Spring and Chaos you have cats, you still get a dosage of someones life, told through flashbacks and various abstractions. They can both be a little hard to follow at times, but they way they are put together is amazing.

sothis sothis says...

For some reason, these two remind me of each other. Perhaps the animation style is not the same, but they both have a similar tone to them: following the life of a person (though in Spring and Chaos, it's about a real life person, not a fictional one), and have moments of great emotion.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

Makoto Konno is a somewhat foolish and tomboyish high school student who spends most of her time hanging out with her two male friends. Things change one day when she suddenly gains the ability to leap through time! At first, she uses her newfound ability to do things such as preventing her sister from stealing her dessert, cheating on a test, and singing Karaoke for 10 hours. However, the small alterations she makes to the timeline turn out to have unforeseen consequences that snowball into dramatic and lethal situations for her and those around her...

2 votes

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Reasons you might like The Girl Who Leapt Through Time...

Himitsu Himitsu says...

Both Millenium Actress and Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo are excellent movies with great direction. Both movies are about a chase to fulfill a dream and there's a sprinkle of romance involved. It's just a hunch that you'll enjoy one if you like the other. Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo deals with time travel, and therefore the storyline is exciting to follow.

KittyEmperor KittyEmperor says...

Okay so I'm just going to come straight out and say it there are several things that is different between The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Millennium Actress.  While The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is more of sci-fi thing about time travel and Millennium Actress is more about looking back on a certain actresses life.  What they both do have in common is that they both are kind of about doing things in pursuit of one's dreams whatever they may be.  Though The Girl Who Leapt Through Time focuses more on the romance side of things Millennium Actress does have some elements of romance.