Millennium Actress, The Anime Classic, Is Now Free On YouTube

Millenium Actress On Youtube

One of the best anime films of the century is now free to view on YouTube, so get on it…

I’ve written a lot on here about my love for Hayao Miyazaki’s work, and as the master animator started aging into retirement in the late ’90s, even opening up the Ghibli Museum, many wondered who could possibly replace him in the world of cinematic animation. The hopes of many were pinned on Satoshi Kon, a manga artist whose theatrical debut, Perfect Blue, earned accolades the world over. In 2002 he released my personal favorites of his films, Millennium Actress. It’s a sentimental tribute to both early Japanese film and loyal devotion, all told with Kon’s amazing ability to cut between decades of time in an instant without losing a sense of continuity. And now, the full film is legally available on YouTube via the Paramount Vault [UPDATE: It appears it’s not available in all regions, but should be viewable in at least the United States].

It’s such a reserved beauty to Millennium Actress, which is fitting for a lost actress of a bygone era. It’s the type of film you’d expect later in Kon’s career, but he directed it before he was 40. There’s a sense of maturity in Millennium Actress that’s missing in most movies, let alone Japanese animation.


Unfortunately, it’s hard for me to watch it without thinking of Kon’s own career being tragically cut short. Though Kon would direct two more films (the hilarious Tokyo Godfathers and the enigmatic Paprika), cancer would claim his life in 2010, with his last film unfinished. Just imagine the work he’d be creating now had he had a career the size of Hayao Miyazaki’s. Hopefully this YouTube upload will give folks a chance to rediscover one of his less celebrated works. And if you want to appreciate Kon’s legacy all the more, check out this loving video essay about his impressive skill at editing.

Also, if you’re looking to learn more about Satoshi Kon, here’s some of his best work on Amazon…









11 thoughts on “Millennium Actress, The Anime Classic, Is Now Free On YouTube

  1. I love, love, LOVE Kon’s work. I have every one of his comics that have been published in English.

  2. Great post Hank, and awesome shoutout to Every Frame A Painting’s video essay. Millennium Actress is probably my favourite after Paprika.

    1. You might have to use a proxy or VPN to get the content. I used the latter up here in the Great White North and it worked like a charm.

  3. It’s nice to see that Millennium Actress is free on YouTube for everyone to watch (well…almost everyone). I love everything Satoshi Kon has made, and I have all of his films, including Paprika on both DVD and Blu-ray. The only thing I’m missing is his TV series, Paranoia Agent and I hope that will get a re-release soon.

  4. Henry have you seen Paranoia Agent? Its like 12 episodes long and full of Kon’s trademarks/obsessions; great opening sequence too.

  5. Many of those versions will be found as exe recordsdata appropriate with Windows, or be made to run on Windows otherwise, utilizing various emulator software.

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