The film is interesting to watch on several levels, but mostly because of how thoughtful the themes are. The decisions that Mima makes to further her acting career (e.g. posing for nude photos) says a lot about how women in the media industries are viewed – they are allowed to be sexualised but are made to feel guilty about being sexual, which is what leads to her being haunted by her old persona. The topic of celebrity persona is also interesting in this, as Mima strives to separate herself from it but has clearly become attached to it – and it can be argued her stalker feels some sense of ownership over her and rejects anything that goes against the idea of Mima that was sold to him and her entire audience by her agents.
Secondly, Mima’s journey to madness is presented brilliantly and is made wonderfully disturbing through clever writing, which seamlessly incorporates a plot within a plot using the TV show that Mima is working on that starts to mirror her life. This all leads to an incredible sequence that feels like a nightmare; the lines between her fictional TV life and reality become completely blurred and she becomes increasingly spaced out. The use of match-cuts to emphasise this, which are used frequently during the film but especially during this scene, are really effective and just goes to show the thought that must have gone into composing the shots.
Even as someone who’s generally not a fan of anime, I really enjoyed this and will definitely be re-watching in the future. It’s something that will leave most viewers thinking about it long after they’ve finished watching it, and will leave you with the feeling that a lot of effort went into making it.