Mima is an Idol Singer who decides it's time to branch out into a more serious career as an actress, eventually landing a role in a sexually charged murder mystery series.Soon afterward, she discovers an internet blog that claims to be a diary of her life written by Mima herself, yet she has no memory of writing it. But the details in it are far too accurate for it to be a hoax.Is it a Stalker with a Crush? Does Mima have a Split Personality? Or is it something far, far worse?Insanity ensues.The film debut of director Satoshi Kon, who would go on to produce other work investigating the boundary between the real and the imaginary such as Paprika, Paranoia Agent and Millennium Actress.
Provides examples of:
Acting In The Dark: What the director of Double Bind does to his actors, making the parallels between the Mima and the character she plays in the movie even creepier as both start to suspect they are the killer.
Barbie Doll Anatomy: Averted. When Mima poses for nude photos, her pubic hair is shown and the cleft of the vulva is very briefly visible.
Bland-Name Product: features a "Niken" camera early on, only to show a "Nikon F4" camera later on. A bit of Fridge Brilliance, when you realize that they were using the "Niken" on the set of "Double Bind," while the "Nikon f4" was the photographer's personal camera.
Break the Cutie: Mima's sanity slowly erodes over the course of the movie as her identity is assaulted.
Detective Drama: Mima's first post-singer role is as a rape victim in one of these.
Devil in Plain Sight: Me-Mania makes himself visible to Mima at CHAM's last performance, and several times thereafter.
Dream Within a Dream: Used multiple times (as well as showing us conversations or scenes that seem like they're really happening, only for a director to yell "cut!" — the main character was just filming a scene in the television show she's in) to ramp up the suspense and paranoia that the main character feels.
Dying Dream: Sometime after a near-death encounter with a truck, Mima speculates that this trope is in play as she doubts that she's really alive.
Earn Your Happy Ending: In the end, when visiting Rumi in the mental hospital, we see that Mima's not only a famous actress now, but also seems to be quite well-adjusted.
Establishing Character Moment: Me-Mania watches the CHAM performance with his hand outstretched and one eye closed, simulating the illusion that Mima is dancing in the palm of his hand. This sets the tone for his character throughout the film.
Eye Scream: A man gets stabbed in the eye by a supposed pizza delivery guy. Another man is murdered, and later on his body is shown with the eye sockets all bloody and the eyes missing. Me-Mania gets hit in the eye with a hammer. There's basically a sample of this in every murder.
Fan Disservice: Happens every single time there is nudity in the movie. There's the rape scenes, the scenes where Mima is getting photographed naked, etc. Honestly the movie is one giant deconstruction of Fanservice.
Freak Out: Mima, coming home at the end of a particular traumatic day after filming a rape scene, finds her beloved pet fish dead, and loses control for a moment, trashing her apartment. She (as well as Rumi) has numerous moments where she freaks out throughout the rest of the movie.
Glamour Failure: When Rumi is chasing after Mima, we see the fake Mima elegantly prancing after Mima while the reflection on the store windows in the background shows Rumi running and looking quite grotesque and noticeably out of breath.
Mean Character, Nice Actor: When Mima's Double Bind character is manhandled and raped by a rowdy crowd, the actor playing said rapist quietly stammers "I'm so sorry." between takes.
The Mirror Shows Your True Self: In the final confrontation between Mima and her alter ego, both Mima and the audience see the alter ego as the phantom Idol Singer Mima that has been haunting Mima. Only the mirror reflection shows the truth — that it's really Rumi dressed up as Mima.
Inverted in the mental hospital - Mima (and the audience) see Rumi in real life, and her reflection in the window is Idol Singer Mima, demonstrating that Mima has moved past the movie's events while Rumi is still stuck in her delusion.
Napoleon Delusion: Non-Napoleon example. Rumi, Mima's manager, increasingly comes to believe that she is Mima.
There is a more subtle case with Rumi, whose eyes are just a little too far apart from each other.
Not Allowed to Grow Up: While not as extreme as many examples, Mima's persona in CHAM! seems very deliberately girlish and childlike. Her attempts to overcome this trope are what sets the plot in motion.
Panty Shot: We receive one from Rumi near the end while she is wearing the pop idol outfit. It is definitelyFan Disservice considering she just accidentally impaled herself on a broken mirror and is struggling to walk.
Reality Subtext: In universe: When they finish shooting "Double Bind", everyone congratulates Mima on her performance as a mentally disturbed woman with a split personality. She may have been that good because she herself has... issues.
And another disorder related to Schizophrenia, called Folie ŕ deux. The subjective nature of a person's image and how it may differ from that actual person, possibly even taking on a life of its own, is one of the major points of the film.