Perfect Blue

Title:Perfect Blue
パーフエクト ブルー (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Madhouse
IWAO Junko
KON Satoshi
OTOMO Katsuhiro
R1 License - GKIDS
Pop singer Mima Kirigoe looks forward to a bright new career when she quits her chart-topping trio to become an actress. When she lands a role in a sexually-charged murder mystery, Mima`s life begins to fall apart. Reality and hallucination merge into a terrifying world where innocense is lost and dreams become nightmares.

Quickly descending into a dangerous state of paranoid delusions, Mima watches as internet sites appear describing every intimate detail of her life. She is helpless and afraid as her associates are threatened and killed by a mysterious stalker.

In the tradition of Alfred Hitchcock and Dario Argento, director Satoshi Kon (Memories), special advisor Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira) and Madhouse Studios (Ninja Scroll) bring Youshikazu Takeuchi`s thrilling suspense-novel to the screen in a tour-de-force that brings animation to a bold new level.

Animation by Madhouse.
77 minute movie.

1:39min English Language Trailer - ANN Video
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 10 9 10 9 9 Ggultra2764 [series:174#1552]
Serving as Satoshi Kon's directorial debut for an anime, Perfect Blue is a psychological thriller focused on pop idol turned actress Mima Kirigoe finding her career transition to be a rather horrific one as she finds herself suffering from apparent psychosis and dealing with a demented fan who is not exactly thrilled with her retirement as a pop idol.

As a psychological thriller, Perfect Blue makes effective use of scene transitions and cuts to simulate Mima's apparent warped state of mind. The film transitions between different scenes of the drama TV series that Mima stars in and her actual life to mess with the viewer's perception of events, much in the same way Mima is experiencing. This makes for an effective use of cinematography as the film's plot features some horrific murders that take place throughout its run that keep viewers guessing throughout the film if Mima may have crossed the line with committing them or if her stalker did such. The film also makes for an effective mystery as despite its warped style of storytelling, hints are dropped about what is really going on and who is responsible for the murders that take place. When the ending unveils who is responsible for the murders and the stalking, everything comes into place rather smoothly if you are able to follow the hints seen throughout the film and not be fooled with dealing with Mima's mental breakdown that the cinematography subjects you to.

Outside of the thriller plot, Perfect Blue also paints a rather believable focus on the challenges and hardships that come into play with both being a pop idol and transitioning into being an actress. Unlike many anime that glamorize both professions where you become instantly famous and get to such a point easily with hard work, Perfect Blue shows off both as having their hardships and complications that can occur. Mima's old pop idol band, Cham, are clearly shown to be struggling to connect with audiences at the start of the film and struggle to find large venues to afford them the opportunity to connect with larger audiences. In addition, Mima's desire to transition from being a pop idol to an actress does not go over well with many of her fans and is a highly stressful one as she tries having bigger roles within the drama she stars in which crosses into more mature territory with its content than what she experienced as a pop idol. For anyone unaccustomed to the Japanese pop idol scene, many fans of this industry are known to have a preconceived image of purity that they tack on to the pop idols that they follow where they do not have boyfriends or take part in any sexually-driven roles. With her new acting career, Mima finds herself trying to distance herself from such notions to advance her career and this further alienates her from the fans that followed her since her time with Cham.

Visually, Perfect Blue makes use of Satoshi Kon's realistic drawing style. Unlike many anime titles that normally make all their characters look visually attractive with the same-looking facial designs, Kon depicts a wider variety of facial designs and body types in the designs of his characters with realistic proportions applied to them. While not as heavily emphasized, the animation for the film is fluid for the most part with characters demonstrating natural movement without any noticeable shortcuts or loss of detail.

As Satoshi Kon's first work, Perfect Blue is an excellent demonstration of many of the filming elements that would be found with Kon's later works with its cerebral cinematography and realistic drawing style. The film is an effective mystery-thriller that screws with the audience's perception of events taking place due to Mima's mental breakdown and the ongoing mystery of the string of murders taking place. Do be warned that the film is intended for mature audiences due to its intense violence, attempted rape scenes, intense language, and graphic nudity. Otherwise if you have the stomach to handle a mature psychological thriller, Perfect Blue is a highly recommended film to check out.

Last updated Monday, August 22 2016. Created Sunday, January 06 2008.
Buy 8 8 8 2 7 Bardock [series:174#1231]
A anime that has a more realistic aproach then most. it's story is deep. Its main charector Mima quiets a pop-band for a more adult look. Do to this many people get mad, a psycho stalker tries to kill her, and a significant other also makes things worse.

Last updated Saturday, March 20 2004. Created Saturday, March 20 2004.
Rent 6 7 8 4 9 Anonymous #641 [series:174#641]
This movie is definitely for the thinking man. Not an easy film to watch as it jumps from fantasy to reality in an instant. The barrage of dream sequences leaves you feeling disoriented.
Despite this, the movie does come together fairly well at the end, with a twist which does catch the viewer totally unaware.
The animation is average. The busy heads while talking gets a bit annoying. Having a static head with moving mouth is simpler, and works better than a half attempted jaw movement.
The pop idol theme leads to subjecting us with Japanese dancing and music. Ok for some, but not my cup of tea. Looks like handy influence if you ever want to try one of those machines at the arcade (and really impress your mates with that flailing to
That aside, the story is very provocative, and leaves you asking questions, which is how i like my anime. Unlike other series/movies though, the ending actually wraps up the story! That was the one thing that bugged me about evangelion and hellsing. I'd watch it first, and only buy it if you dig the "mind job" style anime.

Last updated Monday, April 14 2003. Created Monday, April 14 2003.
Avoid 7 6 5 6 4 Inu-Yasha [series:174#430]
So mu buds and I get downstairs and turn on my friend's big screen to watch Perfect Blue Right? I mean, everyone says it's so great and scary. So I'm like, "Sure why not."
What I saw wasn't scary as in horror scary it was scary as in, "What the heck?" I don't mean to disaprove of many people's opinions but I just didn't get it.
The art was one of those creepy unique kinds of art and it was pretty cool but the animation was terrible. It didn't have a lot of flow to it and it was abit bouncy. It seemed like the characters had a tendencies to bounce whenever they talked walked or went insane.
The plotline was great for the first half hour then suddenly the main character (excuse I'm spelling things wrong, it's late and I have a big bandaid on my finger) started to get some nasty jobs. Then they showed everything. I mean everything as in the "naughty bits." I usually don't mind those at all but then random violent acts started to occur. That started to mix with all the other junk and the confusion nearly exploded my head.
Then BOOM it was the ending. I think it was trying to be one of those animes that are like: Here, think about this for the next few years and see if you ACTUALLY GET IT. I gave up after the next day. It really could have been good if they hadn't over done it with poitnless nonsense but whatever. If you reeeeaaalllly want to see it just because of (fill in blank here), go ahead. I'm not stopiing you. But be warned!

Last updated Saturday, November 23 2002. Created Saturday, November 23 2002.
Buy 9 9 10 7 10 Midnighter [series:174#94]
Wow. That was the first thing I thought after I saw Perfect Blue. This was a great movie. I had been leery after reading all the hype, expecting a horribly mainstream anime, but to my delight, Perfect Blue was a pleasant surprise.
An intelligent, well written thriller that provided a good story, good characters, and a totally unexpected twist ending. Perfect Blue kept me on the edge of my seat till the end credits rolled, and the tension never lets up. Fans of intelligent thrillers rejoice, for Perfect Blue is more interested in good writing and an intriguing story than in mindless violence and blatent fan service.
The animation is gorgeous, fluid and smooth, and very natural character movement. The character designs are unique and stand out as origional. And for fans of bubblegum sweet J-pop, Perfect Blue is about pop idols, so expect plenty of catchy tunes. The actual movie score is excellent, it's creepy and adds immeasurably to the tension and growing insanity.
The voice-work is excellent in both the sub and the dub, I honestly like them both equally. Mima's english voice was better than the usual run of the mill female lead voice, and her Japanese counterpart was remarkable. But then, I'm one of those anime blasphemers who generally has no problem with dubs.
I think it's kind of funny how the word "dark" is always used to describe this film. Dark is such a Buzzword, used often to describe anything that's not mainstream. I don't consider Perfect Blue dark, particularly. But I digress...
Overall, Perfect Blue is a buy. I loved this film. It is Ideal for convincing someone that animation isn't just Kiddie fodder anymore.
Updated 12-8-01

Last updated Sunday, December 09 2001. Created Tuesday, February 27 2001.
Buy 8 8 8 7 6 Kaneda [series:174#87]
The songs where quite catchy the animation was quite fluid and the story line was a great example of classic anime, the character allowed a lot of empathy from the watcher which is generally a good thing when you are watching an anime. The suspese is great a points, and the mind games are cool as well. I watched an uncut version and it was quite adult even barring the rape scene. Beware parents this anime is not for young children. Overall a good adult genre anime, without the hentai aspects being toooo prevalent as in other of such genre.

Last updated Wednesday, November 22 2000. Created Wednesday, November 22 2000.
Buy 9 10 9 8 9 Courtney [series:174#80]
To be candid, one of the best anime's I've ever seen. Dark, intense, original, gripping, all adjectives that barely do PERFECT BLUE justice.
Adapted from a novel, PERFECT BLUE offers plot developments, twists and turns that Hitchcock would find masterful. As the movie brings us deeper into a fracturing human psyche it becomes very dificult to disconcern just what's really happening anymore. The only thing keeping it from a perfect 10 in my eyes is I found it ran longer than needed in a few areas but not enough where it takes away from the suspence and enjoyment of the plot.
Like Dingle pointed out above, PERFECT BLUE is a movie you watch when you got a taste for mystery and suspence. PERFECT BLUE is NOT a pick-me-upper so keep that in mind when you're buying it. Also, this film has the tendancy to give the 'ol screw job to the noggin while watching reality and fantesy bleed into one another as the audiance is left to decide whether it's actually happening or if it's all in Mima's mind. Some people don't like the constant mind games PERFECT BLUE likes to play but I was intrigued by not knowing for sure what really happened and what did not. My friends, for instance, have band me for picking out animes anymore for them to watch because of PERFECT BLUE.
I would recommend buying it if head games and suspence equals an excellent anime for you (they don't get much better in any medium) otherwise I suggest at least checking it out once through some means or another. Two versions are available of PERFECT BLUE: The original release and the Director's cut. I recommend the Director's cut because you get the full vision of the film, but be fore warned it has the equivilant of an NC-17 due to the graphic violence and strong sexual content (depicted rape is shown in the Director's cut as well, so don't buy this one if it conflicts with your ethics) I believes the original is and R rating because they cut out and hold back on some things in the movie. I might be wrong so if it's a big deal to you one way or another, please check it out on before you buy it. I got the DVD version, really worth your money. I liked PERFECT BLUE but I'll understand if you don't.
Other twisted examples of Anime:

Last updated Tuesday, December 04 2001. Created Wednesday, November 15 2000.
Buy 8 9 10 10 Dan42 [series:174#21]
Psycho-thrillers don't get any better than this!
Mima Kirigoe is a pop idol in a small group named "Cham". But according to her manager, "there's no future for pop idols". So Mima decides to leave Cham and become an actress. But as the transition begins to sully her old sweet-pink public image, the image rebels. Soon, Mima's own uncertainty and a mysterious killer start to undermine her sanity. From here on, elements of reality merge with dream, elements of dream merge with reality, and one can never be quite sure which is which. There are several sequences where we wonder how much of all this was a dream and how much was reality? What did it all really mean? How can we be sure of anything? This movie plays ping-pong with your mind, and I like that! My best attempts at analyzing the movie have suggested four different "realities" merging with one another. I can't clearly identify them in the movie, but I don't think it's even possible, no matter how many times you see it. And that's just awesome!
Some say it's confusing. I say that's the whole point. Some parts of the film are indeed filled with confusion but it's no lack in the script: it's Mima's madness. It's simply impossible to figure out what is really real (VS what is fictionally real and what is really fictional ^_^). And I ask you: how else could we REALLY understand her mental state? But in the end, the threads of confusion all come together (well, pretty much) in a fantastic climax which is original, surprising and believable. Plus, in the last few minutes of the film, you get a nice gentle landing back to reality instead of one that would leave you high in the airs with nothing to step on. I, for one, appreciated that after the intense ride I'd been trough.
The animation sometime seems very basic. At the beginning of the movie, for example, there is a crowd scene which is just a flat picture where the individuals don't even have faces. At first I was disappointed and my expectations for the movie sank, but in retrospect I think that this scene had a message, something about the anonymity of crowds. And then there are a few times when the animation transcends reality. The first time I saw the girls of Cham dancing (note: this was in 1997), I was stunned that animation could do something like that.
This is one truly intelligent, mindshaking and provocative animation. Highly recommended, especially for those familiar with the term "intellectual orgasm". (And please bear in mind that I've seen the subtitled version, not the dub which I hear is bad)

Last updated Friday, September 08 2000. Created Friday, September 08 2000.
Rent 6 7 6 7 8 Dingle [series:174#35]
This is a very dark movie that takes a much different approach to pop idols then your average anime. I like it, and I did not have any problems with it. Perfect Blue is a lot like Grave of the Fireflies for me in that I have to be in the mood to watch it. If you are looking for a nice, easy to comprehend show, Perfect Blue is not for you. With a little thought though, Pefect Blue is very enjoyable.

Last updated Tuesday, August 22 2000. Created Tuesday, August 22 2000.

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