Perfect Blue is the first anime film directed by Satoshi Kon, and it's loosely based on a novel of the same name by Yoshikazu Takeuchi. After I finished watching the film, I realized that Satoshi Kon had done a great job dropping quite a few subtle clues throughout the film before the truth is revealed at the end. While Perfect Blue is a decent film, I'm not entirely sure I can recommend it whole-heartedly. The film has some violent and bloody sections to it, and there's also nudity and the rape scene that Mima films for the series. Even though there is no actual rating on the DVD release of Perfect Blue, I would only recommend it to anime viewers who are eighteen years of age and older.
On this DVD release, you can see the film in English, in Japanese, or in Japanese with English subtitles. On the main menu, the special features section is labeled as "Mima's Room." When you click on the link, it takes you to a menu that is supposed to look like a computer screen showing the Mima's Room website. Extras include footage of the Japanese singers singing a song in the studio, the English version of the same song over a still image of Mima, a slideshow of stills from the movie, trailers and other promotional things to promote items released by Manga Entertainment at the time this DVD was released, interviews with the English and Japanese voice actors and Satoshi Kon, and the DVD credits.
This DVD also includes a DVD-ROM portion. In this section there are wallpapers, QuickTime video clips from the movie and bonus materials, as well as a multimedia application that requires an old version of QuickTime in order to run. However, if you do manage to get the application to run, half of the text is in Japanese. Also, the video clips included in the DVD-ROM section have Japanese audio, but no subtitles.
If you're a fan of Perfect Blue or of Satoshi Kon, it would be worth it to track down a copy of this DVD and add it to your anime collection.
I wrote this review after watching a copy of this DVD that my husband and I purchased.
During a time when Japanese Anime had the reputation of characters with "over-expressive eyes", some with very complex stories while most of them are "kid-friendly"--the vast majority of anime releases were made up of mechas, cyberpunk, supernatural and mythology. Director Satoshi Kon (Memories) decides to come up with a different approach by adapting the novel by Yoshihazu Takeuchi. "PERFECT BLUE" (1998) is a film very different from the anime films of its time. The … more
When I lived in Toronto, a friend and I would always go to this one comic book store for anime. This place had a great anime section and the guys who ran the store would shut off whatever was playing and play new stuff just for us. Through them we discovered gems like Cowboy Bebop and Utena, and it was on the strength of their recommendation that we watched Perfect Blue. I've seen this movie a number of times and I think, on this last viewing, I might finally … more
While I wouldn't go as far as some, who have compared this to some of the greatest anime (and some of the greatest films of any genre -- this is not Hitchcock by any stretch), I found it to be a strong and well-told thriller. Be warned that the animation is not up to contemporary anime standards (in that sense this film has not aged as well as, say, Miyazaki's early work or even of films like Akira or Ghost in the Shell) -- and that the initial impression of a "teeny bopper" type film is misleading … more
I'm a freelance writer whoserves as the Anime editor at BellaOnline; I have also had work published at Associated Content. I also maintain two blogs: AeschTunes and Lesley's Musings... on Manga. … more
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One of the most ambitious animated films to come out of Japan (or anywhere, for that matter),Perfect Blueis an adult psycho-thriller that uses the freedom of the animated image to create the subjective reality of a young actress haunted by the ghost of her past identity. Mima is a singer who leaves her teeny-bop trio to become an actress in a violent television series, a career move that angers her fans, who prefer to see her as the pert, squeaky-clean pop idol. Plagued by self-doubt and tormented by humiliating compromises, she begins to be stalked, in her waking and sleeping moments, by an accusing alter ego who claims to be "the real Mima," until she collapses into madness as her coworkers are brutally slain around her. Director Satoshi Kon, adapting the novel by Yoshikazu Takeuchi, shows us the world from her schizophrenic perspective: days blur, dreams cross over into the waking world, the TV show blends into her real life, until her life merges with her part and she can't separate the ghosts from the real-life stalkers. Though the pat ending sweeps the psychosis and anxiety away with nary an emotional scar, it remains a smart, stylish thriller and one of the most intelligent and compelling uses of animation in recent years. Though tame by the extreme standards of "adult anime," there is nudity and a few sexually provocative scenes, and the animation is detailed and stylized (if somewhat stiff and jerky by Disney standards).--Sean Axmaker