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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
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CastYosuke Akimoto, Junko Iwao, Rica Matsumoto, Shinpachi Tsuji, Masaaki Ôkura
DirectorSatoshi Kon
Genre:  Animation
MPAA Rating:  Unrated
Screen WriterSadayuki Murai, Yoshikazu Takeuchi
DVD Release Date:  May 2, 2000
Runtime:  81 minutes
Studio:  Manga Video
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More Perfect Blue reviews
review by . September 28, 2010
posted in ASIANatomy
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 …
review by . January 06, 2009
posted in ASIANatomy
cover
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 …
review by . December 06, 2009
Hello, who are you?
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 …
review by . August 31, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
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