It was at the request by a reader of this blog that I should examine and review Perfect Blue. This anime film is a psychological thriller, something of a rarity in anime. I went in expecting a more mild mannered narrative but instead I get a story about paranoia, schizophrenia and hallucinations. Nonetheless, I am glad a reader suggested I watch it.
It starts with a simple case where an ex-idol (Mima) is being stalked by an obsessed fan, and the series turns more and more into a psychological horror-series afterwards. Like expected, the biggest purpose of this movie is to dive into the mind of its main character, and it succeeds pretty well at this. Throughout the course of the movie, Mima is haunted by two things in particular. The first of these is the creepy silent guy whom we are introduced to in the opening scenes. As if this guy wasn’t already scary enough, he appears often in the shadows, but disappears before Mima can ever realize too much about him. The second element of Mima’s fear is in the form of her older self. A visual representation of Mima’s former pop singing self haunts Mima during the film in the form of a hallucination of Mima’s. This sign of Mima’s insanity is extremely creepy.
This movie does have its problems, though. It feels like a few of the side-characters weren’t used to their full potential. Perfect Blue is great, but it’s not Satoshi Kon’s best work. But I must give credit where credit is due, that once in a blue moon an anime breaks from the mold and gives a story that other shows and movies will strive to copy.
There is nudity, but this is far from being hentai in nature, as it is all a part of the development of the plot, as Mima sheds her innocent media appearance. It is kind of similar to Christina Aguilera suddenly becoming a sleezy video star to get rid of her Genie in a Bottle image. With a unique blend of characters the viewer can care about, events that happen in real life, and a touch of pure weirdness added, Perfect Blue presents a hauntingly realistic story that will have the viewer guessing to the very end. Slightly Recommended.