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Perfect Blue – Review March 26, 2009

Posted by Cello in Anime Reviews.

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.



1. hagiblog - March 26, 2009

I really liked this one. I’m surprised you only gave it 3 stars, I would’ve gone with 4 but I like the stuff that is way, way out there.

If you haven’t already, you should check out and review any of Makoto Shinkai’s work. Voices of a Distant Star, The Place Promised In Our Early Days or 5 Centimeters per Second. Incredible films that are visually stunning.

cello85 - March 26, 2009

I didn’t want to spoil it because i’ll be review these movies in the future, but I gave it 3 stars because compared to his other films [particularly Tokyo Godfathers] it paled in comparison. Maybe I was a bit too harsh on it though lol.

Fantastic! I haven’t seen any of those flicks, I’m pretty backed up already but i’ll add them to the list! Thanks 🙂

hagiblog - March 26, 2009

I haven’t seen Tokyo Godfathers yet but have heard that it was really well done. 2 of Makoto Shinkai’s films are less than an hour, I think only The Place Promised is 90 mins. Great for lunch breaks! HAHA!

I’m getting the urge to watch them myself now. A little mini-marathon maybe.

Phear - March 26, 2009

I’ve heard that 5 Centimeters Per Second is INCREDIBLE. That’s actually next up on MY list. Haha.

Good review. I’ve been kind of wondering about this movie, and 3 stars is reason enough to at least check it out.

Also, you may be backed up, but if you’d like, you should check out Shinobi: Heart Under Blade. It’s a decent flick that’s definitely worth a watch. 🙂

cello85 - March 26, 2009

Expect reviews of:

5 Centimeters Per Second – The Wednesday After Next
Shinobi – The Thursday after next

Thanks guys!

2. gaguri - March 27, 2009

Hmm I’m not sure if Christina Ag is a good comparison. This transition from popular pop idol into the field of acting (via drama mostly, then from drama to films) is one of the more conventional trends in Asian entertainment industry (there’s that image change issue as well of course). Anyway, you were too harsh, 3 stars only! Blasphemy!

As for Kon’s best work, it’s Millenium Actress for me, with his Tokyo Godfather coming second, although his Paranoia Agent is quite amazing work also as a TV series.

3. vestque - March 27, 2009

YAy! Perfect Blue. Great review!

I have yet to see Tokyo Grandfathers! I tried to watch it last summer but couldn’t get my grubby little hands on it ~_~

Wow, I’ve seen one of the movies mentioned above, but as for the others I might have to have another mini film festival 😛 Thanks for the review! I have a ton more suggestions but you already seem so bogged down with them. I’ll hold off a little bit 😛

4. themoviereport - March 31, 2009

Good review there. You nailed much of what this film is about. I liked it because of its ‘non-formula’ approach for a japanese anime, and it does have quite a lot in common with the films of Dario Argento and Alfred Hitchcock, something that is very much my taste.

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