|Directed By:||Satoshi Kon|
|Produced By:||Hiroaki Inoue|
|Written By:|| Story By:|
|Music By:||Masahiro Ikumi|
|Edited By:||Harutoshi Ogata|
|Release Dates:|| July 1997 (Fantasia)
February 28, 1998 (Japan)
|Running Time:||80 minutes|
Perfect Blue is the story of retired pop singer turned actress, Mima, as her sense of reality starts to shake as she is stalked by an obsessed fan while being haunted from reflections of her past. Perfect Blue is the first film directed by Satoshi Kon, a psychological thriller often compared to the suspence ridden works of Alfred Hitchcock.
Mima was a pop idol, worshipped by the masses until fashion dictated otherwise. In order to salvage her career, she is advised to drop music and pursue acting. A soap opera role is offered but Mima’s character is less clean cut than desired. Regardless, she agrees and events take a turn for the worse.
She begins to feel reality slip, that her life is not her own. She discovers (imagines) her identical twin, a mirror image that hasn’t given up singing. Internet sites appear describing every intimate detail of her life and a figure stalks her from the shadows.
Her friends and associates are threatened (and killed) as Mima descends into a dangerous world of paranoid delusion. She fears for her life and must unravel fact from illusion in order to stay alive.
Mima Kirigoe is set to change careers, from a pop idol to an actress. Her agents, Tadokoro and Rumi help her with her first project, a direct-to-video series called "Double Bind". On the day of her last performance, she announces that she has decided to leave her group CHAM! much to the fans' disbelief and shock. Later that evening, she receives a fax from an unknown person, calling her a traitor.
The next day, Mima watches her co-stars do their scenes before she is sent to the set. She talks to Rumi about a letter she received from a fan, mentioning a website called "Mima's Room", but Mima doesn't have a computer, so Rumi decides to help her set up one later. When Mima is ready to do her part, Tadokoro takes a fan letter meant for Mima and opens it, but then it explodes, severely injuring him. That evening, Rumi finishes setting up a computer for Mima and begins to set up the internet for her. Mima asks if they should've report the explosion, but Rumi states that someone just pulled a prank. Awhile later, Mima goes on "Mima's Room" and finds a public diary entry and reads it, but is shocked to discover that every entry is in perfect detail.
The following morning, Rumi and Tadokoro, who was released from the hospital, discuss an issue that Mima should receive a bigger role, if she wants to get her career on the right track. The producers agree in giving Mima a bigger part, but her character is a rape victim from a strip club, and they have to film the rape scene. Rumi is disgusted by this and insists that the producers change the part, but Mima voluntarily accepts the part, although Rumi is concerned that her reputation will be ruined.
On the train ride home, Mima sees an apparition of herself, crying out that she doesn't want to do the part. The scene for the rape is set, but it all becomes too real and Mima believes she is really being raped. After that, Mima returns home and begins to cry, after seeing that all of her fish had died, and she regrets doing the part. Then, her apparition appears on the computer screen, laughing at her. Since then, the trauma takes hold of Mima and she is unable to separate reality from fantasy, which takes a toll on her career. Also, the producers of 'Double Bind' are gruesomely killed off one-by-one by an unknown assailant.
Mima is scheduled with a photographer, Murano who is known for "getting people to strip", and Mima becomes more like a porn idol. The apparition of Mima, who is described as being youthful and charming, taunts Mima for being dirty and she begins to question her innocence. Murano is then attacked by a pizza boy, who we see it is Mima, and she murders him in cold blood.
Murano's murder goes public, much to Mima's horror and most of the media believe she has some connection to the murders. Mima continues on the set of "Double Bind" and it is completed and in the can. Awhile later, Mima is attacked by "Me-Mania", the creator of Mima's Room, who has also been stalking her because he disagreed with her career change, and he attempts to rape her, but she uses a hammer to hit him on the side of his skull. He cries out in pain and falls to the ground. Rumi finds Mima and she takes her back home.
Mima wakes up in her bed and sees that Rumi is still there. She realizes that something is wrong, such as the fish, swimming in the aquarium, and she looks out the window, declaring that it isn't her room. Then, her apparition appears, but it is Rumi, wearing a replica of Mima's CHAM! costumes. Mima realizes that Rumi is the false diarist, who partnered with "Me-Mania" to create "Mima's Room" and Rumi believes she's the "real" Mima. Rumi declares that she is angry at Mima for ruining the "real" Mima's reputation and she wanted to save herself by murdering the people who tranished her reputation. Then, she pulls out a letter-opener and attacks, stabbing Mima in the shoulder. Mima is able to escape and Rumi goes after her in a chilling chase through the city. Mima is cornered in an alley, but she pulls off the wig Rumi wears, and Rumi goes after it, but is stabbed by a sharp piece of broken glass. Rumi limps out to the street, with blood streaming out of her midriff, and looks at Mima. Then, a truck comes down the street, but Rumi doesn't move, and Mima rushes out and pushes her out of the way. The truck drivers stop and call for help. Mima looks at an unconscious Rumi, before she too faints.
Some time later, Mima visits Rumi, who is living in a mental facility, and she says that thanks to her, she's learned a lot from her experience. It is unknown if Mima has continued her career as an actress, but she is glad to have moved on with her life with new found independence and confidence.
|Perfect Blue Characters|
|Mima Kirigoe||Rumi||Tokita Kōsaku||Tadokoro||Uchida|
|Sei Doi||Heckler 2||Heckler 3||Heckler 4|
The film was critically well received in the festival circuit, winning awards at the 1997 Fantasia Festival in Montréal, and Fantasporto Film Festival in Portugal.
Critical response in the United States upon its theatrical release was mixed. Critics were baffled as to why Perfect Blue was done as an animated film, while others associated it with common anime stereotypes of gratuitous sex and violence. Others, however, praised Kon's direction and the film's manipulation of psychological elements to achieve a level of intensity that many likened to the films of Alfred Hitchcock. Despite its unorthodox nature, the film is well known in Western anime circles.
Aronofsky's also recently acknowledged the similarities between Perfect Blue and Black Swan, but refuses to cite PB as an influence.
TIME magazine included the film on its top 5 anime DVD list.
PB also made Terry Gilliam's top 50 animated film list. Coincidentally, Kon was a fan of Gilliam.
- "Perfect Blue" Official Site.
- Perfect Blue at Anime News Network.
- Perfect Blue at the Internet Movie Database
- Pefect Blue CD database fan site
- "ＰＥＲＦＥＣＴ ＢＬＵＥ" at Japanese Movie Database.
- Perfect Blue at Allmovie
- Perfect Blue at Rotten Tomatoes