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Perfect Blue Review

by: sothis
November 25, 2004

story 8.5/10

Perfect Blue screenshot Set in present day (some years ago, of course), Mima is a well-loved pop idol who loves singing in Cham, a somewhat-unknown singing group who still manage to have a great deal of admirers -- as well as an expected amount of fanboy stalkers. In a career move that stumps all who know her, Mima decides to become an actress, leaving her idol lifestyle behind -- and thus the downward spiral begins. With newfound fame comes obsession, and Mimirun seems to have acquired her own dangerous stalker set on convincing her to return to her old role. With death threats, letter bombs, and a website that details every aspect of her life (told by someone claiming to be her), could this obsession become deadly?

While a thriller at heart, Perfect Blue also is very highly centered around character development and general paranoia, which makes for an interesting ride. In the beginning it feels like you are just watching a case of a stalker-gone-bad, but as the story progresses, the actual focus of the story becomes far more confusing and complex. We see things through the eyes and mind of Mima, and watch not only what is actually happening, but her own perceptions of what is happening, which sometimes is conflicting to say the least. I can't say much without spoiling, so I'll just say that the ending will surprise you, and you'll encounter a great deal of twists and turns along the way.

Something worth mentioning is that there are some fairly extreme scenes in the movie, including an acted-out rape scene (as she's an actress, and all). Regardless of if it was supposed to be fake, as a female, watching any rape in any capacity tends to make me feel uncomfortable and slightly ill. There are several very violent scenes as well, due to the nature of the movie in the first place.

animation 6/10

The animation definitely was not a strong point of the film, though it admittedly isn't very new. Honestly, I don't mind older looking animation, but Perfect Blue had a fairly major flaw -- the character designs. Some of the characters looked totally normal, looking like they are from the 80s, but still normal. Others, such as Rumi or the creepy stalker guy, just looked physically wrong. Remember Sloth from The Goonies? I'm talking wrong like that. The eyes were on extreme opposite sides of the head, giving a fish-like and creepy appearance. Rumi looked simply grotesque most of the time, with her body and head shape just looking... wrong. I can't think of a better word to use than that. The stalker guy looked like he wasn't human, but rather was some form of brain-eating zombie. Yes, this was done for the effect, but it was a little overdone and didn't even seem realistic anymore. One plus to the character designs was Mima, whose appearance did mirror her emotional state at various points in the movie.

Colors used were very washed out and boring, but one plus was that the violent scenes and scenes with blood did end up being a bit more vibrant and interesting. Motion and such was not always very fluid. No CG or other special effects were in the movie (that I noticed, at least).

sound 8/10

The music was quite good. One of the tracks sounded very much like it belonged in Ghost in the Shell, and the rest were eerie, moody, and fit perfectly. Cham's songs were occasionally played, which helped with the psychotic feeling of some of the scenes (you'll know what I mean when you see it) perfectly. In general, the music really helped out with the suspense. Voices were good for everyone involved, especially Mimi.

characters 9/10

If anything shone in this movie, it was the characters and their development. For most of the secondary characters, we don't see them develop per se, but we do learn things about them throughout the course of the movie that are both shocking and surprising. The star of the show was definitely Mima, and it's her transformation that is the most compelling and chilling. Mima, in the beginning of the movie, is a successful pop idol. She's doing something she loves, has plenty of fans, and is having fun in life. Then she decides to become an actor and things go steadily downhill from there, affecting not only her life and friends, but her mental state as well. It's not so often that I watch something where the main character makes me feel such empathy for her downfall, especially considering how violent and messed up certain scenes are.

overall 8/10

Perfect Blue is an engaging thriller that will keep you guessing till the very end. The poor animation is complemented by a truly demented story and a wonderful amount of character development. The true test of any anime is if it's original, and Perfect Blue definitely is. Looking for something that will challenge your mind that isn't the usual fantasy tale, fighting fanboy flick or magical girl series? Perfect Blue just might be for you...

Anime Info

  • Movie (1 ep x 78 min)
  • 1997

When popular pop idol Mima decided to retire from her group, Cham, and become an actress, she had no idea that one person's obsession would soon spiral out of control. With death threats, letter bombs and a forged website which details her every move, Mima finds herself slowly becoming trapped in a nightmare she can't seem to escape. With murders piling up and her mental state slowly degrading, can she discover who the culprit is, before she becomes the next victim?

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About the Author

sothis's avatar

sothis

My fav genres include sci fi and horror, but you'll find a lot of obscure reviews from me too, given I watch a ton to add to the database. My new reviews are written a lot better than my old ones, so when in doubt, sort by date! ^_^ Enjoy, and I welcome any and all feedback.

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comments

deideiblueeyez avatar deideiblueeyez
Apr 9, 2011

Yeah, I'm definitely gonna watch this. I don't know why I avoid reading reviews before watching something. I guess it's because I'm always afraid it spoils stuff. And sometimes it does. But I'm gonna watch it now :D

DarkSarcasm avatar DarkSarcasm
Nov 7, 2010

For me it's a 10/10. A masterpiece on its own. About the animation, well I'm the kind of guy that likes the animation of seLain or boogie pop phantom because that kind of animation just gives more depth, so for me the animation was perfect. I think it really portrayed the time of the late 90s.

bloodlove avatar bloodlove
May 10, 2010

Yeah, It's a masertpiece! 9/10 the -1 is  for the animation and thanks for the great review!:D

LinkSword avatar LinkSword
Mar 24, 2010

While I agree on this being great, I think it's just EVEN greater than the overal score shows.

8.9-9/10 for me. A true masterpiece.

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