Critic’s Log - Earthdate: October 31, 2013. Review #63: Perfect Blue
Ah, Satoshi Kon. Ever since his death on August of 2010, he has left viewers with some interesting films and his only TV series. Now I usually treat Anime movies the same way as a Television Anime. I know that Anime films have larger budgets than TV animes, so there are some strong advantages to Anime films regarding this. I am also a man that takes movies seriously, and I will say the same thing towards anime. As silly as that sounds, my main goal since the beginning was to put out honest and informative reviews, as well as voicing my opinion as perfectly honest as possible. But I guess the biggest question of all regarding reviewing anime is… how long and how much is “too far”. Well.... not everybody can be pleased. There will always be arguments and disputes on most things. Some people agree on one thing and others may disagree. That’s just how things go in the matter of any entertainment medium. So before I start spouting things out of the blue, Here is Perfect Blue.
Mima is the lead singer of a J-pop group named “CHAM!” quits her group in order to pursue an acting career, However, because of her decision to leave, not everyone is happy. but unbeknownst to Mima, there is a crazed fan that is stalking her. The following events become more unsettling and turn for the worse and Mima is on the verge of going toward a downward spiral.
To be technical, this is a Studio Madhouse production and boy, am I going to sound like a broken record but… Madhouse is known for great production values, and they do not disappoint with Perfect Blue. However, I can’t say the animation isn’t really as good as it gets since the character designs are slightly off in some moments, with the exception of Uchida (Mima’s stalker) and Rumi (Mima’s manager). The stalker’s appearance does help with the uneasiness and it helps you relate to Mima in the movie, as for Rumi, I thought her character design was a bit off because of how her eyes looked. I actually will give this movie a pass for this. If you have not seen the movie yet, I will say that the less you know the better. To those that have seen it, please do not give it away. Besides Uchida and Rumi, the character designs are still a little off. But to give Kon-san some credit, this is his first movie as a director and he does impress with this movie.
The music by Masahiro Ikumi does fit the eerie and chilling atmosphere but it is certainly an interesting factor in the film. There isn’t much musical themes in this movie and there are a couple themes that may be used more than once, but there are times when there is no music at all. This is an effective factor because it may build some uneasiness during the experience in the movie. I do wonder why Ikumi-san doesn’t do much musical compositions in Anime, this is undoubtedly his best musical score.
In regards of the casting, Junko Iwao is great as Mima, Rica Matsumoto is also good as Rumi. Masaki Okura is pretty decent as Uchida. The Japanese Cast is a solid listen, now when it comes to the English Dub, I was expecting a decent dub. I almost guessed this right, but I was actually wrong. In reality, The dub is a solid listen as well… but the dub is a little off in some areas. What the dub has is a terrific performance by Bridget Hoffman as the voice of Mima. Also, Wendee Lee was great in this one too. R. Martin Klein was a little off in this movie, but the dub is still a solid listen.
When it comes to characters. Mima is pretty much the main attraction in the movie and you do want to pay attention to her along the way, but regardless of that. This movie is very tricky while portraying Mima but she is developed well after all the things that happen. She may be the least complex character of the bunch, but she does give the viewer the sense that she is normal… Which makes the movie more effective. The movie does portray her as being stressed considering all the events that transpire. Rumi may not be too active in this movie, and that’s pretty much it, but she’s developed decently. Uchida is a weird dude and there’s a point to this. It’s fitting because he is a stalker, His face is odd and that I guess is what makes him memorable. All the other supporting characters are like normal people, so I don’t have much to say. The characters are pretty good for the most part.
As for the story, I am going to have to stop right here… Because If I said anymore, it will just ruin it for you. Once you heard about the premise, you may want to figure things out for yourself. I will say that this movie definitely does have appeal for those that are really into Alfred Hitchcock’s films. I will say just one thing about the story for those that haven’t seen Perfect Blue. The less you know...The Better.
Perfect Blue was available by Manga Entertainment, it is out of print.
With all that said, Perfect Blue is a film that managed to stand out as Satoshi Kon’s debut film. The animation is good, the story is interesting that you would probably want to see it to figure things out, it even has some characters worth paying attention to, and it has a soundtrack that compliments the movie to some extent. This movie was just the beginning of seeing the visionary style that made Satoshi Kon unique.
I give Perfect Blue a 9.1 out of 10. it is EXCELLENT!
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