Mima Kirigoe is a singer who leaves her trio to become an actress, a career move that angers her fans, who prefer to see her as the pop idol. Plagued by self-doubt and tormented by humiliating compromises, she begins to be stalked, in her waking and sleeping moments, by an alter ego who claims to be "the real Mima", until she collapses into madness as her coworkers are brutally slain around her.
|Release Date||:||July 11, 1997|
|Production Company||:||Madhouse, Rex Entertainment|
|Writers||:||Yoshikazu Takeuchi, Sadayuki Murai|
|Casts||:||Junko Iwao, Rica Matsumoto, Shinpachi Tsuji, Masaaki Ōkura, Yōsuke Akimoto, Yoku Shioya, Hideyuki Hori, Emi Shinohara, Kiyoyuki Yanada, Tōru Furusawa, Shiho Niiyama, Emiko Furukawa, Aya Hara, Shin'ichirou Miki, Megumi Tano, Akio Suyama, Osamu Hosoi, Kôichi Tôchika, Emi Motoi, Kishô Taniyama, Shokkâ Ôno, Rofuto Purasu Wan Burazâzu, Makoto Kitano, Soichiro Hoshi, Masashi Ebara|
|Plot Keywords||:||japan, career, stalker, singer, animation, female protagonist, split personality, j-pop, anime|
Based on Yoshikazu Tekeuchi's novel of the same name, "Perfect Blue" is a Japanese anime film that tells the story of Mima Kirigoe, a pop idol who decides to leave her musical group while it is still at the top of the charts and concentrate on acting. Unfortunately, this transition does not sit well with one of her fans because an obsessive person who seems to be pervasive in her life soon stalks her. Even when she comes across the fan's website, she finds that the blog entries are not only written to make it seem like they are her thoughts, but they actually ARE her inner-most thoughts. What starts out as a moderately scary obsession quickly becomes a terrifying struggle to both deal with her inner demons and eventually, save her own life.
I once heard "Perfect Blue" described as "Hitchcock does anime", which is a dead-on descriptor for this film. The character designs were slick, the music was good (mostly techno) but the story is fantastic. I honestly was still trying to guess who the stalker was until the end of the film, and the reveal does not disappoint. There are some graphic moments (one is a rape scene on the set of the film she is making) so it does not fall into the stereotypical "it's a cartoon so it must be okay for kids" label that the non-anime viewing public seems assume.
I highly recommend this film, particularly to people who are not very well versed in anime Â it would be a really good way to get your feet wet in the genre. There were many times during the film where I actually forgot I was watching animation, the action and story are so all consuming. Perfect Blue gets a strong 7/10 from me.