“Perfect Blue” is an 80-minute movie released in 1997; directed and featuring character designs by Satoshi Kon (storyboards and layouts “Run, Melos”; art design, key animation, “Roujin Z”; layouts, art direction, script “Memories: Magnetic Rose”; Director, “Paranoia Agent”, “Paprika”)
Fan favorite Pop Idol, Mima Kirigoe, is taking her career in a different direction. Leaving her choreographically challenged, J-Pop group, CHAM!, she decides to move on to acting. Destroying her typecast “good girl” image, she starts her new career with a rape scene in a smutty, straight to video release titled, “Double Bind”. Having just come off the pressures of being a pop star and moving into the demanding acting arena, Mima becomes overwhelmed by the overbearing demands of the media, the film production crew, and her “loyal” fans, and turns to her manager for comfort. To what lengths will people go to protect their fictitious perceptions and delusions? Fiction, acting, and reality merge as Mima discovers that she has really lost ownership of her own existence, and starts to lose all sense of reality.
While disturbed Mima ponders if her fictional pop image is more real than herself, matters become worse when the people around her start turning up murdered, and it seems they were killed as retribution for destroying her image. Demented and unhinged, she must piece together her muddled perception of the world to find out if she’s really the killer, or the next victim.
“Excuse me, who are you?”
Up until his untimely demise at age 46 in August of 2010, Satoshi Kon was thought of as the go to Director for the modern “Thinking Man’s Anime.” Everyone is a victim and /or victimizer. Violent, graphic, and horrifying, “Perfect Blue” is my favorite of his movies. I feel it best combined the presented real world with the main character’s psychosis, without any clear breaks or indicators to let the audience know where the change occurred. There were some scenes in the movie where I wasn’t sure if what I was seeing was supposed to be a complete delusion or not, mimicking the protagonist’s dilemma, and adding to the uneasy feeling of not knowing exactly what was going on…
or what was going to happen.