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Perfect Blue (1997)

Pâfekuto burû (original title)
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A retired pop singer turned actress' sense of reality is shaken when she is stalked by an obsessed fan and seemingly a ghost of her past.

Director:

Satoshi Kon

Writers:

Sadayuki Murai (screenplay), Yoshikazu Takeuchi (novel) | 2 more credits »
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1,894 ( 1,217)
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Junko Iwao ... Mima Kirigoe (voice)
Rica Matsumoto ... Rumi (voice) (as Rika Matsumoto)
Shinpachi Tsuji Shinpachi Tsuji ... Tadokoro (voice)
Masaaki Ôkura Masaaki Ôkura ... Uchida (voice)
Yôsuke Akimoto Yôsuke Akimoto ... Tejima (voice)
Yoku Shioya Yoku Shioya ... Shibuya (voice)
Hideyuki Hori Hideyuki Hori ... Sakuragi (voice)
Emi Shinohara ... Eri Ochiai (voice)
Masashi Ebara Masashi Ebara ... Murano (voice)
Kiyoyuki Yanada Kiyoyuki Yanada ... Kantoku (voice)
Tôru Furusawa Tôru Furusawa ... Yada (voice)
Shiho Niiyama Shiho Niiyama ... Rei (voice)
Emiko Furukawa Emiko Furukawa ... Yukiko (voice)
Aya Hara Aya Hara ... Mima's Mother (voice)
Shin'ichirô Miki ... Taku (voice)
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Storyline

Mima leaves the idol group CHAM, in order to pursue her dream as an actress. Mima climbs up the rocky road to success by performing as rape victims and posing nude for magazines, but is haunted by her reflections of the past. Written by <H@jime>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

excuse me...who are you? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for animated sequences of violence and nudity, and for brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

28 February 1998 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Perfect Blue See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

JPY 3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,600, 22 August 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$444,329, 7 October 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was first distributed and theatrically released by Manga Entertainment in the UK now Anime Limited holds the distribution on the Blu-Ray releases. See more »

Goofs

When the script writer parks his car, the elevator call button has only "down", but the parking lot is at the lowest point of the building. See more »

Quotes

Tadokoro: [reviewing the script for Mima's next episode] Mima's character, Yoko Takakura, completely changes personalities when she's raped by the customers at a local strip show.
Rumi: A RAPE scene? You have got to be out of your mind!
Tadokoro: It's pivotal, Rumi. She's the key figure in the second half.
Rumi: PIVOTAL? Mima is a pop idol!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Available in both R and unrated versions. The unrated cut adds about 3 minutes, extended scenes involving sexuality and violence. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Anime Movies (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Hitori de mo heiki
Music by Makoto Mitsui
Lyrics by Sumiyo Mutsumi
Performed by Emiko Furukawa and Mie Shimizu
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A new take to old school horror movies...
24 May 2006 | by jluis1984See all my reviews

Japanese animation has become a very popular style of animation in Western culture due to the wide range of genres it employs and its many different approaches to storytelling; two elements that immediately set it apart from the common Western style of cartoons that almost always are made for children only. Satoshi Kon's "Perfect Blue" quickly became a favorite among western fans of anime because it explored themes rarely seen in western animation; themes that had more in common with the horror genre such as obsessions, murders and suspense.

The story revolves around Mima (Junko Iwao), a young singer who is quickly becoming an idol as part of the musical trio "Cham". In order to make her career more marketable her managers make her leave the group and join the cast of a famous TV series. However, her new role is considerable different than the cute image she portrayed in "Cham", as it requires her to do nude scenes including a rape scene. At the same time she tries to adjust to her new job, someone begins to stalk her and to brutally kill those near her artistic career and Mima begins to wonder if she is really doing the right thing.

"Perfect Blue" is often labeled as a classic of Japanese animation because it presents a way different kind of story to those used to family-oriented animation. In is closer to an Italian Giallo than to a normal cartoon both in thematics and in style. The use of animation as a medium allows director Satoshi Kon to create stylish images of high surrealism as well as powerful images of violence. It is not something young children should watch.

Based on a novel by Yoshikazu Takeuchi, the film offers an interesting and harsh criticism to the "idol culture" in Japan, and its exaggerated portrait of an obsessed fan is an extreme, yet hauntingly realist image of insane obsessions. The story has been labeled as "Hitchcocknian", but its lack of subtlety in terms of graphic violence and nudity, as well as its high level of surrealism puts it closer to the stylish Italian sub-genre of Giallo.

By keeping the story around Mima, Satoshi Kon creates haunting atmospheres of paranoia as Mima feels strange in her new career; while it sacrifices character development of the supporting characters, this approach increases the feeling of isolation and adaptation the story has, making a more effective horror/mystery piece. Like any Giallo, the haunting image of the mysterious stalker is always present, and in "Perfect Blue" the mystery and suspense are very well handled making the movie a great work of suspense.

The animation is very good, and not as flashy as casual anime fans would assume. The movie's mixture of realism and surrealism works very well with the style of drawing and the camera-work is brilliant. Still, while the plot at times gets a bit predictable to hardcore horror fans, it still holds up and keeps captivating from start to end. The original Japanese voice work is very good, so I would recommend watching it with subtitles instead of dubbed.

"Perfect Blue" seems flawless as motion pictures can go, and the odd choice of using animation as medium (it was originally meant to be a normal live action movie) makes it different than the rest. This is a blessing as neither anime fans nor horror fans have seen a quality animated horror movie like this before. 8/10


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