7.9/10
40,776
166 user 108 critic

Perfect Blue (1997)

Pâfekuto burû (original title)
Trailer
1:01 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

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 »
Reviews
Popularity
3,740 ( 161)
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Paprika (2006)
Animation | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When a machine that allows therapists to enter their patients' dreams is stolen, all Hell breaks loose. Only a young female therapist, Paprika, can stop it.

Director: Satoshi Kon
Stars: Megumi Hayashibara, Tôru Emori, Katsunosuke Hori
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

On Christmas Eve, three homeless people living on the streets of Tokyo find a newborn baby among the trash and set out to find its parents.

Directors: Satoshi Kon, Shôgo Furuya
Stars: Tôru Emori, Yoshiaki Umegaki, Aya Okamoto
Animation | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A TV interviewer and his cameraman meet a former actress and travel through her memories and career.

Director: Satoshi Kon
Stars: Miyoko Shôji, Shôzô Îzuka, Mami Koyama
Animation | Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A cyborg policewoman and her partner hunt a mysterious and powerful hacker called the Puppet Master.

Director: Mamoru Oshii
Stars: Atsuko Tanaka, Iemasa Kayumi, Akio Ôtsuka
Akira (1988)
Animation | Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psychic psychopath that only two teenagers and a group of psychics can stop.

Director: Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Stars: Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A high-school girl named Makoto acquires the power to travel back in time, and decides to use it for her own personal benefits. Little does she know that she is affecting the lives of others just as much as she is her own.

Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Stars: Riisa Naka, Takuya Ishida, Mitsutaka Itakura
Môsô dairinin (TV Mini-Series 2004)
Animation | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Seemingly unconnected citizens of Tokyo are targeted for bludgeoning by a boy with a golden baseball bat. As detectives try to link the victims, they discover that following the assaults, the victims' lives have improved in some way.

Stars: Shôzô Îzuka, Toshihiko Seki, Michael McConnohie
Angel's Egg (1985)
Animation | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A mysterious young girl wanders a desolate, otherworldly landscape, carrying a large egg.

Director: Mamoru Oshii
Stars: Mako Hyôdô, Jinpachi Nezu, Kei'ichi Noda
Animation | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Told in three interconnected segments, we follow a young man named Takaki through his life as cruel winters, cold technology, and finally, adult obligations and responsibility converge to test the delicate petals of love.

Director: Makoto Shinkai
Stars: Kenji Mizuhashi, Yoshimi Kondou, Satomi Hanamura
Memories (1995)
Animation | Fantasy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

"Memories" is made up of three separate science-fiction stories. In the first, "Magnetic Rose," four space travelers are drawn into an abandoned spaceship that contains a world created by ... See full summary »

Directors: Kôji Morimoto, Tensai Okamura, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Shigeru Chiba, Hisao Egawa, Kayoko Fujii
Animation | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami's curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and Tatara, a mining colony. In this quest he also meets San, the Mononoke Hime.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Yôji Matsuda, Yuriko Ishida, Yûko Tanaka
Animation | Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Concurrent theatrical ending of the TV series Shin Seiki Evangerion (1995).

Directors: Hideaki Anno, Kazuya Tsurumaki
Stars: Megumi Ogata, Megumi Hayashibara, Yûko Miyamura
Edit

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)
Edit

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:

The color of illusion is Perfect Blue. (Japanese) 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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

28 February 1998 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Perfect Blue See more »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The "Big Body" pizza box in the infamous stabbing scene usually gets a few chuckles from English-speaking viewers, who are no doubt thinking about the food's fat content. However, "Big Body" is actually an homage to Susumu Hirasawa (who would later compose music for Millennium Actress (2001) and Môsô dairinin (2004), also by director Kon) and his electronically band "P-Model." Big Body is the name of their tenth album, released in 1993. 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

Mima Kirigoe: Excuse me... who are you? Excuse me... who are you?
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

Referenced in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series: Dirty Dueling (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Season
Music by Pipeline Project
Lyrics by Masato Odake
Performed by M-Voice
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Succeeds all the way at being horribly scary, in a very good way.
2 November 2001 | by vknSee all my reviews

Perfect Blue is a storming success in every department. As a movie in itself, it's a brilliant piece of work, packed with style and -very- powerful scares. We follow teen pop idol Mima, who tries to make the switch from singing to TV acting. Everything seems normal enough at first, with just the somewhat funky directing hinting at things to come. But it wouldn't be a thriller if good ol' normality didn't come crashing to pieces to make way for some terrifying madness and violence. Things start to go pear-shaped when the studio staff working around Mima are threatened, and later horribly killed, apparently by an obsessed Mima-fan who doesn't like the new direction her career is taking. And as if that wasn't bad enough, Mima herself is starting to go bonkers with all the pressure. She begins to have visions of a disturbing alter ego, more or less her "old self" from her singing days. And this "other" Mima doesn't want to play second fiddle to the new acting image Mima has taken on; she claims to be the real one, with the flesh-and-blood Mima being the fake. Mima's delirium grows gradually more entangled, until she sinks into a mental state where it's impossible for her, and for the audience to tell what is, and what is not really happening. And there are still those murders going on...

Granted, the "movie within a movie" gimmick has been done before so often that it doesn't even strike me anymore as original. Reality-twisting is also something I've seen before. All the same, Perfect Blue managed to impress me enormously, and scare my socks off like no other film. There's something about not knowing for sure (as a viewer) what is and isn't for real that always keeps one intrigued. Particularly during the more violent moments (and the film does get seriously nasty), one is constantly praying that it's -not- for real. "Go on, snap out of it, Mima. This is too scary to be real, you're just having another vision...right? Right?" The leitmotiv of a second self also intrigues me, and I found it delightful trying to pick out which Mima was really the "real" one. Just how strong is "false" Mima's presence in reality? Is she a complete phantom of the imagination, or does she have a litteral, physical presence of some kind? And most of all; out of these two versions of herself, which one does Mima really want to be? If you can't tell for sure what does and doesn't really happen, you also might not take everything the characters declare for granted. The ending does provide a somewhat logical explanation that ties up all of the insanity again, but that doesn't mean the fun of figuring this out for yourself is completely spoiled; you can very well not take the ending entirely for granted either (while it makes sense, there are some bits about the explanation it provides that don't completely gel with me). Lots of re-watchings and picking apart of hints is in store for me there. Love it when that happens ^^.

A few tiny niggles; the animation quality in the first half of the film is not quite breathtaking, and seemed decidedly below-par for movie quality animation. Luckily, it picks up later on, becoming pleasingly smooth. And by the time you reach the terror of the later part of the film, you're already too frightened to really be picky about animation quality. Some of the violent and/or explicit scenes are very nasty indeed (ewww, straight people, sick man), but they serve the purpose of enhancing the fright factor very well, rather than just being needless grotesqueries to please the gore-junkies in the style of that hideous Akira. The film is a complete success as a frightening, surreal and involving thriller (though I do still like Jinn-Roh much better).

But another reason to rejoice is that Perfect Blue is a step in the right direction for the general public's image of what anime really is. Sure, the enlightened few among us for whom Evangelion is standard fare, and who can give detailed insights into the latest CLAMP titles already know that anime is not "a genre". It's a medium in itself, and the Japanese animation market can, and does treat every imaginable genre and subject, often with skill that leaves feeble Hollywoodian efforts miles behind itself (in the case of Perfect Blue, it speaks volumes that a celluloid character such as Mima manages to become more lifelike and sympathetic than any sillicone tarts Hollywood chucks around the screen). It's hardly uncommon to see a genre such as a psychological stalker-thriller treated in animation to the Japanese. Heck, they've done every other imaginable thing under the sun in animation, and a damn good job they do at it as well. It's just a shame that hardly any of the really good stuff ever makes it over to the West, thus creating a distorted image for casual western viewers. We do seem to have made some progress from the Akira Aftertaste years, where anime was generally put on the same line as sex and violence and very little else (side-step; how come nobody ever raises a finger when live Yank actors engage in orgies of the most brutal porn and bloodshed in just about every Hollywood flick ever made, but the whole world screams bloody murder when an anime character so much as takes his socks off? Live Yanks can get away with everything?). Now it's "anime is just pink-haired fairies in giant explosive turbo robots". They're getting just a tiny bit warmer, but maybe Perfect Blue will get the message across to a few others that anime embraces a diversity that ranges from Sailor Moon to Wings of Honneamise (and I'm just globally sketching here), with a reasonably large number of people getting to actually see this. A quite decent English dub that doesn't hamper the film too much is also a plus, though a dub will of course never equal the original. It might help to keep the above paragraph in mind for a Perfect Blue viewer not initiated to the big picture of anime. In any case, it's an impressive movie for anyone, worth seeing for being so unique, gripping and masterfully scary. I'll think twice before I look into a mirror for a long time to come after this...

A final note about the notorious comment that this could be a Disney-Hitchcock hybrid. Hitch perhaps, but comparing this kind of quality to Disney's paper-flat commercial slop is simply an insult to Perfect Blue.


31 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 166 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed