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Perfect Blue
Violence: High
Sex/Nudity: Graphic
Runtime Episodes: 1h21min
Overall Rating: A
Artwork: A
Story: A
Comments: None yet.
Voice Acting English: A
Voice Acting Japanese: A
Genre: Suspense
Extras: Lots:  two in studio music productions of Cham, previews for about 20 different anime DVD's from Manga studios in gallery format, preview format and lists.  Commentaries with the English and Japanese staff and Director Satoshi Kon, Mima's Room, English and Japanese soundtracks as well as 5.1 dolby sound, a photo gallery with comments, links, and finally a special thanks section.  Whew!

Date Reviewed: 11/28/08 Last Updated: 10/26/09

Basic Premise: Pop Idol Mima Kirigoe leaves a moderately popular singing group in Japan to pursue a career in acting.  She soon begins to think that she may have made one colossal mistake as she finds herself doing things she would never have wanted to do, Cham is more popular without her and she discovers internet sites that know every detail of her life and often know her innermost thoughts better than she does herself.  Thus begins her descent into paranoia and madness.  From there things go from bad to much worse as she has a very hard time knowing what is real anymore.
Review: Perfect Blue is an example of an anime directed towards an adult audience.  It is the story of Mima Kirigoe a singer from the somewhat popular singing group Cham who leaves the band to become an actress.  The problem is that her acting career does not take off in the way she would like and she finds that Cham is actually thriving without her.  Mima is a really nice and kind and polite girl who is trying her best, but she finds herself being taken advantage of, websites devoted to her, and hatemail the pressure builds to the breaking point and well beyond.  

There are many things that set this anime apart from nearly all others.  The first is that it is Satoshi Kon's debut as a Director and what a debut it is!  It is pretty easy to describe his directing style.  He is just like Alfred Hitchcock.  He has done other blockbuster works such as Tokyo Godfathers, Millennium Actress, Paranoia Agent, Paprika, and a few others.  He is not very prolific, but what he does is usually a blockbuster.  In short he likes to really mess with the viewer's head and keep them wondering what is real and what is not.  

For his first feature film he put a Lot of effort and care into this.  The acting and artwork are impeccable.  I found myself becoming very attached to Mima and very much wanted things to work out well for her.  The artwork is another thing I rather like about this.  It is not cloyingly sweet or sugar coated or bright or fantastical.  It is an anime, but feels like a live action drama.  The characters are drawn with an adult audience in mind and this anime is another great example showing that anime can be for adults.

This anime has graphic nudity.  There are maybe two shows out there anime or otherwise where nudity was required for the show and this is one of them.  I couldn't tell you what the other one is.  The nudity is not erotic and really makes you feel for the character.  Watching it made me uncomfortable for her, but it showed something vital to the story and character.  It shows her death of what she was and what she is now.  I don't want to say too much more about it, but they are very powerful gut wrenching scenes.

Afterwards Mima feels dirty and vile and taken advantage of even though she agreed to do some scenes she didn't want to do.  No matter what she can't erase what she did or what happened.  It is here that she begins her descent into madness.  She tries to hold onto what is real, but it keeps slipping away from her.  To make matters worse there is a killer on the lose killing those around her that did bad things to her.  All of the evidence points to her, but she doesn't know if she really is the killer or someone else.

Conclusion: A great suspense anime classic for adults with lots of twists and turns.

Publisher: Manga
Related Website: http://www.manga.com/titles/perfect_blue
Where Found: Amazon
Copyright: 1997/1998
Author: Satoshi Kon
If you enjoyed this anime try: Re-Cycle


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