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Perfect Blue
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 06/09/2000

Mima Kirigoe has long been part of Cham, a mildly successful pop trio. When Mima decides to quit Cham and become an actress, she lands a role in a murder-mystery film. But the response isn't exactly what Mima expected. She receives mail bombs, threatening calls, and the like. Mima's colleagues also get killed one by one. Someone obviously isn't pleased by her career move. To top it off, a strange man seems to be stalking Mima everyday... watching and waiting. Mima thinks she is going crazy but the murders are all too real -- and it looks like Mima is next on the list!
The first time I watched Perfect Blue was on the WOWOW satellite channel. It was purely in Japanese, but I got a pretty good idea of what it was about. I was so intrigued and impressed that several months later; I got it on DVD when it was released in the US. This time, I was able to watch it with English subtitles and at the same time sample the English dub. I wasn't disappointed, because as it turns out, Perfect Blue is an excellent anime.
If films like "Psycho" or "Silence of the Lambs" are your cup of tea, most likely you'll find Perfect Blue worth your while. What heightens the mystery and suspense factor is the fact that with Mima, it's hard to tell what's real and what's being created by her mind. Mima loves singing, but she quit Cham because she (and her manager) thought that becoming an actress was best for her career. But Mima herself isn't 100% convinced that she wants to be an actress... it just seemed like the appropriate thing to do at the time. Thus, Mima is always full of doubts and inner turmoil.
There are a lot of graphic scenes -- bloody and violent murders, a couple of rape sequences; a nude photo session... it's definitely geared for mature viewers. The art and animation are very good in general; I just noticed that a few scenes lacked fluidity. There were a few times I felt they were just moving the cels rather than adding actual frames. The English dubbing is one of the best ones I've heard. The English voices are extremely well-cast. There is very little difference between the voice qualities of the Japanese and English versions. Seiyuu Junko Iwao (also Key in "Key the Metal Idol", Ceres in "Ayashi no Ceres") plays the lead role of Mima. Perfect Blue's conclusion is very satisfying to boot. There aren't really any loose ends left to your imagination.
Perfect Blue is perfect for those who crave for a good suspenseful psychological thriller.
"Double Bind", the movie Mima gets cast into, sports influences of "The Accused" and "Silence of the Lambs". The creators must watch a lot of Jodie Foster films, ne?

Perfect Blue
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Review Title:
Perfect Blue
80 Minutes
General Rating:
4.5 out of 5 stars
Suitable For:
Young Adults
Drama, Horror, Psychological
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