Posted by psgels on 17 February 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews


Perfect Blue: take a random episode of Paranoia Agent, remove all traces of humour whatsoever and extend the result into a ninety-minute movie. I originally thought that this series would be more like Tokyo Godfathers, but instead we get a story about paranoia, schizophrenia and hallucinations. And While I liked Tokyo Godfathers better, Perfect Blue is a very capable movie as well.

Satoshi Kon knows how to build up his story, and this is even apparent in his first major movie. It starts with a simple case where an ex-idol is being stalked by an obsessed fan, and the series turns more and more into a psychological horror-series afterwards. Like expected, the biggest purpose of this movie is to dive into the mind of its main character, and it succeeds pretty well at this. Mima is a terrific character, and even though she may freak out, she’s far away from an emo teenager in the middle of puberty.

This movie does have its problems, though. It feels like a few of the side-characters weren’t used to their full potential. While I can understand why Satoshi Kon decided not to show much of the background of the major bad guys, it would have been interesting to see more of the reasons behind their actions, and their backgrounds. The ending also felt a tad too abrupt, and an extra minute would have done wonders on it. A little more involvement with the police would also have been desired. Quite a few people get killed, but you hardly ever see the cops.

Overall, I agree with the general opinion for this movie: Perfect Blue is great, but it’s not Satoshi Kon’s best work. Still, if it’s paranoia you want, then you should definitely give it a chance. With a terrific soundtrack and a gritty, realistic setting, away from the usual idol-stereotypes you see in anime, this movie won’t leave you disappointed.

So, after this, there’s just one movie and one OVA left that I want to check out. I think it’s pretty obvious which ones I saved for last, but I’m not going to say which they are just yet. ;)

7 Responses

  1. Windspirit says:

    I guessed who was the bad guy 15-20 minutes in the movie… I just couldn’t enjoy it normally…

  2. Protodude says:

    One of those movies better be Millennium Actress.

  3. Chris says:

    I was actually surprised by the ending and I agree another minute or 2 would have really helped at the end. Again another anime I saw when I was way too young (11) but everytime I see it I appeciate it more.

  4. Wyrdwad says:

    Protodude: After all my goading, amongst the goading of others, I have a feeling Millennium Actress is the one remaining movie to which psgels refers. (:

    Consequently, psgels, I wholeheartedly agree with your ratings, both for Perfect Blue and Dog of Flanders. I can’t believe I never mentioned Dog of Flanders to you before… it’s an absolutely outstanding movie, and easily one of the most emotionally powerful films I’ve ever seen.

    -Tom

  5. Me says:

    You stumbled upon one of my favorite movies of all time! :) I had no idea that it wasn’t well-received though, as I thought that it was the best of Kon’s work myself. Then again, I saw it first and therefore measured everything else of his against it. Well, and there is also the “idol” part, and the english soundtrack is really well-done.

  6. Wyrdwad says:

    You liked Perfect Blue better than Kon’s other works? Even Paranoia Agent? That’s really surprising… I’ve not heard anyone else say that before. (: I mean, Perfect Blue IS good, to be sure, but I consider Paranoia Agent, Millennium Actress, and Tokyo Godfathers to all be far superior. The only Kon work Perfect Blue tops, in my book, is Paprika.

    -Tom

  7. Kurisu says:

    Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan pretty much ruined “Dog of Flanders” for me. I could never watch it without second thoughts.

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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:30 AM)
    Watchmen was deemed ‘unadaptable’ for about thirty years, so just getting what Snyder got out of the material is a huge success; it is said that what he did was to write a book version of Ingmar’s Holy Mountain. Watchmen is the only graphic novel to ever win a Hugo award and is easily the most intricate and multilayered Alan Moore comic, so it’s no surprise that it continues to top ‘best comics of all time’ charts to this day.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:20 AM)
    I beg to differ. Doctor Manhatten is the most intriguing character of Watchmen and the comic is a giant in ,not only in the comic world, but the history of literature itself. It is a deconstruction of superheros and Dr. M shows how afraid the world would really be when faced with a ‘superman’ and how a creature in such a higher realm of time and perception would show apathy toward humans and their foolish struggles.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:15 AM)
    GitS just won’t work. Maybe in a world before the Matrix, but not now with so many elements of it borrowed liberally by so many franchises in various mediums. Scarlet Johansson is decent in roles that fit her. She was enjoyable in Lost In Translation, but race aside she has nothing in common with Kusanagi. This is a travesty and the franchise is dear to me so it especially burns my ass.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:10 AM)
    While I am no fan of man of steel, Nolan and Snyder, just about anyone would have a hard time taking a difficult character like superman and making him work on screen.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:08 AM)
    Apart from Veidt and Rorshach I could never get into the characters all that much in watchmen. I also found the film overly long and mediocre acted for the larger part. But to each there own. For Alan moores works I always preferred his Miracleman, swamp thing, V for Vendetta stories.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:06 AM)
    Nolan can produce the action plus personal and dark story that Alita would need, and he also brings talent such as composer Hans Zimmer and Cinematographer Sally Pfister to the table. Him and Snyder have too much combined integrity to make a mockery out of Alita like Spielberg did with the GitS license.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:03 AM)
    Well Snyder has respect for his source materials and that is key in anime-to-film adaptations. Hell I’m a big Watchmen fan and I thought his version was (almost painfully) close to the comic. You’re not going to get that anywhere else in Hollywood. Also the combination of Nolan/Snyder is quite different than them individually.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 05:34 AM)
    And directed it as a co-production with America, using a Japanese cast.
    Yeah…this is impossible…
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 05:32 AM)
    The only way a live action ghost in the shell film would work is if Mamoru oshii directed it.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 05:29 AM)
    Wait wait…his Van helsing film is a reboot sorry I confused it with the other one.

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