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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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:42 PM)
    @Bam: There was this bizzaro Joan of arc slide show arthouse erotica anime from the 70s that recently got a re-release, its somewhat tied to Tezuka, really trippy shit, Kanashimi no belladonna.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:35 PM)
    As a book I could see it flowing better. Oshii or Kamiyama could more effectively adapt such density of material to screen.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:32 PM)
    Ultimately I think it got too ambitious and had too much on its plate.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:31 PM)
    I have yet to see genocidal organ, although yes Harmony was pretty below average and that was putting it mildly. I will consider re-evaluating it if it gets dubbed/when the dub comes out.
    Admittedly its a film of big ideas, my problem with it that the movie itself is just so plodding and I found it too overstuffed to properly focus on/fully develop its themes and the exposition was particularly heavy handed.
  • SuperMario
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:15 PM)
    @Bam: yeah, heard about the Project Itoh, from what I heard they’re not that good thou, with only Empire of Corpses has a slightly favorable reviews. I believe Kaiser watched Harmony alrready and he gave a very negative rating.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:55 PM)
    For those who have somehow managed to miss the hype for Harmony:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC-6U8HCF8c
    The visuals are intriguing, the palette very sharp, and the CGI relatively well integrated. The early reviews been scathing tho, and given my experience with Empire of Corpses I can guess why.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:49 PM)
    Each piece of the trilogy is handled by a different cast and company. Empire of Corpses was done by Wit Studio, Harmony by Studio 4°C, and Genocidal Organ by Manglobe (or Geno Studio as they are called now).
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:43 PM)
    Anybody seen Empie of Corpses? I watched it to get primed for that Harmony feature film anime, which is part of Project Itoh trilogy. Studio Wit went all out here. The animation is great, and the premise has potential, but the delivery was just botched.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 01:07 PM)
    @Mario, you were worried that you would be covering too much slice of life style anime this season, at least with this I will likely be taking one off your hands. I don’t want to cover it but hey if the public says so…guess I will have to suffer.
  • SuperMario
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 07:15 AM)
    Also it’s nice to see there was heated arguments on EVA even before I start to do any post review. The way I see it thou certain films/ series are classic/ influential for a reason, if they are brilliant I certainly can still see its sparks. Like I can still amazed of Potemkin Battleship on its montahe editing, or It Happens one night fot its influential on romantic comedy. So I really look forward to see how I feel about EVA hahaa

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