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.


  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.


  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
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 02:36 AM)
    @Masky: lots of game designers aspire for realism. Now this can be done for cosmetic purposes like face textures and lighting, practical with physic engines and movement, or contextual like believable character reactions and dialogue. Now some games thrive in being ridiculous and fantastic, but some want to create a realistic setting to further the emotional impact. Nothing wrong with that.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 02:32 AM)
    @ratsgnoF: and happy Thanksgiving to you as well.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:43 PM)
    Anyway seriously though, I’d say it does actually make sense in context xD Since none of monsters are actually that threatening.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:42 PM)
    .-. I have no words, mainly because whenever anyone uses word “Realism” in context of video game, I want to say rude words xD
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:40 PM)
    I think he gave it a passing glance and felt it wasn’t his thing, I remember he also felt that he thought the idea of sparing the monsters wasn’t believable or realistic given that he felt if you were realistically placed in that situation yourself, the real thing to do would be to fight back out of fear.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:37 PM)
    Did he actually play the game though? I mean, did he actually discover it himself or did he just heard the spoilers?
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:35 PM)
    I had a talk with a friend about undertale and he wasn’t a fan, he prefers other types of rpgs, the choice element also made him uncomfortable and that he felt the game was too punishing.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:34 PM)
    @Kaiser: Puzzle elements, outside of sparing everyone, seem to be mainly just parodying video game puzzles. Like, only place where you actually have to solve actual puzzles is in Hotland, before that pretty much every puzzle is automatically solved, really easy or has some silly twist to it. Like the puzzle you can skip by pressing a switch in tree trunk. Can’t say I’m too fond of puzzles either, but I liked how game was making fun of them
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:32 PM)
    Speaking of awful sense of humor and things that dorks like, just wanted to say that turns out I was right about Jitsu wa watashi wa in that main couple does get together before chapter 100(forgot what exactly, some where in 80-90 range I think). But they are such huge dorks that they do everything ridiculously slowly because they are that embarrassed, so they have had like just one date(in chapter 100). Not that I expect anyone to remember what the heck I’m talking about xD
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:32 PM)
    The battle system grew on me a bit, but I didn’t like the puzzle elements it offered, the actual gameplay looked kind of dull also. Some of the characters were likeable enough, Papyrus, Asogore, the flower guy being my favourite though the plot didn’t really get interesting until the end.

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