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Anime: Perfect Blue
Monday, September 12, 2005
Age Rating: 18+
Company: Manga Ent UK
Genre: Thriller/Psychological
Running Time: 80 mins
DVD Region 2


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"In the world of make believe, the price of fame may not be worth the cost of identity."

Content (Spoilers Included)

Mima Kirigoe is a singer in pop-group CHAM, however given she is the most popular member of the group, one of Mima's agents has decided that it may be best for her to quit CHAM and pursue the more lucrative career of acting. Mima enjoys being a pop idol and evidently wrestles with the idea a while before deciding that acting is the best for her and she quits CHAM. Much to the disappointment of some of her fans.
Mima soon finds a website on the net, where someone who seems to describe Mima's day exactly to the last detail (who is evidently watching Mima) is pretending to be her and making out that she is unhappy with being an actress and wants to be a singer still. But is going along with what her agent wants. Mima gets increasingly paranoid about her stalker, and when she gets a role in sexually charged drama (much to the dislike of one of her two agents), her paranoia gets worse as the stalker seems to be taking things very personal.
Mima descends into a state of paranoid delusions and the film feels very disjointed as people working with Mima such as the author of the drama she stars in and a photographer who takes nude images of her are murdered brutally. The movie at this point seemed to me to be portraying Mima as the killer (as opposed to a rather creepy obsessive fan who's following her), as she is battling with her desire to still be a pop-idol. However the film takes a rather unique twist towards the end which turns the story on its head, and the killer/stalker is perhaps one of the people you least expect.

Perfect Blue in all honestly is one of the best psychological thrillers I have seen in both anime and non-animated films, its delivery had me guessing several different killers throughout which really is the way all good mysteries should play out. The fact that I was guessing right up until the end, and was convinced Mima was the killer is partly what made the film so great for me.
Mima herself is an interesting character, and the portrayal of her paranoid delusions is gripping and interesting to watch throughout. The male stalker character could also possibly be one of the creepiest cast members I have seen in an anime (he certainly has an incredibly disturbing voice), while I knew from the beginning he wasn't the killer he certainly was warped enough to be. I came into watching Perfect Blue with the impression I'd be rather confused and irritated by a complex plot. But when was all said and done I found it easy to follow yet utterly gripping which is the main requirements for me to enjoy a thriller.

Overall Content Score: 9/10

Audio

I only watched the anime subtitled, but the original Japanese track was a good quality. The acting was great from all the cast and had some fantastically indepth portrayals of mental issues from a few of the characters (as I mentioned in the content, the male stalkers voice shall haunt me a fair while it was so creepy). The music soundtrack was also of a superior quality with CHAM's songs giving a cheesy J-pop vibe (that I like) on occasion, but also being used to creepy effect in several other scenes.

Overall Audio Score: 9/10

Video/Animation

No errors were present on the disc video wise that I could notice. The subtitles however were of a rather irritating font and size, and at times were hard to read. This irritated me sometimes as I'd have to re-read some subtitles as the letters were not showing up well enough. It was only a minor annoyance, but still an annoyance.
Animation wise, the anime (especially considering it isn't a brand new movie) was of a very high-quality throughout. For once I found the rather ugly character designs for a lot of the cast appropriate too, it helped the overall gritty and unpleasant feeling of some of the characters.

Overall Video/Animation Score: 7/10

Extras

A wide variety of good extras here. Interviews with the director Satoshi-Kon, some of the voice actors/actresses, trailers, photo galleries, behind the scenes stuff aswell as some PC accessible content. Certainly good extras for an anime movie DVD.

Overall Extras Score: 8/10

Packaging

Fairly basic yet ok, a blood soaked Mima dons the rather dull front cover along with several quotes praising the film. It looks ok, but I'm not so keen on the artwork. The reverse side has a few pictures from the movie and the usual blurb. The DVD itself is blue with Mina on it, rather stylish looking in the completely black inside of the case. The DVD comes with two fairly boring inserts, one of Manga Ent. products and one with chapter information for the film.

Overall Packaging Score: 6/10

Overall Scores:
Content: 9
Audio: 9
Video/Animation: 7
Extras: 8
Packaging: 6
posted by Mangaminx On Monday, September 12, 2005  
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