Perfect Blue

"Unbearable"

Perfect Blue Review


A senseless roller coaster ride through the unstable mind of a bubble-headed, Japanese teenager and flash-in-the-pan, cheese-pop singer, "Perfect Blue" is just the kind of anime that could turn Western audiences off from this generally fascinating genre all together.

Animated and written at a level a few steps above "Pokemon" but several stories below classics like "Akira" and "Ghost in the Shell," this absurd import takes weak passes at Hitchcockian mind bending, but winds up pitching gibberish.

Not only is the supposedly cerebral stuff hard to follow, but the heroine -- a sweet young thing named Mima, whose career handlers are pushing her away from the singing she loves and toward an acting career -- is so uselessly dim and giggly the only people who could possibly take interest in her are stalker types.

Luckily, Mima has her fair share of those. A towering, pale, trenchcoated, snaggletoothed computer geek who shadows her 24/7 and catalogs her every move on a web site should be the first person in the paddy wagon when her life becomes endangered. But in the script for "Perfect Blue" not only does nobody notice him, lurking around with all the subtlety of a Trenchcoat Mafia kid from Columbine High, but Mima doesn't even point him out to her people even though he scares the crap out of her almost every day.

Thanks in part to this geek, but mostly due to the pressure she's under from her agents to keep them employed on her meager dramatic skills, Mima starts to lose touch with reality, big time. Soon she's haunted by giddy but nefarious hallucinations of inner self that was happy being a singer. This bimbo ghost skips through the sky, berating her for abandoning a career she loves. But Mima soldiers on into her uncomfortable acting, even when she's forced to play a terrible (and gratuitous) rape scene and other career moves that threaten her sanity and her public image.

Just exactly why we're supposed to care, I couldn't venture to guess. Mima is a pretty worthless heroine to begin with, and it doesn't help that she lacks even the self-possession to alert someone to the fact that her manhandled life is turning into a reject "X-Files" plot. Her handlers are none too bright either. No steps are taken to protect her, even after one of them is injured by a letter bomb.

By the time Mima starts wigging out, there's already a whole host of problems with sleep-inducing "thriller," none of which are helped by the dubbed English dialogue, which is so devoid of soul and panache that it reads like it was translated by a computer program.

With a first-time director (Satoshi Kon) at the helm and bunch of cheap, nonsensical twists you could blow holes in just by sneezing, "Perfect Blue" was a rotten choice for a US anime release.

Luckily, the legendary Hayado Miyazaki's "Princess Mononoke" -- the most successful film ever made in Japan -- is being released stateside and wide in just a few weeks and this sorry lot will be quickly forgotten.

Granted, "Mononoke" is more of a mystical fable than an "adult"-themed thriller, but any quality anime will be a welcome palate cleanser after "Perfect Blue."



Perfect Blue

Facts and Figures

Run time: 81 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 28th February 1998

Distributed by: Palm Pictures

Production compaines: Madhouse

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 0.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 65%
Fresh: 15 Rotten: 8

IMDB: 7.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Rumi, as Mima Kirigoe, as Tadokoro, Masaaki Ōkura as Uchida the fan, Yōsuke Akimoto as Tejima, Yoku Shioya as Shibuya, Hideyuki Hori as Sakuragi, Emi Shinohara as Eri, Masashi Ebara as Murano, Kiyoyuki Yanada as Kantoku, Tōru Furusawa as Yada, Shiho Niiyama as Rei, Emiko Furukawa as Yukiko, Aya Hara as Mima's Mother, Shinichiro Miki as Taku, Jin Yamanoi as Additional Voices, Megumi Tano as Child, Takashi Nagasako as Additional Voices, Akio Suyama as Reader, Osamu Hosoi as Company Employee, Kôichi Tôchika as Red, Emi Motoi as Child, Kishô Taniyama as Blue, Shokkâ Ôno as Shikaisha / Kankyaku-tachi, Rofuto Purasu Wan Burazâzu as Kankyaku-tachi, Makoto Kitano as Reporter

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

Advertisement
City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.