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Perfect Blue(パーフェクトブルー)

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Japan · 1998
Rated R · 1h 21m
Director Satoshi Kon
Starring Junko Iwao, Rica Matsumoto, Shinpachi Tsuji, Masaaki Ōkura
Genre Animation, Thriller

Mima is a retired pop singer-turned-actress whose sense of reality is shaken when an obsessed fan starts stalking her. When people around her start getting killed, she begins to question her identity — and her innocence.

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What are people saying?

Kelsey Thomas Profile picture for Kelsey Thomas

“Why do all psycho-thrillers made in Japan turn out that way?” This is a line from the film that director Satoshi Kon himself tries to subvert. An incredible and genuinely terrifying psychological thriller that I actually can’t believe is less than 90 minutes long.

What are critics saying?


San Francisco Chronicle by Bob Graham

Perfect Blue manages, through animation, to take the thriller, media fascination, psychological insight and pop culture and stand them all on their heads.


Variety by Dennis Harvey

Forsaking the usual anime fantasy terrain for a straight suspense plot that might easily have been executed in live-action form, director Satoshi Kon's debut pic, "Perfect Blue," is a psychological thriller that intrigues without quite hitting the bull's-eye.


Slant Magazine by Jake Cole

Satoshi Kon’s Perfect Blue is a prescient vision of a modern world defined by media oversaturation and social media validation.


Empire by Kim Newman

Strange, stylish and intelligent, this is a rare anime film that delivers on its Eastern promise.


Chicago Reader by Lisa Alspector

This engrossing animated thriller (2000) somehow displays realist gore, nudity, and sexual violence in a tone not too far from that of a children’s adventure; its innocence stems in part from the convincing naivete of the heroine.


Austin Chronicle by Marc Savlov

Contemporary adult themes that resonate as much as those in Perfect Blue (stalking, the cult of celebrity) have become increasingly rare in this animated genre better known for tentacled demons and cute forest sprites; it's refreshing to be reminded that not everything in anime need feature that lovable scamp Pikachu, either.


Film Threat by Merle Bertrand

What starts out as a fairly conventional and effective stalker drama with a cyber-twist, soon gets too cute with its dreams within dreams set pieces and shifting realities. It’s kinda nifty at first, but Kon just keeps piling it on until you just roll your eyes, throw up your hands, and scream, “Enough!”


The A.V. Club by Scott Tobias

With its fluidly changeable surfaces, animation may be the ideal medium for confronting the public's growing uncertainty with reality, but Perfect Blue is a missed opportunity, too shallow and exploitative to be taken seriously.

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