With smarter dialogue, it might have made a fascinating film.
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Perfect Blue manages, through animation, to take the thriller, media fascination, psychological insight and pop culture and stand them all on their heads.
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.
Satoshi Kon’s Perfect Blue is a prescient vision of a modern world defined by media oversaturation and social media validation.
Strange, stylish and intelligent, this is a rare anime film that delivers on its Eastern promise.
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.
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.
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!”
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.
The art direction is reliably vivid and hyperreal, but director Satoshi Kon and company can't articulate how mentally taxed Mima is without confusing us.