Perfect Blue

Perfect Blue

Perfect Blue anime movie cover art
Perfect Blue

Movie Overview

Perfect Blue (パーフェクトブルー) is an anime movie released in 1998 and directed by Satoshi Kon. Throughout August, the DoubleSama Discord server is having a Satoshi Kon movie event. Each Friday, we watch one of Kon’s four movies. Since Perfect Blue released first, it was the first movie we watched.

I’m going to be honest upfront and say that I don’t know why the title of this movie is Perfect Blue. But, I do feel like I have a pretty good understanding of what went on within the movie. And, if you’ve seen this movie, you’re likely aware that knowing what was going on can be a bit difficult.

Before I get into an explanation and major spoilers, let’s set the stage. Perfect Blue follows a former pop idol as her life spirals out of control. It also depicts a variety of mental illnesses which shape the way we experience the story.

Something I always enjoy is when anime frame the story from the perspective of a character. This can take a few forms. In the Monogatari Series, for example, it’s done in two ways. First, the viewer only has information available to Koyomi. And second, the viewer “sees the world through Koyomi’s eyes.”

Perfect Blue is the same. Throughout the story, we only have access to information Mima has. If we could see the bigger picture, there wouldn’t be much of a mystery to solve.

Additionally, we see the world through Mima’s eyes. By this, I mean that we see what Mima believes. If Mima believes someone is mean, then they’re depicted as mean regardless of the truth. If Mima thinks something is a good idea, then it’s depicted as a good idea regardless of the truth.

By limiting information and forcing a perspective, the movie becomes an immersive experience.

Main Characters

Mima Kirigoe is the protagonist of the series. Originally, she was a member of the pop group CHAM! along with Yukiko and Rei. But, Mima left the group after a talent agent convinced her there was no more room for her to grow there.

After leaving the music world behind, Mima becomes an actress. The only problem is that it’s difficult for her to get good roles. The directors see her as nothing more than a former pop singer. And so, Mima begins to take on more adult roles and jobs in an attempt to change her image.

Yukiko, Mima, and Rei of the pop group CHAM! from the anime movie Perfect Blue
Yukiko, Mima, and Rei of the pop group CHAM!

Rumi Hidaka is Mima’s manager and friend. She believes Mima should stay in CHAM! instead of breaking into acting. And, in Rumi’s defense, CHAM! finally sees some success shortly after Mima leaves. Though, maybe Mima herself was the problem holding CHAM! back.

Also of importance is that Rumi’s the one person Mima can rely on when she’s struggling. As Mima’s mental health deteriorates, Rumi is often the only one who can help her snap back to reality. She’s the only person who’s been with Mima all throughout her career.

Mamoru Uchida is a Mima superfan. It’s no stretch to say that he’s obsessed with her. When she was an idol, he worked as a part-time security guard for her concerts so that he could be closer to her. And once she transitions to acting, he continues to follow her.

Being a superfan is one thing. But, Mamoru is also a stalker. He goes by the name Me-Mania online and believes that he has an intimate relationship with Mima. And, in a creepy way, he does; he’s always nearby. Unfortunately for Mima, this is a one-way relationship that she wants no part of.

Who Were the Real Victims?

Now it’s time to spoil everything. As you’ll know if you watched the movie, the true villain of the story was Rumi. But, that doesn’t mean she isn’t a victim in her own way. Rumi was suffering from a mental disorder that caused her to believe she was the “real” Mima.

Obviously, that doesn’t excuse the fact that she murdered multiple people. But, in her mind, getting rid of the people who she viewed as “tainting” Mima’s image made sense. And in the end, that list of people included Mima herself.

As for Mima, I’m going to assume nobody argues she wasn’t a victim. Both Rumi and Me-Mania victimized her. But, and this may be controversial, I think a large part of what happened to Mima was due to her own mental state.

Mamoru "Me-Mania" Uchida from the anime movie Perfect Blue
Mamoru “Me-Mania” Uchida

Because we see the events of this movie from Mima’s perspective, we view her as the main victim. She believes she’s the main victim. But, there’s some evidence pointing to much of what she believes happened to her not being real. Mima’s grasp on reality isn’t all there for most of the movie.

This might come as a surprise, but Me-Mania is actually one of the biggest victims. Is he a stalker? Yes. But, he was being manipulated by Rumi, whom he thought was the “real” Mima. Also, as far as I can tell, being a creepy stalker is the only crime Me-Mania is guilty of.

What about his attempted rape of Mima? I’m not sure it happened. Mima had a hard time differentiating between her movie roles and reality. I think she thought he attempted to rape her because of this. We saw no evidence of it after the fact. And then Rumi kills him, so Me-Mania is the true victim.

Conclusion

Perfect Blue is a 9/10. It’s a great movie and because it doesn’t spell much out for us, there are a lot of different interpretations. How did you interpret the events of the movie? Do you think we can trust Mima as a storyteller? Or, do you think some of the events she believes happened never did?

And I know some people think Rumi was drugging Mima. But, I went back and couldn’t find any evidence of this. I even found evidence to the contrary. For example, Rumi isn’t present for some of Mima’s episodes and when she wakes up in random locations.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server to discuss anime with other members of the community.

As of this review, we’ve already watched the second Kon movie, Millennium Actress. But, depending on when you’re reading this, you could still join us for the final two Satoshi Kon movies.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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