Perfect Blue ★★★★

Part of the Satoshi Kon Retrospective

It could be safe for me to say that out of all the anime films I've seen, Perfect Blue's narrative is probably one of the most clearly translated. There's not much of a culture gap here in narrative style or cultural elements. Everything, even in its increasingly surreal narrative, is incredibly clear and could apply almost to almost anywhere, J-Pop aside.

Previously noted surrealism, it's amazing how Satoshi Kon manages to translate incoherency of events into something we can understand and ultimately becomes the point of the film (unlike a certain someone's film that clearly took inspiration from this). It's almost Hitchcockian in nature how mood and atmosphere inform our understanding of events through the main character's eyes, and even manages to challenge our own beliefs as it goes on.

Yet the brilliance of Perfect Blue doesn't just come from how exhilarating the confusing ride becomes, but from how it settles on a truth in the end, even if it doesn't answer every question in the end, because it doesn't have to.

Also, what a wonderful example of strong female writing by giving us a female character who is ultimately weak. She doesn't necessarily know what she wants because decisions are constantly being made for her, and she keeps trying to push herself into becoming a strong female character with her own wants and desires along with her own drive. It's this development that actually ends up shaping what is mostly the conflict of the film.

It's a beautifully fun psychological horror that is also entirely brave in what it seeks out to depict (I wonder how many directors would have hesitated to do a rape seqeunce), and I look forward to more of Kon's work.