Perfect Blue ★★★

Film #83 of The December Project

Perfect Blue is an excellent animated psychological thriller that deals with a character unsure of her own reality. Mima is a pop idol who decides to switch careers and become an actress. As a result, she is harassed and threatened by some of her fans, including a stalker named Me-mania. Everything hinges on a part she accepts in a film that may ruin her reputation because it depicts her being raped. It becomes apparent pretty early on that some elements are fantasy or delusion and that Mima is in danger not only from outside forces, but from herself.

I don't watch a lot of animated films, so when I heard that people were confused that this was an animated film, I kept that in mind while I was watching it. I agree that it's a little puzzling to do this story that way, but when I read up on it, Perfect Blue was originally supposed to be live action. They switched it to animation after a natural disaster destroyed the production studio where it was supposed to be shot. Personally, I don't think I would've enjoyed this story more if it was live action, so I don't see what the big deal is.

There is some very disturbing imagery, which I also commented on when I watched Paprika. I was very emotionally invested in Mima's struggle and found it difficult to watch her taken advantage of and abused. I found many similarities to both Mulholland Drive and Black Swan, so I wonder if this inspired those films? I can't say I loved Perfect Blue, but I'm definitely glad I watched it because it's a great story well-told.

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