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Perfect Blue
Perfect Blue (Soundtrack)

Perfect Blue Review

Directed By: Satoshi Kon.
Starring: Junko Iwao, Rica Matsumoto, Shinpachi Tsuji, Masaaki Ôkura. English voices provided by Ruby Marlow, Wendy Lee and Bob Marks.

Synopsis: Okay...this is from the it gets a little glowing, but you know what? It's right.
Mima was a pop idol, worshipped by the masses until fashion dictated otherwise. In order to salvage her career, she is advised to drop music and pursue acting. A soap opera role is offered but Mima's character is less clean cut than desired. Regardless, she agrees and events take a turn for the worse. She begins to feel reality slip, that her life is not her own. She discovers (imagines) her identical twin, a mirror image that hasn't given up singing. Internet sites appear describing every intimate detail of her life and a figure stalks her from the shadows. Her friends and associates are threatened (and killed) as Mima descends into a dangerous world of paranoid delusion. She fears for her life and must unravel fact from illusion in order to stay alive. Perfect Blue represents a major change from traditional anime subject matter, analysing the pop icon phenomenon, fame and its psychological impact on the performer.

This is one helluva movie, one I can totally see being revamped and turned into a live action flick by the Hollywood crowd set...and if I ever get my chance I would love to be the one to pitch it as a demented, modern thriller.

Adapted from a novel Yoshikazu Takeuchi (which I would now love to read but can't seem to find it in if you find it, drop me a note) this is one convoluted tale that while you may figure out bit and pieces along the way, the arguments of what is real and what is 'virtual' or in the lead character's mind can go on for a good long while.

But what really sets Perfect Blue up as being one of the great anime films out there (I include Akira at the top) is the way the story is told. Quickly, with a lot of style and always focusing on the characters and story at hand, not taking time to really deviate from the main character of Mima and the horrors that are surrounding her life.

The downer part of the movie, something that is corrected on the DVD version (see the DVD review below) is the English translations. While the voice acting is fine, it is the actual text translation that at times is either laughable (as translations always seem to hit once or twice in a film) or misleading. However, the DVD is nice enough to give you the English track, a Japanese track and even better, a Japanese Track with English subtitles. For example...on the English track there is a line: "Hey look, it's those guys over there!" Which if you think about it...means nothing...who are those guys, how does the speaker know who they are? Are they important? Along comes the sub-titled version to make sense of it all...a bunch of guys are discussing a concert a few weeks prior where Mima had to take over vocals for one of the girls because a group of guys were being rowdy and causing problems. That's when the one guy looks up and says, "Hey, those guys over there are the ones that caused all the problems. I hope there isn't a repeat of last time." Ahhhh I understand it all's all in the translation.

Final note: A word of warning...parents are getting smarter nowadays and starting to realize that just because it is animation doesn't mean it is for kids, and Perfect Blue is definitely not for kids. A very graphic rape scene takes place in it and I don't care if it is a 'real' scene or an acted was still graphic and in many ways, not for the that parents...not for your kids! I don't want angry emails from you over this one!

I don't have much more to say other than this is easily a four star film out of five. Worth owning...just a shame about some of the weak English translations...but again a problem that was solved with the DVD.

Copyright© Written By: Rob Paul

DVD Information:

Special Features:
Interview with Director Satoshi Kon
Voice-Actor Interviews
Original Theatrical Trailer
Musical Photo Gallery
Behind-the-Scenes Performances
Bonus Audio Track
Manga 2000 Previews
Manga 2000 Fan Club Info
Manga Web Link

Video: Standard 1.33:1

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
JAPANESE: Dolby Digital 5.1

The DVD Review:
This is a sweet little package and what with the movie already being a four star effort in my mind, this makes it a totally worthwhile buy. The lead page has a nice intro with the Excuse Me...Who Are You? tagline of the film running over it with that creepy theme music. Head in to Mima's Room for the special features and they have a mock-up of the Mima website from the film from which you can make your selections.

Director Interview: There may be no commentary on the disk but it does include an interview with Satoshi Kon as well as some interviews with the voice actors making for a brief commentary that just happens to be separate from the film itself. His interview is on video tape so you can see who the man is that did the work

Cast Interviews: As for the interviews with the voice actors, the only other video interview is with Japanese Voice Artist Junko Iwao who does the voice of Mima. The others, Ruby Marlow (English Mima), Wendy Lee (English Rumi) and Bob Marks (Mr. Me.Mania) are simply their voices.

By clicking on Cham, the name of the group Mima leaves behind for loftier heights in the acting realm, presents the main pop hit performed by the group in both Japanese and English. The Japanese version has a video of the three girls singing it, however, watch it carefully and I think you will begin to notice they are lip-synching to it. In fact, it is all one shot and one of the girls on her close up flubs her line and the song just keeps on going. The English version is played over a blank screen and we never see the actual singers.

As for the DVD previews...surprisingly they are just recommendations of titles like Ghost In The Shell, Tokyo Fist and Perfect Blue itself, without so much as an actual trailer to watch.

Still, a great movie and like I said at the top, a DVD worth adding to the collection if you are a fan of anime.

Evil Ash

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