Perfect Blue, the anime movie that influenced the great film directors

An adult film is not the same as an adult film. But in a world where it is still considered taboo to nominate an Oscar for best picture for any animated filmWhat are we going to tell you? Animated cinema continues to be seen as something intended for the youngest members of the household, for children, and is often treated as a minor genre. Even worse is the situation if we talk about anime, still associated in the 21st century with a thing of geeks. The one with great stories that we often miss out on because of prejudice. But there are times when a work is so powerful that no one can deny the magic that oozes, and that is precisely what happened with Perfect Blue, our recommendation today.

These days we celebrate the Oscar for best actor for Brendan Fraser for his role in The Whale and this film is signed by Darren Aronofsky, who also won the Oscar for Natalie Portman for Black Swan and nominations for Ellen Burstyn (Requiem for a Dream), Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei (both by The Fighter). Aronofsky is a cult director whose films command attention, respect and awards in equal measure. But it’s also an inveterate fan of Satoshi Kon, the Japanese director behind Perfect Blue (which is precisely his debut). But so so so fan, who has even copied plans for Perfect Blue in Requiem for a Dream and extracted identical sequences for Black Swan. How not to recommend the main source of inspiration for one of today’s most acclaimed filmmakers?

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At the plot level, Perfect Blue tells the story of Mima, the singer of a famous Japanese musical group. Given the poor sales of her latest records, her manager decides to remove her from the group and launch her career as an actress. But things are not going very well for her in the world of television and Mima falls into a deep depression that leads her to rethink everything and become obsessed with the fans who follow her, watch and observe every aspect of her life. She begins to develop a paranoia that makes his roles in fiction blend with his person and that dream and reality are confused until making her question her own identity.

But above all, Perfect Blue are 81 minutes of shots that are recorded on the retina, cinema with capital letters. A thriller that turns into a horror movie and manages to surprise with its ending (based on ingenuity, not cheating) despite the fact that we are one of those who try to predict what is going to happen in each scene. A gem that is not usually mentioned when talking about the best anime movies, because we usually go to totems like Akira and the Japanese Pixar, Studio Ghibli. Perfect Blue is capable of dazzling even the most reluctant of the genre, those who are affected by the prejudices that seem to underpin modern cultureand which highlights the great loss that the death of Satoshi Kon (in 2010, at the age of 46) entailed for the seventh art.

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why watch it

  • Because it is the debut of Satoshi Kon (author of Paprika or Tokyo Godfathers)
  • For his influence on filmmakers like Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan, The Whale)
  • Short (81 minutes) and visually spectacular.
  • Because together with Gattaca, he won the Sitges Festival in 1997.
  • Because it falls in love with any fan of the psychological thriller who likes twists, interpretations and subsequent debates.
  • And above all, because it is a movie.

where to see it

  • It is currently not available on any streaming platform, although it went through several (such as Netflix or Filmin) and it should be back soon. But you can buy it at any store for between 14 $ (Blu-ray plus DVD) and 20 $ (in a beautiful collector’s edition).

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