So years and years ago I heard whispers of this anime horror film called Perfect Blue. A film supposedly so disturbing that you were basically guaranteed to be traumatized watching it.
Its been years now and on my birthday in 2019 a friend of mine had bought the movie for me on Blu-Ray as at that point I was starting to explore director Satoshi Kon’s work. I had loved some of his other films like Tokyo Godfathers and Paprika so knowing that the same man was behind Perfect Blue had me excited to see one of his first full length animated feature films.
Yet everytime I looked at the film, for two years, I got too scared to watch it. Something, about the film had just gave me a sense of dread. No matter how much I researched it, read the plot synopsis, watched essays and interviews, watched bits and pieces, I always dreaded watching Perfect Blue.
Finally I decided to sit down and watch it. It had been two years since the movie was put on my shelf and I finally watched it. The film itself? Its an amazing movie. The writing, the pacing, the characters. It’s one of Satoshi Kon’s finer works and I can understand why it’s held with high regards.
Yet despite that, this film gives me an unnerving feeling like nothing else. It feels as if the film wants to keep you guessing even after the solid ending, but that you alse want to just accept that ending given to you. The conflict was never given a resolve, more just the conflict stopped being a conflict.
I think the scene that stuck with me the most was the rape scene. The idea of being unable to separate reality from fantasy is not ideal for being an actress as you are asked to add a layer of reality to a percived fantasy. You can tell yourself it’s not true all you want but all you’re doing is lying more.
So you just close your eyes and say it’s all an act. Its not real. Its just some bad dream. Everyone has those right? Right?
Eventually that dream became a reality. You’re stuck with that, and you’re stuck with the feeling of lying being lied to by yourself. It’s terrifying.
Perfect Blue is an uncanny film with a reality unlike most. It feels almost like a bad dream more than it does a film. The more you push it away the closer it gets. So you just sit with it. Watch it if you want, it’s a really well made film, but be warned that its not like many other horror films.