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Perfect Blue

Perfect Blue
Director: Satoshi Kon, 1997.
Japan, 81 minutes.
Japanese with English subtitles.

A psychological horror debuting in 1996, Perfect Blue has been described as Hitchcock meets Miyazaki, but it may be better described as Miyazaki meets Dario Argento (at his peak). Though animated, it shies away from the bubble gum visuals that stereotype anime, but holds an air of dreamlike fantasy found in anime greats such as My Neighbor Totoro or Spirited Away. That said, this fantasy quickly reveals itself to be a terrifying dreamscape, with visually indulgent imagery and thrilling or horrifying plot twists and turns that share more in common with horror classics Suspira or Tenebrae than anything Ghibli has produced.

The plot itself follows Mima, one member of a Japanese pop idol group who is now looking to leave the group and strike out as a star in her own right, but one obsessive fan doesn't seem to be to happy about it. As Mima becomes aware of her stalker's discontent it seems that Mima's perception of reality is crumbling. No longer running from a deranged killer, she must outrun her own demons in this nightmare come to life.

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