Perfect Blue (1997)

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Released 11-Feb-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Menu Animation & Audio
Scene Selection Animation
Featurette-In The Studio
Audio-Only Track-English Theme Song
Gallery
Trailer-Manga
Notes-DVD Catalogue
Interviews-Cast-5
Web Links
DVD Credits
DVD-ROM Extras
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1997
Running Time 81:19 (Case: 80)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (67:47) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,4 Directed By Satoshi Kon
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Junko Iwao
Rica Matsumoto
Shinpachi Tsuji
Masaaki Okura
Case Click
RPI $27.95 Music Masahiro Ikumi


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Perfect Blue is a Japanese animated thriller based around a pop idol who attempts to begin an acting career but is terrorized by an apparent stalker.

    Mima Kirigoe is a member of the up-and-coming Japanese pop group Cham but she decides to quit the group and try to begin an acting career. As she starts work on a new television drama series, a number of letters from disillusioned fans begin to arrive. Mima soon discovers an Internet fan site with a diary claiming to be written by her that details numerous aspects of her personal life. As the television series progresses, Mima becomes increasingly paranoid and when members of the show are brutally murdered her fears appear to be well founded. Is this the work of a deranged fan, a random killer or simply a figment of Mima's imagination as her grip on reality continues to slip?

    This movie has an excellent script based on an original novel by Yoshikazu Takeuchi. If you are an anime fan and are looking for a film to convince others that Japanese animation can contain more than teenage girls piloting giant robots then you should definitely take a look at this intelligent thriller.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is NOT 16x9 enhanced. The packaging incorrectly claims that the transfer is presented at an original aspect ratio of 4:3.

    The transfer is quite sharp throughout and is constantly able to reveal the detailed animation. No low level noise was detected during the transfer. Excellent shadow detail is presented throughout and the darkly animated scenes are able to reveal the high levels of detail present.

    The colours displayed throughout always appear slightly muted but this is never a problem for the viewer. This colour choice is a little surprising for a film of this age but it appears to have been intentionally made by the film's designers.

    A small number of Gibbs artefacts may be seen around some on-screen text displayed at 21:05. This only lasts for a very short period and is not distracting to the viewer.

    A relatively large number of aliasing artefacts may be seen throughout the transfer. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 12:36, 14:05, 24:10, 24:40, 25:05 and 26:47. The majority of these artefacts are quite minor but due to their frequency they are moderately distracting.

    Numerous film artefacts may be seen throughout this transfer. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 6:22, 6:49, 7:38, 8:59 and 9:49. Due to their frequency these artefacts are moderately distracting to the viewer.

    A small amount of telecine wobble may be seen at 2:28 during the opening credits but this is not distracting.

    A number of obvious interlacing artefacts are clearly visible during panned shots. Examples of these artefacts may be seen at 0:30, 0:41 and 3:29. These artefacts are slightly distracting.

    Two sets of white English subtitles are provided on this disc. The first stream is the standard set of English subtitles and these are always easy to read. The second stream is used to provide translations for on-screen Japanese text such as newspaper headlines.

    The layer change occurs at 67:47 at the start of Chapter 13 and is not disruptive.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Three audio tracks are provided on this disc. English and Japanese Dolby Digital 448 kbps 5.1 tracks are included in addition to an English Dolby Digital 192 kbps 2.0 track. The two 5.1 tracks appear to be incorrectly flagged as Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks.

    The dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times.

    As this is an animated feature there are the expected obvious problems with audio sync for each soundtrack. At no stage during the transfer were any audio dropouts detected.

    The music by Masahiro Ikumi contains a number of pop songs as well as instrumental pieces that fit the on-screen action well and help to increase the tension within the film.

    The surround channels in both the Japanese and English 5.1 soundtracks are used minimally during the front focused mix and are only noticed during the group performances and crowd scenes.

    The subwoofer channel is used minimally to support the music and effects.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The animated menu is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

Cham In The Studio (4:24)

    This is a clip of the studio recording of the main track by the group Cham. This is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

English Theme (4:15)

    This is a copy of the English theme song from the dub soundtrack. It is presented is a Dolby Digital 2.0 track with a static background image.

Photo Montage (2:56)

    This is a collection of images from the movie presented with a series of burned in notes explaining each shot. This is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a musical 2.0 soundtrack. As this does contain some spoilers viewers should not view this extra until after watching the main feature.

My Favorite Video's (4:03)

    This is a promotional item listing some of the VHS titles available from Manga Entertainment in the US. This extra is of no real use to Australian viewers.

My Favorite DVD's

    This is a selection of nine single page promotions for DVDs available from Manga Entertainment in the US and is of no real use to Australian viewers.

Interview with English Mima (2:40)

    This is a short interview segment with Ruby Marlow, the English voice actress for Mima's character. This is presented as a voice over while showing clips from the film with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. This extra does contain a number of obvious spoilers.

Interview with English Rumi (2:19)

    This is a short interview segment with Wendy Lee, the English voice actress for Rumi's character. This is presented as a voice over while showing clips from the film with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. This extra does contain a number of obvious spoilers.

Interview with English Mr. Me-Mania (1:58)

    This is a short interview segment with Bob Marks, the English voice actor for Mr. Me-Mania's character. This is presented as a voice over while showing clips from the film with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. This extra does contain a number of obvious spoilers.

Interview with Japanese Mima (5:42)

    This is a short interview segment with Junko Iwao, the Japanese voice actress for Mima's character. This is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack and burned in English subtitles. This extra contains a number of obvious spoilers.

Interview with Satoshi Koh (10:48)

    This is a interview segment with first time anime director Satoshi Koh. This is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack and burned in English subtitles. This extra contains a number of obvious spoilers.

Links

    This contains a list of three different websites. When selected, the manga.com link provides a short (4:05) promotional item for various Manga Entertainment video titles. The link to PerfectBlue.com provides the trailer (1:38) for the film presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. The link to Sputnik7.com provides a short (0:25) promotion for this website presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Thanks

    This is a single page listing of the DVD production credits.

DVD-ROM Content

    This contains a page with links to the official site as well as a number of screen savers, video clips, images and audio samples. I was unable to get the included flash presentation to work as it wanted to install an old version of Quicktime but the individual items were able to be accessed.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Both versions of this film appear to be identical and I therefore would have no preference for either version.

Summary

    Perfect Blue is an excellent intelligent psychological thriller that will appeal to a wide audience. If you are looking for an introduction to Japanese animated features this film is an excellent candidate.

    The video transfer is adequate but does display a disappointing number of film and aliasing artefacts.

    The audio transfer should appeal to fans of both dubs and subs but viewers should not expect an aggressive surround mix.

    The collection of extras is interesting with some behind the scenes footage and interviews but the inclusion of the Manga Entertainment promotional items is of no real use to Australian viewers.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Wednesday, March 27, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 1200, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationFront left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)
SpeakersFront left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259

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