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The Dreams of Satoshi Kon: Chapter II - Perfection


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ABCBTom



Joined: 10 Sep 2009
Posts: 183
PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:15 pm Reply with quote
This movie takes on an interesting relevance when you consider the backlash against Aya Hirano from some of her former fans. Life imitates art.

I still think this is one of Kon's best films, if not the best. Only the technology really dates it.
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jrnemanich



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 238
Location: Colorado Springs
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:28 am Reply with quote
This was my first exposure to anime, this movie has changed my life and the things i do and like.

This was a great review and Kon's (for me) second best movie (Millennium Actress will hold that position).

Great expose Bamboo
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
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Location: currently stalking my waifu
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:29 am Reply with quote
I think the generation gap comes into play here, despite what Bamboo claimed. I got into Anime in 2005, I just don't think this film is the perfect Masterpiece that many older fans view it as. It was creepy enough, but the confusing aspects were played wrongly. Instead of making the movie a thriller, it just made it into a mess. Instead of enjoying it, I was busy furiously trying to figure out what was going on, and failing miserably. And then the WTF ending came around and . . . and . . . I didn't hate it, cause it seemed like maybe it could make sense if I could only figure the trick out. But I never did, and that was four years ago.

No, this is one movie I never "got", let alone "got into". For me it sort of puts Perfect Blue in the same boat as Akira, which in my opinion is extremely overrated. I guess you either had to be there in the fandom at that time such movies come out to get the full effect or, well, I don't know the other thing.
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BuffaloStyle



Joined: 28 May 2003
Posts: 274
Location: Colorado
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:42 am Reply with quote
"Perfect Blue can be watched again and again, year after year, and every time, it's just like watching it for the first time. It's beautiful on the eyes, havoc on the mind, and something that will surely remain a classic for as long as this medium will exist."

I couldn't have said it any better, myself, Bamboo. "Perfect Blue" was that one anime that I could show my non-anime watching friends and say, "See...this is what you can do with animation. It's not always about pink-haired girls (which I LOVE, btw Very Happy ) flying transforming airplanes while being transported to magical worlds". Hmmmm, now that's not a bad idea...
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jrnemanich



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
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Location: Colorado Springs
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:47 am Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:

No, this is one movie I never "got", let alone "got into". For me it sort of puts Perfect Blue in the same boat as Akira, which in my opinion is extremely overrated. I guess you either had to be there in the fandom at that time such movies come out to get the full effect or, well, I don't know the other thing.


I guess that it all depends on the person, I got in to anime in '03 and I still think that Akira and Perfect Blue are still some of the best movies out there.

dtm42 wrote:

Instead of making the movie a thriller, it just made it into a mess. Instead of enjoying it, I was busy furiously trying to figure out what was going on, and failing miserably. And then the WTF ending came around and . . . and . . . I didn't hate it, cause it seemed like maybe it could make sense if I could only figure the trick out. But I never did, and that was four years ago.


For all people that had that same reaction, my advice is wait six months - a year and then rewatch it. I have told this to a number of people and they said this help immensely.
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Greed1914



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:07 am Reply with quote
jrnemanich wrote:
dtm42 wrote:

No, this is one movie I never "got", let alone "got into". For me it sort of puts Perfect Blue in the same boat as Akira, which in my opinion is extremely overrated. I guess you either had to be there in the fandom at that time such movies come out to get the full effect or, well, I don't know the other thing.


I guess that it all depends on the person, I got in to anime in '03 and I still think that Akira and Perfect Blue are still some of the best movies out there.



I agree with that. I started watching anime in '02 and I didn't watch Perfect Blue until '06 or '07 and I loved it. Akira wasn't until '08 for me. I think it has to do more with personal preference than being around when it first came out. The mark of a classic is that people that have never seen it can enjoy it, regardless of when it came out.

dtm42 wrote:

Instead of making the movie a thriller, it just made it into a mess. Instead of enjoying it, I was busy furiously trying to figure out what was going on, and failing miserably. And then the WTF ending came around and . . . and . . . I didn't hate it, cause it seemed like maybe it could make sense if I could only figure the trick out. But I never did, and that was four years ago.



I don't know, maybe it's a matter of trying too hard to make sense of it before the end? I enjoyed being very confused because I could tell that it wasn't because the plot was some ridiculously dense concept that some shows/movies have, but was a case of someone deliberately messing with my head.


jrnemanich wrote:
This was my first exposure to anime, this movie has changed my life and the things i do and like.



I'm not sure what I would have done if this was my first exposure. It either would have made me really love anime, or really dislike it. Either way, it certainly is a very different starting point from me randomly watching DBZ.


Last edited by Greed1914 on Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:14 am; edited 1 time in total
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:14 am Reply with quote
Greed1914 wrote:
I enjoyed being very confused because I could tell that it wasn't because the plot was some ridiculously dense concept that some shows/movies have, but was a case of someone deliberately messing with my head.


Perhaps this was the reason I never clicked with the movie; it was screwing with me and I didn't like it (doing that to me). Initially, I kind of enjoyed how I couldn't tell what was real and what wasn't, but that passed when it got too convoluted.


Last edited by dtm42 on Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:35 am; edited 1 time in total
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Greboruri



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 312
Location: Canberra, ACT, Australia
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:19 am Reply with quote
The influence of Katsuhiro Otomo really shows in the "ugliness" of the character designs of this film. I suppose both did it purposely to make the characters more "realistic", but Kon does it without that dark black comedic streak that Otomo's works have (especially his earlier work). The realism also extends to the entertainment world. It’s portrayed as cute and fluffy, but underneath there’s darkness from the beginning. Right from the point were the kids leave the live Sentai show remarking that it looks nothing like on TV, to the point where Uchida holds up his hand up so it looks like Mima's dancing on his palm. Kon lets us know it's an ugly world early on.

Kon seemed to love his cinema. It's like this film is a homage to 1970's giallo thrillers (bloody Italian "B-films"). In particular the film is quite like Dario Argento's "Suspiria" with a bit of "Profondo Rosso (Deep Red)" thrown in. Everything is exaggerated in a way (would a prime time Japanese drama have such graphic scenes?). On reflection the plot would crumble under its own weight under closer scrutiny. But the point is where does "Double Bind" end and Mima's life begin? I also love how all the shots are composed and the scene transitions. It’s really amazing that is his first film as director. And there’s no fat at all. It’s a trim 82 minutes. Everything that’s there needs to be there. I didn't think that the film needed the Otomo "Special Advisor" credit. The film stands up on its own, however the credit probably did its job and got people interested in the film.
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jsevakis
ANN Director of New Media


Joined: 28 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:33 am Reply with quote
Greboruri wrote:
Everything is exaggerated in a way (would a prime time Japanese drama have such graphic scenes?).


It's my understanding that Mima is starting in a direct-to-video "V-cinema" series, akin to Zero Woman or XX Beautiful ____. Those often (though not always) veer into softcore porn territory, and are often really trashy and sloppily made. And yet, occasionally they give us stuff like Takashi Miike's earlier films.

Evidence: the shoot looks relatively sparsely staffed and isn't being shot at a posh TV station, but rented studio space. Afterwards, her "fans" are commenting about how bad it was at a video store.
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Greboruri



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
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Location: Canberra, ACT, Australia
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:45 am Reply with quote
jsevakis wrote:
It's my understanding that Mima is starting in a direct-to-video "V-cinema" series
No, I think a TV station is explicitly mentioned (somewhere on the film print version subs) and one point Mima's reading a Double Bind script marked "Episode 8". There are some references to it being a TV series in the film, but naturally they've gone out of head... Will have to watch it again. I think the video store is just there as a convenient place for the CHAM otaku to gather (for the purpose of the film), and to show they're a "bit creepy" with them looking hentai anime video covers.
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jsevakis
ANN Director of New Media


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:59 am Reply with quote
Greboruri wrote:
No, I think a TV station is explicitly mentioned (somewhere on the film print version subs) and one point Mima's reading a Double Bind script marked "Episode 8". There are some references to it being a TV series in the film, but naturally they've gone out of head... Will have to watch it again.


I don't remember those. I'll have to watch it again too, but don't pay too much attention to the subs, that detail seems like one of those things translators prefer to adapt rather than tack on translation notes (which were seldom included in that era).
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PBsallad



Joined: 19 Dec 2009
Posts: 338
Location: Phoenix
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:09 am Reply with quote
I seem to remember it was a TV show too. But the first and only time I've seen the movie was about a year or 2 ago, on AniMonday.

edit: Just checked Wikipedia. It says Double Bind was a direct-to-video drama series.
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roxybudgy



Joined: 10 Sep 2004
Posts: 125
Location: Western Australia
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:39 am Reply with quote
Just like to add that "Perfect Blue" is still very easy to find in various DVDs stores in Australia.

http://sirenvisual.com.au/Product/353.php?genre=anime

Quote:
Perfect Blue is out of print on DVD, but can be found in abundance on the used market. The film has been released on Bluray in Japan.
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captainbanana



Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Posts: 189
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:59 am Reply with quote
jsevakis wrote:
Greboruri wrote:
No, I think a TV station is explicitly mentioned (somewhere on the film print version subs) and one point Mima's reading a Double Bind script marked "Episode 8". There are some references to it being a TV series in the film, but naturally they've gone out of head... Will have to watch it again.


I don't remember those. I'll have to watch it again too, but don't pay too much attention to the subs, that detail seems like one of those things translators prefer to adapt rather than tack on translation notes (which were seldom included in that era).


Mima's first big gig was a TV show, but I'm pretty sure that the rape scene was specifically part of a movie. I guess it could have been a TV show ala the J-Drama's starring A/V Idols, but it seems more likely that it was an extremely low budget film as you've stated considering the frequency of violent rape on Japanese TV (as in, I don't think it has ever happened. Then again, I only watch the relatively popular J-Drama's that manage to get subbed)

Edit: Never mind, it seems it was a direct to video series (which explains the rape). Thanks for checking.

I consider Perfect Blue to be Kon's masterpiece. Millennium Actress may have matched it, but I'm not sure it surpassed it (for me atleast). Someone earlier was angry that he couldn't understand what was going on, and that seems telling to me; If you go into this type of movie thinking you'll understand everything, you'll never get any enjoyment out of it. It's like any psychological thriller in that not knowing what is going on tends to add to the mental torment that the movie puts you through. spoiler[ Is Mima the author of the site? Does she have a split personality? Does she have a dissociative disorder of some sort? Is it the creepy stalker guy? Near the very end, when the stalker tries to kill and/or rape Mima, I was certain that he was revealed to be the killer, and that Mima's other personality was the one ordering the kills. It wasn't until the manager was shown in a tutu that the horror of the situation hit me, and in a way that very few movies had done before, or have done since. It truly was a masterstroke of suspense, and I don't think anyone has matched it on an animated medium.]

I think it deserves to be repeated that we lost a good portion of the future of anime when Kon died. No one else is capable of "being irresponsible with the budget" in our current economic climate. Oshii and Miyazaki can command large budgets, but neither seems to be outputting the same quality of material that they are capable of (Sky Crawlers was a disaster IMO, and Ponyo was a rehash). Kon was the one guy consistently creating amazing works, and without him, the next twenty or thirty years of animation will be lesser.
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Charred Knight



Joined: 29 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:49 am Reply with quote
Okay this really wasn't as good as the previous one, generally because I think Bamboo was really overhyping Satoshi Kon, in particular the line "it's not anime". Keep in mind that the word anime is simply short for animation, and doesn't carry the same negative wording as "manga" which means "whimsical/irresponsible picture". The whole thing reminded me of the stereotypes of anime either being pokemon or La Blue Girls.

Personally the only Satoshi Kon work I have ever seen was with Paranoia Agent when it aired on Cartoon Network. It was good, with real depth as opposed to other works that think confusing the audience is deep. Though I wouldn't say that Satoshi Kon really rose to heights no one else did, he just had a unique style that made him different from say Miyazaki, or Oshii.
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