Sexual Assault in Perfect Blue: How Satoshi Kon’s Horror Classic Thoughtfully Frames A Woman’s Biggest Fears

Trigger warning for sexual assault and rape mention. Not only is Perfect Blue an extremely graphic film, but I will also be relating things in the film to personal experiences with sexual assault and how it affected me, which could be unsettling for some. I’m writing something a little more serious and personal than usual, but I hope you’ll still read along because it’s something that I’ve wanted to write about for quite some time now.

Satoshi Kon’s Perfect Blue had a limited return to theaters just this past week, and I was lucky enough to be able to get a ticket. This mind-bending psychological thriller about an idol and her obsessive stalker(s) is considered to be an anime film classic for good reason, and seeing it on the big screen reminded me of how great a film it truly is.

Though it seems like Perfect Blue has a relatively simple premise, the movie itself is far from simple. It has many twists and turns, and does an excellent job of placing the viewer in the muddled mind of Mima as she struggles to figure out who she really is versus the person society/her manager/her fans want her to be.

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Mima’s stalker.

To be completely honest, Perfect Blue is one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen. Though it doesn’t have many stereotypical jump scare moments, the themes tackled in this movie shake me to my very core. The reason for that is, well, I can relate to a lot of the scary situations that Mima finds herself in.

I mean, no, I haven’t ever hallucinated an idol version of myself, and I’ve never had anyone systematically murder people who have come in contact with me. I can’t, like, literally relate. But a lot of the underlying themes of Perfect Blue hit me on a personal level that other horror movies have failed to do.

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Ninja Scroll Review: How did this manage to make a ninja with a poisonous vagina SO BORING?

Warning! Ninja Scroll is notoriously explicit, in case you didn’t know, so this review/rant will have mentions of violence and rape, because that’s what Ninja Scroll is all about.

I don’t really know why, but I love watching all those exploitative, gory horror OVAs from the 80s and 90s.

Well, let me specify: I love watching them, but I don’t actually like them.

Strangely (to me, anyways), a lot of anime like A-Kite or Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend are hailed as these cult masterpieces that people genuinely consider to be these genius works of art. I do not think they are genius works of art – I think they’re all hot garbage juice. I think these OVAs are generally overly violent, exploitative messes that are trying too hard to be ~mature~. And yet, though I do not particularly like them, I can’t stop watching them. They’re like anime train-wrecks that I can’t stop streaming.

When it comes to the realm of explicit OVAs, it seems that Ninja Scroll reigns king. I had been avoiding it on purpose, specifically because I knew it was well-loved, and it didn’t feel right to purposely hate-watch and unleash my anger on it.

…but, then my boyfriend wanted to watch it, so I was like, >:) okay let’s gooooo!

All that being said, there’s obviously going to be bias here. I’m not even trying to hide it. Please don’t yell at me for being biased. I know I am. And I know that people fucking love Ninja Scroll, but I…well, gee, guys, there’s a lot wrong here. I do love watching people get sliced in half and all that, but…

ninja scroll kagero
Kagero deserves so much better…

Continue reading Ninja Scroll Review: How did this manage to make a ninja with a poisonous vagina SO BORING?”

Some thoughts about growing up, being scared, and wishing you could make money writing

Full disclosure: this post’s less about the anime and more about the me. Well, okay, most of my posts end up being more about myself than anime, but this one’s especially going to be more journal-like. Somewhere along the way, this anime blog became more of a feelings blog, probably because I don’t have as much time to dissect anime as I used to…

I’m fizzling out a bit at the moment. I’ve been thinking a more about why it is I started this blog in the first place. I wrote a big thing on the topic a little while ago, but apparently that wasn’t enough to get out all my thoughts on the subject.

Yeah, I think fiction is important and brings people closer, which is what I wrote about before, but still, was that really what drove me to write in the first place? Yeah, I love doing this and I’m super thankful for the audience I have, but like, damn, I would love to get paid…

Continue reading “Some thoughts about growing up, being scared, and wishing you could make money writing”

A Love Letter To The Mature Psychological Anime of the 1990s/2000s

serial experiments lain 90s anime

I recently started watching 2004’s Monster after seeing it listed on “Best Anime” lists for years. It’s been on my to-watch list forever, and I had been putting it off simply because it’s 74 episodes and I figured that was too big of a commitment. I mean, I hesitate to watch stuff that’s 26 episodes long. I like the feeling of finishing a show and moving quickly on to the next one, you know? It clunks up my completionist goals if I have to commit to an anime for more than, like, ten hours.

I’m about twenty episodes into Monster (my attention span is doing good this time, guys!) and I love it. It’s an atmospheric, perfectly paced psychological horror with some dashes of historical fiction and medical drama thrown into the mix. Maybe a bit of magical realism, too. Oh, AND it’s a mystery. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted. The only thing that could make it better would be having some lesbians in there. Which, who knows, there’s still a chance – I have 54 episodes left, after all!

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You know what else is non-existent? Legal streaming of Monster. I’m watching that shit on YouTube in the worst quality…tragic.

Not to sound like a cranky old get-off-my-lawn anime fan (again), but I can’t help but watch this and think, “damn, they don’t make them like they used to.” I generally keep up on seasonals, and I really can’t remember the last time I saw anything with a creepy atmosphere or drawn-out pacing quite like that of Monster’s, or like any of my other favorites from this late 90’s/early 2000’s era, for that matter. I’m talking about eerie, semi-experimental shit like Serial Experiments Lain, Ghost Hound, Ergo Proxy, Paranoia Agent, and others of its kind. Where have all the good psychological horrors gone? Where are all the mature, existentialist seinen series that I love so much?

I guess I should start by defining what it is about these series that I love so much. 

Continue reading “A Love Letter To The Mature Psychological Anime of the 1990s/2000s”

Bloggin’ on Blogging: Why do we write all this stuff, anyways?

A couple weeks ago, I was talking to my boyfriend about why I sit around writing anime essays for fun. Sometimes, when we hang out, I’ll break off to write a little something-something, or I’ll take down a note about an anime we were watching. He mentioned something to me about it, and before I knew it, I was going on and on about how important I thought anime (and fictional media in general) was, what I wanted to accomplish with my writings in the future, and why I love writing and reading about anime. It’s a conversation that I kiiiinda wish I had taken notes on, actually, because it would have really helped me in writing this particular post…

I mean, what we do here is kind of weird, right? We’re writing analytical posts and reviews and episodic diaries about anime and video games and movies, and many of us aren’t even getting paid to do it. Clearly, we must see some kind of merit in all of this, or else we wouldn’t be doing it in our spare time.

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Give this Summer’s Planet With A Chance!

The summer season has surprised me quite a bit so far. Going in, the only series that really caught my eye was Banana Fish, but I wound up falling in love with Hanebado! (well, the first episode at least) and Asobi Asobase along the way, as well.

There was another series that’s surprised me quite a bit, though, and it’s one I hadn’t seen too many people talking about: Planet With. This mecha, while not perfect, is doing a lot of really interesting things with its story and its themes, and is gearing up to become one of the more unique entries into the mecha genre in recent years.

Planet With Purple Cat

The story begins with Souya Kuroi, who has lost his memories and for some reason finds himself living with a maid girl and a giant purple cat. He’s not too worried about the amnesia and weird roommates, though – he’s just going with the flow and trying to live in the now.

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Create-A-Story Tag: Flex Your Creative Muscles, Y’all!

Here I am, a little late to the party, with my Create-A-Story tag. There was a time limit on this but I think I passed it…not because I spent time overthinking, but just because I’ve been a bit unplugged lately. I’ve been busy trying to look into apartments and shtuff, so blogging took a little back seat. But now, I’m ready to write!

I’m really happy to have been nominated by the lovely Keiko, whose short story was really, really good. She did the tanka anime tag, too, and those turned out just well, so check those out while you’re at it!

Continue reading “Create-A-Story Tag: Flex Your Creative Muscles, Y’all!”