Perfect Blue was one of the classic anime films of the 90’s.  Like Ghost in the Shell and Ninja Scroll it introduced western audiences to more mature subject matter in animated form.  Directed by Satoshi Kon, Perfect Blue highlights the darker side of celebrity.  U.S. distributor GKIDS and Fathom Events is bringing it back to theaters for two nights this September.

The Story

Pop idol Mima quits singing in an attempt to become a serious actress.  But a stalker unhappy with her decision begins murdering those around her.  Perfect Blue demonstrates the ultimate form of toxic fandom.

The World

The original 90’s U.S. trailer was an over-the-top montage of sinister imagery with menacing music and a deep voiced narrator.  In actuality, the film has a quieter presence that emphasizes the character’s withdrawal from the outside world.  The giant canvas of the big screen submerges you into the world and mind of the main character.  Mima is overwhelmed as she leaves the role of pop idol and enters the world of acting.  Instead of opening up the space, the giant images loom over the audience, pressing down on them.

The Animation

Perfect Blue is a masterwork of animation.  The hand drawn images adds a life and “realness” to the characters that CGI doesn’t always capture.  It also allows the filmmaker to punctuate scenes with imagery that the audience for a live-action film would reject.  A traditional film would not have Mima seeing a glowing version of her old self floating across the street.  But in an animated film this is accepted and reveals Mima’s tragic disconnection from reality.

The Wrap Up

Perfect Blue is a unique look into celebrity and obsession.  And the medium of animation is able to display a director’s vision in a way live-action cannot.  To fully appreciate the care and detail taken to make Perfect Blue, it is best seen on the big screen.

DENVER – August 9, 2018 – GKIDS, the acclaimed producer and distributor of animation for adult and family audiences, announced that it is has acquired the theatrical distribution rights to “PERFECT BLUE,” the legendary first film from the late auteur director Satoshi Kon. GKIDS and Fathom Events will continue their extended partnership and bring the feature to U.S. cinemas nationwide in a brand-new digital transfer for a special two-night event on September 6 and 10. In addition to the full feature, attendees will view exclusive bonus content to be announced closer to the event date.

“PERFECT BLUE,” celebrating its 20th anniversary, is the debut feature from the legendary director Satoshi Kon (Paprika) that continues to have a profound impact on animators and Hollywood directors. The groundbreaking film has been praised as being ahead of its time with themes still incredibly relevant today. “PERFECT BLUE” has been hailed as one of the best animated features of all time, and Kon went on write and direct a number of acclaimed projects including Paprika, Millennium Actress, and the television series “Paranoia Agent.”

Tickets to “PERFECT BLUE” are now on sale at or and at participating box offices.

GKIDS and Fathom Events will present “PERFECT BLUE” in approximately 500 select U.S. movie theaters on Thursday, September 6 in its original Japanese language with English subtitles, and Monday, September 10 in the English language dub, at 7:00 p.m. local time for both shows. A complete list of U.S. theater locations will be available on the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

“Satoshi Kon was an incredibly visionary and remarkable filmmaking talent,” said GKIDS President Dave Jesteadt. “His shocking debut feature remains incredibly relevant, with its bold view of how technology and media can mold and distort our own perceptions of ourselves, and we are pleased to offer a new opportunity for audiences to discover his work.”

Rising pop star Mima has quit singing to pursue a career as an actress and model, but her fans aren’t ready to see her go. Encouraged by her managers, Mima takes on a recurring role on a popular TV show, when suddenly her handlers and collaborators begin turning up murdered. Harboring feelings of guilt and haunted by visions of her former self, Mima’s reality and fantasy meld into a frenzied paranoia. As her stalker closes in, in person and online, the threat he poses is more real than even Mima knows, in this iconic psychological thriller that has frequently been hailed as one of the most important animated films of all time.

“We are delighted to extend our partnership with GKIDS, and to bring another of Japan’s best animated features to the U.S.,” Fathom Events CEO Ray Nutt said. “This ongoing partnership provides an extraordinary opportunity for anime fans to experience these films on big screens nationwide.”


GKIDS is a producer and distributor of award-winning feature animation for both adult and family audiences. Since 2010, the company has scored an astounding ten Best Animated Feature Oscar®-nominations with The Secret of Kells in 2010, A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita in 2012, Ernest & Celestine in 2014, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya and Song of the Sea in 2015, Boy and the World and When Marnie Was There in 2016, My Life as a Zucchini in 2017, and The Breadwinner in 2018.  GKIDS also handles North American distribution for the famed Studio Ghibli library of films, one of the world’s most coveted animation collections with titles Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke and others. GKIDS recently launched ANIMATION IS FILM, an annual LA-based film festival. ANIMATION IS FILM embraces the highest aspirations of animation as a cinematic art form and is a vocal advocate for filmmakers who push the boundaries of their work to the fullest range of expression that the medium is capable of.