[EVA] [OT] Idols and Otaku

MMKokusai mmk at gol.com
Wed Apr 28 03:02:41 EDT 1999

*... Damn ... (state of mild shock)*
*stares blankly at ending credits scrolling on TV screen*
*shakes head to clear it*

Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! AWESOME!!!

I have just finished watching a spectacular anime film titled "Perfect
This film has been shown at major int'l film festivals such as the
Berlin Int'l Film Festival '98, FANT ASIA '97 (at which it won the Grand
Prix), Fantastic Port '98 (where it was awarded "Best Animation 98"),
the Melbourne Int'l Film Festival '98, etc.
The film, produced in 1997 and released on video in July 1998, is
directed by Satoshi Kon.  The reason I watched it was because Kazuhiro
Otomo ("Akira", etc.) assisted in the planning.
"Perfect Blue" is 82 minutes long, and is a psycho-thriller (sorry - no
'mecha' here) set against a backdrop of Japan's idol/talent industry and
the 'otaku' that support it. In fact, this is one of the true appeals of
this film - it's scathingly accurate portrait of medium to hard-core
'otaku'.  While there are some (slight) exaggerations, the portrayal is
accurate enough to let you understand why 'otaku' are despised (and
sometimes feared) in Japan.
Note: True Japanese 'otaku' far exceed the level of 'Trekkies'.

The storyline of the film is as follows: (no spoilers)
"Mina", a member of a young 'idol' group, leaves the group to pursue an
aspiring career as an actress.  However, she starts receiving silent
phone calls and a fax message with nothing but the word "Traitor"
repeated over and over.  Strange things then start happening around her
and people start dying.  Further, the drama she is acting in starts to
overlap with reality, which, together with some of the acts she must
(reluctantly?) perform in order to succeed as an actress, brings about a
recurring theme of "Who am I?"  
The plot is extremely complex, and the film is 'heavy' enough that it is
difficult to watch stright though without stopping the tape and taking a
break in some places (to clear the mind).  In addition, just when you
think you have everything figured out, you look at the tape counter,
realize that there are still 30 minutes left, and then just a short time
later get smacked in the face with the fact that you *don't* know what
is going on.  In retrospect, there are two or three _very_ minor clues
near the start of the film, but I guarantee you will have no idea of
what is 'real' and what is not until the last 5 minutes.
I would guess that many (most?) viewers will be more shocked/stunned
after watching this film than after EoE.  Warning - this film is not
exactly PG-13.  But if you can find a subbed/dubbed version, I heartily
recommend it.

"Blessed are the geeks, for they shall inherit the earth."

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