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The Untold Truth Of Perfect Blue

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In “Perfect Blue,” heroine Mima Kirigoe is determined to prove herself as more than a former J-pop idol — she wants to be taken seriously as an actress. Taking on a minor role on a TV procedural, Mima is told that her big break will come if she agrees to partake in a rape scene for the series, which she agrees to do, much to the shock of her manager, Rumi.

The moment makes for incredibly uncomfortable viewing, and though it is, of course, simulated, Mima’s horror appears real. While chatting to an American publication after the release of “Perfect Blue” (via Kon’s Tone), director Satoshi Kon explained the significance of the cruel scene: it’s supposed to signify “the death of an idol.” As Kon further divulged, “In English, it might be ‘the death of a pop star,’ but that doesn’t convey the nuance. It is the destruction of the iconography that is literally included in the word ‘idol.'”

In a lecture series Kon gave on “Perfect Blue,” he explained that during Mima’s traumatic experience, her old “idol” self dies, pointing out that even her on-screen outfit resembles what she wore during her concerts. Further, right after the scene, viewers see Mima dressed in all black, seated in such a way that it appears she’s mourning — specifically, the death of her old self. Of course, the result of this event leads to Mima’s full-blown psychological breakdown.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN’s National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

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