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Headscratchers / Perfect Blue

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  • Okay, I get the rest of the film — as much as you can get it, anyway — but I can't figure out the scene where Mima reunites with CHAM for a performance. The audience reactions would indicate she's actually there... but as far as I can understand the film, Mima was actually somewhere else entirely. It couldn't have been Rumi, because her costume wasn't remotely convincing to anyone not suffering a psychological breakdown, as we see when we see her as she really looks in mirrors and windows, rather than from her/Mima's perspective.
    • That was probably Me-Mania's hallucination of Mima jumping on stage, and the rest of the audience cheering with him.
      • Or he just imagined everyone else cheering in reaction to his hallucination.
    • Or anyone who prefers pop-idol Mima sees the hallucination, too...
    • When "idol Mima" finishes taunting "actress Mima", opens the door behind her and joins CHAM onstage, we see the faces of the audience around Me-Mania look surprised for a moment, then they all begin cheering even louder than before, which would suggest that someone certainly did step out onto the stage. It's not clear whether they actually believed that this person was Mima. Maybe the sight of a very different singer pretending to be Mima was funny enough that they all started cheering, or maybe the power of suggestion was enough to make them see what they wanted to see. The most telling reactions are from Yukiko and Rei; after "Mima" takes the stage with them, they look confused and uncomfortable, and they continue to stare after "Mima" as she leaps off the stage into the audience. This would suggest that Rumi did, in fact, appear onstage as "Mima" during that scene.
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    • Arguably the fans are cheering because the now-duo CHAM is going into a new artistic direction and the new song makes them happy. "Idol Mima" looks completely out of place in this song, she's wearing the costume from the first song when the two others are wearing new costumes. Mima is not the only one changing, everyone is changing, Rumi and Me-Mania are desperately clinging to a past that doesn't exist anymore.

  • Correct this troper if he's wrong, but a part of the movie seemed like (or at least felt like) a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment. In one part at the beginning, while Rumi and Mima's agent are discussing the future of Mima's career, there's a TV in the background playing a scene Mima tried out for. She collapses onto a bed and ruefully says "I can't do this"...while a woman wearing a red and black teddy stands over her. ...what was that all about? Were they so desperate for a potential lesbian scene that they'd put one anywhere in the movie? What, did one of the animators say "Hey, let's draw up what looks like a lesbian scene! Who cares if it's not in the script? I'm sure we'll work it into the movie somehow."? To be fair, while it is one of my favorite movies, it's pretty much a big Mind Screw as it is.
    • At the same time, they were discussing how well-received she was when she had acted thus far. I had assumed the scene was showing what she had been well-received for. Beyond that...
    • Yeah, I'm pretty sure that clip was supposed to show how she had already acted in another soap opera or whatever. It was basically to just to show she had had experience. Thus, it wouldn't make her transition into acting too much out of the blue.

  • So did Mima really murder that photographer or not? At the end of the movie she was implying that Me-Mania is the one who did all the killing, but he couldn't have put the blood-stained clothes in Mima's closet. Rumi is another suspect, but again, she most likely wouldn't have the keys to Mima's apartment.
    • Mima was so fucked up by that point that it may just be safe to disregard it.
    • I figured that Me-Mania did it by Rumi's request, and then she hid it in Mima's closet. I don't see why Rumi would have a hard time getting a key from Mima given how close she was.
    • Or it could have been Mima, after all. Given the fact that she was really torn apart and really affected by the disorder, it wasn't impossible for her to kill someone in that stage. The police didn't arrest her because they either thought Me-Mania killed the photographer or they just declared Mima insane when she did it and kept her in the hospital for a while, then released her, when she was cured.
      • the only reason i agree with this is because of the shopping bag and clothing themselves- Mima says before " so i was in harajuka today"- and there's a picture of her holding a shopping bag on the Mima's room blog- the exact same one that's in her closet filled with the bloody clothing. If the Mima-killing photographer scene was a dream - was it just a coincidence that the bloody clothing are the same as the uniform she wore in the dream? Or were they the same because she subconsciously remembered buying them- that those were the clothing she bought to dress up as the pizza delivery person? Rumi couldn't have planted this one- since how could she know Mima would dream it- the exact same uniform of murder? the photographer is also the only one mima ( in any incarnation) we've seen killing in detail. we don't see how the screen writer, the crazy fan or the other manager are stabbed to death-we just see the results, and infer that Rumi was responsible for them one way or another. Even when Mima asks the crazy fa n- "you killed them?" - Me-Mania might have responded because he killed the screen writer and the obnoxious guys at the concert-(remember there was that newspaper clipping of the guy in intensive care unit in the elevator that Mima saw) instead of the photographer. I can't accept that the shopping bag and clothing were just imagined by Mima- since Mima never actually touches her hallucinations: and she picked up that shopping bag - and shoved it back into the closet - like evidence she had to hide. The only time she did interact physically with her hallucinations was when she was fighting Rumi dressed as pop-idol-Mima.
      • I believe that it was Me-Mania on Rumi's request, simply because the murder take place around the time Rumi starts visting Mima. It'd be really easy for her to put those clothes in the bag and her visits didn't really serve any purpose.
      • Given the climactic sequence with both Rumi and Mima hallucinating that Rumi is Mima, I figured that that was actually Rumi-thinking-she's-Mima killing the photographer. She did one actual killing, and talked Me-Mania into doing the rest.
      • Or maybe Mina just imagined the bloody clothes?
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    • I had always assumed it was Rumi who was doing the murdering, based on choice of weapon. The murders were carried out with an ice pick, yet when Me-Mania attacks Mima he uses a knife. I interpreted Rumi bringing out the ice pick against Mima as a subtle sign that she was the murderer.
    • This troper actually tends to assume that the scene we see of "Mima" murdering the photographer is at least partly or fully made up of scenes from Mima's TV drama. We know that the plotline and murders in the show are mirrors of the real life plot and murders, so it seems likely that Mima (and by extension the audience) are being confused into seeing the line blur between her role in the drama as the murderer and these real life murders that are taking place at the same time.
    • I suspect this was deliberately left ambiguous so that any of these explanations might fit and Rumi or Mima or both might have committed the murder. This particular murder also helps set up a final ambiguity in the last scene, which looks like it's a Happy Ending... but might not be: if Mima really is the murderer, then that's something like a Psychotic Smirk we're seeing at the end.
    • Any explanation of the bag of bloody clothes needs to account for how, immediately afterward, we learn that Mima's apartment door is chained on the inside, and she's the only one in there.
      • Do we really know Rumi doesn't have a spare key? (She would be in the best position to acquire one, especially if Mima had to leave her keys with her while going on the set as an actress.) That chain also seems to be a relatively new installation; it wasn't shown to be on her apartment door at the beginning of the movie. Of course, considering how Mima is losing track of time by then, she could well have come home from that little shopping trip she doesn't remember and been asleep the whole time while Rumi was out murdering the photographer. It might also have been a day or two before the photographer was discovered, during which time a crazed Rumi let herself into Mima's apartment and stashed the bloody clothes in her shopping bag while Mima was out. If Mima came home from another hard day's work and crashed after finally remembering to engage that chain lock (in part because she was getting pretty Properly Paranoid by this point), only for the victim to be discovered that evening and the press to come harass her at home the next day, that would explain how Rumi could still be the killer.
      • Of course, none of this precludes the possibility that Mima is the killer, or that her "other self" got into Rumi, making Mima the murderer by proxy. That's the problem with seeing so much of this movie Through the Eyes of Madness.

  • Just how old is Me-Mania? When he's not wearing his brown coat, he wears what looks like something resembling a school uniform and we see other people wearing the outfit.
    • Mid 20s to late 30s? The outfit he was wearing looked like a jumpsuit used by event security. His voice doesn't really point to any specific age.

  • Why is the movie called Perfect Blue anyway?
    • Perfect Blue is both the colour of illusions and of a "clear sky."
    • The book that it was based off of was titled "Perfect Blue: A Complete Metamorphosis," it was originally going to be an adaptation but Kon wanted to put his own spin on it and changed most of the plot

  • I know it was mostly for drama, but I'm having trouble stomaching the setup of Mima's strip club scene. Did they ''actually' have to make the guy have sex with her for the scene? It couldn't be faked somehow- camera cuts, stunt doubles, no penetration, anything? Is this always done when filming such scenes? I could buy that the produces were sleazes, but if this is really a practice in acting, I'm gonna need so much Brain Bleach.
    • I don't think there was any actual rape. As I understand cinematography, there is a "no penetration" rule in non-porn films, and usually for a scene like that the actors will just be humping the air within a few inches of each other while the camera focuses on adjacent areas (exposed male buttocks are the most common thing, like the sex scenes in Torchwood). So they were just acting the hell out of it and not actually bumping uglies. Also, at that point the story's being told from Mima's POV, so its legitimacy may already be in doubt.
      • Yeah, the first time we see the rape scene it's made clear to us that it is fake — you see Mima's fellow actors in the scene apologizing to her. It isn't until later that the lines become blurred, to the point where there is an actual attempted rape on that exact same set.
      • You can see the crowd's heads blocking everything that isn't from the waist up in wider shots, so it's obviously faked. Also, why on earth would you assume it isn't fake?
      • I don't get the OP question. That scene is obviously staged and there is nothing in the movie that implies it's not. Why would be a real rape? Mima is not filming a snuff film or a porno.
      • That scene was a bit unnerving for me. When Mima was crying, I wondered if it was going to go wrong. I suppose in a way it did.
      • Perfect Blue is all about deconstructing the concept of purity, specifically Contractual Purity. While Mima herself wasn't raped in the scene (you can clearly see that the actor playing the rapist still has his underwear on while simulating sex with her), it can still be seen as a metaphorical violation— by performing this scene, Mima's image as a "pure" and "virginal" pop idol has been "tarnished", as her hallucination tells her. This might be the reason why she's so completely traumatized by a scene which would leave most actors feeling dirty and used— her former fans will forever be looking at her with new eyes, whether she wanted to change her image or not.

  • How was it Rumi was acting so normal up until the end if she was that delusional?
    • Remember how Rumi was driven to tears when she witnessed the rape scene? Everything before that point she was wildly opposed to the idea of Mima acting and being in sleazy scenes. After that however she is no longer opposed to the acting career or even the nude photo shoot. She even seems rather supportive of it. So I think the reason she seemed so calm and normal after that point is because witnessing the graphic rape scene broke her mind.

  • At the end of the Japanese version, Mima speaks in Rumi's voice and you can tell she's really Rumi by looking at the back of her head. This brings up so many questions. Why would they release Rumi if she's still crazy? Was the Rumi she saw in the mental ward actually Mima and she's hallucinating that Mima is her? Has Mima gone crazy too?
    • Just one more twist to Mind Screw you further, and one that doesn't really rule out any of the possibilities discussed above. Also worth noting: Mima's solo song near the beginning of the movie is apparently Rumi's voice too. Possibly a bit of Foreshadowing? My take on this is that Rumi is actually in the mental hospital and that really is Mima in the car, but that they have exchanged personalities somewhat. Just as Rumi outgrew her career as a pop-idol and took up working for a talent agency, so too has Mima outgrown her career as a pop-idol to take up acting. The differences between their voices are pretty slight anyway; Mima's voice is typically a bit squeakier as part of her "innocent little girl" persona, but gets to sounding a lot more like Rumi's lower voice as she gets more cynical and jaded (as happened to Rumi herself). Of course, if any of the above theories about Mima being psychotic and/or murderous are right, Mima's "Rumi" voice at the end may also qualify as a case of Evil Sounds Deep.
    • I don't think it's actually Rumi speaking at the end. I think it's just Mima speaking in her "real" voice and accent, the one she used while talking to her mother on the phone earlier.
    • The "exchanged personality" troper might be onto something. I wrote an entry on the WMG page on the possibility of Mima & Rumi's shared delusion being folie imposée in the English version and folie simultanée in the original Japanese - changing this from Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole to Alternative Character Interpretation.

  • While I know the movie's relationship with what actually happens in-universe is... tenuous... at best, how much of the fight and chase scene between Rumi and Mima at the end was real? Was any of it even real? I ran across a YouTube commenter who tallied up Rumi's injuries and concluded that she would not have survived them to end up in the mental hospital, and that's not even going into Mima losing blood from the stab wound. Plus, I found it highly suspicious that the streets (except for a few brief shots of the main road) looked like it was a ghost town. It's beneficial for real-Mima that she challenges/fights back against Idol-Mima/Rumi. Therefore, it's likely her delusion blocked out any would-be rescuers until she has "defeated" Idol-Mima/Rumi. She still screams for help, because that's what people do when they're running/fighting for their life. For all we know, in-universe the two characters could have just chased each other from Rumi's flat out into the street where Rumi nearly gets hit by the truck, full stop, no stabbings involved.

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