Is Aronofsky’s Black Swan Perfectly Blue?: Kon’s “Perfect Blue” vs. “Black Swan”


Darren Aronofsky’s 2010 feature Black Swan is an Academy Award-nominated film, telling the story of young ballerina Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman), whose transformation from a shy ballet dancer to a leading heroine ballerina of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake production causes her a psycho-sexual nervous breakdown. Perfect Blue is a 1997 Japanese animated film based on a novel by Yoshikazu Takeuchi and directed by Satoshi Kon, which tells the story of girl Mima Kirigoe, whose rapid descent from an admired pop-idol into a “tarnished” rookie actress has disastrous consequences. 

In this piece, I will compare the two films closely, arguing that the two films share substantial similarities in terms of their plot, characters, styles, designs, execution and many little details, pointing to the conclusion that Perfect Blue was – at the very least – the direct and main inspiration for Black Swan, though Aronofsky himself denied the claim. Going further, the similarities are so striking that it could even be said that Aronofsky essentially re-made Perfect Blue, but changed the setting to a ballet, and re-modelled some characters, “disguising” them as others. 

Since Aronofsky bought the rights to Perfect Blue to use one of its scenes for his film Requiem for a Dream (2000), he had legally every right to replicate every scene in Perfect Blue for Black Swan or any other film. Hence, this comparison is not about plagiarism, but just about giving recognition/credit to films where it is really due: to films which one definitely had in mind when filming any other. In this sense, Aronofsky’s swan is clearly imperfect here: it is blue.

The similarities are striking, go way beyond the usual similarities one will find in a typical “hero’s journey” scenario, and are as following:


  • Characters:

Main heroine: in Perfect Blue, there is Mima; in Black Swan there is Nina; but similar names and hair colour are not the only things shared by the main heroines; Nina and Mima are young, pretty, and both work in the entertainment industry: Nina is a ballet dancer, and Mima first a singer/pop idol in a girl band, and, later, a rookie actress. Both girls have big dreams, with Nina hoping that her coach, Thomas Leroy, will feature her more in his productions, and Mima hoping that her career move to become an actress will bring her great fame and success. Both Mima and Nina are also shy and cautious, despite their growing popularity and “public” lives, and they are also both loners. Mima is lively and confident as she sings, but when it comes to announcing her departure from the band, she appears quiet and timid. Nina also appears shy and withdrawn. Both girls do not socialise and prefer their own company. Mima lives alone and has no love interest. Nina also has no current boyfriend, does not socialise with her co-workers at the theatre, preferring to practise her dance moves alone in the corner and not go out in the evening.

Older male figure: in Perfect Blue, there is Tadokoro, Mima’s agent; in Black Swan there is Thomas Leroy, Nina’s ballet coach. What do they have in common? Well, it turns out quite a bit. It seems that both Tadokoro and Leroy emphasise the financial considerations over Mima/Nina’s true feelings/desires. Tadokoro moans about the lack of record sales from Mima, pushing her for a “dirty” actress career, and Leroy stresses that they need “cash” so Nina better smile at their theatre gathering to announce the departure of Beth. Both Tadokoro and Leroy are instrumental in getting Mima/Nina to grow professionally. Leroy selects Nina for a Swan Queen, and Tadokoro pushes Mima to be an actress, later persuading the producers of a new TV series “Double Bind” to give Mima a larger role. Both Tadokoro and Leroy also push the main heroine to do “bad” things to succeed in her new profession/role. It is Tadokoro who persuades Mima to do a “rape scene” in a new TV series, causing Mima to be liberated sexually, and it is Leroy who pushes Nina to explore her sexuality to perform the Black Swan. Incidentally, both Leroy and Tadokoro later either suggest or take Mima to dinner to celebrate her initial success.

“Mother” figure: in Perfect Blue, it is Rumi, Mima’s second agent; in Black Swan it is Erica Sayers, Nina’s mother. Erica and Rumi play the mother figures for Nina/Mima, wanting to see the main heroine “pure and innocent” and resist her changing into a “black/dirty” counterpart. Rumi speaks to Mima more than her own mother does, and teaches Mima about the wonders of internet almost like a mother would. Rumi is also the first one to ring alarm bells when Mima is offered the role of a “rape victim” in a TV series, worrying for Mima’s pristine reputation, and persuading her to try to change the series’s script. Likewise, Nina’s mother Erica is calling Nina “my sweet girl”, being concerned about the rash on her skin and her late evening whereabouts. Both Rumi and Erica also completely oversee Mima/Nina’s careers, trying “to live through” the main heroine as their own careers were less successful, and are secretly jealous of Mima/Nina’s professional successes, being overly controlling of the main heroine’s actions and causing Mima/Nina’s ultimate downfall. Rumi is Mima’s career manager, and Nina’s mother, who once also was a ballet dancer, has a full control of Nina’s career, saying that if she had not taken Nina to each and every of her ballet classes, she would have been completely lost. Rumi is an ex-pop idol who, although appearing like she has Mima’s best interests at heart, is ultimately responsible (or her other personality) for Mima’s slide into madness. Nina’s mother also appears to have Nina’s best interests at heart, but her controlling nature eventually means that (contributes to) her daughter also goes mentally unstable.

“Stalker”: in Perfect Blue, there is Me-Mania (Uchida), Mima’s secret stalking fan; in Black Swan there is Lily, Nina’s “friend” and co-dancer who symbolises for Nina the Black Swan “ideal”. The two characters have more in common than initially meets an eye, such as their “stalking” behaviour and their jealousy. Me-Mania stalks Mima everywhere she goes, lustfully jealous of her mere presence, and, in the same vein, Lily, who, “wanting Nina’s role”, seems to appear out of nowhere wherever Nina is around, for example, on a subway train, and ringing Nina’s home to ask her out for dinner. Both Me-Mania and Lily contribute to the main heroine’s mental breakdown, replacing Mima/Nina either online or professionally; have a taboo sexual contract with Mima/Nina, and then either through imagination or in real life fight “to the death”. Me-Mania’s obsession with Mima causes her to go mentally unstable, and Nina’s paranoia regarding Lily causes Nina’s sense of what is real to shift. Me-Mania sexually assaults and tries to rape Mima, and the ensuing fight between Mima and Me-Mania subsequently results in death. Lily and Nina also have an (imaginary) lesbian sexual encounter, and at the later stage an (imaginary) fight between Lily and Nina results in an (imaginary) death.

  • Plot:

Heroine’s innocent/humble beginnings: in Perfect Blue, Mima lives alone in a cramped little apartment, and, despite her band’s large fan base, lives a very ordinary life, such as going to a supermarket after work. In Black Swan, Nina is a perfectly ordinary girl, living with her mother in a tiny apartment, taking a subway to and from work. Mima and Nina present what may be called a “sweet girl” image. Mima’s apartment is decorated with girly posters, white/pink teddies, hearts, dolls and flowers. Likewise, Nina’s bedroom is filled with pink/white girlie stuff, such as giant teddy bears and heart cushions. In Black Swan, Nina’s mother calls Nina a “sweet girl”, and the movie starts with Nina dreaming that she is dancing the innocent White Swan, while in Perfect Blue, Mima sings “girly” songs about innocent love and infatuations. The girls’ outfits are also of the same pink/white colour. Throughout the film, Nina is dressed in her pink coat with a white scarf, while Mima’s band outfit features ballet-like pink/white dresses.

Heroine’s transition into something “bigger” and more demanding: in Perfect Blue, Mima is making a career move to become a professional actress, trying herself at something new to her, and, more importantly, makes transition from a group member to a solo performer. In Black Swan, Nina is chosen for the lead role of a primarily solo performer – the White/Black Swan. For both Mima and Nina this transition was not smooth or imminent: Nina first thinks she had failed her audition for the lead role with Leroy, and Mima first gets only one sentence to say in the new drama series.

Presentation of the extremely competitive/pressured side of a show-business: Black Swan deals with the competitive world of classical ballet, portraying the usual hardships (both mental and physical) of becoming a good ballet dancer. But, the show-business world in Perfect Blue is as harsh and competitive. Mima is already stressing out before her performance, saying to her agent “don’t pressure me!” The Japanese pop culture means that, on stage, Mima should be perfect, completely synchronous with her band members and always singing in tune. There is a lot of pressure to perform extremely well, probably just the amount required of a professionally trained ballet dancer. One wrong step and no one will pity you.

Heroine’s discomfort with her new “role”/the pressure to become “bad” to succeed: Nina feels uncomfortable dancing the Black Swan, not knowing initially how to perform her new role well, with her movements being too precise and lacking passion. Mima also feels awkward as a rookie actress, sometimes too nervous to perform well. Both Mima and Nina have to “get their hands dirty” and “tarnish” their “sweet girl” image to perform the bigger role they had been given. In Black Swan, Nina feels like she has to seduce Leroy to get the part of the Swan Queen and to dance the Black Swan well, as well as to socialise with Lily, doing “bad” things, like taking drugs, and meeting boys. In Perfect Blue, Mima is also pressured to accept the role of a rape victim in a TV drama (which includes performing striptease in a nightclub) and to do a naked photo shoot, though knowing deep inside that accepting these conditions will forever tarnish her “pure” pop idol reputation.

Heroine loses her “innocence”/innocent qualities by doing “bad” actions to succeed in her new role: Mima and Nina abandon their “sweet girl” image all for the chance to succeed in their new role. In Perfect Blue, Mima is forced to perform as a stripper, and becomes a rape victim in a new TV series, as well as agrees to do a naked photo shoot. In Black Swan, Nina re-discovers her sexuality thanks to Leroy, and partners with Lily to disobey her mother, go to a nightclub, do drugs, flirt with boys, kiss with a stranger, as well as later engage in what-she-thought was a sexual activity with a girl.

Black/white-good/evil-innocence/corruption presented as juxtapositions while touching upon double-personality disorder: innocent, scared and shy Mima/Nina is constantly presented alongside the evil/outgoing/mature/confident Mima/Nina, emphasising the contrast between the two. This duality runs throughout the two films. In Perfect Blue, while Mima does an adult-content photo shoot, her former band members are singing innocent girly songs; when Mima-actress (dressed in dark clothing) looks in the mirror, there is often Mima-role model/pop idol (dressed in light clothing) taunting her about her career choice. In Black Swan, Nina’s “black swan” double is often there in the mirror, or is passing her in the alleyway. Nina also changes to dark clothing in the nightclub, and just before taking drugs, to “transform” into her dark/outgoing personality counterpart. Perfect Blue also stresses the split personality disorder: Mima is involved in a TV series “Double Bind”, which specifically deals with a girl suffering from a split personality disorder. It turns out that Rumi did indeed suffer from the disorder throughout the whole film, and Mima herself start to wonder whether this is, in fact, what she has, because she asks “what if my other self starts acting of her own accord?” In Black Swan, Nina’s transformation into the Black Swan on stage also involves the split of personality in some sense: she is completely different in her new image.

Heroine’s double life/inner “fight” between being a “good” girl and a “bad girl”: Perfect Blue and Black Swan both have these scenes of imaginary/non-imaginary and inner/real “fights” between the heroine and her double, with Mima/Nina often having to lead a double life to accommodate her two personalities/ways of life. “Fights” are, of course, Nina’s delusions of her “black double” counterpart everywhere, stalking her, and her antagonistic attitude towards Lily, who embodies qualities that Nina initially lacks. Similarly, in Perfect Blue, the real depressed Mima-actress has to battle with the carefree and happy Mima-role model or pop-idol who constantly mocks her, saying “no one likes a pop idol with a tarnished reputation” and “you are filthy now”. What is striking here is that when Mima decides to break off for good with her innocent pop-idol image by agreeing to do (doing) “dirty” scenes in a series, she comes home to find her fish dead in their reservoir. This marks the irreversible loss of her childish/pure beginnings. A similar thing happens in Black Swan, when Nina throws away her soft toys, marking her break from the “sweet girl” image and her imminent transformation into someone else.

Element of female, work-related jealousy, and best friend becomes worst enemy:  In Black Swan, at one point or another, Beth, Lily and Nina’s mother display signs of conscious/ unconscious jealousy regarding Nina’s career boost. In Perfect Blue, Rumi’s innate jealousy of Mima had a devastating impact on Mima. In the movie, it is Rumi who transitions from Mima’s best friend to her worst enemy when she tries to kill Mima in the end. In Black Swan, the only person Nina gets intimately close to, Lily, tried to kill her (or so Nina thought). There is clearly an element of betrayal by a friend in both films as Nina watches her “prince” being snatched by Lily during a scene intermission, and possibly it is Rumi who is responsible for killing Mima’s fish. 

Presentation of the “dirty” side of a show-business:  both Black Swan and Perfect Blue make reference to getting “dirty” to succeed in a show-business. Upon receiving a lead role in the Swan Lake production, Nina is labelled “whore”, and both Beth and Lily think she has done sexual favours to Leroy to get her part. Moreover, Nina thinks she must seduce Leroy by putting on lipstick and acting provocatively to get her part. In Perfect Blue, Mima is obviously agreeing to strip and behave provocatively on camera, as well as do “naughty” scenes in a TV series, to be successful professionally and get rid of her pop-idol image.

Heroine is stalked by her doppelganger/ is sent a threat calling her names: in Perfect Blue, Mima isstalked” by her double-pop-idol, but also by Me-Mania, who could be considered as her “real-life” double if he posts and acts as Mima online. In Black Swan, Nina is often followed by her lookalike, and Lily also admits to going to some length to follow Nina home. Both Nina and Mima receive a threat calling them names: Mima – by way of a fax message, calling her a traitor; and Nina – by way of a message written on the mirror of the ladies’ toilets, calling her a whore.

Heroine’s complete descent into madness given work pressure/new role: Mima and Nina both suffer from instances of delusional paranoia and hallucinations. In Black Swan, Nina sees blood/her other self and Lily everywhere, whereas, in fact, there is no one there, and becomes unreasonably suspicious of Lily and her behaviour, saying to Leroy at one point: “she (Lily) is after me”. Similarly, Mima sees her pop-idol image in every mirror, and becomes paranoid that she may be responsible for the ongoing murders. It is clear that both Nina and Mima experience considerable amounts of stress as Nina tries to make sense of how to embody the Black Swan, and to deal with confusing Lily, demanding Leroy and her controlling mother; and Mima deals with a crazy stalking fan, ongoing murders, pressures of doing violent TV scenes, and the guilt of leaving her girl band. Here, it is also clear that both films incorporate a constant blurring between fantasy and reality: Nina and Mima’s worlds become distorted, to the point where they can no longer distinguish real events from imaginary/dream ones. For example, in one sequences, Mima wakes up numerous times on her bed not being quite sure what day it is, or whether what had happened previously was merely a dream. Nina, likewise, often sees blood, where there is none, being unsure what is going on

Heroine’s belief she killed someone: At one point in Perfect Blue, Mima believes she is responsible for killing people, such as one person when she (imagines) discovers(ing) blood-covered clothes at her home, or when she thinks she killed Me-Mania in self-defence as he tried to rape her. In the same vein, in Black Swan, Nina believes that she killed Lily in her changing room, just before her on-stage transformation into the Black Swan.

(Near) traffic accident: Black Swan and Perfect Blue make reference to a (near) traffic accident/collision because, in Black Swan, retiring Beth, supposedly, threw herself into oncoming traffic and, in this way, was hospitalised, and in Perfect Blue, Rumi steps onto the path of oncoming traffic before being miraculously saved by Mima.

Ending: one girl counterpart/personality kills/overpowers another to succeed: Black Swan and Perfect Blue both involve the final fight between the “black” and “white” girl images, the same “death” on the broken mirror edge plus the same dying embrace with white light as background. In Perfect Blue, the two personalities (black and white), Mima and Rumi, are fighting, and Rumi is unintentionally pierced by a broken mirror edge, and, while bleeding, steps onto the path of the approaching traffic with lights. In Black Swan, Nina is fighting Lily in the changing room (or so she thinks), and with a broken mirror edge “kills” Lily, letting her lie in the pool of blood, while she herself later embraces her moment as light from the audience descends upon her.

  • Little details:

Controlling/worrying mother: in Black Swan, Nina has a very controlling, domineering mother Erica, who virtually dictates Nina’s every step in life, always calling her on the phone to ask her where she is. In Perfect Blue, the moment Mima arrives home, her mother is also already worried, calling her on the phone. Both heroines share a sufficiently close relationship with their mothers.

Mirrors and reflections: in Black Swan, Nina constantly finds herself pursued by her double in the mirror, and finds her reflection staring back at her. Accordingly, in Perfect Blue, Mima’s double comes from the mirror, and her reflection in the mirror often also does not correspond to her current actions.

Lavatory and staircases: in Perfect Blue, there are shots of Mima: running the subway stairs to get to day-light; chasing her double on the stairs; and Mima could also be found locked in the girls’ lavatory while the film crew awaits her return. In Black Swan, there is a shot of Nina and Leroy having a conversation on the stairs, and Nina often finds herself in the girls’ bathroom: she once meets Lily there, and changes to her “black” top in the bathroom before partying.

Heroine’s full bathtub submersion: in Perfect Blue, the heroine submerges herself fully in a bathtub, presumably to kill herself, while in Black Swan, there is also a shot of Nina submerging herself fully in a bathtub for reasons debated.

Moreover, since both Perfect Blue and Black Swan are psychological thrillers, I take it for granted that they share the same obsession with blood, death, sex and violence in general. 

  • Some of the same individual scenes:

Mima/Nina stares at herself through the window of a subway door:


-Taunting animated pictures on the wall:


The verdict? There are many plot differences between Perfect Blue and Black Swan. Perfect Blue has many extrinsic characters, for example, Me-Mania & Shibuya, and events, for example, murders, and Black Swan incorporates the story of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and takes the world of ballet as its setting. However, both films are constructed from the same bricks. The similarities between the two films are too overwhelming both in their quality and quantity to pass as mere coincidences or amount to some simple “inspiration” drawn. The characters, story, details and the individual scenes of the two films become virtually indistinguishable through a prism, leading to the only conclusion: Black Swan can easily pass for a “remake” of Perfect Blue. “I just want to be perfect”, says Nina in Black Swan. Little does she know that she is closer to her wish than ever: Darren Aronofsky et al.’s swan is of a perfectly BLUE colour.


27 Comments Add yours

  1. What a cool post. I loved ‘Black Swan’ but never saw or heard of ‘Perfect Blue’. I do believe that universal stories are repeated and revised throughout the ages. I think about the many stories that have influenced me and certain scenes that resonate which affect my personal writing. There’s something, well, universal about protagonists and their dilemas. To see a Japanese version and a Western version seems likely. That Aronofsky claims his story is the only version–I don’t know. But I love your analysis. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. dbmoviesblog says:

      Thank you! It is very interesting how “universal” stories are retold by different cultures around the world, isn’t? I think the majority of Disney animations do that to one extent or another. I also think that Black Swan and Perfect Blue are just in the league of their own regarding similarities, because this is not just a story about a young protagonist dealing with her career stress a tough show business environment, the scene-by-scene and character similarities just go on and on.


      1. Cinderella can be traced to more than 20 cultures. All I know is I have to watch Perfect Blue–although, I guess I know what it is about!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. dbmoviesblog says:

          Cinderella is a great example! I believe its original is a Chinese fairy tale “Ye Xian”? first published like in 907 AD or something (according to the wiki anyway). Chinese traditional standards of beauty did dictate a very small, delicate girl’s foot, and all the feet-binding practices originated from that I guess, fascinating stuff. I think Perfect Blue is a very nice, although tense watch, sorry for all the spoilers given, but I did warn about them 🙂


  2. realthog says:

    You make a very good case, although I’d question your description of Perfect Blue as underrated. I recall it being very highly rated at the time (and not just by me!), and commented on this in my film noir book:

    “When Perfect Blue first appeared in the West it was hailed as herald of a new sophistication in animated narrative.”

    It is indeed a splendid movie. Fingers crossed you excellent post introduces more people. I’m just slapping the side of my head that I didn’t register the similarities with Black Swan before.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. dbmoviesblog says:

      Yes, thanks, what I probably meant by “underrated” is that it should be seen by more people, and more people should appreciate it. My choice of words can be confusing at times 🙂 It is indeed a great animation!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. MIB says:

    Good post. Very comprehensive and overdue look at the two films.

    There are also a lot of people who aren’t aware that Christopher Nolan basically ripped off Kon’s “Paprika” for “Inception”.

    Parable – Anime > Hollywood! 😛

    Liked by 2 people

    1. dbmoviesblog says:

      Thanks! There are similarities between Nolan’s Inception and Kon’s Paprika. But in the case of Paprika I do not see any major rip off. Well, the dream-hacking (device) idea are the same, and there are these “corridor/mirror” scenes which look identical, but everything else – hardly. Come to think of it, I really want to write a post on the similarities. It will also be interesting to compare the two films in depth.


      1. MIB says:

        Told you…. 😉 😛

        Liked by 1 person

  4. jwforeva says:

    What an awesome post! I gained alot from reading your analysis 🙂 I thought black swan was really original haha until I read this, so I’ll definitely check Perfect Blue out.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. dbmoviesblog says:

      Thanks a lot! Yes, I think Perfect Blue is worth watching. It is definitely not one’s ordinary anime. I’ll also be doing other articles comparing so called “original” movies with other films/books. This topic really interests me.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. ospreyshire says:

    That was a great post. Yes, I certainly prefer Perfect Blue over Black Swan any day. I didn’t even think about some of the identical scenes or some of the supporting characters. Weirdly enough, I’m not as angry about the comparisons between these films compared to Paprika/Inception, Battle Royale/The Hunger Games, (thanks to you) Above Then Beyond/Up, and especially the Kimba the White Lion/The Lion King controversy. Yes, Aronovsky should’ve been more open to Kon’s influence instead of just buying the rights for Requiem for a Dream.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. dbmoviesblog says:

      Thank you. Yes, legally-speaking, Aronofsky is fine, of course, but Perfect Blue was still other people’s creation and vision, and some professional ethics and decency and gratefulness and respect should have been exercised. I mean, especially, since now millions of people know the film Black Swan, but have not even heard of Kon or Murai or Takeuchi – this is just not right. When we forget the foundations and inspirations, we lose something important and it is just so not right. I mean, looking at the similarities above, it is even more shocking that Aronofsky adamantly DENIED that Perfect Blue was an inspiration for Black Swan. Why deny the inspiration of something you already have legal rights to remake and when you already met Kon in 2001? I mean, the extent of this…narcissism. And then the writer of “Black Swan” – Heyman – is even receiving nominations for a BAFTA Award for Best ORIGINAL Screenplay. As though Kon, Murai or Takeuchi never even existed. Black Swan even wanted to submit its soundtrack for Oscar consideration, but they could not because it was based on Tchaikovsky.

      It reminds me of that situation when the scriptwriter of “Big” (1988) received an Oscar nomination for Best ORIGINAL Screenplay when that movie with Tom Hanks was based on an Italian film Da Grande (1987). How can something be original if it based on a previously written material, even if it is another screenplay?

      I do agree with you on the comparisons you mentioned, especially Kimba and the Lion King and Battle Royal and The Hunger Games, but, I guess my indignation re Black Swan is so deep because I do not have in mind merely the comparisons above, but the whole background of the making of Black Swan – there was just something unbelievably morally and ethically revolting about it. I mean, to cut the long story short, the way Portman’s double (ballerina Sarah Lane) was treated – appallingly, the way Benjamin Millepied’s the then girlfriend (ballerina Isabella Boylston) was treated by the now loved-up pair – even worse, the way Portman’s input was exaggerated. The whole thing just feels terrible. No one sees or CARES what is going on behind the scenes, right? Only the outside “success” is seen.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ospreyshire says:

        Sure thing. I don’t begrudge Aronofsky for buying the rights when he first started out with Requiem for a Dream and can make a real remake at anytime. I was disappointed when he wouldn’t talk about Perfect Blue when it came to Black Swan. You bring up great arguments with more people knowing more about Black Swan more than Kon. This goes with the Paprika/Inception plagiarism issue as well and Paprika actually got major American distribution through SONY! I wasn’t aware about those things in that much detail with the denial even if he still legally bought the rights to Kon’s directorial debut animation. That really is scummy. Hold up! This won a BAFTA Award for the original screenplay? Okay, that sinks it. Black Swan doesn’t deserve that kind of award.

        I didn’t even know Big was a remake of an Italian movie until a couple of weeks ago when I was researching things on film. I saw that movie when I was a kid, and I’m sure my parents don’t even know about that. Why would this count as an original screenplay when it’s a remake? That makes no sense to me.

        Sure thing and thank you. If you didn’t see Kimba or Battle Royale, then I get it. I was like that with Inception because I saw Paprika years before Inception came out, so I saw the comparisons INSTANTLY! I didn’t see Kimba until a few years ago, but the similarities were so obvious to me (especially Claw on so many levels). Wow, I wasn’t aware about the dubious background from Black Swan with the stunt doubles. You’re right that people just don’t care because it’s behind the scenes. That’s how I felt about The Lion King especially when I found out about the behind the scenes aspects of the plagiarism controversy and the rampant cultural appropriation/derogation.

        I’m glad there are people like you who are willing to listen and care about different issues.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. dbmoviesblog says:

          Yes, I have seen some episodes of Kimba and I remember noting many similarities, including the spirit of Father? talking from the sky, and, of course, as you say, Claw. Claw is unbelievable. I was also shocked to find out that a person who was supposed to voice some character in the Lion King thought all along that this was the animation about Kimba the White Lion and told his family so. It was the same thing in his mind. As for Paprika, yes, I also agree, but at least Nolan more or less acknowledged this inspiration (or I read somewhere that he did credit Paprika (in some form)?).

          And, definitely. There is complacency in the film community and among moviegoers. People were brought up worshipping their Disney heroes and animations and their Hollywood celebrities, and when they grow up they don’t care or want to acknowledge anything that shakes these godly foundations, too. And, of course, others never find out. Whoever has the most money (big American production companies) will always do something or remake something “better”, and if it was not an original idea, people simply do not care.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. ospreyshire says:

            That’s awesome how you checked out the original anime. Yeah, that scene with Caesar’s spirit in the night sky makes my jaw drop every time. It was insane seeing Claw in general. I put him on my Top 7 Underrated Anime Villains list and said “Even Simba didn’t rip off Kimba THAT much [compared to Scar with Claw].” You’re talking about Matthew Broderick (Adult Simba) when it comes to that issue. There was even a Simpsons episode involving James Earl Jones where his jazz musician character dies and his spirit shows up in the night sky to talk to Lisa Simpson before other famous JEJ characters show up with the first being Mufasa saying “You must avenge my death, Kimba…I mean, Simba!” One hilarious line from the Kimba show was when a diamond smuggler says “Next time, we’ll be better prepared!” after the animals foil their plan. Try not to think about Scar’s song when you hear that line. Haha!! If you ever do a post about that issue, then let me know because I can tell you stuff from the other parts of the Kimba/JEL series.

            Re: Paprika: Really? I couldn’t find where he said that. One thing that I thought was bizarre and hypocritical on Nolan’s part was that he did an official remake with Insomnia which was originally a Norwegian movie. He bought the right and gave credit to that movie’s creators, but he couldn’t be bothered with Inception? That really made me shake my head.

            THANK YOU! It’s as if Disney and the rest of Hollywood become gods to the average moviegoers that can do no wrong. Regardless of one’s worldview on spirituality or not, that’s still an unhealthy thing to think about. You bring up a really good point about how people will automatically assume the American version is “better” without giving adequate reasons why. Trust me, I’ve had an actual conversation with someone who is a Lion King fan who didn’t even watch Kimba. Sure, TLK has better animation compared to the 60s anime, but it doesn’t mean it’s automatically better because of it. This just frustrates me how these big budget Hollywood movies get away with things that international films would never be able to escape from.

            Liked by 1 person

  6. Andy says:

    You mention many times here that Aronofsky bought the rights to remake Perfect Blue, but that’s not the case. Kon himself blogged about this in 2001, saying that he heard Aronofsky wanted to buy the rights and that there were negotiations, even going so far as to agree on a price, but the deal didn’t go through.


    1. dbmoviesblog says:

      I mention it “many times”? You meant “once”, surely? Thanks for bringing this to my attention, I will have to investigate. That means that Aronofsky is even more contemptible of a human being and a “creator” than I thought. Please note that I wrote this article in 2016. Much new information has emerged since – in English, even if Kon wrote about it in 2001.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.