Paranoia Agent
Country of Origin: Japan
Year Produced: 2004
Air Date: Feb 2, 2004 to May 18, 2004
Episodes: 13
Type: Series
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Fans: 132
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Paranoia Agent

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful:

Satoshi Kon's Masterpiece: May Negatively Affect Your Mental Health


Who or what is Shonnen Bat? Is he a psychotic 10 year old on a rampage, the product of mass hysteria, or some sort of karmic demon born from from the lies and unfulfilled dreams of the modern age? After getting caught up in the delusions of all the characters, I am not sure if there's much difference between the last two. Maybe the whole crisis was the result of everyone's delusions clashing with reality. I'll leave you to decide. I'll just do a review.

Paranoia agent is very well done and disturbingly bizarre. Much of this is thanks to the storytelling method. Rather than focus on one particular character or merely provide an omnipotent viewpoint, Paranoia Agent shifts between point of view characters and subjects viewers to each of their delusions (and some of these POV characters are very sick people). This is a wonderful way of story telling, facilitating for excellent character development, progressing the viewer through a wide range of emotions, and allowing for an evolving sense of humor (ranging from lighthearted to very morbid) as we move through each character's delusions. It also makes this anime incredibly weird and this is accentuated by Susuma Hirasawa's excellent soundtrack.

I do not agree with the 3 star reviews of this anime. It is too well made, too well thought out, and just too good to be given such a low score on a review site that routinely gives 5s to absolute garbage. Anime should be praised for being bizarre and unique, not penalized.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful:

Creepy, don't watch it at night or drunk

It’s pretty interesting. The first thing you see is a lot of people lieing about something and it seems that there is a lot of it going on. It starts out with off with stories that seem not to go together except for the slugger. First it was Taukiko Sagi, then the reporter bothering her, and then two high school students, and then a woman with a dual personality. Strangly, each character seems to be better after being attacked. I am not quite sure how it’s supposed to help but it seems to.

There are a lot of things about how the mind can play tricks on you, especially when you’re stressed. You can never tell is Lil’ Slugger is real or just within the mind of someone and yet, if he was in the mind of someone, then why is he able to hit so many people? It’s very complex and makes you think hard about the story line. There is also the thought that he only attacks those that are under emotional stress and psychological problems. It’s like a panic attack, something I’m used to since I get them often. Another thing that seems to happen is that they will start on a consept and then snatch the idea giving you a dead end to only go back to the start, and then suddenly find that there was something at that dead end they had to look at.

Now even though this was a horror, there are some episodes that I really think have no reason being, episode 5 for one, when we supposedly get info on the mind of a game crazy person and have the detectives running all around in his mind. I can understand that it’s supposed to somehow move the plot but to me, it felt pointless. It pretty much went into a dead end and threw the whole thing off. 8 also kind of had no point in that we followed three suicide pact people who just play around, trying to kill themselves.

The opening artwork is a bit trippy; showing so many people laughing there heads off without any reason. It freaked me out slightly. The artwork is somewhat off, but yet it works for how the story line is. Characters seem a little bland and makes them look like characters from BECK rather then any other. There really isn’t much that makes them stand out other then Maromi. That little dog is the only thing.

The music is actually pretty good for the opening. It’s very catchy. The ending music just feels childish and odd. The voices aren’t really all that special in the England dub, just pretty much normal voices.

In the end, it’s really hard to actually write about this since it’s not exactly what it really is.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful:

A bit trippy, a bit creepy, and very original

Some elementary-age kid is going around beating up people with a baseball bat and the police are stumped. Li'l Slugger seems able to appear anywhere to give those who feel trapped an easy way out. The more people he attacks the more helpless everyone feels. The attacker is truly a paranoia agent, both fueling and feeding off of the city's fear.

You should check out this show if you like suspense and thrillers or want a supernatural twist.

RAAAAIIYAA RAIYORAnother underrated work by the late master Satoshi Kon.

Paranoia Agent is a complex, satirical, thought-provoking series that revolves around escapism and deception. Each episode pries into the individual character's life and shows his/her unfortunate circumstances, which all somehow connects to a mysterious serial attacker only known as 「少年バット」 "Shounen Bat" or "Lil' Slugger". Highly recommended.

Personal thoughts:
1. I can't believe I haven't heard of this series until this year.

2. While some may complain about the not-so-appealing character design, I feel that it makes the characters look more human thus helping the creators get certain points across to the viewers.

3. In response to the 'trippy opening with people laughing their heads off', I interpreted that as the characters laughing their heads off in order to cope with their individual problems.