Paranoia Agent / Mousou Dairinin
Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans
Genre: Mystery, Dementia, Drama, Police, Psychological, Supernatural, Thriller, Lil’ Slugger
First Aired: Winter 2004, 13 episodes
Summary: Lil’ Slugger is terrorizing the residents of Musashino City. He strikes late at night when the victim is alone with no witnesses to verify the attack. None of the victims have an adequate description of the attacker. They all describe him as short, rollerblading, and wielding a crooked bat. Detectives Keiichi Ikari and Mitsuhiro Maniwa are on the case. They need to find Lil’ Slugger before paranoia takes over the whole city.
Paranoia Agent is directed by Satoshi Kon, known for mind-bending films like Perfect Blue and Paprika. He also directed Millennium Actress and Tokyo Godfathers. Kon’s wild side comes out in Paranoia Agent. The series is full of bizarre twists and turns. He always does a fantastic job of blending fantasy with reality, so you don’t know which is happening. You get in the character’s head. They are also unaware of where they reside at times, especially near the climax of the show. One of my favorite parts of a Kon work is the unease I feel as I question what’s reality and what’s fantasy. I always have the urge to rewatch a Kon-directed show after I understand what’s happening and why the characters have been acting a certain way. Paranoia Agent is no exception.
You might enjoy this if: You are a fan of Satoshi Kon’s other work.
You might not like it if: You hate mind-bending stories that blend fantasy and reality into a question of which is which.
Note to the Viewer: Kon had an abundance of ideas remaining after he completed Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, and Tokyo Godfathers. Rather than try and make it into another movie, he made Paranoia Agent.
Paranoia Agent Opening
AMV – Fantasize by PepperPixel
(Warning, the AMV contains some minor spoilers)