English: Paranoia Agent
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Feb 3, 2004 to May 18, 2004
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Rating: R+ - Mild NudityL represents licensing company
Score: 7.781 (scored by 30115 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular Tagsdrama horror mystery psychological
Apr 19, 2008
Even with that extra knowledge I couldn't help but think that half the episodes had a filler feeling to them. Many times you'll wonder why certain story arcs are being told or how that person is connected to the overall story but it will all make sense in the end (except for episode 09). The character cast is extremely varied, in terms of look and personality. The details show in most of their faces.Whats most noticeable is the older the character is, the more detail their face becomes. The voice acting in the english and japanese dubs are extremely top notch as well. For the serious otakus you'll definitely notice Mamiko Noto's voice or Haruko Momoi, but if you're open minded enough to listen to the english side of the voices you'll notice good voices as well like Carrie Savage or Sam Regal. But the attention to detail don't just stop with character style and voice acting.
Character props and background art is where this show shines the most, from an artists cluttered cubicle to an otaku's room filled with figures. I could have sworn you can actually see a layer of dust on an old bookshelf. Each scene is unique and different and you can tell they put alot of time and effort on all the small details to make this show stand out better than the rest. My only gripe out the artwork is that it is very earth tone and dark. Well not really dark per se but its color scheme is very warm and brownish looking which I didn't like all that much but you will soon overcome the problem the more you watch it.
Another gripe I am not to fond of how Kon draws his characters. Some of them look very normal, ordinary and sometimes cute. But the characters who wear their personality on their sleeves look very drastic. Like abnormaly huge mouths, beady eyes, fishy lips, all very strange to look at. The most that suffers from this type of look are the male figures in the show. I'm not fond of it but im sure most people will enjoy the change of pace from all the cute moe cartoons that plage the anime world.
If you have never seen a Sat-Kon anime, I highly reccomend watching this series simply because it will definitely be a different experience that you should see for yourself. With the outrageous plot twists and holes in some parts, the story does have a few problems overall. Like I said way back in the beggining the story starts out fine then it takes a serious turn for the surreal so take that however you may but I highly recommender this to anyone who doesn't mind a crazy mind trip of "Alice in Wonderland" proportions.
Oct 23, 2007
Anime: The animation production for Paranoia Agent was done by Madhouse (famous for work on Death Note and Paradise Kiss), and was directed by Satoshi Kon (famous for Perfect Blue and Paprika). It aired on Japanese television from February 2nd, 2004 to May 18th, 2004. Geneon (soon to be defunct) licensed it Stateside, and the fourth and final volume was released May 10th, 2005. The dubbed version also had a run on Adult Swim, the first of which began on May 28th, 2005, and an encore run on June 6th, 2006.
Story: The first episode kicks off with character designer (Sugi) being pressured to follow up on her first hit and dealing with creative block. On her way home, she runs into an older woman rummaging through garbage and who randomly disappears -- never a good sign, especially in a Satoshi Kon work. Things get progressively creepier from there, culminating in her getting beat over the head by some random elementary school punk on gold skates with a bent bat, which draws suspicion from the detectives investigating the case. Soon, others are attacked in the same way and give the same description of the kid, who is dubbed "Shounen Bat" (Bat Boy in English, but I prefer Shounen Bat, personally :P).
From there, a different director takes the helm each episode, and the episodes become self-contained one-shots that focus on a different victim of Shounen Bat. Each of the episodes are, for the most part, self-contained, but, at the same time, link together (oxymoronic, I know) in the tiniest, subtlest ways to become a part of the larger series. It's only in the last third or so of the series that episodes actually pick up where they left off the last time and connect to each other. And each of the victims have one major common factor (but I can't tell you that, because it would spoil the series for you), but connect to each other in smaller, subtler ways.
This story is nothing short of phenomenal. You'll be on the edge of your seat as you watch each victim's story unfold, wait for the inevitable attack, and watch the mystery of Shounen Bat unfold.
Just be warned, though: this is classic Kon, which means there's going to be blurring between fantasy and reality, the occasional trippiness, and psychological problems. I think this is Kon Lite, though (then again, I may have just gotten used to his works).
WARNING: There's a bit of sex and nudity in here, and some trippiness, but, as I said before, it's nothing, compared to his other works. Still, nice to know that it's there.
Art: Madhouse's realistic style fits this production to a tee. They tend to use darker colors and shades, except for when they use brighter hues, usually to a darker effect (yes, I know it's oxymoronic, work with me here).
But remember how I said that directors changed each episode? Well, this applies to the art directors, too; this results in a subtle changing of styles each episode that affects what each director most wants to get across, while still remaining Madhouse's trademark realistic style. Art directors can even change several times within an episode, which makes for some interesting style changes.
Music: Satoshi Kon almost never does a work without Susumu Hirasawa, and this is where the latter has a chance to shine. The OP is absolutely eerie, and sets the tone for the series perfectly, and the ED manages to make bright music seem like the damn creepiest thing ever. The music for the series alternates between these two extremes, but it never gets old. The ED (which is also the theme for one of the series' main characters) and the theme for Shounen Bat will never fail to send shivers running up and down your spine.
Length: Perfect. If it were any longer, it would've started to drag, but if it were shorter, they probably wouldn't have been able to tie everything together like they did. The length allows for the perfect exploration of each victim, and for the larger mystery to unfold like it does.
Seiyuu: No particular standouts or any seiyuu that I recognize, really. Overall, good job.
Overall: A Kon work, through and through, with a phenomenal story and amazing art, all because of the changing directors.
This is one of the anime that I believe you must see at least one episode of before you die. So go watch it already!
Overall: 46/50; 92% (A) read more
Apr 21, 2008
No. episodes - 13
It is very hard to give a rating for Paranoia agent that can be surmised using the numbers rating system. The story is quite complicated but excecuted with flair. Any dull moments serve to advance the viewers understanding of the complicated characters and scenarios. Plainly the plot revolves around a series of attacks on people who appear to be unrelated. The plot dedicates episodes to each of these victims and merges their paths together to weave a story of connections and basically highlight the power of Paranoia. This is a gritty and mature anime, it deals with issues such as incest, violence, technology and consumerism, blackmail, hatred, the power of the media and the power of rumours as 'Little Slugger' becomes more fiction than fact.
I won't lie - The last 5 episodes are quite mind boggling, the plot shifts focus on random people and their own issues and encounters. This may frustrate keen viewers as it felt like a MAJOR detour to me... Luckily for us, there is a plot ending and resolution. Even a little closure. I personally haven’t seen something as mentally interesting since Neon Genesis, and that's a statement!
I fully believe this series deserves such a high rating. The animation was spectacular, fluid and very accurate. Right down to small nuances in each character and the intricacies of clothing and background. Paranoias animation techniques are supposed to be an almost realistic representation of people, not the typical big eyed crazy haired anime moe styles. The same director (Satoshi Kon) also directed thriller classics Big O and Perfect Blue. Kon also directed Tokyo Godfathers, so if you have viewed these titles before you know what to expect. Paranoia Agent utilises a whole variety of cinematic techniques which serves to make the show visually interesting. The reason the art didn't warrent a full score was because in the last DvD I felt that the quality and attention to detail had taken a back seat to let the crazy plot entertain us more.
I thought Paranoia Agent did very well with background music, often creating an eerie intensity. The Opening song was as a bizarre reflection of the show. The melody is bright and happy while the lyrics themselves sing a different story. The Opening is very ironic but pretty catchy. The Ending clip and song was really disappointing. It’s really a very simple melody and even the clip was very boring. In the directors comments Kon mentioned that he comissioned the Opening sequence to wake the viewer up, and the closing sequence to prepare the viewer to wind down and relax. Also - I watched this in the English dub, no complaints! A top job. All the VA's matched their characters very well and really brought them to life.
If went into too much detail here I would spoil the entire enjoyment of this show. The plot is primarily supported by the assortment of complex and interesting characters. Human emotions, sensibilities and weaknesses. If you're a fan of character driven shows Paranoia Agent should fit you perfectly.
Like I previously mentioned, animation is spectacular and brings the characters to life. Points were lost because the character of ‘Lil Slugger’ was so intentionally vague and this caused me a bit of frustration throughout the series. Although that's just personal... Other than that all of them were very interesting. The characters emotions have also been animated very well, really bringing out the grit of the series and letting us empathise with them. If
I had some very Genuine moments of ‘wtf’ because this is the sort of show that illicites, wtf moments. A good friend of mine described the series as ‘General Mind f******’ pardon the language – but that perfectly summarises my thoughts too. If your into being messed around with and fantastic animation this show would be right up your alley. It’s bizarre, intense and very intruiging. Understanding human nature is essentially what this show deals with IMO so be prepared to have to think!
Totally recomend this!
BUT If you're distressed easily I would steer clear of this title because it can be quite confronting.
Jul 30, 2011
Why is that? Because the anime isn't about soft and nice things; it is about people who struggle, who want to run away from their fears, who desire an easy way from their problems. And what is their solution? Do not expect that they will be brave enough to face themselves and make a step forward!
Paranoia Agent is Japanese anime television series created by director Satoshi Kon who’s very appreciated for other anime series and movies like Perfect Blue (1998), Millennium Actress (2001) or Tokyo Godfathers (2003). The story is about the mysteries behind the street assaults make by a school-boy called Shōnen Bat, or Bat Boy in Japanese.
This show is very clever made because it manages to involve emotionally the spectators; it doesn't have the background of a SF or of an ancient world. The viewers’ eyes are in Tokyo and they get to know the stories behind the victims of the street assaults: they meet the famous toy designer, the woman with a double personality, but they also meet the detectives, the Happy Family Planning, the gossip women. The story-line is well-made, coherent and it gives naturally the impulse of creating personal explanations and a meaning for what it is happening. Even the opening and the ending are very symbolic and they can be interpreted differently, depending on the viewers’ feelings.
When I finished watching this anime, I had the feeling that most of the characters were trapped in their own illusions, that their access to freedom was denied because of their peculiar personality. But, somehow these illusions grew bigger and bigger and managed to trap the whole world, making the reality a cage. Besides the feeling that the whole world seemed to be enclosed, the fact that the anime starts and finishes similar gave me the idea that those stories will repeat, but they will have different characters.
I highly recommend Paranoia Agent for its story-line, for its interesting characters and for the meaningful background and events. It seemed to me that everything happened with a reason and this anime will surely bring out creativity, analytical thinking and lots of enjoyment!
Jun 2, 2011
Oh, Satoshi Kon. You were truly a great director taken well before your time. You were passionate about the messages you wanted to deliver, and always delivered them well, but not without bending logic a bit. Kon did this a lot in paranoia agent. I understand that the world is being shown through the minds of the characters, and that's fine, but sometimes it leans more on the 'annoying'' side.
Another issue some people have with the series is that it's apparently confusing. It's not. Paying attention is key here, and if you do that it's easy enough to understand what's happening on screen, even when you are being bombarded with the occasionally unearthly visuals. Just remember that what you are seeing is what is perceived by the character that is being focused on, it's the audience's job to dig through it and figure out what's real, and what's just in the character's imagination. It really isn't that hard at all. Moreover, everything is explained in the end, so it shouldn't be overly difficult to understand.
Now the characters. The characters in Paranoia agent are a bit difficult to write about. None of the characters get a particularly large amount of time on screen. You learn the problem of each character, you start to sympathise with them and hope for the best, and then lil' slugger rolls in and hits them over the head with his baseball bat. It does develop the characters, but only as much as it needs to, which is actually just perfect in this case, and works to the series' advantage rather than dragging it down. The few recurring characters such as Detectives Maniwa and Ikari, as well as the one who started it all, Sagi, get significantly more development than the other characters, and become extremely interesting.
The art and animation in paranoia agent is absolutely top notch. The characters always look like real Japanese people. None of those not-at-all Japanese looking people you seem to see in the majority of anime. The designs and movement of all the characters are detailed and amazing. A lot of people may consider them ugly, but hey, if real-looking people don't live up to your standards, then it sucks to be you. It's easy to see that the show had a practically endless budget when you look at the animation in some of the scenes. It flows beautifully. The backgrounds are always detailed and real, and the use of shadow is absolutely magnificent.
The music is paranoia agent is a bit of an odd match, to be honest. That isn't to say it doesn't work, because it does, and does so very well. It in all right shouldn't. It's actually quite upbeat when listened to alone, but when put into the anime, it matches perfectly. The anime also uses silence a lot, though, in it's more scary scenes, rather than playing music at all. The opening is also very impressive (as well as oddly creepy).
The acting in paranoia agent in perfection in both languages, having an extremely strong Japanese cast, along with one of the strongest English dubs in existence. Special mentions go to Halko Momoi, who played Maromi in the Japanese version, and made that demon stuffed animal really sound like something from hell. In the dub, special mentions go to Sam Regal's snarky and creepy lil' slugger, as well as Liam O'Brien's determined,focused, and even insane portrayal of Detective Maniwa.
At the end of the day, Paranoia agent is an intriguing, original, and well presented exploration of the human mind, how people adapt to changes, and how paranoia affects the lives of people both negatively and positively. Some people may find it confusing, its logic may be a bit stilted, and some episodes aren't as interesting as others, but it doesn't hold it down, and doesn't stop it from being a truly breathtaking experience. read more
Oct 26, 2007
OP-Yume no Shima Shinen Kouen
ED-Shiroi Oka - Maromi no Theme
Story-10/10-The whole series keeps the tense atmosphere.. While there is a lot of weird events.. everything is comprehensible.. The series gets very complicated.. but everything is able to be clearly understood.. I was always amazed and how everything happend.. and still made PERFECT sense... The story progress in sections.. the first couple episodes is about the victims.. and then we build on each incident as the detectives study more and more about each case.. then the storyline ignores them and jumps to other areas where the same "things" are happening.. and finally the story goes into the future.. and wraps everything up.. A lot of the times you are laughing.. when you know you shouldn't be.. you know the situation isn't suppose to be funny... but it is anyways..
Animation-8/10-They did a really good job at creating the tone of the series.. While it is horror.. its nothing too shocking.. and they do add a lot of "not scary" details... There is not a lot of focus on background OR characters.. its just the way everything is placed.. or what perspective we are watching from.. They have a lot of different art styles the series goes through to show the different mentality each person has.. which helps a lot for character development... The anime is creepy.. and yet "not creepy" at times.. and they are very tightly intertwined so people always feel weird since they are in a strange setting.. but it quickly changes.. very unsettling.. They also do a lot of scenes where they set up an event.. and have you imagine the ending.. like you see a person raising the bat.. and they swing.. and your brain connects the ending..
Music-9/10-The OP is just freaky.. the way the music plays its really cheery.. and when you see everyone smiling.. you start feeling a little dizzy.. for the smiles seem so fake.. so unrealistic.. its just feels weird.. which is perfect for the series.. the ED is great too.. a very Slow.. and mournful melody.. it creeps you out.. cause its like everything is dead... The soundtrack is awesome.. for they build up suspense quickly.. and then drops everything.. a very nice support of the horror part of the series..
Characters-10/10-Wow.. the characters are the sufferings of the people personified.. You have a girl who is struggling to create the next "animation trend", you have a humble woman with a wild and dark personalitysplit personality.. you have the corrupted cop trying to do his best for his family... and you have the popular kid who loses everything when he is framed as being the attacker... An episode is devoted to each of those characters as we learn about what they are going through and what results from them... You also have the two detectives who are trying to solve the case.. you have the rash and unrestrained veteran and the calm and gentler newbie.. You then go on a hop and get a totally new cast that are only shown for one episode that help build up the storyline and the mystery...
Value-5/5-This story is a very good example of how a horror/mystery series should be like.. the music and animation help out the story to give the audience a very good feel of horror and mystery...
Enjoyment-5/5After each episode i was just like wow... I can totally see why this is horror/mystery.. and i always waited anxiously for the next scene to unfold.. while trying to guess what is going to happen.. This is a great series to kill time... or to just start on thinking about stuff.. This series hints at a lot of weird stuff.. but never really crosses the line physically...which makes it really fun to watch..
Overall-10/10 read more
Feb 23, 2007
The story begins with detectives Keiichi Ikari (AKA 'the Chief') and Mitsuhiro Maniwa investigating the street assault of Tsukiko Sagi, a famous designer for a toy company and creator of Maromi, a popular cartoon character. She claims she was walking home from work the night before when she was attacked by a boy on roller blades wielding a bent baseball bat. When rumours get out of her attack, the people in the town begin to refer to him as “Lil’ Slugger” (in the dubbed version) or Shounen Bat (Shōnen Batto 少年バット in the original Japanese version). Unfortunately, there isn’t enough evidence to point Ikari and Maniwa to any significant suspects. They don’t have to wait long, however, before Lil’ Slugger strikes again.
The first four episodes of Paranoia Agent deal with Lil’ Slugger’s first five victims – Tsukiko Sagi, Shogo Ushiyama, Yuichi Taira, Harumi Chono, and Masami Hirukawa, respectively. Usually, Lil’ Slugger knocks his victims unconscious when he attacks them, but in the case of his fifth attack, Hirukawa manages to get to his feet and hit Lil’ Slugger on the head with a rock as he tries to skate away. With Lil’ Slugger captured, Ikari and Maniwa breathe a sigh of relief, believing the case is practically closed. However, they soon realise just how far from the truth that is…
I won’t give away anything else about the plot, but take it from me; it’s one of the most bizarre, mind-blowing anime series you’ll ever see. Satoshi Kon does such an amazing job of telling the story – fantasy and reality blur to the point of being indistinguishable from one another as the series progresses and the disturbing story behind Lil’ Slugger is slowly unraveled. The characters are rich and believable, and the writing is witty and intelligent.
Another thing about Paranoia Agent that really caught my attention was the animation style and character design. Madhouse really does a fantastic job on this series – the characters are dark, disturbed, and many are (perhaps most importantly) unattractive. Now that’s something you don’t see every day in anime. I’ve noticed that Satoshi Kon, who assists in character design for all of his works, feels the need to create characters that are actual people with actual problems – both mental as well as physical. Call me crazy, but I get tired of the traditional anime style. Paranoia Agent is a fantastic break from pink hair and over-exaggerated features.
The two detectives, Ikari and Maniwa, are interesting and easily relatable. Ikari, the chief, is a middle-aged man living in the past who can’t seem to get a grip on today’s world. He sees Lil’ Slugger as a symbol of what’s wrong with our youth in the 21st century, and is intent on tracking him down. Maniwa is much younger – an impressionable dreamer, but still very serious about his job. He provides the viewer with a different, more abstract take on who Lil’ Slugger really is. But, even with their clashing personalities and different opinions of the serial street attacks, they work perfectly together. I give it an A+ in the character design department, as it’s some of the best I’ve ever seen.
The moment I saw the first episode of Satoshi Kon’s Paranoia Agent, I knew the series as a whole would be a masterpiece. I was totally right. Out of all the movies and series I’ve seen (anime or otherwise), PA – in my honest opinion – reigns supreme as one of the most intelligent, inspiring, and flawless pieces of visual entertainment ever. read more
Sep 27, 2010
The plot begins as Tsukiko Sagi, a woman responsible for designing the well-known plush toy dog Maromi, is being pushed to create a new design, and is rapidly succumbing to stress. On the way home, in desperate need of a way out, she is suddenly attacked by a boy on rollerskates with a baseball bat. At first, the police don't believe her, and think she is making up excuses, but before long, other people are attacked by the boy now dubbed Shonen Bat (Little Slugger in the English dub). As the series progresses, we see how rumour and truth become distorted, and how Shonen Bat goes from a mysterious attacker into something far, far worse. All of this leading back to the question... just who, or what, is Shonen Bat?
What follows is 13 episodes of social commentary, clever writing, bizarre stream-of-consciousness mindtrips that blur the lines of perception and reality to both the cast and the audience, and overall mystery. Paranoia Agent manages to throw an interesting spin on what initially appears to be a whodunnit thriller. It does, on multiple occasions, dip its toes into the psychological horror genre, and when it does, it does so excellently. These aspects of it make great use of how the audience often does not know how much is real and how much is fantasy, and as a result manage to make some truly creepy moments. Most notably, Maromi is insanely creepy. Yes, Maromi, the little stuffed dog mascot thing. You heard me.
In technical terms, Paranoia Agent is Satoshi Kon, Madhouse and Susumu Hirasawa all coming together on one project, which inevitably means it will excel in every single one of these aspects. The art is a strangely realistic style, if often somewhat exaggerated. The animation is completely fluid throughout the series, and is surprisingly produced to much the same level of high quality as Kon's movies are. The directing is, of course, top-notch, and as mentioned before Kon is a genius at blending reality and delusion in such a way that you often have to take a second to wonder what's going on, in the best way possible of course. The English Dub is excellent, and while nobody really sticks out, it's definitely one I'd recommend over the original Japanese track. The music is often very cheerful, and this is used as juxtaposition against the events of the series, creating something downright weird in the process. In particular, the opening and ending themes are some of the most unsettling things ever shown in anime.
Paranoia Agent does have some flaws, mind you. One is in the pacing. It's entirely possible that Kon's lack of experience (or transition into) the medium of a TV series caused this, but around the middle, a lot of the episodes don't really seem to tie in to the plot. Rather, they come across as episodes that strengthen the point of the series, but don't really lend themselves to it as a story. This is easily forgiveable in that the episodes in question are quite strong in their own right (and in some instances, oddly comedic). Another valid, yet easily forgiveable fault that the series has is that in its switching between the real and unreal, it takes some steps that seriously raise disbelief. In general, it's all done for the sake of a clever metaphor, but it's something that will undoubtedly nag at the back of the mind, especially at the ending, which is a rather monumental example of this.
Overall, Paranoia Agent is an extremely clever series. It's probably the most accessible thing in Kon's discography, if not necessarily (though quite arguably) his strongest. It's been described as a mindfuck series, but I'm not entirely sure it would fit into that category. For the most part, it is a realistic and grounded setting in which abnormal elements are introduced, and barring the aforementioned dips from reality it mostly stays that way. Regardless, Paranoia Agent is one of those anime I would definitely recommend to pretty much anyone, especially those into psychology, who would most likely love it for its insights and observations of the human condition.
English Dub: 9/10
For Fans Of: Paprika, Boogiepop Phantom. read more
Jul 21, 2011
"Paranoia Agent" revolves around the mystery of Shounen Bat, a youth on rollerblades wielding a golden bat who has a tendency to assault people who are on the verge of collapsing under the pressures of everyday life.
The mystery, it turns out, is not that complicated. After leading the viewer around on a string for the first half of the show, it soon runs out of steam and resorts to fillers to fill up the time before finishing up with a somewhat underwhelming conclusion.
Luckily though, "Paranoia Agent" is about far more than the mystery itself - a lot of it is about the fun of getting there. Other shows of the genre ("Serial Experiments Lain", "Boogiepop Phantom) can seem monotonously dark and dreary, but while "Paranoia Agent" also succeeds in being disturbing and even terrifying at times, it's able to convey a much wider range of emotions. With its blending of black humour, suspense and variety of story telling, "Paranoia Agent" can actually be straight forwardly entertaining. This is an almost alien concept for the genre, and it's something that makes it a much more accessible show than those other titles. What's more, the switch from one mood to the next is done so well that contrasting moods do not detract from another, not even when combined together. A great example of this is the dark finale of the gossiping women episode, where the show manages to be simultaneously hilarious AND disturbing.
"Paranoia Agent" mostly takes up an episodic format, with each episode introducing new troubled characters, characters who are facing all kinds of different social pressures that exist in modern Japan. The characters are all linked to each other in some way or another, and it's possible to start seeing connections within a couple of episodes. Character X who features in episode 1 might be a relative of Character Y from episode 2, who is in turn a colleague of Character Z from episode 3 etc. There's a certain amount of satisfaction to be gained from seeing the connections click, and it's something that's reminiscent of the way "Boogiepop Phantom" liked to do things. The similarities between the two shows are not limited to the superficial aspects - there are also interesting parallels between their underlying themes and ideas, but it's tricky to go into more detail without spoiling the show. Although I do think "Boogipop Phantom" was cleverer in its story telling, "Paranoia Agent" probably has the advantage in terms of variety, with almost every episode having its own quirky characteristics and feel.
As the show goes on, you'll come to realise that "Paranoia Agent" is all smoke and mirrors, with the surprisingly simplistic story made mysterious by the tricks in the story telling more than anything else. The conclusion feels a bit like an anti-climax and, to be honest, kind of cheap, especially when put against the sophisticated qualities of the rest of the show. The series' descent into surreal madness in the last couple of episode feels a bit too much - it increases dramatically in weirdness and drops sharply in the entertainment values that made the show transcend the genre. However, the message it tries to convey about escaping reality is a powerful and thought provoking one, and that makes up for the ending to a certain extent. As for the fillers, well, it's kind of hard to complain about them when they are some of the most brilliant episodes the series has to offer. "Paranoia Agent" is a perfect demonstration that, if you are going to do fillers, then do them in style.
The sound department is one that's particularly important to the mystery genre, because mood and atmosphere is central to these kind of shows, and the ambient sound and background music are critical for setting the mood. It's no exception here, as "Paranoia Agent"'s strong sound production succeeds in greatly enhancing the suspensful atmosphere. A particularly good example of this is whenever Shounen Bat is about to appear, the music turns eerie, and is accompanied by the sound effect that's like someone running a bat along the rails on the side of the pavement. It's similar to the way the foreboding two-notes-alternating theme is used to signal the arrival of shark in that classic film "Jaws", and it's deceptively effective, making the hair on the back of my head stand up almost every time. The one thing that didn't work for me is the pseudo-yodelling opening theme, which strikes me as a bit too odd ball and doesn't particularly match the mood of the series.
What does match the mood of the series though, is the art style. The character designs and animations always right on the money, be it satirical portrayals of stereotypes such as lecherous middle aged men, or capturing the terrifyingly disturbing features of a mentally destabilised character at breaking point. The one major complaint I would have though, is that in one of the episodes, the episode revolves around shadows, and unfortunately the rendering of the shadows is a bit ambiguous in the episode, which made the whole thing more confusing than it should have been.
In the end, watching "Paranoia Agent" is a bit like going to see an extravagant magic show: you'll be mystified by the tricks, entertained and dazzled by the brilliant showmanship. Then at the end, someone reveals to you the secrets behind the performance, and you're left feeling a little disappointed - perhaps being left in the dark is the preferable option after all. But when all is said and done, you can still say that you watched a great magic show, and I can still say that "Paranoia Agent" is an undeniably great show put on by that great illusionist Satoshi Kon. read more
Aug 3, 2008
The first thing that stood out to me when I started watching this (barring the highly annoying OP) was the art. At first I really wasnt sure if I loved or hated it, and the art was infact one of the reasons I didnt watch it for a long time, however, after the first episode you come to absoloutely love the art. Its beautifully coloured, and at certain parts in the series (Towards the end around episode 10 especially) it shows some outstanding visuals. The colours are all very vibrant, and bright, which adds to the atmosphere of this show alot.
I watched the fan-subbed version by Ani-Kraze, so I cant comment on what the dub is like, but I must say that the Japanese Voice Actors done a marvelous job. The BGM is also brilliant, however I would have liked it if they had used more pieces, it seemed like it was really just the same piece over and over. However, I gave the sound a 9/10 because it was (although limited, and not too varied) still very good, and a brilliant cast for the voice actors. However, the 9 could drop to an 8, but I'm in a good mood after just finishing it!
The characters in this show are brilliant, they are all very well developed throughout, and you grow to love them. The only problem I had is remembering who's who (Im still bad with Japanese names...). All the same though, you really do develop a bond with the characters and your heart really goes out for them during the series. Also, although it comes under art, I feel I must mention again how beautiful they look. All the characters look unique (barring the odd 1 or 2), and they are all beautiflully animated.
As far as enjoyment goes, I thoroughly enjoyed this series. Around episodes 6-8 you discover some important parts of the story that does raise some questions, and confuse you, but I must urge anyone who watches to stick with it, and in the final 5 episodes all those quesions will be answered. There are quite a few sad parts, and the end of the series will make your eyes well up and want to cry, but it just adds to the brilliance of this show.
Overall, this is an absoloutely marvelous show that im so glad to have seen. There are a few questions I have left, but that will be easily sorted with a re-watch, something I intend on doing again soon! I know i've been quite vague about some things here but, really if I were to tell you to much it would spoil the experience for you. All I can urge you to do while watching is stick with it. Try to watch the episodes in bulk of about 3-4 at a time, or more if you can as just watching 1-2, you may not want to pick it back up as the story jumps between characters quite alot, but it will be worth it once you get near the end and everything is much, much clearer.
Truely enjoyable, everyone should try this!!
Thanks for reading,
Spyro read more
Apr 24, 2012
Genre: Psychological, Satire, Mystery.
No. of Episodes: 13
Director: Satoshi Kon
Characters (10/10) :
Main element of any typical series is the story and how expertly it is told, but Paranoia Agent not being one of those typical series, was character centric rather than story centric. And that's why maybe, it was a notch above other series, as the story was made so that it can revolve around the characters and provide a satirical view on society, and boy was it carried out well. Each and every character had different and interesting personalities given to them, each of them were given proper time in screen and space in script so that they can develop well, and most importantly the characters were realistic, and believable, everyday life characters and IMO here is where Kon sensei excelled and made this anime legendary. Many a times series have very 'hi-fi' and cool characters which one can find impossible to relate with, many a times a series make characters so simple that they look shallow, the amazing depth of human mind is often sacrificed for panty shots, mindless comedy and hopeless fighting, but it's a Satoshi Kon anime, if he makes one, he nails it, and that's what he did with each and every character of the series, as they were simple, someone we can relate with, yet so different, complex and distant.
Story (9.5/10) :
As mentioned before, this series is a heavily character centric one, but this doesn't make the story of the anime a liability. No, no, no...the script is tightly and well written indeed with the sole purpose of giving you a mindfuck. But it isn't all serious, at least not all the time, induced with satire and comedy in the right places and the right time makes the story a treat to follow, specially the conclusion which neither gives you a clear cut answer nor does it left you confused, it sorts of weaves a path for you to find out answer thyself if you do a little thinking (at least it was for me ._.) . And combine that with Kon's amazing storytelling abilities and voilà you got a masterpiece. :D
Other Aspects (9/10):
The voice actors, BGM and OST are carefully chosen and wonderfully executed, specially the voice acting of the old man stands out.
The character anatomy is a job well done, as it is filled with well bodied characters and some comic ones, which some might find strange. But I think it was the part of the satirical theme of the anime.
As for animation, madhouse nails it again, will not go much into this since I am new to animated series, but at times object looked very realistic and the change of scenes was very lucid which added to the storytelling.
So all in all Paranoia Agent is a great and must watch for all psychological genre fans out there... read more
Aug 21, 2011
Paranoia Agent is about a series of attacks by an unknown hit-and-run assailant that wears golden roller skates, a baseball cap and wields a badly bent golden baseball bat. These random attacks seemed to be unrelated at first but as the detectives look further into it, they found out that the attacks were not as random as they ought to be.
The enigmatic figure where the series revolve around would be the attacker himself called “Shounen Bat.” Not much is known about him except that he uses a curiously bent golden bat and displays a creepy smirk on his face when ready to attack. The victims of the said unidentified assailant were all normal people that include grade school students, designers, cops, teachers and the like.
In the first half, Paranoia Agent goes by the pattern of “Victim of the Week” format where of course, as expected, there will be a new victim if not two every episode. All those who were victimized had experienced a somewhat similar weird syndrome that is more likely to be paranoia. Though unrelated at first, events were connected bit by bit with each episode passing and ultimately at the ending.
However, as Paranoia Agent have managed to connect most events, some still doesn’t serve any significance. Not extremely necessary, some minor details were left questionable making it look ridiculous. Another flaw in Paranoia Agent would be a filler episode. For a thirteen episode anime, it is much unneeded to add a filler which basically explains nothing about the situation which served to be all about randomness. Nonetheless, whatever scenario Paranoia Agent might present, it is still that creepy and disturbing.
What added to the “disturbingness” of Paranoia Agent would be its extremely creepy art. The characters specifically the males had huge mouths making them look like deformed moe-blobs. Plus the creepy facial movements of the characters. Also, Paranoia Agent mixes a bunch of different art styles depending on the mood. It could look like a very well-detailed filled with colors views to a child-like scribbles and cardboard cut-outs. However, the lightings sometimes tend to be a bother making it too blurry at times. Still, for first impressions, watch the video of the opening song and you’ll know how creepy will this ride be.
The opening song of Paranoia Agent is at its best, creepy and disturbing. The song has a music that is very nature-friendly; birds chirping, waves splashing, it is very naturalistic. Despite that, the lyrics don’t make any sense, which clearly Paranoia Agent is all about although that is not what makes it creepy. Try mixing a very lively song with random lyrics backed by a video with people who are crazily laughing who looked like persons who were asylum escapees then you‘ll get the opening song of Paranoia Agent. And it doesn’t end there. The ending song as well is as creepy as hell. The ending song showcases Shounen Bat’s victims while playing a very weird song.
Despite being disturbing as hell, Paranoia Agent also has its share of fun moments however, even if it tries to be funny, the aura of creepiness of Paranoia Agent is still abundant. Paranoia Agent is disturbing at its core. With that said, whenever it tries to be funny, it is still disturbing; whenever it tries to be dramatic, it is still disturbing; and whenever it tries to be disturbing, it does so, in great proportions.
Simply put, Paranoia Agent is the absolute description of disturbing. If you want to be disturbed as hell and get your mind blown, I suggest giving Paranoia Agent a check. I only hope that after watching this, you’ll still have whatever bit of sanity you have left. read more
Sep 7, 2009
It was superb across the board. From characters, animation, story, sound... everything was excellent. But be warned... this anime becomes very surreal and bizarre... far from what I was expecting.
The story starts off fairly simple. Some kid in roller blades is going around attacking people with a bat, and it's up to two detectives to catch him. Eventually, we begin to see a pattern in these attacks, and that not all is what it seems. Each episode delves deeper and deeper into insanity and pure chaos as the key characters stories begin to unravel.
The plot had me hooked from the beginning, wanting to watch the next episode to find out more to the mystery of Lil' Slugger. It's fine story telling at it's best, chop full of symbolism and meaning. It's an absolute psychological mind fuck, and you end up questioning everything you see. It's fantastic. Granted, the plot may become quite convoluted for some, so if you want just a mindless fun anime, look elsewhere.
The art and animation is also top notch. The characters look fantastic, along with the fluid animation. There were only a few times that I noticed anything hinting at choppy. The art also does very well in capturing the dark and gritty nature of the story. It's also one of the few animes that I've seen with rather 'realistic' art. There's no huge eyes, not much over exaggerated facial expressions, most of the animation in grounded (granted, a few of the characters are drawn kinda silly). And this is also one of the few animes that the Japanese... actually look Japanese.
The soundtrack and voice acting was great. The beginning theme (yume no shima shinen kouen) is pretty damn catchy and gets you in the right mood for each episode. The soundtrack through out is also great, keeping the dark and psychological nature of the show.
I watched the English dub version, and all the VA's did an excellent and believable job. Nice to see some good English Anime dubs, but I'd like to eventually watch it in Japanese.
And the characters... boy, where do I start. If you hadn't guessed by the shows intro, this is a very character driven anime. The show had me truly loving some characters and loathing others (for the good reasons). The story centers around two detectives. Keiichi Ikari, rough a middle aged cop who feels out of touch with the current generation and his partner Mitsuhiro Maniwa, a young optimistic cop with a promising future. As the story goes on, we meet all sorts of characters, and all with some deep and very human issues.
There are many twists and revelations about these characters and some truly caught me off guard (I won't spoil anything, but don't expect any character to stay as we knew them after all is said and done). And that's what I think this series does best, capturing true humanity within these great characters.
Overall, this is one hell of an anime. It keeps you guessing and wanting more with each passing episode. And I was extremely sad once it was all over. This anime does almost it all right. The only thing that I was a tad disappointed with was the ending. I felt that it could've used more and tied up a few open story lines, but it was still satisfying nevertheless.
If you're into movies like The Silence of the Lambs, Jacobs Latter, The Sixth Sense, etc. You'll love this series.
I highly recommend seeing this one. read more
Aug 26, 2008
Each episode focuses on a different person or group of people associated with the Little Slugger mystery, while two cops are on the case trying to figure out who the kid is and what his motives are, but things soon become more complicated. There's a big psychological element in the series, and there are times when you're not quite sure what's supposed to be real and what isn't. There is a trio of episodes around the middle of the series that can be described as filler, but it's worth pointing out that they are actually quite enjoyable filler, and the quality of the episodes is no worse than the rest of the series.
The animation in Paranoia Agent is excellent. There is great attention to detail and the backgrounds look superb. Some of the character designs are a little weird, notably a few of the male characters having large mouths and tiny eyes. As such they may not be to everyone's tastes, but it does make a refreshing change from the typical anime character design where almost everyone looks improbably good.
Susumu Hirasawa does a very good job in the music department. The opening theme is bizarre, but at the same time pretty good. Combined with images of the cast standing in random places, laughing maniacally for no apparent reason while some sort of apocalypse goes on behind them, makes for one of the oddest opening credits ever seen, but also one of the best. The ending theme is equally weird, but unfortunately just sounds rather annoying. The voice acting in both the Japanese and English dubs is very good, with the voices matching the characters quite well.
Paranoia Agent is not quite as good as it could be, but none of the problems are big enough to significantly hurt the series. The characters are interesting, the animation is stunning, the plot is deep, and all the twists and turns will keep you guessing until the (rather confusing) ending. The conclusion is a bit of a let down, but given the nature of the series it's not like it's a big surprise, and its still a decent episode in its own right. It's a testament to the writers that they can juggle science fiction, comedy, mystery and psychological drama, and do a surprisingly good job on all fronts. There are moments of violence, as well as the occasional themes of suicide and paedophilia, so this series may not be to everyone's tastes, but if you're into psychological series, Paranoia Agent is highly recommended. read more
Jan 11, 2008
Tapping into the psyche of Japan in the 21st century, the main plot revolves around a teenage boy on rollerblades who smacks people in the head with his bent baseball bat and the myth that is born out of this, but the surrounding random storylines deal with Japan-centric topics such as paedophilia, work-related stress, suicide and degrees of illusion in our over saturated 21st century.
It's weird as hell and builds to a climax that's like Neon Genesis Evangelion humping Akira in the leg. Not a keeper, but worth watching for the hilarious opening credits alone. read more
Sep 20, 2010
This is a beautiful piece. Outstanding use of color/light to portray certain emotions and situations. I think what I admired most was the contrast. Since it's kind of a wacky anime, the art style was varied throughout the story. All were equally beautiful and appropriate for the story.
The soundtrack to this is one of my favorites. Similar to the artwork, the different sounds used in the series were varied according to what was happening in the plot. However, the music all had cute, mysterious, electronic vibe to it. It was whole-toney and felt like it spun around energetically in my brain.
Character development was a job well done, especially considering how much material the series covered. It seemed to me that when a character was introduced, the writers knew just what to expose about so that we could get to know very quickly, but not in a way that was painfully obvious. It was like good flash fiction.
I gave this anime a perfect score. I think that's reason enough for you to at least give it a chance after reading this :) It's a perfect blend of a murder mystery and an extreme psychological thriller.
Jul 27, 2007
It's a really twisted and psychological anime. I don't want to give away the entire thing, but I'll give a brief explanation.
Tsukiko Sagi. The main character in this anime besides lil slugger, is a woman who makes a cartoon named "Maromi" based on her dog that died years ago. Since then, her cartoon has become a hit, everyone loves it, but there's a secret that she knows which is why she is always so quiet and timid.
One night when she stayed late working on her next maromi episode, she leaves home. Deep within her thoughts, and clutching her maromi plushie, she walks down a dark street. Gold roller skates, a bent gold baseball bat, and a baseball cap.. that's all you can see as Tsukiko is struck and lies on the ground. She's the first to be attacked by lil slugger. Two detectives quickly get on this case, but following lil slugger and trying to capture him, they find out he isn't what they thought he would be.
Overall, this anime, I really liked it. After the 6th episode.. I got a little confused because it focused on different people, but then I understood. It's very psychological I'll tell you that, but it can be funny at times, and it can be really weird at times too. That's the beauty, you don't really know what to expect. read more
Aug 1, 2012
Little did I know, even watching it in order is about as haphazard and difficult to grasp as watching bits and pieces of it out of order.
This is one of those anime that takes adjectives like "surreal", "enigmatic", "cryptic" and so on and pushes them to their limits as it stretches on. It doesn't "unravel" or "unfurl" much at all, and when it does, it folds itself back up again afterwards -- it just "stretches" until it's over.
Now, usually I am a huge fan of anything that could be described as "surreal". I enjoy animated works of any type that reach into fantasy and the strange workings of the human mind and concentrates them; however, in Paranoia Agent it never feels quite whimsical in the way I enjoy most, rather sticking to the darker and/or just plain incomprehensible sides of the word "surreal". You truly must be in a certain kind of mood if you truly wish to enjoy this anime to the fullest -- you must want a mystery, but not one that you should expect to actually solve, lest you become like the crazed old man featured in the anime itself, obsessively scrawling indecipherable equations and "keys to the truth" on a sidewalk.
The anime actually begins simply enough, and seems to have a flavor as if it's going to be fairly straightforward but with the paranormal and such thrown in here and there. Then, however, you're suddenly watching something that feels more like an anthology of stories that pertain to the central concept of the search for Lil' Slugger/Shonen Bat and his motives as his victim list grows -- connected only by that thread until you watch later episodes and realize things that bring them together a bit more completely. But then -- and not very far at all into the series -- the unthinkable happens, all is revealed, and -- wait, really? That happens too! And then... and then...!
It's exciting and interesting at times like that, but then becomes even more confusing and difficult to digest. There are suddenly episodes (including my personal favorite, 'Happy Family Planning') in the middle of the series that feel even more like pieces of an anthology than earlier on, and are even less related to the overarching story, feeling more like a collection of tales centering around what may, at the end of the day, just be an urban legend blown far out of proportion. You suddenly realize that for every episode that's mysterious and intriguing in the way you assumed the whole series would be at first, there is another that's humorous in the blackest possible way, another that's just silly and fun, and another that's a straight dive into the psyche of the deeply disturbed.
It never quite goes "how you wanted it to". No matter what you like about the show -- no matter which episode gets you revved up to enjoy it, seeing that "finally, it's gone in a direction I truly enjoy!" -- the next episode will be a complete tangent in a whole different direction, and the next one again will branch off the road it had just paved. There are central themes and "lessons" that apparently are to be "learned" as one watches, things to think about and things to mull over, but in the end it leaves one a bit disappointed, I feel. It's an interesting experience, to say the least, but no matter how badly I wanted more episodes like my favorites, in the end they're very self-contained and for everything I liked about the anime there were several things I just was not as big a fan of. And perhaps the more egregious error to me -- I was introduced to so many characters that I became so interested in, whether they were innocent victims of mental anguish or terrible scumbags with little excuse to do what they do, and wanted to know more about them so badly, to know more of their story beyond the brief time I got to spend with them... yet, it just never came, at least not in a satisfactory way or in a way that I appreciated.
I suppose that's the point, though. Paranoia Agent is never what you expect, what you 'want', or what you may 'appreciate' at all. It seems to do this on purpose and, no matter who you are or what you enjoy or how you wanted to be entertained, it's not going to come just the way you want in this anime, and instead you're going to have to try and think a bit, even about things you don't want to think about, even about problems that you know you're not going to figure out -- in the end, even if you don't want to become like that old man, forever stuck in a loop of trying to figure out the impossible, this anime tries its best to make sure you do just that, at least a little bit. It doesn't care about your enjoyment, it doesn't care about you putting it on a pedestal of being your favorite anime, it only cares about grinning at you darkly like the bat-wielding antagonist within itself and making you uncomfortable, but perhaps striking a mental chord that resonates more than you would have guessed at first glance.
And for that reason, I can't dislike it, even if at times I wanted to. It's far from one of my favorite anime, but it is of a high quality and is something that all fans of intriguing animation should allow themselves to watch at some point, regardless of taste. read more
Apr 20, 2009
This is also my first so hopefully it is not too shocking >.>
Paranoia agent is epic simply because of the way the story is told, instead of drip feeding and making you want more like most anime, paranoia agent throws you random parts of the meal and its not until the end of the last episode that you feel truly satisfied. It is at this point that you finally apprechiate paranoia agent.
When I first saw that paranoia agent was only 13 episodes long I wondered, what kind of storyline can you fit into 13 episodes, but now with hindsight I realise that any more episodes would have actually degraded the quality of the anime.
Paranoia agent is the story of a string of seemingly unrelated crimes, their victims and the detectives put on the case.Simple enough.
Paranoia agent's format is really what sets it apart from the rest. With an episode being dedicated to each victim/detective and portraying their feelings and experiences on the events occuring. The thing that makes this amazing is you end up seeing the story from *everyones* points of view while never detracting from the actual storyline. Paranoia agent manages to be both offtopic and interesting, and when it comes to a close you realise that it was never offtopic to begin with and that every single second of the anime was required and has its own little place in the whole.
I have to note that Paranoia agent is probably the hardest anime to give a rating to with the number system, the story is very epic but at sometimes slow, but rightfully so. The end of the series is absolutely amazing, and quite sudden, which only amplifies the level of quality prevalent within the anime.
I give paranoia agent an 8 overall simply because some points didn't really feel interesting, but they are given out of necessity which I later apprechiated. Paranoia isn't perfect, but it is definitely very interesting to watch, I would say its more of an experience than a series. If you want to watch an anime that is in its own category entirely, then paranoia agent is the right one for you. read more
Apr 10, 2007
crazy yet amazing anime I have to say this is one of the weird and best one I ever saw and I mean it.
First I will not begin on my rates I'll begin with how I found this anime.
a long time ago I was in one anime forum one day some one opened a topic
about a anime I didn't even know (and that's hard to find) so I in the same day
started the anime maybe because it's genre is one of my favorite.
I could not stop myself from watching it more and more I could not believe that
there is such a crazy, genius, amazing and cool anime well too bad I finished it so
fast but that was a really great time!
Well the story was a bit strange it's one of those that in the end all the parts come
together and you say "of course! how didn't I knew it from the start!" and etc.
there were a few "side-story's" but I can say that those side-story's are amazingly
damn funny XDDDD I could not stop myself from falling from my chair with all this laughing. the story as well was really cool...and interesting and it worth watching it.
The animation is not that "beautiful" I know but that's also a great thing in PA
I think this drawing style shows reality beauty of this world...not everyone are beautiful! and that's what makes us so beautiful ^^ and that is what makes PA cool as well!
The sound~ well first of all...the opening song is the BEST ever!!
when my friend saw it she also said "this is one of the most great songs I ever heard!" and damn she was so right! but it's not all! the soundtrack is so great too! I heard it again and again so many times! and it's really great.
The characters are really amazingly done with the story's of them and all...the only thing that is annoying is the main character I really hate her personality...yeah only for this reason of bad main character I wount give it a 10. all the other characters has some bad things about them but they're great!
I just can't say i didn't enjoy this anime I just can't cuz it'll be a lie!
This was one of the best all-in-one anime! (I mean genre) it had comedy in it
a little bit of action even ecchi! (XD) but all of this together was great.
I could not ask for more than this great connection of genres in one anime.
Overall that was one of the best Psychological anime I ever saw and I saw many.
I even learned a lot from it ^^ and I really love this anime and I hope day will come and someone will make something like this but with more episodes so the enjoy will be much longer XD read more