Thursday, January 24, 2008

Paranoia Agent

Full Title: Paranoia Agent
Genres: Drama, Horror, Mystery, Psychological
Episodes: 13
Uploaded By: Mavrik

My Age Rating: MA (Language, Adult Situations, Sexual Themes, Brief Nudity, Violence)

Ah yes, Paranoia Agent, an anime very near and dear to my heart. I originally came to Cartoon World searching for it, when I didn't find it I created an account, didn't say hello (I figured I wasn't going to waste anybody else's time other than those I needed to), just went right to the Download Area Requests section and asked for dubbed Paranoia Agent. Figured if they didn't respond in a day or so, I wouldn't come back. When I checked back a very short while later, Mavrik had posted promising to upload them, and two days later they were up... Come to think of it, I've never posted a personal hello from myself at Cartoon World...

From the brilliant mind of Satoshi Kon (creator of Perfect Blue, Tokyo Godfathers, and Paprika) comes an anime series unlike any you've ever seen before. A boy with a bent golden bat on roller-blades is terrorizing a whole city, and it is up to two detectives, old-fashioned Keiichi Ikari and open-minded, unconventional Mitsuhiro Maniwa, to find out who he is and stop further attacks. As the series progresses, however, they soon realize what they are up against is more than just your average street punk or even a normal human for that matter, and a connection is drawn between him and the lovable pink doll Maromi. Exactly what that connection is, is for you to find out. The series mainly deals with several different kinds of mental disorders, paranoia being the unifying one in most of the main characters. Each episode follows a different character's exploits as they interact with one another and shows exactly how they got involved with the phenomenon known as Lil' Slugger. For those who wish to dive deeper into analyzing this twisted tale, their is a sociological layer underneath the main story, and even yet another historical layer to explore under that. If you want a clue as for what all Lil' Slugger represents in the anime, pay close attention to the theme song and opening sequence (which is one of my favorites.) Each episode ends with a "Prophetic Vision" from an insane (or is he?) old man seen sporadically in the background throughout the anime, it usually foreshadows the events of the coming episode in cryptic fashion.

As for my thoughts, this anime is hands down the most thought provoking I have seen. Some may find themselves confused as to what exactly is going on, and it's not an anime I would recommend to anyone not wanting to use their brains. It tough, gritty material, and it's as in your face as Kon can make it. Also, some may find themselves put off by the directors black sense of humor. Episode 8 entitled "Happy Family Planning" is disturbing storyline-wise but is played out like a joke. Also, Episode 10 of the show has very little to do with the main storyline at all. He seems to take it as an opportunity to poke fun at the anime business. (Whether or not diversions are your cup of tea, the episode is a good view...) The voice acting in this series is fantastic, and there are very few glitches in an otherwise flawless quirky animation style. I highly enjoy the opening theme, but the ending is just weird... All in all, this series is one of the best psychological shows I have come across in the world of anime, whether or not you like it depends on how you approach it. If your looking for endless fight scenes, quirky romances, or dumb comedies, you should avoid this one. If, however, you enjoy mysteries, incredible analogies, twisted quasi-moral horror stories, or you're just looking for something apart from the norm, this anime has my full recommendation.
My Rating: 8.4/10 (Excellent)

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