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Review
Show: Paranoia Agent (2004)  
Review by: Animetique
This summary/review is provided by animetique.com and used under the Creative Commons License.
Story:

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0

Paranoia Agent is one of the most interesting anime series I've seen in awhile. By the director of Perfect Blue and Millennium Actress, Satoshi Kon created a 13 episode series about how people fall into delusional states and how they cope. What ensues is a character study into the depths and layers of how people perceive themselves and their surroundings.

For instance, the common theme of the first four episodes is that there's an attacker on the loose. Dubbed Shonen Bat by the media, this mystery skater turned assailant randomly targets the more psychologically disturbed characters and smacks them with a baseball bat. They awaken hospitalized and a bit relieved to have a break from their highly stressful lives.

The first victim of Shonen Bat is Tsukiko Sagi, the creator of the popular tv character, Maromi, a strange pink dog. Sagi's an antisocial girl with very few friends and all her co-workers seem to be jealous of her. Perhaps that's why she talks to her Maromi doll, who becomes sentient in her presence and offers companionship and comfort. Sagi's an odd girl all around, and not just because she's the creative type. She seems to have withdrawn from most aspects of life and shies away from help even by the police officers investigating her case. She doesn't seem to care who her attacker is or fear he might do it again. In fact, she seems more concerned that people think she made the whole thing about being attacked up.

The second episode follows the most popular kid in 6th grade, Yuichi Taira. When word of Shonen Bat got around, his classmates immediately suspected he was the assailant and stopped talking to him. This had all kinds of psychological repercussions, and soon, Yuichi is threatening his opponent in the Student Council President election with starting the rumors and playing dirty. His paranoia and anxiety builds until he too becomes a victim.

The anime is extremely interesting in how it portrays its characters. Some characters, which seem perfectly normal, are shown in a completely different light in the next, so you get to see how people perceive characters vs. how they act by themselves or around others.

Animation:

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0

The animation in Paranoia Agent is top notch.

Music:

My Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0

The opening theme theme has a techno-pop 80s feel to it. the closing is a weird lullaby, orchestral music box theme. Both work well to set the mood for the anime.

Character Design:

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0

The character design in Paranoia Agent is superb with each of the characters having several levels to their personalities. Characters that can appear normal in some instances can appear completely different and with deeply seated issues in others. As Satoshi Kon mentions in his interview on the first DVD, this is a study in paranoia.
Last Updated: 4/23/2007
Other Reviews by Animetique
1) FLCL (Updated: 1/18/2007)
2) Ah! My Goddess! (Updated: 1/18/2007)
3) The Animatrix (Updated: 1/18/2007)
4) Chobits (Updated: 1/25/2007)
5) Parasite Dolls (Updated: 1/25/2007)
6) Noir (Updated: 1/25/2007)
7) Martian Successor Nadesico (Updated: 1/25/2007)
8) Gasaraki (Updated: 1/25/2007)
9) Fullmetal Alchemist (Updated: 1/25/2007)
10) The Vision of Escaflowne (Updated: 1/25/2007)
11) Neon Genesis Evangelion (Updated: 1/25/2007)
12) Scrapped Princess (Updated: 2/8/2007)
13) Escaflowne (Updated: 2/8/2007)
14) Metropolis (Updated: 2/9/2007)
15) Howl's Moving Castle (Updated: 2/9/2007)
16) Spirited Away (Updated: 2/15/2007)
17) Tenchi Forever! (Updated: 2/15/2007)
18) Blood: The Last Vampire (Updated: 4/4/2007)
19) Paranoia Agent (Updated: 4/23/2007)
20) Perfect Blue (Updated: 5/10/2007)
21) Elfen Lied (Updated: 5/17/2007)
22) R.O.D the TV (Updated: 6/5/2007)
23) Read or Die (Updated: 6/5/2007)
24) Elfen Lied (Updated: 6/29/2007)
25) The Twelve Kingdoms (Updated: 7/9/2007)
26) Love Hina (Updated: 8/17/2007)
27) Samurai Champloo (Updated: 3/6/2008)
28) Texhnolyze (Updated: 3/12/2008)
29) Tsukihime Lunar Legend (Updated: 9/2/2008)
30) Full Metal Panic! (Updated: 2/2/2009)
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