Paranoia Agent (2004) – 8/10 difficult-to-categorise psychological crime anime review

Cast / crew
Writer (Original Story): Satoshi Kon
Screenplay Developer: Seishi Minakami
Developer: Seishi Minakami
Director: Satoshi Kon

Paranoia Agent (2004)

Tsukiko Sagi is a character designer under pressure to follow up her huge success with the cute Maromi. Her success and innocent demeanour mean she isn’t liked at work. On her way home one evening, she sees and is scared by a homeless old woman but is then attacked in a nearby car park by a boy with a bent baseball bat and golden inline skates. Her attack and "Lil’ Slugger" make the news but some people aren’t convinced it really happened. One of the policemen assigned believes her, one doesn’t and there is a disblieving gossip journalist, with pressures of his own, sniffing around trying to make a story.


"They will never get an answer no matter how hard they try to analyze it." – Paranoia Agent creator / director Satoshi Kon.

And so this instant-classic anime is what you make of it. While the Satoshi Kon quote above is talking specifically about the regular opening sequence (featuring all the characters in the show laughing), it does apply to the series as a whole. There is a series-long story-line, there is much food for thought, the animation is reference quality, the subject unusual and ambitious and you can get answers but you won’t find the answers Kon put in there… because he didn’t.

This series contains adult dialogue and strong violence, unpleasant and very gory scenes, gory and distressing scene involving the death of a dog, teenage suicide and sex scenes, references to paedophilia.

Classified 18 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 18 years and over.

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