“Is It Real, Or Just A Fantasy?” – Paranoia Agent (anime) – 10/10 Sugar Cubes

“I doubt if a single individual could be found from the whole of mankind free from some form of insanity. The only difference is one of degree. A man who sees a gourd and takes it for his wife is called insane because this happens to very few people.” ~Desiderius Erasmus

Genre: Drama/Horror/Psychological/Supernatural

Review Status: Full (13 Episodes/13 Episodes)

Licensed: Licensed in the US

Art/Animation: It’s Satoshi Kon. If I have to elaborate, then the colors are vibrant, the character designs individual and recognizable (and good). And the animation is top-notch. Seriously.

Summary: An elementary school kid dubbed with the title “shounen bat” or “lil slugger” has been going around attacking people with his bent, golden bat. Now, two detectives are investigating so they can stop this kid from making any more attacks, but they will find out soon enough… that this case is much more than they expected.

Review: This is one of the anime that sticks with you. From the mystery behind Little Slugger, to the paranormal happenings around town, to the psychological events that make you wonder what’s reality and fantasy, to the mastermind behind it all which creates a criticism of Otakudom, this has it all

The unnerving opening really makes you pay attention to what’s going to happen long before the show starts going. The dissonance between the people and the realities of what’s happening give you the first clue as to what this anime is going to be about and be like. Then you get into the story. Almost all of the episodes feature you slipping into their private lives and their minds, exploring the stress that’s acting on them and what could possibly make them targets for the Slugger. And when they finally catch up to the Slugger….. you discover that it may be more than anyone ever expected.

Each story builds on the others. Each lends a clue as to what’s really happening, and even then you can never imagine what really lies behind it all. Or perhaps you can. Even so, this is a story within a story.

Overall, with engaging characters, and an involving plot, this is a great choice for the mind-bender lover!

Recommended: 14+ for depictions of violence. This does have it. There’s implied child pornography/incest of a sort. There’s death- though not graphic. This really isn’t for those younger unless they’re mature enough to handle it.

Other titles you might enjoy: Kara no Kyoukai (anime),
Mirai Nikki (manga, anime),
Monster (manga or anime),
20th Century Boys (manga),
Shigofumi (anime),
Paprika (anime),
Perfect Blue (anime),
Serial Experiments Lain (anime),
Ghost Hound (anime),
Hour of the Mice (manga)
Higurashi: When They Cry (manga or anime),
Kaiba (anime)


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