The first character of Paranoia Agent that we meet is Tsukiko Sagi, a young woman who created Maromi, an immensely popular pink dog character. She is being pressured to create a new character and to repeat the success she had with Maromi. Walking home at night after work, she is attacked by a grade school boy wearing inline skates and carrying a baseball bat. After being interviewed by two police detectives (Keiichi Ikari and Mitsuhiro Maniwa), one of the detectives feels convinced that Tsukiko is lying. However, once they receive word of another victim, the detectives take the case more seriously.
The attacker is dubbed Shonen Bat (Lil' Slugger in the English dub), and is blamed for street assaults around Tokyo. While none of the victims can remember the boy's face, three details always come to mind: golden inline skates, a baseball cap, and a bent golden baseball bat that's used as the weapon. Stories and rumors about Shonen Bat start developing and taking on a life of their own. The remainder of the series works to unravel the truth about Shonen Bat.
Paranoia Agent has the animation style viewers have come to expect to see from Satoshi Kon. As I watched the first episode of the series, I thought it was kind of interesting to see a nurse in the hospital looks a lot like Kiyoko the nurse from Kon's film, Tokyo Godfathers. That really caught my attention, and reinforced the idea that Paranoia Agent was indeed connected with Satoshi Kon.
As for the story itself, it evolves into a type of story that viewers of Kon's work have come to expect. As the story progresses, the line between reality and illusion blur more and more until the truth is finally revealed. While the style is similar to Kon's other works, the plot is not simply a retread of other works he had done.
Paranoia Agent is definitely an anime series being aimed at an older audience; this is evident from the type of story being told, some of the plot points that appear in the series, as well as in some of the visuals (for example, there is a brief shot of nudity in the first episode). Personally, I would recommend Paranoia Agent to anime viewers who are 16 or 17 years of age and older.
|Paranoia Agent||13||2004||Satoshi Kon||Madhouse||Geneon Entertainment|
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