TV Review(ish): Paranoia Agent

“Fear comes with imagination, it’s a penalty, it’s the price of imagination.” ― Thomas Harris, Red Dragon

Paranoia Agent was a surreal experience. I found liking it, then hating it, then liking it again, then realized that it was indeed an experience– it just happens and you are swept by it. I am still in the middle of an experience even after I finished Paranoia Agent, and I don’t have to like or hate it to call it an experience. One thing about experiences that it always brings you somewhere you’ve never been before.

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Similar to Kon’s famous works Paprika and Perfect Blue, Paranoia Agent is a claustrophobic nightmare that keeps viewers at the edge of their seat thanks to its stylistic direction, realistic art, and amazing sound effects. I watched the whole series in one seating and could not stop even though I wanted to. It sucked me with its crazy but realistic portrayal of the human psyche and how it affects society and culture in different levels. A young woman trapped within herself, an egotistical boy who becomes the center of bullying, a woman with a split personality, a policeman who commits crime– how all these things make up a bigger circle to a city that is gradually descending into madness.

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Paranoia Agent shows us a glimpse of what imagination is and could become; what could be beautiful could be terrifying and perhaps, remind us of our humanity as well. Watching it was indeed an experience.

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