“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.
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.
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.