Paranoia Agent – Episode 2

Paranoia Agent continues, with an episode focused on a very special little boy. I didn’t find this one quite as knockout impressive as the first, but it was still an excellent episode, far above any expectations I apply to seasonal fare. I particularly like Paranoia Agent’s sound design – its use of incidental “music” really helps create both the sense of a living world and a continuous creeping dread. The episode’s other fear-tricks weren’t as effective, but the story’s still building a very nicely contained narrative full of linking ideas. This is a very confident work.

You can check out my episode post over at ANN, or my notes below!

Paranoia Agent

Opening with a misdirect, an actual boy on inline skates

Taira Yuichi, or “Ichi”

Nice music here

And a kid who looks like an actual kid, which is kind of a rarity

Ichi’s number one in everything

That silly smile glint

“You’re Shounen Bat!” in his locker. Paranoia and isolation again, along with how quickly people turn on you

He thinks it’s his rival Usshi, who’s challenging him for student council president. a “fat pig”

And they’ve drawn all over his desk as well. Again, the incidental noise as ominous music – the chatter of students ignoring rises into an ominous laughter, and Usshi’s face is distorted

Asking Tsukiko Sagi if she might know the attacker, as her coworkers spy on her

The cop condescendingly asking her mascot Maromi-chan if he knows the attacker

“Everybody is manipulated by the media. So idiotic.” From Ichi’s mouth. Again, complicated the attitudes you’d expect from the young, giving them the cynicism of the adults

This time it’s Ichi’s own insults that become a kind of static

Harumi Chono, his “tutor”

He gets the glint even when plotting. It’s his charm, his facade

Ichi calls out Usshi, but he gets photographed doing it. And then the photo is sent to everyone. Technology again, more distrust

The cops: “I have no idea what young people these days are thinking.” “I’m one of those young people, too.” The show keeps raising the specter of “young people” only to laugh at it as a distinct problem. People are people

And now they’ve defaced Ichi’s poster

They accused Saki of seeing this as an opportunity, but Ichi really does see it as an opportunity

Ichi’s indulgent fantasies

He throws away his skates and then finally cries. He’s an understandable kid. Petty and mean, but many kids are

“Why is this happening to me? It has nothing to do with me. An incident like a street assault has nothing to do with my life.” Events echo

“I wish he would get attacked.” And then he does, and Ichi just shouts “lucky!”

And then Shonen Bat does Ichi’s signature pose

All three of the people attacked have been desperately chasing something, under pressure

Maromi being adorable/creepy

“Forget about things that happened a while ago. Everything is Shonen Bat’s fault, right?”

Today, the answer to the equation on the sidewalk is “1,” Ichi

And then he gets consumed by his nightmares, and finally meets Shonen Bat

Not that creepy, but definitely a cool effect

One thought on “Paranoia Agent – Episode 2

  1. Eager to see how you think abt the 3rd episode, which is for me the most “Kon-esque” episode. This series have too many great standalone episodes

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