Paranoia Agent – Episode 5

Paranoia Agent took a weird detour into fantasyland this week, offering an episode heavy on pratfalls and silly faces. This turned out… okay, I guess? It was definitely much weaker than Paranoia Agent’s usual material, and in no way leaned into the show’s usual strengths. As a one-off episode, I guess it was entertaining enough, but it still makes for an odd fit within a show that’s normally focused on such a specific and separate tone.

You can check out my episode writeup over at ANN, or my notes below.

Paranoia Agent

Opening with the gossiping mothers talking about Shounen Bat

Makoto Kozuka, a middle schooler

“If I’d realized it sooner, things wouldn’t have turned out this way”

“There are still so many people who are waiting to be saved.” Yep

“I must go fight. I’m chosen to defeat Gohma…

Makoto apparently sees everything as a videogame, “The Holy Warrior”

“Why did you strike him?” “The red light guides me”

The everyday segments here are pretty flat, but the fantasy world is nice

We’re even getting into silly faces with the chief. Very different tone for this episode

The contrast between the two worlds is kinda funny, but it’s certainly not Paranoia Agent at its best. This is a weaker episode so far. Straight farce isn’t as compelling

“Do you really think you can deceive adults with a bullshit story like that?!”

Lots of fisheye shots

This time the cops are actually standing in his fantasy, having giant fishes fall on them. More farce, but this is a better gag

Much looser style of visuals for their faces

“Don’t give me that ‘para-pa-pa-paa’” Just straight videogame parody

Now the chief’s actually chasing them through his fantasy. I like how the episode has slowly become more and more absorbed in the fantasy, from just vocal description, to the chief countering Makoto’s descriptions with reality, to the chief now living in his fantasy

The younger cop being willing to engage with Makoto is important

The “Ancient Master” is the old senile man

I like the tiny detail of Makoto sliding forward on his winged boots

The art style looks more flat and animation more limited in this episode, as well

Nice fantasy backgrounds, though

Lots of silly reaction faces

Lots of hyperdeformed foreshortening

“Since when did this world become the children’s place?”

This last fight has some really nice animation

“A stupid kid who got carried away and attacked people indiscriminately with a bat. That’s what this is all about.”

“It’s the end of the world.”

And then he whacks a monster and makes it blast off

And in the end he gives away that the old woman knows “what Gohma really is”

One thought on “Paranoia Agent – Episode 5

  1. I always thought this was a pretty good episode! Clearly a silly one, but there’s a subtle unease in knowing that all this wackiness is going on in a police station’s interrogation room. I think you also get to shine a different light on all of it as the series progresses and some other things happen. But in general, I always appreciated its visual creativity, and as for thematic resonance, considering that I think that escapism is one of the, if not THE, central themes of the series, it ties in pretty well imho.

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