We got another lighthearted episode of Paranoia Agent this week, though this one unfortunately wasn’t nearly as strong as the last. In fact, this was likely the weakest episode of the show so far – composed around a fairly weak structural conceit and full of stories that didn’t really amount to much, it clocked in a fair degree below the level of quality the show has set for itself. It did have its moments though, and I’ve heard the next couple episodes are excellent, so I’m not worried. They can’t all be winners.
You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my notes below!
Ladies at an apartment complex gossiping about Shonen Bat. The new one’s getting kinda hazed. They talk about someone’s son studying for entrance exams
He sneezes, and equations fall out of his nose
Back to the intense sound design. The clicking of the exam clock, the echo of the bathroom as he tries to eat back his equations
Shonen Bat finds him, and he pukes up all his studying
These stories in the form of “haven’t you heard” gossip from the local ladies. Casting more doubt on whether any of this is true, or whether everything’s being interpreted in the terms that are most satisfying either personally or as a story to tell others
“Who do you think made the down payment for this condo?” So the next “victim” is a lurking mother-in-law, oppressing the new wife of her son
Looks like Kon is tackling all sorts of minor Japanese issues with this episode – the extreme academic pressure, the lingering mother-in-laws, etc
The animation’s kinda mediocre in this episode again. And the direction not as strong
“Shonen Bat” becomes a convenient excuse for any individual problem
Now the new tenant gets a story!
A woman just became pregnant through in-vitro fertilization
But the clinic used the wrong sperm and egg, and the doctor’s going to hide this fact
So what, declining birth rates this time?
THE BABY’S SHONEN BAT DUH DUH DUH
Uh oh, the other housewives aren’t impressed by her story
The characters in this new story have shimmering shoujo eyes
A doomed romance!
And then Shonen Bat is waiting with shoujo dude’s lost love. Welp
The new woman almost points out the story’s bullshit, but doesn’t. Social stuff
A silly baseball story. Everyone’s “helping” the pitcher by forcing him to conform to their desires
And then Shonen Bat is actually batting. Welp
A training boxer… punches a cake…
He keeps being tempted by food and keeps punching it
The stories are getting rougher and more ridiculous
And then her husband gets struck, and of course she just wants to hear how the story happened