Paranoia Agent – Episode 12

We had another stellar episode of Paranoia Agent this week, one that pulled together three of the show’s central characters, along with the private realities they’re each inhabiting, building up towards a dramatic faceoff with the demons they share. Mitsuhiro was an excellent choice of primary focus character for this sequence; his combined old-detective profession and willingness to go along with the fantasies of the younger generation mean he’s essentially the sole invested bridge character, the only person who can bring all these elements together. And it was also nice to bring Sagi back into the focus again; in contrast to Mitsuhiro’s conviction, she feels more overwhelmed than anyone by the events going on around her, meaning the scenes stuck in her head felt even more frightening than they would otherwise. Just one more great episode of a truly fantastic series.

You can check out my full writeup over at ANN, or my notes below!

Paranoia Agent

“Rumors help him grow. Imagination nurtures him!”

We’re back to the static-infected world of the younger officer, opening with a menacing trip through his weaving conjectures

Leading up to him as a hero in a cape fighting Shonen Bat. This sequence is actually really dynamic and well-directed

He tosses away his broken sword. It’s an umbrella

And then he goes to meet the “Ancient Master,” the old man in the hospital, who tells him “dance with a bunny”

“Radar Man”

He wears the cape and hat over his old detective suit. He’s both the old generation and new at once

Interrogating Mrs. Ikari on how she drove back Shonen Bat

“He and Maromi are the same?”

He’s continuing his investigation, but doing it by embracing the madness of this case’s scifi nature

Maromi’s become a cultural phenomenon. Bringing a “sense of peace” as well

Sound design is great in this one. The radio theme means we get static all the time, from both the detective’s radio and the TV broadcasts, interspersed with the mellow songs

There’s a little sketch of Shonen Bat in Sagi’s old drawings

And now Radar Man is following a spectral bunny girl

Bunny leads him to the otaku’s home, where he talks to the dolls while the otaku works on models of all the victims so far

And then the hacking-doll helps him investigate. A great interface for the hacking sequence

Sagi was attacked ten years ago, apparently. And the assailant was never found

Ominous shot of the floating Maromis

Sagi’s boss begging her for a new character

He grabs and threatens her… and then crashes his car. Goodbye boss

Shonen Bat is huge now

Beautiful painted backgrounds

“Maybe I was too strict with her as a child, and she had no mother figure to offset my harshness”

A bat lies inside a broken “Maromi” doghouse at Sagi’s father’s home. When she was cornered as a child, she said she was attacked, and her father swore he’d get the attacker, carrying around a bat

Maromi is the sense of comfort, Shonen Bat is the weapon enforcing it

Rumors blaming Sagi at her boss’s funeral

Radar Man confronts her on the phone, and Maromi cuts the cord. “Don’t think! It’s not your fault! Run!”

Radar Man appears! A terrific battle!

Keichi visiting his old family home in his revery

The Maromis have disappeared, and with them, the peace gained from Shonen Bat for all the characters