Mousou Dairinin poster

Mousou Dairinin

The infamous Shounen Bat (Lil' Slugger) is terrorizing the residents of Musashino City. Flying around on his rollerblades and beating people down with a golden baseball bat, the assailant seems impossible to catch—much less understand. His first victim, the well-known yet timid character designer Tsukiko Sagi, is suspected of orchestrating the attacks. Believed only by her anthropomorphic pink stuffed animal, Maromi, Tsukiko is just one of Shounen Bat's many victims. As Shounen Bat continues his relentless assault on the town, detectives Keiichi Ikari and Mitsuhiro Maniwa begin to investigate the identity of the attacker. However, more and more people fall victim to the notorious golden bat, and news of the assailant begins circulating around the town. Paranoia starts to set in as chilling rumors spread amongst adults and children alike. Will the two detectives be able to unravel the truth behind Shounen Bat, or will the paranoia get to them first? [Written by MAL Rewrite]

Ranking 410

User Count25639
Favorites Count485
Start Date3rd Feb 2004
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank410
Rating Rank1184
Age RatingR
Age Rating GuideMild Nudity


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Being the only TV series that the late Satoshi Kon ever made, "Paranoia Agent" feels like his sandbox, a playground where he experimented with various ideas. The result is like a bag of pick 'n' mix - an assortment of different, delightful, sharp flavours (okay I admit I'm rather fond of pick 'n' mix so I'm a little biased)."Paranoia Agent" revolves around the mystery of Shounen Bat, a youth on rollerblades wielding a golden bat who has a tendency to assault people who are on the verge of collapsing under the pressures of everyday life.The mystery, it turns out, is not that complicated. After leading the viewer around on a string for the first half of the show, it soon runs out of steam and resorts to fillers to fill up the time before finishing up with a somewhat underwhelming conclusion.Luckily though, "Paranoia Agent" is about far more than the mystery itself - a lot of it is about the fun of getting there. Other shows of the genre ("Serial Experiments Lain", "Boogiepop Phantom) can seem monotonously dark and dreary, but while "Paranoia Agent" also succeeds in being disturbing and even terrifying at times, it's able to convey a much wider range of emotions. With its blending of black humour, suspense and variety of story telling, "Paranoia Agent" can actually be straight forwardly entertaining. This is an almost alien concept for the genre, and it's something that makes it a much more accessible show than those other titles. What's more, the switch from one mood to the next is done so well that contrasting moods do not detract from another, not even when combined together. A great example of this is the dark finale of the gossiping women episode, where the show manages to be simultaneously hilarious AND disturbing."Paranoia Agent" mostly takes up an episodic format, with each episode introducing new troubled characters, characters who are facing all kinds of different social pressures that exist in modern Japan. The characters are all linked to each other in some way or another, and it's possible to start seeing connections within a couple of episodes. Character X who features in episode 1 might be a relative of Character Y from episode 2, who is in turn a colleague of Character Z from episode 3 etc. There's a certain amount of satisfaction to be gained from seeing the connections click, and it's something that's reminiscent of the way "Boogiepop Phantom" liked to do things. The similarities between the two shows are not limited to the superficial aspects - there are also interesting parallels between their underlying themes and ideas, but it's tricky to go into more detail without spoiling the show. Although I do think "Boogipop Phantom" was cleverer in its story telling, "Paranoia Agent" probably has the advantage in terms of variety, with almost every episode having its own quirky characteristics and feel.As the show goes on, you'll come to realise that "Paranoia Agent" is all smoke and mirrors, with the surprisingly simplistic story made mysterious by the tricks in the story telling more than anything else. The conclusion feels a bit like an anti-climax and, to be honest, kind of cheap, especially when put against the sophisticated qualities of the rest of the show. The series' descent into surreal madness in the last couple of episode feels a bit too much - it increases dramatically in weirdness and drops sharply in the entertainment values that made the show transcend the genre. However, the message it tries to convey about escaping reality is a powerful and thought provoking one, and that makes up for the ending to a certain extent. As for the fillers, well, it's kind of hard to complain about them when they are some of the most brilliant episodes the series has to offer. "Paranoia Agent" is a perfect demonstration that, if you are going to do fillers, then do them in style.The sound department is one that's particularly important to the mystery genre, because mood and atmosphere is central to these kind of shows, and the ambient sound and background music are critical for setting the mood. It's no exception here, as "Paranoia Agent"'s strong sound production succeeds in greatly enhancing the suspensful atmosphere. A particularly good example of this is whenever Shounen Bat is about to appear, the music turns eerie, and is accompanied by the sound effect that's like someone running a bat along the rails on the side of the pavement. It's similar to the way the foreboding two-notes-alternating theme is used to signal the arrival of shark in that classic film "Jaws", and it's deceptively effective, making the hair on the back of my head stand up almost every time. The one thing that didn't work for me is the pseudo-yodelling opening theme, which strikes me as a bit too odd ball and doesn't particularly match the mood of the series.What does match the mood of the series though, is the art style. The character designs and animations always right on the money, be it satirical portrayals of stereotypes such as lecherous middle aged men, or capturing the terrifyingly disturbing features of a mentally destabilised character at breaking point. The one major complaint I would have though, is that in one of the episodes, the episode revolves around shadows, and unfortunately the rendering of the shadows is a bit ambiguous in the episode, which made the whole thing more confusing than it should have been.In the end, watching "Paranoia Agent" is a bit like going to see an extravagant magic show: you'll be mystified by the tricks, entertained and dazzled by the brilliant showmanship. Then at the end, someone reveals to you the secrets behind the performance, and you're left feeling a little disappointed - perhaps being left in the dark is the preferable option after all. But when all is said and done, you can still say that you watched a great magic show, and I can still say that "Paranoia Agent" is an undeniably great show put on by that great illusionist Satoshi Kon.

Paranoia Agent is Satoshi Kon's only TV series, a curveball from his usual M.O. of doing films. Like several of his other works, it strives to confuse between reality and fantasy, often doing so by showing the world as perceived by the characters. Paranoia Agent is, in whole, a story of escapism, how society is falling further into it, and the negative consequences that will follow.The plot begins as Tsukiko Sagi, a woman responsible for designing the well-known plush toy dog Maromi, is being pushed to create a new design, and is rapidly succumbing to stress. On the way home, in desperate need of a way out, she is suddenly attacked by a boy on rollerskates with a baseball bat. At first, the police don't believe her, and think she is making up excuses, but before long, other people are attacked by the boy now dubbed Shonen Bat (Little Slugger in the English dub). As the series progresses, we see how rumour and truth become distorted, and how Shonen Bat goes from a mysterious attacker into something far, far worse. All of this leading back to the question... just who, or what, is Shonen Bat?What follows is 13 episodes of social commentary, clever writing, bizarre stream-of-consciousness mindtrips that blur the lines of perception and reality to both the cast and the audience, and overall mystery. Paranoia Agent manages to throw an interesting spin on what initially appears to be a whodunnit thriller. It does, on multiple occasions, dip its toes into the psychological horror genre, and when it does, it does so excellently. These aspects of it make great use of how the audience often does not know how much is real and how much is fantasy, and as a result manage to make some truly creepy moments. Most notably, Maromi is insanely creepy. Yes, Maromi, the little stuffed dog mascot thing. You heard me.In technical terms, Paranoia Agent is Satoshi Kon, Madhouse and Susumu Hirasawa all coming together on one project, which inevitably means it will excel in every single one of these aspects. The art is a strangely realistic style, if often somewhat exaggerated. The animation is completely fluid throughout the series, and is surprisingly produced to much the same level of high quality as Kon's movies are. The directing is, of course, top-notch, and as mentioned before Kon is a genius at blending reality and delusion in such a way that you often have to take a second to wonder what's going on, in the best way possible of course. The English Dub is excellent, and while nobody really sticks out, it's definitely one I'd recommend over the original Japanese track. The music is often very cheerful, and this is used as juxtaposition against the events of the series, creating something downright weird in the process. In particular, the opening and ending themes are some of the most unsettling things ever shown in anime.Paranoia Agent does have some flaws, mind you. One is in the pacing. It's entirely possible that Kon's lack of experience (or transition into) the medium of a TV series caused this, but around the middle, a lot of the episodes don't really seem to tie in to the plot. Rather, they come across as episodes that strengthen the point of the series, but don't really lend themselves to it as a story. This is easily forgiveable in that the episodes in question are quite strong in their own right (and in some instances, oddly comedic). Another valid, yet easily forgiveable fault that the series has is that in its switching between the real and unreal, it takes some steps that seriously raise disbelief. In general, it's all done for the sake of a clever metaphor, but it's something that will undoubtedly nag at the back of the mind, especially at the ending, which is a rather monumental example of this.Overall, Paranoia Agent is an extremely clever series. It's probably the most accessible thing in Kon's discography, if not necessarily (though quite arguably) his strongest. It's been described as a mindfuck series, but I'm not entirely sure it would fit into that category. For the most part, it is a realistic and grounded setting in which abnormal elements are introduced, and barring the aforementioned dips from reality it mostly stays that way. Regardless, Paranoia Agent is one of those anime I would definitely recommend to pretty much anyone, especially those into psychology, who would most likely love it for its insights and observations of the human condition.Animation/Graphics: 10/10Story/Plot: 8/10Music/Background: 10/10English Dub: 9/10Overall: 9/10For Fans Of: Paprika, Boogiepop Phantom.


Critic’s Log - Earthdate: December 1, 2013. To begin, all human beings have a viewpoint of all shapes and sizes. But there are times when someone can be cornered into agreeing on something so he or she can please others. Regardless of the situation, a person will eventually form his or her own opinion and draw a conclusion about something but not everyone will agree. And then... **Review #73: Paranoia Agent** In the country of Japan, there seems to be an elementary school kid that is known as Lil’ Slugger (Shonen Bat in the Subtitled Version) and this mysterious enigma has been going around attacking people with his bent, golden bat. After Lil’ Slugger’s first attack, two detectives are investigating this case so they can stop this kid from making any more attacks, but they will find out soon enough... that this case is much more than they expected. To be technical, this is a Studio Madhouse production and they really are known for high production values. I’ve said this before in previous reviews when the name Madhouse is brought up. This is to be expected most of the time. With Paranoia Agent, this series looks incredible but there are some hiccups somewhere along the way. This is also Satoshi Kon’s only TV series and even though the budget in this show isn’t enough to make a movie. There were some unused ideas that were never implemented in his movies and he decided to recycle these ideas and put them into Paranoia Agent, and this is quite interesting. Like his previous works, the blending of fantasy into reality really hits in this show (well for the most part). What is also used very well is the show’s foreshadowing and it sure knew when to keep things mysterious. But regardless, the animation is done pretty well and it is even a little mind-screwy with good reasons. The music by Susumu Hirasawa is pretty damn incredible. The electronic and techno beats serve the show well and the soundtrack can be a bit eerie at times as well. And this eeriness to the soundtrack is a perfect way to compliment everything else in the show. Since this show exploits the characters’ weakness and proneness to anxiety and fear, the way the soundtrack compliments all this is pretty impressive. Hirasawa-san struck all the chords when needed and he does not disappoint. If there is one thing about the soundtrack that is awesome, it is the opening theme “Dream Obsessional Park”. This opening theme sounds incredible and the opening looks incredible to some extent. The closing theme does sound calming compared to the opening and it does serve as a nice contrast to the opening theme. Either way, Hirasawa-san made a fantastic soundtrack to Satoshi Kon’s only TV series. When it comes to voice acting, The Japanese cast is really good. Daisuke Sakaguchi is great as Shonen Bat, Mamiko Noto is also great as Tsukiko Sagi. Also, Shozo Iizuka is terrific as Keiichi Ikari and Toshihiko Seki was also terrific as Maniwa. There are a few well-known seiyus and I guess that can be nice. As for the English Dub, it is really REALLY GOOD! Sam Regal is a very deceiving voice to hear as Lil’ Slugger but it works. Michelle Ruff is terrific as Tsukiko Sagi and one of her best roles even though she doesn’t play a “normal” character. Carrie Savage is also phenomenal as Maromi by having a cute voice for the stuffed doll as well as giving the viewer some eeriness. Michael McConnohie was also phenomenal as Keiichi Ikari and even Liam O’Brien lands a home run in this one. Even some voice actors and voice actresses that aren’t big names performed very well in the dub of Paranoia Agent. Not a single voice was off. Paranoia Agent has one of the best English Dubs. Period. Jonathan Klein’s ADR Direction in Hellsing was outstanding, Paranoia Agent is probably the best dub he has directed. You can’t go wrong with either version but I strongly suggest the dub as well before or after you watch the subtitled version.   As far as characters go, this may be the hardest thing for me to talk about when it comes to Paranoia Agent. The way the show is being told is that each episode is being told in a specific character’s point of view. For example, The first episode is told from Tsukiko Sagi’s point of view, she does appear in later episodes but these specific episodes aren’t mainly focused on Tsukiko. As the show progresses, we learn more of the people who are involved with the Lil’ Slugger incidents and we even get to see their dark sides which actually make the show thought-provoking. This is a very psychological show and this does feel like a character study, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It surprisingly has a plott that connects even though the episodes are mostly about the character and that character’s point of view and that it feels non-linear in some sort of way. Is it perfect? No. There is one episode that I did find pretty pointless at times but it still wasn’t too terrible I just wish it was told differently than what is being presented in the complete version that is before us. There is a little hiccup with the storytelling and that’s one flaw with Paranoia Agent. When the show brings questions, it’s thought-provoking. When it’s eerie, it may make you feel a little uneasy. When the show reveals things, you will probably be surprised. The show does live up to its name and what I really like about this anime is that it is thought-provoking to the point that it may even make a viewer like me want to question where my weaknesses are before I reach my breaking point. I think everyone’s had some ups and downs, but that’s kind of why I like this anime so much. The psychological aspect is realistic, the whole Lil’ Slugger thing is not… But I suggest you watch the show to get the answers because you sure are not going to get them from me. But if you must insist, I must ask you. Are you sure you want the answers you are looking for and are you willing to hear the truth when you have the answer? Sometimes, it is best that things go their own course without questions. Period. Paranoia Agent was available by Geneon. It is sadly out of print and this home run slugger really needs to get re-licensed one of these days. With all that said, Paranoia Agent is an eerie series. The show lives up to its name and it’s psychological elements are thought-provoking. The animation is fantastic, and the music is superb. The characters are very interesting despite a few storytelling hiccups. Despite all this, this is a must-see but it may not be for everyone so be on your guard. I give Paranoia Agent a 9.5 out of 10, it is EXCELLENT!

it started really promising, it really disappointed me tho, story progression seemed so slow and boring i had to power through this to end my suffering.

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