Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mousou Dairinin - Paranoia Agent, anime review

This is a 13 episode anime series from year 2004. I don't know why, but I haven't even noticed this anime until few months ago. Note that I have started regularly watching anime about 3 years ago and at first I systematically watched classics (except mecha-anime). And this anime definitely belongs to classics, so why I missed it until now is a mystery. But, this series is not for everybody, especially not for kids.

It has many surreal elements, much violence and occasional adult scene. It reminded me on "FLCL", but it's much, much easier to follow. On the other hand, although it's fun to watch, you can't do it with one eye and half a brain. In some motives, it reminded me also to "Welcome to NHK" (like suicide-deals and general loneliness).

First 7 episodes follow the plot: there is series of random hit-and-run assaults, where all witnesses accuse a elementary-school boy with baseball bat and roller-blades (Shounen Bat = Bat-Boy). Two cops try to solve the case and discover that assaults are not as random as it was first thought. But, then the surreal elements start! Then follow the three episodes that describe random achievements of Shounen-bat who becomes an urban legend/Robin Hood hero. And last three episodes resolve the plot (or don't; see it for yourself!).

Anime analyzes some psychological problems that modern people and society suffers from, like emotional distancing, violence, running from reality, etc. Although characters at first look evil and disgusting, after you think more about it, they are just regular persons, with some minor flaws in character, that lead them to doing "evil". Example: one of victims of Shounen Bat is a elementary school kid, that tries hard to become best in studying, sports and generally to be respected by his co-pupils. But when he runs into problems, it leads him to extreme... With little imagination, anyobody can end like people from this anime.

From technical side, video is good, for 2004. Nothing special, with good design of characters; reminds me to "GTO". Sounds are very good, and I especially like opening song.

In general, it's a great seinen anime for those who like deep characters and psychology.

For my next interest, I'm not sure what will it be. Although I don't usually read manga, there are two that I would like to read: "Claymore" and "Gantz". They both have anime version that cuts the plot short, so I would like to know what happens after anime ended. Then there is one anime and one book. But it will probably be one of mangas.

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