パプリカ (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Madhouse
KON Satoshi
Original Concept - TSUTSUI Yasutaka
R1 License - Sony Pictures Home Ent
A beautiful therapist Chiba Atsuko and a genius scientist Tokita Kosaku work for a psycho-medical institute. They invent a headset called a 'DC-mini'. It is an epoch-making device that allows them to enter a patient’s dream and enables them to interact with the patient’s inner world in order to cure him. However, one day, a DC-mini device goes missing, and is perhaps stolen. Since then the dreams of those patients participating in the project are being attacked one by one, and something is going wrong. Chiba Atsuko begins to investigate the matter. When using a DC-mini, she becomes the Dream Detective Paprika, who can synchronize with other person’s dream to guide them through their trauma. She finds herself fighting against a dream terrorist who uses a DC-mini that is strong enough to destroy one’s personality. Who is the 'criminal', and what is he after? When the manipulated dream crosses with the reality, Paprika enters an unimaginable inner-world....

(Summary loosely from AnimeNfo)

Animation by Madhouse
Produced by Sony Pictures.

91minute Movie - 2006 release.

1:51min English Language Trailer - ANN Video
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Unevaluated 10 9 9 8 8 8 Dreamer [series:1629#2279]
This is another one of those that I chanced upon via a AMV (anime music video). You can see it here. The music caught my attention with its unusual beat and effects so I thought I'd try the anime.

Art, Animation & Character Designs
Artwork is rich, vibrant and bursting with colors. What made it more so is how it uses surreal, strange or "exotic" artwork and character designs. Animation seemed pretty smooth too. It was really noticeable during the various parades (in dreams) of a hectic group of inanimate objects that became animated. Character designs were well done..... and some a bit unusual for sure.

Music can be described as techno-ish, electronica.... new world..... eclectic. Unusual but excellent at the same time. That's what drew me to this OVA. Where it comes to life is during the more dramatic moments or scenes.... which really brings the scene(s) themselves to life as well.

Series and Episode Story
As odd as I thought the AMV was, this OVA was equally as odd. It's definitely an acquired taste. The story and plot is really out there..... surreal, confusing.... and I can even use the word, "anamorphic". However, if you can keep up with the strangeness, it's actually quite enjoyable and the plot itself is nicely done.

What makes the series interesting is how it dives into dreams unexpectedly, blurring the line between reality and dreams. This actually works out well since it's seemless and fluid, and not breaking pace with the development of the plot or sequence of animations in that matter.

Overall, it was a good one to pick up. If you're not turned off by unconventional settings and animation, you'll probably end up enjoying this.

Last updated Sunday, October 23 2011. Created Sunday, October 23 2011.
Rent 10 10 9 8 7 Ggultra2764 [series:1629#1552]
Here's another fine work with Satoshi Kon's direction. Like Perfect Blue, Paprika features a blurring of the audience's perceptions of what take place throughout the movie. In this case, the movie blurs between reality and the various different dreams that Chiba jumps into as her alter-ego in the dream world, Paprika. Megumi Hayashibara does a terrific job at balancing the serious and composed Chiba with Paprika's carefree and charming personality throughout this movie. The use of the DC-Mini as a cure for psychotherapy made for an interesting premise of plot as we are delved into the minds of a few characters. Each dream has relevence in exploring repressed aspects of a person's personality and their memories that made for some decent psychological depth, especially in the case of the cop Paprika helps out at the start of the movie.

But, the main plot of this movie proved to be a problem for me. Satoshi Kon's earlier works like Perfect Blue and Tokyo Godfathers got my attention for their focus on characters at a psychological level which was an unconventional approach for anime movies. Here in Paprika, the mystery behind the DC Mini's abusive use was the main focus of the movie. There was greater focus on advancement of plot this time around than balancing focus between plot and characters. Even when we do learn who was behind the abuse of the DC Mini's, that person was just an archetypical villian without any redeemable qualities. Not to mention that the ending of the movie felt like a deus ex machina to me.

Animation wise, Paprika's artwork is as full of color and detail as usual in Satoshi Kon's work. There was a lot of action that took place onscreen, especially in the blurring of reality and dreams, which was very fluid and smooth. Character designs are also the typical approach with Kon's works with attention to realistic bodily detail and proportions.

While it was still a decent watch for me, Paprika's greater focus on plot did turn me off a bit, especially with what takes place at the ending of the movie. But with Satoshi Kon's involvement in the film, I would still give this a strong Rent recommendation since it features the same old unconventional elements of realism present in his previous works.

Last updated Saturday, August 30 2008. Created Saturday, August 30 2008.
Watch 9 9 8 8 6 chibi [series:1629#2380]
Art and animation in this film is very good, but it's one of those very Japanese animations where myth, science, religion and psychology get all mixed together that I find very hard to understand and enjoy. Since the plot largely takes place in the dreams of the characters, there are no physical laws to help make sense of or constrain the action, which ends up at times appearing like a free association session. To be fair, the premise is that the dreams are being analyzed to help the characters resolve psychological problems, so there's some justification for that, but it's not my cup of tea.

Last updated Monday, June 04 2007. Created Monday, June 04 2007.
Unevaluated Jan-Chan [series:1629#967]
This is Madhouse? It seems more like a Studio 4°C production!

It is available as a fansub. I am going to have to watch this one several times before I can offer a more through review. It is pretty strange!!

Last updated Monday, June 04 2007. Created Monday, June 04 2007.

Other Sites
Japanese (Language) Movie Web Site
Wikipedia Entry for this Movie.

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