Posted by Lenlo on 19 April 2019 with categories: Paranoia Agent, Throwback Thursday

Welcome all to the finale of Paranoia Agent! People grow up, Shounen Bat is defeated and absolutely nothing makes any sense. Lets dive in!

Starting off, visually, it worked very well as a finale. Lots of awesome shots, action and moments throughout, all blending into just a joy to watch. Really, it just flowed well. From how the Chief’s slow realizations were portrayed to the actual final set piece action, I thought was gorgeous. One interesting thing about it all though are the reused shots. The actual art and scene contents are changed of course. But the shots/locations/angels are the same as the opening episode. Showing us how much everything has changed, and how it all goes back to being the same after everything is over. There are parts where I think it was very dim, and hard to see lighting wise. But because of the availability of the series, I don’t know how much of that is my source and the actual series. But enough on that, lets talk story.

This was, simply put, a fucking weird episode. I would understand why a lot of people would be turned off by it honestly, because it’s a very specific kind of story. But me? Eldritch Horror is my jam and Paranoia Agent had it in spades this week. Every aspect of the show is baked and soaked in the stuff. Take for instance the Chief’s dream-world again, where he had given in. Everything was bending to keep him trapped, complacent, clearly intelligent and with meaning. It was all very… sinister, taking this happy world and giving it a shadow. Once you add in Maromi, giving it a voice, and Ikari, giving it an opponent, it became even more so. Ikari’s final moments being used to break her husband out of his stupor? It fit their joint theme fanatically, and really brought their arc to a compelling close.

And by compelling close, I mean an awesome scene. The “Who’s your dad?!” scene was just a brilliant way to transition. Breaking the Chief, forcing Tsukiko into reality and driving the shows message home. That message being to accept reality, stop running away and don’t make excuses. Tsukiko has suffered since a child, as all she has done is make excuses. Meanwhile the Chief has never had trouble accepting reality until the end. So much so that he couldn’t even buy into the Fake Shounen Bats fantasy story. Then there was Maniwa who was torn between the two. So easily dragged out of reality, helping others out of theres but unable to get out of his himself. There were definitely some weird parts leading up to it, but as for how it actually worked? A stunning sequence.

What I also enjoyed about this theme of responsibility, and Tsukiko’s backstory, is how it applies to everyone. All the characters were suffering, all but falling apart. However their problems were, largely, self-made. Caused by their own decisions and driving themselves into a corner, Shounen Bat set them free. Shounen Bat, by his appearance, turned them into victims so that their problems were no longer their fault. It’s a great metaphor for personal responsibility I think, and for all the theories I myself have thrown out on him, I find myself satisfied. It also throws a new light on one of the filler episodes, with the 3 ghosts, who were satisfied with their mistakes. They were dead, they weren’t running anymore. Or, by another view, had finished running and were now outside Shounen Bat’s influence. I’m not smart enough to really work this out, but I appreciate that it’s there.

One aspect I am torn on though, in that I both love and question it, is the ending. Paranoia Agent has, effectively, established itself as a grand cycle. With a new Mascot 2 years after Maromi’s event, the world reset to the technological impersonal hell it was at the start, and a new old man. That old man, of course, being Maniwa. The one who dived to deeply into Shounen Bat’s story to try and stop him, and became unable to get out. Now predicting the next cycle to come. I like this, in that it shows the problem isn’t one that just goes away. Society as a whole gets complacent and falls back into the same things, that’s not wrong. But on the other hand, there really isn’t an… ending, for Paranoia Agent at that point. Just one cycle of many that have repeated for who knows how long.

So all in all, what can I say about Paranoia Agent… well it’s a weird ass show. If you enjoy Eldritch Horror and dont mind a bit of pretentiousness, I think there is a lot here to enjoy. However, none of it really comes together until the end. Building a bunch of different pieces and only combining them at the last second. Because of that, it’s hard to get through at times. But overall, I would say I enjoyed it. There were multiple times I wanted to watch the next episode immediately and held off for the sake of these posts. I still don’t quite understand it all, and its messages got mixed at times, but for entertainment value? I cannot say I was not entertained.

With that all done and said, it’s time to pick the next series for Throwback Thursday. Here is a link to the poll. I will keep it up for about a week and a half, while I write the final Paranoia Agent review and take a one week break. So May 3rd will be the start of the next Throwback Thursday series. See you then!

 

Leave a Reply

Star Crossed Anime Blog

7 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Vinland Saga – 7 [Normanni]

Welcome to the true start of Vinland Saga, as this week adapts what was originally the 1st Chapter of the manga. This week Thorfinn hits puberty, Askeladd makes bank and the French get laughed at. Lets jump in! Starting off, this week was a series of highs and lows for Vinland’s production. I said it […]

DanMachi2 – 6 [City of Lust (Ishtar Familia)]

DanMachi, as an anime, grew up this week. From the show that brought you the cosplaying mechanic of the “Hestia ribbon” comes an episode dealing with largest taboo in hero anime, and in some ways, Japanese conservative culture as a whole. Watching DanMachi this week is like this: you have a friend who you hang […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 20 [Pretend Family]

After last week’s episode, I had high hopes for Kimetsu no Yaiba this week. Sadly, I think I came away from it with more criticisms than complements. Perhaps natural, since living up to last week was nigh impossible. But I wasn’t prepared for Yaiba to undercut its best episode either. Welcome to Yaiba, episode 20, […]

Dr.STONE – 7 [Where Two Million Years Have Gone]

Ah today is a good day. The day where Dr.STONE reinforces what I loved about it when I first read it. You see this week Science takes center stage, we meet the ancient sorcerer Chrome, and the legendary Kinro gets his fabled weapon. Enough with the preamble though, welcome to this weeks Dr.STONE and lets […]

Mononoke – 2 [Zashikiwarashi – Part 2] – Throwback Thursday

There really isn’t a good way to introduce this episode. Nothing is really going to soften the madness of what I just watched. As this week Mononoke has given us one of the darkest/creepiest yet most endearing episodes I have seen in a long time. So let’s just get on with it. Starting off, a […]

Cop Craft – 06 [Need For Speed]

Cop Craft mixes up many unusual elements such as porno magazines, gay policeman, car chases and even romance into its trip this week. The result is that while it’s light in content, it proves to be more entertaining than when it deals with serious plot. While at this point I still prefer the relationship between […]

Kanata no Astra – 08 [Past]

There sure is a lot to unpack in Kanata no Astra this week. Kanata no Astra loves to give clues, and with every reveal it opens up more questions and make it think how all these puzzles fit in a big narrative frame. I must say that I am enjoying the ride so far, it’s […]

Lord El-Melloi II Sei no Jikenbo: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note – 6 [A Girl, a Department Store, and a Gift ]

It turns out that next week will be the beginning of the adaption of the source material of volume four and five and this episode marks the end of original anime content. I rather like this episode as it breaks away from Waver solving cases and has a fun little shopping adventure with the three […]

Vinland Saga – 6 [The Journey Begins]

Another week, another dose of Viking murder, courtesy of Vinland Saga. This week we watch our baby boy grow up, learn a bit about Viking history, and get into the series proper. Let’s dive in! Starting off, as always, the production aspect. This week showed us some of the cracks in Vinland’s production. For while […]

Latest Reviews

Serial Experiments Lain Anime Review – 78/100 – Throwback Thursday

Serial Experiments Lain is weird. It is a series unlike any other, wholly unique in anime, both modern and historical. Every aspect of it, from presentation to narrative, is best described as an experience. It is because of this that I believe Lain is a must watch, if only to experience a piece of anime […]

Penguin Highway (2018) Movie Review – 89/100

You’re walking along in your neighborhood, going about your daily routine. It’s a fine morning. The sun is shining brightly. But suddenly, you see something strange. You squint your eyes; even rub them, to make sure it isn’t a mirage before exclaiming with excitement, “Oh, look. It’s a bird. No, it’s a plane! No no. […]

One Punch Man Season 2 Anime Review – 34/100

Often at the start of one of these reviews, I will wax philosophical about a series. Attempting to slowly draw you, the reader, in to whatever topic or anime I am discussing in that review. This time, none of that. This time, I have to come out and say from the beginning, that One Punch […]

Dororo Anime Review – 55/100

In the modern anime sphere, getting a complete story, start to finish, is a rare thing. As is getting an adaptation for an older work. Dororo however has, through the grace of Twin Engine, managed to get both of these. Based on the 1967 manga of the same name by legendary Mangaka Osamu Tezuka, Dororo […]

[Star Crossed Anime Exclusive] Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurrection Review – 80/100

I was lucky enough to be at Sakura-con in Seattle on 20 April 2019 for the Funimation’s movie premiere of Code Geass’ third movie with the Director himself, Gorō Taniguchi, along with his senior staff in attendance inside a room full of raving fans. Was it was worth the decade-long wait to have a worthy […]

Paranoia Agent Anime Review – 67/100

In an era of the mundane, where every series is the same moe blob, the weird sticks out. Even the most mediocre series can get attention just by being weird. Paranoia Agent is not mediocre, and it is far beyond simply “weird”. Written and Directed by Satoshi Kon, Paranoia Agent is one of his last […]

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) (Winter 2019) Anime Review – 78/100

Just like the titular character, Boogiepop Phantom the series has become some sort of urban legend itself in this medium. Its Light Novels are amongst the first Light Novel ever released, dating back to mid-90s. Moreover, the franchise has endured the test of time, as it inspires anime, live-action adaptations and Boogiepop is a well-known […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 77/100

Coming to Kotobuki, there are lots of aspect that catch my attention: it’s from a famed director Tsutomu Mizushima who can turn the most trashable and genre-able concepts into something intriguing; it’s an CG show about air pilots: it has extended aerial combat set-pieces. Watching it till the end, I have to tip my hat […]

Kemurikusa (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 79/100

Kemurikusa is your very definition of an overlooked gem, one that never really gain much discussion anywhere, but one that has a distinctive style from an up-and-coming auteur who has full control of his projects. Coming to Kemurikusa, all the attention it has came from the fact that it is created by TATSUKI, a mastermind […]