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This Week in Anime - Why is Paranoia Agent Such a Big Deal?


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v1cious



Joined: 31 Dec 2002
Posts: 5991
Location: Houston, TX
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:06 pm Reply with quote
Great write up. This is one of my favorite series of all time.

I disagree that 9-10 weren't story episodes. While they don't feature the main players, the two episodes together are meant to give you a man-on-the-street view of what's happening (housewife gossip, Maromi getting an anime). They're basically trying to show just how much the fear is spreading, instead of just giving you a bunch of exposition.


Last edited by v1cious on Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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GuruBuckaroo



Joined: 18 Feb 2015
Posts: 68
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:20 pm Reply with quote
No discussion of this anime is complete without it's incredible opening. Dream Island Obsessional Park by Susumu Hirasawa is an amazing track, and the contrasting happy celebratory music over the atomic disaster overlaid by happy, laughing cast members just *nails* the overall mood of the series.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-anabfAg06U
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Takkun4343



Joined: 19 Jul 2007
Posts: 927
Location: Gahanna, Ohio
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:27 pm Reply with quote
Easily one of the best anime to ever air on [adult swim], even if they only aired it because they couldn't air Samurai Champloo without airing another Geneon anime and G4TechTV already nabbed Gungrave while they were gauging fan interest in all three.
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BodaciousSpacePirate
It's Over 9000!It's Over 9000!


Joined: 17 Apr 2015
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:59 pm Reply with quote
It's weird to think about this show as a "gateway anime", but every single person I've ever met who only liked "anime that doesn't feel like anime" (whatever that means) has absolutely adored both Serial Experiments Lain and Paranoia Agent, so maybe? Laughing
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v1cious



Joined: 31 Dec 2002
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:04 pm Reply with quote
BodaciousSpacePirate wrote:
It's weird to think about this show as a "gateway anime", but every single person I've ever met who only liked "anime that doesn't feel like anime" (whatever that means) has absolutely adored both Serial Experiments Lain and Paranoia Agent, so maybe? Laughing


It could be because both aired on TV (Lain aired on TechTV and Paranoia Agent aired on Adult Swim), so more people had access to them
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Beatdigga



Joined: 26 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:51 pm Reply with quote
My memories for better or for worse are not of the show. They’re of the former Adult Swim Action block trying to make the show a big deal, to show them as an artistic bastion for anime they viewed as worth merit (to the point this show was dead last in a poll of shows they were interested in, but they aired it anyway) that they were the tastemakers because streaming hadn’t become a major thing yet.

It was a disaster ratings wise, one their bumps publicly complained about. That they were dealing with ignorant weebs who didn’t appreciate this great favor that was being done for them, and that they would respond by adding in more comedy shows and less anime because comedy got the ratings, not the anime they wanted to air.

I think this is why streaming services piss Toonami executives off so much. Because that meant they couldn’t shove Paranoia Agent and Moribito down throats like an angry parent trying to get a kid to eat vegetables.

So that’s my memory of Paranoia Agent. Not a look at that sort of overly saccharine culture and emotional stunting, not the legacy of Satoshi Kon, but Adult Swim trying to establish the tastes of the audience and getting told that stuff was boring.
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Takkun4343



Joined: 19 Jul 2007
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Location: Gahanna, Ohio
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:15 pm Reply with quote
I don't remember [as] hyping it up all that much. There was a promo, there was the ADR director answering fan questions about the dub production (and shilling Girls Bravo) on the ASMB... and that was it. No insistence that it was some new big thing, no outspoken complaints about its below-average ratings, nothing.

I did love that one of their streamer splash pages featuring PA said something along the lines of "As of next Friday, it's dead to us". A prime example of the long since past days where broadcast licenses expiring were a moderately notable event.
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lossthief



Joined: 14 Dec 2012
Posts: 674
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:19 pm Reply with quote
Beatdigga wrote:
My memories for better or for worse are not of the show. They’re of the former Adult Swim Action block trying to make the show a big deal, to show them as an artistic bastion for anime they viewed as worth merit (to the point this show was dead last in a poll of shows they were interested in, but they aired it anyway) that they were the tastemakers because streaming hadn’t become a major thing yet.

It was a disaster ratings wise, one their bumps publicly complained about. That they were dealing with ignorant weebs who didn’t appreciate this great favor that was being done for them, and that they would respond by adding in more comedy shows and less anime because comedy got the ratings, not the anime they wanted to air.

I think this is why streaming services piss Toonami executives off so much. Because that meant they couldn’t shove Paranoia Agent and Moribito down throats like an angry parent trying to get a kid to eat vegetables.

So that’s my memory of Paranoia Agent. Not a look at that sort of overly saccharine culture and emotional stunting, not the legacy of Satoshi Kon, but Adult Swim trying to establish the tastes of the audience and getting told that stuff was boring.


Please learn to enjoy things besides internet drama
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John Thacker
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Joined: 28 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:35 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Not that they weren't also problems in 2004, but there's a lot more anime being made now than there was 15 years ago,


No, that's not true. The number of production minutes is roughly flat from 2004, having experienced both booms and bust since then. The total number of series is up because of short length series (both in episode counts and episode lengths), but not the total number of minutes and hence production work
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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:42 pm Reply with quote
Easily one of the greatest anime series of all time, and definitely one of my formative experiences when I caught it on [as] in the early days of my fandom. I didn't have any idea what to expect going into it, only to get blasted with RAAA-EEEE-YAAA and a heaping dose of brilliant psychological horror. The loss of Satoshi Kon's genius is easily one of the greatest tragedies in the history of this medium; there are so many times I've found myself wondering just what else he would have added to his catalog were he alive today. I'm so happy the series is finally widely available again to ensnare a new generation of fans.
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:49 pm Reply with quote
But how does it compare to Paranoid Park? :roll:

Guru: Funi uploaded an official OP to their tube.
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Joe Mello



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:05 pm Reply with quote
One could argue this PA was a "Greatest Hits" for Kon. Everything that informed in his previous and future work seems to have a moment here, and the whole series is a demonstration of why no one had a better understanding of the animated medium than Kon.

Scorching take incoming: Misae is the biggest badass in the entirety of Toonami's history

Beatdigga wrote:
My memories for better or for worse are not of the show. They’re of the former Adult Swim Action block trying to make the show a big deal, to show them as an artistic bastion for anime they viewed as worth merit (to the point this show was dead last in a poll of shows they were interested in, but they aired it anyway) that they were the tastemakers because streaming hadn’t become a major thing yet.

It was a disaster ratings wise, one their bumps publicly complained about. That they were dealing with ignorant weebs who didn’t appreciate this great favor that was being done for them, and that they would respond by adding in more comedy shows and less anime because comedy got the ratings, not the anime they wanted to air.

I think this is why streaming services piss Toonami executives off so much. Because that meant they couldn’t shove Paranoia Agent and Moribito down throats like an angry parent trying to get a kid to eat vegetables.

So that’s my memory of Paranoia Agent. Not a look at that sort of overly saccharine culture and emotional stunting, not the legacy of Satoshi Kon, but Adult Swim trying to establish the tastes of the audience and getting told that stuff was boring.


I don't think you could make a post any more ironic.
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Neko-sensei



Joined: 19 Jan 2007
Posts: 182
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:17 pm Reply with quote
Since I bought the DVDs back in the day, I actually do have a Maromi plushy. It's a little dilapidated after over a decade of use, but every time I move I find someplace high up to put it, so visitors don't see that it's staring at them until they've just gotten comfortable. Right now it's set up in the kitchen ceiling light fixture, just hanging out and staring towards the front door.

Everyone should have a Maromi to keep themselves humble.
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Beatdigga



Joined: 26 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:37 pm Reply with quote
lossthief wrote:
[Please learn to enjoy things besides internet drama


I thought it was a funny anecdote. The show is great, Kon was a genius taken from us too soon, but those weird circumstances will always stick in my mind.
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BadNewsBlues



Joined: 21 Sep 2014
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:43 pm Reply with quote
Beatdigga wrote:


I think this is why streaming services piss Toonami executives off so much. Because that meant they couldn’t shove Paranoia Agent and Moribito down throats like an angry parent trying to get a kid to eat vegetables.


Of course not that was reserved for Inuyasha and Cowboy Bebop :S
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