It’s been years since Paranoia Agent has been legally available to watch or own in the West, what with Geneon‘s original DVD release being out of print since the mid-2000s. Given that this is the one and only television series to come from the mind of the late, great Satoshi Kon, it would be an understatement to say that Funimation‘s acquisition of Paranoia Agent is kind of a big deal. While it’ll be some months yet before we can get our hands on the upcoming SteelBook Blu-Ray set, all thirteen episodes of the show can be streamed via Funimation’s website and app, so newcomers and old fans alike can learn just why Paranoia Agent has been so well-loved and remembered in the decade-and-a-half since it originally released.

Anyone who is familiar with Satoshi Kon’s cinematic filmography – specifically Millennium Actress, Perfect Blue, Tokyo Godfathers, and Paprika – will immediately recognize the director’s signature vision and style all over Paranoia Agent. In fact, it wouldn’t be entirely unfair to describe the series as a kind of grab bag of Kon’s favorite visual motifs and thematic obsessions. As an anthology series, it has the benefit of being able to throw in all manner of disparate moods, plot points, and themes. One episode will be a moody, psychological thriller about a woman whose various identities are starting to come into violent conflict, and the shades of Perfect Blue will be obvious to any fans of that movie. Just a couple of episodes later, then, you’ll have the series’ two detectives running around in a suspect’s farcical fantasy RPG mindscape, which will make anyone who loves Paprika as much as I do very happy, indeed. As in Millennium Actress, many of the episodic stories in Paranoia Agent deal with the recursive and fragile nature of memory and experience, with Lil’ Slugger’s rampage affecting its victims on just as much a psychological level as a physical one. This is also a uniquely Japanese story, like Tokyo Godfathers, where the lost…

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