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Hello, and welcome to Nightmare Masterclass. My name is David Stockdale. I’ll be your host on this excursion into the dark unknown. In this short installment, I’ll be discussing an anime series called Paranoia Agent. I just watched the entire series, and I wanted to put out a video on this while it was still fresh in my mind. Now, I’m not exactly going to be doing a deep dive here, or at least, not as deep as I would necessarily like, mainly due to the fact that my time and energy are limited at the moment. But I have to say, after watching Paranoia Agent, I did feel compelled to write about the work. The series was created by the late Satoshi Kon, known for Perfect Blue, among other highly regarded works of anime.
Paranoia contains elements of both magical realism and a very surreal kind of horror. I’ve read that Paranoia Agent is reminiscent in some ways to the works of David Lynch; in fact, hearing this was, in part, what drew me to the series in the first place. And I can see how certain elements in Paranoia Agent might be perceived as Lynchian. After all, we can observe in the series an artful combination of the mundane and the horrific, and that is a quality often thought of as Lynchian. But I think this anime series has a very particular and unique quality in its own right. And I will do my best to describe and characterize this in my analysis.
Before moving forward, I am obliged to say that if you haven’t watched the full series, you should do so before watching this video; it’s a total of 13 episodes, so it’s not exactly a huge undertaking. Though I will say that the very nature of the work is such that subsequent viewings will enrich the whole experience.
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