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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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20 thoughts on “Paranoia Agent: The Anxiety of Modern Life

  1. Hi all, I just wanted to say thanks again for your donations. Just an FYI, this video got a few copyright claims for my use of various clips from the series. I have disputed these claims on the basis that my usage of this material is for the purposes critical commentary, and it constitutes fair use. That is, after all, the entire purpose of my channel!

    I don't know whether or not Yam112003 Endemol will see it that way. They have 30 days to respond to the disputed claims, but in the meantime, I won't be making any money off this video. So, if you enjoy watching my stuff on my channel, please consider donating to me directly: https://ko-fi.com/nightmaremasterclass


  2. I'm still a bit at a loss with the last scene of the final episode. The place where the detectives and Sukiko are at in the last scene is a bit of a headscratcher. I know that the final prophetic vision infers that the story is cyclical (not in the literal sense), but yeah: why is Maniwa where he's at in the end? Is it because he has fully rejected society? Is it because he's become too intwined in keeping the world safe that it's driven him to this state?

    Either way: great video.

  3. i also think that paranoia agent touches on societies media and how it can effect people a lot like south park but less on the funny side.

  4. Your writing and professionalism are so strong! I just finished this series last night and absolutely loved it. Your analysis of sorts truly helped me understand it better. Thank you! Also, you pull out powerhouse vocab words, which is especially impressive.

  5. Thank you for the great video. It is 2020 as you should be able to tell from a timestamp and since there wasn't a lot of comments I wondered if you had gotten round to hunter x hunter or watched psychopass?

  6. “Inversion of media roles in a rapidly modernized culture; is the function of media to inform, or to create a sort of all-encompassing spectacle?”

  7. I'd rather deal with a "misfiring" on occasion than to have shitty situational awareness like most present day humans.

  8. Thank you for making this. This is something I've only seen two episodes on toonami at one point. I remember it being surreal and startling to watch. Now I can watch the whole series.

  9. Mass hysteria, anxiety and paranoia. Accept reality and take responsibility for your actions and face reality.

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