Paranoia Agent

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Re: Paranoia Agent

Post by bomaye on Wed May 16, 2018 11:39 pm

Kinda jelly of your Japanese-yness because I never could follow what all the animal talk was about
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Re: Paranoia Agent

Post by Enail on Wed May 16, 2018 11:46 pm

Don't be, a lot of it I had to look up Razz
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Re: Paranoia Agent

Post by Enail on Sat May 19, 2018 6:29 pm

E11
Spoiler:

-is all the gossip around Shounen Bat's appearance going to have an effect on what he is? Gossip seems important in a way that's not clear to me yet. But gossip's about belief, in a way
-I guess this is Ikari's wife?
-she's expecting Shounen Bat, and he waits to listen instead of showing up from behind and hitting her by surprise
-When she says she doesn't want to die after all, he takes a step back. Does he care what people want or is it more like their wanting gives him permission or power over them and he can't attack them against their will? (also, he takes his skates off on the tatami mat Laughing)
-she's interrogating him and he's completely freaked out by it rofl and also Shiny/thrilled, this woman is badass
-she thinks he's 'bringing them peace' because he thinks humans are weak and corrupt? How does she know so much about him, even the detectives don't understand him like this
-"Let's accept reality"
-Shounen Bat growing into the massive guy the rumours had him as as he gets impatient with the practice swings but it seems like what she's saying is holding him back somehow, her will to live or her belief
-feeling like a burden to him but also firmly believing that they're each other's home Feeling loved I want these two to have a happy ending Sad
-detective and the guy he arrested once reminiscing about old times/old crimes and a reliable world they fit into
-seeing the old burglar feels like coming home/what his wife said about them being each other's home
-"Even if the world is wrong, there has to be something that's right. That's how we can go on living"
-The thing that seems like No Entry in this episode is the reliable past
-Ikari telling Sagi that Maromi's kind of cute after all
-she's multiplying, refusing to be seduced by his false salvation and wish for death, representing all humanity??
-Explicitly equating Shounen Bat and Maromi
-he disappears, the walls fall away like a set and she's in a rainbow field with flying birds, what the...?
-all that triumph, and now we learn she's autopilot doing the perfect housewife things she believes in for him whether or not they make sense or if he's even there to receive it, so much for accepting reality :/
-that same matchbox
-he steps out into a flat cartoon old-fashioned world and the ending music starts playing Shudder
-ohshit, he's just happily going along with. I guess reality got too much to accept for either of them. Maybe "no entry" is actually to reality.
-creepy kid's song "The crane and turtle slipped". I still don't know who the turtle is. It wasn't shown in the fantasy quest episode, I don't think, and I can't see any connection to any of the names. I'm almost tempted to go back to the episode that showed the painting or the one where Maniwa talks to the old man to see if it tells us and I missed it/forgot.
-Rabbit in the moon. Based on the scene in the opening, I'm guessing the old man's the rabbit
-the guy in the cape from the beginning is Maniwa?? Fuuuuck!

Next week - unicorn and pegasus. Both based around horses, and it looks like a Maniwa-focused episode, but neither one is clearly him.
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Re: Paranoia Agent

Post by Enail on Sat May 26, 2018 5:49 pm

E12
Spoiler:

-Imagination, huh. The word that gets translated as "paranoia" in the title (a more broad word for  'delusion' in general) is a character that means something like "without reason or permission" that you could maybe sum up as "disordered," + the character for "imagination."
-back in the videogame-like setting except Shounen Bat's huge and the enemy now instead of the hero
-but when we were getting (I assume) Maniwa's thoughts just before, it was still in the post-apocalyptic seeming, scratchy recording setting, so he's kind of not solidly in one reality or the other. Maybe it's still the kind of flexibility he was showing at being able to go in and out of the kid-Shounen Bat suspect's reality
-oh hey, when he was in the videogame setting before, he took on the role of a minstrel - a person who's job is to tell the stories, when this is all about people escaping into stories for their own reasons
-he drops the sword and actually sees it be an umbrella, he is shifting in and out of the different versions
-old guy died?!
-Radar Man, and then we start getting the staticky noises of the post-apocalyptic, it's like there's points of intersection between the different versions
-Oh, we're at the point where he shows up last episode. He still identifies Ikari as "chief" rather than fitting him into any setting
-Wait, was that the animation studio guy?? Wasn't he killed?? But he's dropping onto a Maromi pillow in his own home. Maybe that was someone else? Maromi seems to be clearly representing a comforting escape from reality here
-In Ikari's nostalgia-world, though, it seems like Maromi is the piece of the puzzle that doesn't fit, he's looking at it like it's the one thing that makes him think something's wrong or strange in this world he's otherwise accepting
-was Shounen Bat initially some kid who killed Sagi's pet dog?!
-Is the doll guy one of Maria's clients from her episode?
-The person's just a doll and the dolls are people, and ohshit, doll faces of all the characters Shudder
-there was a kid that attacked Sagi. And then her way of comforting herself and escaping her fears expanded into something that reaches everyone. Except if she faked the first Shounen Bat attack, maybe she faked this too?
-the fact that he's doing research on the meaning of a sinister escapist cute cartoon with the help of escapist cute cartoons is a little sinister even though it seems like he's finding things he needs to
-Just realized when Sagi's name came in the search and he repeated "Tsukiko", "sagi"  might be "heron", but "tsukiko" has the word for (and most likely uses the kanji of) "moon" in it. As in "rabbit in the moon." Which would mean she has two animals associated.
-he got patched up by the sexy nurse doll Laughing
-he rants that she's the moon, just reflecting Maromi's sun. Maybe in the animal-symbols thing she's just the moon and the rabbit is separate. Though presumably linked)
-And the car crashes, with the dead guy's face reflecting in the mirror with a Maromi charm, it feels like Shounen Bat/Maromi is her personal vengeful protector
-Woah he's gotten massive. But his expression is sort of apologetic or even sympathetic at her
-and the moon goes behind a cloud.
-S-so, is he saying Sagi killed her own dog?! Or just that she let it escape? And then created Shounen Bat as a combo blame/protection
-the bat becomes some kind of special sword. I'm loving the way Maniwa's simultaneously doing the actual police work, but using the fantasy setting stuff to make the connections, it's like he's found a way to use unreality as a tunnel into reality that all the Shounen Bat stuff is preventing people from reaching, he's playing inside the story while still working against it (or at least what it represents)
-the coworkers gossiping and blaming Sagi for putting the boss in a corner that made Shounen Bat kill him, the thing she created to protect and take blame for her has gone all the way round to making her get the blame for something that it did to protect her that she didn't actually do (unless it's all just regular people physically committing the murders with a collective Shounen Bat delusion, in which case she did do it, but not the way they're blaming her for).
-Holy fuck, Maromi cuts the line from Maniwa giving her her father's message that she doesn't have to suffer alone anymore and the truth. ONLY Maromi gets to be on her side
-Maromi desperately trying to help her escape. Delusion trying to escape from delusion that's fighting an anti-delusion delusion
-Keiichi's his name, right? But his wife was Misae. One of the characters in "Tomomi" means reason/intellect/wisdom. Was the girl another girl he liked as a kid, wishing he'd ended up with her? Or just some generalized feeling of childhood love nostalgia
-Sagi escapes right into Ikari's nostalgia cartoon
-on the carved names Ikari found, there was an arrow with a line in it pointing up, and when Maniwa loses Shounen Bat and shouts, it pans out to the skylight that has the shape of arrows with a line pointing down
-the Maromi balloons disappeared; Maria's back in control and comes to who I thought was the dead animator but maybe was someone else I don't remember or just a random dude that looks familiar to me for some reason. Oh wait, is this just Harumi's husband? Ichii finds a small palm tree like the one Usshi had in his locker, the reporter's maybe in trouble for the death of the old man, I can't quite pin down the commonality, but something sort of like chickens come home to roost maybe?
-The guy with the dolls destroyed all the anime dolls, made himself, and now Maromi's missing from his shirt, he breaks the doll of himself and the Maromi on its shirt turns black?!?
-darkness sweeps over, and Ikari's wife is rushed into emerg clutching the picture of them together
-now she's in an elevator and the old man's an elevator attendant. I'm assuming this is death or some kind of limbo on the edge of death
-Next week. Period.

Hoo boy, that got long. Last episode coming up!!
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Re: Paranoia Agent

Post by Werel on Sat May 26, 2018 6:36 pm

I'm getting so much additional information about this show from your Japanese language notes, Enail, it's like the release of a brand-new annotated edition of one of your favorite books Shiny/thrilled
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Re: Paranoia Agent

Post by Enail on Sat May 26, 2018 7:59 pm

Oh, thanks, Werel! I wish I'd looked for that stuff from the start, though.

Whoops, I went and watched the last episode Wink

E13
Spoiler:

-the cartoon world's the place where he can be himself. If that's what this is about, seems like maybe it's all about finding a place to escape damage to your ego
-she's a kid in this world
-Maromi will protect only her. Shounen Bat's for everyone, but Maromi's only for Sagi? Maybe I shouldn't trust what Maromi says so literally, though Wink
-everyone running away from the darkness except for the one guy embracing it, all the people freaking out over Maromi get caught by it
-there goes the reporter! Mafia guy!
- Short Hope. (Maybe "a shortcut to hope," easy escapism?)
-He used to like different cigarettes
-YES! MANIWA REACHES IKARI!
-NO HE FUCKING SMASHED THE TV FUCKING FUCK!
-his wife, looking thin and ill in the middle of happy nostalgia town, I guess the old man did take her to her husband. And she's still clutching the photo in the hospital
-he's trying to refuse her existence in his fantasy world  :/
-and now there she is, looking young and healthy, and Maromi gets anxious and everyone calls her away. It seems like she has to operate within the setting to some degree.
-Both she and Maniwa seem to have some ability to believe and participate in the false reality but also fight it. But she's got her husband as a fixed point within this reality and her own delusions, and that seems like what's giving her this power here, a compass to navigate by, what does Maniwa have?
-Noo, don't run! And Maromi just collapses that part of the world and she falls calling for him Sad
-seeing Sagi as a daughter he wanted forces him to remember what he told his wife, the life he had and chose to keep living even when it was sad and broken
-She wanted to say goodbye  Crying
-that shot of his mouth trembling and the sound of the ecg
-AND THEN HE FUCKING SMASHES THAT WORLD AND I STAND UP CHEERING WITH TEARS IN MY EYES
-"My place disappeared a long time ago. The reality is that I have no place where I'm supposed to be"
-and he's back in the destroyed real (?) world
-"We're going to split the bill for Korean bbq" and Ikari's wtf face Laughing
-she let the dog Maromi die, I'm glad she didn't actually kill it, that would have been really fucking dark
-when he forces her to confront the truth, she sounds like a little kid
-"feel the power of the blade that knows the truth" he says, while wearing goggles and wielding an old bat as a superhero's sword Uh-oh
-darkness bulging and bursting out of giant Maromi while it shouts at Sagi to run, I'm going to have nightmares about this
-There goes Taeko (and presumably her dad), Ichii (but not Usshi), Harumi/Maria
-she drops the Maromi toy and it turns into the little dog and she runs and grabs it and cuddles it before being engulfed
-SHIT did it get Ikari?
-the blood spatter around the dead puppy Sad
-talking to her child self, the shadow starts forming into Shounen Bat, and then grownup Sagi grabs the puppy's body and cries over it
-and Shounen Bat says goodbye
-the darkness bursts and there's everyone happily laughing into a blur
-and she comes up from water to see a half moon. Halfway between the outward-pushing blame and the inward-turning self-comfort, I guess
-"This is just like right after the war." For a moment I thought also like Maniwa's apocalypse visions and maybe that's where they come from, but he's too young to have been there then so never mind.
-And the world's back to normal, full of noise and blame and defensiveness
-And a creepy-cute animated cat plays on a screen, but a young Sagi (-looking person? she looks too young to be actual Sagi, did she go back to that moment and start again from there somehow) turns away, and Ikari stands resolutely at his security job. And the reporter and Sagi see each other, and turn away
-and the old man is writing equations but FUCK IT'S MANIWA WHAT THE FUCK?!
-THAT FUCKING ENDING

So, my immediate take on this is that humans are always going to be wanting to escape reality and fighting to accept it, and it's always going to happen again, but also it's not that black-and-white, the two are melded together and depend on and exist within each other (like Misae, simultaneously being able to fight the delusion while enacting delusions of her own, or like how Ikari was so adamant about facing reality but it still overwhelmed him eventually and he just easily accepted the nostalgia cartoon-town for a time, if you're too sure you absolutely reject escapism, you'll just convince yourself what you're accepting isn't escapism, see also the dead people obliviously on their adventure to try to die). And Maniwa's the person who can exist at the same time in both and use their push and pull to navigate a...true? path (not reality necessarily, but still holding on to the heart of what's real even when the details are false. I'd maybe connect this to stories, what a good story is/does, what with him being the minstrel) and so has taken on the role of always searching for the sense in nonsense to help guide the path through them the next time this happens. But I feel like I need to go back and watch all of this again, especially to understand why Maniwa is how he is.

Funny how they used a very small tragedy, a little girl not wanting to be in trouble for letting her dog get killed, as the key one to talk about the much bigger ones.

Also, Usshi didn't really ever have an explanation, I guess he was just an early version of the later bit of Shounen Bat being able to attack someone else for the person who's cornered instead of just attacking the cornered person directly.
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Re: Paranoia Agent

Post by bomaye on Sat May 26, 2018 8:27 pm

Enail wrote:

E13
Spoiler:

Also, Usshi didn't really ever have an explanation, I guess he was just an early version of the later bit of Shounen Bat being able to attack someone else for the person who's cornered instead of just attacking the cornered person directly.

Spoiler:

Usshi was attacked by the fake Shonen Bat, he was a red herring.
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Re: Paranoia Agent

Post by Enail on Sat May 26, 2018 8:55 pm

bomaye wrote:
Spoiler:

Usshi was attacked by the fake Shonen Bat, he was a red herring.

Spoiler:
But so was the police officer, and he seemed pretty legit in terms of being cornered? So I thought that fake Shounen Bat was also kind of enacting real Shounen Bat's purpose, like they were almost merged, especially since real Shounen Bat kept his face
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Re: Paranoia Agent

Post by Enail on Sat May 26, 2018 11:19 pm

So what do you people think
Spoiler:
was the "point" of the animation studio episode? Of the episodes outside of the main story, the happy suicide episode is indirect but felt well-connected to me, in that they were so focused on trying to die that they didn't stop to notice that they already had, similar to the way Misae was determinedly facing reality to support her husband and missing that she was missing the mark on reality, and it also opens the door to various "they're really dead" interpretations of other parts if you want to go that route. And is another angle on the idea of escape overall. Actually, you could even say the way they took a tragic triple suicide including a kid that even the other suicide pacters didn't want to die, and turned it into a happy adventure escape says something relevant about different sides of how people escape.

The gossip episode seemed pretty clear, telling us how peoples' beliefs created and altered Shounen Bat.

But the animation one, I can't see the purpose. It's a little more explicit about making Maromi sinister, but I don't think we would have missed it without that, the ending animation alone does that. And you could probably make something out of the connection to stories, or about the way everyone is so obliviously wrapped up in their own troubles that they don't even notice they're all being murdered, maybe something about the overall atmosphere of panic and blame. But it doesn't seem like enough of a link, even an amorphous, thematic one.
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Re: Paranoia Agent

Post by bomaye on Sun May 27, 2018 12:55 am

Spoiler:

Paranoia Agent was built out of the director's unused ideas. I'm assuming it wasn't so much of a direct point as just trying to loosely work the idea into the story, and maybe just to have the animation team and people who work in the industry lol at it because they're animating their own lives and their murders.

But also if Shonen Bat is murdering people who feel trapped and want an escape, then that situation is all about that, and especially because they're directly working on something that massive amounts of people use as an escape? Or maybe illustrating a kind of irony in that the people creating the means to escape need an escape worse the people they're creating it for?
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Re: Paranoia Agent

Post by Enail on Sun May 27, 2018 2:22 pm

Spoiler:
The irony idea makes some sense to me - and makes me think maybe it's got some indirect suggestions of how to approach the minstrel bit?

Even if it's unused ideas, I'm inclined to approach it as having something meaningful to say about the whole story beyond just "Shounen Bat murdering some people who need an escape" (which is pretty well-covered without it) because the disconnected episodes did still feel like they belonged in and contributed to the story rather than like they were just kind of shoehorned in, even if their connection was pretty indirect. So it gives me the sense he had a point in putting those specific unused ideas in, though maybe not in a way that he or we could totally define or specific hints.

Though, an awful lot of creators have a weakness for telling industry in-jokes/metaphor-filled commentary on the process of creation, so I could also buy that that one's shoehorned in Wink
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