Paprika (2006) – This Is Your Brain on Anime

This is a movie and an inspirational from Christopher Nolan’s “Inception”, the best sci-fi movie of this decade. Satoshi Kon’s “Paprika” is his last masterpiece before he died. It can be said, Satoshi Kon is one of the famous directors with his expertise in making an anime. His artwork was brilliant to the details of it. In addition, he always shows a fresh, complicated, and interesting story to follow it entirely. Satoshi Kon, in each of his works, often combines reality and hallucinations between stories and characters. “Paprika” is a no-exception to deal with them.

The story consists of three major characters: Atsuko Chiba, Torataro Shima, and Kosaku Tokita. They worked on a psychiatric research foundation and failed to keep a device they created. This device can enter a person’s dreams and explore their subconscious. The three of them must know who the mastermind behind it. Just read the summary, it’s not really interesting to tell the story in front of it. But, it’s not the whole. The story presented with the same premise as “Perfect Blue”. Both combines reality and fiction.

The plot doesn’t seem as non-linear or complicated as Christopher Nolan’s “Inception”. But, the more you watch it, the more interesting thing came because we don’t know how to distinguish dreams within reality. Sometimes, we think of it as reality but is the opposite. Not too complicated to me and not too exaggerated. But, there is something that makes me want to see it more, especially on the story about Toshimi often whirling on the top.

The beginning of his impression, he didn’t belong in the story and not too obvious to get into the main story. The further it actually becomes closer to the main character. The story, at first, has no relationship at all. It focused on him when its more progress. This movie devoted to laid people. It is more focused for you who like Hollywood complex movies. Not too non-linear but it’s interesting to understand it.

The art is excellent to blend reality into a more vivid image. In terms of character, background diversion, a dream scene, this is why Satoshi Kon is one of those. He successfully changed the anime. The animation and art were very brilliant, in terms of this anime as the best of all. A world created by Satoshi Kon himself managed to pull the audience into his world. The atmosphere he built was so strong. It’s over the realism of when it uses the location that looks similar to the real world.

One of the best thing in this aspect is as well when Satoshi Kon incorporates two things into one. We don’t know if this is a dream or reality. It’s about using your imagination instead follow the story. Excellent editing for Satoshi Kon with astonishing cinematography and graphics. Can’t believe Madhouse created this piece who also worked on “Perfect Blue” and “Paranoia Agent”, Satoshi Kon other works.

The soundtrack and music are so great if you wanna hear it again from all sides. Susumu Hirasawa composes it so well that every scene always invites some intense with disturbing and confusing scenes. The opening theme song reminds me of the song called “Baba O’Riley” by The Who. For the voice actors, they are great too especially Megumi Hayashibara who plays two characters with two different personalities.

The characters are sometimes good at the right times. But, sometimes vice versa. The characters introductions are still weak, though I hear the novel is worse than the anime. The antagonist also has a bad script in being a villain because they are just one-dimensional character. So, it looks monotonous. There is no obvious reason why he did this and that. The explanation of the major character’s background was still questionable. There are no feelings at all. Some of the characters are putting each other’s feelings. But, on top of all, not really developed.

Konakawa is the best character of all although he initially impressed not too important for the main story. However, he is the one who recognizes the background, the feeling, and the character. This character is more sympathetic than others. But bottom line, Satoshi Kon doesn’t want to make this anime like cheesy considering he wants to make his own mindblowing memorable world.

It’s worth watching and I don’t think there’s any more to say about this anime. “Paprika” is a mindblowing movie that creates chaos in your head. Some people who watch this movie more than once though not complicated as “Inception”. I think the story is very easy to comprehend if you always focus on each frame. The art is great The music and the soundtrack as well. But, the characters have a little lack. They not overly noticed by people because they consider it not very important when a story succeeds in inciting one’s mind into the artificial world of Satoshi Kon.

“Paprika” is one anime with the director’s imaginary world raises up. Sometimes, your mind is needed to understand what is really going on so you must also be able to make each interpretation. It’s a Madhouse studio that creates some achievement that people can get out there. The animation can spoil your feelings, the music is good and the position is so good, but the character is one of the lacks that must be fixed. Somewhat it’s slightly predictable in some scenes and sometimes an awkward little romance also make this anime break up little by little. Bottom line, it’s worth watching since you watch “Inception” because these two movies will make you mindblowing.

5 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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