Paranoia Agent

Watch Paranoia Agent

  • TV-MA
  • 2004
  • 1 Season
  • 8.0  (14,117)

Paranoia Agent is a psychological horror anime series that aired in 2004. Directed by Satoshi Kon and produced by Madhouse, the show explores the concepts of fear, anxiety, and paranoia in a city where a mysterious attacker known as Shounen Bat (or Lil' Slugger in the English dub) is on the loose.

The story follows a variety of characters who have all been affected by Shounen Bat in some way. The main character, Tsukiko Sagi, is a successful character designer who is struggling to come up with a new mascot for a popular dog food brand. One night, she is attacked by Shounen Bat, but instead of being terrified, she feels relief that her stress has been relieved. As news of her attack spreads, more people come forward with their own encounters with Shounen Bat, leading two detectives to investigate the case.

As the plot unfolds, we meet a wide cast of characters, each with their own neuroses and anxieties. From a shut-in who is convinced that his online game avatar has gained a life of its own, to a former prostitute who is now a children's book author, to a popular pop idol who is plagued by stalkers, each character has a haunting backstory that is slowly revealed over the course of the show. The common thread between all of them is Shounen Bat, who seems to embody their fears and ultimately bring them some sense of release from them.

One of the most fascinating aspects of Paranoia Agent is its exploration of trauma and how it can manifest in different ways. Each character's experience with Shounen Bat is a reflection of their own inner demons, and often leads to surreal and nightmarish sequences that blur the line between reality and fantasy. The show raises questions about the nature of memory, perception, and even reality itself, as the characters grapple with their own past traumas and the fear that they may not be able to distinguish between what is real and what is not.

The animation in Paranoia Agent is stunning, with a blend of traditional hand-drawn techniques and 3D animation that creates a unique and unsettling atmosphere. The character designs are memorable and often creepy, with exaggerated features that heighten the sense of unease. The soundtrack, composed by Susumu Hirasawa, is equally striking, with haunting melodies that perfectly capture the show's eerie tone.

Overall, Paranoia Agent is a complex and thought-provoking series that delves into some heavy themes. It's not always easy to watch, as it can be quite disturbing at times, but it's certainly a unique and memorable viewing experience. Satoshi Kon's signature style is on full display here, and it's a testament to his talent that even after all these years, Paranoia Agent remains a standout in the anime genre.

Paranoia Agent is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (14 episodes). The series first aired on February 2, 2004.

Paranoia Agent
Filter by Source

Final Episode
13. Final Episode
August 20, 2005
A dark formless flow that Maniwa identifies as Lil' Slugger starts to overrun Tokyo as a result of Maromi's disappearance. Meanwhile in Ikari's world, Ikari comfortable hangs about his world with Tsukiko tagging along. With the help of the old man, Misae appears and says goodbye to Keiichi as she fades away. Ikari realizes that the world he is in isn't real and tears it apart as the building blocks of the world turn out to be Maromi dolls. Back in their dilapidated world, Lil' Slugger appears as Maniwa appears with his new weapon, hoping to destroy Lil' Slugger before this manifestation of paranoia swamps the entire country...
Radar Man
12. Radar Man
August 13, 2005
Ever since he learned of how Lil' Slugger feeds on paranoia, Maniwa has engaged in the same crusade described in "The Holy Warrior," only for Maniwa, Lil' Slugger is his adversary. His world blurs between reality and delusion. After a failed attempt at defeating Lil' Slugger (who changed into an abnormal form), Maniwa turns to the old man for help. His dying words, and some insight from Misae, who he sees after hearing her over the radio, lead him on a strange journey to the origins of Maromi and Lil' Slugger. In the meantime, Maromi leads Tsukiko to Ikari's world. And then, just as Maromi fever reaches its peak, figures, images, and merchandise of Maromi suddenly disappear as some of the victims of Lil' Slugger fall back into their state of paranoia.
Entry Forbidden
11. Entry Forbidden
August 6, 2005
Misae Ikari, wife of Ikari the detective, confronts Lil' Slugger when he comes for her about what humans really are and tells him about the problems he's caused.
Mellow Maromi
10. Mellow Maromi
July 30, 2005
Maromi is getting her very own anime! However, the staff begins to fall behind as the deadline approaches. In the midst of this is bumbling Saruta Naoyki, the Production Manager. Things get even worse as, one by one, members of the production staff end up in the hospital (or the morgue), apparently courtesy of Lil' Slugger. Ultimately, it falls to Saruta to deliver the finished pilot episode to the TV station before airtime. There's just one problem: Lil' Slugger's after him, too!
9. ETC
July 23, 2005
After hearing of the incident in the previous episode, several women share rumors related to Lil' Slugger, most of which is farfetched. However, one of the women is having a hard time understanding the truth behind the rumors and impressing the other women. Returning to her apartment, she discovers that her husband has been attacked by Lil' Slugger. She tries to get the story out of him as he begs her to call an ambulance and slowly dies. Each of the ten Lil' Slugger rumors is a mini-story. In chronological order, they are named IQ, LDK, EBM, OH, HR, TKO, UMA, SOS, HH. The framing episode (ETC) comprises the tenth and final mini-story.
Happy Family Planning
8. Happy Family Planning
July 16, 2005
Fuyubachi (Winter Bee), an old man, Zebra, a young man, and Kamome (Seagull), a cute 11-year old girl, seek different ways of committing suicide. After a big adventure going from Tokyo to the countryside, they encounter Lil' Slugger at a hot spring.
7. MHz
July 9, 2005
Ikari and Maniwa are receive word of Taeko's attack from the previous episode. Masami is devastated by Taeko's amnesia as Ikari looks from the sideline since it happened in a different district. Ikari and Maniwa interrogate Kozuka again to make him confess that he is merely a copycat. They manage to get out of him that he only attacked Usshi and Hirukawa but Ikari tries to get a full confession. However, Maniwa soon discovers another connection between the victims; they all were under some kind of stress and were relieved after the attack. But, he soon figures out that Taeko was also emotionally stressed and finds out that Taeko was attacked about the same time that Tsukiko fainted, meaning that Lil' Slugger can be nowhere and everywhere and that he feeds on paranoia. He tells Ikari but gives him an application for leave and tells him to take a break. However, Maniwa still pushes and soon realizes that the next target is Kozuka.
Fear of a Direct Hit
6. Fear of a Direct Hit
July 2, 2005
Ikari and Maniwa find the old homeless woman while a typhoon is about to make landfall. There they discover something from the old women that that turns the whole case around. Meanwhile, Taeko is reminiscing over her life. We learn that she was poor when growing up and was really attached to her father, Masami Hirukawa (the police officer from A Man's Path). However, not that surprisingly but quite disturbing, Taeko discovers a dirty little secret while leaving her father a present. This explains why she is wandering around the city despite the typhoon warnings. At the police station, Ikari and Maniwa are questioning Tsukiko again and try to make her tell what realy happened that night. As for poor Taeko, she is about to throw herself into a torrent of rushing water when she sees herself in the torrent. She realizes that it was the old lady who gets swept down stream. Taeko collapses and weeps as her father desperately calls her. Suddenly, Lil' Slugger appears and hits Taeko while Tsukiko collapses and falls to the floor.
The Holy Warrior
5. The Holy Warrior
June 25, 2005
Ikari and Maniwa interrogate Lil' Slugger who turns out to be in the eight grade. Still, he admits to the attacks. However, he confuses his realities and believes that the world around him is a medieval-style RPG while his journey is to defeat the evil Gouma who posses other people to fight. Ikari and Maniwa follows Lil' Slugger through his "journey" and see that it does coincide with all of the attacks -- all except for Tsukiko Sagi. However, Lil' Slugger points the detectives to where the old lady is who may posses the truth.
A Man's Path
4. A Man's Path
June 18, 2005
After these strings of attacks by Lil' Slugger, it turns out that each victim has some sort of relationship with previous victim. Masami Hirukawa is a police officer in the same district where the Lil' Slugger attacks have been happening. Despite calling himself a family man, he accepts bribes in the form of cash and prostitutes (apparently, Maria was one of his favorites) from the local yakuza group. Using the money, he builds a house for his family. However, Masami becomes too greedy and the yakuza sends Makabe to get the money back with interest. Masami ends up stealing money from people but always ends up short of Makabe's demands who just adds more to the list. In a drunken slur, Masami wants this all to end and ends up being clocked by Lil' Slugger and goes down, or so he thinks.
Double Lips
3. Double Lips
June 11, 2005
Haromi Chrono, Yuichi's tutor in the last episode, has a different side named Maria. Maria isn't like her at all. She's a prostitute and lives for the thrill of the moment. Soon she's getting married thinking she's finally free of Maria, only to have her takign over again and dragging her into the streets where she becomes the next victim of Lil' Slugger
The Golden Shoes
2. The Golden Shoes
June 4, 2005
Yuichi (Ichi) was the most popular kid in school and is running for class president. A rumor goes through school that he's the street attacker Lil' Slugger and he thinks its his opponent in the eletion. His paranoia grows and soon they're walking home together until he gets attacked. Yuichi sees Lil' Slugger and chases after him, but to no avail. Soon..Yuichi becomes a victim himself.
Enter Lil' Slugger
1. Enter Lil' Slugger
May 28, 2005
Tsukiko Sagi is the creator of the popular Maromi. But with all that success meant jealousy from her co-workers. One night, she was walking home, then a boy with a metal baseball bat hitsh er over the head. Then a sleezey reporter wants to get a story on it, but he becomes a victim himself as 2 detectives look into the case.
Where to Watch Paranoia Agent
Paranoia Agent is available for streaming on the website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Paranoia Agent on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon, Vudu and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    February 2, 2004
  • IMDB Rating
    8.0  (14,117)