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Paranoia Agent - Enter Lil Slugger (Vol. 1)

19 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Oct 26, 2004)
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$89.88 $17.81
(Oct 26, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

"When the darkness overcomes the heart, Little Slugger appears..." After the first victim's story, the police felt the overly stressed woman was having a breakdown and lied to cover-up for some crime. However, after the third and fourth attacks upon unrelated victims led to the same description of a young attacker with a golden baseball bat and in-line skates, the police had to wonder- is the "Lil' Slugger" real or a sinister phantom?

Dark, unsettling, and intriguing, Paranoia Agent confirms Satoshi Kon's position as one of the most interesting directors currently working in Japan. A baseball bat-wielding adolescent randomly attacks five people in Tokyo, each of whom is grappling with a serious problem. Toy designer Tsukiko endures tremendous pressure to repeat her previous success; bottom-feeding journalist Kawazu desperately needs money. Popular sixth grader Yuuichi feels threatened by the new kid in his class, the dumpy nerd Usshi. Yuuichi's tutor Harumi is a compassionate scholar by day; at night, she becomes Maria, a sleazy hooker. The seemingly purposeless violence of Lil' Slugger (originally Shounen Bat, literally "Bat Boy"), also disrupts the lives of police detectives Maniwa and Karino, and their corrupt boss Hirukawa. As he did in Perfect Blue, Kon deliberately blurs the boundaries between reality and fantasy: Does Tsukikio's stuffed toy really talk to her? Which is Harumi's true personality? A noteworthy series from an important artist. (Rated 16 and older: violence, sexual situations, brief nudity, alcohol and tobacco use) --Charles Solomon

Special Features


Product Details

  • Format: Animated, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Geneon [Pioneer]
  • DVD Release Date: October 26, 2004
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002IQHCU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,069 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 9, 2005
Format: DVD
By any standards, this is one of the most remarkable animated shows that has ever been produced. PARANOIA AGENT deals with a number of characters who are linked both in an odd chain of acquaintances and by being the victims of an attack by a juvenile on roller blades who unexpectedly strikes people with a bent metal baseball bat, called by the press Shouen Bat. The first disc introduces the viewer to five victims of Shouen Bat in four episodes entitled "Enter Li'l' Slugger," "The Golden Shoes," "Double Lips" and "A Man's Path." The opening credits of each episode, with an especially frenetic theme song (with the usual odd lyrics typical of anime) and dynamic animation, announces what a unique show this is.

The first episode deals with the first victim of Shouen Bat, a famous designer who has designed a pink dog that has brought her great fame and success. The trouble is that she is at a loss to repeat her success, and her boss is putting pressure on her to come up with a design that will be equally successful. Her story of a boy on roller blades who attacked her is greeted with some skepticism, until a seedy journalist who is harassing her for an interview is also attacked.

The second episode deals with a young boy who is an acquaintance with the designer. He fancies himself the coolest kid in school and the most popular, but one day he discovers that his popularity has plummeted because his roller blades and his skill in baseball have made many imagine that he is Shouen Bat. To make things worse, the overweight, brainy transfer student who is running against him for president of the student council (and who he imagines is behind the rumors) looks like he might win the election.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Robert Parker on June 13, 2005
Format: DVD
If I had to describe this series in one sentence, it would be: think Twin Peaks as directed by Orson Welles. If I was asked to add a second sentence, it would be: I ordered the entire series before I had finished watching the first DVD.

Satoshi Kon's previous works Perfect Blue and Millenium Actress blur the distinctions between the real, the super-real, and the imaginary, often calling into question the meaning of the concept of what is truly "here" and truly "now." Paranoia Agent has a clearer narrative than his earlier cinematic works, but the question of what, if anything, is "real," remains unclear until the end of the series.

As cinema--and this series is of such caliber that it should be judged as, and discussed as, cinematic art--it is impeccable at every level. The "acting," if one can describe what the painted people do as "acting," is superb, and the life, hopes, fears, and private hells of each character are brought forth with an exquisite (and often heart-rending) truth. The layer upon layer of mise-en-scene'd nuance is mind-bogglingly complex upon analysis, but it is utterly invisible in the service of telling the story. It is expertly paced, with "comic relief" episodes appearing from time to time (which nonetheless still serve in the furtherance of the larger story arc), and the conclusion--nearly always the weakest moment in any anime series--may not be "satisfying" to all its viewers, but it is superbly crafted and expertly executed.

There are clear homages to Twin Peaks--an old man is alternately the Log Lady, the giant, and the dancing dwarf, and there are Badalamente-esque moments in the sound track--but it is far better thought through than Twin Peaks, and in many ways, more powerful.

I cannot recommend this series highly enough.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. Hencke on October 29, 2004
Format: DVD
Satoshi Kon's (Perfect Blue, Millenium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers) anime television series Paranoia Agent starts out sooooo well there ought to be a law to be this amazing. And really the biggest problem I had with it is that they didn't put enough episodes on the disc. Which brings me to another issue...WHY THE HECK NOT? I mean there is no reason whatsoever that a brilliant show like this (truly brilliant) should be stretched out till January for us to get the next installment. I mean come on Madhouse, Geneon, whoever it is putting this thing out...This is one of the most addictive films I have ever seen and I have to wait months to see more of it? But back to the praise - The first four episodes are a masterpiece of style and substance. The animation will thrill you and the story will astound and provoke thought. Why can't more anime be like this? I don't want to give too much away but basically there is this kid named Lil' Slugger running around with a "golden" baseball bat that is having a more than interesting effect on the people around him that he has either attacked or...Well, that's all you're going to get out of me. The rest is up to you. This is a must own item that will impress, disturb and delight. BUT you will be angry there aren't more episodes on the disc so proceed withn caution.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mike Gordon on July 26, 2004
Format: DVD
When I saw this show for the first time, my intial thoughts were 'My God, can Satoshi Kon release anything that ISN'T gold???' A wonderful mixture of crazy, weird, and above all else, SMART storytelling propels this series along. (not to mention a big heaping dose of 'reality vs fiction' that is Kon's trademark) I'll leave other reviewers to toil with a synopsis.

My question is: Why on earth did Geneon feel they needed to change the name of the series' #1 badguy batboy, Shounen Bat, to the trite and ridiculous title of 'Lil' Slugger?' If they had just done it in the English voice dub, that would have been fine, but even the subtitles have been changed, so while you're hearing 'Shounen BAT' you're seeing 'Lil' Slugger.' I have to wonder if they will even properly interpret the animal symbology in the names of the characters...

If you can live with this change, check it out. This series will amaze you, astound you, and make you think. (and jump at the sound of approaching rollerblades!)
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I'd also like to know the answer to this question.
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