Anime About Person Not Wanting To Be In An Anime Paprika Anime Analysis

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Paprika Anime Analysis

Paprika is a surprisingly complex and entertaining anime. It takes us to another world and shows us incredible events mainly from the perspective of Dr. Atsuko Chiba and Detective Toshimi Konakawa. Chiba leads a research group in the development of a device to be used for psychotherapy called the DC Mini. Konakawa begins to use it to treat her, but someone steals the DC Mini and throws the world into chaos as dreams and reality begin to merge. Paprika is a representation of contemporary Japanese society, as it deals with the issues of an increasingly technological society.

Paprika shows the risks and benefits of technology. The idea that technology can have both good and bad components is common to many sci-fi, apocalyptic, and other mecha anime. JP Telotte calls the idea of ​​celebrating technology in relation to its destructive and dehumanizing potential a “double vision” (Napier 86). Paprika shows several examples of how the technology represented by the DC Mini can be used for the benefit of humanity. Chiba uses DC Mini as a doctor to treat Konakawa’s recurring nightmares and eventually resolve his psychological conflict. It is also a DC Mini powering device. It opens up the world of dreams in a way that people can learn to actively solve their inner psychological problems. Konakawa finally solves the problem of dealing with his friend’s death by dealing with his problems in the dream world. Chiba uses her alternate personality called Paprika in the dream world to help others through psychotherapy. The DC Mini is shown as a technology that can have great potential to help others.

Paprika also introduces apocalyptic visions of Japan through her interaction with the DC Mini. The President steals the DC Mini in an attempt to merge everyone’s dreams, blurring the lines between reality and dreams. This shows the potential of technology to be used selfishly to fulfill individual’s personal desires causing chaos in the world. Furthermore, this could be interpreted as a critique of technology’s ability to free people from reality and rely on an “escape from comfort” (Figal). Figal specifically applies this idea to the media depicted in Paranoia Agent, but a similar idea can be applied to the DC Mini concept in Paprika. In the dream world, even as people are dragged into the chaotic parade of dreams created by the president, the people are shown to be in a blissful frenzy.

Technology also has an ambiguous effect on identity. This is shown through Chiba’s personality with Paprika, her alternate form. Chiba is shown to be a very serious and somewhat introverted woman who is committed to her work, while Paprika is very extroverted and carefree. This can represent the personality struggle of people living in a highly technological world on an individual level. This presents the positive and negative aspects of the technology. The DC Mini allows Chiba to explore and display different aspects of himself in different worlds (the real world and the tech/dream world accessed through the DC Mini), but his two sides are in conflict with each other. This really shows in the discussion between the two characters. So while technology can give individuals a way to express different aspects of themselves that they might not otherwise be able to, it can also create conflicts between different aspects of the self that someone can’t reconcile.

Paprika introduces the idea of ​​a “dual view” of technology. The DC Mini can be used to heal and empower at the same time, but it can also be used to take over the world and destroy order. It can provide a method for individuals to express their conflicting sides.

Mention the Works

Figal, Gerald. “Media Monsters and Delusional Consumption in Kon Satoshi’s Paranoia Agent.” Mechademia, 2010: 139-155. the web DOI: 10.1353/mec.2010.0013.

Napier, Susan. Anime from Akira to Howl’s Moving Castle. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. Print.

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