Paprika (2006 film)
Japanese film poster
|Directed by||Satoshi Kon|
|Produced by||Masao Takiyama
|Screenplay by||Seishi Minakami
by Yasutaka Tsutsui
|Music by||Susumu Hirasawa|
|Editing by||Takeshi Seyama|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Entertainment (Japan)
Sony Pictures Classics (USA)
|Running time||90 minutes|
|Box office||$944,915 (Overseas)|
Paprika (パプリカ Papurika ) is a 2006 Japanese animated film co-written and directed by Satoshi Kon, based on Yasutaka Tsutsui's 1993 novel of the same name, about a research psychologist who uses a device that permits therapists to help patients by entering their dreams. It is Kon's fourth and final feature film before his death in 2010.
Kon and Seishi Minakami wrote the film's script, and Madhouse animated and produced the film alongside Sony Pictures Entertainment (Japan), which distributed it in Japan. The film's score was composed by Susumu Hirasawa.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (October 2012)|
In the near future, a revolutionary new psychotherapy treatment called dream therapy has been invented. A device called the "DC Mini" allows the user to view people's dreams. The head of the team working on this treatment, Doctor Atsuko Chiba, begins using the machine illegally to help psychiatric patients outside the research facility, using her alter-ego "Paprika", a sentient persona that she assumes in the dream world. The movie opens with Paprika counseling Detective Toshimi Konakawa, who is plagued by a recurring dream, the incompleteness of which is a great source of personal anxiety for him. At the end of the session, she gives Konakawa a card with a name of a website on it. This type of counseling session is not officially sanctioned, so Chiba, her associates and Konakawa must be cautious that word does not leak out to the press regarding the nature of the DC Mini and the existence of Paprika. Chiba's closest ally is Doctor Kōsaku Tokita, a child-at-heart genius and the inventor of the DC Mini. Unfortunately, before the government can pass a law authorizing the use of the device, three of the prototypes are stolen. Because of their unfinished nature, the DC Minis can allow anyone to enter another person's dreams, giving the culprit an opportunity to get away with all sorts of malicious deeds. Almost immediately, the chief of the department, Doctor Toratarō Shima, goes on a nonsensical tirade and jumps through a window, nearly killing himself.
Upon examining Shima's dream (which consists of a lively parade of inanimate objects, instrument-playing animals, and various cultural icons), Tokita recognizes his assistant, Kei Himuro, which confirms their suspicion that the theft was an inside job. After two other scientists fall victim to the DC Mini, the Chairman of the company, who was against the project to begin with, bans the use of the device completely. This fails to hinder the crazed parade, which manages to claim Tokita, who went inside Himuro's dream trying to find answers, and intruded into Konakawa's dream. Paprika and Shima take matters into their own hands, and find that Himuro is only an empty shell. Tracing the "roots" that controlled him, Paprika confronts the Chairman, who claims that he is the "protector of the dreamworld", guarding this last haven against the inhumane horrors of reality and technology. He is aided by researcher Doctor Morio Osanai, who agreed to give the Chairman his body and become the Chairman's lackey as long as he retains equal powers over his own dreams. Paprika is eventually captured by the pair after an exhausting chase. Paprika wakes as a butterfly pinned to a table in a room surrounded by pinned butterflies. There, Osanai admits his love for Chiba, and literally peels away Paprika's skin to reveal Chiba underneath, then proceeds to attempt to rape her. However, he is interrupted by the outraged Chairman who demands that they finish off Chiba; as the two share Osanai's body, they battle for control as they argue over Chiba's fate. Konakawa enters the dream from his own recurring dream, and flees with Chiba back into his. Osanai gives chase through Konakawa's recurring dream, causing Konakawa to realize that his recurring nightmare and anxiety result from his guilt that he never finished the film he was making with a now deceased friend. He decides to "finish the film" and take control of the dream by shooting Osanai. The act actually kills Osanai's physical body with a real bullet wound.
Dreams and reality have now merged. The dream parade is running amok in the city, and reality itself is starting to unravel. Shima is nearly killed by a giant Japanese doll, but is saved by Paprika, who has become an entity separate from Chiba thanks to dreams and reality merging. Amidst the chaos, Tokita, in the form of a giant robot, eats Chiba and prepares to do the same for Paprika. The Chairman also returns in the form of a living nightmare, reveals his twisted dreams of omnipotence, and threatens to darken the world with his delusions. A ghostly apparition of Chiba appears and reveals that she has been in love with Tokita this whole time and has simply been repressing these emotions. She comes to terms with her own repressed desires, reconciling herself with the part of her that is Paprika. Paprika returns to Tokita, throwing herself into his body. A baby emerges from the robotic shell and sucks in the wind, aging as she sucks up the Chairman himself, becoming a fully-grown combination of Chiba and Paprika. In this new form, she is able to consume the Chairman's dream form and end the nightmare he created before fading away. In the final scene, Chiba sits at Tokita's bedside as he wakes up. Konakawa and Shima leave the two as Chiba puts her hand in Tokita's. As Konakawa and Shima walk down the street, Shima asks if Konakawa ever figured out the meaning to all this. Konakawa, turning to his reflection and seeing the figure of his film friend, realizes that he in fact became the character from their original film: The Cop. Konakawa visits the website from Paprika's card and receives a message from Paprika: "Atsuko will change her surname to Tokita...and I suggest watching the movie Dreaming Kids." The film ends as Konakawa purchases a ticket for the movie in question.
- Megumi Hayashibara as Doctor Atsuko Chiba (千葉 敦子博士 Chiba Atsuko-hakase ), an attractive but modest psychiatrist who uses the DC Mini to treat her clients inside their dreams under the guise of her alter ego Paprika (パプリカ Papurika ). Chiba is voiced by Cindy Robinson in the English dub.
- Tōru Furuya as Doctor Kōsaku Tokita (時田 浩作博士 Tokita Kōsaku-hakase ), an obese child-at-heart genius and the inventor of the DC Mini. He is Chiba's closest ally, although she often treats him coldly. Tokita often calls Chiba "At-chan" as a symbol of affection. Tokita is voiced by Yuri Lowenthal in the English dub.
- Tōru Emori as Doctor Seijirō Inui (乾 精次郎博士 Inui Seijirō-hakase ), the wheelchair-bound chairman of the Institute for Psychiatric Research who calls himself the "protector of the dreamworld" but is in fact using the DC Mini for his own nefarious purposes. Inui is voiced by Michael Forest in the English dub.
- Katsunosuke Hori as Doctor Toratarō Shima (島 寅太郎博士 Shima Toratarō-hakase ), the cheerful and friendly chief of staff at the Institute for Psychiatric Research and a colleague of Atsuko Chiba. Shima is voiced by David Lodge in the English dub.
- Akio Ōtsuka as Detective Toshimi Konakawa (粉川 利美探偵 Konakawa Toshimi-tantei ), a client of Chiba/Paprika who is haunted by a recurring dream that stems from an anxiety neurosis. He is infatuated with Paprika. Konakawa is voiced by Paul St. Peter in the English dub.
- Kōichi Yamadera as Doctor Morio Osanai (小山内 守雄博士 Osanai Morio-hakase ), a researcher and colleague of Atsuko Chiba who is really the Chairman's lackey. He is in love with Chiba and tries to force her to love him. Osanai is voiced by Doug Erholtz in the English dub.
Other voice talent includes Satomi Kōrogi as a Japanese doll that reappears throughout the film, Daisuke Sakaguchi as Kei Himuro, a friend of Tokita and a suspect in the theft of the DC Mini, and Mitsuo Iwata and Rikako Aikawa as Doctor Yasushi Tsumura and Doctor Nobue Kakimoto, two scientists who fall victim to the DC Mini thief. Yasutaka Tsutsui, the author of the novel the film is based on, and Satoshi Kon, the director of the film, provide the voices of Kuga and Jinnai respectively, two bartenders who befriend Konakawa.
|Paprika Original Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by Susumu Hirasawa|
|Released||November 23, 2006|
Milan Entertainment (USA)
|Susumu Hirasawa chronology|
The soundtrack was released on November 23, 2006 under the TESLAKITE label. It was composed by Susumu Hirasawa. A bonus movie was included on the CD, using the closing theme to Paprika. The last track, "The Girl in Byakkoya", features three spoken lines in Vietnamese. The soundtrack is significant for being the first made for a film to use a Vocaloid (Lola as the "voicebank") for some vocals.. "The Girl in Byakkoya" shares its name with an alchoholic cocktail served in the cafè bar GAZIO, which serves other cocktails named after Hirasawa's songs; the establishment is operated by Yuichi Hirasawa, Susumu Hirasawa's brother.
Track listing 
- "Parade" (パレード Parēdo ) (5:46)
- "Mediational Field" (媒介野 Baikaiya ) (4:59)
- "A Blind Spot in a Corridor" (回廊の死角 Kairō no shikaku ) (1:59)
- "Welcome to the Circus" (サーカスへようこそ Sākasu e yōkoso )(1:00)
- "A Tree in the Dark" (暗がりの木 Kuragari no ki ) (1:26)
- "Escapee" (逃げる者 Nigeru mono ) (3:14)
- "Shadow" (その影 Sono kage ) (3:19)
- "A Drop Filled with Memories" (滴いっぱいの記憶 Shizuku ippai no kioku ) (4:39)
- "Chaser" (追う者 Ou mono ) (3:03)
- "Prediction" (予期 Yoki ) (1:44)
- "Parade (instrumental)" (パレード（instrumental） Parēdo (instrumental) ) (5:51)
- "The Girl in Byakkoya - White Tiger Field" (白虎野の娘（パプリカ・エンディングテーマ） Byakkoya no musume (Papurika endingu tēma) ) (4:47)
Paprika premiered on September 2, 2006, at the 63rd Venice Film Festival. The film screened at the 44th New York Film Festival, playing on October 7, 2006. It competed at the 19th Tokyo International Film Festival October 21-29, 2006, as the opening screening for the 2006 TIFF Animation CG Festival. It also competed in 27th Fantasporto from February 23 to March 3, 2007. It was shown at the 2007 National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., as the closing film of the Anime Marathon at the Freer Gallery of the Smithsonian, and at the 2007 Greater Philadelphia Cherry Blossom Festival. It played at the Sarasota Film Festival on April 21, 2007, in Sarasota, Florida. Additionally, it was shown at the 39th International Film Festival in Auckland, New Zealand, on July 22, 2007, and was shown as the festival traveled around New Zealand.
Paprika has received positive reviews from most film critics. It holds an 83% "Fresh" approval rating on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 86 reviews, with an average rating of 7.2/10 and the consensus, "Following its own brand of logic, Paprika is an eye-opening mind trip that rarely makes sense but never fails to dazzle. The film weaves in and out of dream worlds seamlessly and presents an offbeat puzzle of a fantasy." Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score, rated the film 81 out of 100, based on 26 reviews from film critics. Paprika won the Best Feature Length Theatrical Anime Award at the sixth-annual Tokyo Anime Awards during the 2007 Tokyo International Anime Fair.
Andrez Bergen of Yomiuri Shimbun praised the film as the "most mesmerizing animation long-player since Miyazaki's Spirited Away five years ago (in 2001)." He also praised the film's animation and backgrounds. Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle gave the film a positive review, saying that the film is a "sophisticated work of the imagination" and called the film "challenging and disturbing and uncanny in the ways it captures the nature of dreams". LaSalle later went on to say that the film is a "unique and superior achievement." Rob Nelson of The Village Voice praised the film for its visuals. However, he complained about the plot of the film, saying that Paprika is not "a movie that's meant to be understood so much as simply experienced - or maybe dreamed." Nelson later went on to say that Kon "maintains a charming faith in cinema's ability to seduce fearless new (theater) audiences, even one viewer at a time." Manohla Dargis of The New York Times said that the film has a "sense of unease about the rapidly changing relationship between our physical selves and our machines." Dargis also praised Kon for his direction, saying that he "shows us the dark side of the imaginative world in Paprika that he himself has perceptively brightened."
Conversely, Roger Moore of the Orlando Sentinel gave the film a negative review, saying "With a conventional invade-dreams/bend-reality plot, it's a bit of a bore. It's not as dreamlike and mesmerizing as Richard Linklater's rotoscope-animation Waking Life, less fanciful than the Oscar-winning anime Spirited Away." Bruce Westbrook of the Houston Chronicle said the film "is as trippy as a Jefferson Airplane light show" and criticized the characters and the dialogue in the film
According to a French magazine, Christopher Nolan has cited Paprika as an influence on his 2010 feature film, Inception. Lord of the Rings actor Elijah Wood praised the film in an interview, while Time Out Magazine included it in their top 50 animated film list. TIME Magazine included the film in its top 25 animated films of all time.  Time Out also included the film in its list of top 50 animated films of all time. Rotten Tomatoes included it in its list of fifty best animated films of all time. Newsweek Japan included Paprika in its list of the 100 best films of all time, while the American edition of Newsweek included it among its top twenty films of 2007. Metacritic has listed the film among the top 25 highest-rated science fiction films of all time, and the top 30 highest-rated animations of all time.
Awards and nominations 
The film received the following awards and nominations:
- 2006 - Won - Public's Choice Award - Satoshi Kon
- 2007 - Won - Critics Choice Award (Prêmio da Crítica) - Satoshi Kon
- 2007 - Won - Feature Film Award for Best Animation - Satoshi Kon
- 2008 - Won - Best Visual Design
Live-action adaptation 
See also 
- Paprika at Box Office Mojo
- Hirasawa, Susumu. "HIRASAWA三行log>> お姉さんを磨け" [HIRASAWA Three-Line log>> Refining the Elder Sister]. HIRASAWA三行log (in Japanese). Chaos Union. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
- Eureka December 2008 Special Issue: Entire Feature Hatsune Miku (in Japanese) (15). Seidosha. December 12, 2008. p. 60. ISBN 978-4-7917-0187-2.
- "NO ROOM「HIRASAWA三行log「お姉さんを磨け」」" [No Room "Hirasawa Three-Line long 'Refining the Elder Sister'"] (in Japanese). Chaos Union. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
- Eureka December 2008 Special Issue: Entire Feature Hatsune Miku (in Japanese) (15). Seidosha. December 12, 2008. p. 60. ISBN 978-4-7917-0187-2.
- "メニュー｜GAZIO 80年代ニューウェイブの音楽とカフェ＆バー". GAZIO.
- "Venezia 63 - In Competition...". ...Biennale Cinema... 63rd Venice Film Festival... la Biennale di Venezia. p. 2. Retrieved 2006-08-17.
- Eric J. Lyman (2006-07-28). "Five U.S. films in Venice fest competition". The Hollywood Reporter. VNU eMedia, Inc. Archived from the original on 2006-10-20. Retrieved 2006-08-17.
- "amimecs TIFF 2006 TIFF Animation CG Festival (provisional title)". 19th Tokyo Internation Film Festival Press Conference. Tokyo Internation Film Festival. 2006-07-31. Retrieved 2006-08-17.[dead link]
- "Paprika - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
- "Paprika (2007): Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
- "Results of 6th Annual Tokyo Anime Awards Out". Anime News Network. 2007-03-19. Retrieved 2008-09-12.
- Paprika review, Andrez Bergen. Yomiuri Shimbun, November 25, 2006.
- LaSalle, Mick (June 8, 2007). "Wildest dreams come true, and they can be scary". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
- Nelson, Rob (May 15, 2007). "Kon's Cure for Cinema". The Village Voice. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
- Dargis, Manohla (May 25, 2007). "In a Crowded Anime Dreamscape, a Mysterious Pixie". The New York Times. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
- Moore, Roger (August 10, 2007). "`Paprika' doesn't deliver on the dream". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
- Westbrook, Bruce (June 21, 2007). "Paprika". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
- "Bloody Monday Manga Creators Draw Inception Film Poster".
- "Elijah Wood Q+A". Ain't It Cool News. Retrieved September 11, 2009.
- "Time Out 50".
- "The 25 All-Time Best Animated Films". Time. June 23, 2011.
- "Time Out's 50 greatest animated films". Time Out. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
- "Paprika (2007)". Best Animated Films. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- "Newsweek Japan Lists Kon's Paprika Among 100 Best Films". Anime News Network. 2008-05-06. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- "Top Sci-Fi Movies". Metacritic. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- "Top Animation Movies". Metacritic. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- "Awards for Paprika (2006)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- "Wolfgang Peterson Talks About His Live-Action Adaptation of Paprika". /Film.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Paprika|
- Official website (US)
- Official website (Japan)
- Paprika at the Internet Movie Database
- Paprika at AllRovi
- Paprika at Box Office Mojo
- Paprika at Rotten Tomatoes
- Paprika at Metacritic
- Paprika (film) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia