List of Paranoia Agent episodes
Paranoia Agent is a 2004 Japanese anime television series created by Japanese director Satoshi Kon and produced by Madhouse about a social phenomenon in Musashino, Tokyo caused by a juvenile serial assailant named Lil' Slugger. The series first aired on Japan's WOWOW between February 2, 2004 and May 18, 2004.
|#||Title||Original airdate||English airdate|
|1||"Enter Lil' Slugger"
"Shōnen Batto sanjō" (少年バット参上)
|February 2, 2004||May 29, 2005|
|Tsukiko Sagi, a shy character designer who is having trouble creating her next character, feels pressured and overwhelmed at work. She has already created a very successful character, a pink dog called Maromi, and her boss expects the next character to be even better. On her way home she is startled by a homeless woman rummaging through rubbish. At the height of her despair, she is suddenly attacked by someone carrying a golden baseball bat. When a pair of detectives interrogates her, she describes the suspect as an elementary school-aged boy wearing golden inline skates and a red hat. The younger of the detectives, Maniwa sympathizes with Tsukiko, but the older, Ikari, suspects her of lying. The media preys on the story, and a sleazy reporter named Akio Kawazu tails Tsukiko in an attempt to get further details. He is then attacked himself.|
|2||"The Golden Shoes"
"Kin no kutsu" (金の靴)
|February 9, 2004||June 5, 2005|
|Yuuichi "Icchi" Taira, a formerly popular sixth-grade schoolboy, starts being bullied at school for his red hat and golden skates which strongly resemble those of Lil' Slugger. The only person he can confide in is his personal tutor, Harumi. Icchi comes to believe that Shougo Ushiyama, a fatter, less sporty pupil who is running against him for student council president, is the one masterminding the bullying. He accuses Shougo aggressively, but someone takes a picture of their confrontation and texts it to the whole class. Shougo defends him, much to Icchi's embarrassment. Meanwhile, the detectives continue to question Tsukiko, who is now witness to two attacks. They also question Yuuichi. Icchi's birthday comes, but nobody comes to his party except his mother and tutor. Shougo attempts to comfort Yuuichi who just gets angrier, hoping Shougo will be the next victim; almost immediately, Shougo is attacked for real. Eventually Yuuichi goes insane with egopathic delusions of reclaiming his fame before being attacked by Lil' Slugger himself.|
"Daburu Rippu" (ダブルリップ)
|February 16, 2004||June 12, 2005|
|Harumi Chouno, a woman with dissociative identity disorder attempts to defy her prostitute alter ego, Maria. Her two personalities leave answering machine messages for each other. Harumi becomes increasingly desperate when a colleague at Jiai University, where she works as a research assistant, proposes marriage. She accepts, but is terrified of Maria's existence being found out. She attempts to throw Maria's "work" clothes away, but her personality shifts to that of Maria just as she arrives at the dump and takes them all back. Her psychiatrist insists she must tell her fiancé. Harumi is also Yuuichi's tutor, and while visiting him in the hospital, he remarks that she needs a doctor more than him. Eventually her personalities start to fight with each other (in reality, Harumi is pulling at her own hair in the street outside at night) when Lil' Slugger strikes her.|
|4||"A Man's Path"
|February 23, 2004||June 19, 2005|
|Masami Hirukawa is a portly low-level police officer who, despite calling himself a family man, accepts bribes in the form of cash and women from a local yakuza group. His favorite prostitute is Maria/Harumi, the protagonist from the previous episode. Masami even purchases a house for his family using this money. However, Masami squeezes the group a bit too much, and they send their boss--oyabun--Makabe to deal with him. Makabe informs Hirukawa that since the leader of the local group is his friend then he will have no objection paying an extraordinary amount as all of his friends are. He reminds Hirukawa that "his friend" gave him money to build his house and, if Hirukawa is not his "friend" then his house just may have to burn down. Makabe punctuates this point by extinguishing his cigarette on Hirukawa's forehead. In desperation, Masami dons dark clothes and a ski mask and begins robbing helpless local families. Makabe gives him stimulants for his courage. Hirukawa attacks a family whose daughter walks in. While not shown, it is implied that Hirukawa rapes her--a significant point given later episodes. As he walks alone on a deserted road afterwards, he cries out for help, begging someone to "stop him." Suddenly, he is attacked by Lil' Slugger; however, unlike the other victims, he is not incapacitated, and instead chases after his attacker. Masami then arrests Lil' Slugger, who awaits questioning by Ikari and Maniwa.|
|5||"The Holy Warrior"
|March 8, 2004||June 26, 2005|
|Ikari and Maniwa interrogate the boy known as Lil' Slugger, who turns out to be an eighth-grade student named Makoto Kozuka. Kozuka admits to the attacks, but he believes that the world around him is a medieval fantasy-style role playing game. Kozuka believes that in attacking people, he is liberating them from a villain named Gohma who has possessed them. Kozuka retells the chronology of attacks from his game-based perspective, and Ikari and Maniwa follow along in a narrative device quite reminiscent of the director's Millennium Actress: Maniwa, taking an emic point of view, especially gets caught up in Kozuka's role playing. Various characters appear in different guises: Kawazu as a stepped-on frog, Kozuka as a warrior, and Maria as an evil butterfly woman. Maniwa cleverly pretends to be a minstrel who must record all the heroic details. The detectives see that the details of his story correspond to all of the attacks — with the notable exception of the case of Tsukiko Sagi. However, Kozuka points the detectives to someone who he believes can help him take the game to the next level, and who the detectives believe may be an important witness to the initial attack.|
|6||"Fear of a Direct Hit"
"Chokugeki no fuan" (直撃の不安)
|March 15, 2004||July 3, 2005|
|Ikari and Maniwa question the old lady who saw the incident with Tsukiko and find out what happened that night. After Ikari, frustrated at the woman's vagueness, yells at her, she admits there was no one there but Tsukiko at the time of her supposed attack. The detectives question Tsukiko and confront her with evidence of the truth: a bent pipe found near the scene which she used on herself. At these words, Tsukiko faints. Meanwhile, Taeko, a runaway teenager, wanders through the stormy city wanting to forget about her past. Her father, who she adored, is policeman Masami Hirukawa. Her family had just moved into the house he built for them when she discovered a file in the computer's recycle bin. It turns out to be security camera photos of her undressing. Horrified, she smashes furniture and finds a camera hidden behind a bookshelf. As she reaches the brink of despair in the storm, Lil' Slugger knocks her out. She wakes up in the hospital with her father at her side, who she asks "who are you?"|
|March 22, 2004||July 10, 2005|
|After Taeko is attacked while both Tsukiko and Kozuka have alibis, Maniwa considers the possibility of another Lil' Slugger existing and looks for connections between the victims in an attempt to pinpoint who will be next. Kozuka continues to protest that he is a holy warrior, Ikari angrily telling him the first attack was a sham and that he "jumped on a bandwagon". Kozuka admits he only attacked Ushiyama and Hirukawa. Maniwa gets more deeply involved as he finds nearly all the victims felt cornered and pressured by their lives, and each one seemed relieved after being attacked. Maniwa thinks it odd that Ushiyama was the only victim without any worries. Ikari advises Maniwa to take some time off. Then Kozuka is found dead in his cell, followed by the appearance of another Lil' Slugger who mysteriously escapes through the police station's walls.|
|8||"Happy Family Planning"
"Akarui kazokukeikaku" (明るい家族計画)
|April 5, 2004||July 17, 2005|
The three members of an Internet suicide pact meet each other for the first time in attempt to come up with ways to commit suicide, but hope to see Lil' Slugger. The trio includes "Fuyubachi", an old man; "Zebra", a young man; and a little girl, "Kamome". The two men are shocked at her young age and try to run away from her. She finds them in a house trying to gas themselves with carbon monoxide, but the house is suddenly demolished. They then try to jump in front of a subway train, but someone else throws themself in front of the train first, ruining their chance. Afterward, Zebra sees the spirit of the man who jumped in front of the train walk away from the accident into the crowd of people on the platform. Finally, the trio try hanging themselves from a tree on a mountainside, but the branch snaps. The men fall down a slope and get separated from Kamome, but then decide to go back to her because they fear she will get lost in the forest if she's alone. At a bathhouse, the three try to sleep when they see the silhouette of Lil' Slugger. Delighted, Kamome and Zebra run at him with open arms, with Fuyubachi trailing behind, but a horrified Lil' Slugger flees the building. At the end of the episode, Fuyubachi notices that the three of them do not cast shadows when a man walks between them without noticing them. None of them had shadows throughout the episode save for the two men in the first few scenes. While singing and skipping hand in hand in the last scene, the three stop behind a group of girls getting their picture taken by another girl with a digital camera. When the girls check to see how their picture turned out, they are shocked and frightened by what they see in the photo which is not shown to the audience. The scene then zooms on a vending machine behind the girls which is for a condoms: "Happy Family Planning"The UK release of this episode has a 1 minute 20 second mandatory cut made by the BBFC. The removed scene shows the three protagonists (including a young girl) attempting to hang themselves. This cut was made in accordance with the Video Recordings Act 1984.
|April 12, 2004||July 24, 2005|
|Four housewives share gossip that they have heard about Lil' Slugger. The first tells the story of a teenage boy desperately trying to study for his math exam. During the exam, he sneezes out a math equation; he runs to the toilet, where streams of equations begin coming out of him with each sneeze. A persistent knocking on the stall door starts, which he ignores until he looks up to see Lil' Slugger peering down at him. A teacher enters to find a sea of equations on the floor. The second story is of a young wife stuck at home with the mother-in-law from hell. Though it is her wife's birthday, her husband is away, and the gift her mother-in-law gives her turns out to be a cooking kit, with which her mother-in-law orders her to do something about her lackluster cooking. Enraged, the wife flies at her, then hears a knock on the door. Both rush to it, thinking it to be the husband, but on the other side of the door is Lil' Slugger, who knocks out the mother-in-law. The third story tells of a doctor whose nurses mess up an in-vitro fertilization so that the baby is unrelated to either parent. The woman comes back pregnant and in agony, where an ultrasound shows the developing fetus is a miniature Lil' Slugger. This story causes the other housewives to mock Kamohara, the storyteller who is also the youngest and newest to the area. The gossip grows ever more implausible, and at the end Kamohara returns home to her husband, a script editor, to find him on the floor bleeding from a head wound. He asks her to call a doctor, saying it was Lil' Slugger. Kamohara reacts with delight at this news, and demands more details about Lil' Slugger and the attack while making no visible attempt to call for an ambulance.|
"Maromi Madoromi" (マロミまどろみ)
|April 19, 2004||July 31, 2005|
|The production staff of "Mellow Maromi", an anime based on the famous character designed by Tsukiko, all have difficulties meeting the deadline. Production coordinator Naoyuki Saruta, frequently the cause of everyone's difficulties, is fighting traffic to deliver the first episode of the show to the broadcasting network. Throughout the episode, he nods off, and when he awakens he frequently sees Lil' Slugger pursuing him, only to disappear. His dreams recount the production of the series, and the gradual murder of the entire production crew. Eventually, Lil' Slugger appears in the car, and Saruta's beaten corpse is found in front of the TV network's building. As the network grabs the tape from his hand and rushes it in to air, Maromi is heard saying 'take a rest' over and over again.|
"Shinnyū kinshi" (進入禁止)
|April 26, 2004||August 7, 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. She had to turn down a life-saving medical treatment that her husband, now a security guard, can't afford. She tells Lil' Slugger how her life changed when she met Ikari, how supportive he was even though she couldn't have children. Over time, she grew fearful that his devotion to his work was an excuse to avoid her. Lil' Slugger grows to a huge form when she talks about her despair, but shrinks back down again every time she dismisses these thoughts as unreasonable. He grows larger again when she tells him how much he has ruined their lives, and he cackles as he prepares to strike her. She is afraid at first, but then breaks into laughter just as Lil' Slugger is about to swing his bat. Frustrated, he hits her, but Misae carries on, calmly saying "we have made a new beginning". She informs him that humans are not as weak as he thinks they are - they are strong enough to face reality and don't need a fantasy world for escape. Upon hearing this, Lil' Slugger screams and promptly vanishes along with everything around him. Meanwhile, former police detective Ikari is just finishing one shift as a construction worker and goes immediately to his security job at another site without returning home. While at his post, he strikes up a conversation with one of his coworkers, and is shocked to learn that the man is actually the first person he arrested as a cop. The man is now old, but still serving as an honest member of society. During the extensive conversation that ensues, Ikari reveals how he always wanted to be an old-fashioned cop catching simple burglars, not psychological criminals. He is then transported to a fantasy world like the one he wished for. Maniwa turns up looking for Ikari, and his wife is in despair: "he won't come home."|
"Rēdā Man" (レーダーマン)
|May 10, 2004||August 14, 2005|
|Maniwa engages in battle with Lil' Slugger and investigates his past. First he visits the mysterious old man (often seen writing equations and talking to himself in past episodes) at the hospital just before he dies; his last words to Maniwa are 'dance with the rabbit'. Misae tells Maniwa that Maromi and Lil' Slugger are the same being. Tsukiko is being interviewed about Maromi's conception, and among her early sketches is one of Lil' Slugger. Maniwa sees a miniature bunny girl, and remembering the old man's words, he follows to a dollmaker's shop, to find the dollmaker there making dolls of all Lil' Slugger's victims. All the dolls speak to Maniwa, telling him they want to defeat Lil' Slugger too. They plug him into an AR link to the net where he accesses Tsukiko's past. They find a case where she was attacked when she was twelve years old by a figure on rollerblades carrying a golden bat. Maniwa visits Tsukiko's father and finds a golden bat in the family's shed. After discovering the truth, he phones Tsukiko, telling her that her father said not to be afraid. Maromi cuts the phone cable. Maniwa appears and fights a giant Lil' Slugger with the original bat. After the fight ends in a draw, Tsukiko and Maromi disappear into the cartoon world, and all traces of Maromi vanish from the human world.|
|13||"The Final Episode"
|May 17, 2004||August 21, 2005|
|Tokyo in ruins because of a black blob, formed by the rampaging Lil' Slugger, that envelops the town. Maniwa contacts the police chief on a screen in the cartoon world telling him what he knows; Ikari smashes the screen, is hailed a hero, and changes into a police dress uniform. Tsukiko becomes her twelve-year-old self and calls Ikari 'dad'. Maromi becomes a real dog. Ikari muses how he always wanted a daughter, but then his wife appears and he remembers what he said to her in her despair: that people mustn't create fantasy worlds to escape from reality. He takes the original bat and smashes the cartoon world apart to reveal a ruined Tokyo and a sea of Maromi toys. Maniwa tells Ikari how Lil' Slugger was made up by Tsukiko to explain away the death of her pet dog Maromi. Though she told her parents a young boy on rollerblades killed her dog with a bat, Maromi really died after being hit by a car when a painful menstrual cramp caused Tsukiko to let go of her leash. Fearing her father would punish her, she made up the story. The black blob appears as a giant and Maromi, Tsukiko and Ikari flee into the subway, but are eventually submerged. As she sinks, Tsukiko has a flashback to the original event. She comforts her young self and accepts it was her fault, stopping the black blob. Two years later, Tokyo has finally recovered from the damage. Tsukiko, now an office worker, impassively views a commercial for a popular new mascot character. Ikari is still a security guard, while Kawazu is still a reporter. Maniwa, whose hair has turned completely white, is now doing the same complex equation in chalk on the street that the old man once did. In the final scene, he arrives at an answer and gasps.|