Jul 19, 2007
(possible spoilers ahead)
In the dreamworld, Paprika is an agent that helps people understand their dreams and nightmares. But when a dangerous technology threatens to merge reality with fantasy, it's up to Paprika and her real-life psychologist counter-part, Atsuko, to find and stop the masterminds behind the evil plan.
This film is directed by Satoshi Kon, and while Paprika isn't as trippy as his previous work, Paranoia Agent, there are still a lot of psychological overtones and fantastical elements. It plays like a mystery, with the main characters hunting down the true villain. Paprika/Atsuko is helped by her scientist colleagues and an over-stressed detective who's haunted by his own wasted potential.
The relationship between Paprika and Atsuko will remind some people (especially Son of Gigan) of the relationship between another j-pop culture duo: Cutie Honey and Natsuko. Paprika is the irresistably cute sprite and Atsuko is straight-laced. Atsuko is even referred to as "At-chan". The only difference between the two duos is that Paprika and Atsuko are the same person.
Anyway, this movie is awesome. I highly recommend it. The animation is beautiful and story is easy to follow -- it would have to be, considering all the strange imagery thrown at the viewer.