What it’s about: What it’s about: A computer system has been developed to aid in psychotherapy, allowing trained therapists to accompany patients into their dreams and explore their subconscious issues. But there’s a problem. It seems one of the units has gone missing – an unsecured system that allows anyone to hack into the dreams of anyone else. The story follows a scientist and her dream-avatar Paprika as they try to track down and contain whoever has the rogue system.
Why you should watch it: The visuals on Paprika are stunning – there’s no other word for it. Satoshi Kon is one of the true masters of video editing and blending one scene into the next for a dreamlike experience – Western directors like Christopher Nolan have been cribbing from his work for years. The plot of Paprika is relatively simple but maintains its momentum throughout. All in all, it’s a psychedelic experience, a good trip in every sense of the phrase.
Caveats: As mentioned, it’s a fairly simple story, but certain elements can be confusing.
Themes: Dreams and the nature of reality.
Similar works: Anything by Philip K Dick. The movie adaptation of A Scanner Darkly is particularly apropos. Within anime, any of the other works by Satoshi Kon such as Paranoia Agent or Perfect Blue. The guy has a very distinctive style of editing and storytelling.