Paranoia Agent Volume 2 : True Believers

Image of DVD cover (51k jpg)

Released by: Madman Entertainment.
Region: Four.
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 (anamorphic)
Disc 1:

With the arrest of a young boy who weilds a crooked golden baseball bat and wears golden inline skates Detectives Ikari and Maniwa feel they have their criminal. Settling in to interrogate him Ikari is perplexed by the strange tale Kozuka weaves about why he has been attacking people. Maniwa however understands quite well where the boy is coming from and using the leads collected he and Ikari re-question the victims along new lines to both verify the boys story and satisfy for themselves that they have everything understood.

But that line of enquiry reveals that Kazuko has told quite a bit of truth but not all, it proves frustratingly difficult to establish a clear linkage to all the victims and the detectives are further stunned when Little Slugger claims more victims - despite being arrested! With Ikari and Maniwa now back not just to square one but indeed further behind it the series twists again leaving us again perplexed as to the nature of Little Slugger and just who can stop him...

With a series as carefully constructed as this it is very hard to provide an overview of the story without giving away some of the most fun twists I've seen in an anime in a while. Some of the most deft storytelling occurs in the middle episode where a young girl's dilema is revealed to us in a way that informs both the thread of the detectives investigation into Kozuka's story but it also fills the background of another character whose behavior we have seen but perhaps not fully understood. Effectively three strands of plot development from the one character arc in what is the 'B' story of the episode. Very nicely done.

Also maintained is the characteristic levity of the series where quite sensitive issues are handled humouressly without trivialising what is going on. The role of passive observer we maintain continues to allow us to see the often quite funny hypocracy people engage in on a regular basis in both the small and big things. It is this keen observation of people and their habits that makes this series such fun. While hopefully you won't know people who do all of the things depicted in the series you will see many archetypes you do recognise in your own life. It all adds to the veritas of the otherwise quite outrageous story of Little Slugger.

All in all this a strong continuation of the intrieguing puzzle that is Little Slugger. Presented in a clear 16:9 anamorphic print with the strong 2.0 dubs in either language the only disappoinment is the slightly light set of extras present on the disc. With only three episodes present there is plenty of room for something a little more substantive than mere opening and ending title sequences.

Philip R. Banks
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