Thursday, 1 May 2014

Ani-MAY-tion Month: Paprika (2006)

Uh oh, how do I begin to write a review of Paprika? Well, I think that it's best to start off by explaining that this little review on this little blog couldn't possibly begin to do it justice. Oh, I'll try, but I think it will be best for everyone concerned if expectations are kept low. In fact, that's a general rule of thumb when reading anything that I write.

The next thing I will mention is that a LOT of people throw this film in the faces of people who were bowled over by Inception. The two films are remarkably similiar, I'll admit. Anyone can see that. But it's not the first time that we've had movies released within years of each other that have been remarkably similiar, and I'm willing to give Christopher Nolan the benefit of the doubt here, especially as Inception was pitched, apparently, after the completion of Memento. So there will be no more Nolan chat here.

Director Satoshi Kon, who also wrote the script with Seishi Minakami (based on the novel by Yasutaka Tsutsui), presents viewers with a world of dreams. Bright, lively, thrilling dreams. These dreams are being manipulated by a device called the DC Mini, which can help people by manipulating their dreams to, hopefully, cure physical ailments. Unfortunately, when that device is stolen it looks like only a matter of time before dreams and reality bleed together in a way that will leave most people vulnerable and unable to figure out their own realities. It's up to one doctor, and her dream incarnation (Paprika), to help put a stop to things before it all becomes impossible to fix.

Now you see why I wrote what I wrote in that first paragraph. The brief description that I've just supplied for this movie doesn't even begin to give people an idea of the real constant sense of wonder that Paprika provides. I've not even mentioned any of the other characters, who sometimes help and sometimes hinder Paprika, with the best one being a detective who is being helped through dream therapy, and who ends up using some of the information gleaned to help out during the unfolding crisis.

The voice actors - including Megumi Hayashibara, Akio Otsuka, Toro Furuya and numerous others - all do a great job, but Paprika is all about those astounding visuals, and the wealth of dream imagery in almost every sequence. The fact that it provides such a great visualisation of dreams while also providing a coherent, though densely layered, narrative is very impressive indeed.

This is one of those films that you really should watch before reading to the end of this review. Not because this review has spoiled anything. Nope. Because the film is THAT good.


Don't forget, every copy of my book sold gets a few pounds in my pocket, and gets you a good read (if I say so myself).

The UK version can be bought here -

And American folks can buy it here -

As much as I love the rest of the world, I can't keep up with all of the different links in different territories, but trust me when I say that it should be there on your local Amazon.


  1. It's a great film, one of the first Blu Ray's I ever picked up. Agreed on the Inception comment you made, sure, there are some elements that feel similar, but tonally the films are very different anyway.

    1. I'm annoyed with myself for taking so long to get around to it.