Like a KB Toys that stacks Kierkegaard and Jung next to the Nerf footballs, Satoshi Kon's ballistic Paprika couldn't be more ecstatically heady or peculiarly engaging. Following in a select lineage of hyper-intelligent anime, Kon's mash-up of technology, psychology, and a warped conga line of everyday utensils and spastic tinker toys could be the most intelligent science fiction enigma to pop up since Linklater went all "am I myself?" on us in A Scanner Darkly.
Dr. Atsuko Chiba has the honor of being one of the few psychotherapists to test out the next wave of psychological probing: The DC Mini. Designed by a jelly donut of a man named Dr. Tokita, the DC Mini allows Chiba to go into her patients' dreams, studying and interacting as her alter ego Paprika. She has made major breakthroughs with one patient, Detective Konakawa, but soon enough the DC Mini becomes a point of threat. It seems that certain proprietors of the Mini DC are committing suicide while in a waking dream populated by lunatic imagery including a disco-dancing refrigerator, teddy bears trotting around, and a monster mash of telephones, alarm clocks, and action figures. It becomes Chiba, Det. Konakawa, and Paprika's charge to find out who is behind these deeds and who has stolen one of Tokita's Mini's for their own use.
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