“Satoshi Kon’s final film is not only one of his finest, but one of the most exhilarating and memorable pieces of Japanese animation ever produced.”Toussaint Egan, Polygon
Arguably the chef d’oeuvre in the anime icon’s blemish-free filmography, Paprika was Kon Satoshi’s fourth and final feature before his untimely death in 2010. An absolute dazzler of unbridled imagination and bravura animation, the Venice-played picture saw Kon get back on Perfect Blue’s warped wavelength to tell another mind-scrambling whodunnit that muddles fantasy and reality. The sci-fi story, set in a near-future world, pivots on a psychiatric breakthrough: the invention of a device that allows a therapist to enter a patient’s dream and root out trauma. When the technology is stolen—its misuse, dangerous if not deadly—Dr. Chiba Atsuko assumes her sleep-state alter ego to hunt down the malefactor across dreams. Kon’s swansong is based on a novel by Tsutsui Yasutaka (whose Girl Who Leapt Through Time was also adapted for anime) and features character design by Miyazaki collaborator Ando Masashi. Christopher Nolan’s Inception cribs much from the film.