Paranoia Agent



Dark humor + bloody visuals = not for young teens.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show exaggerates people's weaknesses, particularly those demonstrating power.


Frequent, severe animated violence. Many are bludgeoned and killed. One episode centered on Internet suicide pacts. Also, characters physically and verbally attack each other.


Depends on the episode. At least one features a woman with dissociative identity disorder who has a prostitute alter ego.


Not much swearing, but definite name-calling -- "scum," "fool," and "monkey-brain" are typical.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the main character in this dark anime series is a serial killer who appears as a young, school-aged boy on inline skates; his weapon is a bent baseball bat. He strikes and kills, leaving victims dead in puddles of blood. But perhaps even more chilling, the show is a psychological study of inner human drama, observing how people suffer from despair and fear -- some real, some not. With its dark humor and plotlines and its mix of realty and fantasy, this anime is better suited for adults (and even those well-versed in this genre might have some trouble getting it).

What's the story?

Each episode of PARANOIA AGENT features colorful characters who are facing both internal and external challenges. A common thread throughout the many tales is a serial killer named Lil' Slugger (known as \"Shonen Bat\" in Japanese and voiced by Jamie Gallardo in the English dub); episodes frequently end with the murder of the main character featured in that particular story. Overall, the series is a very dark look at how humans suffer physically, emotionally, and psychologically from the reactions of others, as well as from their own thoughts.

Is it any good?


Series creator Satoshi Kon has a huge following among adult anime fans, many of whom put Paranoia Agent high on their list of favorites. His adept use of visuals, dialogue, and plot to convey social commentary about people's everyday reactions to things like jobs, relationships, and internal battles often hits a nerve with grown-up viewers. But if your kid, tween, or young teen is an anime fan, this violent psychological drama isn't for them (it runs as part of Cartoon Network's late-night Adult Swim lineup for a reason). And since the storylines frequently move in and out of reality, even adult viewers may have a hard time distinguishing what's real and what's a dream, leaving the uninitiated with lots of unanswered questions.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the history of anime. How does it differ visually from traditional Western animation? What else distinguishes it as a genre? Also, what social commentary is the series making about people's reactions to everyday stress? Though it's very exaggerated on the show, how does this commentary relate to our everyday lives?

TV details

Cast:Carrie Savage, Jamie Gallardo, Michelle Ruff
Network:Cartoon Network
Genre:Science Fiction
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD

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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byJohann7 September 1, 2011

Bizarre, moderately disturbing, worth watching for genre fans

A thoroughly surreal postmodern anime series that explores reality as a function of consciousness, and the implications that this holds for a contemporary society that is in some ways deeply dysfunctional (e.g. the pressures of the capital marketplace, the results of antisocial or violent ways in which some people treat others). The story line is intensely cerebral and may be anywhere from mildly to seriously disturbing, depending on the viewer and episode. There is a considerable amount of violence, though most is implied and not shown on-screen. A couple of episodes deal with sexual assault and exploitation, and violent assault, self-harm, and externalized guilt are recurring themes. I recommend it for fans of anime, postmodern fiction, and Nihilism.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 17 years old Written byYdoUask April 9, 2008
Teen, 14 years old Written byLedZepFan98 October 2, 2012

Mature Anime Best for Older Teens

Paranoia Agent is a anime series created by the late Satoshi Kon who is best known for his films, "Perfect Blue", "Millennium Actress", "Tokyo Godfathers" and "Paprika". Satoshi Kon as often been compared to Hayao Miyazaki, but, Unlike, Miyazaki his movies are not intended for children. Paranoia Agent is one of Kon's more mature works. The series is about a serial assailant, nicknamed "Lil' Slugger" who is a teenager who assaults people with a bent golden baseball bat, while using inline skates. In one episode two children look at a pornographic website, which shows a fully nude woman, however, only her breasts are shown. One episode focus is a woman who has a prostitute alter-ego. In another episode a police officer has sex with a prostitute, her breasts are shown. In another episode the same police officer moves into a new house so he can spy on his teenage daughter while she is changing. In another episode, a old man, a young man and a little girl are shown naked in a hot tub, however there is nothing sexual about this scene and there is no nudity. In the same episode a condom machine is shown. In another episode, a character tells a story about a doctor who used the wrong sperm for In vitro fertilization. One character is Infertile. In another episode, a man hacks into a computer and another character mentions it being "Any Computer Nerds Wet Dream". In Almost every episode someone is assaulted by Lil' Slugger. In one episode a police officer ties up an entire family and robs them. In another episode, There are several fights with swords and magic, however these scenes are from a video game and are quite comedic. In another episode, a teenage girl trashes her room after finding out her dad has been spying on her. A teenage boy's dead body is shown after killing himself. The series darkest episode revolves around an internet suicide pact, which consists of a old man, a young man and a little girl, they attempt suicide in various different ways, but all fail and are played for laughs. In the same episode, a man jumps in front of a train and is later shown walking away bloody. In another episode, a man is shown lying dead on a desk with blood coming from his head. In the final episode, various people are shown being attacked or dying. In the same episode a dog is shown being run over by a truck. The "S Word" was used in one episode, but, other then that the profanity is mild.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex


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