Paranoia Agent

TV review by
Pam Gelman, Common Sense Media
Paranoia Agent TV Poster Image
Dark humor + bloody visuals = not for young teens.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 7 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

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.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byshiro k. December 7, 2016

Not a show for kids

this anime is definitely not for children at least under 18. there is alot of sexual content in many of the episodes, for instance in the first episode. in cont... Continue reading
Adult Written by_____________ May 15, 2016
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",... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bywizardortitan November 19, 2017

Complex/mature themes make this best for high school age and up

Satoshi Kon's Paranoia Agent is a great anime; however, the dementia and psychological themes of the story will likely keep younger audiences from enjoying... Continue reading

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.

Talk to your kids 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

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