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Paranoia Agent Vol 1 - Lil' Slugger (2004)  link to Paranoia Agent Vol 1 - Lil' Slugger on IMDb

Number: 17

cover Paranoia Agent Vol 1 - Lil' Slugger

IMDB Rating: star star star star star star star star star star

Country: Japan, 100 minutes

Spoken Languages: Japanese

Genre(s): Drama, Comedy, Animation, Mystery

Director: Satoshi Kon

Cast: Jonathan Klein, Shôzô Îzuka, Toshihiko Seki, Mamiko Noto, Ryûji Saikachi

Medium: Original DVD

Plot Outline:
Seemingly unconnected citizens of Tokyo are targeted for bludgeoning by a boy with a golden baseball bat. As detectives try to link the victims, they discover that following the assaults, the victims' lives have improved in some way.

Episode 1 "Enter Lil' Slugger"
Tsukiko Sagi, a shy character designer who is having trouble creating her next character, feels pressured and overwhelmed. She has already created a very successful character, a pink toy dog called Maromi, and her boss expects the next character to be even better. On her way home she is startled by a homeless woman rummaging through rubbish. At the height of her despair, she is suddenly attacked by an individual with a golden baseball bat. When a pair of detectives interrogates her, she describes the suspect as an elementary school-aged boy wearing golden inline skates and a red hat. The younger detective (Maniwa) sympathizes, but the older (Ikari) suspects her of lying. The media preys on the story, and a sleazy reporter called Kawazu Akio tails Tsukiko in an attempt to get further details. He is then attacked himself.

Episode 2 "The Golden Shoes"
Taira Yuuichi, a popular schoolboy in 6th grade is bullied in school on suspicion of being Lil' Slugger because he too has a red hat and golden skates. He only confides in his home tutor. He starts believing Ushiyama Shougo has done it. He is a fatter, less sporty pupil who is running against him for student council president. He accuses Shougo aggressively, then someone photos it and texts it to the whole class. Shougo defends him, much to his embarrassment. Meanwhile, the detectives continue to question Tsukiko who is now witness to two attacks. They also question Yuuichi. At his birthday, only his mother and tutor turn up. On the streets, Shougo comforts Yuuichi who just gets angrier, willing Shougo to be the next victim, which he promptly is. Eventually Yuuichi goes insane with egopathic delusions of reclaiming his fame and is attacked by Lil' Slugger himself.

Episode 3 "Double Lips"
Chouno Harumi, a woman with dissociative identity disorder attempts to defy her prostitute alter ego, Maria. Her two personalities leave answering machine messages for each other. Harumi becomes increasingly desperate when a colleague at Jiai University (where she works as a research assistant), proposes marriage. She accepts but is terrified of being found out. She attempts to throw Maria's 'work-clothes' away, but changes to Maria's personality just as she arrives at the dump. Her psychiatrist insists she must tell her fiancee. Harumi is also Yuuichi's tutor and while visiting him in the hospital, he remarks that she needs a doctor more than him. Eventually her personalities fight each other (in reality she is pulling her own hair in the street at night) when Lil' Slugger strikes.

Episode 4 "A Man's Path"
Masami Hirukawa is a portly low-level police officer who, despite calling himself a family man, accepts bribes in the form of cash and women (in fact, his favorite prostitute is Maria/Harumi, the protagonist from the previous episode) from a local Yakuza group. Masami even purchases a house for his family using this money. However, Masami falls behind in his payments, and the Yakuzas send one of their men, Makabe, to reclaim the "stolen" funds. Masami manages to get the "loan" extended, but has to pay an extremely large amount of interest. Desperate, Masami dons dark clothes and a ski mask and starts robbing the helpless. He even develops a drug habit to deal with the stress. As he walks alone on a deserted road at night, he cries for help, for someone to "stop him." Suddenly, he is attacked by Lil' Slugger; however, unlike the other victims, he is not incapacitated, and instead gives chase to Lil' Slugger. Masami then arrests Lil' Slugger, who awaits to be questioned by Ikari and Maniwa.

Comments: Genon Pioneer;UPC013023237797;Vol 1 - Lil' Slugger (Episodes 1-4);W/Art box and Maromi Plush Doll;

Loaned: No

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