Friday, January 2, 2009


The DC Mini is a modern psychologist’s ultimate tool. That is, it will be once it’s past beta testing. It’s a device that, when worn by patients, can translate brainwaves into digital data which is then stored in a “psychotherapy” machine (more or less a giant server that acts as an archive of medical records). This allows the therapist to literally witness the dreams of his/her patient, or in other words; direct access to the subconscious. The therapist can even enter the dream as an avatar.

However, because it’s designer, the brilliant Dr. Tokita, failed to incript the access codes, the DC Mini can also be used in the opposite manner i.e. to “implant” dreams (data) into the heads of those who’ve connected to the psychotherapy machines.

This unsettling possibility becomes the grim reality when it is discovered that the Mini has fallen into the hands of terrorists. Shortly after this knowledge is revealed, things begin to go haywire. People start to crack up, spewing gibberish and leaping from high windows, seemingly unaware of their own mortality. The data in the hacked psychotherapy machines conglomerates into one meta-dream that threatens to absorb everyone involved.

Now it’s up to Dr. Chiba, a psychologist who has more experience with the Mini than anyone else, to untangle this mess. Using an avatar named Paprika she dives head first in to this warped nightmare of collective unconscious. The description on the box describes Paprika as “part Hello Kitty and part Philip K Dick”, and I feel that’s a pretty accurate description. I would also add that it is part Akira and part Carl Jung.

Oh and I don’t recommend watching it sub-titled as I made that mistake and missed a good chunk of the stunning visuals tying to keep up.

Directed by Satoshi Kahn
Based on the novel Paprika by Yasutaka Tsutsui

1 comment:

bs said...

The visuals did look high class and was the only thing made me try to push through this film. However I wasn't able to finish watching it because the story was so full of mumbo jumbo. And I like anime with complex story lines. Felt like it failed due to overly high ambitions though I give it a lot of respect for doing something new and interesting. Will have to revisit this movie when I'm in the right mood for psycho babble.