Prepare to enter the realm of fantasy and imagination - where
reality and dreams collide in a kaleidoscopic mindscape of
sheer visual genius. The magical tale centers on a revolutionary
machine that allows scientists to enter and record a subject's
dream. After being stolen, a fearless detective and brilliant
therapist join forces to recover the device - before it falls
into the hands of a "dream terrorist" in this gripping
anime thriller from acclaimed director Satoshi Kon.
will most likely be my favorite Japanese Animation of 2007.
It’s so visually stunning and thoughts provoking that
beside Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, this is one other material
that effectively captures the essence of dreaming. It’s
hard not to get swept away by the onslaught of psychedelic
imagination from the creative combo of Satoshi Kon (Director
of Tokyo Godfather) and Yasutaka Tsutsui (Author of The
Girl Who Leapt through Time).
from the start, we are treated to a journey of bizarre dream
sequence that most of us should have experience at least once
in our lifetime. What we most likely didn’t have is
an attractive and beautiful heroine to assist us through the
obstacles that nightmares would throw at us. That heroine
is Paprika, a bubbly firecracker that will make any nightmares
worth having. Her real human host, Dr Chiba Atsuko is almost
the opposite, a straight up tight no nonsense calm and collected
individual. Both individuals have very different characteristic
and yet very charming in their own rights.
the real Dr Chiba researches and implements dream therapy
using the revolutionary device (DC Mini), her alter ego Paprika
assists each individual in their dream like a helpful and
extremely desirable nurse would. Together they form quite
a team. It was until a few DC Minis were stolen, sparking
a chain of events that got even more twisted than folks from
Alice in Wonderland could ever imagine.
of the greatest about Paprika was how it was able to handle
different movies genres effortlessly in midst of seemly uncontrollable
chaos. On the whole, this film seems like it’s only
dealing with the science fiction genre but take a closer look
and one can actually uncovers the adventure, mystery thriller
and romance elements all rolled into one. It’s not easy
to handle just one genre and Paprika was able to handle the
four genres with ease in a multilayered manner.
attractive point of this movie was how it dealt with duality
in human characteristic and our hidden passion / past that
could haunt us in ways that we never expects. It’s philosophical
take on the human’s dreamscape and the boundaries of
one’s imagination would leave a lasting mark in one’s
but not least the soundtracks of this movie had helped to
anchor itself as my favorite anime of the year. It has very
big circus ambient with very maddening pulsating beats to
it and yet with a slight adjusting in the pace and tone of
their signature tracks, it could easily be converted to a
romantic track. In short, it has the feel of a manic dream
that both frightening and mesmerizing at the same time.
Paprika is one dream girl that I would like to meet as often
as I could in my dream. Which is not likely to happen since
I have yet to learn to fully control my dreams, so guess the
next best option would be this Dvd that will be on my frequent
to play list.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
The Extra Features for the region 3 Dvd is a mixed
bag. It comes with plenty of extra segments in their original
language but it sorely lacks English subtitles in the midst
of many other subtitles. For the Singapore market, the only
usable subtitle for these extra segments would be Chinese
subtitle and would most likely alienate the non-Chinese speaking
group or those who would very much prefer to have English
subtitle for easy reading.
Commentary – When a code 3 Dvd comes with a
commentary, it will automatically scores high marks in my
book. But great expectation comes with great disappointment
as it does not contain any subtitles at all. It makes one
wonder how will most Singaporean understand the commentary
at all? If subtitles were not going to be included for this
commentary, perhaps it would be a wiser move to not include
this commentary at all.
and Kon’s Paprika Featurette –
Although the title mentions both creators’ name, the
focus here is on Satoshi Kon. It starts off with Author Yasutaka
Tsutsui talking about the novel version of Paprika and quickly
branch off to the Director’s journey in translating
it into film which forms the major bulk of this segment. The
best portion of this segment would be when the author and
the director got together to do vocal recordings for the two
bartenders in this movie. It’s amazing to see how these
two highly regarded figures in the world of Paprika would
still have some form of anxiety. The amount of dedication
and admiration for each other works were especially heartfelt
in this portion and it’s was also poignant to see the
process of these two creators leaving their “fingerprints”
in their greatest work to date.
A conversation about the “Dream” Featurette
– Contains a group session where the Director Satoshi
Kon, Author Yasutaka Tsutsui, and two of the main cast Megumi
Hayashibara (Paprika / Chiba Atsuko’s Voice) and Toru
Furuya (Tokita Kohsaku’s Voice) coming together to chat
about their thoughts in making this film and the respective
characters. It covers on their particular favorite scene in
this movie, the voice recording process and their dreams.
This lively chat among the four also reflects their mutual
admiration in each individual’s expertise and it also
reveal a few interesting information that happen behind the
making of this movie.
The Dream CG World Interview – Takes
a look at how the special computer generated images are done.
It highlights the special scenes that we as casual viewers
would have taken for granted. For example a car zooming through
a puddle of water would seem normal and unimpressive but this
segment would reveal the layers of minuet special effect to
give this film a subtle one up against it’s peers.
The Art of Fantasy Interview – After
covering the subtle special effects that filled this movie,
this segment goes on to take a look at the artistic designs
of the remarkable dreamlike landscapes in this movie. It went
on to cover the range of colors used to give this film and
the number of small details that filled the background. All
this might have gone unnoticed and watching this segment will
help one to appreciate the effort put into making this film.
Trailers – Contains trailers for Tokyo
God Father, Cowboy Bebop, Memories and Steamboy.
The disc’s visual transfer looks pristine in it’s
1:85 Anamorphic Widescreen. The audio tracks that are included
in this disc are Japanese 5.1 Dolby Digital, English, Spanish,
Portuguese, Cantonese, Mandarin and Thai with a 2.0 Digital
by Richard Lim Jr