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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the oddest things I have ever seen
Put simply Paprika is one of the strangest films I have ever seen and is a work of pure genius at the same time. In the film a device that allows someone to enter another's dream has been stolen and the devices designers try to track it down before it falls into the hands of a dream terrorist. This is what it says on in the blurb on the back of the DVD and although this...
Published on 7 Jan. 2008 by T. R. Alexander

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11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of heat, little spice
I bought this dvd having not seen any of Satoshi Kon's previous work, nor being much involved in the world of anime (aside form the obligatory studio ghibli). I bought it on the back of the reviews saying it was largely confusing and explosive, jerking you about when you didn't expect or want it to, and on it's visual majesty. One of these is true, the other is more of a...
Published on 2 Mar. 2010 by S. A. Webb


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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the oddest things I have ever seen, 7 Jan. 2008
By 
T. R. Alexander (East Anglia, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Paprika [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
Put simply Paprika is one of the strangest films I have ever seen and is a work of pure genius at the same time. In the film a device that allows someone to enter another's dream has been stolen and the devices designers try to track it down before it falls into the hands of a dream terrorist. This is what it says on in the blurb on the back of the DVD and although this is a good description the basic plot there is far more to it than this rather basic description. Paprika is a very difficult film to classify and it is definitely a film you will need to watch multiple times to understand it.

Paprika is brilliantly made with some stunning and surreal animation easily showing how, when used properly, animation can be as good as if not better than anything live action can produce. The films plot can be very confusing but despite this, it never ceases to be anything less than engrossing. Whether you watch this film with the English dub or subtitles will have to be a personal choice as both have their advantages but I would have to say that the dubbed version is the easiest one to follow in places. Paprika is a simply stunning film and although definitely not to everyone's taste, it is easily one of my all time favourite films.
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69 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kon's latest masterpiece, 25 Aug. 2007
By 
MT (Newcastle, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Paprika [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
If you're going to convince people that anime isn't totally crazy, Paprika is not the film to choose.
If you're going to convince them that it's one of the lushest, most imaginative and progressive forms of visual entertainment there is, you've come to the right place.
I've owned Paprika for a few weeks now, thanks to a French import (a word of advice- it works OK on UK players and even the menus and subtitles are English). Suffice to say that I haven't been so impressed by a film's visuals since Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence. I'll go straight into those, as they are the first thing you will notice. The amount of activity going on in some scenes is astounding, and the bright, happy colours in the disturbing dream world (more on that later) look fantastic on this DVD. The CG used has been integrated so well that you can hardly notice it- look at the corridor in the first scene. Overall it's an astonishing achievement, and fortunately every other aspect of the film is brilliant as well.
The story is just as engaging as the fabulous visuals. It focuses on Dr Atsuko Chiba, who uses an invention called the DC Mini to enter people's dreams. As the technology has not yet been legalised, she has to assume another identity in dreams- the titular Paprika, who, in contrast to the sharp, serious doctor, is a fun, friendly redheaded young woman.
The plot soon takes a sinister turn, as someone has been abusing the DC Mini's abilities to manipulate people's dreams and control them. Soon people are being held in their dreams indefinitely, although thanks to the DC Mini those in the "real" world can view the dream on monitors. The highlight of the dream sequences has to be the parade of household objects, which contains a stunning amount of detail, with literally thousands of objects parading around various locations. This is a recurring image, which seems to be the trademark of the unknown villain.
Of course, Paprika tries to investigate just what's going on, but soon events become very confusing, and the dream and real worlds slide together, so it becomes impossible to tell what is real.
Despite the events becoming very confusing, you are never frustrated with trying to follow the plot. It actually makes a lot of sense, and later events tie up loose ends from the start.
The music in this film is also some of the best in recent years, with the faintly disturbing march played by the objects in the parade being a highlight. The theme tune that plays in the opening credits (and bits of which are repeated later) is also fantastic. Unlike some films, the music always fits the action perfectly, and is an essential element in creating the mood of the film.
Another great aspect to this film is the character design. Part of the enjoyment comes from meeting all the various characters as you go along, but watch out for the two barmen, played (in the Japanese version) by director Satoshi Kon and original author Yasutaka Tsutsui!
There is very little, if anything, to fault with this film, as everything fits together perfectly, and is to such a high standard that nothing feels out of place. The extras on the French DVD are brilliant as well, with interviews and features on how the art and CG were made, but I gather that the UK DVD will not have all of these. If you can put up with not getting the English audio, and really want those extras, it might be worth your while getting an import, but either way, you're going to end up with one of the best films of recent years, and a thoroughly worthwhile purchase.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great rent or purchase, 26 Mar. 2008
By 
nerfeezah (Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Paprika [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
I was extremely hesitant over watching Paprika. I don't like to be disappointed by hype and lowered my expectations accordingly. Thankfully Paprika was not the erratic disjointed hot mess that I was expecting.

To start with the soundtrack is amazing. I was obsessed as soon as I heard it. It's very uplifting and catchy. Watching Paprika glide through the skies to the music was very enjoyable.

Secondly, the story is quite easy to follow. There's a bit of technical jargon (something about a DC Mini which can transport you into someone's dreams) but you don't have to pay too much attention to know that basically dreams and reality are colliding and someone evil is responsible for it. I would say the plot is pitched at a more adult level rather than for children as there are subtle hints about relationships between characters that would fly over a child's head.

Thirdly, the quality of animation is superb. It may not have the scope and epic feel of a large budget Studio Ghibli film but it makes up for that in ingenuity and creative verve. The dream sequences are simply outstanding being alternately gorgeous and disturbing.

The plot does get a little crazy towards the end but it left me with the urge to watch the whole thing again and again. Paprika makes a great rent. I wouldn't buy it on a whim unless I had seen it first though as I feel the film may not be to everyone's taste.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificently captivating, 27 Jan. 2009
I'd been putting off watching Paprika for a while, mostly because I was a dubious about how a film based on dreams could hold it's own against a film like "Millenium actress". I've been humbled.

You can see that every part of the film has been observed through a fine toothed comb. The lush backgrounds, the characters created with depth and personality, the amazing plot and storyline. All of these are done superbly, but even more incredibly the score was mesmerising. I don't normally notice such things, but every time music came in, it created an atmosphere, gave an emotion and enveloped you in the rest of the film. I can't think of any reason to give this film less than five stars, it's a pleasure to view, it's an auditory dream, it's story is second to none. My only gripe is that the majority of westerners won't see it because of subtitles, but more shame them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different from the book, 2 Sept. 2009
This review is from: Paprika [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
As a person who read the book first I can't help but compare the two. The differences between the two are extremely different, this in itself is a good thing and a bad thing. The book is packed with quite a lot of story so it's reasonable for it to be cut so it could fit into such a film, which also means it doesn't include the parts of the book I didn't like.
I would say they only included 35% of the full novel. Some of the differences are major yet how they cut them down isn't that big a deal. For starters the first fifty pages of the novel were missed entirely. They stripped the body of it all down to one bone. The storyline changed in such a way that really it's a story all on its own and not that connected to the book.
They managed to turn two characters into one and limited their (or should I say his?) back-story to as tiny as they could manage. This is bad in one case because the character of Osanai isn't developed at all and, as he was one of my favourite characters, I was extremely disappointed. Not to mention Kuga and Jin-nai who are squashed down into three minutes and one movement.

Now ignoring the original novel the movie was brilliant. It's all to be expected from Satoshi Kon (I saw his "Paranoia Agent").
The art is superb, in the sense of colour, flow and just being extremely well drawn. The characters all suit their faces and you have to hand it to the artists when it comes to those dream sequences.
There's enough in this film for everybody. There's fun, there's some fluffy romance, and surrealism for those who love media that dances on the edge of sanity.
I could properly spend hours saying what I love about the soundtrack. So instead I'll hold up my copy of the album. It's that good. Also the voice acting was brilliant (NB: I watched the Japanese version with English subtitles).
The characters are loveable and the villains... well, not so much. The two major ones - unfortunately - don't get enough time and simply aren't developed. Then again, the main villain in the original novel hadn't been developed well (to my standard) so the film isn't to blame.

Overall a brilliant film and certainly one to watch if you're a Satoshi Kon fan and if you're not it might just get you hooked onto his work. There's one scene that might make some people slightly uncomfortable but it doesn't last for long and the heroic action continues as planned. Definitely a film to see.
Mind that parade. ;)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An often breathtaking display of imagination, 29 Jun. 2009
By 
Luke Carroll (Midlands, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Paprika [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
I'll give you my over all impression first because that's the crux of everything else I'm going to say: it feels as if they wanted to make this excellent, surreal series of animated dream sequences and just needed any old story to link it all together. It starts out slowly and a little misleadingly, but really gathers momentum and gets better and better as it goes along, faltering slightly in terms of pacing and direction at certain points in the latter half.

The main plot, the only bit of the various narratives that the blurb touches, is remarkably basic and entirely unimpressive - and I don't think for a moment that anyone involved in making it would think otherwise. You see, what the blurb doesn't mention is that the REAL plot is actually each character's core psychological problem; the thing that stops them being the person they could be. Each of the characters have their own narrative about coming to terms with who they are (sounds cheesy, it's anything but in this movie) which they do by figuring out that one moment, or that one issue, that sort of derailed their smooth progress through life. Essentially, they get psychotherapy by living and reliving their dreams.

Now that's what gives the film an emotional grounding and humanity, but despite the characters being handled as real people, rather than just devices for telling a story, I still can't shake the feeling that it's all just an excuse for some amazing - often stunning - dream sequences. I guess it's like a more artistic version of an action film, where every bit of plot exposition and dialogue is just a set-up for a shoot-out or an explosion. In short, no matter how believable (most of) the characters are, it all feels rather flat and somewhat on auto-pilot when it's not in a dream sequence. This is about 80% of the reason why this didn't get a 5/5 from me.

The other reasons are that, like so many anime movies, it gets rather lost as it goes on and seems to lose its way and its pacing. It gets tied up in trying to deliver plot twists and in trying to be more complex than it need be. I'm not saying that it gets confusing, though some may find it does, but rather that as it goes on it sort of buckles under the weight of everything it's trying to say and do, and the drama, pacing and over all flow of the film suffer as a consequence. Then there's that while some of the characters are very well-developed and feel very human indeed, some others are criminally flat and clichéd. This would be OK if they were side-characters, but I'm referring to the bad guys of the piece.

The reason you should watch this is because it's an often breathtaking display of imagination and animation, with some really believable characters with very human problems, all backed up by some incredibly original and fitting music. The whole "recover the dream devices" plot really takes a back seat to all those things.

Some general notes: It contains elements of sci-fi, mystery, romance, action and fantasy. It appears to have received its 15 classification because there are a couple of breast shots and a scene in which a woman is held at the mercy of a man who wants to show his professed love to her by feeling her up and being a bit manic.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good, but it's a bit ... odd., 9 Feb. 2010
By 
Mr. S. Whyler "Steve" (UK) - See all my reviews
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The simple way to put this is, a bunch of scientists in Tokyo have invented a machine that allows for dreams to be recorded and altered. after some of these top-secret machines are stolen and people start to have the real world blurred between reality and dreams. This makes them nearly jump off of buildings and jump into cars. The title character investigates to find the source of these problems etc...

Paprika is beautiful and the English dub isn't half bad, however it is just so random and strange sometimes that you are completely thrown off of the plot trying to figure out what just happened.

Basically, if you pay attention, and can endure the weirdness there is a really great adult anime in here.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it, 20 Oct. 2009
Sure, this movie can be a little confusing, but I understood it the first time I saw it - and I would explain it all here if it wasn't because it would spoil the movie. You can probably find it on IMDB or Wikipedia anyways.

It's a very beautiful movie, and it doesn't bother me at all that we see a naked woman being ripped open from the inside.. Maybe because I'm not american and doesn't have a problem with a couple of tits in my movies? Anyways, there wasn't anything that shocked me.

I'm not a movie expert but if you like beautiful imaginative anime movies, I think this is worth checking out.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another masterpiece from Satoshi Kon! great but over-rated!, 20 Oct. 2007
By 
K. bruce "BubbleWorm" (U.K) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Paprika [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
as i have just reviewed "Tekkonkinkreet" which i bought at the same time as this, i thought i may as well review Paprika aswell.

the first copy i got hold of was the official 2 disc French release a few months back, of course the visuals are breath-taking, cell animation and C.G.I blended seamlessly, great characters, good story.

the only complaint i had/have is/was following the English subtitles, in general i don't mind sub-titles, actually prefer them for live films, but not bothered for Anime but in this case as the movie was quite fast i found myself reading more than i was watching which became a bit of a pain and distracted from the film a little, as a result i didn't fully grasp the concept, and struggled to follow the storyline a little, especially with the long talking philosophical scenes, they ARE a drag to read!

anyway i thought it was a great film and the voice acting was very good, i would recommend it to anyone, but i have to disagree with the reviewer that said it was better than all of the miyazaki films! come on! Satoshi Kon is a genius and his works are of the highest quality with fantastic story lines, (Tokyo godfathers and paranoia agent to name a couple- which are still better than paprika) but i couldn't compare his works to miyazaki although alot of critics have, i think they are totally different with Miyazaki's films being more fantasy/family orientated childlike imaginative fare and Satoshi's are equally imaginative and perhaps even better visually but are aimed at older audiences so the two cannot really be compared as you get a different feel from both artists.

one more thing, after ordering the U.K release alongside Tekkonkinkreet, (which you must see BTW- pls read my review) i watched the film again in English language and although the film was much easier to follow the voice over for the detective was very wimpy and cowardly, i didn't like it and much preferred the manly fearless voice portrayed in the Japanese version as it suited the character design much better. i have given this 4/5 because there was not option to give it 4.5/5! the only reason i have not given it a full 5 stars is because everyone does and i personally feel it is a little over-rated, i think people are falling in love with the visuals too much and not noticing that the story isn't the best, if you watch alot of Anime you will know what i am talking about! even in comparison to Satoshi's other works this is not the best!

I am not knocking it however i think the film is stunning and would watch it again and again, it is on my favorites shelf along with Tekkonkinkreet, Akira, Paranoia agent, princess mononoke and spirited away to name but a few!

note: the English release does have Japanese language option as well as English so you can have both, but does not contain all the extras as the French release.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paprika was amazing, 28 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: Paprika [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
I got this film because it was a highly rated anime and because I'd seen Satoshi Kon's Perfect Blue and really enjoyed it, seeing as this was about the dreams and altering reality I decided to give it a try.

Firstly the animation was amazing, apparently they used some cgi in there- I couldn't even tell! The whole dream sequence is so extravagant all the movement and the colours it was brilliant.

The music was something else as well, i had to get the soundtrack most of it is outstanding, it really works with the film and was apparently the first film soundtrack to use a vocaloid- a program/machine that mimics the human voice.

As someone who immensely enjoyed Inception, I heard this was one of Christopher Nolan's inspirations for Inception I had to see it. The plot is really good, it keeps you guessing for most of the film and ends up with a huge fight in dreams/reality. The detective subplot was really inventive too, and I felt quite sorry for him when he was waiting for Paprika etc.

Paprika is one of those films you can watch again and again and it all comes together even better, though it ends like Inception where you aren't overly sure what's been reality and a dream or if they're still in the dream.

My only criticism is that the subtitles only match up with the Japanese, so watching in English with the subtitles - a little thing I do with every film- is annoying.

Overall this film is great, and could fit in the same category as The Matrix - I just can't wait to read the book which was written in the 90's. It's a shame it took so long to make this film, and with a live action film being made soon this fantastic piece of cinema will reach more even people. 5*
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Paprika [DVD] [2007]
Paprika [DVD] [2007] by Satoshi Kon (DVD - 2007)
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