It’s hard to describe Paranoia Agent. The only television series by the late Satoshi Kon, a filmmaker whose work has been cribbed by Hollywood for years now (Inception and Black Swan respectively owe a lot to Paprika and Perfect Blue), Paranoia Agent utilizes Kon’s signature mind-warping visual style to obscure the line between reality and hysteria. Kon created the series as a means to explore multiple themes that seemed ill-suited for a film, and thus the show functions as a pseudo-anthology series looking at a society captivated by anxiety and delirium, with every episode following a different person in crisis. Overall, Paranoia Agent is an anime unlike any other and a wildly surreal experience unto itself.


For fans of: Twin Peaks, Black Mirror, Maniac, doubting your own reality

Available on: Funimation

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Screenshot: Madhouse (Kotaku)


When Dr. Kenzo Tenma, an unparalleled Japanese surgeon living in Germany, becomes fed up with the bias and politics of his hospital and re-embraces his hippocratic oath, he goes against his superiors to save the life of a young boy instead of an influential politician and quickly finds his career in jeopardy. Years later, he becomes reacquainted with the boy he saved, Johan Liebert, only to find himself staring down a cold emotionless serial killer only known as “the monster.” Is Dr. Tenma willing to go against everything he stands for and take a life in order to stop the madness he feels responsible for?


Much has been written here at Kotaku about the greatness of Monster, a masterful shot-for-shot adaptation of Naoki Urasawa’s manga of the same name. For me, my love of the series spurred by the way it reminded me of NBC’s Hannibal, another ruthless killer who functions less as a person and more as an embodiment of the devil himself. The show is one long, slow burn as we learn more about Johan’s past, what he’s after, and what lengths Dr. Tenma is willing to go to stop him. Beyond all this, one of the most compelling reasons for watching Monster is it lacks any of the tropes typical to modern anime. Naoki Urasawa’s Monster is, simply put, a masterfully crafted and gripping psychological thriller that just happens to be animated.

For fans of: Hannibal, creepy boys

Available on: YouTube

What about you? What series (of the non-Bebop variety) have you used to finally win people in your life over to watching anime?


Chingy Nea is a writer, comedian, and critically acclaimed ex-girlfriend based out of Oakland and Los Angeles.