This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Steve Moyle’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Paprika revolves around a young lady known as Dr. Atsuko Chiba who is a scientist during the day and a dream detective with the code name (Paprika) at night. Tōru Furuya invented a device they call the DC Mini which allows one another to enter ones dream and record the exact events of their dream. The DC Mini records the dreams of the clients and projects them onto a screen Doctor Atsuko is then able to be a part of their dreams where she becomes (Paprika). The idea is that it can help psychiatric patients with their Depression and Anxiety disorders etc, but the problem is that the DC Mini is so powerful that if it's put in the wrong hands it could destroy people's minds rather then help them.
The device gets stolen and Paprika and a detective are on a mission to recover it which as you might imagine creates some very challenging situations. When it comes to the subject matter alone Paprika is simply genius as it explores our overall Identity through dreams and goes deep into studying it's characters unconscious minds and does so very uniquely. It's also just a dream for us lovers of Film as it's hugely theorizing the art of cinema. Here the doctor Atsuko or Paprika (Depending on what state of the mind shes in) along with detective ( Toshimi Konakawa) are an interesting duo as the Doctor is interested in dreams and the Detective was a former Film Student who is traumatized due to the death of his friend who made a short film with him. You see the case he's working on brings back these memories and he feels a massive rush of anxiety when he has these recurring dreams that revolve around films.
The characters are all strongly developed with each standing out in unique ways and all have a different purpose and are dealing with their own internal conflicts. It's all so well done that the characters became ones that I cared for and I was constantly engaged every second of the film no matter how insane it became and yes it gets pretty fast paced and complex and can tend to confuse at points. The world-building is fantastic, the animation is wickedly inventive and the score is so brilliant that it will stick with you for long after. It's a great work of anime which is brilliantly surreal, emotionally effective and ridiculously entertaining. So many sequences are just incredible and it managed to create a more seemingly plausible dreamworld then perhaps most.