Paprika (2006)

paprika poster 2006 movie
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 10/10

Great visuals

So-so story that sometimes tries too hard

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Paprika

Studio:  Madhouse

Genre(s):  Animated/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  September 2, 2006 (Venice International Film Festival)/November 25, 2006 (Japan)

MPAA Rating:  R


Join the parade!

A device called the DC Mini has allowed researches to tap into the dreams of people.  With unlimited medical uses, the DC Mini could be a great device and unauthorized testing is occurring in the realm of dream therapy.  When the DC Mini is stolen, Doctor Seijirō Inui wants to shut the program down.  As the DC Mini’s creator Doctor Kōsaku Tokita, Doctor Toratarō Shima, and Doctor Atsuko Chiba set out to find the thief, the barriers between dreams and reality begin to break down and only Chiba’s dream alter-ego Paprika and an officer she is treating Detective Toshimi Konakawa can uncover the real thief and stop the danger.


I’m a good robot!

Directed by Satoshi Kon, Paprika (with the Japanese title of パプリカ Papurika) was the final film directed by Kon before his death on August 24, 2010 as a result of pancreatic cancer.  Following his Tokyo Godfathers in 2003, the movie adapts Yasutaka Tsutsui’s 1993 novel which also appeared in manga form in 1995 and translated into a new graphic novel after the release of this film.  The movie was relatively well received and made the round at festivals.

Paprika is just a strange, great film that doesn’t always make sense.  The story blends between reality and the horrific dream world that is being controlled by the person behind the DC Mini’s theft…with the unlimited ability of animation and dreams, it is a good combination.


Time to come out Doctor Chiba!

The story is probably the weakest or the strongest point in Paprika depending how you look at it.  It is a garbled mess of dreams and overlapping reality.  You could watch Paprika multiple times and not entirely get the story…some viewers might like that and others might hate that.  I generally like that, but sometimes I find Paprika trying too hard.

The movie was a Japanese film and was shot with Japanese actors providing the voice.  Fortunately, if you aren’t into reading translations, Paprika was dubbed with an English cast and a strong translation.  It might be “classier” to watch Paprika with the subtitles and the original Japanese voices, but the movie is very rich and visual and not having the read allows you to focus more.


There’s something kind of terrifying about this movie

Paprika is primarily watched for the visuals.  It is an R-Rated film and not for children so hopefully parents will realize that.  I do find something really horrific about the doll parade and it gave me a bit of a queasy feeling when the music started to play…It is like a nightmare and does have that feel.  The film gets the label “fantastical” because there are no limits to the creativity and it does push the limit at points.

Paprika is a fun, weird movie.  You might not like the story, but it does allow for some great looking scenes.  I wish that Kon hadn’t passed away because he was a great visionary.  With a limited number of works, you should take time and seek out Paprika and some of his other films.

Related Links:

Perfect Blue (1997)

Millennium Actress (2001)

Tokyo Godfathers (2003)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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