Tortured by a bizarre, recurring nightmare, police detective Toshimi Konakawa (Otsuka) hires experimental psychiatrist Dr. Atsuko Chiba (Hayashibara) to help him unravel the puzzling logic of his night visions. But when someone pilfers the DC Mini, an innovative device Atsuko uses to enter her patients' dreams, it unleashes a rash of suicides and mass dementia. Now Atsuko's alter ego, spunky dream sleuth Paprika, must find the culprit.
Anime is not just for tweens and kid folk, as this darkly sophisticated and imaginatively twisted dream noir from Satoshi Kon is quick to prove. Exploring such themes as urban alienation and dream logic with an almost Freudian rigor, "Paprika" is never less than enthralling. But the showcase is Kon's surreal fantasy sequences, and the edgy wonderworld he creates from the convergence of mad science and out-of-control mass psychosis. Part subconscious action flick, part hardboiled detective story, "Paprika" is truly a marvel, visually and otherwise.