“Paranoia Agent”: Lil Slugger

Warning: This post contains many spoilers! 

An anime directed by Satoshi Kon and produced by Madhouse, Paranoia Agent tells the story of how multiple people’s lives become intertwined through a connection as they become victims of Lil Slugger. 

Lil Slugger begins as a made up figure after character designer, Tsukiko Sagi becomes victim to an apparent attack by what she describes as an elementary school student with roller blades, a baseball cap, and a dented baseball bat. The detectives that take up the case dismiss it as that, a made up attack, but when multiple victims start surfacing there comes a point where one must wonder if Lil Slugger was real all along or simply surfaced from the so-called copy cat that later gets detained by the police. 

In the end, it is revealed that Lil Slugger was created by Tsukiko after the puppy based off her design, Maromi, is hit by a car due to her being distracted. She made up Lil Slugger after fearing punishment from her father and later in her life when she becomes pressured by her company to make another design, calls forth Lil Slugger once more to help her escape the stress and feeling of being cornered. 

Having watched the anime twice, I keep finding myself asking the same questions: 

Was Lil Slugger real the entire time?

Did Tokyo truly face destruction when Maromi disappears?

I think that Lil Slugger embodied the idea that if you believe in something and you can convince others to believe in something, it can believe real to them to a certain extent. In this case, everyone came to believe Lil Slugger as some sort of savior that when the victims became cornered and begged for rescuing, Lil Slugger came to them and did just that. 

This anime is definitely a head scratcher, but one that leaves you with something new after every watch. 

What do you think of Lil Slugger? 

Leave your thoughts and theories down in the comments!