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YMMV / Paranoia Agent

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: In the last few episodes, Lil' Slugger nearly levels Tokyo. Fans disagree about whether this happened because Misae gave him a serious "The Reason You Suck" Speech, which seemed to cause him physical pain, and may have made him flip out, or if it was just a buildup of the lies, fears, and desperation that created Lil' Slugger and drew him to his victims in the first place. It basically depends on whether or not you view Lil' Slugger as an actual person with thoughts, emotions, and everything, or just a force of nature acting without any real agency over its own actions, akin to a landslide or a flood.
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  • Anvilicious: Paranoia Agent is not remotely subtle in its message that part of being an adult means accepting the world as it is rather than hiding behind fantasy or denial. While the first few episodes only contain very subtle hints, the later episodes sometimes hit the viewer with the series' main message like a golden bat to the head. For example, it sure is obvious what Satoshi Kon was trying to say when Ikari destroys that creepy-ass paper town with a baseball bat while admitting that he has to face the reality that he no longer has a place in the world.
  • Awesome Music: The opening theme, a cheesy, bombastic, electronic tune whose cheerfulness contrasts the series itself in an odd, yet satisfactory manner.
  • Broken Base: How much at fault is Tsukiko over the creation of Lil' Slugger? Some fans point out her refusal to admit blame over the death of her dog Maromi, who inspired the mascot of the same name, is so she'd be looked as a victim. Others have countered that thanks to her implied schizophrenia, she didn't know her actions would cause so much chaos.
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  • Crosses the Line Twice: "Happy Family Planning". Suicide pacts should not be so hilarious.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: A line in the opening sequence. "No need to worry about a tsunami or anything..." Turns out they needed to worry about a tsunami after all.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The series revolves around the idea of a single strange attack that began as a hoax that gets picked up by the media, incidents increase, and rapidly becomes a national crisis. As Super Eyepatch Wolf points out, this ends up bearing an eerie resemblance to reports of clown attacks in 2016.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The series revolves around a young boy coming to those who are desperate and screwing badly with their lives and thereby rendering their previous worries mostly moot, to the point of putting them at mortal danger, who's earned the moniker "Ha..." er, "Bat Lad".
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  • Squick: Hirukawa taking pictures of his own daughter undressing in her bedroom with a hidden camera. Indeed, anybody else would've probably also thrown up after discovering something so vile about one of their own parents.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Tsukiko's seemingly constant lifeless stare.
    • Kawazu, who's wild-eyed, perverted grin almost comes across as froglike at times.
    • Maria, Harumi's alter-ego, who often sports a deranged, puppet-like grin.
    • Hirukawa, a short, stout man with a gaping huge mouth and large lips to boot.
  • Ugly Cute: Maromi is an intentional example; designed to resemble something innocent and approachable like Hello Kitty, but with an unsettling twist. His head and body form the shape of a mushroom cloud.
  • The Woobie:
    • Tsukiko. Having your dog killed at a young age and then pinning the blame on a fake attacker to not get in trouble and having that become a living entity that begins attacking (and later on) destroys Tokyo really leaves a mark on someone.
    • The delusional Kozuka is apprehended and suspected of being Lil' Slugger, but is killed by the real one. Lil' Slugger attacks those driven into corners, and Kozuka was stressed by the intense and physically abusive interrogation from Ikari - as well as the rest of his life, as implied in "Happy Family Planning", to the point that he wanted to die, much like Zebra, Fuyubachi, and Kamome. Unlike them, however, he gets his wish when he is bloodily beaten to death at the hands of Lil' Slugger.
    • Tsuki and the trainee in the episode "Mellow Maromi" qualify.
    • Yuichi is something of a Jerkass Woobie. He's a Spoiled Brat who was essentially bound to take a dose of Humble Pie sooner or later, and reacts quite badly when he does, constantly antagonizing someone completely innocent and even being happy as they're attacked by the Lil' Slugger. However, he's also dealing with being ostracized by absolutely every one of his peers: bullying is never nice, much less when just a day ago everyone loved him.
    • Each member of the animation team could be a Jerkass Woobie. They were pressured to reach some deadline, and because of Lil' Slugger -by extension, themselves- they each died to complete the first episode of a series. However, the Jerkass comes from, yes, picking on the idiot of the team, and also from the fact that none of them cared if the others died to complete the show, so long as the show was completed.
    • Maniwa. He ends up going insane and ruining his life, but it's necessary in order to combat Lil' Slugger, and in case something akin to Lil' Slugger ever appears in the future.
    • Misae Ikari, who's struggling with multiple illnesses and such and yet devotes everything to her husband despite her fears and insecurities that he doesn't love her anymore/could be cheating on her, a very sad Adult Fear reality that most spouses deal with. She does, however, become a Iron Woobie since unlike half of the characters who are attacked by Lil' Slugger, she just accepts reality as it is and refuses to back down despite feeling broken and tired.
  • Woolseyism: The choice to change Shonen Bat's name to Lil' Slugger for the English dub. If they had gone for a more direct translation, it would have been "Bat Boy," which doesn't sound quite as iconic and besides, it's already taken.