10 TV Shows/Anime Like Paprika | TheReviewGeek Recommends

10 More Shows With Intricate Storytelling

Paprika is a surreal and well-animated work under Satoshi Kon’s reservoir. The story follows Atsuko and Kosaku, two individuals who want to create tech efficient enough to explore people’s minds and cure their disorders. One day, someone steals their product, and bizarre occurrences take place. The two enlist the help of Officer Konakawa as they search inside the dream and real world for the thief.

Fear not if you’re having trouble finding anime similar to Paprika! We’ve discovered 10 alternate shows that’ll give you a similar experience as Paprika.

Additionally, for each anime we’ve reviewed, we’ve included a link that allows you to view our full thoughts about the series to see if it’s worth your time.

So without further ado, we present 10 TV shows that should whet your appetite when you’ve finished streaming Paprika!

Perfect Blue

Similarities – Suspense & Psychological

Perfect Blue and Paprika are two films created by the late Satoshi Kon. It’s another psychological thriller that’s less energetic than Paprika but will shroud viewers in a mind-numbing atmosphere. This film critiques fame and demonstrates the horrors that come from it. In it, we follow Mima, a pop idol who quits her career to pursue acting.

As time flies by, strange things occur around Mima as she struggles to figure out what is and isn’t real. Like Paprika, this anime showcases the consequences of blurring the lines between reality and fantasy. Perfect Blue uses its strange visuals and musical themes to build tension. You’ll find Mima’s spiral into madness realistic and intruiging.

Perfect Blue’s vibrant colors and contrast are evident in Mima’s psychological breakdowns. The visual effects used in the transitions from reality to the fantasy world contribute to the movie’s suspenseful plot. Both anime also have intricate story beats that will make you contemplate what you’re watching unfold on screen. For those looking for a satisfying thriller experience, Perfect Blue is a great film to watch.

Millenium Actress

Similarities – Fiction Vs Reality Theme

Millenium Actress may not have a similar premise as Paprika, but it’s another work of Satoshi Kon that blurs the line between fantasy and reality. It’s centered around an ex-filmmaker named Genya Tachibana. He wants to shoot a documentary about his former company’s star Chiyoko with the help of his cameraman Ida.

As they interview Chiyoko about her life, these men will find themselves venturing through different scenarios involving her past life. Through this interview, Chiyoko will discover the answer to a question she left in the past. This anime is another intricate work that will make you think and has a strong adventurous vibe like Paprika.

The animation is spectacular for its time and will make people appreciate Satoshi Kon’s contributions to the anime industry. The romance between Chiyoko and her lost lover is heartwarming and saddening. It’ll remind folks of times when they chased after people they felt were their soulmates. With its similar character designs, filming techniques, and grandeur, Millenium Actress is another anime worth adding to your catalog.

Mind Game

Similarities – Dream-Like Atmosphere & Mind-Bending Plot

Mind Game is a thought-provoking anime you’ll want to watch more than once. It’s another work that will make you feel like you’re peering into someone’s imagination. With its distinct art style, complex plot, and quirky scenarios, you’ll probably end up looking for many sources that can explain what you just witnessed after watching this one.

Mind Game is about a man named Nishi who gets murdered after attempting to save his high school sweetheart Myon from the Yakuza. He meets a shapeshifting god in another world but rejects his demands to receive another shot at life. With his newfound knowledge, Nishi murders a Yakuza member and flees into a car with Myon and her sister.

Like Paprika, Mind Game employs surreal and abstract imagery to tell its story. It uses a blend of traditional and modern animation styles and experimental techniques to create a visually intruiging experience.

Paprika and Mind Game also explores the human psyche to create alternate realities that will blow audiences away. Give this a shot if you’re after another mind-numbing work to watch.


Similarities – Themes & Animation

Memories is an anthology anime with three tales that don’t have consistent themes. Like Paprika, it’s an anime that explores the creative possibilities of anime, and the directors for both works utilize the medium extensively to create immersive and highly imaginative worlds. Memories’ tale “Magnetic Rose” is regarded as the best of the three takes and is the closest in relation to Paprika.

The plot is about a spaceship crew entering a decrepit mansion. They learn about a woman with a tragic past and get roped into many bizarre scenarios that will test their sanity levels. This story explores futuristic themes and uses technology as a critical aspect of its plot like in Paprika. It showcases the dangers of mistaking imagination for reality.

Paprika and Memories are stunning examples of creative and thought-provoking storytelling. They explore the intricacies of the human psyche, reality, and the relationship between technology and the imagination. This results in an unforgettable tale that might be difficult to reproduce in other formats.

The Tatami Galaxy

Similarities – Psychological, Fantasy, Mystery

What would happen if you met a strange godly figure who’d let you return to a specific point in time to redo things? Would you accept this figure’s offer or would you pursue change like The Tatami Galaxy’s Watashi? Watashi uses this eggplant-shaped god’s offer to change how he approached his college years. He vows to make friends and ask his college sweetheart on a date.

This is brought to you by the same person who brought you Mind Game, Masaaki Yuasa. Like Paprika, The Tatami Galaxy explores profound psychological concepts such as the nature of reality and time in a deep and meaningful way. Both anime feature surreal and creative visuals that are integral to their storytelling.

The Tatami Galaxy uses repetitive and fast-paced animation alongside eccentric character designs and vibrant colors to create a unique and dream-like atmosphere. As you examine Watashi’s journey through different timelines, you’ll be bewildered by the different outcomes and lessons he learns along the way. For those looking for a deep and imaginative anime that’ll leave an impression on you, check out The Tatami Galaxy.


Similarities – Strange Storytelling Techniques & Quirky Characters

FLCL is a series where you’ll wind up questioning what you just watched. It’s a short anime that likes to toy with its audience’s mind while offering some compelling humor segments to make them laugh. In it, we examine the ordinary life of a boy named Naota. He vows to hold down the fort for his brother and monitor his ex-girlfriend.

After a strange woman named Haruko arrives on the scene, Naota’s mundane life spirals into something absurd and adventurous. Like Paprika, FLCL uses irregular storytelling techniques to explore complex themes. For instance, Naota’s encounters with the bizarre reflect the chaotic nature of adolescence and the difficulties of navigating through one’s own identity.

In Paprika, the DC Mini device allows our cast to enter one’s dreams, which in turn, has them exploring their subconscious and revealing the intricate relationship between dreams, emotions, and identity. You’ll also find FLCL as imaginative and creative as Paprika with all the instances and individuals Haruko, Naota, and their allies must deal with in this world. For those looking for a crazy yet complex work with a great soundtrack, check out FLCL.


Similarities – Avant Garde

Puparia is a difficult anime to crack. It’s a three-minute short with beautiful visuals and a story that’s tough to decipher. However, those who like tales with visual storytelling will find this anime intriguing. Its visuals are its biggest selling point. Like Paprika, this animation is highly experimental with many scenes depicting characters in situations that feel ordinary but hide meaning.

The art style is original and unique. It feels like a painting brought to life. Like Paprika, this anime includes unsettling imagery that will make you somewhat terrified. From the ways characters move on screen to their weird designs, you’ll be baffled by how much creativity oozes from this short. While many people will write it off as a weird animation, Puparia offers some weird scenarios that’ll entice you to rewatch it a few times to uncover its hidden messages.

The Night is Short, Walk on Girl

Similarities – Psychological & Plot

The Night is Short, Walk on Girl is a thought-provoking romantic comedy anime that bares a resemblance to Paprika in many ways. Firstly, both anime takes the viewer on a journey into the inner world of their characters’ thoughts and emotions. In The Night is Short, Walk on Girl, the protagonist finds herself lost in a labyrinth of her own thoughts and experiences.

As for Paprika’s cast, they enter into a collective dream state to explore the inner workings of their mind. That said, these anime use their exploration of the subconscious mind as a way to explore human emotions, desires, and fears. Like others on this list, The Night is Short, Walk on Girl tends to blur the line between realism and fantasy.

Its cast is placed in a world where time and space are fluid. This causes them to experience multiple realities at once, leading to bizarre scenarios. In addition to having a unique art style that reflects its imaginative settings, this is an anime you don’t want to miss.


Similarities – Themes

ID: INVADED is a thought-provoking sci-fi series with many things in common with Paprika. In ID: INVADED, a highly advanced system called the Mizuhanome System allows people to enter the human mind. By using ‘cognition particles,’ a specialized police division called Kura plans to explore this psychological plan (id well) to reveal a culprit’s identity.

This is where our protagonist Akihito (Sakaido) comes into play. Despite being in confinement, Sakaido was a respected member of the police and continues assisting Kura with their operation. As Sakaido digs deeper into the case, he’ll learn a darker truth behind it all. Sakaido finds himself in a similar position as Officer Kanakawa from Paprika.

He’ll be using a device to lurk within humans’ minds. As he digs deeper, Sakaido will question his own identity. This anime also contains scenes that feel dreamlike and surreal. Lastly, you’ll wind up wondering what is or isn’t real after you watch this anime. Keep that in mind if you’re willing to give this a shot.

Serial Experiments Lain

Similarities – Themes

Serial Experiments Lain is a great anime to check out if you’re interested in complex themes. In Serial Experiments Lain, we follow Lain, an introvert who receives a strange email from a deceased classmate. This email leads Lain straight into a virtual setting called the Wired, resulting in Lain discovering many secrets and meeting many bizarre people like the Men In Black.

Unlike Paprika, Serial Experiments Lain’s world feels gloomy and less energetic. Many may not adore this work for its slow-paced storytelling approach. However, it’s a show that benefits from being sluggish due to it having an intricate setting with many principles and bizarre shenanigans for Lain to discover and overcome.

Like Paprika, Serial Experiments Lain explores the nature of consciousness and the self. This anime delves into these ideas marvelously, giving viewers a chance to take in the intricate details. If you don’t mind watching a slow-burner series like this one, then I’d suggest giving Serial Experiments Lain a shot.

So there we have it, our 10 anime/TV show alternatives to watch when you’ve caught up with Paprika!

What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!

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