Paranoia Agent

Season 1 Episode 9

ETC

0
Aired Sunday 12:00 AM Jul 23, 2005 on Cartoon Network
8.1
out of 10
User Rating
43 votes
5

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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ETC
AIRED:
After hearing of the incident in the previous episode, several women share rumors related to Lil' Slugger, most of which is farfetched. However, one of the women is having a hard time understanding the truth behind the rumors and impressing the other women. Returning to her apartment, she discovers that her husband has been attacked by Lil' Slugger. She tries to get the story out of him as he begs her to call an ambulance and slowly dies.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • As far as entertainment value, this episode manages to produce some laughs, suspense, and some creepiness of the overall series. However, not much is revealed about the plot or explained about prior events.moreless

    7.0
    Okay folks, put on your thinking caps it’s time for another episode of Paranoia Agent. Are you ready to be engaged in another mind bending array of visual perplexity? Keep your eyes and ears peeled for clues as each frame passes, more could be revealed about the mysteries of this story, such as the main dilemma, who or what exactly is Shounen Bat aka Lil Slugger? This episode strangely titled ETC. starts off at what appears to be an apartment complex. Four women varying in age, gathered around in the courtyard begin telling tales of recent events. Are these women speaking truths or merely making up stories for their own amusement? As each story is told, we the audience experience a visual dramatization of the spoken events. The first story is told by the eldest of the 4, about a boy who lived in the apartment complex, this story becomes extremely farfetched especially near the end, which connects us once again to our main character, Shounen bat. In previous episodes we became aware of how Shounen bat started his viscous assault on the citizens. From everything we have gathered so far throughout the story. It appears that Shounen bat’s reputation has grown immensely. His string of attacks on individuals described as being cornered, have caused a lot of panic and uproar among the public. Now we are starting to see first hand how rumors about him escalate to gigantic proportions. With each short story told it’s believed to be based on a rumor, we are subjugated to more and more ridiculousness all revolving around the legacy of shounen bat. It seems each woman is trying harder to top the previous story with exaggeration and shock value.



    Who on earth could ever believe such stories unless you were simply desperate for something to believe in. we have to stop and ask ourselves, is this the type of society they live in? Is it the kind in which there entertainment is based on the thrills of uncertainty and paranoia of the inevitable? If so, then what does this really say about those who live with that perception? Remember the expression curiosity killed the cat? How about the saying, that if you go digging for trouble you’re bound to find it? Surely these people are searching for some type of escape from the norm.



    I believe this episode is mainly shown to emphasize the growing popularity and severity of Shounen bat’s crimes, on society. This also expands the audience’s perception of him giving their imagination a reason to run wild. It helps to further increase suspicion regarding shounen bat, as well as create perhaps a different perspective of what he has become.



    As far as entertainment value, this episode manages to produce some laughs, suspense, and some creepiness of the overall series. However, not much is revealed about the plot or explained about prior events. It’s not your typical edge of your seat episode but, acts as a mild distraction, transitioning back to the main storyline. I guess you could afford to skip it, but seeing as how this series is only 13 episodes you might as well endure.

    The fact that all these short stories don’t really have a point or tend to lead anywhere really hurts the significance of the episode. As to the titling of the episode “ETC” my only logical guess is that ETC means etcetera as it’s used in writing meaning furthermore.

    It’s nothing more than a silly coincidence the shape of the buildings at the end of the episode would spell out etc.moreless
  • Gossip Kills...

    8.5
    Okay, I classed it as silly. That's because it is! But that's not say this is a bad episode at all. It's very clever, keeping in time with the show's multi-layered storylines.



    The episode concentrates on the new direction of breaking from the norm and yes, scratch the surface and you'll find it's another satrical comment on Japan's socialism. What makes this episode work is the rumour mill being portrayed. At first, highly believable stories are told which serve only to increase the size of the Lil' Slugger mythos (one that's greatly exaggerated to it's conclusion in the last episode). But we're led from one story to another, the truth slowly becomes distorted to a point that it we're not sure what's right and wrong. We as viewers are just as much in the dark as the gossiping wives, so we hold onto every word they say for more clues. It's all cleverly done; there's not one story where you can draw the line between truth and lies at one point. It, like the show itself, blurs into one uncomfortable sitting.



    But like all the funnier episodes, this one has a dark punchline. Bullied for her lack of storytelling, despite being married to scriptwriter, by the older, more established liars (let's face it...they are), our main focus comes home to find her husband a victim of Lil' Slugger. It becomes chilling in that she demands for him to explain how he was attacked, despite bleeding everywhere, but due to previous events and mad gossip you can't help but find it funny.



    So all round, it's a pretty decent episode that is a brilliant stand alone too. Ultimately, it sets up what's to come; a trait that this show has down to a tee by this point. While it doesn't add anything new to the core plot-line, it still manages to carry the plot along from a different perspective like in Happy Family Planning.



    and then...moreless
  • I'm serious when I say that this was one silly episode.

    9.5
    So what do women talk about when they gather about in a circle? Gossip of course. But not just any gossip. These ladies were talking about the stories they "heard" about Lil' Slugger. Some are very strange and out of the ordinary. Among these chatting ladies is one woman who seems to be excluded most of the time from the conversation. She wants to share her stories, but when she does, she is shot down by the others. This is because she is "new" to the area and doesn't know what's going on, as one woman says.



    Their stories are about the people Lil' Slugger has attacked. These stories are very likely to be the result of their imaginations. It's silly seeing Lil' Slugger come out of nowhere in the middle of the story whacking someone. This episode wasn't as dark as the previous ones, but more on the silly and funnier side. There's nothing funny in the end, where the 4th woman, the excluded one, comes to her apartment to see a bloody husband begging her to call the ambulance. He's just been attacked by Lil Slugger. Instead of rushing for help, the woman hysterically begs him to tell her how Lil Slugger attacked him. She doesn't care about her husband's life at the time. Instead she wants him to tell her how it happened so as to impress her friends. Again, we see someone trying too hard to be accepted among her neighbors.



    moreless
  • Ever want to know what your wife gossips with her friends?

    8.8
    Shounen Bat strikes again, except indirectly. A group of ladies are sharing their handful of stories about Shounen bat, which are completely unrealistic. At first it seems like an episode that compiles all the latest attacks the kid did on the civilians, but then steadily turns out into another case of Shounen bat. The stories were also pretty good too, until they reached feats where Shounen bat performe bizarre acts, such as being born within the womb of a pregneant mother, whacking a man in a deserted island, and tons more others. Though the better ones, such as the burdenness mother that was supposedly killed by him, and the love scene where the boyfriend tries to keep her girlfriend alive by painting a fake leaf.



    Underneath it all, one of the women wanted to get involved with the conversation, and started making up stories of her own. Though the other women started scolding her and called her a liar. When she entered her apartment, she finds her husband becoming the next victim to the mighty bat. Rather than calling the amblulance and trying to save her husband, she tries to get the story out of him so she has something to gossip about. Indirectly, shounen bat had affected the lives of these two by simply existing.moreless
  • Not the most twisted ep of this show, but probably the funniest...

    8.5
    This episode brings new meaning to the term "Old Wives Tale". The whole point of this ep is to show you how Lil'Slugger is affecting the lives of normal people. It shows you a bunch of stories about Slugger doing all sorts of impossible things. For example: Slugging an old man on an Island, working for the mafia, being born with the bat, and slugging everyone in a space shuttle lauch! the lady's reaction to the suprise slugging at the end almost made me jump, but it wraps up the ep quite nicely...moreless
Adam Gordon

Adam Gordon

Additional Voices

Guest Star

Wendee Lee

Wendee Lee

Additional Voices

Guest Star

J.D. Stone

J.D. Stone

Additional Voices

Guest Star

Sam Riegel

Sam Riegel

 

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (2)

    • There are three women who always say "Of course not, of course not!". This is a nod to Tokyo Godfathers (another of Kon's works) in which the three women say the same thing in a crowd.

    • Episode Title Appearance: The apartment complex where the "new girl" in the gossip circle lives is mysteriously shaped to form the letters "ETC".

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Prophetic Vision:
      To begin...figures pop out from a cranes beak. A sweetfish jumps and goes crashes with fish meatballs. A dancing reed is in love with the notion of love. A buzzing horsefly breaks out in a nervous sweat. An ant rubs its eyes in disbelief. And the books written by a duck with negi on its back is a sorrowful-ending cariciture of birds and beasts. And then...

  • NOTES (3)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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