Paranoia Agent

Season 1 Episode 8

Happy Family Planning

Aired Sunday 12:00 AM Jul 16, 2005 on Cartoon Network
out of 10
User Rating
68 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Happy Family Planning
Fuyubachi (Winter Bee), an old man, Zebra, a young man, and Kamome (Seagull), a cute 11-year old girl, finds different ways of committing suicide. After a big adventure going from Tokyo to the countryside, they encounter Lil' Slugger at a hot spring.

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  • Not a bad episode.

    I like this episode. But why would a pretty cute little girl want to kill herself with an old man and a young man? But other then that I like this episode. Like when Lil' Slugger comes to kill them, they are happy to see him. But that scars him away.
  • Mysterious and vauge, with a dark flavor.

    So another one of those type of stories where in the writer leaves it up to the audience to interpret the details. Not my fav style of writing. I think its a strategy that demands the audience watch the episode and dwell on it to the point of nausea,such as if you are one of those obssessive types like me that absolutely has to know the truth and explantion to the entire situation. I wouldn't have a problem with this 1 except that if indeed theese 3 characters were ghosts, how were the able to interact physicaly with things? Such as the tree branch breaking.

    There are too many plot holes and unanswered questions to really accept as a complete story.

    If you enjoy mysteries and psychological tales then I guess you can appreciate this alot more.

    Still I perfer my stories to have solidity.moreless
  • 3 internet pals decide to meet and commit suicide together. but when one of the them turns out to be a excited and fun loving 11 year old girl the plan changes.moreless

    Never has such a disturbing topic been so funny. In a cross with the Tokyo Godfathers and The Ransom of Red Chief. As the two grown men can't kill themselves with a little girl along. every attempt to do themselve in ends with comedy. Yes suicide isn't a fun topic. but failed suicide is hilarious. Yet what's so ironic about the whole episode is that all three characters have already died by natural causes. And aren't aware of their demise. These spirits wander about not noticing that they can't interact with other living people. Even lil slugger is frighted by these ghost and runs away.moreless
  • A break from the norm.

    After Mhz\'s serious mood comes this quirky stand-alone story about three lonely people trying to commit suicide together. A premise strong enough for a film in my opinion.

    Anyways, this is black comedy at its best, but it also manages to convey a sad drama to it all; summed up by the little girl shouting about not being left alone after a failed hanging. It\'s a road-trip story that\'s amusing because of the resulting failed attempts. They as a group fail to realise that they\'re living through trying to die. A sort of family who communicate their troubles through death rather than their original influence of the internet. Satoshi Kon\'s original theme of tradition vs technology shines through the strongest here than anywhere else in the series.

    The episode manages to ease up and give us a vital clue to Lil\' Slugger\'s persona, but becomes more of a backstory to show more of the suicidal trio. To this day I can\'t figure out the true ending. Were they meant to be dead? I\'m guessing so judging by the the screams from those kids looking at that photo at the end.

    A great stand-alone which manges to comment on absurdity of suicide chat rooms in a post-modern way without resorting to knowing winks and novel ways.

    and then...moreless
  • A very interesting episode, much more interesting the second and third time around. ** WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!! **

    I agree with a lot that has been said about the episode already, so I won\'t restate what has already been said so well by so many. *giggles*

    I think they were dead the whole time. I think they were dead before they meet up. I\'m not sure how or why any of them died, or why they wanted to die, but I think they were dead before the start of the episode. Now don\'t ask me how or why ghosts could be online. But if we can assume that \"Fox\" aka Lil\' Slugger is already dead (the boy who looks like Lil\" Slugger and died in the prison) then perhaps their online conversation took place BEFORE the episode. If you assume that, then the online conversation is actually back flashes or memories of that conversation.

    There has been a bit of conversation on the reviews and in the forums of why they wanted to die. I don\'t really know, but having watched the episode a couple of times, I\'d like to throw my theories into the mix. The old man, Fuyubachi has heart problems. He only has a short time to live and is on medication. My big question now is what\'s with the bag of chocolates? The younger cute guy Zebra... well here\'s a guess or two. He\'s gay and maybe that\'s been hard on him. Maybe his lover left him or died. As far as the young girl, Kamome I think there is evidence that she too is alone. After they all try to hang themselves, and the two men fall and try to hide from her (again) she screams, \"Don\'t leave me alone.\" Maybe her parents or dead or abandoned her.

    So all three are alone and wanted to die. I think they died before the episode happened. There is plenty of evidence to that fact if you watch the episode carefully. I think that they meet before the episode on the internet and then died. They wanted to belong and be with someone so badly, that the three ghosts made their own odd little family. Only they don\'t know they are dead. I think that is what scares Lil\' Slugger so much in the bath house scene. Not that they WANT to die, but that they DON\'T know WHAT they are (dead). At least that\'s my opinion.


Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • At the very end of the episode, the camera pans to a vending machine selling "Happy Family Planning" extra-thin condoms. Given the Paranoia Agent's social commentary, this may be a comment on the low birth rate in Japan. It's just as likely that it's an existential metaphor--just as you cannot commit suicide when you're already dead, you cannot conceive a family while using condoms.

    • Episode Title Appearance: At the very end of the episode, the camera pans to a vending machine selling "Happy Family Planning" extra-thin condoms.

    • Maromi, the little pink dog mascot which usually interacts with its creator, Tsukiko, throughout the series, appears in this episode as the animal backpacks carried by Zebra, Fuyubachi, and Kamome.

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Prophetic Vision:
      To begin with... The animal trail that goes beyond... The one who can follow it is the Holy Warrior. A seagull, a zebra, and a winter bee. There are no shadows of them wandering from place to place. Sitting in a happy circle around a brazier. Even dead branches add to the mountain scenery. Why do the crows caw? Well...

    • Fuyubachi: I thought I was going to die!

  • NOTES (5)

    • The original Japanese broadcast was on April 5, 2004.

    • The original title of this episode is "A Bright Family Plan."

    • This episode was cut by 1 minute, 20 seconds by the BBFC due to the attempted suicide sequence involving the young girl. It still received an '18' rating, which is a rarity for an animated program in the UK.

    • At the end of the episode, a group of tourists take a picture which happens to include the trio. When the tourists see the picture, they are visibly horrified having ghosts appear in their photograph; the audience never sees the picture.

    • This is the first episode that has no connection to a character from a previous episode.


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