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            Kate Benitez

Visual Arts:Anime

   In ancient times, Greek and Roman doctors operated under the idea of Humorism. They thought that each person had four fluids in their body, which would control both personality and health.  The four fluids, black bile, yellow bile, water, and blood, existed in balance with each other. If those four fluids became disproportionate to each other for whatever reason, the body or mind would fall ill.  This Greco-Roman concept is not unlike what Satoshi Kon presents to us in this film Paprika.  Kon presents us with the idea that balance between multiple forces is the natural state of things, and that when this balance is upset, those involved will suffer until the scale is righted again.  Drawing evidence from its creator’s mind and from classical mythology, Paprika brings a compelling argument for this concept of equilibrium, bringing to light some unique insight.

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            As the chaos of worlds colliding subsides, Kon’s message is repeated once more, reminding us that balance is the key to unity and peace.  The damage done by the dream world fades into a memory, but the concept remains.  Tampering with the boundary between waking and dreaming has led to several deaths, and has landed even more people in the hospital. When the film closes, we are left only with the memory of Kon’s words and a final message. The balance of the universe is a necessary thing, and Paprika shows us this in a way that can truly be remembered.

Grey, Jason. "Midnight Eye Interview: Satoshi Kon." Midnight Eye - The Latest and Best in Japanese Cinema - Interviews, Features, Film Reviews, Book Reviews, Calendar of Events and DVD Releases, Links and More... 20 Nov. 2006. Web. 5 Oct. 2010. <http://www.midnighteye.com/interviews/satoshi_kon2.shtml>.

"Humorism." Dictionaries and Encyclopedias on 'Academic' Web. 05 Oct. 2010. <http://en.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enwiki/246979>.

Paprika. Dir. Satoshi Kon. Prod. Masao Takiyama. Perf. Megumi Hayashibara and Akio Otsuka. Madhouse Studios, 2006. Digital Copy.

Steiff, Josef, and Tristan D. Tamplin. Anime and Philosophy: Wide Eyed Wonder. Chicago, IL: Open Court, 2010. Print.