Paranoia Agent, Season 1 Episode 10
Back at Tsukiko’s office, work is progressing on an anime based off of the popular character she created- Maromi. The anime follows a baseball player who isn’t good at the game befriending the stuffed pink creature. Maromi narrates the job duties of the various people in the animation studio while more and more people in the background are attacked by Lil’ Slugger and production falls further and further behind- to the anxious indifference of production coordinator Naoyuki.
Intercut with all the things that have gone wrong with the production, Naoyuki begins to see Lil’ Slugger in the rear view mirror. Towards the end the viewer sees how, desperate to prove himself, Naoyuki attacks his coworkers in the office in order to deliver the finished episode of the anime himself thanks to a deranged desire to gain respect and admiration.
The episode ends with the viewer seeing the ending of the first episode of the show being aired, with Maromi’s voice saying that the baseball player looks tired and the he should “take a rest,” the last words of which are repeated over and over. And then the credits roll, the end credits, with Maromi in the center of a circle of the all the main characters from the first half of the series asleep and surrounding, made all the more ominous by the contents of the episode. Is Maromi, specifically Tsukiko’s Maromi, responsible for Lil’ Slugger? And what will the consequences of broadcasting the episode be?