Liked Inception? Watch Paprika!
- Episodes: 1 (movie)
- Aired: November 2006
A tech lab has been developing an exciting device known as the DC Mini, capable of delving into people’s dreams. Chiba Atsuko and Tokita Kosaku have been hard at work trying to develop this technology in order to help cure people of their psychological afflictions. Truth be told, having access to the dark recesses of people’s minds comes with heavy responsibility and in the wrong hands, the DC Mini could prove to be an intensely powerful form of psychological terrorism. When the DC Mini is stolen and the people around them begin to behave strangely, Atsuko and Kosaku realise the gravity of their situation and enlist the help of Officer Konakawa, who is one of their patients. Together, they search both the real world and the dreamscape looking for the mental terrorist.
Major Similarities between Inception and Paprika
Most people don’t realise that Inception is a concept that Christopher Nolan had been sitting on for a while; however, even fewer people know that Paprika is the close inspiration based on several similarities, particularly the characters’ ability to entire and explore people’s dreams. Both films have characters with opposite reasons for accessing other people’s dreams – some wish to help people, while others intend to use the subconscious to drive people insane.
2. Dangers of Having Psychological Access
Characters in both films soon come to the conclusion that access to people’s dreams come with major consequences – Paprika’s Kosaku and Atsuko very easily understand the dangers of having the DC Mini fall into the wrong hands when it is stolen, while Cobb and company in Inception have concerns in not having the awareness to distinguish dreams from reality form one of the bigger concerns of the film and with each increasing layer, the dangers are compounded.
3. Some Major Filmic and Visual Similarities
Inception and Paprika are strikingly similar in their plot and their thematic elements; however, there are some incredible similarities in terms of the filmic and visual aspects of the films. In Inception, when Cobb explains the theory behind dreams and dream construction, Ariadne attempts to touch the air in front of her, causing that part to shatter like glass – this is very similar to when Paprika realises that the dream she is currently exploring is falling apart – she touches it and it shatters… like glass. Both scenes lead the characters into new and unexplored territory within the dreams.
Both films are saturated in heaps of surrealist imagery and concepts that are evident in many of the major scenes, particularly the aforementioned “breaking glass” scenes. Glass, more specifically, mirrors, are a major element in both films – in Inception, there is a scene where mirrors display the true personalities of the characters reflected by them, whereas Paprika has these mirrors showing the characters’ true feelings, a subconscious personality.
The warping hallways scene in Paprika which features a highly agitated Officer Konakawa is also used in Inception, in the scene where the character Arthur is involved in a car accident while in mid-dream. The spinning motion of the van in which Arthur is dreaming causes Arthur to be caught in a spinning hotel hallway – similar to the situation experienced by Konakawa in Paprika.
Liked Inception? Watch Sword Art Online!
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: July 2012 – December 2012
In the year 2022, virtual reality technology has seen great progression with the invention of NervGear technology and an online role-playing game called Sword Art Online is launched. The NervGear allows players of the game to control their in-game avatars with nothing other than their own minds. Kirigaya Kazuto, also known as “Kirito,” is one of ten thousand lucky individuals who get the first shipment of SAO, and they explore the scenic world of Aincrad. However, joy turns to horror when they find out that they cannot log out as the game’s creator has trapped them in the world until they clear all 100 levels. To escape, Kirito must work together with other players; however, stakes are high as death in Aincrad means death in real life.
Major Similarities between Inception and Sword Art Online
1. Technology and the Mind
Both Sword Art Online and Inception share the motif of technology granting people access to unprecedented worlds through manipulation of the mind; and the mind’s manipulation of the world. The difference lies in the fact that Sword Art Online is concerned with access of virtual reality, while Inception deals with the access of people’s dreams.
2. Technological Misuse Leading to Grave Danger
In Inception, a great concern of Saito, the Japanese scientist who hires Cobb to hop into people’s dreams is the fact that his technology could be used to bring people to a state of psychological ruin. Sword Art Online’s NervGear presents danger in the fact that the microwaves used by the tech end up becoming the very reason why people who die in-game end up dying in reality. Later seasons of Sword Art Online reconcile this danger by creating less dangerous full-dive technology.