Enter Paranoia: Identity and "Makeshift Salvations" in Kon Satoshi's "Paranoia Agent"
Kon Satoshi's Paranoia Agent is a series that demonstrates how many types of identity are constructed. While some aspects of the series are based in fantasy, Paranoia Agent takes place in a Tokyo that closely resembles the Tokyo of the real world. In particular, a corporate icon named Maromi parallels the rise of icons such as Hello Kitty in Japan; the public's devotion to Maromi demonstrates how consumerism shapes one's personal identity. Consumerism can also be used to explain the existence of Lil' Slugger, a type of phantasm who initially appears to free the people of Tokyo from their problems, but is actually a "crutch" that society uses to run away from reality. The destination of this escape can be called "consumutopia," a virtual space of "perfect consumption" where reality can be ignored. Consumutopia is one example of the - real or metaphorical - "spaces" that are examined in Paranoia Agent.