Satoshi Kon’s PAPRIKA (2006) Haunts Your Dreams in 4K UHD – New Steelbook Edition Review

Beloved multi-hyphenate anime director (and writer, animator, and manga artist) Satoshi Kon passed away in 2010, but left behind a legacy of enduring cerebral works which continue to challenge and entertain fans, and entice and entrance new ones. This “all bangers” filmography includes some of anime’s most celebrated films, including Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, and Tokyo Godfathers – thoughtful, adult-oriented films that challenged the limitations and conventions of what animated entertainment can be.

Sony Entertainment now brings his final film from 2006, Paprika, to 4K UHD, newly restored and color-timed for HDR. The disc comes in the form of a beautiful Steelbook package which also includes a Blu-ray disc with the film and extras. Included on the 4K disc is a brand new featurette, highlighting the restoration process which seeks to honor Kon’s legacy and the movie’s film origins while also refreshing it for a new medium.

Paprika introduces us to a team of researchers who develop a prototype sensory device, dubbed the DC Mini, that allows its operator to enter and record dreams – an extremely dangerous capability, in that it can be used to influence and exert control over the dreams and minds of other people, causing manipulation, madness, or death.

Their worst dreams are realized – literally – when the DC Mini is stolen with malicious intent, leading our multiple protagonists – including an investigating detective and a mysterious female operator known as Paprika – on a surreal chase through a confusing swirl of reality and nightmares where nothing is as it seems.

This dream world serves up a series of weird and sometimes disturbing scenarios and images, as dream logic does – at times with an unapologetically adult nature, including some difficult sexual violence. The incredible stream-of-consciousness visual inventiveness makes Paprika regarded by as many as Kon’s masterpiece.

Paprika remains a mesmerizing experience, and it’s not hard to see how the film’s influence can continue to be felt in other films and media like Inception and most recently Dream Scenario, which incorporate similar plot elements, ideas, and themes.

The Package

Paprika is new Feb 20th on a gorgeous new 4K Steelbook edition from Sony. The film is a work of beauty and that strength clearly has been the inspiration for this beautiful Steelbook which features a colorful collage. The matte surface gives the image a nice lustrous, metallic sheen.

The Package includes a Blu-ray disc (with the film and extras) as well as a digital copy insert.

Specifications and Extras


  • 4K resolution with Dolby Vision
  • Japanese Dolby Atmos + Japanese and English DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio options
  • NEW Featurette: Restoring Paprika (8:26)
    This restoration featurette discusses honoring Kon’s legacy with the 4K UHD version of the film, and explains the philosophy of the sound mix and HDR color gradation, intended to honor the film and only add dimension without compromising the film’s beauty or vision. It would seem that they succeeded, for the film looks positively beautiful, but still looks like a film from 1996.


Note the archival features on this disc are generally SD and interlaced.

  • Feature presented in High Definition, sourced from the 4K master.
  • 5.1 Japanese & English Dolby TrueHD audio
  • Filmmaker Commentary
  • Tsutsui and Kon’s Paprika – Making-Of Documentary
  • A Conversation About the “Dream” (29:03) – a creator’s roundtable which includes Kon.
  • The Dream CG World (15:09) – an interview and tour with cinematographer and CGI director Michiya Kato discussing specific scenes and how they were visually rendered
  • The Art of Fantasy (12:08) – Art Director Nobutaka Ike discusses the style, color, and composition of realizing both real and dream worlds
  • Storyboards and Original Drawings (HD, 10:09) – a dozen short explorations of original art and animatics showing different stages of creating the final image.
  • Theatrical Trailers
    • Theatrical Trailer (HD, 1:23)
    • International Trailer (HD, 1:46)

A/V Out

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Paprika 4K UHD Steelbook

Screen captures in this review are taken from the Blu-ray disc (included with the 4K UHD edition) and for illustratrive purposes only – they do not represent the full color or resolution of the 4K image.Additionally, images may have compression or resizing inherent to file formats and imaging for web.

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