Paprika, one of the most visually impressive anime films from the 2000s, is currently available to watch for free on YouTube pretty much everywhere.
I say pretty much, as for some reason if you’re in the UK and Mexico, it’s not available (though if you’re in the UK, you can check it out on Netflix). Paprika, originally released in 2006, was the final feature film from acclaimed director Satoshi Kon, also known for his other films Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, and Tokyo Godfathers, as well as the series Paranoia Agent. It follows Doctor Atsuko Chiba, a psychiatric researcher who treats her patients via dreams through her alter ego, the titular Paprika, who ends up having to face off against a dream terrorist attempting to kill people through their dreams. And yes, the visuals are just as out there as the concept.
The film is based on a 1993 book of the same name, and Kon had attempted to make the film many times over the years before finally securing the rights to it; you can definitely see the foundations of it in his earlier works like Perfect Blue. There are definitely some parts of it that haven’t aged the best tonally, particularly some odd and out-of-place fatphobia, so do keep that in mind if you decide to check out the film.
Those of you that haven’t seen Paprika but have seen Christopher Nolan’s 2010 film Inception might notice some similarities, particularly with the latter seemingly wholesale copying some of Paprika’s shots. There is a bit of a debate around whether Nolan was actually inspired by Paprika, though in a now deleted interview from French film site Excessif, the director did actually cite Kon’s film as one of the main influences behind Inception (referenced here by this 2010 Anime News Network article).
Any which way, you should check out Paprika at the very least while it’s available, as it’s a visual feast unlike any other.