The piece is said by Director Chris Nolan to be one of his main influences when creating the hugely successful psychological thriller Inception.
Doctor Tokita (voiced by Toru Furuya), a heavily obese genius has invented a device he calls the "DC Mini" which allows people to enter into someone's dream and explore their subconscious. Tokita's close friend, the Psychiatrist - Doctor Chiba (voiced by Megumi Hayashibara) has been using the device to help patients with their deep-seated emotional problems. Chiba is a determined character that often treats the friendly Tokita coldly - pon entering a patient's dream, however, she assumes the character of a woman named Paprika - a bright and energetic lady that is full of happiness.
Chiba has been using the device illegally to help Toshimi Konakawa (voiced by Akio Otsuka), a detective that is constantly plagued by a re-occurring dream full of disturbing images. The dream never finishes before he wakes up and he believes that there must be an important reason for it that lurks deep inside himself.
When the "DC Mini" is stolen, chaos ensues. Dreams begin to leak into reality and Tokita and Chiba are fearful of the power it can give an individual over others' vulnerable subconscious. The ground-breaking device that was originally created to help people has clearly fallen into the wrong hands and it is up to the team of psychiatrists, along with Chiba's alternate ego Paprika to save the day.
This is a must-see film for any fan of Inception as you will clearly be able to see where it's roots lie. Leonardo DiCaprio's character is obviously a re-adaption of Doctor Chiba and certain sequences in both films, such as the dreams collapsing around the people as someone awakens, are so very similar and equally breath-taking.
I cited the over-complexity of the film as a bad point, but I am only saying this as someone who knows that many viewers will not enjoy a film that requires a lot of effort in dissection and analysis.
It is also a film that may not become clear after the first watch, so you may not end it with that satisfying feeling of full comprehension that you can get from other films.
The film was the very first to use Vocaloid in its soundtrack (specifically the Vocaloid'Lola'). I am not a fan of this sound usually, despite its huge popularity in Japan, but I really feel it was used so well here.
Perhaps Paprika is not your cup of tea, but I defy anyone to not fall in love with the film's soundtrack after watching!
In short, if you are a Sci-fi fan that enjoys a film that you can thoroughly get you're teeth into, or you have a very open-mind and will not get put off by feeling a little lost every now and again, then this film is the one for you!
It is as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the mind.