Boogiepop and Others

Tagged: TV

Japanese animated tv series (2019). Also known as Boogiepop wa Warawanai. Based on the Light Novels by Kouhei Kadono. Madhouse. Directed by Shingo Natsume. Written by Tomohiro Suzuki. Voice cast includes Junya Enoki, Kana Hanazawa, Michiko Kaiden, Sayaka Kinoshita, Atsushi Miyauchi, Kouki Miyata, Saori Ōnishi, Ayana Taketatsu and Aoi Yūki. Eighteen 24-minute episodes. Colour.

This is an anthology of four linked stories from the light novels. The central characters are: Boogiepop (Yūki), who resides within schoolgirl Touka Miyashita, automatically rising to the surface like an "eerie bubble" to avert threats to the world, and Nagi Kirima (Ōnishi) a fellow student. When younger, Nagi was hospitalized; she befriended private investigator Shinpei Kuroda (Miyauchi), who stole experimental Drugs from his employer to cure her – leading to his murder. He was an agent of the Towa Organisation, who wish to shape human Evolution; this includes killing those deemed over-evolved (see Mutants), using synthetic humans like Shinpei.

The first story, "Boogiepop and Others", tells of an Alien, Echoes (Miyata), who comes to Earth to judge whether humanity is kind; unfortunately he is captured and experimented upon by the Towa Organization, who create a Clone, Manticore (Kaiden). Both escape, with Manticore preying on young girls and Echoes trying to stop him. Manticore devours Minako Yurihara (Taketatsu) at school, taking on her appearance; another pupil, Masami Saotome (Enoki), witnesses this and, fascinated, aids Manticore. Echoes is supported by Nagi, who is investigating schoolgirl disappearances. In the end, Boogiepop disposes of Manticore.

The second story, "VS Imaginator", concerns the plans of the Imaginator (Hanazawato) to standardize humanity's psyche to end all misunderstanding, and of the Towa Organisation to trap Boogiepop. Both fail and free will is discussed.

The third story, "Boogiepop at Dawn", begins with Echoes and Boogiepop meeting on a blighted world. The latter reminisces about Dr Kisugi (Kinoshita), who'd consumed the residue of the drugs Shinpei brought for Nagi, causing her to become a serial killer of young girls, savouring their fear. The doctor also treats a young Touka for dissociative identity disorder (D.I.D.) (see Psychology), at one point speaking to a surfaced Boogiepop. The doctor eventually tries to murder Nagi but finds her too resilient, and then is killed by Boogiepop.

In the fourth story, "Overdrive: The King of Distortion", secondary characters from the first story are trapped in a tower and experience the King of Distortion, who manifests as a secondary personality in their D.I.D., created from a sense of guilt.

This Anime is stylistically less interesting than the earlier Boogiepop Phantom (2001); it softens the personalities of Boogiepop, who is less distant – being quite chatty at times – and Nagi, who is not as imposing. The first and third stories are the strongest; the other two have weaker plots and less convincing character interactions.

The series was created to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the original light novel. It should not be confused with the live-action film Boogiepop and Others (2000). [SP]

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