It’s been 19 years since the original Boogiepop Phantom anime aired but the sad thing is, I wasn’t an anime fan 19 years ago… at least not one who was aware of watching anime. When I saw that Boogiepop was returning with a new show, I thought that I had to watch the original first. After it was recommended to me by a friend, and doing a bit of research only to find out that I didn’t need to watch the original, I decided to give Boogiepop wa Warawanai a shot!
The first two episodes premiered at the same time so I got a good chance to sink into the story. The first episode introduced us to Boogiepop right away, who is an entity that can possess others in order to accomplish its task of protecting the world when danger arises. In this case, Boogiepop takes over the body of Touka Miyashita, a friend of and love interest of a boy named Tanaka. Takana kind of befriends Boogiepop but when it is revealed that the threat is over, Boogiepop disappears.
The second episode dives into a character named Echoes… who is said to be a being from outer space that was captured by some sort of faction, or possibly the government. He’s called Echoes because he can only repeat what others tell him. A clone of his was made which ended up becoming known as Manticore, a being that can eat others and/or implant a substance in them that can manifest itself into a drug. That’s all about I was able to gather as the plot was a bit confusing to follow; however, it didn’t make the show unenjoyable.
Through and through, this looks like a psychological thriller with some obvious sci-fi aspects. It definitely has my attention as the story seems to be laying the groundwork for an interesting show. The characters are a little flat, to be honest; however, with shows like these, they don’t really need to leap off of the page to grab your attention. One would say that the flat personalities of the characters fit the atmosphere and genre of this show.
OP & ED Thoughts
We get both the opening and ending straight away and it’s been a while since I’ve been able to say this… both OP and ED songs are definitely ones you have to listen to! They are that good!
“shadowgraph” by MYTH & ROID serves as the opening theme. It opens with rather softly with a calming, yet slightly up-tempo piano before it goes into a techno-style beat only to pull back on the build-up and give us a quick nod towards a dark vibe. All of this happens before transitioning back into more rhythmic tempo while keeping the soft tones of the vocals going. It’s really catchy and instantly draws you into the mood of the show. This is an amazing opening that I can’t wait to hear the full version of!
“Whiteout” by Riko Azuna is our ending theme. It honestly starts off like somber techno song and then the vocals hit and completely take over the emotion in the song which the beat just provides a nice ambiance until the chorus. This is where the tempo picks up slightly and more backing instruments are brought in to help accentuate the vocals which are still presented front and center. Given the nature of the opening, either song could have fit the role of opening the show. It’s rare that an OP and ED are so good that their roles could be interchangeable. This is another song I cannot wait for the full version of!
YES – Psychological thrillers require your patience. They challenge your methodology of thinking but I’m not really getting that vibe here from Boogiepop and Others… at least not yet. So far, it seems we are just being given just enough information to get the gist of what is happening all while being left with a lot of questions… something that is expected of these kinds of shows early on. I am completely fine with that as the premise and tone of the show are certainly interesting enough to hook my attention. Another thing I like is the show’s pacing. Often times shows like this will drag on and not really feel like they are going anywhere but there were enough advancement and moments in the show to keep things moving and not feel like it’s just stalling for time. When a psychological show can nail the pacing like that, you know you’re in for a nice ride.