An evil creature is lurking among the population and teenagers are disappearing. Boogiepop Phantom is an anime based on a series of novels in Japan. The story is told in a fractured way, each of the 12 episodes features a character and how the events that have happened have affected them. This show is not for small children. It is a horror show and features some very grotesque scenes of violence. Of course, all of the violence is used appropriately. Each episode focuses on the life of one person as the events begin transpiring, and the people they run across and the things that they cause, no matter how mundane the interaction is or how horrible, can sometimes be an intricate portion of someone else’s tale. Boogiepop is more refined and subtle, but just as hypnotic. The animation is a little better and the writing is more fleshed out then most anime in this genre.
Odd things that are spoken in one episode will make sense in another, and people that look like they might have been trustworthy in one tale could perhaps turn out to be serial killers in others. This really keeps things interesting and fresh and I appreciated it as I have sat through too much boring anime as of late. You simply have to be patient with it and remember that it is a program looping into another and finally working toward a common goal, that of painting a picture that can motivate one to fear. The narrative forces you to assemble the puzzle that is the Boogiepop world one seemingly random piece at a time, but once that’s done, you will discover an unbelievable picture. However, despite having whole episodes devoted to each, the characters seemed a bit flat to me. They were developed, but they didn’t seem to have much emotion.
This anime series is all about suspense, about giving you the hints about what’s going on but not quite telling you. I love that moment when it suddenly dawns on you, “That’s who that guy in episode 3 was!” There’s little second guessing in this series. If David Lynch made an Anime, it would likely look something like this. Horror manga strikes me as a little laughable and lack the means to really scare you. Boogiepop, on the other hand, succeeds very well in raising the hairs on the back of your neck. I would recommend watching this in English first and then Japanese simply because you have to pay attention to so much that is going on that reading subtitles and trying to make sense of the sometimes cryptic quotes becomes overwhelming in addition to watching the animation.
It’s kinda on the short side, but if you’re of the right mindset to enjoy it, you will not regret picking up Boogiepop Phantom. You’ll probably get a lot of great viewings out of it. Boogiepop Phantom is an awesome excursion into the stuff that is mystery and the macabre. It’s main appeal is the relation between the supernatural and urban legends, and how those myths became facts on society. The major challenge on this series is not for the main characters, but for viewers, who are supposed to solve a puzzle of facts from both present and past, presented in random order, which makes the storyline intriguing. A good description of this series would be a cross between Pulp Fiction and X-Files. Also, the music can be techno/disjointed, freaky, or normal at times, but it all fits in very well to this series.
This series actually is a sequel to a Japanese movie made before the anime. In the live action movie the background of the BoogiePop is explained a little better. No matter how everyone tells you that “the plot is complete” by the end of the series, it is not. If you actually tried to sort out the story you will end up with more questions by the time you finish watching this anime. This series left many, many open ends. A pretty big slash to the overall score of this series but it doesn’t take away the feeling that it should be watched and appreciated. Overall I would recommend this series to anyone who is a sci-fi lover with a good attention to detail. Despite some flaws and pseudo-intellectual mumbo jumbo which this series throws at you, it is nontheless one of the biggest thrillers I have watched in a while. Highly reccommended!