I could not find an inexpensive and legal way to watch the original Boogiepop Phantom. Hulu keeps telling me I need a STARZ add-on. I will have to contemplate the impact of another $9 per month on my retirement income. I am also mildly irritated that to fully understand what is going on, I’d need to have read the manga.
Lately, Crunchyroll has been randomly degrading the quality of the video. I have it set to 1080HD but it randomly drops to 480 or even 360. Might be their fault or it might be my ISP giving me a cruddy connection.
In the meantime, we have Boogiepop and Others 2019. Three episodes and one arc down. I think I really like the format. We introduce the characters in the first episode, the bad guys get to be villainous and the good guys get to investigate in the second, and in the third, they fight. I expected to see more of Boggiepop but she doesn’t show up much unless the planet’s fate is at stake. Ordinary death and mayhem don’t inspire her to action.
The animation isn’t consistent but sometimes the art measures up to a pretty good standard. There are times when I melt to look at how well Boogie’s face is drawn. The odd fashion sense just adds to her charm. And the opening is just incredible. That Boogie ghost sure looks like a girl to me. (Maybe a boy with small, girlish breasts? Maybe gender indeterminate?)
I don’t care! Just grab that opening and put it on loop!
If this doesn’t get you hot and bothered, you may be dead.
As I mentioned above, the level of detail is not consistent. Sometimes the faces aren’t even there. This may be an artsy way of telling us these characters aren’t important. Or it could be saving on the cost of animation. Or both.
OTOH some shots like these sideways glances are perfect.
Boogiepop has a conversation with Keiji Takeda.
The plot can seem baffling at times. It would help you a lot if you watched the original. (Or read a whole lot about it.) Boogiepop doesn’t really have a gender. It is a supernatural being summoned by (fill in the blank) to save the world. You can say Boogie’s gender is that of whatever person is being occupied. Boogiepop’s “power” is the latent power that resides in all humans and is normally unavailable. The Popster showed up at Shinyo Academy 5 years earlier in the original anime and there is now a school legend that
Boogiepop is a beautiful boy who kills young girls at the peak of their beauty.
Keiji develops a crush on Boogiepop. Which is convenient because he already has a crush on Boogie’s human alter ego, Touka Miyashita, who, in turn, happily has a crush on Keiji. At first, Keiji thinks that Touka is suffering from multiple personality disorder. He thinks she has stood him up for a date and then sees her helping a distressed white-haired man and wearing a weird outfit. She shames the crowd for their lack of empathy and then discourages a couple of police officers from roughing the man up. Then she disappears. Later, all she remembers is sleeping all day. He soon learns the truth.
When Boogie takes over, Touka’s memories get altered – “for her own good”. She can alter other civilians’ memories if she feels a need to.
Notice the differences between Boogie (left) and Touka (right). Aoi Yūki voices both characters in an outstanding performance.
But Touka isn’t even the second fiddle female lead. That honor goes to Nagi Kirima, aka the Fire Witch. She developed an obsession to fight evil and often cooperates with Boogie in her efforts. Her witchiness doesn’t show up here yet but she is in the original and a spin-off manga of her own, Repent Walpurgis. She is intentionally off-putting as getting too close to her could be dangerous. But she does let a small number of strong “normal” characters in as friends.
Other junior protagonists and friends of Nagi are Kazuko Suema who has a deep interest in criminal psychology and is a big fan of the works of Nagi’s deceased father. Kazuko has also seen Boogiepop manifest itself. Also, Kei Niitoki who is the head of the school disciplinary committee and plays a major role in the denouement. She once had a crush on Keiji but he turned her down because of his interest in Touka. They are still good friends.
Shirou Tanaka is an archer who is loved by Naoko Kamikishiro. He isn’t sure if he loves her back. When Naoko encounters Echo, she acts with compassion for him. This is a good thing. Echo was sent to Earth from an advanced civilization to decide if humanity ought to be obliterated for its violent ways. He was supposed to live among us to learn the truth. The background remains a bit unclear but somehow he was captured and we attempted to make copies.
Now he is loose and trying to track down the copies. One appears to have been destroyed early on. It is just vaguely referenced but it seems “someone else” took care of it.
That is quite a list of good guys. You need a scorecard.
There is a problem in Shinyo Academy far more serious than the forbidden dating and use of social media that the adults are worried about. Girls are disappearing and are never seen again. For some highly improbable reason, there is no attempt made to investigate this. They are all written up as runaways.
The real reason they are vanishing is that they are being eaten by one of the failed copies of Echo. (How to compresses a human body into a small enough package to fit in a girl’s stomach is never explained.) This copy is able to assume the form of whoever it eats, most currently Minako Yurihara. It also has the ability to produce a drug from its brain that turns people into obedient zombies. It has been befriended by Masami Saotome, a psychopath who would like to die but also rather enjoys killing. He gives her the name of Manticore, a Greek word for “man-eater”. Together they set out to kill Echo, create an army of slaves, and rule the world.
Manticore in the form of Minako and her boyfriend Masami.
The opening is loaded with all kinds of nudity and scenes of Touka being saved by Boogiepop. Nothing of the sort actually happens in the first three episodes but that kiss scene is worth watching over and over.
Boogiepop 2nd arc – Imaginator
Second arc here. First arc seemed a bit abbreviated. Didn’t have enough time to get really invested in the characters. Plot was spotty and implied a lot that you had to interpret. No time to mourn our dead. Still enjoyed it and only a couple spots of confusion that cleared up upon 2nd viewing. From the POV of Boogie, there is nothing to mourn. Just another day at work.
Will that be a pattern? Second arc seems to be taking more time.
Enter Imaginator, occupying the form of a pretty middle school girl standing on a ledge. Yup. that’s the new big bad. Boogie wants to know, “Wassup?” She tells Boogiepop that the end of the beginning is the beginning of the end.
Imaginator seems to be able to take over human bodies at will and leave no memory of what transpired behind.
Ok. Next, we meet a nice guy named Jin. His problem is that he “sees” the missing stuff inside us. He’s working as a guidance counselor in school. He can’t fix the problems he sees, just gives advice to relieve the pain a bit. Then he meets Imaginator who offers him the power to change the world and everything goes downhill from there.
One of the dead girl’s friends decides to kill herself to be close to her friend forever. Boogiepop has bad news for her.
Remember how Manticore in the previous arc was giving people a drug that turned them into zombie slaves? Imaginator is doing something similar. A drug that gets you supremely addicted and then destroys your body so effectively there’s no recovery, even if you stop. You will still die.
Remember Nagi, the fire witch? She’s got a little bro, Masaki Taniguchi. He makes the mistake of “standing out in class” too much (i.e., girls like him). Some of the boys decide to beat the crap out of him in an alley. Lil’ bro is just standing there and letting them. He figures if he defends himself he’ll get in trouble and it is better to be pummeled. This says something really sick about the world he lives in.
Enter Orihata Aya. She explains to the boys that the reason they are beating up
their victim is that they are sexually frustrated, rips her shirt open to show her breasts and offers herself as an alternative way to satisfy their needs. Masaki doesn’t like that idea and jumps between them.
Jin, of all people, shows up saving lil’ bro and the girl. They run and he “takes care” of the bad boys. How he does it is not shown.
Orohita is not quite all there. She is hardcore type 2 kuudere, the very flat, fearful kind that thinks any type of assertiveness might get her “hated”. Up to and including “not minding” if a guy “does her” if it keeps her from being “hated”. Thinks nobody could value her as other than a sex toy. Perhaps she is a walking, talking test of male virtue? Maybe he is under a spell of some sort.
Doesn’t the kid know you are not supposed to fall in love with mysterious kuuderes? They are incredibly dangerous. You have no clue of what – if anything – is going on behind those emotionless eyes. She could be a cleverly designed and programmed robot! Or bringing her feelings out will get her killed to produce a Lost Lenore. (That particular trope was important in the previous arc, so why not again?)
Men will always fall in love with the Rei Ayanamis of the world. Something about the bird with the broken wing brings this out. This is especially true when the bird is pretty or a child or a fundamentally good person who drew a bad hand. Then The Smile comes out and the universe is whole again. Hearts flutter, flowers bloom, birds sing and faded pastels become technicolor.
Or at least that is the hope. Something terrible may happen instead.
The greatest smile in the history of animation!
Oh… and not all of Masaki Taniguchi’s fans are female. Could there be a male yandere in the making? Or will something even more shocking develop?
A new player has entered the game, the Towa Organization. It appears to be ruthless and neither affiliated with Imaginator nor with Boogiepop, the same organization that Echo escaped from and that created Manticore in the first arc. Damn, that Boogie is good with her wires!
The first arc rather stumbled around a bit – but I found that a bit charming. Now the second arc, VS Imaginator, is in full swing. No stumbles here.
The Towa organization flunky we were introduced to in the last ep. becomes more clear. He a villain, named Spooky E whose electric shocks can scramble your brain. I don’t think he has a clue yet about Imaginator. Not much of a fighter but he is big and buff and not human and has zappy hands. Masaki kicked him in the balls but maybe this guy doesn’t have any.
Orihata is just a unit to Spooky. A defective unit if she doesn’t a) find out information about Boogiepop and b) get laid. And he calls her by Camille. Why Orihata is supposed to get laid hasn’t been explained yet. She is also not supposed to get anyone to hate her. (Those Kuuderes are always dangerous to fall for.) The info about Boogie is understandable since Boogie kicked his ass in the previous episode and saved his minion. (He’s still around this ep. briefly, feeling like he lost something precious but doesn’t know what.)
Kotoe arrives to ask for Kazuko’s assistance with a mystery. Kazuko is tutoring Touka in math at the time, who excuses herself to leave. Kazuko has a reputation for knowing about strange people and Kotoe wants her to help her find out why her cousin Jin is staying out all night, leaving bloodstains on his clothing and especially why he isn’t troubled by anything anymore. Kazuko has studied the psychopathology of the criminal, inspired by a book written by Nagi’s father. (Nagi is the Fire Witch and Masaki’s older step-sister.) She welcomes the opportunity to contend with darkness and takes the job.
There is a subtle shift in Touka in this scene. At first, she is frazzled and frustrated at her inability to solve a tough algebra problem. As Kotoe arrives and starts to explain her request, Touka gets up to leave them alone. Suddenly her face becomes more attractive and her voice become more assured and lower in pitch. The transformation to Boogiepop was absolutely seamless.
Jin, now the fine arts teacher has a way with girls. It isn’t clear what he is offering but some seem perfectly willing to go topless and let him zap them with glowy hands. Kazuko, who happens to be hiding in his office while searching for clues, observes them all disappear when he does this. The animation then shows him surrounded by roses which he then coaxes into growing. Probably symbolic, given his ability to see the incomplete rose that is in everyone.
Orihata looks like she is considering suicide. (The top deck railing of Japanese schools seems to be designed for this.) Kazuko, who is musing at that very moment about not being able to understand the mind of a suicide comes across her and talks her down. The conversation is pretty intense. Kazuko explains that she does not believe in a literal Boogiepop but rather it is a part of everyone and it can be beneficial.
While this is being portrayed, a conversation between Masaki and Orihata Aya is being interspersed. (The time sequence is unclear.) She would like Masaki (who remembers nothing of sparky Spooky) to become powerful and be her Boogiepop.
Except for Kazuko and Sparky the spook, the characters that were introduced in the first arc have had minimal roles in this ep. No grand battles, Boogie does hardly anything. But the plot is progressing nicely!
It is waifu time! If I were still in high school or even recently out, I would be madly in love with Kazuko. Far and away the most interesting female in the show. Actually, I’d be madly in love with her at any age. Just hope she turns 18 while I was still young enough to be interesting.
The next Boogiepop episode clears up many things. Combined with the previous arc it is obvious what Towa Corp. is trying to do: create synthetic humanoids with superpowers and eliminate any ordinary humans that have evolved them. Orihata is synthetic and they want to know if a synthetic is fertile with a normal human.
The plot starts to fall apart here. Human fertility is a chancy proposition. You could be perfectly fertile and have sex every day for months and not get pregnant. Sending someone out into the world just to try to get knocked up involves a huge number of variables and is not a scientific way to approach the question.
If all they want to do is find out if a synthetic can become pregnant by a normal human, you would do that by artificial insemination which is how an animal breeder would do it. But even before that, you’d start with in vitro fertilization just to see if the egg was even viable and then inserting embryos into a host to see if it could be carried to term.
But still, even if you wanted to test the entire biological process including intercourse in one single step, wouldn’t it be easier to have a volunteer do it? A very pretty young girl, no will of her own, lots of amoral men would jump at the chance. (And did – and failed to get her pregnant.) Does the boy Masaki have to be the one for some genetic reason? Is he super fertile?
Or it could just be an actual flaw in the storyline. Something done just to have the story play out a certain way. A bit of suspension of disbelief is required to get past it. That seems more likely.
One minute Kotoe Kinukawa has been zapped by Spooky E and the next they appear to have a fully functional (non-reproductive) copy under their control. (She’s a bit po’d about that non-reproductive part.) Hmmm…
Spooky E sounds (from what he told Camille, aka Aya Orihata) like he may be going rogue but hasn’t been found out yet. The copy Kotoe doesn’t seem like a stable personality and feels great emotional pain from her reproductive incompleteness. She did say she had “nothing down there”.
Spooks is playing with fire and it isn’t clear he is aware of it. He’s kidnapped and copied Imaginator’s current host’s cousin. He’s using the Fire Witch’s step-brother to dry to draw Boogie out. He’s made an enemy of Boogiepop without a clue as to who he/she/it is.
Orihata is not out of play as a force. She’s willing enough to get Masaki to play Boogiepop as part of Spooky E’s plan to draw out the Boogs and still willing to get impregnated. But now she is feeling real love for him and does not want to see him get hurt. After her little rooftop pep talk, (fight now, die later) is there just a spark of free will waiting for the winds of circumstance to fan it into flame? (Or not…)
But the plot is so nonlinear it is deceptive. You don’t know the sequence for sure until much later. When did the storyline did the rooftop pep talk take place? Is it before the events of ep 7 or after? Just because it happened at the end of 6 and appeared to be immediately before Orihita talked Masaki into being Boogie doesn’t make it so.
Wow! This is an action and reveal packed episode. I enjoyed it more than any other so far and that is saying a lot. Things are really starting to move.
Kazuko confronts Jin about his cousin Kotoe’s personality change. Jin essentially reveals his entire plot for world domination to her and then claims he was really talking about his paintings and a model. Gets a little too close for comfort.
We see Jin and the original Imaginator girl together. So Imaginator is not an entity that flits from one casing to another. Now they both consider themselves Imaginator. Jin goes off to confront Spooky E.
Meanwhile back at the ranch… Masaki is being tailed by Copy Kotoe and a team of thugs. They chase him and he runs downstairs off the street where he hides in what looks like a storage locker area. Copy decides to say bad things about Aya, his gf, to rile him up and get him to come out. Bad mistake. Masaki takes out four hoodlums and now has questions to ask.
Then Nagi shows up and takes out Masaki with a cattle prod to keep him from murdering Copy. He runs off. She interrogates her instead. Poke-poke. A bunch more goons show up and she wipes them out.
Next thing you know, Jin shows up. Copy Kotoe isn’t a copy, just brainwashed. He fixes her and her flunkies. Then he is off to meet with Spooky E.
Spooky is planning to sterilize the entire city. Can’t let you do that!
Spooks spills everything about what Towa does and wants. Jin renders him helpless by removing the thorns from his rose. But wait… Spooks didn’t need to have his shirt off for him to do it. All those other girls had to be topless. So confusing. But when Jin tells him that he’s going to be Jin’s tool in taking over Towa, Spooks takes himself out.
Guess who is tied up in the corner and happens to be just the sacrifice Jin needs? Masaki is going to be really pissed if he finds out.
Ah! It all comes together. Fast-paced action, loose ends tied up, a philosophical dissertation on the illusion of free will and love triumphs over all! The ending music was beautiful along with the art.
People are starting to evolve all over the city. Imaginator was one such character. Jin was another. The column of light that Echo created as he transmitted himself accelerated the process. Towa Group wants to eliminate all the evolved people (probably so their composite humans are the only ones around) but their representative in this arc, Spooky E, was itself eliminated.
Masaki wants to save Aya. Goes to her apartment and find photos of all the filthy things she has been made to do. It doesn’t matter. I knew it wouldn’t matter to him because it wouldn’t matter to me.
Jin sees Aya’s rose is complete. Now he plans to take Aya’s rose and create a seed that will be planted in everyone in the city. She is allowed to receive a last call from Masaki because Jin really is a good person at heart. He makes one big mistake.
There is a jet flying overhead at the time. Masaki hears it on the phone and sees the jet flying over the “Ladder” tower in the abandoned Paisley amusement park. He’s on his way to rescue his lady love.
At the same time, Kazuo is talking to Kotoe who is recovering in the hospital and gets a hint of where Jin might be. Same bat time, same bat tower. On her way there she tells Touka. Everyone is converging. Does anyone think Boogiepop won’t be on her way?
Masaki arrives and is attacked by a bunch of costumed characters. Boogs arrives, plays some music from the turned-off sound system and saves him from being fully injected with a sedative and takes out all the costumes characters. Explained to him what happened to him. Then heads up to confront Jin so that a certain someone won’t get involved.
Jin doesn’t stand a chance. Boogiepop has no flower in her heart for him to grab. Aya’s flower is fully developed but is inaccessible because she isn’t human. Imaginator decides to dispose of Jin but he just ends up dangling out a window by one of Boogie’s wires.
Imaginator and Jin simply thought they could end the pain of disconnectedness in mankind. That is a reasonable motivation for idealists who acquire a bit of power. They didn’t understand the nature of the power they had acquired. Boogiepop knew that you can “fix” a heart but the heart will continue to change. Even if it snows in April, life will go on. Their power was temporary and posed no real threat. Even Towa Group is not inevitably the enemy to Boogiepop.
Female Imaginator pops over to Masaki and says that her life was useless and is over but as long as there are strong people like him, there is always a chance things will work out someday. And then evaporates into petals blown by the wind. Masaki then wakes up again with his head in Aya’s lap, his sister next to him and Kazuo wondering how she missed out on solving the mystery again.
Boogie herself is a product of Touka’s evolution. Nagi is potentially another evolved human. Other evolved humans and other composite humans are included in the Boogie legacy. Their origins lay much earlier in the series. Boogiepop at Dawn was a lite novel that explained much of which was hinted at in Boogiepop Phantom and Boogiepop and Others. Phantom is the original 2000 anime which I now understand takes place concurrently and a month after Others as more and more people start to evolve. It contains quite a few flashbacks to Dawn.
.And by some miracle of fate, 4 episodes of Boogiepop at Dawn shows up on my Crunchyroll feed! BaD is incredibly central to understanding the whole series. The art looks outstanding so far and I am salivating!
The final arc of the season is here. This is the first show. The art was good. Many secrets were revealed. A lot of this was also revealed in flashbacks in Boogiepop Phantom but the image quality is terrible and the pieces are scattered all over the place.
First, we step forward into another world, one that is disintegrating. Boogiepop meets a reassembled Echoes in this distant reality. Echoes can now speak fluently. They strike up a conversation. Boogie tells him his/her origin story as well as Nagi’s.
And that could reasonably be the entire review for the entire arc.
Dawn of Boogiepop is set roughly 5 years before the events of Boogiepop Phantom and Boogiepop and Others. We have new characters and old ones with a different look.
She tells a tale of long ago about the ripple effects of the actions of a composite human known as Scarecrow.
Let’s spin back in time. The Towa Group is in the business of stopping evolution by killing off evolved people. Instead of Spooky E, we have a rather amiable killer. His name is Shinpei Kuroda, aka Scarecrow and his cover is a private detective.
Scarecrow has to investigate another Towa agent for signs of betrayal. Then he happens to meet an incredibly adorable Nagi Kirima at the hospital the agent funds. She would be about twelve. She is sick… with evolution. In Phantom, it is said that her body growth had tremendously accelerated and that had it not stopped she would have died or turned into a monster.
Mo Murder and Scarecrow battle it out at Nagi’s bedside.
Boogiepop’s first appearance is Scarecrow’s last.
You know sometimes a miracle can turn into a curse. Power corrupts. And a hero has to arise to deafeat the new big bad.
Ok, so the Imaginator arc wrapped. Then the Dawn of Boogiepop wrapped. Nagi is a genuine superhero on par with Batman, taking out an evolved mass murdering psychiatrist, (the Fear Ghoul) all by herself. And at a tender age no less. Kazuko – who was next on the list of strong girls to be murdered just to taste their fear – was saved.
Can you see the meaning inside yourself?
Can you see the meaning in your darkness?
Oh where are you now? Have you gone away?
Here now is it just a look-a-like?
All of the world is slowly changing
In a way, I cannot see from here
Kinō mita yume de wa dare ka ni yobarete ita
Furimuke ba soko ni wa kie mo sezuisuwatta maboroshi
Can you see the meaning inside yourself?
Fui ni warai kieta koe
Naze ni deai naze wakare sono imi mo shirazu
So can you see the meaning in your darkness?
Kurikaeshi utsuru kage
Nani mo nai sono naka o nani ka o sagashiarukitsuzukeru
So have you thought about what truth means in this world?
Is the “truth” enough for you to believe?
All of the world is slowly changing
In a way I can not catch up with
Day by day we’re losing our own shadows
Te ni ireta mono de sae
Te no naka de kawaru no da to kizuite shimatta
So day by day we’re losing proof we are here
Irozuita kono kiri wa
Sekai to nanotte mada shikai no subete o ōtte iru
Nani mo nani mo mienai soko ni
Itsu mo itsu mo aru hazu no mono
Hikari to kage yume to utsutsu no hazama de odoru
Watakushi wa doko ni iru? sā
Can you see the meaning inside yourself?
Fui ni warai kieta koe
Naze ni deai naze wakare sono imi mo shirazu
So can you see the meaning in your darkness?
I still love the OP for the show but they ought to have updated it. The villain who features in it is long gone. Keep the naked swimming kiss. It really hits me in the feels in many different ways.
Why do I have the feeling the studio didn’t have a clear plan for the anime?
But now we have the King of Distortion arc, thru the 2nd episode now. It is homecoming week. All those characters from the Manticore arc are back. There’s Keiji Takeda, (Touka’s bf) Shirou, Nei, (aka hair clip girl) and of course Touka/Boogie and Nagi. No Kazuko.
We have Kyouichirou Teratsuki who is an architect. He designs strange buildings. One
was the octagonal hospital housing Nagi in Dawn of Boogiepop. This guy is a synthetic human that was being investigated by Scarecrow. Eventually, Towa group had him eliminated but it appears that he may have some kind of presence remaining. Is he reborn, perhaps triggered by people’s desires? Or the creation of another character?
As a synthetic, he couldn’t have children but had a lot of affairs with women who had other lovers at the same time. This way he could appear to have fathered children. When they got pregnant he paid the women hush money about their affairs with him. One of them is Shizuka Hashizaka who appears in this arc.
The King of Distortion is a being who enters your mind when you are vulnerable. He takes the form of whoever is closely tied to your past regrets. He then talks to you about them and there is a vague allusion to changing the pain in your heart to gold. One of his preferred forms appears to be that of Kyouichirou. Coupled with his weird last building, I’m thinking it is some kind of preserved memory of him.
Kentarou Habara is a new addition. In the past, he was saved by Nagi from being arrested for hacking into the accounts of “grey” businesses. He developed an immediate crush on her. (My God, who wouldn’t?) Ever since he has been helping her with her cases but she prevents him from getting too close.
The late Kyouichirou Teratsuki had designed a very strange building called the “Moon Temple”, aka Teratsuki’s Folly. It is twisted into a corkscrew and there is just one floor that gradually wraps around. It was built posthumously.
On opening day there is a huge crowd waiting to explore it. Most of our main characters are part of the crowd. We see this first from Takeda-kun’s point of view.
Takeda was wanting to see Boogiepop. He is as enamored of BP as he is of its alter-ego, Touka. In his daydream, he’s in an eatery hiding from the rain and waiting for Touka. They are going to tour the Moon Temple together. Boogie shows up, explaining that he can see her/him/it anytime he wants. Boogs smiles at him winsomely and laughs a little. He immediately knows that it isn’t the Boogs because Boogiepop wa Warawanai (English is Boogiepop Doesn’t Smile). So KoD goes on his way to his next deception.
Nei is also caught in the rain. She jumps into the eatery and sees Takeda-kun alone. For some reason, she is terribly embarrassed to see him and runs back outside and on to the line for the Temple. (There could be jealousy over him choosing Touka over her but I thought she was over that and they were now friends.)
Touka is already in line and waiting to get in, leading me to think the entire text conversation with Touka was part of his dream. Just as Nei shows up, Touka turns into Boogiepop and runs into the Temple with Nei close behind.
This is interesting. In the original Boogiepop Phantom, Touka carried a Spaulding bag around all the time with the Boogiepop costume in it. Here she simply transforms – almost too quickly to notice.
A girl in line named Sakiko Michimoto notices Nei. Her bf noticed Boogiepop as well and thinks it is some kind of cosplay but she peremptorily shuts him down, denying Boogiepop involvement. Sakiko has some bad vibes about the building but goes in anyhow. Soon after getting inside they split up, with her walking the sloped floor upward and him taking the elevator to the top. She is in a really foul mood.
And then she sees Boogiepop and gives chase.
Back to Nei. Suddenly there is loud drum music. The scene starts to waver. Huge doors slam shut, trapping everyone inside. Kind of looks like fog near the ceiling? All Nei can hear is music. (reminded me a little of Led Zeppelin’s classic: Kashmir.) And instead of people, now she is surrounded by undressed white mannequins. After that, she is back at school talking to Masami Saotome, a boy she knows to be dead. (Manticore arc.)
It isn’t just her. Lo and behold, everyone in the building is in a dream state. Memories of the past, of regrets and failures and missteps. Only now they have a chance to rewrite those lingering distortions in their hearts.
As usual, the timeline is a bit confusing. Most of it is dreams of people who have fallen under KoD’s spell interspersed with the actions of people who have woken up and Boogiepop’s various interactions.. The dreams are memories of the past, meeting the one person you most want to meet, and they are mostly happening in parallel with each other and cutting back and forth between different people’s dreams. I haven’t really spoiled anything fun, just set up the background. There is something almost Shakespearean here:
To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there’s the rub, for in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause.
What exactly is the KoD offering? There is something in common with Imagintator here. We are being offered surcease from the pain in our hearts. Instead of our inner flower being fixed, it is the error of our past being mitigated. We are taken back in time to things we remember and presented with the one person we wanted to see. We might see through the deception. Takeda-kun saw thru his dream almost immediately.
Even the security guard slips into a dream. The dream seems able to handle his walkie-talkie and use his voice.
I have a lifetime collection of distortions and irredeemable pain. I’m not sure where I’d start – but I’d keep him very busy.
But we still do not know what the price would be or what he means by “turning the distortion into gold”. Perhaps we need to seek out the good in what seems painful.
What lies at the top of the strange building? Will Boogiepop face off against another enemy of the world? How the heck did Godzilla get involved?
You’ll just have to watch it.