It just keeps getting better.
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.
Some highlights: No, some spoilers!
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. Taniguchi 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 asistance 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 Taniguchi’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 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 Taniguchi Masaki and Orihata Ayan is being interspersed. (The time sequence is unclear.) She would like Taniguchi (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.