Boogiepop and the Others is a difficult thing to describe. First things first, I need to warn you: the anime is slow. And when I say slow, I really mean it. Its opening might give you the wrong idea of the show, so I advice you to just enjoy the music, but don’t judge it by its opening theme video. Boogiepop is a slow phased show, and if you’re looking for big, spectacular, bombastic fights; or, if you’re looking for horror and supernatural things to be thrown at your face directly, look away. This show is not for everyone, that must be said.
Let’s start with the opening. It is performed by MYTH & ROID, also known for working on other openings, like Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World, among other anime series. Boogiepop’s opening is deceiving, as I have mentioned; it is really good, its visuals will make you pay attention and get interest in what is about to come. The problem is, when you watch it without clue of what you’re getting yourself into, then you’re going to be expecting an action packed series, an adrenaline rush full of fights and explosions. Let me tell you: it’s totally the opposite. The only true thing about the opening is the little hint of the arcs and protagonist. That’s it.
So, am I telling you that Boogiepop and Others is bad? No, it is a great show, actually.
What should you expect from the series?
Boogiepop, putting my own words, I would describe it as a supernatural, psychological horror, drama. Its slow phased way to tell things makes the tense emphasizes with the events that occur.
The mystery, as the series goes on, gets bigger. And as one episode introduces you to certain characters, and their point of view of the things that are happening, the episode ends to start the next with a different place and different characters and their own dilemmas. Always living life from the same event, until the arc is solved.
To summarize: there are mini-arcs consisting in three to four episodes. Each of them showing a different side of a same square.
Someone called Boogiepop
The first episode begins when Takeda, a high school student, is worried about his girlfriend. He was walking on the street, and then a figure wearing a black cloak and a weird hat. The figure helped a strange, decaying, man with long white hair; it questioned the passing civilians if they didn’t feel bad for not helping someone in need. Takeda recognized that figure as his girlfriend, Touka.
He finds her, standing on the rooftop of the school building. Takeda asks her what’s going on, if she’d been messing with him. Touka, or at least the person that looks like her, tells him he is not his girlfriend.
“First of all, I’m not Miyashita Touka. Right now, I’m Boogiepop.”
This is where we get out first revelation. Boogiepop is a being that took the body of Touka Miyashita Touka. A split personality, as “he” explains to the boy.
A horror that is disguised with the daily lives
As the story goes on, you notice that there’s something wrong, and not only supernatural beings. These forces are there to follow orders from the Towa Organization, a shadow group which goals are not very clear; the anime’s first season doesn’t talk much about it, but we can assume that this organization has the purpose to get control of the world. Maybe the Illuminati is a close comparison.
The story as, it goes, tells you the problems that the characters have to deal day by day. Some of them don’t even know if normal is a good thing. Others believe that they will never be normal enough to fit. While some characters have to deal with acceptance (or resignation) of what they are meant to be. Depression, fear, angst, loneliness, and other feelings that, deep down, are taking over mentally. These creatures created by the organization take advantage of these issues.
“Everyone needs some help when they’re suffering.”
These monster brought to life by the Towa Organization is what Boogiepop calls “enemies of the world”. As soon as they appear, Boogiepop automatically rises to the surface, taking control of Touka.
Visually, I don’t have any complaints; to me the anime looks very smooth, and they add some blurry parts to add to the eerie atmosphere. The animation is not top notch, but it does the job very well.
The series involve a greater mystery that is told by the different students, points of view, for us to watch from every perspective of the events that happen in the episodes.
Unfortunately, this show is not for everyone. Boogiepop and Others doesn’t want to tell you everything, you have to put some pieces together, and learn how these entities, and Boogiepop itself, partly represents an issue that most teenagers and adults have to deal with day after day.
If you believe the opening and its action sequences are part of the show, look away. This anime is not for you.
However, if you like slow phased series that invite you to pay attention, and follow the story with hints told by different characters that aren’t directly related to the others, this is definitely an interesting anime to watch.
The anime consists in 18 episodes. It is available for you to watch on Crunchyroll.