Boogiepop, a Motivation to Learn Japanese

What is your motivation to learn a new language? Music? Literature? Movies? Or perhaps an additional skill for your resume? I guess we all have different reasons for learning a new language; all of them valid and all of them can help you understand a little bit more about a culture. I’ve mentioned before that I learned English for the music and literature.

English is the easiest language to learn, and it also gives you access to a lot of information and entertainment. It’s the language the majority knows and must learn as a second language (unless it’s your native tongue) to get a better chance to find a job these days.

Boogiepop light novels, Volumes 1, 2, and 3

I was not expecting to be learning Japanese anytime soon. Some of you already know I like anime, but not at the point where I would be going crazy with a Pikachu costume. The subtitles are comfortable to me; someone has to be really dumb to believe another language is destroying, let’s say, America. Wink

Remember this tweet about the movie called Parasite and the Oscars?

A man named Bong Joon Ho wins #Oscar for best original screenplay over Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and 1917.

Acceptance speech was: “GREAT HONOR. THANK YOU.”

Then he proceeds to give the rest of his speech in Korean.

These people are the destruction of America.

— Jon Miller (@MillerStream) February 10, 2020

Yeah, I apologize; I just needed an excuse to point out stupidity, even though it is not even the point of my entry. Hey, these are the advantages of a freelancer like me, and then I wonder why I don’t have many followers. It is what it is, I guess. Ah, yes, and the tweet is not available anymore, I wonder why? Ah, yes, I am being sarcastic. I bet you remember it, and I don’t really want to forget we have this kind of people with influence.

I am going back to the subject, alright? I was saying I like watching my shows with subtitles, these are just at the bottom of the screen, and I can read lines instantly in English and Spanish. I felt okay with that. Besides, I’ve never been a hardcore fan of a show to wait for something more if not available. If the anime or movie is not on a LEGAL streaming platform like Crunchyroll or Funimation, I don’t watch it, as simple as that. Then I watched an anime called Boogiepop and Others, its first episode was so confusing, but it grabbed my attention until I fell in love with it. It was the first time that I felt the necessity to get the original source. I thought it would be a manga, but I ended up discovering something called a light novel.

I do have a post about light novels, so please check it out if you have not already.

Boogiepop is also known as the granfather of light novels. This means it is one of the series, if not the first, that introduced what we know as a light novel today; it amazes me that Boogiepop never received enough attention. The 2019 anime adaptation was not popular either. I understand, however, its lack of success; the story can be confusing. The novel/anime constantly jumps from one character to another and from one time to another. It is not a linear story, and you need to put the pieces together. The anime adaptation does not even tell you where it is, and you get prequel episodes without notice. The light novel at least gives you a clear hint that you’re reading from another character’s perspective.

It is a shame that these novels are not going to be popular in our continent ever. It’ll need more than another anime season or reboot to get the attention it deserves. I am not even crossing my fingers because I know that train has been long gone. There are comments that even Boogiepop’s fanbase is moving onto different fandoms as we speak, but these are only speculations. If this is the case, though, I would not be surprised either. The industry in constantly moving on, never waiting for us to catch up with it. A company is always about business and money before pleasing ALL customers. They try to please a majority. And because I love something with all my heart and soul, I know that I don’t represent the majority.

After everything I said and the title of this post, I think you already know what’s the remaining option if I want to read Boogiepop.

Learning Japanese From Scratch

Learning another language to watch your favorite TV shows is as valid as learning it for your resume. In the end, even if it was entertainment the reason you’ve learned a language, the skill is going to be there, and it can be used in your professional life. Just please, do not tell the interviewer you learned a language to watch [insert any show from any country] without subtitles.

There is a huge difference between a language that uses the same writing as your own and a language that uses different writing. My mother tongue is Spanish, and my secondary is English. Even though these languages are different, both use Roman/Latin alphabet; there are tiny differences between pronunciation in both languages, but in general, you just need to adjust to the other to learn, right? Imagine growing up with only one alphabet and then trying to jump to a language with different letters, like Russian, Japanese, Chinese, you name it. It is a world (or a continent) of difference.

With the internet, anime, cosplay, and otakus in general, Japanese exposition has grown in our continent, giving a lot of relevance to the culture, which has been an important milestone for diversity. We have many things to choose from, and from different countries; we are not forced to watch or listen to local or American media anymore. We have access to bits of many countries from the commodity of our homes. Unfortunately, there are so many other things out there that never get an official translation or release near us. No, I DO NOT support piracy!

Boogiepop Missing: Peppermint Wizard

Boogiepop Missing: Peppermint Wizard is the 7th volume of the series, but it is also from here that the light novels haven’t gotten an official translation. The last book we got officially translated was Boogiepop at Dawn, a prequel to the series. I want to believe that at least it was a good place to stop, except that I fell in love with Boogiepop. I know many people are waiting for Seven Seas Entertainment to release more official translations, and I know that will not happen ever, so there is only one way to read the following novels. What a weird place to start, right?

I might update my progress if I feel like it.

To conclude this post, I need to tell you I feel excited. The perfect opportunity AND motivation reached me. You should check the light novels if you haven’t already. There’s also an anime adaptation of the novels 1-3, 5, and 6, available on Crunchyroll, but you need to go with an open mind.

Have you heard about Boogiepop? Have you learned another language for entertainment purposes?

I Read Boogiepop

This was originally intended to be a review. However, the anime is so faithful to its original presentation, a light novel, that I believe it would be unnecessary. In case you want to know what I think of Boogiepop, go and check my review of the anime. Or, if you want to check it out for yourself, the anime is available on Crunchyroll.


My journey through Boogiepop started with the anime, Boogiepop and Others, based on the first episode, I couldn’t find any sense on what was happening in the show. I have a rule, though, which says that I should try two to three episodes before abandoning. I did, I watched the three episodes, and had the same feeling. But it was different: I never thought it was bad, I knew that show wasn’t telling the story chronologically, and the plot had an eerie vibe. My mind was deciding if I should overthink things through, or just look other way. Of course, whatever makes my head hurt is always the choice I end up making. OVERTHINK!!!!!!!!

The anime is confusing, it never tells you when the point of view has changed. It never tells you dates, or even if the arc is finished or not. The first episode is something before AND after the conflict of the first arc has ended, the events of the following episodes (just the first arc, to be clear) happen somewhere in-between the episode one. Yeah, I know it’s confusing when you hear about it or if you decide to watch without any clue of the series. It took me a while to realize that.

The light novel, although it isn’t clear when the events take place, at least it tells you that we’re looking at the arc from a different perspective; it makes things easier for the reader to put the pieces together. Sure, it doesn’t make it less complicated, but at least is not a bunch of apparent random things happening. In retrospective, the best option to approach Boogiepop, definitely is the light novel. I cannot deny that things could have been told a little more… chronologically, but I don’t know if the light novel would have gotten the same reception. Maybe it’s just to over complicate the story, or perhaps add a certain mystery to its pages?

I love Boogiepop, and I will DEFINITELY recommend it if you’re looking for an interesting urban fantasy setting. Unfortunately, this is not a story for everyone; it could be boring at times, as I mentioned, it doesn’t tell you much, and that might not sound very attractive, or even entertaining at all. Approach it with caution.

Just a few words

I read the first omnibus, which includes the first, second, and third light novels. These three novels cover the Manticore and Imaginator arcs. Both arcs are good; the mystery around them are interesting.

It is sad that only the first six novels (or two omnibuses) had been translated to English. I am not sure if they have any plans to translate the other light novels, or at least animate more seasons, but at the very least I can talk a little about the series and see if my little voice is heard.


Have you read or watched Boogiepop? Let me know!

The Name’s Boogiepop

Boogiepop and Others cover

Promotional image of the anime adaptation

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.

OP

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

2

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.

6

This is the creepiest thing that happens, and it lasts one second

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.”

3

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.

Its looks

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.

In conclusion

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.