Enigmatic, confusing and weird. No matter how much you read or watch about it, the question still remains: what is Boogiepop? Is it an angel of death? Is it a form of justice? What does it represent? Boogiepop wa Warawanai is a faithful adaptation of the original light novels released back in 1998. It is a complex show that deals with profound meanings about life and focuses on the different weaknesses of the human nature.
There is an urban legend going around about a strange entity called Boogiepop, a rumored Shinigami that kills people to release them from their suffering. But is Boogiepop real? Boogiepop seems to manifest as an alter ego of Touka Miyashita and appears to vanish anyone that might be a potential risk to humanity. When a string of mysterious disappearances occur in Shinyo Academy, Boogiepop is once again awaken and tries to find the menace behind the incident.
Plot & Story
Boogiepop wa Warawanai is an odd story to explain. The way the storytelling is paced out might be seen as slow and confusing to many, but I find it to be intriguing. Even though Boogiepop might be considered the main character of the show, we actually follow around a bunch of high school students and the way they interact with the ‘monsters’ that have been created. We go through different story arcs with each one focusing on a different antagonist: the Manticore, the Imaginator, the Fear Ghoul, the King of Distortion, and the Towa Organization which seems to be the one behind everything and the real threat against the world. Nothing is being made very clear, and that’s the charm of it. Towa organization is creating synthetic humans that have these weird powers, some of them got out of hand and that’s why all this crazy things keep happening, but we never really learn much about their intentions.
In other words, Boogiepop wa Warawanai explores the way humans perceive time, fear, love, emotions, intricate relationships, guilt, the past, memories, and so on. It doesn’t present solutions but rather asks questions and introduces concepts that put the viewer into thinking. Boogiepop might be badass and cool but doesn’t hold the answers or power to do everything in order to save the day. It doesn’t even have its own body and cannot come to existence unless shit gets real, so it manages to destroy the ‘enemies of the world’ with the help of the supporting cast who are usually young teenagers dealing with complex emotions that they don’t really understand.
Art & Music
Solid animation in general but sometimes it got a bit weird. The ending sequence was really pretty and the scene from the opening when Touka is kissing Touka (or more likely Boogiepop) reminded me a lot of Ghost in the Shell. Madhouse did an amazing job in the fighting and action scenes, especially the one when Kirima Nagi is fighting hand in hand with the guys that attacked Misaki, but sometimes you could see that the animation was rather unpolished and not finished. To be honest, I didn’t mind it at all because it felt like it was giving more to the mysterious and ominous atmosphere of the show. A good example for this would be the scene of Habara and Shirou walking in the control room, where you can actually see that it’s not the final cut since they have no faces drawn on them and walk a little bit funky. Other than that, I thought that the directing and the way they used light in this show was quite impressive. I remember watching the scene where Jin is talking with Suema and then noticing a shot of the chair with a shadow that looks like the shadow of the Imaginator. I got so creeped out.
Boogiepop wa Warawanai had great music in it with a wonderful background soundtrack that complemented and fitted the mystery elements of the show. The opening song ‘shadowgraph’ by MYTH & ROID was very catchy as well. Loved the instrumental version of it.
Themes & Trivia
Boogiepop was the originator of the light novel genre: When it came out, the term ‘light novel’ did not exist and the novels became a huge hit that later inspired a whole generation of light novel writers who grew up reading these books. It influenced writers like Ryohgo Narita and Nisio Isin, as well as many video games like the Persona series.
What is Boogiepop Phantom? Boogiepop Phantom was an anime original series back in 2000 and is pretty different from the source material. It acted as a sequel to the first novel and contains many spoilers from the first and sixth novel. You do not need to have watched the old series to follow the new one. It will make more sense to watch it after finishing the new series.
Boogiepop is basically Tuxedo Mask from Sailor Moon and there is even a meme about it. But all jokes aside, Boogiepop wa Warawanai is a show with a complex plot that we don’t get to see that often anymore, and when we do, it’s hard to tell if it’s good or not. It follows a non-linear storytelling structure and sometimes might require re-watching some scenes since they may hold more significance or value to the show’s plot. I would really recommend watching it again, now that it is completed and you don’t have to follow it weekly. You will definitely get to understand so much more than before.
‘Is this what you call a civilized society?’
- Creepy and ominous atmosphere
- Cool character design and great voice acting
- Deep meanings about life that put you into thinking
- Great action scenes
- Spooky E aka the fat Pikachu guy makes me really upset for some reason
I cannot phrase it in a better way: Boogiepop wa Warawanai is a series that needs your attention, especially if you are a fan of the mystery and psychological genre. I think that it has a little bit of Serial Experiments Lain vibes to it and of the Satoshi Kon. It really brings me back to the old 90s early 00s type of anime horror. You should definitely give it a shot.
Boogiepop and Others
Winter 2019 | Anime Info | Streaming Options