Winter 2019 Anime

The Evil In Plain Sight – ‘Boogiepop and Others’ Episode 1 & 2 Review

boogiepop1n2

What’s the show? Boogiepop and Others, Episode 1 & 2.

So how’s this episode(s)? One thing’s important and I’ll mention it first, they deliberately released two episodes at once. I don’t think the tone of the show can be properly conveyed in the first episode and so to get an idea what this show’s like two episodes at minimum are necessary.

So do you feel like you’ve got a handle on what this show is about then? Oh no clue, I felt stupid watching this show because things were presented out of chronological order and I wasn’t sure if people were their real selves or cloned, and it doesn’t help when a bunch of characters look similar–or maybe they were the same character. Anyway my head hurts.

Some disturbingly interesting imagery in this show. I like it.

Okay~ so what can you tell me about the plot of the show? It’s mysterious, it’s kind of creepy, there’s bursts of violence amidst an otherwise ‘normal’ surface, and there’s the titular ‘Boogiepop’ who may or may not be a split personality of the main character’s girlfriend. Except she’s not his girlfriend and he’s not the main character and ah~ my head hurts again!

Boogiepop is weird, yo.

Slow down… surely it can’t be that hard to articulate what’s going on? The first episode is a slow-paced, meditative experience that involves a white-haired man shambling along the streets of Tokyo in some degree of distress. Boogiepop ~appears~ and admonishes the crowd for ignoring someone in obvious distress. There’s some obvious social commentary about how society is callous towards a fellow man’s suffering, nothing that’s too uncommon in these kind of darker anime stories. In the second episode we learn (from an unreliable second-hand source) that this white haired man is named ‘Echoes’ and he’s apparently an alien from space sent to learn about the “true nature” of mankind–except he’s not because a manticore says that he’s an experimental being from whom the manticore was cloned from and he’s tracking her down in order to right the “mistake” of her existence. Also she’s a man-eater, like she literally eats people.

My money is on not an alien, just sayin…

I don’t know how but you’ve somehow made it make less sense than before. I know I’m totally overthinking it and there’s probably a bunch of my readers out there going “come on, it wasn’t that confusing.” But for me, as a writer, the writing part of my brain always likes to be 10 steps ahead of the author, thinking about all the possibilities for the narrative to go in and honestly, this whole show had me baffled. 

That kinda sounds like a bad thing. Ordinarily it might be but I’m kind of intrigued at how convoluted it felt and how lost it made me feel. Sometimes it’s nice going into a show and knowing nothing, expecting something and getting something else entirely.

I like this girl, I can’t remember her name but I like her!

Right. So then your overall thoughts on the first two episode? Would you recommend it? Something like this is pointless to recommend because everybody’s experience with it is going to be different, even for people who may ordinarily *like* this kind of mystery, horror, whatever, this show is might be turned off by it’s fractured narrative or slow pace or confusing story beats. But for what it’s worth I enjoyed myself throughout, it’s dark and mysterious and dramatic… even if it did make my brain hurt for a couple of hours afterwards.


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5 replies »

  1. That’s a good way of putting it, Boogiepop really does make you feel lost. But in a good way. It’s exactly how I felt about the OG anime – it was so convoluted and it didn’t make any sense to me, but for some reason that was a plus??????? Oof I’m so excited about this series

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think everyone would probably be better off if they thought of “Episode 1” as more of an Episode 0, or a side story, or something like that. There’s no continuity from Ep 1 to Ep 2, since the timeline of Ep 1 was definitely from sometime after the beginning of Ep 2 to well after the end of Ep 2. And no, that doesn’t make any sense either.

    I really disagree with the directing here, from a storytelling effectiveness standpoint. I mean, yeah, if you just want people to be confused, you can futz with the timeline without doing anything to say when you’re jumping forward and back, you can make everything discontinuous, you can introduce a boatload of characters by their name only and have them all wearing uniforms and having black / dark brown hair of similar length. And make sure that nobody who feels like a main character in the first episode has any bearing in the second episode.

    If the main thing people are talking about isn’t how cool your story is, but instead how butchered up it is, that’s not a good thing. And no, it’s still not good if people are like “I *think* it’s a cool story but I really couldn’t figure out what’s going on while it was happening.” Yeah, you want people to think about your show afterward, but it shouldn’t be trying to figure out which scenes were in what order.

    Liked by 1 person

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