Boogiepop Phantom

(aka Boogiepop Never Laughs)

Chaos' Rating: 3½ Rampages

Episodes seen: 3 of ? I wear a hat.

Ummm...we'll let you know what's going on once we figure that our ourselves. Near as I (Chaos) can figure it, there are these Shinma-like creatures, the "phantoms", lurking in a nondescript Japanese city, their master being a mysterious person named Boogiepop. There's also a small band of high schoolers who are chasing after Boogiepop after they encounter him/her and their lives are changed forever.

Official summary from the right stuf:
"A scream in the night, and in that instant the world changed ... or at least, it appeared to. There have always been forces in the world and voices in the night: some friendly and other malevolent. Invisible until summoned; they slide through dimensions as people walk through doorways. They wait, and watch the doings of Man closely ... each for their own reasons. Sometimes, they appear ... and when they do, the world changes.
Everyone knows about Boogiepop: meet her one dark night and you are taken. People tell each other the stories and laugh: no one believes that she exists in this day and age. Still, there are some strange things that appear to be going on just below the surface. Darkness takes many forms, though. Evil and good intermingle. The glass shatters. Time stands still. There is something in the darkness. You aren't alone. Are you safe?
Five years ago, there was a string of grisly murders that shook the city to its core ... and in the present, psychic echoes reverberate."

You always need a schoolgirl...

Chaos sez: *sweatdrop!* Okaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.

Many of you who watch this will comment on how it has a very similar look and feel to Lain. I'll agree, though Boogiepop has less of a WTF factor than Lain did. If you pay close attention, you can figure out how the plot's unfolding, and so far I haven't been creamed by a semi-truck labeled 'newest plot twist.'

For all the confusion I was left with after 3 episodes, I still am looking forward to seeing more. This is a gritty supernatural show, with a lot of the animation looking to have been done in sepia colours that really do enhance the near-gothic atmosphere of the series. It's almost like Miyu gone to the dark side. Boogiepop him/herself is treated as an urban legend, and those who come to believe in him usually die shortly after meeting him. (I'm kind of fuzzy on Boogiepop's sex; the fansub called him a 'him', while the quote above does not)

Boogiepop Phantom is definitely not for kids or for people who are easily weirded out. There are some really nasty scenes in the episodes, one which features a guy repeatedly and messily chowing down on spider-like creatures representing people's regrets. But the show's managed to get me hooked in wanting to figure out who Boogiepop is, and what the deal with these phantom creatures are. If you liked Lain, then Boogiepop is right up your alley. Of course, if you enjoyed getting freaked out by the Playstation game Silent Hill, you'll probably enjoy Boogiepop too.

Available on DVD from The Right Stuf.

Updated 01-11-01