Posted by SuperMario on 4 March 2019 with categories: Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019), Finished Series: Mystery/Suspense

This is often the case for a series that is fragment and non-linear like Boogiepop, the beginning is often its weakest part. Not only because it has no real beginning, therefore no real “introduction”, it has to create the right kind of mood that represents the overall tone of an entire arc. Moreover, the lack of “big catalyst” also makes it hard for viewers to fully engage with what unfold on screen. The very first episode of Boogiebop suffers hard from that (by hindsight, that premiere is amongst Boogiepop’s worst episode so far). To say all that leads to my next point: this first episode of the new arc “The King of Distortion” is a successful opener. It feels a bit meandering at first, mostly because it shifts back and forth between side characters that we know next to nothing about them, but as soon as the paranormal event kicks in, everything starts to fall into place. Like the premiere episode of “Boogiepop Doesn’t Laugh” arc, it begins through Takeda – Miyashita’s boyfriend – point of view. That fact alone gives me a good chuckle because despite appeared as serious as he is, his role is always that of a bystander. He has no real relation to the main events, therefore he’s more like a springboard for viewers before we jump into the event. Chronologically, this arc is appropriately happens right after that first arc, as many members from that cast comes back in a big way in this episode.

Everything in this episode revolves around the twisted statue that represents very well the very nature of distortion (I see it more as a walking naked woman but it’s just me). From what we gathered, it’s a “failed” project from millionaire called Teratsuki. There are some interesting nitpicks with that piece of information alone. The reason it’s “failed” isn’t because of its incompleteness, it is because Teratsuki dies mysteriously at the age of 56 and no one have a clue on the intention or even what to do with the Moon Temple architecture. Even his life was complicated before his death, he was a success in almost every field he was in (strongly indicated that he’s already evolved), and he was the person that Scarecrow investigated before he met Nagi in “Boogiepop at Dawn” arc. Precisely because people don’t know what to do with it, they make an exhibition out of it, and it attracts fair share of people lining up to get in. That Moon Temple in itself a mysterious identity, and we follow a whole range of different characters as they line up: A kid who encounters the King of Distortion in the image of Teratsuki himself (and based on what he said he’s a just-born), a random guy named Habara who meets the archery boy Tanaka, and a random girl named Michimoto who is having a fight with her date. I’m not even sure if they will become something important later on.

The one the is important, however, Niitoki, one of the surviving member after the climax of the first arc. First she sees her crush Takeda, then she pursuits Boogiepop and finally gets transferred back to the time she regretted the most – the Manticore event. The moment where the paranormal event kicks in remain one of the most breath-taking moments Boogiepop pulls up to date. As the doors closing the visitors turned into statues. Seriously, this is something that falls more in line with Ikuhara than most other anime, but I’m glad that Boogiepop goes there. Niitoki is taken back to meet Saotome, and I’m pretty sure there’s some hidden feeling, something much more about her own psyche than meets the eyes here. What is it about him (and not Manticore or her crush Takeda), that she feels regret the most? At the same time we have a look to another random security guard who appears to not be able to confess his love to the girl he likes. And even the King of Distortion himself. How was he born? It’s clear that he takes shape into whatever things people perceive him to be, but does he, like Imaginator before him, want to “evolve” human in some ways? Making them facing their own guilt past isn’t the bad way, after all, but to what extend he’s going to “fix” people? Boogiepop sets up a pretty intriguing first episode, one that again speaks to its adolescent theme, and one where Boogiepop themselves appears actively. Hopefully this arc also gives more justice to Miyashita, so far is sadly just a cardboard character with no real depth yet.

2 Responses

  1. Firstly off, a big thank you to you Mario for deciding to cover this series that is probably unfairly underated!
    Given the difficult nature of the show, your re-cap posts will be helpful in keeping track of the shows plot.
    this is definately a series that benefits from watching it dubbed and/or marathoned, to catch everything.

    Now here are my general thoughts:

    The good:
    -I’m so glad something this trippy, psychological and weird is allowed to exist in the current anime climate.
    -Great, strange mood/atmosphere.
    -The narrative structure makes the viewer actually have to pay attention and the different perspectives is an interesting way of telling story, it increases the intrigue, the narrative style allows the viewer to try and figure it out on their own.
    -When the pieces all fit together in each specific arc it rewards the views patience.

    The bad:
    -Since somewhere in the imaginator arc, sometimes the show drags.
    -While individual arcs pieces always ended up clicking together, I’m still left wondering about a bigger picture coming together and if it can pull of a successful wrap up to the series on whole level.
    -Atmospheric as it is, the 2000s Boogiepop series has it beat with its near apocalyptic tone.
    -The 2000s series thematic registers more strong to me.
    -Character designs are meh.
    -Despite being the title character, yes boogie herself needs more attention.

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