Stood up by his girlfriend, Miyashita Touka, Takeda Keiji decides to abandon their plans. His efforts to contact her are useless but soon, he sees a mysterious woman in a coat and hat that looks just like her. This woman claims not to be Miyashita, (though she takes residence in her body), she is named Boogiepop and her mission is to save the world from monsters. Takeda thinks this is some sort of joke until it becomes apparent that Boogiepop isn’t the only weird thing going on as students rapidly go missing.
Episode One sets the stage for most of what’s to come, though the storytelling initially doesn’t make much sense. The plot dances back and forth between the past and present much like the Garden of Sinners film series. Boogiepop is an interesting character with a vastly different personality than Miyashita, though her ominous aura almost leans towards pretentious.
Episodes Two and Three branch out to characters and situations outside of Boogiepop but later paints her as the savior she claims to be. A Manticore, (man-eater), eats young girls and transforms into Minato Yukihara and works with the human Masami Saotome to unleash her dark craving for flesh. The events that unfold in these two episodes ties up most the foreshadowing and time jumps laid out in Episode One with the kind of graphic violence and weird character movements found in shows like Devilman Crybaby.
Episode 4 begins a new story of tragedy. The new antagonist is a being called Imaginator and one lies within Asuka Jin, a teacher that can see the hearts of students that seek his counsel. Initially turned off by the potential of his powers, he later succumbs to them and embraces his otherwise latent darkness.
Episode 5 introduces more characters that run into Imaginator’s path but primarily focuses on two very different boys. Masaki Taniguchi falls in love with a girl that’s far beyond the average high school student. As Masaki falls deeper in love, he is completely oblivious to Shinjiro Ano; a boy that fell in love with Masaki at first sight. Unfortunately for Shinjiro, his stalking catches the attention of a new supernatural entity.
Boogiepop and Others has beautiful production, awesome opening and closing songs, and maintains its momentum though its storytelling may confuse newcomers to psychological, horror anime. Fans of titles like Higurashi will love a new story where waiting, remembering details of previous episodes, and picking up clues pays off as the story progresses. Anime fans into more linear storytelling may be confused and slightly annoyed but I feel this title is a must watch. I’m even interested in seeing the original Boogiepop Phantom and possibly diving into one of the recently released omnibus novels just to fully understand the story.
Rating: 9 out of 10