Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Boogiepop Phantom DVD Thinpak Collection|
Actors: Roxanne Beck, Anne Benkovitz, Mandy Bonhomme, Jessica Calvello, Crispin Freeman
Genres: Horror, Anime & Manga, Animation
Studio: Bayview/widowmaker Release Date: 10/31/2006 Run time: 518 minutes
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The City of Haunted Memories
Suzanne | Oklahoma City, OK United States | 07/21/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
What is contained in this Thinpak set is the entire series of Boogiepop Phantom (BP) - 12 episodes on 4 DVDs - and the live-action film "Boogiepop and Others / Boogiepop Doesn't Smile" (BaO). In Japan, Boogiepop was spawned as a series of young adult novels. BaO was the first novel released in the Boogiepop series, and the film is an adaptation of it. Therefor it is a prequel to BP. I originally watched the series first, but the 2nd time I watched the film then series. Watching BaO first is likely preferable, as it details the events that the BP is centered around. To watch BP with no knowledge of BaO can be even more confusing than it already is.
BOOGIEPOP AND OTHERS / BOOGIEPOP DOESN'T SMILE
7 / 10
The film, like the series, tells multiple stories that intertwine concerning a central theme. Specifically, there's 4 stories that revolve around the appearance of a monster known as the manticore, a strange man known as Echoes, and Boogiepop herself. Boogiepop is a Shinigami, or the Japanese equivalent of Death. Boogiepop manifests as an alternate personality to an individual when dangers appear that threaten our world.
This film is relatively low budget. You could call it the equivalent of a B-Movie. The special effects and action scenes are more laughable than anything, and the sound and music has a very un-professional feel. That said, it's surprisingly enjoyable. The cheesiness is kept to a minimum as the focus remains on the characters. Don't go into this expecting Hitchcock-like film mastery and it shouldn't be too hard to enjoy. The young cast is the highlight. I especially liked Boogiepop herself and Nagi Kirima. The vision it paints of Japan is actually a nice one, especially the shots of Boogiepop on top of the buildings at sunset. I also find the pacing here well done. Each story has its own flow, but at the same time It feels like a steady progression towards the conclusion. Many animes could actually learn a lesson about pace, rhythm, and timing from this flash-less film.
The extras are nice and really extensive. They are perhaps better than the film itself (which can be taken as a good or bad thing). I especially enjoyed the "making of" featurette, as it appears the entire cast had a blast making the film. They include:
*History of Boogiepop
*Boogiepop in Yubari
*Making of Boogiepop Featurette
*Cast and Staff Bios
Overall, this is a quality adaptation of the novel if one doesn't judge it on too harsh of standards. I'm happy it's included as it's really helpful in understanding the Boogiepop universe before venturing into the difficult BP.
8 / 10
This series centers around the events at the end of B&O, and its lingering effects. The "pillar of light" that was seen in that night's sky gives multiple people strange abilities. With it came a rainbow-like haze that lingers over the city. An evil creature is lurking among the population and teenagers are disappearing. Boogiepop appears out of the form of Toka Miyashita to hunt down the unleashed evil along with Nagi Kirima. Even more mysterious is the appearance of Phantoms - echoes of beings that already exist. One such is a Phantom of Boogiepop. Rumors swirl of an organization behind the creation of beings known as composite humans. Memories of haunted pasts plague the people of the city, including a serial killer that stalked the city 5 years ago. What does all of this mean for the students of two local schools including Shinyo Academy?
This is as bizarre an anime as there is. It has a Lain-like feel with its dark, mysterious tone. While Lain is more abstract and psychedelic, BP more direct and tangible - but don't confuse this with simplicity. BP's narrative is one of the most complex you'll see in anime. Like the film, it tells multiple stories in a fractured narrative - that never relies on linearity - that revolves around a central idea. These stories intertwine with others so you'll see glimpses of one within another from different points of views. Due to the wealth of stories, the cast is extremely large. It can be very confusing to keep up with characters, which makes remembering those who appear more than once difficult. However, BP is able to keep the focus on (a) central character(s) at a time, which prevents it from becoming an incomprehensible mess. The most difficult aspect is determining where in the chronological context each story and scene fits, but that's also part of the fun.
To say the animation in BP is "unique" is an understatement. The entire series (save one episode) is told with a vignette effect - a black circle around its edges. Along with it, is a drab and incredibly limited color palette. You'll mostly see shades of brown, black, and white. This presentation is done on purpose, partly to create a hazy dream world and a stark contrast with the finale. Where Lain relied on dark/light themes with bright colors to create a psychedelic, disconnected tone, BP uses its own brand of minimalism to create a similar one. A blurry haze is common throughout and some scenes are so dark as to make it nearly impossible to tell what's happening. Viewers will either love or hate this style. While I really don't care for it, it is completely unique and quite effective. Such minimal animation and color means that there isn't much beauty to be found in the visuals. But the trade-off is the superb atmosphere it creates.
The music is perhaps a weak point as there's very little of it. However, I really enjoy both the opening (especially) and ending themes. The sound, however, is the focus. Multiple effects are used to create eerie sounds which work extremely well within the context of the visuals. The acting is well done (in the sub), if perhaps unspectacular. The dialogue can get a bit windy at times, and some of the themes are trite and shallow - "Why am I alive? We all just die anyway." for example. But it's the stories, tone, and narrative that sucks you in. There's something extremely hypnotic about BP that I can't quite put my finger on. It's not so much that I enjoy the series itself as I enjoy being involved in the dream it creates. It's been called a "horror", but it's not scary or frightening in the traditional sense. I really think BP defies genre tags as I'm not sure what to label it at all.
This is a series like Lain that viewers will likely either love or hate. Much like Lain I found it as equally frustrating as it was intriguing. The complex narrative and atmosphere the series creates is undoubtedly the highlights. I feel that BP resolves itself a bit better than Lain did, with superior pacing and narrative design. However, I preferred Lain's animation and depth of themes that it weaved into the story. I think I'd put the two on about equal ground, and which you prefer would be entirely personal. I think I slightly prefer Boogiepop Phantom as I found myself understanding it better on the 2nd viewing, where much of Lain seems opaque for the sake of being obfuscatory.
The extras are minimal. There is director's commentary and some music videos. But the best is the Production and Character notes on Disc 4. This details the many characters in BP and even provides a bit of an aid for those who don't know about the Boogiepop universe.
Overall, this is one of the truly unique works in the world of Anime. Its originality alone is a quality making it worth your time. In a world where most of anime has become stagnant, I thoroughly appreciate works like this that break the mold and stand out from all the banal imitations."
Maki | 02/14/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have seen alot of good anime this one is no exeption. This anime is very dark and mysterious but entertaining. This series may seem random, but, trust me, it will all make sense in the end. It also has a hidden meaning in it as well. My only advise to you is pay careful attention when watching this anime. It is confusing and sometimes it won't make sense to you at all, but if you keep watching the episodes you'll get it."
A Nice Supernatural Anime But Not Up To Par Of What I Expect
Rich | CA | 05/29/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The series is very reminiscent of another supernatural series called Requiem Of Darkness and while both series are entertaining in themselves at the end they just don't seem to live up to the expectations given to them. The animation is decent and for the series fitting as the show is very dark and supernatural but there is a little graininess in some scenes, also while the Japanese cast did great with their roles sadly with the exception of about four voice actors/actresses the English dub cast were terrible, saying their lines with so little emotional feelings you wonder why they tried for these roles in the first place if they were just going to do a atrocious job of it. The live action movie is pretty decent to but they didn't do any dubbing for the live action movie and I truly appreciate that especially if they were going to use the same actors and actresses from the series. At the end is this box set worth getting for any anime collectors collection, and if you like dark supernatural animes than yes it is but I say wait until the price goes down to around $30 dollars as this set doesn't seem to be worth more than that it seems...."