Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Boogiepop and Others|
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Anime & Manga, Animation
The cold dead of night is a dangerous time to be near the Shinyo Academy. Girls have begun to mysteriously disappear without a trace, and the school is alive with rumors. Some say the girls are just runaways, but with each... more »
IS BOOGIEPOP ON OUR SIDE?
Sesho | Pasadena, TX USA | 03/06/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Strange things are afoot at Shinyo Academy. Students have started to disappear, a potent drug that turns its users into pliant slaves has been making the rounds, and of course, it's rumored that Boogiepop, the spirit of death is mixed up in all these happenings. As the movie opens, we see a cute looking female high school student licking a corpse's eyeball. And after that, things get really weird!! Well, not really. Boogiepop and Others is pretty much a prelude to the 4 volume Boogiepop Phantom anime, the difference being that this DVD is a live-action movie with some of the same characters.
Like the anime, this film throws linear storytelling out the window and instead opts for a more fragmentary style. Its like threads of spiderwebs all being weaved towards the center in which all the characters come together into one narrative. UNlike the anime, the movie is less confusing because it focuses on less characters. Keiji and Miyashita like each other, but Miyashita, like Clark Kent, leads a double life. The cute and demure girl is actually Boogiepop, a sorta pseudo-superhero, that fights against evil. And then you have Naoko, a free spirit who seems to have a stable of lovers but never seems to find company. Twisted Saotome, the figure of evil in the anime, is here shown as a dejected lover who switches his feelings to a monster. The best role in this film version has to be that of Nagi Kirima, played by the beautiful but powerful Maya Kurosu. Nagi seems to be the only person at the school that senses that something is wrong. So she takes it upon herself to find out what hidden force is abducting and killing her classmates.
The cast of young Japanese actors in Boogiepop do a great job, perfectly conveying the isolation and longing for love that is at the heart of the movie and the anime. Beneath all the monsters and spirits of Death is the tragic fact that none of the teenagers realize that they are all going through the same events. If only the characters could have connected. The complaint I have about this movie is the special effects. What little there are seem very primitive. They seem to be done by back projection, and are on a level with 1970s technology. The film screams out cheapness when, for example, a student is killed, and you just see an arm flash out, and hear a sound effect, instead of showing anything. I guess the positive thing about there not being any visual effects is that the director really had to focus on the characters and their relationships. It's like what would happen if George Lucas had to make Star Wars with 5 minutes of spaceship footage. I don't understand why a popular series like this got such a cheap budget. American TV series have much better effects that this. Another positive about the movie is that the score is great, by the same composer that did the anime Noir.
There are a ton of extras on this DVD. A long making of documentary with behind the scenes footage and interviews with the actors. Also has some good text menus with a history of the Boogiepop phenomenon and cast and crew info. Many TV and theatrical trailers, footage of the director and star at a film festival, and a director's comment and storyboards.
I would highly recommend viewing this movie before watching the Boogiepop Phantom anime. After all this is a prequel to that series, and prepares you for what is a confusing but ultimately masterful storyline. Having said that, this film is what would be labeled a B-movie in America. But if you can get beyond the sparse visual effects you can really enjoy Boogiepop and others."