M. Karapcik | Temple Terrace, FL | 02/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ok, a review without spoilers....
The artwork is a bit simple, but still good. It's sort of a "minimalist-anime" style. Unfortunately, there is some jpeg granularity in the DVD, but I found that easy to ignore.
The art has an interesting fishbowl effect. In the first DVD, I thought this would be annoying. It was not. The art also has strong sepia and earthy coloration until the last episode.
The music is good, and the music on the last DVD is great. (the song for the last scene in episode 10 was beautiful and fit perfectly.)
The nonlinear story used up to this point takes a bit of getting used to. In DVD 4, the chronological order of events is held to a bit more strongly than the previous DVD's (meaning: "a bit more than very little"), but there are still many flashbacks.
The dialogue is very sharp. If you do not read quickly or speak fluent Japanese, watch it at least once in English. (You *will* watch it more than once.) The script is quite good.
On watching it again, due to the nonlinear story arc, a nice thing about this series is that if you want to go back and watch a previous episode, it seems to fit in well enough at any point (up to the last DVD). Re-watching episodes doesn't break the continuity of the story; sometimes it actually helps you pick up on things.
Specific to the last DVD (Evolution 4), the story really ends with episodes 10 & 11. The final episode wraps up a few loose ends, but it's the typical Japanese "see how life goes on" ending. Episodes 10&11, however, can be seen as one long episode, whereas most other episodes stand on their own. Much is resolved, and with so much dialogue about "loosing and regaining what is really important," I think it's interesting to see what the authors considered important enough to resolve in these two episodes.
(As a side note, I think the entire "What a terrible Pied Piper you are," scene at the end of episode 10 absolutely rocked, and the music is beautiful.)
Note that there are many things left unresolved. Apparently, the series is based on a Japanese book series, which explains and resolves more. You can figure out just about everything, but it requires paying attention and listening to what's said.
Requisite comparison to "Lain": Since I'm not a cyber-child, Lain didn't have as strong an emotional or personal impact as Boogiepop. Having finished both, I prefer Boogiepop."
To Everything, a Conclusion
TastyBabySyndrome | "Daddy Dagon's Daycare" - Proud Sponsor of the Lit | 03/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When ideology is spent on the young, the world wears a different mask than it does as they grow brittle and ingest experiences that changes their perception. Here, existence is something encased in purity and thusfar unsoiled, not yet hardened by the mental torments that come with the passing of years. Instead of a lack of beauty, there is only childlike innocence within the formations that answer the wandering gazes of youth. The need to hold onto things left behind, the feeling we come to know as regret, hasn't yet haunted the mind like an eerie spectralization that will, over time, make itself known. When the light erupts in the midst of that silent night, many things seem to changed almost immediately. Now, the world is plagued by people exhibiting strange powers and something stalks the landscape claiming lives. Within this surreally terrifying world, one girl with a horrific past that is given another chance to exist outside those boundaries. Out of it she creates something seemingly fabulous, bringing out the youth within people that will come and visit her. Still, these phantoms are merely monstrosities, and the reasoning behind who she is and what she has cause invites BoogiePop, the angel of death, to come and visit. Why is it like this, though, and why does the angel of death find this return to innocence a transgression? That, and a conclusion to the pulsing skies, is what this piece offers. The last DVD in the series is almost as important as the third in the explanation of what has transpired within those skies and how the girl with the butterflies has come to be. While going through the motions of introducing her and the life she has led, the episodes place many more of the tiles into their given spots. This places the remaining keys into their homes and unlocks many doors that were still barred, leaving a few questions here and there but answering mostly all of them. With it, the child known as Poom-Poom is explained as well, and closure is brought to the series at the end, when the BoogiePop Phantom is revealed as a person and the person behind the mask is one that has been noticed on several occasions. All of this takes place with the usual darkness that seems to stretch throughout the horizon of sights and sounds, with thunderous moments of terror playing hand in hand with explanations of what exactly is going on. For anyone that has yet to look into the series, this is something that you should take in stride and in order, letting it build properly so that it makes sense. Otherwise, terms like "echoes" and "the manticore" will mean nothing to you and you'll simply wonder exactly what horror is taking those child one by one. If you've already invested the time into watching the others and have liked them thusfar, then this is a piece that you won't want to leave out because it finishes the tasks at hand. To me, I thought that this piece was as essential as the first three in its own right, following through with the completed painting made by twelve separate entities."
ALL PSYCHIC EVOLUTIONS COME TO AN END
Sesho | Pasadena, TX USA | 02/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The three episodes on Evolution 4 of Boogiepop Phantom bring this enlightening and at times transcendantal anime series to an end. Poom Poom, the Pied Piper-like figure who has been taking the youthful souls of the city has created a dreamlike world of eternal childhood in a closed down amusement park. That's when our intrepid high school investigator, Nagi, shows up to rain on the parade, and then Poom Poom's party is further dampened by the arrival of Boogiepop. And we finally see who Manaka really is, yeah, the clueless idiot girl who creates glowing butterflies of past memories. Episode 12, "Requiem", has a totally different look than any of the previous episodes and ties up the loose ends.
After watching this series, I can safely say I've never seen anything like it. Maybe a Virginia Woolf novel is the closest comparison, so complex is the use of time and space in Boogiepop. This series is a song of memory and horror singing across a memory of a city that is constantly changing and a group of young people who do not want to become adults and have their souls sucked out of their bodies. The film noirish look of this dark title perfectly matches the nightmarish context. It is a reflection of life, with no end to the depth of the characters we encounter. Seek the entire series of Boogiepop Phantom out. Now.