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Old 05-04-2007, 07:28 AM   #1   [permalink]
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An in-depth analysis and explanation of the plot of Boogiepop Phantom

I couldn't really be bothered posting on a load more threads when I could do it all in one. So here goes, this is a complete explanation and description of the plot of Boogiepop Phantom. Note all time periods are relative to the present period in Boogiepop Phantom.

Some Time Ago...

A being that would become known as Echoes came to Earth. No one knows exactly what he is or where he came from, but a couple of descriptions go as follows:

""But I don't think he's from some other planet. It's like in space there's this big universal consciousness, and it sent him here to, you know, "test mankind", or something"" - Kamikishiro Naoko, Boogiepop and Others

""Naoko said something strange once," Nagi said, looking up at the sky. "She said that Echoes was an angel. That the lord of the heavens had ordered him to investigate, and make the final decision on whether mankind should be allowed to live, or if it should be destroyed."" - Kirima Nagi, Boogiepop and Others

On a side note, it is said that the angels were creatures of light, and when Echoes revealed his true nature he turned into light.

However, when Echoes got to Earth there was a problem. Due to the vastness of space time, when he arrived on Earth he came in a form that was far in advance of human society. This was soon noticed by the Towa organization, who captured and experimented upon him. They didn't know his true purpose and they thought he was just another evolution. Echoes had an inbuilt mechanism through which he could only use the words others spoke to reply to them, so he was given the codename Echoes (in the novels it is suggested that he had this mechanism to begin with, though in the anime it is suggested that the Towa organization gave him this trait (episode 11)). Through the course of experimentation, they learned more about evolution and genetics, and discovered a way to create their own evolutions called composite humans. These composite humans seem to be normal humans who have undergone the evolutionary process, and they display a wide variety of abilities. No two are the same but they all have a general increase in their strength, speed, agility, etc. They also created a drug that could artificially induce or halt evolution, depending on the individual.

It is the Towa organization's mission to stop change, or at least any change that is not caused by them. The evolutions are just one part of this change, and so they oppose them. Any evolutions (given the codename MPLS in the novels) are either captured for study or killed outright. Their agents are everywhere, and they fit into human society perfectly, because they appear as normal humans and the Towa organization takes great pains to keep it that way.

Seven Years Ago...

Kirima Seichii was a famous author of psychological and philosophical papers and science fiction novels. Through reading many of his quotes, he does seem to be very intellectual. He found through fan mail that many of his fans commented that they were experiencing the same things he was writing about, but that shortly afterward they would dissapear. He did some investigating, and learned of the Towa organization. His influential writings, and the fact that he knew about the Towa organization, guaranteed his death. They sent agent More Murder to kill him. More Murder's special ability is that he can damage your internal organs merely by touching you, and his specialized role was as an assassin. Kirima Seichii appears not to have struggled, but merely ask that his daughter Nagi be spared. This More Murder did, so that when Nagi came home from school, she found him dying on the floor. He asked her what she wanted from life, and that if she was unsatisfied with normal, she should be abnormal, before he died (episode 10). The cause of death was given as gastric perforation leading to dissolution of the internal organs. One year later, Nagi came down with a mysterious illness and was sent to the prefectural hospital where she stayed for a year.

Five Years Ago...

The Towa organization also has branches in business, after all it does need funding. One of their members, Teratsuki Kyouichiro, was a Towa businessman and fundraiser. However, certain irregularities were noticed in his financial transactions. An unusually large amount of money was being donated to the prefectural hospital. So they sent in Towa agent Kuroda Shinpei (codename Scarecrow) to find out what was going on.

Kuroda Shinpei was a private detective in real life, so it didn't seem so strange to other people for him to be investigating mysterious cases, which is a perfect position to be on the look out for the evolved. In the hospital, he encountered Kirima Nagi, and the two got on really well. Nagi saw through his bluff of being a private detective, and Kuroda was impressed with her. She asked him what he really wanted to be, and he said he wanted to be a defender of justice, because there were just too many stupid rules and regulations in his real job, and that a lot of his jobs are messy. Kirima simply said that if he wanted to be a defender of justice then he should be. She also said that if he investigated her he might find something interesting. He did so, using the cover alias Kishida, and discovered the executor of her estate embezzling funds. This was taken care of, before Kuroda returned to the hospital to tell her the news. She said to him that if he wanted to be a defender of justice, she would sponsor him. However, she drastically took a turn for the worse, and was taken away by the doctors before he could answer. She desparately grabbed his hand so that he could answer, but was taken away nonetheless. Kuroda was startled to find his hand burned, and through this he learned that Nagi was an evolution (fire based) but that she was dying because her evolution was failing. It seems that Nagi knew this too, and she was trying to give all her estate to Kuroda so that he could be a defender of justice. It also seems that Kuroda was Nagi’s first love, though we don’t know how he felt in return.

Kuroda swiftly left for the Towa facility that contained the drug, fought his way in an out, and ran back to the hospital. However, the Towa sent agent More Murder after him. The two seem to have fought on the way there (note Kuroda's bloody face in episode 12) and Kuroda reached Nagi's room first. He quickly gave her the drug, but with More Murder just outside the door, he dropped the drug and leapt out the window. More Murder had only paused because he recognized the name Kirima, before leaving to head him off. He was hastened by the arrival of Dr Kisugi, who on her night rounds heard noises from Nagi's room. She entered and found the window open, and a drug on the floor, which she hid from the other staff (episode 9). This is likely because security issues would be raised if it was thought an intruder had come into the hospital with drugs, and so Dr Kisugi was just covering for the hospital.

Kuroda ran but More Murder caught up to him. They fought, and although More Murder retreated from an injury, Kuroda himself was mortally wounded, and collapsed dying on the ground. Miyashita Touka, wandering the grounds after having come from a funeral (note the funeral attire she wears in episode 12) sees Kuroda's dying body. Miyashita's parents were preparing to get a divorce, and that coupled with seeing a dying man and coming from a funeral seems to have resulted in the Boogiepop personality being born. Boogiepop comforts Kuroda, saying that he died a defender of justice, and that Nagi would be proud of him. After his death, Boogiepop takes his hat, cloak, and weapon and leaves. Towa agents converge on the scene to find Kuroda dead with a peaceful expression on his face. They dispose of his body.

Nagi returned to full health and left the hospital, which made Dr Kisugi wonder about the drug. Kirima never knew what happened to Kuroda, but she decided that she would become a defender of justice. She recieved martial arts training from a friend of her late father's, and began solving many crimes across the city. Meanwhile, Dr Kisugi had taken the mysterious drug home, and intrigued she tested it on rats in her private lab. She found that the rats grew in size, strength, speed, intelligence, etc. Kisugi kills one of the rats, but even after being beheaded it stays alive for a short while.

Nagi later returned to the hospital for a check up, and had a conversation with Dr Kisugi, asking her why she became a psychiatrist. Dr Kisugi answered that she was often afraid as a child, and so wanted to become a psychiatrist so she could overcome those fears.

Either greedy for power or being a safety conscious scientist, Dr Kisugi administered the drug to herself in her first human experiment. The result was a fever that lasted about a week, with no other noticeable side effects at first. However, upon her return to work as a psychiatrist, she discovered she had indeed changed. Apart from the obligatory increase in physical and mental stats, she could sense the hormones/chemicals in people's blood responsible for fear. As a child, Dr Kisugi had always been afraid, that's why she had become a psychiatrist, so that she could overcome those fears and the fears of others. However now she became attracted to the taste of people's fear, and scared her more unstable patients to sample their fear. I'm not sure if it's mentioned in the novels, but in the anime she injects several of her patients with the drug (Hisashi Jonouchi (episode 2), Kisaragi Mayumi (episode 5)) Dr Kisugi also found that the fear of strong willed people tasted far sweeter than the fear of weak willed people. Eventually she discovered that the fear of a strong willed person upon their moment of death was the sweetest delicacy, and so she moved to killing young strong willed girls (note her selection of victims, people who were like her when she was younger)(also note that Jonouchi's mother was never mentioned in the novels).

At this time, Dr Kisugi learned of the Towa organization, and she attempted to gain leverage over it. They couldn’t have this so they sent in agent More Murder to find and dispose of the serial killer (given the codename Fear Ghoul). The agent to give him this order, Pigeon, was a messenger agent who harboured a grudge against him and Kirima for killing Kuroda whom she had loved. However Dr Kisugi learned that More Murder was after her, and that Pigeon hated him. More Murder crossed paths with Kirima Nagi at the first murder site, and the two agree to work together on the case (Nagi is not aware that More Murder killed both her father and Kuroda). Dr Kisugi watched this meeting from afar, and formulated a plan for framing More Murder for the killings. She approached Pigeon offering her a way to get back at More Murder for killing Kuroda.

Boogiepop was also on the move, starting his own investigation into the serial killings. However, he was caught as he tried to sneak out of the window of Miyashita’s bedroom by her mother (she would have been about 12 at the time so was not allowed to go out whenever she pleased). At one point Boogiepop knocks out Miyashita's mother so that he can get out. Miyashita's mother hysterically took her to see a psychiatrist, who just happened to be Dr Kisugi. Boogiepop appears to have conversed directly with Dr Kisugi (although he later denies this), who chose to hide the existence of Boogiepop from Miyashita’s mother. She claimed the mother was merely over-reacting. However the event was enough to make Miyashita’s parents reconcile and the divorce stop.

Over this entire three month period, five young girls were killed. Two of them were Panuru (the first girl to be called Panuru in episode 3) and Wakata Shizue in episode 6. Her next intended victim was Suema Kazuko, though why she was chosen is unknown. At the Wakata residence, Kirima and More Murder questioned her friends (episode 6). Upon hearing that she was a strong willed girl and that she was seeing a female psychiatrist Kirima realized that Dr Kisugi must be the culprit (she remembered her fear conversation with Dr Kisugi, as well as the fact that the other victims were said to be strong willed as well). However she hid this knowledge from More Murder, hoping to keep him out of harms way (she was not aware that he was a composite human, and so was less likely to be harmed than her). In the distance, Dr Kisugi witnessed this exchange, and set her trap.

On her way to the hospital, Nagi picked up her gear. More Murder realized what she was up to and so followed her. Upon reaching the hospital, More Murder found Kirima talking to a doctor in the psychiatric ward (seventh floor) although he couldn't hear what was being said. Kirima looked disappointed before getting up and leaving the building. Shortly after she was out of sight, the doctor pulled out a gun from underneath the seat and sat in a sniping position waiting for her. More Murder dashed forward and impaled her through her torso. Dying, she was still able to immobilize him before revealing her identity as Pigeon. Dr Kisugi then appeared right behind More Murder and impaled him through his torso, breaking his spine, before throwing him out of the window to plummet seven floors (episode 5).

Kirima Nagi had been told by Pigeon that Dr Kisugi had gone downstairs to meet her, and when she got outside, she witnessed More Murder falling, and Dr Kisugi jumping out after him. Dr Kisugi was not harmed in any way by dropping seven floors. Realizing the danger she was in, she tried to pedal away as fast as she could (she was 13 or 14 at the time, so she only had bicycle). Dr Kisugi however was evolved and could easily keep pace with her. Nagi was trying not to involve the hospital security guards in this, and Dr Kisugi was glad she had found such fearless prey.

At the hospital, Pigeon lay dying on the floor, happy because she had taken revenge on More Murder and betrayed the Towa organization like Kuroda. Boogiepop appears, but says nothing before leaving. Kirima tried desperately to lead Dr Kisugi away from the city, but Kisugi caught up with her and she was thrown from her bike and landed in a pond, spilling the contents of her bag. Fortunately she was able to cushion the fall, but she was still injured.

Dr Kisugi told Kirima that she was indeed strong willed but was enraged that she was not afraid. She told her that More Murder was a Towa assassin sent to kill the serial killer, that he had just used Nagi, and that Nagi had been used as bait. This fazed Kirima, who was then rushed by Dr Kisugi. Nagi however was ready and plunged a high voltage taser into the pond, send a lot of volts through Dr Kisugi’s wet body, which was also helped by the electrolytes/conducting salts that had been deliberately spilled from her bag. The damage and pain were substantial, but not enough to kill Dr Kisugi. Nagi was left uninjured thanks to her insulating suit. Dr Kisugi attacked Nagi again, who used her strength against her and held her in an arm hold before applying the taser directly. In great pain, Dr Kisugi broke free from Nagi, at the cost of her arm (episode 6). Kirima couldn’t give chase due to her injury.

Boogiepop arrived however and told Kirima that he would take care of it. Dr Kisugi’s evolved body was severely damaged and was failing her. After hearing someone whistle “Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg”, she challenged Boogiepop to appear, shortly before a microfilament wire wrapped itself around her neck and beheaded her (episode 11). Even so, she stayed alive for several seconds, long enough to see her body crumple to the ground and a shadow in the distance.

Boogiepop and Kirima Nagi returned to hospital to find More Murder lying there, still alive but dying. He told Nagi that he was glad that she was alive, and that he regretted nothing. After questioning by Boogiepop, Kirima told him that she would continue to be a defender of justice, to which Boogiepop replied that they would likely meet again.

More Murder was either framed by Dr Kisugi for the serial killings or set up by the Towa organization who didn’t want people to ask too many questions. As far as all but a few are concerned, More Murder was a sexual deviant who derived pleasure from destroying young girls. I think Dr Kisugi was reckoned to be his last victims. More Murder was found hanged in his living accommodations, so the Towa organization likely did have a large role to play in his condemnation. Only Boogiepop and Kirima Nagi know the truth. Suema Kazuko returned home one day to learn that she was the next intended victim of the serial killer (More Murder as far as she knows), a fact which would come to haunt and change her for many years to come.

Man that took me ages to write. I’m beat. I’ll finish this later. Next time, on Boogiepop:

Echoes, Manticore, Type S, pillar of light…

PS. Since this novel hasn’t yet been translated, I relied upon a few websites for this info. I’ll post my sources up when I finish. And I should also apologize for my poor writing skills. The above doesn’t nearly do justice to the story.
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Last edited by Cookiepop; 16-04-2007 at 06:11 PM. Reason: Further clarification
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Old 05-04-2007, 04:27 PM   #2   [permalink]
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I just got finished watching the anime and it blew my mind. Are you plot summing the tv or the manga? You included episodes, but sometimes you mentioned the manga as well... Either way, great job! I actually understand a little bit more now. haha
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Old 06-04-2007, 10:34 AM   #3   [permalink]
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Quote:
I just got finished watching the anime and it blew my mind. Are you plot summing the tv or the manga? You included episodes, but sometimes you mentioned the manga as well... Either way, great job! I actually understand a little bit more now. haha
Since the anime is a direct continuation of the first novel, with a slightly less direct continuation of the sixth novel, and references to several others, in order to explain the plot of Boogiepop Phantom I have to explain the plot of these two novels. Summing isn't exactly the best word for it. Going by current trends, I could probably write a thesis on Boogiepop Phantom.

Did I mention the manga? I can't remember that. For the whole Manticore saga, I rely on the first novel, of which one of the mangas is an adaptation. For the serial killer story, I rely on both the anime and a website which has translations and plot descriptions. There's a passage about Dr Kisugi that I'll post up some time, that will prove beyond all doubt that she is the most bad ass character ever. She makes the Manticore look softcore. I'll post all references up when I finish. Oh, and thanks.

Several months ago...

A little bit less than five years after the serial killer incident, the Towa organization conducted yet another experiment on Echoes. They tried to clone him but the experiment was a disaster. What they had instead created was a monster they called the Manticore, because it consumed people. Why exactly the Towa organization did such a thing isn’t known. It’s likely that they just wanted to see what would happen if they cloned him, or perhaps they hoped to create a copy of Echoes that could be used as one of their composite humans. Either way, the Manticore was the result. The Manticore was considered a failure, and was due to termination, when it killed its captors and escaped to the city.

A little while before this happened, Saotome Masami asked out Kirima Nagi. She turned him down, on the grounds that she didn’t want to put anyone else in danger, because in her words she’s nothing but trouble while Saotome was normal (people around Kirima Nagi have a habit of dying, eg Kirima Seichii, Kuroda Shinpei, More Murder, etc). Saotome said that he wasn’t as disappointed as he thought he would be, and it was only later that he would find out why.

Yurihara Minako was an intelligent, beautiful student at Shinyo Academy, but she was a loner, so it was easy for the Manticore to find her on her own and kill her. The Manticore prepared to consume her, when Saotome Masame came upon the scene. In shock, Saotome barely survived the Manticore’s attack, as it decided that it would rather have his body. Saotome stated that if it hoped to go unsuspected, then it would be better to take Yurihara’s body, because being a loner any change in her behaviour would be unnoticeable while any change in his behaviour would be noticed due to his popularity, although he said this with disappointment. The Manticore was puzzled why Saotome was so calm and not begging for his life like its other victims. Saotome merely replied that he loved the Manticore. He now realized that he had a thing for strong girls, and that what he wanted was not for Kirima Nagi to date him, but kill him. It seems that although Saotome had a normal life, he railed against this and so indirect suicide or destructive tendencies were means of escape. Saotome and the Manticore joined forces, the Manticore taking Yurihara’s appearance and explaining all its powers to Saotome as they hatched a plan to conquer the world. Over time, the two fell deeply in love with each other.

One Month Ago...

When Echoes learned that the Manticore had escaped, he immediately freed himself from his imprisonment and escaped to the city. He could have done this already, except that he was supposed to experience human society and couldn’t bias himself by deciding he didn’t want to be Towa’s lab rat. However, the Manticore was dangerous and could spell disaster for the world. He had to stop it. On his way to the city however, he was depressed by the lack of care and attention that ordinary people held for the injured, homeless man wandering their streets looking for help, even though he couldn’t ask for help in the normal fashion. In the city, he collapsed in despair, before Boogiepop appeared and told him not to cry until he had found what he was looking for (episode 8). Echoes gained new hope and began his search once again. Boogiepop also left but not before Takeda Keijii (whose picture we can see in photo in Miyashita Touka's bedroom in episode 5), Miyashita Touka’s boyfriend, could catch a glimpse of his face, and realize that it was Miyashita’s.

Over several days/weeks, Boogiepop made a regular appearance on the roof of the school waiting for the Manticore to appear. Takeda was deeply concerned over the turn of events where he witnessed Boogiepop for the first time. Due to this concern for the well being of his girlfriend, he confronted Boogiepop on the roof thinking it was Miyashita Touka in drag. However, he soon learned that Boogiepop resembles a split personality living inside of Miyashita Touka, but that there are greater complexities at play. Boogiepop doesn't choose when to appear - "I am automatic. Whenever I detect adversity, I float to the surface. That's why I am Boogiepop - phantasmal, like buubles." When the danger subsides, Boogiepop dissapears again. In his words he is automatic this way, and very mechanical in his actions (repeated by both Boogiepop and Boogiepop Phantom in the anime in episodes 11 and 8 respectively). He also explains that Miyashita Touka is blissfully unaware that she is also Boogiepop, as she deletes her memories of her time as Boogiepop and comes up with explanations for the blanks in her memory. Even when she carries the sports bag containing Boogiepop's effects, she comes up with a reason why she is carrying it and why she shouldn't look into it. This is not under Boogiepop's control, rather this is her mechanism for coping with the harsh reality of the world and living a normal life while her alternate persona defends the current world.

Although Boogiepop never explicitly calls itself male, when referring to itself it uses male pronouns, and on first glance people often think Boogiepop is male. Boogiepop's voice is also somewhat more boyish than Miyashita Touka's (this is always an indicator that it is Boogiepop and not Miyashita Touka we are dealing with). Even the legend surrounding Boogiepop has him as a beautiful boy. However as I said this is never confirmed. Boogiepop explains to Takeda that he was out five years previously hunting down the serial killer (Dr Kisugi) and that now he has arisen to challenge a new threat to the world (Manticore). Over a week or two Boogiepop and Takeda form a close friendship.

Meanwhile, the Manticore and Saotome began selling a drug which they called Type S (in the anime at least), the S standing for Slave. Using this drug they would make many slaves with which they could take on the Towa organization and the world. In the novel, this drug was produced by one of their victims (Kusatsu Akiko). Kusatsu had a crush on Saotome Masami and he used this fact on a group date (although she was adamant that it was not a date) to slip a pill in her drink that killed her after the two were on their own. He carried her body to a discrete place where the Manticore brought her back to life but as their slave. Although Kusatsu was not aware of this as she was already half dead and was continually decaying, every night Type S would be produced by her body which would consist of her dead and dying brain cells and be excreted from her body. This was their source of Type S. Many other students began to go missing from either Type S addiction or as food for the Manticore.

Echoes stumbled into an alley where he rested for a while, but he was spotted by a student called Kamikishiro Naoko, who offered to help him. Although he wasn’t even saying the words she was fully capable of learning his name, an ability that puzzled Echoes and that Naoko was completely unaware of. She offered to let him stay at the school underneath the gym, and phoned her friend Kirima Nagi for help. Kirima Nagi and Kamikishiro soon learned all about the Manticore and Echoes mission, and began their search for the Manticore.

Hacking the school's attendance database, Kirima Nagi tracked down those who had shown irregular school attendance one by one and assaulted them in a bid to get them off Type S and to narrow down the search for the Manticore. These assaultings were driving off Type S addicts and bringing Nagi closer to the Manticore. The Manticore eventually had to dispose of Kusatsu Akiko permanently, as her erratic behaviour would have become too noticeable if they had let her live any longer. If Nagi had investigated her movements, she would have led her right to Saotome and then to the Manticore. To give herself free movement, Nagi suspended herself from school. Kirima had however already linked Type S with Kusatsu Akiko, and would likely soon find out Saotome and the Manticore. Saotome discovered this, and told the Manticore.

Kirima Nagi was busy tracking more Type S addicts when she met Suema Kazuko. One of Suema's friends was a Type S user, and when Kirima attacked her, Suema questioned her on the matter. Kirima merely replied that she should let go of what happened five years. Suema was left wondering how Nagi might know that she had nearly been murdered by the serial killer. Due to this important event in her life, where she had nearly died without ever knowing, she feels a compulsion to know the truth. This question led Suema to go to the Kirima residence, where Nagi and Suema actually come to friendly terms. Despite Nagi's reputation at school, Suema is surprised to find that she lives a semblance of a normal life. Nagi discusses her father who told her not to live a normal life, and seems quite at ease calling herself warped, a psycho, and suffering from a father and messiah complex. Suema comes to like Nagi, although she is somewhat worried about her own interpretation of herself and erratic lifestyle. Suema eventually plucks up the courage to ask her about the serial killings.

The official truth behind the serial killings was only made known to those involved, so there was no way Nagi could know about Dr Murder (or so he's called) and the fact that she was his next target (official truth). Therefore Suema reckoned that Nagi must have something to do with it. Suema was told that Dr Murder had hanged himself just when the police were about to catch him, but she was never satisfied with this explanation. It was then that Suema figured that Nagi must have saved her. Nagi however denies this, and after further insistence lets slip "That wasn't me. That was Boogiepop, ultimately.". Suema was confused by this. Why would Nagi bring up the name of an urban legend? (Boogiepop has become an urban legend by this time, a sort of romantic myth only the girls know of, where this beautiful boy assassin/shinigami comes along with a whistle and eases you of your pain, taking you when you're at your most beautiful). But Kirima told Suema to drop the subject as it seems to have been a senseitive matter for her (she bites her lip). Nevertheless, Suema and Kirima develop a friendship, even though Kirima won't tell Suema the truth.

At the same time, despite the fact that many students had become slaves to Type S (the girl in red and the Sugunami Yoji from episode 4 being two examples, though they were never mentioned in the novels), they had failed to find a new subject to become their Type S factory. The Manticore was all for killing Nagi, but Saotome urged caution. Even though Kirima was known for her absences from school, she was loaded (inheritance from her father) and her distinctive personality meant that if she disappeared it would be noticed (she was quite renowned, not to mention the fact that she was one of the schools best students). Saotome wanted to find out how much she knew before disposing of her. The Manticore was in a fit, and asked Saotome if he still loved Kirima. He hesitated, before Kamikishiro stumbled upon the scene looking for Echoes, who had disappeared again. It only took one mention of the name Echoes for the Manticore to kill Kamikishiro, who was frightened by the thought that Echoes was looking for it. Being the Manticore’s original, Echoes could destroy the Manticore easily. Using the fact that Kamikishiro was a friend of Nagi's however, Saotome hatched a plan.

One of Kamikishiro’s boyfriends Tanaka Shiro (she had two) approached the school committee president Niitoki Kei asking if she knew anything about Kamikishiro’s disappearance. Saotome approached them and told them that Kirima Nagi might know something, so they called for her over the school intercom. Nagi, searching the school with Echoes for any evidence of the Manticore, heard the summons and knew it must be a trap. So she cut the electricity and knocked out all three students before bringing them before Echoes, who confirmed that none of them was the Manticore. After being released, Saotome approached Kirima and Echoes holding a mechanical pencil in his hand. He started talking about normal, and how people can never be satisfied with it. He thanked Kirima Nagi for rejecting him, because otherwise he would have been her enemy, and that to him she was nothing but normal now.

Saotome spun around and stabbed the pencil (containing a poison created by the Manticore) into Echoes neck, saying “Now you’re our enemy” (episode 3). The Manticore, who had been on the ceiling the whole time, dropped down on Echoes and opened him up from shoulder to stomach with her nails, before jumping out of the way. Taken by surprise and watching the Manticore, Kirima was slashed in the neck by Saotome who now held a knife (episode 11). He said that he had changed teams from the killed to the killers, and that he had planned for Kirima to kill him, but that he thought him killing her was also good. The Manticore attacked Echoes again, but he dodged out of the way, picked up Kirima’s body and jumped out of the building, the Manticore in pursuit, as Saotome confronted Niitoki Kei (Tanaka having run out of the building already).

Echoes put Kirima’s dead body down, reflecting on the fact that Nagi had fought alone against the horrors of the world and it had killed her. Ehoes had been crippled by the poison, which made him slow and meant his impressive regenerative powers wouldn't heal his wounds. The Manticore caught up to him and began tearing into him, before throwing his body back in the direction of Saotome and Niitoki Kei. From here however the novel differs from the anime:

Novel

Landing right behind her, Niitoki ran to Echoes, and tried to shield him from the Manticore. Echoes had a brief montage of thoughts, in which he weighed the cruelty of the Towa organization and Saotome Masami against the actions of Kirima Nagi who died helping him, Boogiepop who gave him hope, Kamikishiro Naoko who looked after him and loved him, and Niitoki Kei who even against the Manticore was trying to protect him. Pointing at the Manticore he uttered the words:

“My body into information, transmit to the source!”

A pillar of light erupted from his body and expanded in an attempt to engulf the Manticore. However, Saotome leapt in front of the Manticore, pushing it out of the way as his own body was destroyed. The Manticore was however still severaly damaged, much of its body burned. It despaired that its precious Saotome had been taken from it, and in a rage chased after Niitoki Kei, who ran towards the sound of someone whistling “Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg”. After tripping over an unseen wire, the Manticore caught up to the fallen Niitoki, but had its burned arm cut off by Boogiepop’s microfilament wire, which then proceeded to wrap itself around the Manticore’s neck. Boogiepop had Tanaka Shiro, who had reappeared with his archery kit, fire an arrow into the Manticore’s chest, and then its head. The Manticore crumbled into dust and was gone.

Anime

Niitoki Kei and Tanaka Shiro are not shown in the anime. As the Manticore and Saotome stand triumphant over Echoes, they hear “Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg” being whistled, before a microfilament wire wraps itself around the Manticore’s neck and the Manticore is hanged from a column on top of which Boogiepop stands (episode 8, 11). Echoes activates his pillar of light, aiming at the Manticore, and Saotome jumps into the light either in a feeble attempt to stop Echoes or in despair at having lost (episode 8, 11).

Anime and Novel

Echoes gone, the Manticore and Saotome destroyed, Boogiepop goes to Kirima Nagi’s corpse to find that she is still alive. Echoes had been weakened because he gave some of his power to bring her back to life. Boogiepop and Kirima Nagi have an argument regarding the timing of Boogiepop's appearance, and then Boogiepop thanks Niitoki Kei for helping save the world.

The next day, as the school day ends and Kirima Nagi and Niitoki Kei reflect on the events that have passed, Boogiepop says his goodbye to Takeda (his only friend in his words) as the danger has passes and so he will disappear before he and Miyashita Touka leave the school. Kirima stops Miyashita Touka on her way out of school and formally introduces herself (she has never met Miyashita Touka, only Boogiepop). Takeda, worried that the school delinquent is out to get his girlfriend, tries to protect Miyashita who simply returns the greeting (she understands the meaning of this greeting subconsciously, a similar incident occurs in episode 12 of the anime, where Kirima Nagi asks Miyashita Touka to say hi to Kojima Akane for her, and Miyashita Touka nods even though only Boogiepop would understand why Kirima Nagi would do such a thing).

That took ages. Apologies again for my poor writing skills, this was the best I could do. This is all from the first novel, so you should probably check that out.

Next time, Boogiepop: The Phantom Menace…
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Old 09-04-2007, 06:17 PM   #4   [permalink]
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Here I'll focus on events that are unique to Boogiepop Phantom and not covered in the two novels.

Five Years Ago...

During the serial killings, Mayumi Kisaragi became pregnant. However, the father seems to have left her so she would end up being a single mum. From her actions and those of her mother it seems single motherhood is still somewhat of a taboo issue or dishonourable in Japan. She was friends with Dr Kisugi and so when she had pregnancy pains she went to her for help and advice. Unfortunately for Mayumi, Dr Kisugi had by this time become the serial killer (codename Fear Ghoul) and in one of her many experiments gave her some of the Towa organizations drug.

The drug doesn’t appear to have helped and it seems to have made things worse. It never really is explained whether Manaka was evolved right from conception, or whether the drug was the cause (episode 5, 6). Either way, Mayumi gave birth five months prematurely, but she lost the ability to remember anything from that point on for more than a few minutes. Because of this she was hospitalized while Manaka’s birth was kept a secret by her grandmother Mayu, who never did forget that she was born out of wedlock (she was one of those old fashioned types). It’s possible she never got along with the father in the first place. She often labelled Manaka as the Devil’s Child. Manaka over the years discovered her ability to see the butterflies of light, and through them learn about the outside world.

Five years ago Hisashi Jonouchi also went to hospital to treat a bone tumour, and although the tumour went away, he thought he would never be able to become a professional athlete. During one of his waits in the hospital reception, he heard Kirima Nagi and Kuroda Shinpei talking about being a defender of justice, Kirima saying that if anyone wants to do what they really want to do it will be tough, but that they should do it because not everyone gets the chance or choice to do what they want. In Dr Kisugi's office, Hisashi tells her about his ruined dream of becoming an athlete but she tells him that he "You're so weak, but your mother is so strong" and that cowards live longer and when they are full of fear Death comes to take them. She offers Hisashi the drug, but it has no effect except giving him a fever. Shortly afterward his mother is found dead, brutally murdered by the serial killer. His father blamed himself for not being with her at the time and this regret built up inside of him.

One Month Ago...

The Manticore and Saotome Masami were selling Type S on the streets. One of their drug addicts was a liberal girl (whose name has been forever lost to me and shall be and has been called the girl/lady in red) who took some of the drug and then began to sell some on the street herself. This is all part of the Manticore and Saotome's plan to take over the world. Yoji begins to take some of the drug himself hoping it will give him some confidence in front of Rie the girl he likes. However over episode 4 his consumption of the drug increases until he goes from just one drop to many drops at once. His drug addiction out of control, he desperately searches for more. The lady in red however (Yoji's supplier) has lived out her usefuleness to Saotome and the Manticore and they kill her. Yoji interrupts the Manticore feeding but doesn't care that someone has just died, asking only for Type S and agreeing to become a dealer. The drug has altered Yoji's already questionable grasp of reality until he no longer differentiates between the Rie os his computer game and the real Rie. Freaked out over his advances, Rie has Yoji fired. At home, Yoji is playing his dating sim when the pillar of light pierces the sky. His computer is wiped clean of memory and this leads to his insanity as his Rie has been lost to him and he has none of the drug left. He searches the streets for Saotome but he can't be found (Yoji doesn't know Saotome is dead).

On the night of the light and not far from death Mayu decided to kill Manaka, not wanting the Devil’s Child left alone in the world. However, the Pillar of Light pierced the sky, and Manaka was brought back to life. Just like several others throughout the series (Hisashi Jonouchi (ep 2), Oikawa Mamorou and Sayoko (ep 7), Yoshiki (ep 9)) she was affected by the light. At the cost of her revival, her remaining life span was accelerated. Even though she was only five years old, she had the body of a mature woman. A few days later Mayu had a photo taken of the two of them together, so that others will know Manaka is her granddaughter.

Hisashi's evolution was triggered by the light combined with the drug, and the next day he found he could see spiders in the chests of some people, including his father.

On the night of the pillar of light, as the Manticore was destroyed, two phantoms were created. One was Boogiepop Phantom, who had the physical appearance of the Manticore but with Boogiepop’s attire on top of that. It also seems to have Boogiepop’s memories as it repeats phrases that Boogiepop uses such as “I’m very mechanical that way” and appears to be equally as automatic. It only appeared at the crucial time, one month after the pillar of light. Also like Boogiepop, it likes to whistle “Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg” (episode 7 and 8). In the dub, Boogiepop calls Boogiepop Phantom “the other aspect of the Manticore” (episode 12). The other phantom created was the Manticore Phantom, who has the appearance of Saotome Masami but the personality and memories of the Manticore. Boogiepop Phantom’s self appointed mission appears to be to clean up the mess left by the pillar of light, while the Manticore Phantom seeks only to survive. It is suggested that Arito Misuzu also had something to do with his creation.

Present Time...

Mayu dies and Manaka slips the photo of the two of them together in the bookcase before leaving to explore the city. As she does so she gains so many new memories that she essentially receives a revelation, she comes to “understand” the universe and gains a “higher philosophy” and “superior intelligence” (episode 11). Walking through the streets, she recieves the memory of when Echoes lay lying in the alley not long after he reached the city and a further memory of when he was given the codename Echoes by the Towa organization (note that seems to be suggested in the anime that Echoes was given his namesake trait by the Towa organization, though the first novel suggests otherwise (see above)). Seeking to be more like Echoes, she begins echoing words back like he did. The fact that Manaka recieved these memories from seemingly nowhere may suggest that memories don't just exist inside people's minds, but that they exist in places as well. Thus Manaka was able to recieve two memories of Echoes from his own memory without ever meeting him.

Kirima Nagi had realized that something strange was going on and began her own investigation. She can be seen with a compass because she realizes that what is going on has something to do with a disturbance in the electromagnetic field which has resulted in the aurora and an increase in plant growth, and so follows these disturbances in hope of reaching their source.

At the same time the Towa organization is on the move. They have been searching for the Manticore and Echoes ever since they escaped and have created and sent agent Snake Eye to the city for this very purpose. Snake Eye is unique in that he shares the Manticore’s ability to take the appearance of his victims (no other known agents have this ability). The Towa realize that the pillar of light (which they have been unable to explain) is somehow connected to the disappearances of Echoes and the Manticore, and it has resulted in the rate of evolution increasing. They send agent Spooky Electric as a messenger to give Snake Eye orders to kill all the evolutions.

Over the previous few weeks Hisashi has been tempted to try eating the spiders, and he started with Yoko (friend of Arito Misuzu) who cheated on a test. He gropes her chest to remove the spider. She doesn't exactly remember what happened at first because removing the spiders removes all bad memories from a person. Hisashi takes the spiders out of many more women (his victims are predominantley female and he seems to take great pleasure in groping their chests but at one point he tries justifying this by saying he's a saviour to them) but he also removes his father's spider. However Hisashi discovers that this has led his father to forget his mother and soon he finds Yoko cheating at a test again. However Hisashi can't/won't stop eating spiders, because he has become addicted to them. After an unfortunate encounter with Snake Eye, Snake Eye begins following him out of suspicion of being an evolution.

As Manaka wanders the city, she creates a phantom of Kuroda Shinpei (episode 8). The phantom of Kuroda Shinpei doesn’t have access to all his memories so he can’t even remember his name. The problem was that Manaka created him from the time when he went undercover using his alias Kishida to investigate Kirima Nagi’s father’s estate in the embezzlement case. Kishida has to check his call card to remember his name, and once he does all he remembers is that it has been five years since he had been in the city (he doesn’t have any memories in between so he likely has come up with a subconscious reason not to doubt this). He also remembers that he was investigating Kirima’s father, although under the pretence of a newspaper article, so he heads off to the Kirima house to talk to Nagi about her father. Kirima immediately calls him Kuroda upon seeing him because he looks exactly the same as him, but he merely says that he is Kishida and not Kuroda. Seeking to write an article about Kirima’s father (only a cover in his real life five years previously), he follows her around the city. She would tell anyone else to get lost, but because he seems so much like Kuroda her first love she allows him to stay with her.

Hisashi continues to wander the city looking for spiders when he bumps into Manaka who shows him a memory of the Manticore killing the girl in red (episode 4). Deranged, he goes off in search of more spiders but with Snake Eye following him he has to be discrete. After another victime has her spider removed, Boogiepop Phantom makes its first appearance in front of Hisashi. He runs for his life after looking at the face (he remembers the memory shown to him of the Manticore killing the girl in red (episode 4), and thinks Boogiepop Phantom is the same killer because they share the same face). He cries that he would taste weak thinking that Boogiepop Phantom wants to kill him and remembering the conversation with Dr Kisugi. Boogiepop Phantom chases after him throughout the city before he collapses out of exhaustion. Boogiepop Phantom is ready to take him, before Kirima Nagi and Kishida come upon the scene. At first thinking it was Boogiepop, upon seeing the face Kirima cries Manticore and tells Hisashi to run before attacking Boogiepop Phantom with a steel pipe. The pipe however has no effect but Boogiepop Phantom doesn’t attack in return, merely asking that Kirima stop. Boogiepop Phantom explains that it is not the Manticore and that when the light pierced the sky one month ago, only the cloak and hat remained among the scattered memories, and it chose the Manticore’s appearance at random. It decides to use the title Boogiepop Phantom out of respect for the real Boogiepop.

Boogiepop Phantom heads off to take Hisashi away, while Kirima and Kishida are left to reflect on these events. Hisashi starts laughing cruelly to himself because he remembers hearing the conversation between Kirima and Kuroda and thinks upon how she has become a defender of justice and yet he never became a hero. Boogiepop Phantom comes and points at his chest showing that he in fact contains more spiders than anyone else, showing the true regret he has for his actions. Boogiepop Phantom takes Hisashi to the underground tunnel (episode 2), wrapping him in a cocoon of his own cranial nerves which Boogiepop Phantom begins spreading throughout the city (episode 5).

Meanwhile, Kishida and Kirima discuss what is happening in the city. Kishida proposes that these phantoms are interference patterns of electromagnetic waves just like holograms, to which Kirima replies that her high voltrage electric rod won't be enough to take care of them. Kishida knows a lot about what is going on for someone who is supposedly merely a reporter and that’s because of his subconscious memories as a Towa agent. Kirima also knows that he is a phantom of Kuroda and that’s why she repeats to him her discussion with Kuroda about being a defender of justice and that if she could meet him again she would like to thank him. All of this she is saying to Kishida in third person although he doesn’t realize it.

One day as Arito Misuzu is walking the streets, she watches police try to restrain Yoji as he has become insane. He calls out Rie mistaking her for the Rie who he had a crush on. However Misuzu is not aware of this and walks on. Shortly afterward, the Manticore Phantom makes its first appearance in front of Misuzu, who is in the present day called Panuru. She is called Panuru because she is trying to follow the teachings of her old friend who was called Panuru before her, but who was killed by the serial killer (Dr Kisugi) five years previously. Misuzu lives in denial of the fact that she is not content with the world and to further confound things visions of the real original Panuru appears before her and accuse her of lying. The distortion in Misuzu's heart allows the Manticore Phantom to appear, who uses her philosophy as a lure for new victims to sustain itself (it is noted by both Boogiepop and Boogiepop Phantom that the Manticore Phantom is actually harmless to most humans, it is only when the human in question gives itself willingly that he poses any danger).

Misuzu’s friend Yoko is killed in this way, though Misuzu still lives in denial of what is going on. After an encounter with Kirima Nagi, the Manticore Phantom informs Misuzu that Kirima must be disposed of. At the same time Kirima realizes that the disturbances in the electromagnetic field are the result of phantoms and that rusting of metal occurs in their presence. Misuzu and the Manticore Phantom attempt to lure Kirima into a trap but Boogiepop Phantom gets there first. The Manticore Phantom escapes while Misuzu is left to face the reality of her actions. Boogiepop Phantom claims that Misuzu's own idea of world love allowed the Manticore Phantom to appear and it seems this is largely responsible for the Manticore's Phantom relative weakness (i.e the Manticore Phantom can only attack those who willingly accept because that is a condition placed upon it by Misuzu's world love which is integral to its electromagnetic pattern, while Boogiepop Phantom is free to attack whoever it pleases because it has no such restrictions). Boogiepop Phantom goes on to say that her world love was an attempt to evolve as it allowed her to summon the Manticore Phantom and get it to do her bidding, however now that the Manticore Phantom has dissapeared and her illusions have been shattered this has failed.

Misuzu asks to be taken by Boogiepop Phantom, to which he (Boogiepop Phantom, although appearing female is referred to as a male personality by Boogiepop) replies “I'm sorry, but you’re not even worth taking.”. This isn’t out of pure spite, it’s more to do with the fact that she hasn’t been evolved by Echoes pillar of light and so is none of his concern. In despair and hearing the voice of the original Panuru inside her head calling her a liar, she heads towards a police officer asking for help not realizing it is Snake Eye, who promptly kills her because he suspects she is evolved (episode 3).

Episode 5 occurs around about this time. We see several interesting things in this episode. Kirima Nagi asks Suema Kazuko if she is friends with Miyashita Touka, and if so how things are going. This is because Kirima knows that Miyashita is Boogiepop, and is looking for any change in her behaviour as a signal that Boogiepop has arisen again. Suema however knows none of this. Suema has however been checking up on Kirima’s past (because Kirima still won’t tell Suema what happened during the serial killing events) and knows she spent a year in hospital.

Just before this, Manaka falls ill (probably from hunger, dehydration, etc) after having wandered the city for so long. She is taken to the hospital where she is treated, but the hospital staff notified the police either because they assumed she was homeless or because the hospital had been told to keep a lookout for someone of her description by Snake Eye who knew she was evolved due to the picture he had found at the Kisaragi house. Suema visits the hospital and meets Manaka there. Manaka sends four memories off in Suema's direction. They include Kirima’s discussion with Kuroda about being a defender of justice, Dr Kisugi giving Kisaragi Mayumi the drug, Dr Kisugi throwing More Murder off the hospital balcony, and lots of photos of Suema being taken by the serial killer (Dr Kisugi). The last memory Manaka decides to take back at the last second. We see this memory later in episode 6, which shows Kirima Nagi and Boogiepop fighting Dr Kisugi. The public are still unaware that Dr Kisugi was the real serial killer as More Murder was framed for it. So it comes as a great surprise to Suema to see the dead body of the person who supposedly was targeting her at the hospital with a doctor looking down. If Suema had seen the memory of Nagi fighting Dr Kisugi, then she surely would have learned the truth. But Manaka prevents this. Traumatized, Suema bumps into Miyashita Touka who reveals that she was a patient there once and that her parents claim she was possessed by a fox spirit (her mother still remembers well when she was knocked out by Boogiepop five years previously so that he could leave the house as he hunted down the serial killer). This meeting of Suema and Miyashita marks the beginning of their friendship. As Suema goes to leave, Boogiepop surfaces momentarily, and gives a speech about not being stuck in the past.

At the hospital Manaka encounters Mamorou and Sayoko, to whom she gives visions of Paisley Park. At this time, Manaka also uses Mamorou’s memories of playing the Pied Piper to create Poom Poom, because she had always been lonely and wanted a friend. Poom Poom at first appears very much like the Pied Piper as played by Mamorou, but Poom Poom later also takes on qualities of Kojima Akane’s fairy tale Poom Poom. Poom Poom and Manaka head toward Paisley Park just as Snake Eye is heading towards the hospital where Manaka had been taken care of. At Paisley Park, and after some observation, Snake Eye deduces that Mamorou is an evolution and the source of Mamorou’s power, and so he attacks Sayoko first but he fails to knock her out. As she awakens and Mamorou wishes for Snake Eye's destruction, Sayoko grants his wish and Snake Eye is destroyed. At this point Sayoko realizes that the pillar of light gave her the power to grant her brother’s wishes while Mamorou only chooses what to destroy. That’s why Snake Eye told Mamorou that he doesn’t have any real power because he relies on his sister. Back at their home the brother and sister reconcile before Boogiepop Phantom appears whistling "Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg" and takes them away to the underground tunnel alongside Hisashi (episode 7).

Kirima Nagi and Kishida do some investigating on the failed GeoCity project, and Kirima constructs several electromagnetic bombs with which to demagnetize the electromagnetic field and destroy the phantoms. They head to the tunnel, to discover Jonouchi, Sayoko, and Mamorou cocooned there. Boogiepop Phantom has wrapped them up in their own cranial nerves, which he has been spreading across the city (episode 5, 12). Manticore Phantom appears and Kirima Nagi correctly guesses that it is not Saotome but the Manticore. Kirima Nagi fends off the Manticore Phantom while Kishida is left to watch. Kirima tells the Manticore Phantom that it is all over while she tries to detonate her bombs. She says bye, but she isn’t saying it to the Manticore Phantom but rather to Kishida, who she knows is Kuroda and will disappear as well. This fails however as Boogiepop Phantom has taken all the bombs apart. The three of them hear "Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg" being whistled and this frightens the Manticore Phantom because it remembers that Boogiepop made the same whistle when he destroyed the Manticore. After his appearance, Boogiepop Phantom explains that he would also disappear were the bombs to detonate but because his mission isn’t completed he can’t allow Kirima to finish him off yet, although since the electromagnetic field is weakening he and the Manticore Phantom have only a few more days left anyway. The Manticore Phantom is then swiftly torn apart although he escapes inside Kishida’s body. Leaving the tunnel, they see Manaka and Poom Poom walking in the distance with the sound of trumpets and a carnival procession. Kishida wonders what the hell it was, while Kirima dismisses it because she wants him kept out of harms way. Kishida no longer questions this though, because the Manticore Phantom is subtly controlling him. He heads back to Tokyo the next day, the Manticore Phantom hoping to find a stronger electromagnetic field to exist in.

Over the next period of time, Poom Poom gives out balloons to people who are distressed in some way. Only the emotionally troubled can see the red balloons, that’s why Miyashita Touka can’t see them (episode 9) because she herself is emotionally stable (Boogiepop personality aside). When someone accepts a red balloon from Poom Poom, their inner self (inner child) is taken out of their body, and Poom Poom takes them away to play with Manaka. Several people accept red balloons, among them Saki, Akane, and Yoshiki (episode 9). It appears that the special talents that people have are kept in their inner self, so when Saki loses her inner self she can no longer control her hands because hand control as a pianist is her special ability. One character who is given no background is an evolved human who can control/create fire, and who seems to accept a red balloon on a whim as he walks along the street. It is rather confusing since he does look very much like Yoshiki. He can later be seen in the café burning his memories, and then at his home he dies because he can no longer control his power, and so his house burns down and him along with it. His inner child is later seen in episode 10 as the first child to attack Kirima with fireballs.

Poom Poom calls all the children special because they each have an ability, though this doesn’t have to be an evolutionary power. Saki’s piano playing is one example. After Yoshiki has his inner child taken, he agrees to help Poom Poom bring more friends, and among the people he contacts are Saki and Akane. Boogiepop Phantom however confronts him but doesn’t seem too concerned by his actions, instead trying to take him away alongside the other three in the underground tunnel (because he was evolved by Echoes pillar of light). However in episode 11 we don’t see him there, so we can only guess that Yoshiki chose to jump over the cliff on which he was standing rather than be taken by Death. Either that or he stumbled and then fell over. His inner child seems to be aware that his other half is no longer there but is not really concerned (episode 9).

Kirima Nagi investigates Paisley Park only to be attacked and overwhelmed by the children. She does however save Kojima Akane who was ready to commit suicide. Upon hearing "Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg" being whistled, Kirima takes Akane away because she knows Boogiepop has arrived and so she is no longer needed (she is also overpowered and so is useless here). Boogiepop confronts Manaka and Poom Poom saying that he hadn't expected all this to happen because of the pillar of light. Manaka sends various phantoms to attack Boogiepop but they are all destroyed. Manaka runs away only to fall off the big wheel. This fall doesn’t kill her as would be expected, but it seems to have drained her life force considerably as she now looks like an old woman. Boogiepop claims that Poom Poom helped sustain her, though I’ve yet to figure out what this means. I think it has something to do with the children, such as they help replenish her energy or something like that. But after a heated debate between Boogiepop and Poom Poom in which Boogiepop claims that Poom Poom is nothing more than regret and that he is the most adult one there. Poom Poom is made to realize that what he was doing was wrong and so leaves Manaka as the children return to the people they came from (episode 10). At the end of the epiosde we get dialogue from Poom Poom in which he says in Akane's voice (rather than Mamorou's) that although he has left, he may return someday and so Akane's friends shouldn't play with him. This is final recognition from Poom Poom that he is a negative influence.

Manaka believes Boogiepop is going to kill her and she has a montage of memories of Boogiepop in action (the first one being against the Manticore the night of the light, the second beheading Dr Kisugi five years previously, and the third fighting off the Manticore Phantom from episode 1). She tries to run away but Boogiepop Phantom appears and begins to strangle her. He claims that Manaka ties people to the past and doesn’t allow them to look to the future, and so he must kill her. Boogiepop however saves Manaka, claiming that she is no longer a threat because she will die soon. Manaka runs away in despair because she always thought that she would become light just like Echoes, however she now thinks that won’t happen and that she is fated to live and die alone. Boogiepop and Boogiepop Phantom head towards the underground tunnel where Boogiepop Phantom explains that he brought the children there so that they wouldn’t cause harm to society. Echoes (phantom?) appears before Manaka and offers to let her join him in space/heaven. She accepts and Manaka heads towards the hospital as a swarm of butterflies. At this moment we get another montage of memories where we see the positive things Manaka has done to allow people to get over their problems (such as allowing Wakata Shizue's mum to finally reach some sort of peace with her daughter's memory, Rie (episode 11) learning to stop herself from trying to kill herself and having a bright outlook on life, as well as officer yamomoto learning something of the truth behind officer morita, etc) which is contrary to what Boogiepop and Boogiepop Phantom claim as a negative influence. Manaka appears before her mother showing her that she is her daughter before she thanks her for being born and transforms into a pillar of light. This also marks the moment where the electromagnetic field returns to normal and so Boogiepop Phantom disappears, leaving Boogiepop to look after the evolved children in the underground tunnel (episode 11).

One Year Later...

Miyashita Touka and Suema Kazuko are in Tokyo to take their entrance exams. Since Kishida arrived in Tokyo, he has been gathering victims for the Manticore Phantom residing inside of him. He is not aware of this entirely, as the Manticore Phantom seems to take control during these periods (not too dissimilar to the Miyashita Touka/Boogiepop relationship). He remains blissfully unaware until Boogiepop confronts him and explains to him that he is a phantom of Kuroda and that the Manticore Phantom resides inside of him, prompting its appearance shortly before both Kishida and the Manticore Phantom are destroyed by an electromagnetic bomb that Boogiepop has pieced back together. This event however ensures that Miyashita Touka fails her entrance exams. On the way back to the city, Miyashita buys a Theremin, and although she will not be aware of her true intentions, she will have come up with a legitimate reason why she should buy a Theremin. During the graduation ceremony, Boogiepop takes the Theremin to the underground tunnel and places it there, before returning to Suema and Kirima. They hear the sound of Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg playing in the distance (coming from the Theremin), and Miyashita says that it must be the memories of the city forming into a melody, and that it can be sad when you don’t have any way to communicate. Kirima Nagi seems to agree, but Miyashita herself probably doesn’t understand the significance behind her words. It’s never said specifically, but I believe that the one playing the Theremin is Boogiepop Phantom (memories = Boogiepop Phantom) who can no longer communicate, so Boogiepop gives him the Theremin to communicate while he stays and watches over the children. Miyashita goes to leave with her friends, before Kirima asks her to “say hi to her for me”. The one she is referring to is Kojima Akane who she saved in Paisley Park. Only Boogiepop would know this, but Miyashita nods her head because she knows this subconsciously (episode 12).

Well, that's that. Just for the record, this entire "summary" is 9500+ words. I did my best, and I hope I made the story a lot clearer for those who didn't understand it watching the series and cleared up a lot of common misconceptions made. Once this has been posted, I'll go back over my posts and correct any mistakes, add any useful/interesting information, and just tidy it up in general. My advice, after having read this, go back and watch the series again. It all suddenly falls into place. Another great thing about Boogiepop Phantom is that even after five viewings I'm still noticing new things I didn't see before.

References

Boogiepop and Others (first novel in the Boogiepop series)

Boogiepop Phantom

http://www.boogiepop.studiokanzen.com/ (where I got some info about the serial killings not explained in the anime)
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Last edited by Cookiepop; 16-04-2007 at 06:10 PM. Reason: Clarification needed
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Old 13-04-2007, 02:20 PM   #5   [permalink]
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I've added a lot more info since I first posted these up which I hope has clarified a lot of plot points. I hope to move onto a more thematic analysis soon. One subject I'll cover which not many other people have commented upon is:

Boogiepop (agent of the status quo) vs Towa Organization (agent of controlled change)
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Old 14-04-2007, 07:59 AM   #6   [permalink]
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Thematic Analysis

I know this has been dones by some already, but I thought I would add my own thoughts to this. As anyone who has watched Boogiepop Phantom knows, themes play a heavy part in the telling of the story.

Boogiepop vs Towa organization...Change versus the Status Quo

Boogiepop is an enemy of the Towa organization. But this opposition is not simply physical. As most people know, Boogiepop and the Towa organization represent two very different stances towards change. However, it is my belief that Boogiepop represents the status quo and the Towa organization represents change. This may seem contradictory to the message of the anime, so allow me to explain.

For an enemy of the Towa organization, Boogiepop doesn't actually seem to do much out in the field hunting down their agents and foiling their plans. Boogiepop is aware that the Towa organization exists and yet for most of the time is content to lie inside Miyashita Touka. In fact, it is only when the Towa organization or another enemy threatens Miyashita Touka's normal life that Boogiepop appears. Whenever Miyashita Touka detects a threat to her normal life, Boogiepop arises. Whenever the threat dissapears, Boogiepop dissapears. Yet the Towa organization still exists largely unchallenged. Therefore Boogiepop really changes nothing, and is a mechanism through which Miyashita Touka can maintain her life the way she wants it without her ever having to think about it. It should also be noted that Boogiepop often fights the evolved as well, and not just the Towa organization.

If we look at it another way, Boogiepop is said to be a defender of the world. In the second Boogiepop novel (Boogiepop VS Imaginator part 1), the Imaginator seeks to change the world into the way it sees fit by allowing people to foresee their deaths. Boogiepop labels the Imagniator an enemy of the world, to which the Imaginator later elaborates upon by saying the she is the enemy of the "current" world. This would again suggest that Boogiepop is merely maintaining the status quo by keeping the world and Miyashita Touka's life as is. Therefore it becomes clear that Boogiepop is not symbolic of change because Boogiepop changes nothing and only serves to further undermine change.

The Towa organization does at first seem to be representative of the status quo. However, it has been established by both the anime and novels that the Towa organization aren't really against change as such, but more against change that isn't measured and under their control. After all, they do hunt down and kill evolutions and create their own composite humans while trying to secretly take over and control the world. Therefore the Towa organization in themselves have changed through its artificial evolution, while changing the environment to suit their purposes. In the anime Snake Eye says that the Towa organization have the power to change the world, but they do nothing as they are just watching with some special purpose in mind. Even though Snake Eye is incorrect, if his statement is true, then the Towa oraginzation wouldn't represent the status quo or change, but rather pacifism or apathy. However, it has already been shown in the anime and novels that the Towa organization take a very active (but subtle and secret) role in human society. Snake Eye is just a low level agent and so he wouldn't likely know the intentions of the ruling body.

Then why are they against evolution? My opinion is that the evolution would pose a serious threat to the Towa organization because the evolved can match their power if left unchecked whilst evolution is a change that is not under their control, and loss of control is what they are afraid of. If they lose control, then they are undermined and left powerless. But by stepping back it can be regarded that if evolution is the norm (as is the case in current biological thinking) then opposing and trying to halt evolution is surely trying to induce change itself. Therefore while at first glance the Towa organization is representative of the status quo by looking deeper it can be shown that the Towa organization is probably more accurately symbolic of change rather than against it.
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