Boogiepop and Others Episodes 1 & 2

Boogiepop and Others Episodes 1 & 2

Introduction

2019 is starting off strong with the first two episodes of Boogiepop and Others airing on the same date. Usually I would still split these episodes into two separate posts, but since I wouldn’t have been able to write the second post until Thursday, you get a bonus today.

Before getting into these first two episodes, I’d like to point out that although this series has been around for a while, this is my first introduction to it. In fact, I knew nothing about the series going into it other than that people like it and the new anime OP is done by MYTH & ROID.

It turns out that this series is a supernatural, horror, mystery series, and I’m pretty excited to see where it goes after just these two episodes. I’m hoping that this series will be on par with my favorite horror anime, Parasyte, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Also, since I just watched these episodes back to back, I may mix around some of the information between them. So, if you were planning to only read the portion about the first episode, keep in mind that it may have spoilers for episode two.

Boogiepop and Others 1

Even after the second episode of Boogiepop and Others, I couldn’t tell you who the actual main character of the series is. I think I might have an idea, but it doesn’t seem to be anyone from this first episode. In fact, the bland, generic, protagonist-like guy who we start out following doesn’t really seem to be all that important.

And, I’m actually hoping that he isn’t. There are too many anime with the same exact male protagonist in a high school setting, so the fact that I think the protagonist this time around is a female is pretty refreshing. But, no, I don’t think the titular Boogiepop is actually the protagonist of the series.

Speaking of Boogiepop, we meet her (it?) right at the beginning of the series. She’s taking over the body of a girl by the name of Touka Miyashita, whom the OP would have you believe is the true protagonist (I’m not sold yet).

Oddly enough, Boogiepop explains her entire existence in this first real encounter we have with her. She’s an existence which appears to save humanity when she’s needed, and the body she’s currently in is merely a vessel for her to do so. Well, I guess she’s not the mystery of the series.

Boogiepop from the anime Boogiepop and Others
Boogiepop

The true mystery of the series it seems is the reason for Boogiepop appearing in the first place. She explains that the threat to humanity is in the form of a manticore, which as is explained later on I believe, is a “man-eater.”

Before I go any further, I have to correct some of the mistakes with this core concept of the series. While manticores are man-eaters and our word for manticore comes from ancient Greek, that’s not actually the origin as this series would have you believe.

Manticores are originally ancient Persian mythological creatures which have the body of a lion, the head of a human, and poisonous tails. So, not only is the idea that manticores are a Greek creation wrong, but the basic concept of a manticore as explained in this series isn’t quite right either.

At the very least, I can say that what we learn about the manticore later on makes the latter issue a bit more forgivable, but I’ll get into that as part of my section on the second episode. This first episode instead follows more of the mystery of the series than the supernatural developments which are the focus of episode two.

At the high school which this anime is centered around, a number of girls have gone missing and are presumed to have run away from their homes for an unknown reason. I feel that this says something about Japanese culture, but I could be entirely wrong about this.

It’s at least interesting to me that the default conclusion is that all these girls are running away voluntarily and so it isn’t that big of a deal. Here in the U.S., our default conclusion would probably be that these girls have been kidnapped or otherwise harmed, and an immediate search by the police is in order, especially as the number rises.

I get that Japan has a much lower rate of violent crime than the U.S. (0.28 homicides in the Japan per 100,000 people compared to the U.S.’s 5.35 per 100,000 people in 2016), but you’d think that as more and more young girls suddenly disappear from a community that authorities might start becoming suspicious.

But, although the mystery of what’s exactly happening to these girls is still kind of ambiguous in the first episode, we can be sure that most, if not all, of them are dead. This is because throughout the episode we get random scenes of the bodies of these girls around the city.

Boogiepop and Others 2

In the second episode, the fates of these girls who have gone missing is revealed. Not only are they dead, but they’ve more than likely become victims of the manticore and have been eaten, leaving no trace behind.

This is where what I like about the manticore in this series comes into play. For starters, mythological manticores were thought to eat everything, including the bones, of their victims, thus leaving nothing behind to indicate an attack took place, and this is an idea the anime uses in a way.

We haven’t been told if the manticore in the anime actually eats the entirety of its victims like those from mythology, but what we do know is that, at the very least, no bodies are ever found. The next part, however, is what I like even more: the manticore can transform into anyone it’s eaten.

The Manticore from the anime Boogiepop and Others
The Manticore

The main source of “horror” for the original, mythological manticore was that it had the face of a human. Not only are creatures with the face of a human considered grotesque, but often the inclusion of a human face can actually tell you something about the creature in question.

In many cases, mythological creatures with human faces are said to lure their prey into striking range simply with their face. One popular example of this are the Sirens from Greek mythology, although they use their voices to lure in their prey as well.

The reason I bring this up, however, is because after the manticore eats a human in Boogiepop and Others, it can then turn into that person and lure in its next victim without bringing any suspicion upon itself. In a lot of ways, the manticore works exactly as the parasites do in Parasyte.

However, as we later learn, there is a bit of a telltale sign that the manticore was involved in the disappearances of the girls. Specifically, we learn that many of the girls who have gone missing were all from one particular group of friends. This makes sense, because once the manticore has the appearance of one of these girls, it has access to all of her friends.

It’s also revealed that the manticore doesn’t necessarily only have a taste for young girls, but all of the victims so far appear to match this description. The one male student who was attacked by the manticore actually becomes its ally and helps lure in new potential victims.

While I found all of this to be entertaining to watch, the latter half of the second episode got a bit weird. Apparently the manticore can kiss people, which then turns them into a mindless slave that does its bidding. Not only that, but the slave’s brain secrets some kind of drug in the form of a blue liquid which comes out of their eyes.

This blue liquid can then be solidified and is handed out to the slave’s friends at school who then all become victims of the manticore themselves. It’s unclear exactly what this drug does to those who take it, but it’s implied that it probably knocks them out, and rumors simply start that they’ve become drug addicts, so their disappearances are chalked up to that.

The final thing I’ll say about this episode is that there’s some student named Nagi Kirima who’s considered a delinquent and is often suspended from school. Many of the girls in her class believe that she’s the murderer due to her delinquent nature, but as we learn, she’s actually fighting against the manticore on her own time.

The manticore is a government reproduction of another “alien” being known simply as Echoes. Nagi’s friend learns about the manticore from Echoes, and then begins her own investigation into the disappearances of the other girls.

I mentioned that I think I know who the protagonist of the series really is, and my pick is Nagi. It’s likely that the Touka Miyashita girl is another protagonist, but for now my gut is telling me that Nagi is the true hero of the story.

Conclusion

Now that I’ve actually wrote this post, I kind of wish I had only watched and wrote about the first episode and saved the second one for later. There’s simply too much to say about these first two episodes, and as a result I’ve had to cut a lot out that I wanted to discuss because I don’t want the post getting too long.

However, there being a lot I want to talk about in regards to a series or even a single episode isn’t a bad thing by any means. Hopefully this series will continue to spark discussions I want to have, and hopefully you’ll enjoy my future episode dissections.

If you are interested in my future Boogiepop and Others reviews, they’ll be posted every Saturday. I know that the new episodes come out on Fridays, but those are already reserved for JoJo’s Part 5.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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