Boogiepop and Others Episode 5

Boogiepop and Others Episode 5

VS Imaginator 2

For an episode named after the character(s) Imaginator, there was a surprising lack of Imaginator. Not only did we not see the “other” known as Imaginator at all, but we barely saw the person, Jin “Imaginator” Asukai, as well.

Instead, this week’s episode was a bit different from what we’ve seen before. The first half was taken up by a slice of life story involving some new characters, and the second introduced us to the next antagonist known as Spooky E.

Now that a decent number of the “others” have been revealed (and I’ll be continuing to use “others” when referencing the supernatural beings), I think it’s a good time to take a look at their names. Specifically, I want to talk about how stupid their names are.

Echoes and Manticore are fine names because they actually have meanings behind them which reflect their characters. But, Boogiepop, Imaginator, and Spooky E are pretty lame. I suppose an argument could be made for Imaginator’s name having to do with her ability, but not really.

But, this brings up the question of whether or not Japanese schools actually have “ghost stories” so to speak. And, if they do, do the monsters these stories are about have such crazy names like Boogiepop and Spooky E? My guess is that these sorts of rumors die out after elementary school, but if you attended school in Japan, I’d like to hear from you in the comments.

There are so many things that happen in Japanese schools in anime that clearly don’t happen in actual Japanese schools, so from a Western perspective it can sometimes be difficult to determine what is and isn’t fact. A popular example is the idea that the student council is basically equal to the justice system of the country, which is clearly false.

Slice of Life

Rather than following our regular, high school cast, this episode follows a cast of middle schoolers. Our protagonist for the episode is Masaki Taniguchi, who’s none other than the younger brother of Nagi Kirima, the high school troublemaker. I forget exactly how they’re related, but I think they’re half-siblings.

After moving back to Japan, Masaki found that his classmates seemed to dislike him because he stood out too much. However, as we later learn, it was mainly just Masaki’s male classmates who disliked him because he was getting the attention of all the girls.

Some boys then jumped Masaki in a back alley because they were jealous of him, but a strange girl appeared to rescue him. Her name is Aya Orihata, and she’s a strange one. To stop the other boys from beating up Masaki, she tears her shirt open and tells them they can have their way with her instead.

This is when their roles swap and Masaki then decides to protect Aya from the other boys. And, this is where the previous episode ended, with Jin “Imaginator” Asukai coming to their rescue and probably killing the aggressors. After this, Masaki and Aya begin dating.

Masaki Taniguchi and Aya Orihata from the anime series Boogiepop and Others
Masaki Taniguchi and Aya Orihata

However, the relationship between these two middle schoolers is anything but ordinary. Masaki is always the one who has to initiate contact between the two, and Aya lives a fairly mysterious life. She has no family, lives alone, and has rumors circulating about her being willing to have sex with anyone who asks her.

I’ll get to my thoughts on these aspects of Aya’s character in the next section, so for now let’s move onto the next important character of the episode, Shinjirou Annou. While he’s originally depicted as being one of the boys who’s jealous of Masaki, it turns out that he’s actually jealous of all the girls who hang around Masaki.

At this point it’s still unclear to me exactly what kind of relationship Shinjirou wants with Masaki, but I think it’s fairly safe to say that we’ve found our first gay character of the series. The real question is whether or not he’ll stay true to his feelings for Masaki or if he’ll settle for the girl who confessed her love for him in a letter.

Spooky E

While Jin “Imaginator” Asukai makes a couple of appearances throughout the episode, it’s clear that the true antagonist this time around is Spooky E. All we really know about Spooky E for now is that he’s either a creation or member of the Towa Organization and that he can overwrite the minds of anyone he touches.

I don’t remember if the Towa Organization was brought up in any earlier episodes, but if not, I’m willing to bet it’s the same organization that created Manticore. However, I’m assuming that Imaginator isn’t a product of the Towa Organization, but is rather an independent supernatural entity similar to Boogiepop.

And, this is where our friend Shinjirou comes back into the picture. After stalking Aya to find out her secrets, Shinjirou is confronted by Spooky E who erases his motivations and personality, turning him into what’s essentially a mindless slave. You can think of it as a better version of Manticore’s slave ability.

Interestingly, the order Spooky E gives to Shinjirou is to focus on getting accepted into Shinyou Academy, which I assume is the high school the rest of our main cast attends. This is also the high school which Aya applied and was accepted to only recently.

So, coming back around to Aya, why is she so strange? She has no family, lives alone, and, if the rumors are to be believed, is willing to do anything asked of her. My guess is that she too is under the influence of Spooky E, and that he was the one who ordered her to get accepted into Shinyou Academy as well.

As someone without any family to pry into her change in character, Aya seems to be the perfect person for Spooky E to convert into one of his slaves. I’m assuming the fact that Aya is so subservient is also a byproduct of Spooky E’s ability, and not actually how she would normally be.

As for why Shinjirou was then also made into one of Spooky E’s slaves, it would simply be due to the fact that his stalking of Aya would have revealed her secret connection to Spooky E if nothing was done. Basically, if he just minded his own business, he never would have had a run-in with Spooky E.

Conclusion

At the end of the episode, Boogiepop rescues Shinjirou from Spooky E’s clutches, but Spooky E unfortunately escapes. Since this arc is about Imaginator and not Spooky E, I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see him again until later on in the series. I feel like this was simply an introduction to tie him into the current events.

So, what are your thoughts on this week’s episode of Boogiepop and Others? Although this episode was a bit different from the others so far, I thought it was still good. Though, I’d rather watch the high school students or Jin “Imaginator” Asukai than these middle schoolers.

Also, although I’m enjoying this series overall, I think this will be the last week it’s part of my episodic review schedule, at least for a few weeks. I have a decent amount of other content I want to get out to you all, and I think Boogiepop is the series to cut from my current schedule to do so.

This means that along with Thursdays, Saturdays will be considered a “miscellaneous” day for irregularly scheduled content. Boogiepop may come back at some point, or perhaps even SAO: Alicization will make a return instead. Leave your thoughts on this matter down in the comments as well.

If you enjoyed this potentially final Boogiepop episode review, then be sure to click the like button ❤ down below. And, as always, go give me a follow over on Twitter @DoubleSama. Even something as simple as following helps out a lot.

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