Could this notorious Phantom be a Magical Girl?
Boogiepop Doesn’t Laugh
Episode 1 of Boogiepop and Others (or Boogiepop wa Warawanai / “Boogiepop Doesn’t Laugh“) split the anime community in half.
Some fans were intrigued by the show’s immediate sense of mystery, while others found the narrative structure to be strange and confusing.
Most people probably felt a mixture of both.
The Boogiepop Phantom
Boogiepop and Others is an episodic series told from multiple points of view.
With each episode, new characters are introduced, meaning new villains and antagonists to drive the story forward.
In fact, one of the only unchanging elements in the story is the presence of Boogiepop, who shows up just in time to fight off sinister supernatural entities.
Another element that hasn’t changed (so far) are the series’s opening and ending songs.
The opening song, “shadowgraph,” is performed by Japanese pop rock band MYTH & ROID.
The group is no newcomer to anime soundtracks. The performed the first ending and second opening for the immensely popular anime Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu, or Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-.
The ending song is titled “Whiteout” and is performed by Japanese singer-songwriter Riko Azuna.
Coincidentally, Azuna is also involved in the Re:Zero series, with her music being used for the OVA Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu: Memory Snow.
In this article, we will be comparing Boogiepop‘s opening to the openings of two distinctly different anime.
If you haven’t guessed from the title, those anime are Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Psycho-Pass.
Let’s get started.
The majority of the Boogiepop and Others opening takes place during a daydream.
The very beginning scene is cut so that it shows Touka Miyashita entering her daydream, then snapping out of it at the sight of Boogiepop.
(Don’t worry, this will be explained later.)
Towards the middle of the Madoka Magica opening, we see Madoka Kaname also enter a dream.
She rolls around in her bed for bit before snuggling with Kyubey and falling asleep.
This “dream world” is where both Touka and Madoka interact with their inner/other selves.
Immediately after entering her dream, Madoka’s inner self embraces her.
This startles Madoka, and we see that a teardrop has formed in the corner of her right eye.
In the Boogiepop and Others opening, it’s Touka’s left eye that houses tears.
Our Interpretation: The tears represent the troubles these two bring with them into their dreams, which quickly float away as they interact with their other selves.
Savior Swims In
After Touka Miyashita finds herself submerged in the pink-purple dream world, she isn’t immediately embraced by her “other self,” as Madoka Kaname is.
Rather, Touka’s other self approaches in a manner similar to the way Akane Tsunemori swims towards Shinya Kogami in the opening of Psycho-Pass.
Initially, we thought this was just a one-off similarity, and we weren’t going to include Psycho-Pass in this analysis.
However, there’s another element to the Psycho-Pass opening that draws a clear link to the other two…
KISS & COMBAT
The most overt connection between the Boogiepop and Madoka Magica openings are the kiss scenes.
Both Madoka and Touka are embraced by their other selves, and sent off into the real world with a kiss.
The final connection to the Psycho-Pass opening is the fight scene between Shinya Kogami and himself.
Our Interpretation: While the kiss represents self acceptance, Shinya Kogami fighting with himself is a direct representation of the self-conflict he faces during the series.
For those who haven’t checked out the series, or are interested in learning more, Boogiepop began as a light novel in 1998, and is said to have started the light novel trend in Japan.
The light novel features an interesting cast of characters, and an intriguing story by Kouhei Kadono, all complemented by Kouji Ogata‘s striking art.
Since the publishing of the first light novel, fourteen light novels, two manga, a live action film, and two anime (including the one airing now) have been released.
The Boogiepop and Others 2019 anime began on January 4th and will consist of 18 episodes.
Here’s a synopsis of the anime series, provided by Seven Seas Entertainment:
“There is an urban legend that tells of a shinigami that can release people from the pain they are suffering. This “Angel of Death” has a name—Boogiepop.
And the legends are true. Boogiepop is real.
When a rash of disappearances involving female students breaks out at Shinyo Academy, the police and faculty assume they just have a bunch of runaways on their hands. Yet some students know better.
Something mysterious and foul is afoot. Is it Boogiepop or something even more sinister…?”
Puella Magi Madoka Magica, (or Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica / “Magical Girl Madoka Magica”) began as an original anime in 2011.
The anime was written by Gen Urobuchi, and has lead to multiple spin-off manga, a novel, two video games, three movies, a smartphone game, and its own magazine, Manga Time Kirara Magica.
There will also be a new Madoka Magica anime coming this year, titled Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story: Magia Record (Magia Record: Mahou Jouja Madoka Magica Gaiden).
The anime will be an adaptation of the mobile game’s story.
Psycho-Pass began as an original anime in 2012, and was also written by Gen Urobuchi.
The anime has had two seasons, and has resulted in the creation of a movie, severalmanga and novels, and both iOS and console/PC visual novels.
A new film trilogy titled Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System recently aired in Japan, and a third anime season has been announced, featuring new protagonists Shindou Arata and Mikhail Ignatov.
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