Boogiepop: The Ultimate Guide (Part 3)
by Lesley Smith
The Boogiepop franchise does not end with the Boogiepop Phantom anime series and the Boogiepop and Others live action movie. As we have shown in our past instalments, the series stems from a single award-winning novel that spawned the entire franchise, but in addition to the first three novels -- Boogiepop and Others, Boogiepop Returns, and Boogiepop VS Imaginator -- Kouhei Kadono has written ten further novels in the Boogiepop series as well as the four-part Beat's Discipline collection, and the series isn't stopping there. In April 2006, MediaWorks is set to debut the fourteenth novel in the series entitled Boogiepop Intolerance: The Ark of Orpheus. As of yet, none of these novels have ever been translated into English and have remained the object of mystery and conjecture for non-Japanese fans, so join Gomanga.com as we venture into the unknown...
Boogiepop Dual is the second manga series focusing on the Boogiepop universe and is distinctive in that it was an original story created by Kadono and not based on any of the novels. It was serialised in MediaWorks' Dengeki Daioh magazine from October 1999 to February 2001, but because Kouji Ogata was working on the Boogiepop Doesn't Laugh manga for the sister publication Dengeki Animation, Boogiepop Dual was instead illustrated by Masayuki Takano who later would go on to do the Blood Alone manga.
Despite being set in the Boogiepop universe, the two-volume manga is a separate entity from the other novels. Kadono puts forward the idea that as well as being a split personality, Boogiepop is also a mantle that can be held by different people of either sex. Instead of the protagonist being Miyashita Touka, Boogiepop now borrows the form of a male nerd called Akizuki Takaya.
The Boogiepop personality appears when a female student is abducted and nearly raped, which forces Akizuki to come to terms with his crime-fighting alter ego, who just happens to wears high-heeled boots along with the trademark Boogiepop cape and hat. However, he is not alone; his guide and the token romantic interest is the previous person to be host to Boogiepop -- a teacher and substitute nurse at his school named Igarashi Motoka. Boogiepop Dual follows the pair as they try to discover who is behind the latest wave of abductions and what they want with the students.
Boogiepop in the Mirror
Published in December 1998 and illustrated by Kouji Ogata, Boogiepop in the Mirror focuses on the relationships between six gifted children who all possesses psychic abilities.
Told in a much more linear fashion than previous novels, the first half of the novel focuses on how the six children encountered each other, One of the most interesting and enjoyable aspects of Boogiepop in the Mirror is that, like Boogiepop and Others, each of the children get their own chapter devoted to them.
While all of their gifts focus on being able to see the future, each is displayed in a different way. For example, Kazumiya Mitsuo can speak the future in riddles and other ambigious words, while Tsuki Nozomi is an automatic writer, and important words appear on the body of Tenjiki Yuu in the form of stigma. In addition, Mikage Kasumi can see the future of someone by looking in their eyes, Nanase Kyoko's abilities are triggered by smell, and Koumoto Kouji can whisper words before they are spoken by others.
The novel also focuses on Kirima Nagi and a young girl named Kito who is somehow connected to the other children and was saved by the Fire Witch. Unlike in previous novels, Boogiepop plays a much smaller role, although he appears in the children's respective premonitions, as well as the novel's climax.
Boogiepop Overdrive and the Boogiepop Drama CD
1999 saw the publication of not one but four Boogiepop novels, the first of which was Boogiepop Overdrive. This particular novel sees the return of Niitoki Kei, one of the narrators of Boogiepop and Others, and focuses on a building known as the Moon Temple.
The Moon Temple was created by Teratsuki Kyouichiro, the head of a business corporation called MCE that doubled as a Towa fundraiser, who died suddenly at the age 56. As the building is now slated for demolition, it has been given a one-month repreve in which it has been opened for public viewing.
Boogiepop Overdrive is set over a 24 hour period and leads to a showdown between Boogiepop and the mysterious King of Distortion, who, like Boogiepop, exists in a person's mind and is able to manifest itself physically. On the first day of the Moon Temple's public opening, an accident seals all the exits and traps numerous visitors inside the building where the King of Distortion can manifest itself as an individual's buried memories.
In 2000, an event was held in Tokyo to promote the Boogiepop Phantom anime, and one of the main features was a monologue recorded by Shimizu Kaori, the anime voice actress for Boogiepop and Miyashita Touka. The 23-minute dramatic recording is set during the same time period as Boogiepop Overdrive and sheds some light on the relationship between Touka and her split personality.
Touka awakens to find herself in a locked room filled with toys and a lengthy gap in her memory. For Touka, this is quite a normal occurrence considering the number of times Boogiepop has surfaced. Yet this is the first time, through the intervention of the King of Distortion, she has actually been able to converse with Boogiepop directly. Surprisingly, Touka reveals that she isn't a big fan of Shinyo Academy's resident shinigami and also dislikes his outfit.
While exploring the room, Touka comes across various letters written by a girl called Reimi. Reimi had a miserable childhood and the various traumas she suffered led her to lock part of her personality away in the room. After discovering a baby, who represents Reimi's true personality, Touka passes out as a giant eyeball peers in through a window, revealing she is in fact trapped in a doll house. Boogiepop then takes over and explains that their presence has helped Reimi overcome a warp in her own heart created by the King of Distortion. This episode also helps Touka come to terms with her alter ego and accept Boogiepop as a part of her life.
Boogiepop at Dawn
Essentially an anthology of stories, Boogiepop at Dawn holds the answers to many questions about the Boogiepop universe, including how Boogiepop first appeared during a spree of murders five years ago. While each story is independent, there are frequent crossovers as well as a sequel of Orihata Aya's adventures in Boogiepop VS Imaginator.
While Kirima Nagi is one of the major characters, Boogiepop at Dawn also introduces two characters who would later appear in Boogiepop Phantom: Kisugi Makako, a doctor at the hospital where the Fire Witch was admitted during her 'growing pains,' and the composite human known as Scarecrow (aka Kuroda Shinpei), an agent of the Towa Organization who saved Nagi's life by giving her a mysterious drug that halted her evolution.
Like Boogiepop and Others, MediaWorks also produced a special animated commercial to promote the release of Boogiepop at Dawn. Airing in both fifteen and thirty second versions, the commericals give fans a glimpse of what is to come; a young Touka reacting to a bloodied, diembodied hand, Dr. Kisugi succumbing to insanity and Boogiepop walking through a ruined city.
Joined us March 14th for the fourth and final installment of Boogiepop: The Ultimate Guide as we focus on the remaining books in the Boogiepop series, the Beat's Discipline short story collection, and Kouji Ogata's Art of Boogiepop and Others artbook.
Boogiepop Dual ©2000 KOUHEI KADONO, MASAYUKI TAKANO/MEDIAWORKS
Boogiepop in the Mirror ©1998 KOUHEI KADONO/MEDIAWORKS, Illustration: KOUJI OGATA
Boogiepop Overdrive ©1999 KOUHEI KADONO/MEDIAWORKS, Illustration: KOUJI OGATA
Boogiepop at Dawn ©1999 KOUHEI KADONO/MEDIAWORKS, Illustration: KOUJI OGATA