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Boogiepop: The Ultimate Guide (Part 4)

by Lesley Smith

Welcome to the final installment of Boogiepop: The Ultimate Guide where we will take a look at the rest of the novels and assorted side-stories of the Boogiepop universe, as well as ponder the future of the franchise.

Boogiepop Missing

1999 was a busy year for MediaWorks and Kouhei Kadono; Boogiepop Missing was the seventh installment in the series and the third Boogiepop novel to be released that year, focusing on the rise and fall of an evolved human named Kigawa Tosuke.

Although in hiding, Kigawa soon gains the attention of none other than Teratsuki Kyouichiro-the Towa mogul from Boogiepop Overdrive who helped to fund the organization's various operations. After trying Kigawa's peppermint ice cream, Teratsuki helps him to start up a chain of ice cream shops called The Peppermint Wizard. Yet The Peppermint Wizard is not just a simple ice cream parlor; it is one of various plans created by the disillusioned Teratsuki shortly before his death.

As well as the shop itself, Kigawa's ice cream is also far from ordinary, and its ability to take away people's pain soon leads to his meteoric rise in local society. But soon, his unrivaled popularity becomes too much for the Towa Organization to ignore...

While primarily about the events of Kigawa's rise and fall, Boogiepop Missing has cameos by several familiar faces, and it introduces several new characters, such as Furukita, an actress and idol who has been assigned by Towa to watch Kigawa's ice cream van, and Kusunoki Rei, a cook and teacher at the school where Orihata Aya (of the Imaginator novels) is a student.

The Embryo Saga

Split in a similar manner as the Imaginator Saga, the Embryo novels are named after a mysterious virus that infects a portable game console, where anyone exposed to Embryo soon develops mysterious abilities and powers.

Honami Hiroshi's console was infected by Embryo after the owner decided against passing it to Pearl's Diamonds-an organization that rivals the Towa Organization and works to undermine it. While Hiroshi doesn't develop abilities, both his sister, Akiko (who plays host to the Imaginator later in the series) and her would-be boyfriend, Takashiro Tohru develop strange gifts.

The novels also introduce the character of Fortissimo-believed by many to be the Towa Organization's most powerful composite human because of his ability to separate atoms and cause people to disintegrate-who has been charged to destroy Embryo at all costs. Fortissimo crosses paths with the Tohru-whose power allows him to see lines representing danger-and gives him the name "Inazuma," after the Japanese god of thunder.

The book climaxes with a fight between the two in a shopping mall rigged with explosives and the timely intervention of Boogiepop, who transfers Embryo into a large metal cross, which reappears later in the Beat's Discipline series.

The Art of Kouji Ogata

From portraits of a solemn Boogiepop to an eerie image of a naked young girl with a single rose growing out of her chest, The Art of Kouji Ogata: Boogiepop and Others is the must-have import for fans of all things Ogata. Divided into two sections with the first half covering the initial nine Boogiepop novels and the second focusing on Kouji Ogata's other various works, such as Doll and Wizardry, this deluxe hardcover artbook compiles a large multitude of original painted art pieces and black and white illustrations that Ogata has been commissioned to create over the years. In addition to plenty of character illustrations and pencil sketches, the book also includes images used to illustrate the various Boogiepop soundtracks and other assorted goodies.

Boogiepop Paradox

Boogiepop Paradox is actually a prequel set two years prior to Boogiepop and Others, but it also ties in with events which take place both in VS Imaginator novels. Kirima Nagi has returned to Junior High after her spell in the hospital and has begun investigating a string of strange incidents involving comas. The school has been infiltrated by the Towa Organization's agent Kurenai Akemi, better known as "Rains on Friday" and in Beat's Discipline, as "Rains no More."

Mixing supernatural abilities with zombies, Boogiepop Paradox also introduces Akemi's boyfriend, Uchimura Morito, who possesses an ability he names "Fail Safe." This ability allows him to avoid death by shielding himself with the deaths of others, such as Towa agent Mrs. Robinson. As a result, his unfortunate victims become mind-controlled zombies.

In a tie-in with the earlier Boogiepop novels, it transpires that Morito's abilities were given to him by the Imaginator. Akemi attempts to kill him, and events peak in a Towa Organization building used to train agents that is filled with deadly synthetic trees that fire a deadly sap at tresspassers. In the end, Boogiepop returns to put an end to him, and in turn, sets in motion the events that readers experience in the Imaginator novels.

Holy & Ghost, Jinx Shop, and Lost Mobius

These trio books are often mistakenly labeled as side-stories, but they are actually direct continuations of the saga. Best labeled as a 'crime-caper,' Holy & Ghost: Boogiepop Unbalance sees the introduction of an animated weasel known as "Slim Shape," as well as a pair of delinquent teenagers who get mixed up in his plan to steal a weapon-code-named "Rock Bottom"-that was hidden by Teratsuki Kyouichiro.

On the other hand, Welcome to Jinx Shop: Boogiepop Staccato returns to an exploration of the Towa Organization and its agenda to secretly take over the world. It also introduces Towa's mysterious leader, code-named "Oxygen," and sheds some light on the mystery surrounding how the organization actually works.

Boogiepop Bounding: Lost Möbius, published in April 2005, sees the return of Orihata Aya, following a boy consumed with exacting revenge on Boogiepop. His intense hatred of Shinyo Academy's elusive shinigami is slowly eating him up, eventually leaving behind only a shelled husk. It is because of this that the pair become lost in a strange world called "Kiba no Ato," where they are soon joined by a mysterious child named Brick. The novel also features a special crossover with Kadono's Night Watch series.

Beat's Discipline

The Boogiepop universe is also home to a special four-volume side-story series called Beat's Discipline, which pulls its name from its central character-a Towa agent named Pete Beat. For many, this series acts as an excellent crossover for fans, as the four volumes have managed to feature almost every character seen in Kadono's other Boogiepop novels. In fact, the first volume alone has an impressive list of cameos, including Fortissimo, Mo Murder, Asukai Jin, "Rains no More" and the Peppermint Wizard.

Like many of the Towa Organization's agents, Pete Beat is also a composite human, and his unique gift is the ability to sense the body's 'beats.' This allows him to override his own and move at super-human speeds, or by manipulating the beats in others, to freeze people on the spot. Despite specializing in surveillance, Pete is assigned a mission by Fortissimo to retrieve an item code-named "Carmen."

This assignment leads to him to a high school where he comes across a psychic girl that he can't read. Ultimately, this encounter causes him to become disenchanted with the Towa Organization, which means only one thing...they want him dead.

The Future

As you can undoubtedly guess, the Boogiepop series is far from over. In fact, Kouhei Kadono is still writing novels about Shinyo Academy's resident shinigami. The latest novel, Boogiepop Intolerance: The Ark of Orpheus, hit Japanese bookstores this past April, and it's safe to say that this book-the fourteenth in the series-will not be the last.

While fans in North America have been able to watch the Boogiepop Phantom anime series and the live action Boogiepop and Others movie, 2006 marks the first time that any of Kouhei Kadono's legendary novels or manga have been available in English. This means that fans will now have the opportunity to get to know Boogiepop, the Fire Witch and all the other residents of Shinyo Academy in the way that they were originally envisioned-as novels.

Boogiepop: The Ultimate Guide - Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

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Copyright Notice:
Boogiepop Missing ©1999 KOUHEI KADONO/MEDIAWORKS, Illustration: KOUJI OGATA
Boogiepop Countdown Embryo ©1999 KOUHEI KADONO/MEDIAWORKS, Illustration: KOUJI OGATA
Boogiepop Wicked Embryo ©2000 KOUHEI KADONO/MEDIAWORKS, Illustration: KOUJI OGATA
The Art of Kouji Ogata ©1999 KOUJI OGATA/MEDIAWORKS
Beat's Discipline ©2000 KOUHEI KADONO/MEDIAWORKS, Illustration: KOUJI OGATA

©2004-2014 Seven Seas Entertainment, LLC.
Seven Seas Entertainment is a partner of Tor/Macmillan.