Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 5 Review
I have nothing against anime that have a large cast of characters even when those characters get little screen time. March Comes in Like a Lion has a massive cast when you consider all the people Rei and the sister’s encounter and yet each one feels like they could be a person and that they don’t just exist for the story or will cease to exist once they move off screen. Stories like Baccano manage an array of characters and perspectives and leave the audience with a sense that we’ve spent time with all of them and had a great time. So I’m wondering why Boogiepop is making me feel like each of these characters is paper thin and once the scene moves on from them I swiftly forget them.
Part of this is probably the character designs. So many of these characters are just kind of dull and generic student. Which makes sense from a realist point of view but it does make it difficult for any character to stick when we’re in a visual medium and the visuals are so forgettable. Outside of Boogiepop, Echoes, and the Art Teacher guy we met last week, none of the other characters have had any real visual distinction.
But the other part of it is that all of these characters are so incredibly flat. No matter what they are doing we seem to have the same tone of voice and fairly understated reactions. When one cast member is a little flat it can be a defining personality trait; when every member of the cast seems to pride themselves on showing as little emotion as humanly possible you end up just wondering if this is still the read-through rehearsal before they actually decide to put on the story.
However, complaints about characters aside, Boogiepop is getting better. This second mystery is a lot more compelling and the connections between each section of the story are far more readily visible even as we chop and change between character perspectives. While I couldn’t say I know what is actually behind what is happening, I will say that following events is significantly easier and the whole thing feels like it is moving toward something which is certainly a step up from the meandering first three episodes that just felt like they were drifting without a destination.
While five episodes in I still probably wouldn’t jump to recommend this one, it is certainly intriguing and if it continues to pull itself together it might even end up being a decent series by the time it is done.
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Boogiepop Omnibus Vol. 1-3 (Light Novel)
- Episode 1: Leaving the Audience on the Outside in Boogiepop
- Episode 2: Boogiepop Begins To Reveals Its Secrets
- Episode 3: Disorderly and Dull, Perhaps the Worst Things for a Story To Be
- Episode 4: The Sprouting of a New Imaginator in Boogiepop
- Episode 5: Weak Introductions To Characters We’ll Never Know
- Episode 6: Beward the Dull and Languid Pacing
- Episode 7: The Interesting Premise That Just Keeps Putting Me To Sleep
- Episode 8: Things Finally Seem to be Popping Along
- Images from: Boogipop wa Warawanai (2019). Dir. S Natsume. Madhouse. 2019.