An Enemy Of The World

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Boogiepop Wa Warawanai Episode 11 Review

Continuing on with the arc started in episode 10 we see that Nagi has made a recovery from her mysterious illness courtesy of the wonder drug she was given. Too bad one of the doctors got a hold of some of it because she’s using it for some interesting experiments.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 11 Nagi

If torturing rats and removing brains isn’t your thing than this story might be getting gruesome. Then again, very little is shown in action and usually only the aftermath revealed. They wouldn’t want to interrupt the sitting around talking.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 11

One thing though, this new lady who feeds seemingly on fear, kind of reminds me of how we were introduced to the Imaginator and he seemed like he would be an interesting character, before the story failed to do anything with him directly and just had him moving around until it finally ended him. I’m kind of hoping for more this time around.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 11 Touko/Boogiepop

The one really interesting conversation was when Touka’s mother took her to the doctor because she apparently had another personality inside of her. Boogiepop emerges during the conversation with the doctor and more or less declares that she is an enemy of the world. The conversation kind of goes in circles from there, much like a lot of the dialogue in this anime, but it definitely seemed like Boogiepop was giving her a chance to back down. I wonder what will happen to her.

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Karandi James
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The End of the Imaginator and The Start Of A New Arc

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Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 9 Review

There’s just something about Boogiepop wa Warawanai that continues not to sit well with me. I know I’m not very invested in this story but I also consider myself relatively good at picking up small cues within a story and yet as the Imaginator’s arc comes to a close I’m just wondering what actually happened and why. Yes, there was a lot of babble about humans, hearts, organisations and free will in this episode but I’m just not sure any of it made even more than passing sense.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 9

Now, if I remove that from the equation, I’d have to say this was a reasonably fun episode. There’s a few action sequences, a show down between Boogiepop and the Imaginator and it feels like the characters we’ve been following for the past few episodes all get some kind of personal resolution, but then I start asking the how and the why questions and it all kind of crumbles apart. Not to mention I want to know what happened to all the other characters that Spooky E had changed and whether they are still waiting instructions or have they also come back to themselves.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 9 Jin

Again, I don’t really need a neat little bow wrapped around my narratives but Boogiepop feels like it is ambiguous because it doesn’t know how to be mysterious without it. There’s no sense that the pacing or direction is building up any kind of atmosphere at this point, and the visuals certainly don’t do much other than exist. About the only thing that manages to keep me watching as a viewer is the vague promise that somehow through continuing on the ambiguity will be made clear (or at least clearer) however as of yet the story hasn’t delivered on that at all.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 9 Imaginator vs Boogiepop

Still, there’s quite a few episodes out to watch so I guess I’ll keep going and see what happens next.

Boogiepop Wa Warawanai Episode 10 Review

There’s a slightly jarring moment at the start of this episode where we run into Echoes again (remember weird guy from first arc) only it seems like this is before the events of the first arc, maybe… It is really hard to tell. Anyway it seems like we’re on a different planet but somehow Boogiepop is there and after a needlessly confusing back and forth Echoes asks Boogiepop how she got her name and we flash back (which if we were already in a flashback makes it even more confusing or maybe I’m just struggling with the time-sequence here).

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 10 Boogiepop

However, once we enter that flashback, we get a fairly linear and interesting story around a guy named Scarecrow who works for the Towa Organisation. We get a little insight into what they are actually doing and we see Scarecrow encounter a younger version of Nagi. This whole story is not just interesting but it actively works to fill in some gaps in the story that we’ve seen play out so far and so I kind of enjoyed it.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 10 Nagi

Though it seems this story comes to a close with Scarecrow declaring that the shinigami type character he runs into is kind of like a creepy bubble before dying, it appears that this is the start of a new arc and for whatever reason there are yet more episodes already out to watch. While I’m going to put off the next couple for a week while I watch other stuff, I will point out this is probably the most interested Boogiepop has made me yet, though I wonder how we explain Boogiepop being on another planet talking to Echoes or will this be like so many other things and just left unexplained.

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Karandi James
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Things Finally Seem To Be Popping Along

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Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 8 Review

After episodes of very little happening, this episode seemed to be in a rush to pack in a lot. That said, we don’t seem all that much further along but at least while watching there was a sense of forward movement.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 8

And that is very important because while the characters were no more interesting and the visuals are still what they have been, because it felt like the plot was at least propelled in some general direction it kept me focused on this episode in a way I haven’t really been with this series previously. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a heap I don’t get, but I was really getting drawn into the events of this episode at least.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 8 Jin

That doesn’t mean it was all smooth sailing. I mean, we had the conversation between the mopey girl who people ask who would be a killer in the class (still haven’t managed to remember her name) and Jin, the art guy Imaginator, where she’s staring out a window and he’s sitting at a table behind her. Looking at the frame all I could think was it was a soap-take because nobody has a conversation like that.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 8

Character motives remain murky and the destination of all of this is still unclear but it kind of seems like things have come together for this arc at least. It’s incredibly messy story telling, and not the good kind of messy, and realistically I think they would have really benefited from thinking through how each of these characters should be presented because for me they are all still more or less sub-in-and-out-able as I barely remember any one of these characters as more than their back story that we are told or one personality trait that other characters point out. It kind of makes it hard to be overly invested.

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Karandi James
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GHOULBOY [LIMITED EDITION]
GHOULBOY [LIMITED EDITION]

The Interesting Premise That Just Keeps Putting Me To Sleep

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Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 7 Review

Well, conceptually this remains interesting and the execution remains incredibly dull. I actually did fall asleep during this episode and had to go back and watch again. As much as I’d love to know what is going on, I just find each and every character here completely flat.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 7 Spooky E

In this fourth part of the story VS Imaginator we continue to follow various characters doing various things without really knowing why. We get back story on a relationship between two people who have already well and truly moved on from that point given one is the Imaginator and the other gets brain zapped almost immediately after. It all just has me nodding off and really wondering how they manage to make the interesting concepts here so incredibly boring to watch.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 7
I know they are going for a style here, but this is just ugly to look at.

I do put a lot of the problem down to the visuals. That isn’t the only issue, but when the anime looks very ordinary at best, and frequently ugly, it just can’t visually distract form the unmoving characters and the slow pacing of the plot. With the characters also not being all that interesting (sure they might look interesting on paper but they all just kind of feel the same as they go through the motions of the plot) there’s just not a lot left to save this one.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 7

I’ll definitely finish the series. It has managed to make me want to know what is going on. But that’s about the only thing it has really succeeded at and while it isn’t bad to watch, when I am not so tired that I’m dozing off regardless, it also isn’t something I’m overly keen on. I know I won’t rewatch it no matter how good the ending is because I just don’t have any interest in watching these characters again.

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Karandi James
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Beware The Dull and Languid Pacing

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Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 6 Review

So stuff keeps happening and this arc is at least easy enough to follow but what that makes really clear is that these character are not interesting and the pace is painfully slow. If you enjoy standing on roofs or at gates watching characters talk this one might grab you but otherwise there’s a lot of waiting for uninteresting characters to do fairly ordinary things and meanwhile there’s a mystery that remains more or less in the background never getting the focus it deserves.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 6

To say that this story still hasn’t grabbed me six episodes in would be an understatement. While the first arc can look at its disjointed narrative structure as a reason things didn’t click, this second arc can’t really hide behind that because while we are perspective jumping here the plot itself is relatively easy to follow. What isn’t working is that none of these characters have made any kind of impact and they all stand around talking a lot.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 6

And this isn’t normal conversation or ever quirky and interesting conversation. They discuss book quotes, hypothetical situations, philosophy, but rarely does anyone have a conversation that actually just gets to a point or moves directly from point a to b. Again, this is a stylistic choice and some anime have managed to make unnatural and stilted dialogue work just fine for them, but here it just bores me so much watching these barely moving characters speaking in flat tones at one another.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 6

The only thing this anime has going for it is the basic mystery of what is going on with Boogiepop and these other supernatural elements. It isn’t much at this point, but it is keeping me from dropping this.

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Karandi James
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CHOGOKIN ONE PIECE: GOING MERRY -ONE PIECE ANIME 20TH ANNIVERSARY MEMORIAL EDITION-
CHOGOKIN ONE PIECE: GOING MERRY -ONE PIECE ANIME 20TH ANNIVERSARY MEMORIAL EDITION-

Weak Introductions To Characters We’ll Never Know

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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.

Boogiepop Wa Warawanai Episode 5 Aya

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.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 5

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.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 5

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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Karandi James
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Boogiepop Omnibus Vol. 1-3 (Light Novel)
Boogiepop Omnibus Vol. 1-3 (Light Novel)