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Looking for your next anime obsession? Into surreal urban legends and heady psychological thrillers? Let us introduce you to the weird world of Boogiepop Phantom — specifically, a new series set in the sprawling universe that further expands on its wacky premise. Boogiepop and Others is one of the strangest series of the season, and one show you'll want to jump into as soon as possible.
The series begins innocently enough. A young man named Keiji Takeda notices a haggard man stumbling through the crowd in town while waiting for his girlfriend, Touka Miyashita. She never shows, but appears wearing strange clothes while helping the man. Miyashita behaves as if she doesn't know Takeda and berates the crowd around the man, including the police, then fights them off and makes a quick escape. Takeda is shocked, of course, and starts to wonder — is that Miyashita?
Of course, Takeda takes some time out to chat with Miyashita when she finally shows up at school — but instead, he finds the same man she stopped to help the day before. He introduces himself as "Boogiepop," a split personality of Miyashita who's been tasked with protecting the world. Miyashita has no idea he exists, and her memories are routinely altered to ensure this arrangement stays in place. Takeda and Boogiepop begin speaking and become friendly, but Boogiepop essentially uses Miyashita's body and abilities to make a difference in the world.
This is just one plot thread the series follows, as the show revolves around five students at Shinyo Academy that Boogiepop has impacted, all the while investigating the influence of a new drug that's been making the rounds and how it relates to an epidemic of missing students from the academy. Though there are only 18 episodes at present, there are numerous narrative threads to piece together that make it feel like a much longer, exciting anime epic. It's super addictive to come back to these stories every week, which is why we highly suggest making time for it.Boogiepop and Others isn't the first time we've been introduced to the Boogiepop Phantom timeline, either. There was a previous 12-episode anime series that debuted in 2000 (which you might remember airing on TechTV in the US) as well as several light novels and books, short stories, soundtracks, movies, and manga. It's a massively popular franchise that follows what essentially comprises a legend about an "angel of death" named Boogiepop. The anime series, and all of the spinoffs you can check out in addition to the anime, follow this legend, who isn't actually a legend at all.
The world that Boogiepop inhabits has a shadowy group known as the Town Organization. They're looking to control humanity, but Boogiepop does his best to keep them from doing so. This is essentially the heart of the show, but it's hard to explain everything that goes on behind the scenes, as each show and piece of media is about something unique, be it a new cast of characters and their relationships or the unique ways they see the world.
Boogiepop and Others is actually a prequel of sorts to Boogiepop Phantom, so if you watch the series and enjoy it, you'll definitely want to try a slice of Boogiepop Phantom too. Then the door is open to the rest of the fascinating content that further fleshes out the universe. It won't always make sense, and the series won't hold your hand every step of the way. But for atmospheric, strange thrills and chills at every turn, it's one show worth spending some time parsing.
So, if you're in the mood to kick off a lengthy journey through a sometimes obtuse but wholly satisfying narrative that explores the supernatural, split personalities, and plenty of allegory, give Boogiepop and Others a chance. Don't expect it all to make perfect sense right away, but let it wash over you. You'll be glad that you did.
Boogiepop and Others is currently available to view with English subtitles on Crunchyroll.