''Boogiepop Phantom'' is one of the premiere examples of MindScrew. The anime, manga, and other media are based on the [[BoogiepopSeries Boogiepop novels]] for young adults, which are popular in Japan. The plot revolves around a mysterious pillar of light, a caped person called Boogiepop and the disappearance of a group of high school students.
''Boogiepop Phantom'' is probably mentioned more often by comparison with ''Anime/SerialExperimentsLain'' than in any other context.
!!Tropes in this anime:
* AllThereInTheManual: It helps to have read [[LightNovel/BoogiepopSeries ''Boogiepop At Dawn'' and ''Boogiepop And Others'']], in that order, to know what the Hell's going on.
* AnachronicOrder: The episodes are all over the place in relation to each other's place in the overall timeline.
* AnimeThemeSong: A funky, live action, grainy, 70's throwback depicting a drive into the city for a night out.
* TheAntiNihilist: Panaru from episode 3, ''Life Can Be So Nice.''
* BackFromTheDead: [[spoiler:Kuroda and The Manticore, in a sense; the former as a kind of living memory of his former self (similar to the "shadow" of Echoes that appears in ''Boogiepop At Dawn'', the novel Kuroda dies in), and the latter a shadow of its former self, having not actually died at the end of ''Boogiepop And Others'' as was previously believed.]]
** Nagi Kirima, although the show's position on the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism means she still fails more often than she succeeds.
** [[spoiler:The original Boogiepop it/herself]].
* ContinuityLockout: It is ''essential'' that you read the books mentioned in AllThereInTheManual (the show is really more like an epilogue to ''Dawn'' and a direct continuation of ''Others''), or a key element of the over-arching plot ([[spoiler:the true identity of Boogiepop Phantom and its relation to/the origin of The Manticore]]) will seem to come out of nowhere, and the final episode will be utterly incomprehensible.
** Poom Poom, the Pied Piper-like entity that accompanies Manaka.
** The balloon children that Poom Poom draws from the people he gives balloons to.
** The robed girl.
* DeliberatelyMonochrome: Everything is really brown, but this ceases at the end of the series, when the funky electromagnetic effect in the air causing all the anomalies finally dissipates.
* EvilCounterpart: Boogiepop Phantom to the true Boogiepop.
* FalseCameraEffects: Most of the episodes have a vignette effect throughout.
** The entire plot is connected mysteriously to an event 1 month ago (which occurred at the end of ''Boogiepop and Others''), with references to an event 5 years ago (explained in ''Boogiepop at Dawn'').
** The entire series, with the [[MindScrew likely]] exception of the final episode, is made of flashbacks within flashbacks.
** [[spoiler:Nagi Kirima, more or less.]]
* HiddenDepths: Shows up all the time, but most notably in a character who [[StableTimeLoop prevents herself from committing suicide]].
* HugeSchoolgirl: Actually a past medical problem of one of the characters.
** Nagi Kirima.
** [[spoiler:The original Boogiepop.]]
* ImpossiblyCoolClothes: Boogiepop's cape and gravity-defying ribbon thing stand out from the austere realism of the rest of the clothing.
* LowerDeckEpisode: ''Almost all of them''. Alternately, the entire series is made up of separate [[ADayInTheLimelight days in the limelight]].
* AMindIsATerribleThingToRead: Yoshiki in episode 9, "You'll Never Be Young Twice".
* OnTheNext: Eps. 1-11, with eerie multi-layered dialogue.
* OracularUrchin: Manaka is a perfect example of this trope.
** One sets the series in motion and is featured in several episodes.
** Another occurs when [[spoiler:Manaka dies]].
* SecretIdentity: [[spoiler:Toka Miyashita]] is the new Boogiepop.
* StepfordSmiler: Misuzu. ''So very much''.
* TomatoInTheMirror: [[spoiler:Kuroda]]
* WeaksauceWeakness: One straight out of Greek mythology--[[spoiler:Echoes is unable to speak other than to repeat people's words back at them.]]