There's a legend among the girls of Shinyo Academy about Boogiepop, a shinigami
who can take you away while you're still young and beautiful. But when a series of students begin to go missing, it soon becomes apparent that Boogiepop isn't just a legend, and furthermore, there's much more going on beneath the pristine surface of the school.
The series consists of 15 light novels, an anime series (Boogiepop Phantom
), a live action movie, two CDs, and two attendant manga series. The series is also credited with kicking off the Light Novel trend in Japan, and the anime series along with several of the novels have been released in the U.S.
Contains examples of:
- Arc Words: "Sometimes it snows in April"
- Ambiguous Gender: Boogiepop is often referred to as male, but its actual gender is never stated, and it's entirely possible that it actually doesn't have one. In the original Japanese novels an ambiguous pronoun was used to help this along.
- Artificial Human: The Towa Organization specializes in making these and setting them up as Deep Cover Agents.
- Bifauxnen: Nagi Kirima is described as looking "handsome", and Boogiepop while possessing Touka is often mistaken for male.
- Body Horror: Most stuff having to do with Manticore, which slowly robs you of your mental functions and turns you into a puppet. The way Kisugi Makiko kills also qualifies, since it involves taking a person's brain out while they are still alive.
- Bokukko: Nagi frequently uses male pronouns and styles of speech.
- Character Tics: Boogiepop frequently has an asymmetrical expression that's probably supposed to be a smile, that he copied from a dying Kuroda
- Chekhov's Gunman: Frequently characters mentioned only briefly become very important later.
- Crapsack World: The world of Boogiepop generally isn't very nice.
- Crazy-Prepared: Nagi, and she usually needs it at some point. For example, in Boogiepop at Dawn, she caries with her a bag of special electricity conducting materials, a rod to deliver a powerful electric shock, and an insulated jumpsuit against the current, all of which she uses to fry Kisugi Makiko. That same jumpsuit is also bulletproof. Lampshaded when someone wonders just where she gets the stuff.
- Evilutionary Biologist: The Towa Organization consists mainly of these.
- Fauxlosophic Narration: Not really narration, but the Kirima Seiichi quotes definitely qualify.
- Healing Factor: Most of the artificial humans possess some form of this.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Echoes and in a slightly more twisted version Masami. In Boogiepop at Dawn we also have Kuroda and Mo Murder both end up making these to save Nagi.
- Heroic Wannabe: Nagi's step brother Masaki ends up becoming his own version of Boogiepop, and eventually has to be saved by the real thing.
- Hitman with a Heart: Masanori Sakaki aka Mo Murder eventually becomes this, leading to the above Heroic Sacrifice.
- Homoerotic Subtext: Suema seems to go just a bit farther than necessary to get close to Nagi than one would usually think normal.
- Not to mention Anou Shinjirou's crush on Masaki, which is actually fairly explicit for the genre.
- Ill Girl: Nagi started out as one, before she was cured by Kuroda's actions
- Love Makes You Crazy: Masami Saotome, though it's implied he was already pretty twisted.
- Martyr Without a Cause: Nagi again
- My Greatest Failure: Nagi considers the death of Naoko to be hers.
- No Export for You: Seven Seas published the first three and sixth books before stopping due to poor sales. Thankfully, book 6 is a prequel to 1 and 2-3 is a self-contained story arc, so it's not like they ended on a cliffhanger.
- No Social Skills: Orihata Aya, aka Camille — an artifical human. She gets better at the whole "human interaction" thing as time goes on.
- Ordinary High-School Student: Half the cast, though some more than others. In Masami Saotome's case, his normalcy is why Nagi rejected him.
- Pillar of Light
- Professor Guinea Pig: Kisugi Makiko, and actually lampshaded as a stupid idea, but they do it anyway.
- Razor Floss: Boogiepop's main weapon.
- Rich Idiot with No Day Job: Though she's still a high school student, Nagi maintains this image.
- Secret Identity: Touka as Boogiepop. Subverted in that almost everyone figures it out instantly.
- Except herself. (She might be aware of Boogiepop to some extent.)
- Shout-Out: The series frequently makes references to music, including two to Prince in the form of the characters Spooky E and Camille. The chapter names are also frequently borrowed from song titles.
- Split Personality: Boogiepop from Touka, or at least that's one theory.
- This actually applies more to the anime, where its pretty much directly stated he's a separate personality. In the novels, it seems that its more heavily implied that Boogiepop is a separate entity that is using Touka as a vessel.
- Boogiepop says in the first novel that "Simply put it resembles the concept of the split personality." but then later claims he is not one of Touka's other possibilities and he does not know if Touka created him nor does he think the issue is important and he'd rather just get on with saving the world.
- The manga Boogiepop Dual however treats Boogiepop as a separate personality that can inhabit a body, even being passed down from one person to another. Dual has Akizuki Takaya the current (and male) Boogiepop and Motoka Igarashi the previous (female) Boogiepop who is Takaya's school teacher. Dual also hints at earlier Boogiepops, possibly Tokua, but its canon to the other books is not clear.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Kamikishiro Naoko, slightly subverted in that she was also something of a delinquent. Also arguably Echoes.
- Weirdness Magnet: The entire town
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Nagi again, as well as Boogiepop.