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Light Novel / Boogiepop Series

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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.

Boogiepop is a Light Novel series by Kouhei Kadono. With its first volume published in 1998, it currently consists of 23 light novels, an anime-original Interquel series by Madhouse (with Kadono's involvement) called 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. by Seven Seas Entertainment. Omnibus printings collecting the first six light novels were released in late 2018 and early 2019.


A straight anime adaptation of the series, Boogiepop and Others, aired in Winter 2019, also animated by Madhouse. Promotional trailers can be found here and here.

Contains examples of:

  • Adapted Out: The 2019 anime adaptation skips the fourth volume, Boogiepop in the Mirror: "Pandora", and moves the sixth, the prequel Boogiepop at Dawn, to its place.
  • 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. During Miyashita's interview with Dr. Kisugi, Boogiepop outright states it doesn't know what its gender would be.
  • Artificial Human: The Towa Organization specializes in making these and setting them up as Deep Cover Agents.
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  • Bifauxnen: Nagi Kirima is described as looking "handsome", and Boogiepop while possessing Touka is often mistaken for male.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The stories are told from the perspectives of people other than Boogiepop. These people are frequently teenagers who get in over their heads in bad situations leading to Boogiepop showing up to save the day.
  • 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 sounds like this at first. Actually subverted in that Towa seeks to preserve humanity in its current form and all their efforts are geared at preventing "evolved humans" from spreading throughout the world which is the major reason why all their synthetic humans are sterile.
  • Evolutionary Levels: The backbone of the entire story. The human race is beginning to manifest new evolutionary traits in its next generation, identified by the Towa organization as "MPLS" individuals, and they seek out these individuals to neutralize them in hopes of keeping the human race as it presently is. This may also be the reason why the alien race Echoes is from took an interest in humanity and sent him there to observe humans. It is even possible that Boogiepop itself is merely Miyashita Touka manifesting her status as an MPLS and is not something supernatural.
  • Fauxlosophic Narration: Not really narration, but the Kirima Seiichi quotes definitely qualify. The English translators noted that they had a heck of a time keeping those quotes cryptic and mysterious while also making sure they made some kind of sense.
  • 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 unambiguous 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.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The nature of Boogiepop. Is it truly a Shinigami or spiritual being that possesses Touka as part of an ethereal automatic defense mechanism of Earth? Or is it just a Split Personality of Touka's, who may or may not be an MPLS individual?
  • My Greatest Failure: Nagi considers the death of Naoko to be hers. The same for Tanaka Shirou, whose guilt and regret over Naoko's death eventually causes the manifestation of the King of Distortion.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: The Towa Organization.
  • No Social Skills: Orihata Aya, aka Camille — an artificial 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: Echoes turns into a beam of energy and returns to his homeworld with it, vaporizing Saotome Masami along the way.
  • Prequel: The fourth novel, Boogiepop at Dawn, which details Kirima Nagi's backstory and how Boogiepop got its name.
  • Professor Guinea Pig: Kisugi Makiko when she injects herself with the serum that Kuroda left behind from the Towa facility, and actually lampshaded as a stupid idea, but still does it anyway.
  • Psycho Electro: Spooky Electric.
  • 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.)
  • Setting Update: Compared to the novels it’s based on, released between 1999 and 1999, the 2019 anime features characters who use smartphones and instant-messaging apps to communicate, as well as rumors spreading on social media. The Shin’yō Academy uniform is also updated, going from gakurans for boys and sailor uniforms for girls to blazers and ties for both.
  • Shinigami: What Kuroda assumes Boogiepop is, and the latter takes the idea and runs with it.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Given all the similarities, the whole premise of a poised, androgynous vigilante with a Split Personality, clad always in a black cloak and using Razor Floss, who shares the city with several other supernatural beings and powers, is likely based on Hideyuki Kikuchi's novel series Demon City Blues. The story's tone and several of its plots also remind of it.
    • Boogiepop's hat and look are officially based on Maetel's from Galaxy Express 999.
    • The series frequently makes references to music, including several to Prince in the form of the characters Spooky E and Camille, as well as the Arc Words “Sometimes it snows in April” (from the song of the same name). The chapter names are also frequently borrowed from song titles.
  • Split Personality: While early volumes suggest Boogiepop might be either an split personality or an external entity that took Touka as a host, later volumes more clearly imply Touka is an MPLS (evolved human) and Boogiepop is how her evolution manifests.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Kamikishiro Naoko, slightly subverted in that she was also something of a delinquent. Also arguably Echoes.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: Billionaire Teratsuki Kyouichiro was originally designed and put into place by the Towa Organization to provide them with powerful leverage over national economies. However, he came to oppose Towa once he had grown powerful enough, and designed the Moon Temple specifically as a means to test and search for individuals who had the strength, intelligence, and willpower to oppose Towa.
  • The Unreveal: The meaning of the acronym "MPLS" is never revealed in the story. All we know is that it is the term used by the Towa Organization to designate naturally evolving humans who are awakening their powers.
  • Weirdness Magnet: The entire town, which somehow houses psychics, clones, aliens, guardian entities, shared dreamscapes, secret organizations, ghosts, and all manner of other strange goings on.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Nagi again, as well as Boogiepop.


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