Boogiepop Phantom Vol. #2 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B+

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  • Audio Rating: A-
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 15 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Nozomi Entertainment
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 75
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Boogiepop Phantom

Boogiepop Phantom Vol. #2

By Chris Beveridge     November 06, 2001
Release Date: November 06, 2001

Boogiepop Phantom Vol. #2
© Nozomi Entertainment

What They Say
In this enlightened age, few even believe that Boogiepop exists; she’s used as an urban myth used to frighten the ignorant. But where urban myths end, reality takes up. Five years ago a serial killer held the city in fear, slashing and murdering seemingly at random. With the police totally clueless and the public held in the grips of terror, the grisly murders simply…ended.

Now, with a mysterious flash of light in the darkness, the panic and terror have returned for some and this time it has a face: Boogiepop. But she’s not the only one whose stalking the darkened streets…

Yoji Suganuma's life is falling apart. Continually pushed to succeed by his overbearing father, he's retreated to the safety of his room and the comfort of his simulated girlfriend. When he's offered a drug that will 'change his life,' Yoji doesn't hesitate. Only now he can't seem to distinguish between the new girl Rie at work and his computer girlfriend. As line between reality and fiction blurs with Yoji's growing addiction, he’s more determined than ever to make Rie over into his perfect ‘fair lady’.

Rumors. The stories continue to grow but what is the fact and fiction behind what really happened five years ago? Could one police officer already know the truth? Meanwhile, Suema is certain that Nagi Kirima knows something about those terrible events, but Nagi refuses to reveal anything. Her quest to uncover Nagi's secret leads Suema back to the Perfectural Hospital and a very mysterious girl.

Strained by death of her father, the relationship between Shizue Wakasa and her mother was never the same after Shizue sees her mother with another man. But when Shizue is murdered by a serial killer, their relationship is left permanently unresolved. Now, five years later, the memories of Shizue return to haunt her once again when she discovers her diary.

The Review!
Things only continue to get freaky here, with the mood still very strong and the characters getting stranger and stranger. This show isn't exactly subtle in presenting its eeriness, but it's damn convincing and effective.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. Throughout the disc we had no issues with the audio at all, with this track being just as good as the first volume. The music and sound effects still very much play a near-central character to how the story is being told, and it's extremely effective here. I really enjoy the score. We spot checked the English 5.1 track in a few places and didn't notice any issues with it.

The video quality is essentially the same as the first volume, with it's near film-like feel. There's still a very heavy feeling to the coloring of the show, giving things a very off-feel with the dark grays and soft dark hued greens. The same types of camera tricks are employed, to give things an "eye" feel at times. There's a few areas of very vibrant colors that look great, and when you see these colors they definitely take you out of the story as they're supposed to.

The packaging is probably one of the brighter spots of the show itself. There's almost something resembling a blue sky, something you practically don't see in the show itself. The back cover gives four small screen shots for each episode, with episode numbers and titles listed next to them with a good summary of each. The language and running time information is at the bottom along with some production info. As with all TRSI releases, there are no inserts provided with this release, but the disc is nicely silkscreened.

The menu layout works pretty well for the most part. The main menu is a static piece of animation playing to some of the music, with the general selections quickly accessible. Language selections work well and we moved around the extras with no trouble. The only area we had a spot of trouble was in the full blown scene selection area, where moving around didn't get us where we wanted when we moved the arrows.

There are two provided promotional spots, one being a 100 second long one and the other for Japanese volume 3, which makes up part of this discs episodes. There's also another music video included here, the Fruits one. This is a rather creepy video, with its playing with the images and giving the already creepy music even more creepiness. Just ew. The directors commentary returns for this disc as well, covering all three episodes. We only listened to a few bits of it, having heard that some spoilers were given away for future discs.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As with earlier episodes, things here continue to be fairly episodic. But the strings attaching each episode together are becoming more apparent. We get more flashbacks to the incident the opened the series as well as to a serial killer incident that took place five years ago that seems to have some bearing on things.

The opening episode is a rather humorous one in its own way, about a date-sim addict whose hooked on a drug called Type-S (which really means slave, as those who take it are becoming enslaved by the dealer of it, without them really knowing it). This high school kids descent into his own personal hell is just eerie. He works part time in a restaurant, and ends up hiring a new high school waitress there. She's lied, and is really in junior high, but he knew that and used it to his advantage.

His reality and the reality of his precious date sim begin to merge as the new waitress' name gets used in the sim, and he begins to teach her things just as he would in the sim. The lines blur heavily at times, so much that you wonder why she can't tell. When he starts insisting that her waitressing outfit is old and boring and that she must wear a swimsuit at all times, things go off into a completely different realm. And the whole segment about rebooting to remove the boyfriend was hilarious, again in its own way.

The second episode is definitely the creepiest though, but also one of the most informative. Entitled "Interlude", it revolves around two cops who are stationed in the town where all of this is happening. The two are going through the various reports after the death of an elderly woman whose residence is something of a mystery. The lead cop, Morita, talks of an organization that's watching the world, that's opposed to change, and does its best to keep things as is. Then flashbacks to different times start and we see various incidents throughout the past couple of years play out, yet always returning to the cops and their story.

It's an episode where you wonder how much is real, especially from the ending, whether one of them is telling the entire truth or not. For if they are telling the truth, then things here just got even more off kilter and more intriguing. With more attention being paid to one of the local hospitals and the bizarre practices that may have been performed there, the locations are expanding and giving the entire city a great feel of unease.

This show continues to be very hard to describe, outside of my overuse of creepy. There's so much that's hard to discern between real and unreal and the like, but there's such a draw to watch more, I can't help but recommend it to someone whose looking for something that's going to really challenge them.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Music Video,Promotional Spots,Directors Commentary

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.


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