Boogiepop Phantom Vol. #3 -

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. #3

By Chris Beveridge     December 04, 2001
Release Date: December 04, 2001

Boogiepop Phantom Vol. #3
© Nozomi Entertainment

What They Say
Mamaro was never like other guys. Violent and merciless, he shows little love even to those in his family. His life has been spent looking for life's redundant parts - society included. Now Mamaro is about to discover he has less in common with other humans than he thought...

Single minded, Nagi Kirima goes through life with only one purpose: root out and destroy the evil that lurks in the darkness. A lonely life, but one her father would have approved of, as his jealously guarded theories form the basis for her work. But her pursuits have left little time for a personal life. Up to now it hasn't been a problem...

Saki is a gifted pianist. Popular and talented, she is being manipulated to become something that she never will be. Her parents want only the best for her and are sacrificing everything for their goal. When a new teacher enters Saki’s life, her faith in herself is shattered. Is she really worth all of their sacrafices? Torn and confused, she’s unsure what to do. In the park late at night, though, there is rumored to be someone who brings a resolution to life's little problems ...

The Review!
The feel of Boogiepop Phantom builds nicely here with more stories being told about the world and how its changed since the mysterious light as well as more "five years ago" stories creeping into the main storyline.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. The stereo track is pretty slick with lots of sounds being moved around the forward soundstage in a general creepy fashion to help suit the story. This is well used in the 5.1 from what we could tell as well with it being thrown to the rears. Dialogue was nice and clear and we noticed no dropouts or distortions throughout the three episodes.

Things look good overall but this continues to be a very deceptive show. The primary color is simply black, which looks good. So much of it is filled with this color that only small bits of color show at times, such as seeing a character in a black suit against a black background. All you see is the dull colors of his white shirt and his face. When other colors do make up the backgrounds, they tend to be the soft dark greens or oranges, giving the show an even softer look. There's some grain throughout but a lot of it looks pretty intentional to the style of the show.

The packaging is probably one of the brighter spots of the show itself. A mixture of images from the episodes make up the cover here with its white fog background. 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.

A couple of neat extras are included here. The first is a promotional video that runs about two minutes while the other is a piece of animation from the show to go with the ending theme. Not a creditless ending, but something closer to a music video instead.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Things only get more confusing, and that's because we get something that seems like answers here.

The opening episode begins by presenting another tale of a youth whose gained powers from the mysterious light and is making his mark on the city. Young Mamaro has found himself with the ability to find the useless things in life and to break and remove them. This was something he had turned to in the recent past, with an example of him taking apart a computer and trying to figure out what wasn't really necessary. But now he's taken this new skill and is applying it to creatures and people around him, with only his sister knowing his secret.

Mamaro's search for the useless things brings him into contact with Nagi briefly, but the main thing that gets moved along here is the arrival of someone in the police box who knows what's going on and starts talking with our resident police officer whose not what he really seems. Things start to move into motion here as it appears that there's little time left for the hunt of these beings that aren't quite human and are evolving on their own.

Things get explained even more openly in the following episode. We get introduced to a magazine writer whose returned to the area after five years named Kishida. He's back to write an article on a dead writer, but ends up meeting up with Nagi instead. Their paths had crossed in the past. He knows what she does and what she fights on a regular basis in the city with the not so human things.

He gets more than he expects with this new meeting though as they both end up encountering the Boogiepop Phantom not once, but twice. Boogiepop explains his origins somewhat, and why the appendage of Phantom was added to it. We also start to learn more about Manticore and Echoes and why everything is changing like it is, but also learning that time is running out with things.

Frankly, it's all pretty darn confusing even as more gets explained. I'm going to need to rewatch this one multiple times to try and take it all in as it's pretty out there. When they start talking about how reality is a hologram inside someone's brain and that they're just waiting for someone to wake up, I know I'm starting to get out of my depth. This show is going further than Lain did to be sure.

This show is building towards something though and its layering is starting to reveal what's going on. It's definitely got me interested even if it does confuse the hell out of me.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Promotional Video,Ending Them Video,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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