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Boogiepop Phantom Evolution 1

Score: 80%
Rating: 15+
Publisher: Right Stuf
Region: 1
Media: DVD/1
Running Time: 85 Minutes
Genre: Anime
English 5.1 (Dolby
English 2.0
Japanese 2.0 Stereo


  • Previews & Trailers

Boogiepop Phantom is the latest in a series of mature and provocative anime shows to have made the jump from Japan. It?s a blend of Lain and Petshop of Horrors with dashes of mystical froo-froo and mystery that make the watching worthwhile. If you related to the inner struggle Lain faced as she began to [d]evolve into a citizen of the wired, Boogiepop Phantom gives a similar feeling of people caught between multiple states of being, trapped in a world that can be both comfortable and alien. And, if you like the bit of gore or horror that Lain only suggested, but Petshop of Horrors made very explicit, Boogiepop Phantom is ?toss your lunch? gross in parts, although not inappropriate. We?re not talking tentacle porn or other misogynistic crap here, and in fact, Boogiepop Phantom herself is a she. Some very cool female characters make up the cast, and they thankfully have more substance than the usual cardboard floozies we find too often. The first three episodes contained on Boogiepop Phantom: Evolution 1 show great promise for the series, and give us just enough storyline to make us really want to keep watching.

The very first chapter in this first collection of Boogiepop Phantom episodes breaks out most of the dominant themes for the rest of the series. Love, obsession, power, fear, technology, life, death and pain all appear and are treated to varying degrees. A girl with a strange attachment to a fellow high-school student, who has disappeared, becomes involved with the Boogiepop Phantom and almost loses her life. But, in what shape is her soul and spirit? Boogiepop herself is still a complete mystery by the end of this DVD, and although people call her the ?Angel of Death,? she seems to be concerned about more than just living and dying. Morality and truth figure strongly into why she seems to favor some over others, but the reason for her killing is yet to be revealed. The remaining two chapters treat themes of pain and truth in depth. One student finds he has a special power to remove pain, but just like they tell you in science class, we wouldn't be human without our pain. So what has this young man become, and why should Boogiepop care? In the final chapter, we see Boogiepop?s opposite number when we catch a glimpse of the serial killer who is stalking the city. Boogiepop is not the only Angel of Death here... And, a confused girl stealing an identity is exposed for what she really is.

Bits and pieces of each chapter are retold from different characters? perspectives in other chapters, suggesting a long, continuous stream of events and moments. The storytelling is fantastic, and waiting for Boogiepop feels like waiting expectantly for some Petshop of Horrors pet to show its true form and give the owner what he asked for... even if he didn?t know he was asking. Boogiepop Phantom is a series strongly linked to the directorial and artistic style of Lain, but why would that be a bad thing? Mystery and dark forces always get me excited, but the human element and the everyday quality of the characters? lives in Boogiepop Phantom really promises some great character and story development. The packaging and features for this DVD feel really slim, especially when only three chapters are present. I understand Right Stuf wants to sell as many DVDs as possible, but I wish they could at least package in more special features. As it is, try to find this as a rental if money is tight, since you?ll burn through all three chapters in an easy night?s sitting. If you?re anything like me, and love moody anime with that techno twist, you?ll most definitely get into Boogiepop Phantom and be sorry it?s over so soon.

-Fridtjof, GameVortex Communications
AKA Matt Paddock

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