Right away in the first episode, My Fair Lady, we feel a very different vibe, moving away from the type of introspective (some may just find it confusing or boring) pondering of a technocratic society one finds in Lain to a deeper and darker subtext of violence and sexuality. The story of an outsider high school student named Yoji, My Fair Lady refers to the electronic girlfriend he tends to on his home computer, and also the girl from school he begins to obsess about. The obsession isn't entirely in his mind, it's made possible largely because of a designer drug circulating through school that seems to bring about feelings of lust and devotion. Okay, it really just turns Yoji into a stalker. And that's not all it's doing... The horror and dread generated here is quickly topped in the second episode, however. Interlude is the first glimpse we really have into the possible true origin of things going on around the city. And, it highlights the masterful direction and storytelling that makes Boogiepop Phantom more than just a pretty face.
Interlude is somewhere between The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock. Imagine two men in a room, having a conversation. Between fits and starts, mainly connecting material from earlier episodes and several new developments, we hear a story that may or may not be true. The policeman who we had begun to believe was more than he appears to be is most definitely that. How much more is yet to be determined. In fact, the revelation of this episode may leave you rewinding and replaying and rethinking. There are the beginnings of a "I fell into my web of deception and can't get up," la Chris Carter, so I'm hopeful that Boogiepop Phantom chooses the high (and more clear) road in spinning the rest of its tale. So far, we see the creators closing doors after they open then and tying up loose ends, so we'll see... Signs are good right now. The revelation of this episode makes you wonder if you can believe what you see and hear.
The final episode here, Mother's Day, is on the surface more human and real than any of the chapters before, but crucial information relevant to earlier episodes is still delivered. Boogiepop really doesn't show her face in any of these 3 episodes and Nagi Kirima is also absent, but we do learn more about the mysterious policeman and his role in the recent spate of killings, along with the identity of the serial killer from 5 years before. Shizue's mother remembers her from a diary Shizue kept with a friend, and Mother's Day becomes both a revealing look at the strained relationship between daughter and mother after Shizue's father dies, and Shizue's difficulty coming to grips with her role as a woman and some day a mother. It sounds more like Lifetime than Boogiepop Phantom, but there are still many subtle hints dropped along the way that beg explanation further along. Stay tuned, faithful fanboy and girl, 'cause things just seem to be getting better.