In the three episodes included on this DVD we see the chronology of some key events become more clear along with the conclusion of several plot lines. The first episode, Poom Poom, reveals the relationship between Nagi Kirima and Boogiepop as Manaka (the girl with those strange 'time-distorting butterflies') mixes with a strange character named Poom Poom. His motives seem clear, but are they pure? Under the Gravity's Rainbow brings Manaka's story to a close. She seemed so innocent, a victim of tragedy and suffering, but are her current actions affecting things for better or worse? Finally, A Requiem would purport to be the episode that explains everything, but you'll most likely find yourself watching the rolling credits and wondering what to think about everything that has happened. Take it from me: Read those production notes! Ghosts and images of past events phase in and out of the surroundings, but the threads of unfinished plot elements finally unravel and break, giving us insight on the strange events present in the world of Boogiepop.
If you were looking for some secret government conspiracy or aliens or evil mages, you're going to be disappointed. Boogiepop is fantastic, but the only horror at work here is that of human tragedy and maybe an extended reference to the way our modern society pulls and stretches us to the breaking point and our interpersonal tensions sometimes drive us to the point of schizophrenia. It sounds like heavy stuff, and it is. This is not light viewing, it doesn't reward the casual consumer and it will mess with your head. But, the creators of the series went to pains to be sure that everything about their work was intentional, and while the storytelling is very non-linear and often (always?) subverts narrative conventions, it is built on something real. Boogiepop Phantom is probably the least derivative piece of Japanese animation I've ever seen. At some point in the future, it will be looked at as a milestone, but we're probably too close to it right now to understand how much it really means to the larger body of anime output. So, enjoy it and ponder and I guarantee you'll feel your consciousness expanding.