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Boogiepop Phantom OST and Music Inpired by Boogiepop Phantom CD

A good anime series is usually accompanied by great music. Just as movie music contributes so much to mood and atmosphere, and just as great composers are recognized alongside directors, producers and actors at the Academy Awards, anime music is an art form in itself. And to extend that, the music one associates with Hollywood movies usually isn't anything like the music heard in anime. Especially since the tone of Boogiepop Phantom is dark, supernatural but deeply modern and human, strings and brass would really not fit the bill. There's nothing ironic in Boogiepop Phantom and nothing that would suggest the creators were striving to be 'cute'. Digested with thought and attention to detail, Boogiepop Phantom is a transforming experience for both seasoned anime fans and people who would never have thought of themselves as being interested in Japanese animation. Generally speaking, the OST album here is much more evocative of the mind state I had watching the series, but the tribute record just shows the level to which Boogiepop Phantom has made its mark already on the anime scene.

The OST is a 2-CD set in a nice single-size package, and contains 13 tracks. The tracks run from incredibly subtle ambient styles to strong electronica tracks that still manage in a more in-your-face way to be subtle. The sound samples we heard recur during the series following story points, as well as the themes of certain characters who played pivotal roles in Boogiepop Phantom will bring back memories for those who watched the entire series, but many pieces are full-blown version of music that was merely incidental, played in clubs or other areas where you might not have noticed the music at the time. Removed from the visuals, you may or may not have an ear for the deep ambient and electronica flavor of this OST. The wonderful thing about the ambient tracks is that they reward both the casual listener and the devoted fan. They're as deep as you want to be, or completely unobtrusive and behind-the-scenes. No matter what the track, the production quality is incredibly high, and with a good set of headphones you'll soon be transported to the world of Boogiepop Phantom.

Boogiepop (Music Album Inspired by Boogiepop and Others) is obviously not an OST, but a musical tribute to the series. Where the OST includes creative talent from a number of bands, Inspired by... features almost exclusively the work of Yuki Kajiura, whose credits include game music for Blood The Last Vampire (Japanese PS2), anime like .hack//SIGN (the basis for the cool game called .hack Bandai was showcasing at E3 this year!) and NOIR. This single CD contains 11 tracks plus one bonus track. Kajiura presents what might be seen as a musical version of the conversation Boogiepop Phantom fans would have among themselves. ''It's, it's THIS...but what about this?'' He brings forward a varied stylistic palette, and incorporates a saxophone that sometimes feels more Cowboy Bebop than Boogiepop Phantom. Much of the record has an analog or 'live' sound to it that may make it more listenable for those who don't enjoy the more digital sound of the OST. But it IS about Boogiepop Phantom, so of course the requisite electronica/house music is represented. But the most surprising piece is a remix of Richard Wagner's ''Die Meistersinger Von Numberg'' (featured in the series during the interlude/preview sections), which stands far and away stylistically from everything else on the album. Now you can sneer right back at those opera snobs and simply say 'Boogiepop!'

Devotees of Boogiepop Phantom will no doubt want both albums, but if you liked the series and really just want to recapture the mood or give a gift to some anime fan-boy or fan-girl out there, the OST is likely your best bet.

-Fridtjof, GameVortex Communications
AKA Matt Paddock

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