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Boogiepop Wa Warawanai (2019) Episode 1 - First Impressions.


Synopsis

Boogiepop Wa Warawanai is an anime that centres around the urban legend of a Shinigami who releases people from pain and suffering. The name of this shinigami is 'Boogiepop'. The story follows a string of disappearances that mainly feature young girls of school age.


Episode Review

The first character the audience is introduced to is 'Taekada-Senpai' who seems to have been stood up on a date. Disappointed and with a sigh of exasperation he leaves the crowd. Soon enough Taekada (Later known as Keji Taekada) comes across a tattered and torn looking man, crying.

The voice of Boogiepop is unexpected. I anticipated a young and innocent sounding woman. This voice actress is reminiscent of Hanji-san from AOT, or Edward Elric from FMA. Nevertheless, I do find it more suitable for this particular character. Boogiepop is voiced by Aoi Yuuki, and I'm astounded by her sheer range and repertoire of roles over the years. Miyashita is the second name we hear and it is none other than Taekada-senpai that utters it. Said in a questioning tone, we are unsure whether it is aimed at the Boogiepop or the man she is cradling in her arms.


I found this scene to poignant in regards to the society we live in today. Suicide and deaths are filmed, people are more concerned about their own commute or how many views they can get from someones misery on social media than compassion for a fellow human being.


We soon learn that it was Miyashita that Keiji was waiting for. Despite his attempts to contact her that day, he still has not heard fro her the following day at school. Whilst Keiji attends a student committee the main premise of the storyline is subtly introduced:

However, this is simply a footnote seeing as the focus of this particular scene is more on Taekeda-Senpai and his flashbacks of the night before. Specifically, his sighting of Miyashita and her run in with the police.


Finally at the end of the school day Keiji spots Miyashita on the roof. The line of questioning and an explanation ensues. The reveal of Miyashita Touka and Boogiepop's split personalities whilst, unexpected was not necessarily surprising. This did however, add a new layer of intrigue and mystery around the plot. BoogiePop begins a mysterious and chilling account of how a monster resides in the school and it spells the end of the world.


'That's why I'm called Boogiepop'

The monster lives inside of a student and it is a man-eater.

The third name mentioned with significant whispers surrounding it is, Kirima Nagi. Kirimi Nagi is suspected amongst students to be a killer. However soon after this revelation and a couple of choppy scenes later. The Boogiepop declares that her job is done and is leaving. We witness a dismayed Keiji attempt to convince her the danger is not gone and with a heartfelt speech, she disappears.


First impression Ratings

Opening song, 3/5

The opening song builds anticipation and intrigue with a slow paced yet poignant tempo. It lacks memorability but the song crescendos and matches significant points in the visuals displayed.




Visuals and Art style

The colour palette is very grey and dark which seems to reflects the ominous nature surrounding the plot of the show. Many of supporting and background characters are faceless until the camera pans in closer into their faces. There are short glimpse of vivid colour most notably in the scenes where Keiji is speaking to Boogiepop. Not much else is seen in this first episode but the art style leaves much to be desired in my ipinion.


Overall

The first episode is slow and involves a slow unravelling of the storyline. There isn't much action or many characters that are introduced. I found the mention of names related to missing girls to be confusing as we are unable to picture who these people are. It's unclear whether the episode is a short prologue to the actual storyline or a short and unsatisfying film. However, I will wait till the next episode in anticipation.

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