Boogiepop Phantom, one of the first shows to be based off of a light novel, is the closest thing to an anime coming from the mind of David Lynch. Animated by Madhouse and initially released by Right Stuf, their now anime distribution arm, Nozomi Entertainment has decided to rerelease this anime classic for a whole new audience to haunt their nightmares and get under their skin. The series takes place in an urban city setting that follows multiple characters after a mysterious pillar of light appears in the middle of the night. Each of the characters have a connection to the light and also to a series of murders that happened five years ago. All of this is connected to the specter that has been rumored about, the Boogiepop Phantom.
Unsettling is the very first word that comes to mind when thinking of Boogiepop Phantom. With its sepia tinted palette and its dark setting, the series utilizes everything it can in order to visually disturb you. The overall story may be a bit confusing and may take many viewings to fully wrap one’s head around things, but the individual tales Boogiepop explores are just fascinating. Screenwriter Sadayuki Murai, who wrote Perfect Blue and Kino’s Journey, does some amazing work and utilizes perspective in a variety of ways to alter the way the series is viewed. There are many times where the audience will see scenes multiple times, but through different characters, that alter the way we see events, character motivations and other aspects that make this show intellectually stimulating.
Another reason why this show is top notch is the entire soundscape that Boogiepop uses to tell its story. Everything from the creepy score to the eerie sound design, make this show what it is. I have never heard a show that has sounded like Boogiepop and its offerings, that on that basis alone, I’d tell someone to pick up this series just to listen to it. The English set expands on the Japanese offering on the discs, with a 5.1 mix that utilizes the surround capabilities to the fullest. There’s plenty of good extras on the set too, with some line art, producer’s notes, commentary and music videos that make it a well rounded set for the price.
If you’ve never seen Boogiepop Phantom, I urge you to just go out and buy this set. There’s rarely anime series that can really pull off what Boogiepop does and it does it in spades. With this being one of the earliest entries into adapting light novels into anime series, its easy to see how the trend caught on so well. Boogiepop Phantom is one of the greatest psychological horror shows to ever come out and with the treatment that Nozomi Entertainment has given, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t sit in nicely in your anime collection. Highly Recommended!