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*For the anime, see Boogiepop (2019).

Boogiepop and Others (ブギーポップは笑わない, Bugīpoppu wa Warawanai), alternatively titled Boogiepop Doesn't Laugh, is the first novel in the Boogiepop Series. It was released in Japan on Feburay 25, 1998[1], and in the United States on January 14, 2006.[2] It was later included in the first English Boogiepop Omnibus, collecting volumes 1-3.[4]

On January 10, 2019, a reprint edition was released, with a new cover and new internal illustrations.[3]

A live-action film adaption was released on March 11, 2000.[5] A sequel anime series titled Boogiepop Phantom, directed by Takashi Watanabe and animated by Studio Madhouse began airing on Jan 5, 2000.[6] An anime adaption directed by Shingo Natsume and animated by Studio Madhouse began airing on January 4, 2019.[7]

Contents

  • Prelude
  • Chapter One: Romantic Warrior
  • Interlude
  • Chapter Two: The Return of the Fire Witch
  • Chapter Three: No One Lives Forever
  • Chapter Four: I Wish You Heaven
  • Chapter Five: Heartbreaker

Publisher's Summary

Original Summary

Do you have a dream? Sadly, I have no such thing. But the boys and girls in this story all have their own desires. They fret; unable to reach them, or launch themselves headlong towards that goal. Some remain uncertain what it is they truly want, others chase a desire they can never really hope to achieve, or unwittingly give others courage with their unconscious optimism.

This story is told in pieces. It’s a very creepy story, and a little bit sad.

…Mm? Who am I? My name is Boogiepop.

Winner of the Game Novel Grand Prize. Kouhei Kadono brings you five unusual stories of one uncanny event.[1]

Seven Seas Summary

Who am I? My name is Boogiepop…

There is an urban legend that children tell about a shinigami that can release people from the pain they are suffering. This “Angel of Death” has a name–Boogiepop. And the legends are true. Boogiepop is real.

When a rash of disappearances involving female students breaks out at Shinyo Academy, the police and faculty assume they just have a bunch of runaways on their hands. Yet Nagi Kirima knows better. Something mysterious and foul is afoot. Is it Boogiepop or something even more sinister…?

Experience the story through several characters’ eyes as you piece together the true order of disturbing events, in this unforgettable prelude to the Boogiepop Phantom anime series![2]

Plot Summary

Prelude

Masami Saotome enters the tea room of Shinyo Academy and finds the corpse of Minako Yurihara, before being attacked by the Manticore, which was hanging on the ceiling. While being attacked, he feels happiness for some reason.

Kei Niitoki introduces herself to the reader, and explains how none of the people involved in the following event ever managed to grasp the full picture of what happened.[8]

Chapter One: Romantic Warrior

Keiji Takeda briefly describes his experience meeting Boogiepop, and proclaims that the shinigami is gone forever from his life, and that he will never know whether he had told him the truth.

Waiting in the station for his girlfriend Touka Miyashita, who is late for their date, Keiji Takeda runs into Masami Saotome and a few of his friends, who are going on a double date. Then, he sees Echoes, stumbling forward on the street with his tattered clothes and crying pitifully, as all the other passersby ignore him. However, only one person, dressed in a black cloak, approached the crying man. Boogiepop whispered words of encouragement in Echoes' ear, which stopped his crying, and then angrily admonished the indolent witnesses who didn't do anything to help. Two policemen came to inspect the suspicious scene, and tried to question Boogiepop. The shinigami, however, skillfully avoided the policemen, and escaped, while Echoes disappeared during the confusion. Keiji, witnessing this scene, recognized Boogiepop's face to be that of his girlfriend, Touka.

The next day, on his way to school, Keiji runs into his friend Naoko Kamikishiro, who questions him about the previous day's date. Keiji dodges the question, and then the two meet Kei Niitoki at the school gate. After a short conversation, Keiji and Naoko move on, and the boy tells his schoolmate about what he saw the previous day. Then, Keiji approaches Touka's classroom and, after a short while, encounters Touka in the hallway. The two don't exchange any words, as they are careful to not make their relationship known at school, but he doesn't sense any abnormalities in her.

Later, during the disciplinary committee meeting, Keiji hears Touka being called over to her classroom over the PA system, and unintentionally jerks in his seat, causing the teacher to notice him. After leaving the meeting, under the excuse of feeling dizzy, along with Niitoki, who said that she would escort him to the infirmary, the two have a confrontation, in which Niitoki admits that she likes him, before sprinting out of the infirmary.

After class, Keiji heads to the back of the school, his and Touka's usual meeting place, but finds it empty. However, he sees a black silhouette on the rooftop of the school. Recognizing it, he runs towards the roof, where he finally meets Boogiepop, who explains his circumstances to Keiji.

That evening, Keiji calls Touka's house, and her mother responds, sounding quite distressed. After passing the phone over to her daughter, Keiji asks if the girl had gone anywhere on the day when they were supposed to meet up. After the girl tells him that she doesn't know, he concludes that Boogiepop had been saying the truth.

Flashing back to their conversation on the rooftop, Keiji recalls how the shinigami had told him about how he's occupying Touka's body, and how he had risen back to the surface after a new threat appeared. When Keiji asked what this threat was, Boogiepop first made him promise to never tell anyone, and then divulged that the threat this time is a man-eater.

After ending the call with Touka, Keiji tried to comprehend what Boogiepop had told him, as well as the possibility of his girlfriend being mentally ill. On the way home from school, he had bought a book written by Seiichi Kirima on the topic of multiple personalities, and learned that the illness is almost unheard of in Japan.

The next day, in a conversation with Boogiepop, Keiji asked the shinigami if he was, as the book described, just another 'possibility' of Touka's. Boogiepop rejected the idea, telling the boy that he is an automatic device which saves mankind from whatever threats may endanger it. The two continue conversing.

After that, it becomes a routine for the two to meet up on the rooftop and talk about various things. During the course of their many chats, Boogiepop tells Keiji of his past and his first appearance, during an incident with a serial killer.

One day, Naoko Kamikishiro stops coming to school. Keiji asks her classmates for details, but all of them are convinced she just ran away, and don't feel any concern for her. Keiji is uneasy about her disappearance, but ultimately does not know anything about the situation. When he goes up to the roof, he finds it empty.

The next day, he finds Boogiepop on the roof, without wearing his costume. When Keiji asks why, Boogiepop tells him that there is no need to wear the costume, because this would be the last time he would appear, as the danger is gone. Keiji is distressed, and desperately asks him to stay, admitting that the shinigami is his only friend. Boogiepop, however, responds that Keiji and Touka have their own jobs to do, before vanishing without a trace. After hurrying down the stairs, he finds Touka waiting for him, smiling. Keiji offers to walk Touka to the station, and the two leave the school. Waiting at the school's gate is Kei, along with the school's 'problem child', Nagi Kirima. Nagi offers to shake Touka's hand, and then the couple leave. As they're walking along, Touka admits that she's jealous of Keiji for not having any exams, and then admits to him that she remembers standing him up on that date. As he watches Touka laugh, Keiji thinks that it's their job to laugh, since Boogiepop is unable to.[9]

Interlude

The Manticore watches over a deceased victim in a dimly lit room. Then, it begins licking the girl all over her body, with each spot it touches changing color. Afterwards, the corpse begins dissolving into a strange smoke, which the Manticore then breathes in, eating all that remained of the girl. After any traces disappeared, the Manticore licked its lips and laughed.[10]

Chapter Two: The Return of the Fire Witch

Kazuko Suema reflects on the urban legend of Boogiepop, concluding that it's simply a baseless rumor created from a desire to overlap reality with some fantastical world.

On a day after summer vacation, while Kazuko eats her lunch, her classmate, Kyouko Kinoshita asks her about some random piece of trivia, to which Kazuko answers accurately, prompting the other girls in the classroom to call her 'obsessed'. Kyouko then asks Kazuko what kind of person would be most likely to commit murder from their class, a query the other girls take great interest in. As Kazuko gives a boiled-down psychological analysis on somebody who would likely commit murder, the girls all immediately associate it with Nagi Kirima, a notorious girl at their school, who was currently skipping that day. As the girls starts hurling mean-spirited assumptions and rumors about Nagi, Kazuko alone doesn't share their negative impression, although she does not show it on the outside, in an attempt to go along with the crowd. After the girls laugh a little too loudly, Minako Yurihara, the best student in the class, a loner with no friends, turns to glare at them. Afterwards, somebody brings up the rumor of Boogiepop, and Kazuko, unfamiliar with the urban legend, asks about it, and they fill her in. Upon learning, Kazuko internally scoffs at the legend, thinking it to be absurd and stupid. Once Akio Kimura, the class lady killer, walks in, the girls immediately end their conversation, Kazuko concluding that this urban legend is being kept secret from boys. No longer paying attention to their conversation, Kazuko explains the origins of her criminal psychology obsession, which came about as a result of her almost being killed by a serial killer five years ago.

As Kazuko, who complains in her mind about being forced to take a Modern Japanese class, and a classmate of hers walk toward their classroom, they hear an announcement calling for Touka Miyashita over the speakers, with the other girl theorizing that she faked illness to go on a date with her senior boyfriend. Then, Kazuko's classmate sees Boogiepop on the roof, with Kazuko, while doubtful, opting to check the roof for her, but ultimately finding it empty.

As they make their way home, Kyouko Kinoshita asks Kazuko what murderers think. Kazuko asks Kyouko why she was so interested in such things recently, and Kyouko explains that she suspects Nagi Kirima may be a killer, mentioning an earlier incident where the delinquent girl gets herself suspended for smoking. Kyouko then explains that Nagi did something to a girl she knew, and theorizes that she may have gotten herself suspended on purpose to do it. Kazuko remembers how Nagi seemed to have deliberately gotten herself caught, as well as other instances of her unusual behavior, sometimes skipping entire days of school, but leaving the teachers no chance to take any action against her, as she always came back with all of the material completely memorized. Then, all of a sudden, Kyouko lets out a shriek, seeing the girl they were just talking about, Nagi, appear in front of her, wearing a leather suit. Kyouko attempts to run, but is quickly captured in a hold by Nagi, who interrogates her about Akiko Kusatsu's death, but quickly realizes that struggling girl has no involvement in that. As Kazuko approaches, concerned, Nagi tells Kyouko to never attempt something stupid just because her friends tell her to, before turning to leave. However, when Kazuko stops her, Nagi tells her to move on from the murders from five years ago, leaving Kazuko confounded as to where she could have gotten that information from.

After swearing to keep it a secret, Kyouko finally tells Kazuko about her past, explaining that, three months ago, a girl who Kyouko was in junior high with, named Akiko Kusatsu, approached her group of friends with a strange blue drug, which the girls started using, as Akiko offered it free of charge. Soon after, however, many of her friends started vanishing with no trace left behind, with Akiko herself disappearing soon after. Then, one of the girls in her group of friends announced that she would no longer have anything to do with the drug, after Nagi Kirima threatened her. After that, she would go after each girl in order, with Kyouko being last. After stating that she would never take drugs again, Kyouko began crying, desperately asking Kazuko to not tell anyone. Kazuko did her best to calm her down, then took the girl home. While walking through the streets at night, Kazuko reflected on the girl's account, wondering whether she should call the police, but ultimately deciding not to, as that would get Kyouko's story out, which would result in her being expelled. Then, under a streetlight, Kazuko looked over her class registry and found Nagi's address, deciding to pay her a visit.

Arriving at the address specified, Kazuko was confused for a second, seeing no nameplate with the name 'Kirima', but instead, one bearing the name 'Taniguchi'. Upon making up her mind, she rang the doorbell, and asked for Nagi. A cheerful Masaki Taniguchi opens the door and invites her in, but informs her that Nagi hadn't arrived yet, so he suggests her to wait inside. Inside, Masaki offers Kazuko tea, and remarks that he had never met one of Nagi's friends before. Then, he explains his circumstances to her, how he arrived in Japan only six months ago, and how his parents are still abroad. Soon after, Nagi comes home and invites Kazuko to her room, a room lacking any decoration, filled instead by books and a desk covered by computer screens. After offering her to sit, Nagi explains that Masaki is not actually related to her, but just a step brother from her mother's second marriage, after her father's death. When she mentions that her father is the esteemed writer Seiichi Kirima, Kazuko freaks out, being one of his biggest fans. Nagi continues to explain her family circumstances, how she has been living off her father's plentiful inheritance all this time. Afterwards, Kazuko asks the question on her mind the entire time: why she saved Kyouko and all of her friends. Nagi, instead of directly responding, relates how, after her parents' divorce, she lived with her father, who worked all the time. One day, upon coming home from school, she found him bleeding out on the floor, telling her with his last words that 'being normal means accepting everything as it is and never changing', and telling her to do things that aren't normal. He then passed out and never woke up again. Nagi states that, after that day, she gave up on living normally, and admits to having a messiah complex. Nagi then boots up her computer and shows Kazuko a record of every student's attendance, which she got from logging into the school's network, and explains that she noticed Kyouko's group getting worse, and investigated them, eventually figuring out the drug story. Kazuko recognizes the illegality of such an endeavor, but Nagi states that somebody has to help the students, even though it may be through dirty means. Then, Nagi hands over a phone to Kazuko, and tells her to call her home, informing them that she would bring a friend home for dinner.

The next day, Nagi comes to school, not interacting at all with Kyouko or Kazuko, only sleeping on her desk for the entire day. Kazuko wants to talk to Nagi more about last night, but has no chance to. Kazuko ended up inviting Nagi for dinner at her house, because Nagi expected them to be worried about their daughter being out so late otherwise. As they set off towards, Kazuko's home, the two girls talk. Eventually, Nagi tells Kazuko to 'get out while she still can' and forget about the incident from five years ago. Kazuko then confronts Nagi, asking her how she even knows about that event. Nagi becomes flustered, as she didn't realize Kazuko's past was a secret, due to never interacting with anyone else in her class. Kazuko concludes that she must have been the one to save her from the serial killer. Nagi tries to evade the question, and tells Kazuko to not bring it up, as she doesn't want to talk about it, not before making a confusing statement, saying that it was Boogiepop, the urban legend, who saved her life.

As she stares at Nagi's sleeping figure on her desk, Kazuko thinks about how she'd like to thank the her for what she's done. When Nagi moaned slightly in her sleep, the teacher became enraged and made her answer the poorly written and slightly obscured formula on the blackboard. Nagi, after squinting for a moment, instantly solves the formula before going back to sleep, embarrassing the teacher and making the class giggle. Kazuko, stifling a laugh, thinks about how it's just another regular day, with the Fire Witch back among them.[11]

Interlude

Echoes, having escaped from the police thanks to Boogiepop, wanders through a desolate back alley, and then collapses on the ground once more, not crying this time, thanks to the shinigami's encouraging words. As he confirms his determination to eliminate the Manticore in his mind, a girl, Naoko Kamikishiro, sees and approaches him, worried for his well being. Despite the alien man being unable to speak using words that he didn't already hear, Naoko somehow perfectly understood all of his thoughts. She decided to guide him to the school, wanting to give him a place to live. Then, she called Nagi, asking her for help.[12]

Chapter Three: No One Lives Forever

Masami Saotome first fell in love when he was 15 years old.

Akiko Kusatsu asks Masami out on a double date, along with Sachiko Noguchi and Jun Sakamoto. He accepts the proposal. Later, the group meets at the station, running into Keiji Takeda, who is waiting for his girlfriend, Touka, who was seemingly running late. After the movie, the group notices 'Minako Yurihara' walking on the street. While the others speak about how they admire her genius, Masami alone knows 'her' true nature. Then, the group goes to a karaoke place, suggested by Akiko. During the performances, when nobody is paying attention, he drugs Akiko's drink.

The girl Masami fell in love with was Nagi Kirima, who, upon hearing his confession, rejects him, not having the time for a relationship, and also believing that a normal person like him shouldn't be involved with her. Saotome accepts the rejection without feeling hurt at all, but rather, relieved.

After leaving the karaoke place, Sakamoto offers to take Noguchi home, leaving Masami to escort Akiko, who begins to feel sick all of a sudden. Noguchi is hesitant to be left alone with Sakamoto at first, but is eventually convinced (although the two would end up having intercourse that night, leading to Noguchi's old fashioned father tracking Sakamoto down and cursing him out in front of his entire class). Once the two are gone, and Akiko gradually gets weaker and weaker, Masami drags her into an abandoned parking garage. Once arriving on the seventh floor, he places her (who had already stopped breathing by then), on the ground, and moments later, a creature jumps all the way to the top. It's the Manticore, with the visage of Minako Yurihara. It laments the fact that it can't eat her now, but Masami assures it that they could get five more victims if they play their cards well. Convinced, the Manticore kisses the body, forcing a gaseous essence inside her. As Masami watches with sick pleasure, the Manticore continues the kiss for 30 seconds, then pulls back, its lips now red. Then, the corpse becomes revitalized, with a blue liquid pouring out of its orifices. Having become a slave, Akiko is ordered to administer the drug produced by the Manticore to her friend group, and is robbed of her memories of the encounter.

Five minutes later, Akiko, having come to her senses, is walking alongside Masami. She tries and fails to remember what had previously happened, unaware that she had already died, and was simply a puppet. As she slowly comes to her senses, all of her emotions quickly fade away, even forgetting her love for Masami, not even realizing that he is the one she previously treasured. Then, he meets with the Manticore at the cafe Tristan, and the two discuss their plans for the future, looking like a regular couple. Masami flashes back to the day he first encountered the Manticore, in the tea ceremony room. When he entered the room, he was met with the corpse of Minako Yurihara. Then, he was attacked by the Manticore. Pinned back, the Manticore explained to him that it would take his body and blend into society. Hearing this, Masami said that it would be more helpful for it to keep him alive, explaining that, if it became him, people would notice, as he was fairly popular. The Manticore asked him why he wasn't struggling for his life at all, to which the boy proclaimed that 'he loved her'. Back in the cafe, Masami and the Manticore plot out the strategies they should take in order to remake society, with them at the center. Beforehand, the Manticore only thought of survival, so she accepted the new goal gleefully. Then, with the conversation ended, the Manticore declares its love for Masami once more.

All according to their plan, Akiko spreads the drug to her friends, and then they kidnap and kill them in order. However, they are unable to turn them into slaves this time. They already killed many high school girls from multiple schools, leaving no traces, and throwing off the authorities. The teacners don't spare a thought for the missing girls, as they see them as 'troublemakers'. Soon, however, Akiko's behavior becomes strange. Concluding that she began to break down, they dispose of her, fearing that, if she were to be examined, the "institution" that created the Manticore would find out. The Manticore, frustrated that she is unable to make any more slaves, promises that she will do it next time, but Masami advises that they shouldn't kill any more people from the school, or they would be found out. The Manticore accepts obediently.

The next day, a female teacher asks Masami to keep watch on Nagi (who is sitting in the teacher's restroom with a cigarette in her mouth in order to get suspended) while she gets another teacher on the scene. Nagi questions him about Akiko Kusatsu, which makes him very uneasy, although he doesn't let it show on his face. Then, Nagi is hauled off by the arriving teachers to the guidance office. Left alone, Masami realizes that Nagi must have been looking into his crimes, and that she would soon find him out.

Upon telling the Manticore about Nagi in the pool changing room, it becomes enraged and suggests they kill her. Masami protests, bringing up her family's wealth and the unlikelihood of her disappearance being put down as a runaway. The Manticore, however, accuses Masami of still being in love with the girl, to which Masami becomes startled. However, just then, Naoko walks in, calling out to Echoes. Masami tries to stop it, but the Manticore lunges at her and murders her instantly. Masami yelles at it, asking it why she killed the girl, but the Manticore showes extreme fear, having heard the name of her original. Masami tries to calm it down, and then, realizing the body belongs to Nagi's friend, assures the shaken Manticore that the advantage is on their side. Then, they take Naoko's body to the basement, where it is consumed. During this, the lyrics of a song called "No One Lives Forever" flash through Masami's mind.[13]

Chapter Four: I Wish You Heaven

Two years after graduating high school, Akio Kimura receives an anonymous letter telling him that Naoko Kamikishiro is dead and that he should forget about her. At first, he suspects the letter to be a prank, but he thinks that it's strange for a prank to arrive after so much time passed. Akio then remembers the strange way in which he and Naoko began a relationship.

While out smoking a cigarette behind the school, Akio overhears Naoko confessing to a younger boy named Shirou Tanaka, who suspects Naoko of tricking him, due to the unusual nature of a third year student asking a first year one out. As Shirou waits for Naoko to say what she had to say, he eventually shrieks that he "can't do this" and runs away, leaving a disappointed Naoko behind. Then, she turns toward Akio (whom she'd noticed since the beginning), and joins him for a smoke. Akio, noticing the tear tracks on her face, concludes that she was serious about her confession. Akio tries to console her, but Naoko tells him not to be nice to her, or else she may fall for him as well. Then, the two skip class to continue hanging out. After this, the two make it a habit to go on various dates.

Eventually, Naoko manages to convince Shirou to go out with her as well, with Akio often commenting that he doesn't know what she sees in the boy. While on a ferris wheel at an amusement park, Naoko and Akio discuss Shirou, with Naoko expressing her reason for liking him, and the first time she saw him at an archery competition, predicting that he is meant for bigger things. Then she says that she prefers playing around with Akio because he's a mess, just like her, saying that Shirou doesn't understand her at all. Then, Naoko leans in to kiss Akio. Upon being asked whether he does that with Shirou too, she bluntly denies the claim. Akio then thinks that she finds her most attractive when she's being herself, not deliberately trying to act cute or appealing.

Returning to the present, Akio still has that letter on his mind, and decides to skip his university classes and visit the town where he attended high school, where he enoounters Touka Miyashita, a former classmate, who failed exams and had to repeat a year. The two catch up, talking about Touka's boyfriend and Akio's college life. The conversation soon turns to Naoko, whom Akio still hadn't moved on from. Touka, noticing this, becomes irritated and drags Akio to the cafe Tristan, where she scolds Akio for playing a hero in the past, when he took the fall once the school discovered signs of Naoko having invited a stranger to live in the school, leading to his suspension and a scandal among the student body, with his reputation permanently ruined. He then tells Touka that he did actually know who Naoko was seeing, namely, an alien, who took her back to space. Upon hearing this answer, Touka slaps Akio, telling him to move on already, although his words were exactly what she'd told him once.

One day, Naoko asks Akio if he thinks that human existence is justified, to which Akio responds that he doesn't think so. Then, Naoko tells him about how she met a man from outer space, and how he was sent to Earth by some large consciousness. She explains that he tried to mimick a human, but didn't get it exactly right, and ended up over-evolved, which put him under some corporation's attention, who cloned him, and ended up making a man-eating monster, who escaped from the research facility. Therefore, Echoes went after it, to try and stop it from taking over the world with its abilities. Upon hearing this, Akio asks why Echoes would care about what happens to the human race, and Naoko responds that he's just nice. When Akio asks where Echoes is now, Naoko says he's at the school, and makes Akio promise that he won't tell anyone (a promise which he keeps, leading to his suspension). While still not sure what Naoko's story about Echoes means, Akio tells her that if she just opens up her heart to him, he'll definitely learn to like humanity. Then, the two part ways. That was the last time Akio ever saw Naoko.

When their orders arrive, Touka notices the waitress' look of interest, and cools down, apologizing for slapping him. She then tells Akio that Naoko would have probably wanted him to move on too. Then, as the two part ways, Akio tells her that she should try to keep her hero complex under control and study. As he turns to leave, she calls out to him again. However, it seems to him like a boy took her place, like she transformed. Boogiepop, having momentarily taken over Touka, tells Akio that Naoko performed her duty admirably, and that the only thing he can do is perform his as well and make her proud. Then, the shinigami disappears into the crowd, leaving Akio to stare after her, speechless.

Akio arrives at Shinyo Academy, sneaking in through a gap within the fence that Naoko had shown him years earlier. Even though he knows that the sender of the letter would not be here, he can't help but show up, as it is the only remaining place that connects Akio to Naoko. As Akio wanders through the school, he thinks about his experience with Naoko, about how she told him and only him about her secrets, and about how he'll continue to love her for the rest of his life, impossible to understand as she was. He then arrives at the gym storage room that Naoko had hidden Echoes in. As he looks around with a flashlight, he discovers a cover near the main entrance, leading to the foundations of the gym, designed to absorb the impact of an earthquake. When he turns to exit, he notices something on the floor. Examining it closer, he realizes, to his horror, that it's a mummified human hand. Soon after, the hand crumbled into dust, perhaps due to exposure to the air outside. Akio wonders what could have happened two years ago, but there's nobody there to give him any answers.[14]

Chapter Five: Heartbreaker

Shirou Tanaka comes asking for Kei Niitoki, questioning her about whether Naoko Kamikishiro is at currently at school, to which Kei responds that she hasn't seen her come in. Masami Saotome happens to overhear them, and suggests that the first year boy should ask Nagi Kirima, as she and Naoko had been friends for years. Shirou rushes to Nagi's classroom, with Kei and Masami following her. However, they don't find her there, and they hear from Kazuko Suema that she hasn't come to class at all that day, even though Kei saw her coming to school.

Nagi, flustered due to Naoko's disappearance, interrogates Echoes about the girl, but the man communicates that he doesn't know anything. Nagi, assuming the worst might have happened to her friend, declares that she will find the Manticore, and that Echoes will help her. The man nods, secretly surveying Nagi's reactions.

The earlier incident still on her mind, Kei offers to take up gate duty after school. However, no matter how much time passes, Nagi doesn't show up. Eventually, Masami and Shirou arrive, and, upon learning that Kei still hasn't seen her leave, the three decide to look for her throughout the school. While searching, Masami tells Kei about Naoko and Shirou's relationship, and also about her simultaneous relationship with Akio. As the three make their way to the roof, they notice a silhouette coming down the fire escape, but it disappears before the trio can catch them. They write the incident off as a student leaving school, and go to investigate the gym. When Kei and Shirou try to go inside the storage room, Masami quickly tells them that nothing is there, hiding the evidence of Echoes' living in the school. After leading them away from the clues, he suggests that they try to summon Nagi using the PA system, advancing his plan. Kei quickly agrees, and the three make their way to the broadcasting room.

The teacher on night watch, Haruo Nakayama, is unable to hear the announcement made by the three students, as he was knocked unconscious by the Manticore. As it decided it had killed to many people, the man narrowly escapes death, but is left with after effects similar to LSD flashbacks for many years afterwards.

Nagi, hearing the announcement, assumes that it's a trap by the Manticore. Echoes advises her not to go, but she decides that deliberately running into this trap would be the only way to not let the Manticore escape. As he watches the fearless girl equip a powerful stun gun, the alien man ponderes "which is it".

Five minutes later, the trio begin to think that Nagi wouldn't come, or that she had already left. Masami, however, insists to make another announcement. Right as he begins to do so, however, the lights in the room are shut off, and Nagi enters, tazing all three of them, knocking them out. Upon waking up, Kei finds herself tied up, along with Masami and Shirou, in the school's lecture hall. Seeing them wake up, Nagi begins to interrogate them, with Echoes dressed as a student beside her. Soon enough, Nagi concludes that none of them are altered by the Manticore, and tells them to go home. Kei angrily demands that Nagi explain the situation, but she refuses, telling her to keep quiet about it. In her anger, Kei almost falls over, but Echoes catches her, and releases her from her bonds, then doing the same with the other two boys. Then, when Shirou questions Nagi about Naoko, she tells him that she's worried about the girl herself, but refuses any help from them, stating that only somebody "screwed up" like her could do anything about the situation. Hearing this, Masami recalls her words as she shot him down in the past, and shows a ruthless smile for an instant, which only Kei notices. When Shirou asks if Naoko is okay, Nagi just tells him that he should forget about her, not explaining any more.

Nagi and Echoes lead Kei, Masami and Shirou out of the lecture hall, and instruct them to go home. Kei, still upset, is about to go off on Nagi once more, but she is stopped by Masami, who then begins speaking to Nagi, telling her that he is glad that she rejected him back then, because otherwise, he'd have been the Manticore's enemy instead. As he speaks, he takes out a mechanical pencil, which, upon finishing his monologue, he uses to stab Echoes in the throat, declaring that, now, Nagi is "their enemy". In that same instant, the Manticore, under the guise of Minako Yurihara, jumps on Echoes, cutting him open from shoulder to waist with its fingernails. Distracted by the appearance of the monster, Nagi fails to defend herself against Masami, who kills her by cutting her throat open with a small knife. Seeing this, Echoes dodges the Manticore's attacks, takes Nagi's body and runs away, with Masami telling the monster to chase him. Seeing the sudden carnage, Kei remains stunned, while Shirou runs away, screaming. Masami began approaching the shaking Kei, proclaiming that killing is fun as well, even though he originally planned to be killed by Nagi.

As he flees, Echoes realizes that the pencil he was stabbed with contains a poison synthesized by the Manticore, which severely weakened him. The man wonders why Masami, a boy that hadn't suffered any brainwashing, would ally himself with that monster, and then looks at Nagi's lifeless body, once again wondering "which is it". Soon enough, the Manticore begins to catch up, smiling. Echoes leaves Nagi's corpse in the bushes of the school garden, and then is shortly hit with a powerful kick from the Manticore, sending him flying.

After hearing the thud of Echoes getting kicked, Kei snaps out of her confusion and dodges Masami's attack, quickly arming herself with the stun gun that Nagi had left on the floor, which stops Masami from approaching. Kei flusteredly interrogates Masami about the monster taking the guise of Minako, and upon hearing the name Manticore, she recalls its meaning of "man-eater", and connects the dots, realizing that the girls who went missing, including Naoko, were eaten by the creature. As Kei realizes that she was used by Masami to trick Nagi, she askes him if he lied about loving her. He responds by saying that he did indeed love her, which is why he wanted to kill her with his own hands. Hearing this, Kei tries to attack him using the stun gun, but Masami dodges easily, proclaiming that he loves her strong-willed eyes. As she swings her weapon wildly, Echoes, sent flying by the kick, passes over her head and slams into the ground, torn to pieces. While that distracts Kei, Masami kicks the stun gun from her hand. The Manticore tells Masami that it would finish things, and Masami agrees. Kei runs over to Echoes, who has holes all over his body and a severed arm. The Manticore laughes, telling Kei that Echoes wouldn't be able to save her, and Masami follows up, saying that he is weaker than expected. Seeing the two, Kei shouts that they aren't humans, but rather, devils.

Hearing this, Echoes wonders "which were humans". The ones who captured him, studied his body and created the Manticore, or the ones who showed him kindness, the cloaked boy, Naoko and Nagi. Hearing her proclamation, the Manticore laughes vulgarly, telling her that it was never human, and that Masami is nothing like the other foolish humans. Through tears, Kei shouts back that, even though she and Echoes would die there, others like Nagi would stand in their way, unable to ignore their evil. Seeing that, even through her fear of death, Kei still holds on to him, trying to protect him from the Manticore, Echoes finally comes to a decision. The Manticore chuckles at Kei's words, deciding to "become" Nagi next. Seeing her confusion, it explains that it would take her form and gain control of her vast wealth and information network, and also that it would turn Kei into a mindless slave who could feel nothing. As Kei hugs Echoes' body in horror, the alien man raises his hand toward the sky and, for the first time, speaks a command for him to be turned into information and transmitted back to the source. Then, the air around them begins to glow.

That evening, an electrical disturbance is recorded in the area, causing a massive blackout. Witness reports all say that a strange light could be seen covering the sky for just a second. But the reports are all eventually forgotten.

Kei sees as Echoes becomes a beam of light which almost swallows up the Manticore, until Masami pushes it out of the way, shielding it with his own body, which ends up completely disintegrated. Kei is thrown aside by the shockwave, and when she regains her senses, the light disappears. As she looks around, she can only see the Manticore, with its uniform completely burnt off and half of its body charred black. It sits there, looking blankly at the sky. Then, it lets out a howl of pain as the loss of its loved one sets in. When Kei tries to run away, the Manticore attempts to follow suit, dragging itself after her. As it keeps getting closer, Kei begins to hear the tune of someone whistling Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg. Then, Kei slips and falls to the ground. Turning around, she sees the Manticore reaching out for her, and right as she thinks she is fated to die, the Manticore's hand is cut off by a nigh invisible metal wire, which then twists around the monster's head and tightens. The Manticore begins to claw at its throat, but cannot escape from the wire. As she watches this, she realizes that she must have tripped on the wire, and, following it back to its source, she sees something impossible. Her classmate, Touka Miyashita, dressed in a black cloak and a black hat. When Kei says her name, the figure instead tells her that it is currently Boogiepop, with a boyish voice. Then, Boogiepop turns his attention back to the Manticore struggling to escape, and proclaims that, even though it is stronger than a human, he can make use of a human's unconscious strength, as he is only borrowing this body. He then gives the command for Shirou to shoot it, and, in that same instant, a duralumin arrow pierces the Manticore's chest. Spinning around, Kei sees Shirou Tanaka, who aimes his bow at the captured monster. In that moment, when it knows that it has lost, the Manticore shows an expression of momentary relief, before Boogiepop mercilessly orders Shirou to shoot its head. He kills it at its most beautiful, before it has a chance to grow ugly, just as the legend say. Cracks begin to run along its body, before it crumbles into purple smoke, drifting in all directions. Then, when Shirou comes over to her, Kei asks what happened, and Shirou explains that the shinigami had shown up suddenly, offering to help. Meanwhile, Boogiepop undoes the wire, and then goes over to where Echoes laid Nagi's body and kicks it. Then, even though she was supposed to be dead, Nagi awakes, with Boogiepop explaining that Echoes gave part of his life to her, thereby saving her. As she gets up, she asks him why he didn't come out earlier, and he responds that her investigation had helped him find out the nature of the danger. As they converse, it seems to Kei like they'd known each other for years. Then, Boogiepop comes over to Kei and Shirou, and tells them to take care of Nagi, while he would clean up the mess left behind. Then, before fleeing, he tells Kei that it's thanks to strong people like her that the world can remain a decent place, and so, thanks her.

Kei asks Nagi how the rumors about Boogiepop even started, and Nagi speculates that they probably came from Touka herself, who spread them without consciously realizing that she herself was the shinigami in question. Then, they talk more about the after effects of the incident and about Minako Yurihara's disappearance. In the end, they bitterly decide that it would be best to not say anything of the incident ever again, otherwise they may be targeted by the institution that made the Manticore in the first place. The two head for the school gate, where the person in charge asks Kei to take over for her while she goes to the bathroom. As she notes how everyone likes using her, she remembers Naoko always asking her to fudge the numbers to make her appear on time, and suddenly turns horribly sad as she asks Nagi whether the girl is really dead, to which Nagi assents sorrowfully. Kei remembers speaking to Shirou earlier, who thanked them for Naoko's sake. When asked what he really thought of Naoko, he said that, at first, he decided that he'd break up with her if they found her, but that now, he was no longer sure. Kei had no response to this, only wondering how or if she should say anything to Akio Kimura, her other lover. But, in the end, she thought that they all had to return to their everyday routine. Then, Nagi tells Kei about how Naoko had said in the past that Echoes was an angel that God had sent on Earth to make the final decision on whether mankind should be destroyed or allowed to live. Though Nagi then says that she believes Echoes was just a failed biotechnological experiment, Kei becomes convinced of Naoko's words, as she'd witnessed Echoes' final moments, and can't believe a power like that could come from human hands. They then come to the conclusion that the one who'd really saved the Earth wasn't Boogiepop or one of them, but the love-struck girl who'd been nice to Echoes when nobody else was. Kei has no answer, just staring silently at the sky.

As Nagi and Kei stand there, a boy and a girl come walking towards them; Touka and Keiji Takeda, the boy who'd broken Kei's heart. As Kei tries to appear casual, Nagi exchanges a handshake with Touka, meeting this side of her for the first time. Then, the two leave, and Kei sighs, still left full of uncertainties. Soon, Nagi turns back towards the sky, and starts whistling a familiar song, Kei singing along with her: the Gondola Song, the one which Naoko had loved so much.[15]

Characters

Note: Bold = First Appearance/Mention

Illustrations

Musical References

  1. The name of the first chapter, Romantic Warrior, is a reference to the title song of the sixth studio album of the jazz fusion band Return to Forever, released in 1976.
  2. Naoko Kamikishiro is described as often singing the "Gondola Song" (Gondola no Uta), a song popular during the Taishou period of Japan, most popularly featured as the theme song of the 1952 film Ikiru.
  3. The name of the Manticore is a reference to the song of the same name by the band Emerson, Lake & Palmer, from their album "Tarkus", released in 1971.
  4. The name of Echoes is a reference to the song of the same name by Pink Floyd, featured in the album Meddle, released in 1971.
  5. The name of the second chapter, The Return of the Fire Witch, is a reference to the title song of the album "In The Court Of The Crimson King" by King Crimson.
  6. The name of the third chapter, No One Lives Forever, is a reference to the song of the same name by the band Oingo Boingo, featured in their fifth album "Dead Man's Party", released in 1985.
  7. The name of the fourth chapter, I Wish You Heaven, is a reference to the song "I Wish U Heaven" by Prince, featured in his album "Lovesexy", released in 1988.
  8. The name of the fifth and final chapter, Heartbreaker, is a reference to the song of the same name by Led Zepellin, featured in their 1969 album, "Led Zeppelin II".
  9. The BGM for this book, as revealed in the afterword, is Heartbreaker -Live ver.- by Grand Funk Railroad.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Boogiepop Volume 1 (in Japanese). Published by Dengeki Bunko
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Boogiepop Volume 1 (in English). Published by Seven Seas Entertainment
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Boogiepop Volume 1 Reprint (in Japanese) Published by Dengeki Bunko
  4. Boogiepop Omnibus 1 (in English). Published by Seven Seas Entertainment
  5. Boogiepop and Others Imdb Page
  6. Boogiepop Phantom Mal Page
  7. Boogiepop and Others 2019 Mal Page
  8. Boogiepop and Others Novel, Prelude
  9. Boogiepop and Others Novel, Chapter 1
  10. Boogiepop and Others Novel, First Interlude
  11. Boogiepop and Others Novel, Chapter 2
  12. Boogiepop and Others Novel, Second Interlude
  13. Boogiepop and Others Novel, Chapter 3
  14. Boogiepop and Others Novel, Chapter 4
  15. Boogiepop and Others Novel, Chapter 5

Navigation

Boogiepop
Series
1. Boogiepop and Others • 2. Boogiepop Returns 1 • 3. Boogiepop Returns 2 • 4. Booogiepop in the Mirror • 5. Boogiepop Overdrive • 6. Boogiepop at Dawn • 7. Boogiepop Missing • 8. Boogiepop Countdown • 9. Boogiepop Wicked • 10. Boogiepop Paradox • 11. Boogiepop Unbalance • 12. Boogiepop Staccato • 13. Boogiepop Bounding • 14. Boogiepop Intolerance • 15. Boogiepop Question • 16. Boogiepop Darkly • 17. Boogiepop Unknown • 18. Boogiepop Within • 19. Boogiepop Changeling • 20. Boogiepop Antithese • 21. Boogiepop Doubtful • 22. Boogiepop Beautiful • 23. Boogiepop Almighty
Beat's Discipline Series 1. Beat's Discipline SIDE1 • 2. Beat's Discipline SIDE2 • 3. Beat's Discipline SIDE3 • 4. Beat's Discipline SIDE4
Repent Walpurgis Series 1. Repent Walpurgis FIRE1 • 2. Repent Walpurgis FIRE2 • 3. Repent Walpurgis FIRE3 • 4. Repent Walpurgis FIRE4
The Emperoider Spin Series 1. The Emperoider Spin SPIN1 • 2. The Emperoider Spin SPIN2 • 3. The Emperoider Spin SPIN3 • 4. The Emperoider Spin SPIN4
Night Watch Trilogy 1. The Night Watch into the Night Yawn • 2. The Night Watch under The Cold Moon • 3. The Night Watch against the Star-Crossed Star
Soul Drop
Series
1. Soul-Drop • 2. Memoria-Noise • 3. Maze-Prison • 4. Topolo-Shadow • 5. Crypt-Mask • 6. Out-Gap • 7. Cogito-Pinocchio
Miss Shizuru
Series
1. The Eccentric Dead in White Sickroom • 2. The Bottomless Closed Rooms in the Limited World • 3. The Silent Princess In The Unprincipled Tales • 4. The Cavalier Bleeds For The Blood • 5. The Insecure Insects In Hollow Holes
Jiken
Series
1. A Case of Dragonslayer • 2. Inside the Apocalypse Castle • 3. The Man in Pirate's Island • 4. Some Tragedies of No-Tear Land • 5. The Cruel Tale of ZANKOKU-GO • 6. Injustice of Innocent Princess
Ningen
Series
1. No Control, Man with No Future • 2. The Hatemonger
Others The Dance with Pluto and the BeastClockwork SerpentsNo Oxygen, Not To Be MirroredQuestions & Answers of Me & Devil in 100Like Toy SoldiersBeyond the Dragon's SkiesZero Trillion in Pangaea
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