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Which is it? Which is the truth?

–Echoes

Echoes (エコーズ, Ekōzu) is a supporting character from Boogiepop and Others. He is one of the four Empty Fangs sent to Earth to judge if the human race is worthy of survival.[1]

Personality

In order to not divulge any information to humans, Echoes was made unable to speak any words that haven't already been said to him. As a consequence, from the perspective of others, Echoes appears to be a quiet man. The exception to this is Naoko Kamikishiro, who, for unexplainable reasons, is able to understand his thoughts.[1]

Echoes seems to have a big sense of responsability, searching for the Manticore in order to stop it from attacking more humans, as he feels it was his fault the creature was born.[1] Through-out his time on Earth, he became very confused about his feelings about humans, as, even though the ones who captured and harmed him were humans, so were Naoko, Nagi Kirima and Boogiepop helped him when he was in danger. In the end, he decides that humans are worth saving, and sacrifices himself to kill the Manticore and save Nagi and Kei Niitoki.[2]

Appearance

Echoes takes the appearance of a young man with short brown hair and black eyes. Judging by how Kei Niitoki mistook him for a student when he wore a high-school uniform, it seems his apparant age is that of a high-school boy. He is seen wounded and wearing a tattered and torn brown jacket over a torn purple shirt, and blue jeans ripped apart at the ankles, giving off the appearance of a homeless man.

In the anime, Echoes looks significantly different, having long silver hair covering his yellow eyes, and wearing similarly ruined clothing. He has an orange jacket, ripped apart around his right arm, worn over a yellow T-shirt, black baggy pants and differently colored shoes.

Background

Echoes' exact past is enigmatic, as he is unable to give out informaton, but what is known is that he was sent from outer space by an extraterrestrial intelligent civilization known as the Empty Fangs, in order to judge if human the human race is worthy of survival.[1]

Some time after his arrival, he was kidnapped by the Towa Organization, who conducted many experiments on him, and eventually created a clone from his DNA, who would later come to be known as the Manticore. The Manticore eventually killed every one of the researchers from the institute and escaped to the outside world. Echoes felt responsible for the creature's existence, and so set out to capture and kill it.[1]

Story

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Boogiepop and Others

Chapter One: Romantic Warrior

Waiting in the station for his girlfriend Touka Miyashita, who is late for their date, Keiji Takeda 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.[3]

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.[1]

Chapter Three: No One Lives Forever

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 murderes 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.[4]

Chapter Four: I Wish You Heaven

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.[5]

Chapter Five: Heartbreaker

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.

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".

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.

As Kei swings her stun gun wildly at Masami, 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.

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.

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.[2]

Boogiepop at Dawn

Chapter 1: The Piper at the Gates of Dawn

After turning into data and being sent back to the source, in the form of a pillar of light, a small part of his being was left behind, wondering between dimensions. During this time, he synchronized with Makoto Hashizaka's dream dimension, created by the King of Distortion. Makoto having been saved from Zouragi's attack by Boogiepop, Echoes was left to wonder the wasteland, destroyed by the giant monster. After walking for a while, Echoes heard a whistling from somewhere. After following the noise, he found Boogiepop, who was left waiting for the end of the dream world, after having taken care of Zouragi, his enemy. To pass the time, Boogiepop and Echoes start conversing, and soon Boogiepop starts explaining his origins, and the first incident he took part in, when he defeated the evil Fear Ghoul.[6]

Chapter 7: The Piper at the Gates of Dawn "Reprise"

After finishing his tale, Boogiepop remained quiet for a few moments, before starting to yet again whistle. Echoes joined in, humming along the melody, as the world started to collapse and disappear around them. After finishing their song, Echoes said that he enjoyed singing for the first time. Boogiepop then said that the world they inhabited was almost at its end, and that they would soon say goodbye. Echoes thanked the shinigami, and told him that he would spend the rest of his days watching the world from afar. After being asked what he would be doing next, Boogiepop responded that he would have to meet the King of Distortion soon. Afterwards, the disappearing world soon caught up with Echoes, and the alien vanished from view, leaving Boogiepop to once again whistle alone, until the entire dream world disappeared.[7]

Boogiepop Phantom

Trivia

  • As he is only able to repeat the words he has heard, he was named Echoes, after the Greek nymph, Echo.
  • Echoes' name is also a reference to the song called Echoes from the album Meddle by Pink Floyd.
  • It is believed that his drastic anime design change was made to reflect Ameya of the Soul Drop Series, another Empty Fang.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Boogiepop and Others Novel, Second Interlude
  2. 2.0 2.1 Boogiepop and Others Novel, Chapter 5
  3. Boogiepop and Others Novel, Chapter 1
  4. Boogiepop and Others Novel, Chapter 3
  5. Boogiepop and Others Novel, Chapter 4
  6. Boogiepop at Dawn Novel, Chapter 1
  7. Boogiepop at Dawn Novel, Chapter 7
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