|“||The story of Boogiepop is one that weighs heavily upon me. It's a subject I still haven't finished sorting out my feelings about.||”|
Keiji Takeda (竹田 啓司, Takeda Keiji) is a reoccuring character in the Boogiepop Series. He is a student at Shinyo Academy, a part-time designer, the boyfriend of Touka Miyashita and he later becomes the first true friend of Boogiepop.
Keiji is a normal-looking young man with short brown hair and brown eyes. He is seen wearing the Shinyo Academy male school uniform, which is a gakuran worn over a white shirt, and plain black pants.
In the anime, Keiji wears the Shinyo Academy male school uniform, consisting of a blue blazer worn over a white shirt with a red tie around the collar, and pale blue pants.
Keiji is a fairly normal young man. Because of the school rules that prohibit relationships between members of the opposite sex, he and Touka Miyashita have promised to never talk at school, instead creating a sign language that only they know. Despite the difficult circumstances around their relationship, the two are in love, although they rarely can see each other because of Touka's family circumstances and Keiji's designer job.
During his third year of high-school, a clear divide between him and the rest of the student body could clearly be seen. Because of Keiji's assured position at his father's designer company, the boy doesn't suffer through the same amount of stress as the rest of his peers, who have to study for college exams. As such, a sort of contempt for him was born in his schoolmates. Keiji himself doesn't appear to be too bothered by this, though.
Keiji became Boogiepop's first friend, when he started meeting up with him during the Manticore incident. Although, at first, he was worried about his girlfriend's health, as, in his eyes, Boogiepop was simply an alternate personality, during the time they spent together, Keiji grew close to the shinigami and when he heard that Boogiepop's work was done, and that he was going to, once again, disappear deep within Touka's mind, Keiji tried to ask him to stay around a little longer, but in the end couldn't keep him from going away. Although Keiji knew nothing of the supernatural incident, or about Boogiepop's involvement, he was very impressed by the time when the shinigami admonished the people who ignored the wounded Echoes, and grew to admire his willingness to say the things Keiji himself couldn't, and for having the courage to stand out.
During the time when she was still alive, Keiji was good friends with Naoko Kamikishiro, since both of them had romantic relationships, even though it was against school rules. Keiji himself said that there was some sort of peace of mind he felt from talking to her that he couldn't get from any other male friends. Keiji was also the object of Kei Niitoki's affection, but the boy rejected her for Touka. In spite of this, Kei got over her heartbreak quickly, and the two remained on friendly terms, although Keiji started to avoid the girl in order to not deal with the awkwardness.
Keiji was a friend of Kasumi Mikage, who he met in junior high. Keiji was the more serious person, while Kasumi was more casual, making them have contrasting personalities.
Unlike most of his peers, Keiji was a relatively lucky boy as his father owned a design company where the boy would be working after graduating from high-school, not needing to go to college at all. He was approached by Kei Niitoki with a confession, but he rejected her, where he instead becomes Touka Miyashita's boyfriend. At one point, he encountered Boogiepop and he later befriended the shinigami.
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Boogiepop and Others
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.
Boogiepop in the Mirror
- Keiji's first name is written with the characters for "say" and "director". The first kanji of his name might be in reference to how he is unable to say the things he believes out of the fear of being ostracized.
- Keiji's last name, Takeda, means "bamboo field".