This Winter anime season gave us plenty of highly anticipated anime to choose from. We got the long-awaited adaptation of Shonen Jump hit The Promised Neverland, new JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, an adaptation of an early Osamu Tezuka work, and – the series I was most excited for – a special 20th anniversary entry into the Boogiepop canon.
Boogiepop and Others is a surreal psychological horror with supernatural elements thrown in. It’s about an entity, Boogiepop, who lives within a teenage girl. Boogiepop appears when the world is troubled, and believe me when I say this world is TROUBLED! There’s a shady organization drugging and brainwashing people, aliens(?) are popping down to Earth, and another highschool girl is running around in a catsuit and scaring the shit out of her peers…there’s a lot going on. It’s kind of hard to explain.
Which is the thing about Boogiepop. It’s kind of hard to explain…and hard to follow…and sometimes even hard to like.
I recently started watching 2004’s Monster after seeing it listed on “Best Anime” lists for years. It’s been on my to-watch list forever, and I had been putting it off simply because it’s 74 episodes and I figured that was too big of a commitment. I mean, I hesitate to watch stuff that’s 26 episodes long. I like the feeling of finishing a show and moving quickly on to the next one, you know? It clunks up my completionist goals if I have to commit to an anime for more than, like, ten hours.
I’m about twenty episodes into Monster (my attention span is doing good this time, guys!) and I love it. It’s an atmospheric, perfectly paced psychological horror with some dashes of historical fiction and medical drama thrown into the mix. Maybe a bit of magical realism, too. Oh, AND it’s a mystery. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted. The only thing that could make it better would be having some lesbians in there. Which, who knows, there’s still a chance – I have 54 episodes left, after all!
Not to sound like a cranky old get-off-my-lawn anime fan (again), but I can’t help but watch this and think, “damn, they don’t make them like they used to.” I generally keep up on seasonals, and I really can’t remember the last time I saw anything with a creepy atmosphere or drawn-out pacing quite like that of Monster’s, or like any of my other favorites from this late 90’s/early 2000’s era, for that matter. I’m talking about eerie, semi-experimental shit like Serial Experiments Lain, Ghost Hound, Ergo Proxy, Paranoia Agent, and others of its kind. Where have all the good psychological horrors gone? Where are all the mature, existentialist seinen series that I love so much?
I guess I should start by defining what it is about these series that I love so much.
Despite her innocence, Hina Saotome is about to be sent to a prison filled with dangerous(ly hot) men. There she must be punished by a sexy, sadistic guard and be subject to his “heartless yet sweet domination.” This is Sweet Punishment: I Am the Guard’s Private Pet, a short-form, web-only ecchi series. Episode 1 Episode 2+3
Despite her innocence, Hina Saotome is about to be sent to a prison filled with dangerous(ly hot) men. There she must be punished by a sexy, sadistic guard and be subject to his “heartless yet sweet domination.” This is Sweet Punishment: I Am the Guard’s Private Pet, a short-form, web-only ecchi series.
Soooooo…you’re telling me everyone’s gearing up for their seasonal episodic reviews, and no one is covering this?? I’m disappointed. Well, don’t worry, I’m so dedicated to making sure y’all can get seasonal coverage of every anime out there that I watched the whole four minute long censored first episode on YouTube with no English subtitles. You’re welcome.
Finished at: 12:25 a.m. Summary: Pandy and Retro wake up on the moon and find out they have no idea who they are. The only thing they do know is that they are apparently badass and really good at killing people. After going on a crime spree, they land in Dead Leaves, a prison for genetic experiments, and are forced into manual labor and pooping on command. They’re not a big fan of manual labor and pooping on command, so they seek to break out and figure out who they are. MAL Rating: 7.26 Did you expect to be watching something where characters are forced to poop tonight?: No. No, I did not.
This one’s been vaguely on my radar for a while, and I figured since it wasn’t even an hour long, I should finally just watch it. All I knew about it was that it was directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi (before he co-founded Studio Trigger), and that it was supposed to be a wild ride.