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.
Well, here we are. It’s Friday, and I haven’t caught up on my seasonals or watched any of my backlog, which means I don’t have a good essay lined up for the day. You know what that means! It’s listicle time!
I’m actually extra cheating with this post, because I wrote this before I started this blog. I posted it on GoBoiano, just to flex my anime writing abilities, but for some reason it got deleted? Which is fine, because that just means I can re-use it here! It was actually kind of fun to look back at something I wrote almost a year ago and spice it up to make it a little more “me.” Not to toot my own horn (toot), but my writing and voice has improved quite a bit since then…anyways, I hope you enjoy this quickie. Here we go!
This week has felt like a hazy dream to me – all I’ve done is work, drive home, and sleep. I’ve barely even had time to think about anime, let alone watch it.
Now that the work week has ended, though, I can finally catch up on anime news and anime writing. And I can also finally SCREAM ABOUT HOW EXCITED I AM ABOUT ALL OF THESE NEW ANIME ANNOUNCEMENTS. Teasers for the new Kunihiko Ikuhara project, Sarazanmai, were released, a new Shinichiro Watanabe project was announced, and a new Boogiepop Phantomanime. We love 2018!!!!!!!
So without further ado, please allow me to yell and scream about all this good anime shit.