The neverending struggle between Boogiepop and the Imaginator finally comes to a conclusion in part 2 of Boogiepop Returns. I guess that means it wasn’t really neverending…
I complained about the fact that Boogiepop doesn’t actually defeat the Imaginator in the previous part of the novel, but he/she finally does in this one. Basically, we’ve got a continuation of the plotlines of Asukai Jin turning into the Imaginator, Spooky E brainwashing people to find the Imaginator, and Taniguchi Masaki pretending to be Boogiepop.
The chapters still follow the point of view switching like the previous novels, except it seems like there’s a lot more switching going on mid-chapter as well. Even so, the plot seems more concise because I think there’s less characters doing the switching.
Even though I read the previous book about two months ago, I could still follow along pretty well. Which is bragable, since I’m not too good with remembering names, and I don’t even get faces to match the names to!
One of the interesting themes that I encountered (and one that shows up later in the book, which means it was easier to remember!) was that of being brainwashed. Sure, Spooky E literally brainwashed people with his electro-hands, but to a degree, all of society brainwashes its citizens, right? It seemed like a really Japanese idea, since there really is a whole lot of social pressure forced upon you in Japanese society.
I think on a high level, the Boogiepop novels are enjoyable to read with stuff like Karate fights, tasers, electro-hands, and the use of wires as weapons. On the deeper level though, the characters are all pretty messed up, which is interesting. Like seriously, they’re ALL messed up. It sure does make me feel better about myself, being not as messed up. And by that, meaning I don’t have a synthetic girlfriend who makes me dress up as Boogiepop fighting crime, or I’m not in love with my cousin, or I can’t see flowers in peoples’ chests.
So far, Seven Seas has only released these three Boogiepop novels, and I’m not sure if they’re planning on releasing any more. Seems like a good idea, since they’re pretty enjoyable. It looks like in Japan, they’re up to some ridiculous number like, 14. Yikes!