「VSイマジネーター 5」 (VS Imajineetaa 4)
“VS Imaginator 4″
It’s probably fair to say at this point that I find the longer arcs of Boogiepop wa Warawanai more involving that the really abstract ones. Not better per se, as there truly is something meditative about that whole whirlpool narrative approach, but in the end one does want to feel something for characters sometimes. A mix of the two styles is probably best, and I suppose that’s likely what we’ll see over the remaining 10 episodes, but the lingering aftereffects of this subplot will likely influence the rest of the story.
The lingering effect I mean is mostly Jin, who if not a “big bad” is certainly showing the potential to be more than a one-off antagonist. It was already clear that he was more of an existential threat than Spooky E, but this episode absolutely confirmed that. In his rather clumsy fashion Spooky – through KotoE – is still pursuing Masakipop with the idea of killing him and making a show of his corpse. He’s really barking up the wrong tree here though, chasing a bogus Boogie who doesn’t amount to much of a threat to him apart from his influence over Aya.
Eventually KotoE and a bunch of yakuza (s)he’s hired chase Masaki down into a shuttered underground shopping street, where he once again shows that his martial arts skills are no joke. I sincerely doubt he’d have pulled the trigger – especially since he didn’t know the girl whose head he was holding a gun to was a puppet – but as I predicted Nagi stepped in before he ever had to make that decision. Being the tsundere big sis she is I figured Nagi wasn’t going to sit idly by once she knew Masaki was in over his head.
As for Jin, he has most of the highlight moments in the episode. Suema-san comes to visit him in an effort to dig deeper into what’s happening with Kotoe, but she too is in over her head and realizes that quickly enough. One hilarious moment here is watching Jin in full-on cult leader mode as he tries to seduce Suema to his side, then flip it off like a switch once he realizes she isn’t going to bite. What she does next isn’t shown (I suspect go home and take a long shower) but Jin heads for the underground, where he finds Kotoe and her thugs thoroughly incapacitated by Nagi.
Jin is definitely out where the buses don’t run at this point, but it is interesting to hear him wax on about subjects like the difference between sadness and despair (which is really an age-old philosophical question). He eventually winds up at Spooky E’s abandoned amusement park HQ, and there shows that with Imaginator’s powers backing his own cursed gift he has the Spooker thoroughly outclassed. Jin is certainly thinking big – using the Towa Organization as a front to take over the world with his special gardening – but Spooky’s decision to end his own existence after Jin strips his thorns throws a bit of a wrench into the wannabe-messiah’s plans.
Given the time when these novels were written and what was thematically happening in anime sci-fi at the time, it figures there would be an instrumentality element to Boogiepop’s storyline. Jin and his messianic Medical Mechanica delusions are certainly a threat (maybe not the threat in this story, but that’s still to be determined) to humanity, but for now he’s mainly a threat to Aya – who he finds bound and helpless at Spooky E’s HQ after Spooky eliminates himself. Aya is the sacrifice he says he needs to make his plan go forward, which means this arc is probably getting close to its climax. Masaki is certain to be heard from (and not just on the phone) and I suspect we haven’t seen the last of Nagi’s involvement either.