Light Novel Review: Boogiepop and Others Volume 1 by Kouhei Kadono
Author: Kouhei Kadono
Publisher: Seven Seas Entertainment
Page count: 600
Availability: On Kindle and in print
There has been a string of strange disappearances at Shinyo Academy. Several students try to get to the bottom of the mystery. But there is a thread between all the students, and that’s the mysterious man called Boogiepop, an urban legend, a Shinigami who kills girls when they are at their most beautiful.
I Like the Mix of Science Fiction and Mystery:
enjoyed this story a lot. I’m into science fiction and mysteries are interesting to me. I started watching the anime and I decided to pick up the book because I didn’t feel like waiting for the anime.
I do like how they set up the mystery and mix in the science fiction elements.
The characters are interesting and the plot is intriguing. The plot is something that is different from a lot of stories I normally read and that Bioogiepop and Others caught my attention when this isn’t a genre I read makes this story one that is worth taking my time to read.
Boogiepop and Others - Opening | shadowgraph:
The Characters are Intriguing:
The characters in the story, especially Boogiepop, are what make the story so interesting. The story also has the idea of someone having a split personality being an important plot device.
I also like the idea of a ghost that is an urban legend being real because it makes the story have all kinds of twists and turns in terms of plot.
I like the characters, Takeda Keiji and Miyashita Touka are interesting characters and I like them.
There are also interesting characters like Kirima Nagi. I like her because she’s an interesting character that’s smart and a well-written character.
There’s an Interesting Conflict Being Set Up:
There’s a fascinating conflict between Boogiepop and the Manticore. Two mysterious entities fighting for control of the world. I like how Boogiepop is the world’s mysterious automatic defense system, the Manticore is some strange science experiment.
I can’t wait to read the next light novel and see what’s going to happen next. That is a sign of great writing when I’m reading something that makes me want to read the next light novel in the series. The anime adaptation is good and very enjoyable but there are some things that aren’t mentioned in the anime that are referenced in the novel.
The Writing Relies on Knowledge of Japanese Culture:
The light novel does have an index of Japanese honorifics. It also relies on knowing what certain objects are because it will just mention things without necessarily telling the reader what the object is because the light novel was for a Japanese audience, not necessarily an English speaking audience.
If you’ve watched anime you should know what some things are, but if you’re not familiar with Japanese culture you might not know everything that the novel mentions or talks about.
The Prose Can Be A Little Flowery:
Kouhei Kadono’s prose can be a little flowery, not quite purple prose, but it does sound like the story is trying to be deep and philosophical. It is very interesting and it makes the story have a deeper meaning, but some readers could feel that the story is trying too hard to be deep.
The Novel Is Expensive:
The light novel series is more expensive than some of the other light novels and that can make readers wonder if this light novel series is worth the money. $9.99 is a lot of money for a light novel. But I enjoyed the light novel a lot and I only bought it based on what I had seen of the Boogiepop and Others (2019) anime.
It’s a Great Book; It was More Interesting than the Anime:
I liked how the book, the anime is fun to watch but the book is much more interesting because it shows more of the characters and has a great mysterious atmosphere that the novel gives is what made me love this story.
I also like that the novel had references to American music and culture that didn’t make it into the anime, like referencing the rock band The Doors or the Batman reference that I read that definitely wasn’t in the anime adaptation by Studio Madhouse.
What Doesn't Work:
Intriguing plot, characters and world-building
Relies on knowledge of Japanese culture
Keeps me intrigued with the mystery
Prose can be flowery
interesting blend of science fiction and mystery
My Grade: A-:
Boogiepop and Others is a fascinating blend of science fiction and mystery. It has interesting characters and a setup that kept me on the edge of my seat, wondering what was going to happen next.
I love the characters and I really like how they’re all connected to the story and how the urban legend of Boogiepop ties into the entire story.
This story isn’t perfect, the flowery language can feel like the story is trying too hard to sound deep and philosophical, but it’s still an entertaining read. All the crazy plot twists will keep you guessing and that’s why this light novel is a lot of fun to read: you’ll always be wondering what the truth is.
Is this light novel worth a blind buy? I’d say try out the first few episodes of the anime that’s streaming on Crunchyroll and see if you think it’s something you’ll like and if it interests you, then you can borrow it from the library if it’s available or buy it on Kindle or a physical copy if you want to.
I bought it because I did enjoy the anime a lot, but I would recommend a blind buy, especially if you like mystery stories and science fiction. It does require some familiarity with Japanese culture since it does mention a lot of things without having an index of what things are when it comes to Japanese culture, outside of what the honorifics are and their meanings.
Boogiepop and Others is a light novel series that I really liked, despite this being outside of the genre that I normally read, which is action/adventure, fantasy, and science fiction. Although this light novel has an element of science fiction, it’s more of a mystery and while mysteries don’t really pull me in a lot, this one did.
I highly recommend this light novel, it was something new to me that I really enjoyed without being boring, generic Iseki that has been done to death in recent years. If you want an old school mystery story with a dash of science fiction and horror, Boogiepop and Others is for you. I will be reviewing Volume 2 of the light novels, Boogiepop Vs. Imaginator Part 1 very soon.
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