Explanation of the Vault series
Originally published on September 23, 2003. This was my second attempt, after my Akira review, to write a “professional review” and analysis. It’s dicier than that one to be honest, and occasionally overreaches in my current opinion. But it still has some decent insights worth sharing.
Gothic Coming-of-Age Parables in Boogiepop Phantom
Boogiepop Phantom (2000)
directed by Watanabe Takeshi
12 episodes, 360 minutes.
Though it feels like anything but, teenage angst is a species of earnest innocence. Things seem so serious and significant, which can only be if one has not yet acquired the coping mechanism of cynicism or indifference. So if you are like many youths growing up in comfortable middle-class environments, the most important things are what’s in front you: school, peers, the flutterings of infatuation mistaken for love. Oftentimes, things genuinely large do appear: the death of loved ones, the disappointment of discovering the brutishness of society and the indifference of adults, who seem to be busy suppressing the pain they felt at your age by dismissing it all as a “phase.” You wonder why, as you stare outside the train window at the changing cityscape, few grown people have mapped the landscape of your mind, leaving so much uncharted territory full of depth and sadness and anger and joy: the whole topography of the soul. This is, after all, your whole world, all of nature–and perhaps the supernatural too–seen through this individual, subjective lens from which only time will provide some kind of escape. Or perhaps not. You wonder how far the facades go, how many “phonies” there are. And how they got that way, if they were all like you once, and how they could have missed the importance of all that’s going on inside you now.
Continue reading The Vault 06: Boogiepop Phantom