This episode of Boogiepop Never Laughs finds Orihata and Masaki perpetrating an elaborate plot to teach criminals a lesson. Masaki is impersonating Boogiepop, and Orihata is the bait to lure wrongdoers out into the open. Despite Masaki having no idea what Orihata’s motivations are, he is willing to continue the ruse for her. We also discover that Spooky E has been placing drugs throughout the city and instructing his minions to use them on the populace in an attempt to lure the real Boogiepop out. As his plots don’t seem to be working, Spooky E decides to go after the Imaginator in hopes that he will encounter Boogiepop in the process.
We are given some backstory about Kinukawa and her relationship with her cousin Jin, who we know to be the Imaginator. She reminisces about when she was a child, and when she saw Jin for the first time. She believes that she fell in love with him at that moment. Spooky E ambushes Kinukawa outside of her home, and uses his powers to turn her into one of his servants. We next see Kinukawa entering a club or bar of some sort, and asking around about the Imaginator. She encounters a man whose friends came into contact with the Imaginator, and he recounts how they were changed strangely afterwards. Kinukawa gives the man a large sum of money, and suggests he hire a bunch of people to get revenge on the Imaginator.
Masaki’s sister, Nagi, questions him about why he’s been going out a lot and staying out late. She seems to know more about the situation than she lets on. Masaki finds Orihata and Kinukawa together at the cafe, and learns that Orihata has shared their secret Boogiepop activities. We see a flashback of Kinukawa talking with Orihata about taking down the Imaginator, and learn that the Towa Organization has been using Orihata as an experiment to determine if humans and synthetics are capable of cross-breeding. Kinukawa declares that she’s a copy, though we have no idea what that means at this point.
Masaki decides that he’s going to continue impersonating Boogiepop and fighting criminals, and that Orihata no longer has to be a part of it. As she is about to go after Masaki, Orihata is stopped by Spooky E. He tells Orihata that Masaki will serve his purpose, eventually dying to some thugs and thus disproving the legend about a supernatural Boogiepop. Spooky E then informs Orihata that the Towa Organization has abandoned her, and she is now exclusively a tool for him to use. Masaki, ruminating on the series of events, determines that Orihata had some ulterior motive to his impersonation of Boogiepop – and he decides to continue doing so until he figures out what her purpose was.
Boogiepop Never Laughs is literally all over the place. The plot has jumped back and forth between so many different characters and arcs that I believe any sense of cohesion has been truly lost. It’s too bad, honestly. I feel like this anime could be very interesting and cool if it weren’t so frustratingly convoluted. There are remnants of a great story here, but they are quickly lost in the jumbled mess.
Score: 2/5 (I didn’t like it)