Boogiepop and The Others (2019, Madhouse)
Boogiepop wa Warawanai [Boogiepop Doesn't Smile]
A number of girls have been disappearing from high school, rumoured to have run away or worse. Urban legend has it that a being known as "Boogiepop" is out murdering girls once they reached their peak moment of beauty and he was dressed in a dark robe with a top hat. One day while Keiji Takeda is out waiting for his date he comes across someone of that exact description but to his surprise, it was his girlfriend Tohka Miyashita. When Keiji finds her at school again, he approaches her only to find "Boogiepop" who claimed to be Tohka's split personality and only appears when the world was in danger. Keiji and his classmates soon learns there are hidden threats within their school that are alien to society and Boogiepop is there to help resolve them before they get out-of-hand.
When you see the name Madhouse you'll probably be expecting a decent show but I can't say the same here. Sometimes the animation suddenly feels like it's stuttering or in slow motion. Art doesn't look that great either with faces reduced to little dots or emoticon-like simplicity. There's a lot of more dialogue than there is action. It's slow paced but when there is it does get quite gorey. The art, music and direction actually gives off a Parasyte The Maxim kind of vibe which was another show Madhouse produced.
The story itself focuses on humans that have evolved differently than the average human, granting them some sort of special power but also making it hard for them to fit into society. It's kind of like a mix of alien, supernatural from Parasyte with the different PoVs approach of Durarara where characters end up crossing paths. Just less action, comedy and much more dialogue. It's basically one big story told from different perspectives, like a jigsaw puzzle slowly being pieced together with each new episode. As some mysteries get cleared up, new ones appear which keeps you intrigued. It's also probably why its characters doesn't shine as well as Durarara apart from Boogiepop. They don't get much of a role other than introducing some kind of new power and helping paint a slightly clearer picture of who Boogiepop really is.
Even though the show reminds me of Parasyte it's not an action flick because there's more mystery and the fight scenes are short with a little gore. Usually gore means it'll have its fair share of explicit male targetted fan service and there kind of is because girls are shown as if they're in body suits during "topless" scenes. There is some romance in it and casual mention of sexual abuse. The language gets quite disgusting.
You just follow through hoping to learn what's going on as each new entity appears but unfortunately, you won't find some clever mind games here that will end up impressing you. Nevertheless, Boogiepop was an interesting character to follow and the show does stick to its title, both the English and Japanese ones.