Boogiepop Dual: Makeinu-tachi no Circus (Losers' Circus) is the second Boogiepop
manga series. Like the first, Boogiepop Wa Waranai
(Boogiepop and Others
), it spans two volumes, and is written by original Boogiepop author Kouhei Kadono
. Unfortunately, most similarities end there.
The first thing you'll notice about Loser's Circus is that it is not illustrated by Kouji Ogata, who did the
artwork for the Boogiepop novels and the Boogiepop Wa Waranai manga. Instead the art is done by one Masayuki Takano, who has previously not been seen on the Boogie scene. Though Takano's art is by no means bad, or even mediocre, his style is much more conventional than
Ogata's. Art is done entirely in pen and ink, nothing fancy or computer aided like Ogata's (which isn't exactly bad), and the character designs are none to outstanding. The overall design and feel of Takano's art
reminds me of Sadamoto Yoshiyuki's work, and I am not alone in this belief. Don't get me wrong, I think the illustrations look great, it's just... different.
Now, onto the story. Or, more precisely, characters.
Boogiepop Dual is a completely original work, not related to the anime or original novels/manga in any perceptible way (then again, I'm not exactly fluent in Japanese so I can't be entirely sure). It centers around a new embodiment of the Boogiepop essence, one Takaya Akitsuki. This average, stereotypically wishy-washy-ish high school boy is led by the old Boogiepop, who is now a teacher/counselor at Akitsuki's school (which I do believe to be Shinyo Academy from the original stories, but can not be certain). Though some have thought, and I can't blame them this, that this older Boogie is Toka Miyashita (only makes sense, right?), it is not. This Boogiepop is Motoka Igurashi, and has not been mentioned in any other novels. Motoka seems to be much more dark than Toka, and is also quite overt in her advances on Takaya (who could forget that little sofa scene insert for the second manga). In fact, I can safely say this is one of the few places you'll ever find Boogiepop fanservice. This is quite possibly the most disturbing concept I have found in the Boogiepop universe yet. Even more so than the whole memory bugs thing from Episode 2 of the Boogiepop Phantom series, which was up until recently my defining moment of Boogiepop creepiness.
The story of Boogiepop Dual is presented in a more linear fashion than other previous Boogiepop works. The view from the new Boogiepop is fairly more straightforward and easier to follow. There are still the occasional flashbacks and such, but they are easily identified and are considerably less frequent than in Wa Waranai. I'm really not to clear on the story itself, but like in every other Boogiepop tale, it would appear that almost every student you meet isn't far from some sort of crisis or another. And, as usual, Boogiepop has to
do something about it, with the help of his mentor (or more vice versa) has to do something about it. I don't have the greatest grasp of the plot exactly, but even then, I don't want to put in TOO many spoilers.
Boogiepop Dual: Makeinu-tachi no Circus is published by Dengeki Comics, a part of
Mediaworks. I have found that you can easily order it for $6.75 (not including handling, which is also pretty low) from jamall.com. It's a great deal. A bit hard to search through though. I sugges looking up Ogata for the first manga (Wa Waranai) and Takano for the second. Looking up Kadono shoudl get you the novels. The best way for finding all the boogiepop series however is to enter 'Boogiepop' In japanese, seeing that they use about 3 different versions of it in english (like bugipoppu). The great thing about jamall is that they have an english version of the site, and that the japanese boogiepop trick will work for it also.
Also, it should be noted that I used quite a few websites and friends for reference to make this node. These include http://mostlycloudy.net/~ballzapalooza/, Nanashi's site yuudachi.net, and one I can't find again. Nanashi's Translations really helped. Also, my friend Sia helped me read the manga when I actually had it, and gave me some names of characters.