Mild manga spoilers ahead for The Promised Neverland.
Sometimes, you learn about things in the wrong (non-chronological) order. Something that came first naturally comes last to someone consuming a newer piece of media inspired by that very thing. Emotional resonance with the media that came later inspires research, a tracing of influences.
Due to gaps in my own anime-watching habits, I don’t have an emotional attachment to Takashi Watanabe’s 2000 anime adaptation Boogiepop Phantom, like many anime fans around my age. However, when I began to watch anime as it aired, one of the first series that resonated with me was Bakemonogatari in 2009. The Monogatari series light novels were penned by Nisio Isin, whose writing was inspired by Kouhei Kadono’s Boogiepop novel series.
All of this is a preface to my immediate reaction after watching the first two episodes of Boogiepop and Others.
It reminded me of Nadeko’s narrative in the Monogatari series.
(major spoilers for Nadeko Sengoku’s character arc in Monogatari)
“A mysterious night that seemed to span an entire year. If she would be kind enough to tell me about her exploits, I would respond with the memories of mine.”
-“Senpai,” Night Is Short Walk On Girl
Many, many years ago, before I worried as much about anything and everything, I had nights like the one in Masaaki Yuasa’s anime film adaptation of Tomihiko Morimi’s novel Night Is Short Walk On Girl. Nights where the entire world seemed to stretch before me endlessly. Nights where I would seemingly be lost in the Vermont woods until the light of day revealed a small trail behind my campus. Nights that could contain everything from romance to heartbreak, or both.
The time I told my friend smoking languidly in a dirty spotlight outside his townhouse that he was beautiful.
The time a group of friends and I decided to snowboard at 2 a.m..
The time another friend and played beer pong until sunrise using the half-empty bottles abandoned after a house party.
The time, the time, the time.
From it’s opening act, it was clear that Shoujo ☆ Kageki Revue Starlight had something to say about the stage — what young women give to it, what they receive from it, all wrapped up in a Takarazuka package. Karen Aijou has what is quickly revealed to be an impossible dream in Takarazuka: to occupy position zero, center stage, with her friend Hikari Kagura. Seisho Music Academy and its enigmatic giraffe host naturally guide her down the traditional path of fighting others for the top star position, pitting Karen and her classmates against one another in seemingly inevitable conflict.
That is, until Karen breaks the cycle and shatters the status quo, dragging Hikari and their other classmates with her. Laying the groundwork for Karen and Hikari are Claudine Saijou and Maya Tendou.
Building castles in the sky is a forte of mine. From a very young age, I immersed myself in books, reading everything I could get my hands on from local library recommendations to my mother’s romance novels (which I really shouldn’t have been reading at that age and definitely didn’t understand until I was much older). In junior high school I found anime through Sailor Moon and never looked back. This coming April I will have been blogging about anime here at Atelier Emily for six years. Anime obviously means a lot to me.
It was all too easy to become lost in the media I consumed. Walking down the street with a pair of headphones, I could suddenly imagine myself figure-skating an olympic-winning routine. At night, I could re-read one of the many books stashed underneath my pillow and imagine myself as someone who wasn’t cold, awkward, and ugly. Instead, I was gregarious, beautiful, and warm.
Sometimes, you have to wake up.