Boogiepop Phantom Evolution 1 (2000)

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Released 20-Jun-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Main Menu Audio & Animation
TV Spots-2
Music Video
Trailer-Cowboy Bebop; Gundam Wing; Lain; Rurouni Kenshin
DVD Credits
Audio Commentary
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 71:49 (Case: 85)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Takashi Watanabe
The Right Stuf Int.
Madman Entertainment
Starring Kaori Shimizu
Yu Asakawa
Mayumi Asano
Jun Fukuyama
Kazuo Konta
Case Click
RPI $34.95 Music Yota Tsuruoka

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 1.0 (112Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Boogiepop Phantom is a Japanese animated series that features a number of supernatural elements and an unusual story structure.

    The series opens with a strange column of light appearing in the city and causing a widespread blackout. Five years ago, a serial killer was terrorizing the community but the murders suddenly stopped for no apparent reason. Unhappy students from the city's local high schools are disappearing without a trace and objects are rusting quickly. All these events are somehow connected and a few people believe that Boogiepop, the angel of death who is commonly regarded as an urban legend, may be involved.

    This twelve part series utilizes an unusual story structure that may initially confuse some viewers. The story is based around a series of related events that take place over approximately five years. During each episode, these events are examined from a different person's perspective and often utilize a very non-linear timeline with numerous flashbacks and an occasional flash forward. To help the viewer keep track of the jumps in the timeline, each major scene change is clearly marked but the actual dates of the events are not provided. Luckily, providing the viewer is aware of the jumps in the timeline, keeping track of these events does not pose any significant problem for the viewer.

    This disc contains the following three episodes, I have included a very short description for each but as these may contain some minor spoilers you may wish to skip directly to the Transfer Quality section.

portraits from memory
    Moto is a student at a local high school. When a student from another school, Saotome, mysteriously disappears no one has any clues. Saotome attended the same elementary school as Moto and dated one of her best friends. When Moto believes that she catches a glimpse of Saotome, she confronts him to reveal her true feelings.

portraits from darkness
    Jonouchi is a young student who was treated for a malignant bone tumour when he was younger. During this treatment, he was given an usual medicine that had no apparent effect upon his recovery. After a strange light appears in the night sky, Jonouchi finds he is now able to see a different side to people's feelings.

life can be so nice
    Misuzu is a young student who readily accepts all events that occur around her within the world. She first adopted this outlook on life when she became friends with another girl in junior high and a significant tragic event occurred.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    The transfer is presented at its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

    The transfer displays a very unusual image that has a vignette filter applied to it at nearly all times. This results in outer edges and corners of the image being slightly darker and softer than the centre of the frame. The image always appears quite soft and has obvious low level noise present during many scenes. During the numerous dark scenes, varying levels of shadow detail may be seen. During some scenes significant information may be seen in the dark portions of the image but in other scenes the dark areas reveal almost no information. All of these variations in image quality are part of the unusual original animation design and are consequently not distracting to the viewer.

    The transfer displays a significantly reduced colour palette that features a heavy reliance upon greys, browns and yellows. All of these colours are constantly quite muted throughout the transfer. This palette design is an intentional part of the original animation design and is consequently not distracting to the viewer.

    No MPEG artefacts were detected during the transfer.

    A small number of aliasing artefacts may be seen during the transfer. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 11:52, 17:06 and 22:13. All of these artefacts are very minor and are not distracting to the viewer.

    A small number of film artefacts may be seen during the transfer. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 1:48, 1:58, 3:55, 8:12 and 10:16. All of these artefacts are very minor and only very minimally distracting to the viewer.

    During the eye catches that originally were found leading into and out of advertisement breaks on television, a NTSC to PAL conversion artefact may be seen around the Boogiepop logo in the bottom right section of the frame. These artefacts only last for a short period of time and are only minimally distracting to the viewer.

    At 12:45 and 28:59 an unusual artefact may be seen with a series of diagonal lines appearing over approximately one quarter of the frame. This artefact appears for only a single frame each time and it is only very minimally distracting to the viewer.

    Obvious interlacing artefacts may be seen during the end credits for each episode and these are moderately distracting to the viewer.

    A single set of yellow English subtitles are included on this disc. These subtitles are always clear and easy to understand at all times. At a number of points, non-removable white English subtitles are used to translate Japanese text on signs and newspapers. A set of yellow English and white Romaji subtitles are provided for both opening and closing music sequences for each episode. No subtitles are provided for the short episode previews that appear at the end of each episode.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    Both a Japanese Dolby Digital 192 kbps 2.0 and an English Dolby Digital 384 kbps 5.1 soundtrack are included on this disc. I listened to both tracks in full and found them both to be of extremely high quality with an inventive sound design.

    The dialogue is always clear and easy to understand. During the English track, the sound design has been slightly changed to help emphasize the differences between the characters' internal thoughts and general dialogue. Pleasantly, there is only very minimal differences between the dialogue in the English and Japanese tracks.

    As this is an animated feature, there are the expected obvious problems with audio sync for each soundtrack. During the English soundtrack, a significant number of dropouts may be found. Some examples of these dropouts may be heard at 0:04, 0:34, 1:15, 4:57, 6:39, 9:24 and 10:13 and they are very distracting to the viewer. Luckily, Madman is aware of this problem and will be remastering the disc and offering replacements for viewers with faulty discs.

    The effective original score by Yota Tsuruoka varies considerably, ranging from Gregorian chants to experimental electronica. Surprisingly, these sound choices work extremely well and always seem to suit the on-screen action.

    During the English soundtrack, the surround and subwoofer channels are used extensively. These channels are utilized aggressively and they provide an extremely enveloping soundstage.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The minimally animated menu is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

30 Second Promotion (0:33)

    This is a short trailer for the series presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack and a set of white non-removable English subtitles.

15 Second Promotion (0:18)

    This is a short trailer for the series presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack and a set of white non-removable English subtitles.

Music Video (1:04)

    This is a short video for the closing music track from each episode in the series. It is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. A set of non-removable white English and yellow Romaji subtitles are also provided.

Audio Commentary

    This scene-specific feature length commentary is presented by Jeff Thompson from The Right Stuf International and Joe DiGiorgi owner of Headline Studios. During this commentary they discuss how the series was acquired, casting, how the English audio mix was created and the differences between the English and Japanese sound design. During the track they also discuss the plot of the series and they reveal a number of spoilers for the show. Due to these spoilers, it would be recommended that viewers do not listen to this track before watching the entire series. This track is presented as a Dolby Digital 1.0 track and does not provide the original audio mix in the background. Unfortunately, this results in a number of gaps in the track when the participants stop for relevant sections of dialogue.

Trailer: Cowboy Bebop (1:29)

    This trailer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Trailer: Gundam Wing (2:00)

    This trailer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Trailer: Lain (0:30)

    This trailer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Trailer: Rurouni Kenshin (1:34)

    This trailer is presented with a Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and it is not 16x9 enhanced.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    Unless the viewer has a specific requirement for a dedicated English stereo soundtrack I would have no preference for either version of this disc.


    Boogiepop Phantom is an intriguing series that should appeal to any fans of supernatural anime.

    The video transfer accurately reproduces the unusual original animation design.

    The audio transfer helps to capture the stunning original sound design that is displayed during both the Japanese and English soundtracks.

    The extras included provide some interesting insight into the series but viewers should be aware that the commentary track does contain a number of spoilers.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Saturday, August 17, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 2109, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationFront left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)
SpeakersFront left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259

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