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As we finally reach the end of this arc, I find myself mostly disappointed with how everything is resolved. There are interesting ideas about emotion and free will, some of which is suggested in this episode, but it never feels satisfying. Jin, in particular, seemed ultimately weak as an antagonist, and his power remains a mystery to me.
Let’s start by talking about what I liked. This entire conversation between Masaki and Boogiepop was entertaining to watch. Boogiepop points out that Masaki was brainwashed by Spooky E, which forces him to question his own feelings for Aya. From there, Boogiepop basically makes the argument that Masaki’s brain is constantly molded by the social expectations around him, so his own free will is always in question. I don’t mind the concept behind the argument, since I’ve run into similar questions about the nature of free will myself. I just wish it went a bit further.
Additionally, I enjoyed watching Boogiepop take down all of the assailants. I’m also especially curious about the fact that Boogiepop only gets directly involved to stop Kazuko from interfering. Is she supposed to be special for some reason? It might be cool if Kazuko’s always meant to be the one in the dark about the supernatural events happening around her.
Jin himself ended up being pretty disappointing. Even if it does make Boogiepop look a lot more impressive, I’m not sure I like the idea that Jin’s plan was always destined to fail. It’s a neat idea to have him fundamentally misunderstand his own power, but I think he needed more development as a villain to make it truly work.
Also, I still don’t think I understand what the Imaginator was ultimately trying to do. However, I did like the fact that the arc ends with Suiko touching the ground and fading away. It refers back to the opening of the arc, when the Imaginator mentions to Boogiepop that Suiko was “still falling”. Presumably, it means that they ran out of time.
I’ll end with a minor nitpick. While it’s touching for Masaki to beg Kazuko for help with finding Aya, his vague request doesn’t make sense based on what we’ve seen. While he was fighting, he removed a mask and hesitated to attack the girl underneath. Given that Aya is nowhere near him at that moment, what would have stopped Kazuko from just finding her? I guess Boogiepop’s voice is there to save the day, but it bothered me while it was happening.