To help or not to help.
We see the face of the monster.
We get really into sci-fi this episode.
It turns out that the monster that Boogiepop was discussing the last episode is actually an experiment- well, there are two of them. The first is Echoes, who has come from outer space to judge humanity on whether they’re good or bad. We’re not entirely sure at this point what sort of effects this final judgment will have, and whether or not this will mean future alien contact. Echoes doesn’t speak, and he doesn’t seem to be willing to cause trouble. Luckily, his first encounter with humans is a positive one, but that might change later on as the series gets darker. Echoes is the suffering man that Boogiepop spoke to in the first episode, so it’s likely that the small scenes we once thought were insignificant will likely end up playing bigger roles later on.
The other is Manticore, who has taken on the form of a female student that she consumed. Manticore is an experiment who was a clone of Echoes gone wrong and escaped from the lab. She doesn’t seem exactly malicious on a surface level, but she absolutely hates the idea of being recaptured and taken back to the lab. In order to blend into society, she has to consume humans to take on their forms. To create distractions, she infects other people, both with suggestions and by altering their body chemistry, and is thus responsible for the missing girls and the increased drug craze. At the same time, it’s unclear which is the monster Boogiepop is after, the Manticore or Echoes.
A key part of this episode is people helping each other. Saotome decides to help the Manticore after becoming fascinated with her, Kamishiro decides to help Echoes after finding him on the street, and Kirima decides to help Kamishiro after the latter tells her about her plight. It’s a complicated web of people becoming tangled in each other’s problems but helping each other out for a variety of reasons. Saotome’s rationale is pretty unclear at the moment, but he either feels something for the Manticore, or gets the rush from being put in a position of power like this. On the other hand, Kamishiro is aiding Echoes out of the kindness of her heart, simply because she saw someone in need. Likewise, Kirima intrinsically trusts Kamishiro, and so is willing to help her despite the crazy story that she’s telling. This helping others out is also a danger, and first off, gets Kamishiro killed.
There’s still a lot of mysteries to solve, but this show is getting interesting.