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Echoes (エコーズ Ekōzu?) is a fictional character in the Boogiepop series by Kouhei Kadono.

Character introduction

Echoes is an alien entity sent to Earth to evaluate humanity. He has taken the form of a highly-evolved human.

Explanation of the character's name

The names of many characters in the Boogiepop series are references to Western music, particularly rock. Echoes is a song from the album Meddle by Pink Floyd. It is also a reference to the Greek nymph Echo, because Echoes can only speak by repeating the words used by others.

Biographical summary

Prior story

Sometime after coming to Earth, Echoes was found by the Towa Organisation, who misinterpreted him as a mutant human. By studying him, they were able to create their Synthetic Humans, and they attempted to make a clone. The clone, whilst more than human, was an imperfect clone. Because it ate humans, it was known as Manticore, and considered a monster. When Manticore escaped from the lab in which it was created, Echoes gave chase.

Actions in Boogiepop series

Boogiepop and Others begins with Echoes becoming disheartened in his search for Manticore, and disillusioned with humanity. As he collapses in the middle of the city, Boogiepop approaches him to assist. Giving him the encouragement he needed, and helping him when faced with mistreatment at Police hands, Boogiepop provides Echoes with the push he needed to return to his search.

Following this, he meets Kamikishiro Naoko, with whom he seems to share a telepathic link. Able to understand Echoes without the use of words, Kamikishiro learns about who he is, what he has been through, and what he is trying to do. She shelters him at Shinyo Academy, and calls for her friend, Kirima Nagi, to help.

After Kamikishiro disappears, Kirima captures three students, believing that Manticore would be disguised as one of them. They are presented to Echoes, but he can sense that they are all ordinary humans. After he releases the students, one of them, Saotome Masami, stabs him through the throat with a poison-filled mechanical pencil. With Echoes now weakened, Manticore reveals itself, and proceeds to attack him.

Crippled by the poison, Echoes was unable to face Manticore, and found himself being bitterly defeated. When all hope seemed lost, Echoes spoke his own words for the only time: "my body into information, transmit to source." At this, Echoes turned into light. The pillar of light passed through Echoes' enemies, disintegrating Saotome Masami, and mortally wounding Manticore.

Relationship with other characters in Boogiepop series

Whilst Echoes found humanity to be indifferent to his suffering, there were a few who took the time to help him. Boogiepop and Kirima Nagi helped improve his opinion of humanity, but it is the close relationship that forms with Kamikishiro Naoko that is most significant. It is suggested that Kamikishiro saved humanity through the compassion she showed Echoes. Saotome Masami and Manticore were Echoes' mortal enemies in Boogiepop and Others, though he does not meet either of them until the very end.

Major themes

From Echoes' perspective, we are able to see how injust prejudice is. He also demonstrates how insensitive modern society is to the misfortunate.

Literary significance & criticism

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Allusions/references from other works

Boogiepop Phantom often references the pillar of light, and Kisaragi Manaka speaks in repetition. Echoes makes a brief appearance at the end of the second-last episode.

Film or TV portraits

Echoes has been depicted in film and anime. In the movie, Boogiepop and Others (March 11, 2000), he was played by Yasufumi Teriwaki. In Boogiepop Phantom (January 6, 2000), he was voiced in Japanese by Taiki Matsuno, and in English by William Hirsh.

Sources, references, external links, quotations

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