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Manticore (マンティコア Manteikoa?) appears as a fictional character in the Boogiepop series by Kouhei Kadono.

Character introduction

Created as a clone of Echoes, Manticore turned out imperfect, and the Towa Organization considered it a monster.

Explanation of the character's name

"Manticore" means "man-eater". The Manticore in Boogiepop and Others also feeds upon humans, and gained its name after the Persian monster for this reason.

Character sketch

Motivations

Manticore initially aimed only to survive. After meeting Saotome Masami, however, it began to take on more human attributes, and became motivated more by love.

Goals

Initially, Manticore only wished to hide in human society, but Saotome Masami led it to believe in its own superiority, and it soon sought to control the world.

Conflicts

Believing itself safely hidden, Manticore managed to avoid conflict until it believed it had Echoes trapped, at which point it attacked him.

Minor irritations

Despite their initial success, repeated failures with the Type-S drug wore heavily upon Manticore, and as Kirima Nagi drew close to them with her investigations, Manticore found itself pushed into a corner.

Epiphany

After losing Saotome, the only tie Manticore had to humanity, it reverted back to monsterhood. With the threat of Echoes gone, Manticore had only to save its own life, then conquer the world.

Biographical summary

Prior story

Manticore, created as a clone of Echoes (but an imperfect clone) was considered[by whom?] a failure. Escaping from the lab it was created in, Manticore fled from the Towa Organisation, and Echoes, hoping to preserve its life.

Actions in Boogiepop series

Manticore enters Boogiepop and Others by killing Minako Yurihara with the intention of assuming her identity. At this time, Masami Saotome happens upon the corpse of Yurihara, and narrowly escapes Manticore's initial attack. Taunting Saotome, Manticore decides that it would rather take his form. But it becomes surprised when, rather than begging for his life, Saotome explains why Manticore would find Yurihara's form more beneficial, and confesses his love to it. Seeking to align himself with Manticore, Saotome inquires to what other powers it possesses, and gleefully explains how these powers could be used to control the world.

Drugging Akiko Kusatsu, Saotome brings her to Manticore as an initial experiment. Using her powers, Kusatsu kills and re-animates KusatsuScript error: No such module "Unsubst". as her slave, and causes her to produce a drug each night, which makes those who take it gradually become Manticore's slaves. The drug would become known as Type-S, or SLAVE. Kusatsu unknowingly produces the drug each night, and sells it to her friends, but over time her body degrades to the point where her usefulness wears off, and Manticore devours her. Kusatsu becomes the first of many students at Shinyo Academy to disappear to become Manticore's food.

Attempts to create new slaves to replace Kusatsu fail, and Nagi Kirima apparently starts investigating the source of the drug, as well as cases of the disappearing students. At this point Naoko Kamikishiro stumbles across Manticore and Saotome, looking for Echoes. Hearing the name of its original, Manticore kills Kamikishiro and desperately seeks an escape. Saotome, however, quickly deduces what has been going on, and presents a plan to Manticore, one that would see it freed from the past.

Saotome manages to get himself close to Echoes and stabs him with a mechanical pencil filled with Manticore's poison. Its greatest opponent now weakened, Manticore reveals itself and attacks. Crippled by the poison, Echoes is no match for Manticore, who revels in its power. When about to lose, Echoes transforms himself into light, directing the beam towards Manticore in hopes of destroying it, but Manticore is saved by Saotome. Whilst Saotome is disintegrated, Manticore suffers severe burns to half its body, but lives. Seeking to use Kei Niitoki as a means to restore itself, Manticore chases her, but is captured by a wire. Boogiepop reveals himself, and tells Shiro Tanaka to shoot an arrow through Manticore's head, finishing it off.

In Boogiepop Phantom, remnants of Manticore survived the pillar of light through the electromagnetic field surrounding the city, though the fragments split in two. One part maintained the basic form of Yurihara, but took on the cloak and hat of Boogiepop to become Boogiepop Phantom; the other took the form of Saotome, and survived as Manticore Phantom.

Boogiepop Phantom became aware that it would only exist for a short time, and used this time to protect the "special children", ones who had evolved after Echoes became the pillar of light. It searches for evolved humans, and preserves those it finds under the city, until the day when humanity catches up with them. It also sees Manaka as a threat, but when it tries to kill her, Boogiepop intervenes, explaining that she has lost her powers.

Manticore Phantom cares only about its own survival, and continues to devour people in the city. After meeting Arito Misuzu, Manticore Phantom sees a chance to get revenge on Kirima, whom it still sees as an enemy, but Boogiepop Phantom intervenes before Kirima arrives. When made aware of its limited life-span, Manticore Phantom panics and enters the body of Ichirou Kishida, another "phantom" living through the electromagnetic field, and travels to Akihabara, a place with sufficient electromagnetic activity to maintain its existence. Manticore Phantom hides there for a year, devouring people in Tokyo, but Boogiepop finds it. Boogiepop destroys Kishida and Manticore Phantom with an EMP blast.

Relationship with other characters in Boogiepop series

Minako Yurihara started as a loner, so Manticore finds it easy to hide itself by interacting with as few people as possible. Manticore quickly aligns itself with Masami Saotome, but over time they become much closer, and their feelings turn towards love. As Manticore takes on ever more of Minako Yuruhara's traits, a very human-like romance develops between them, and they gain a deep bond of trust. On the other hand, Manticore held a deep-set fear for Echoes, whose power it acknowledged as superior to its own.

In Boogiepop Phantom, Manticore Phantom attempts to use Arito Misuzu as a pawn to draw more food to itself. It also uses Kishida Ichirou in a similar manner, though while it revealed itself to Misuzu, Kishida remained unaware of Manticore Phantom and of what it had used his body to do. Boogiepop Phantom similarly shares few real interactions with others, seeing only children to save, and obstacles in its path. It meets the likes of Nagi Kirima and Boogiepop, but chooses to avoid significant exchange with them.

Major themes

Manticore demonstrates the stark contrast between a person treated as an object or as a failure, and a person given love.

Literary significance and criticism

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Allusions/references from other works

In Boogiepop Returns: VS Imaginator Part 1, Boogiepop compares Spooky E with Manticore, claiming the Manticore as much stronger.

Film or TV portrayals

Manticore has appeared in film and anime. Ayana Sakai played the character in the movie, Boogiepop and Others (March 11, 2000). In Boogiepop Phantom (January 6, 2000) Mayumi Asano voiced Mancicore and Boogiepop Phantom in Japanese; Ayana Sakai voiced in English.

Sources, references, external links, quotations

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