Boogiepop Phantom: The Horror Reappears...and Disappears
After lots of blood, sweat and tears, it finally made it. Boogiepop Phantom, the series described as "A bit like Bergman taking a stroll through Twin Peaks while holding hands with William Gibson" [Fantasia Film Festival], finally made its way into hundreds of thousands of television sets across the country when it hit the airwaves on both the Anime Network and G4 in 2003.
You'd never think that it would take three years of hard work to get a simple show on TV would you? Getting programming on TV is a lot about knowing the right people, having the right timing, and sometimes just plain luck. For instance, when we first thought about getting this show on the air, we submitted it to what we thought would be absolutely best target station. While this station shall remain nameless, we were stupefied when their polite response was "…although we enjoyed your high school romance, we do not feel that it is quite the right fit for our audience." No I'm not kidding. Now anyone who's ever seen this series has to wonder what these people were smoking when they popped the DVD in the player to check it out.
Although we were obviously disappointed at their reaction, this didn't deter our belief that this was an amazing show that really deserved to be on TV so it could be seen by everyone. How could something that delved so much into the human psyche not stir up interest? So we set off once again to find a station with a vision; a station who understood the mainstream thirst for anime was maturing, and was looking for the next level beyond Dragon Ball Z,Pokémon, and Yu-Gi-Oh.
And then in December of 2002, we found two of them almost simultaneously. One established channel that had just begun to take that next step into a world of anime; one infant channel on the rise to national stardom; both with the knowledge of the anime world, and who knew what fans were looking for: G4 and the Anime Network (AN). G4 had just launched Anime Unleashed (AU), their new programming block dedicated visually compelling anime with strong storylines. Originally cornerstoned by Serial Experiments Lain, G4 was looking to expand AU with other Lain-esque types of shows. Meanwhile, ADV Films had just launched AN as a pay-per-view only station on the east coast. Looking to expand past their own programming material, they approached us for additional programming and we were happy to help out.
In June 2003, the crew of Right Stuf was celebrating as Boogiepop Phantom finally made its broadcast debut in the States on Anime Network. Then on July 28th 2003, the series debuted on G4's "Anime Unleashed" at 12AM EST (ironically closely mimicking the original release time on Japanese television). It had been an extremely long road with lots of work for everyone here, but if even one fan out there has been able to sit in very dark room, watched this series, and has had the daylights scared out of them, then we feel that it's all been worth the effort.
Will you see more Right Stuf titles on a TV near you? All we can say at this point is that it's our goal to get every single one of our titles out where everyone can enjoy them. We love them, and we want you to love them too.