June 3rd 2009, Studio shaft created “Bakemonogatari” and in January 8th 2012 “Nisemonogatari”. these two series were directed by none other than Akiyuki Shimbou and is well-known for its heavy use of unique and complex dialogue, unique characters and some very weird comedy. “Bakemonogatari” is about a boy called Koyomi Araragi who has been recently attacked by a vampire and then finds himself helping out 5 girls who have been affected by oddities and apparitions. The story also follows the relationship mainly between Araragi and Senjougahara which is intertwined with the series. “Nisemonogatari” is a continuation of the story of “Bakemonogatari”.
The characters in the series are on of the strongest parts of the series. The main character is Koyomi Araragi who is your typical protagonist, as he usually can’t help himself from helping people in need but he does diverge from this stereotype as you find out when he’s not helping people, he’s being constantly on the receiving end of Senjougahara’s abuse, touching and beating up a grade school student or doing weird stuff to his sister! (you’ll know when you see it!)
The other character worth mentioning in detail is Senjougahara Hitagi who is the tsundere heroine of the series but although this seems to follow the same pattern as most modern anime, her character breaks the mound for tsundere’s as she has the one of the most interesting and unique personality of any heroine to date as she is very sadistic and when she is with Araragi they have some of the funniest and most interesting dialogue i have seen in a long while in anime.
The other characters are mainly serve as a new girl in the next arc and also make reappearances for comical purposes or they serve their purpose as a supporting role. None the less the actual cast is quite small which allow a large amount of development for these characters and the series makes you feel attached to these characters and their not being left behind. Another point to add is that the a large portion of the cast are girls which makes this series move into the genre of harem. (which speaks for itself.)
So my main thoughts on the series was as follows. The story was good in my eyes but was not exactly an amazing feat of writing, it served its purpose and nothing less but I do give points for writing as it intertwines the romance aspects of the story brilliantly with the main plot-line. Although the plot was slightly lacking in “Nisemonogatari” in my opinion but I feel it was very controversial. one of the other points I have to make about is the dialogue in the series. At first glance the large majority of dialogue in the series as opposed to action can make the series a quite boring or feel really slow which could put many people off the series also the lack of dub may put off people who don’t like subtitles for your various reasons. The series also gets point for its great use of intertwining some comical dialogue into some scenes which isn’t too bold and in your face but it does have some blunt, unusual and vulgar humor which may put some people off.
Although this previous point is true the dialogue in the series can be considered a double-edged sword, as the dialogue is the strongest part of the series as the dialogue is never boring due to the way they use plays on words, references and the interesting ideals all the characters seem to express. The dialogue between characters is also quite comical especially when mixed with some of the quirky art they put in sometimes to spice up these scenes but they may be seen as an eyesore to some. They also used some unusual or darker art in some scenes which helped to set the mood as I couldn’t help but think it was typically shaft as you could see how the unusual art had an influence on one of shaft Newer series “Puella Magi Madoka Magica”
Speaking of art, The Art and Animation saw top-notch with great character designs which always caught your eye, the great use of color in the series and the attention to detail with the landscape and backgrounds as they are so well done I actually feel I’m being drawn into the background unaware of what is happening. They also use vibrant colors when in conversation or what few fights the series has in parallel with fast transitions to make scenes much more interesting and vibrant even if it was only just simple dialogue, they also used very dull colors in some scenes to set the mood in some of the darker scenes which also looks great. They also use a variety transitions between wide shots and close shots which work great for setting the mood in a specific scene. The animation of the series was great as it was very smooth and the way they used transitions in parallel to dialogue really made it unique to most of the anime at the time or even now.
The music is one of my favorite parts of this anime as the music they use they manage to intertwine with the dialogue so well that it sets the mood perfectly that I give major points to this anime for. The soundtrack of “Bakemonogatari” consists mainly of piano melody and a few songs on guitar (both acoustic/ Electric) and vice-versa in “Nisemonogatari” as I heard less use of the piano which was a shame as in the first season they used it so well. But as I said previously it sets the mood perfectly for each scene as it fits the dialogue well and the melody flows through the scene well with the transitions to create some very powerful scenes which actually took my breath away. One of my favorite songs soundtrack was The piano Version of the Opening “Staple, Staple” which made for some of the most breath-taking scenes. To listen to it you can click this link : http://youtu.be/ccjQ4Hk_ejM .
My final verdict on the both Series is that it is a great story revolving around may arcs but its true strength lies in its ability to intertwine Breath taking art, Interesting and unique character and dialogue, Great transitions and dialogue and a beautiful soundtrack to create a wonderful experience, and with some good comedy (Although it is pretty weird). If you go into this with a with the mindset that you should expect a lot of text but if you look close enough you may find a unique experience that you will enjoy. I’m sorry that this review may have seemed slightly bias but I feel that this series is truly a great anime if you are ready to tackle something so unique and genre defining and you can look past its large dialogue but remember this show may not be for the faint hearted or anyone looking for fast paced action. The rating I have given these anime are 9/10.
Anyway I hope you have enjoyed this very passionate review, I tried to keep open-minded and write a fair comparison but you just saw the end result and I REGRET NOTHING. I’m sorry if you didn’t enjoy it but I tried my best I promise but if you did feel free to like, follow us and look at our other reviews. Thanks for reading, again hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did writing it and until next post.
See Ya! ~Zero