Monster Story
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Shaft
R1 License - Aniplex of America
Bakemonogatari centers on Koyomi Araragi, a third year high school student who is almost human again after briefly becoming a vampire. One day, a classmate named Hitagi Senjougahara, who infamously never talks to anyone, falls down the stairs into Koyomi's arms. He discovers that Hitagi weighs next to nothing, in defiance of physics. After being threatened by her, Koyomi offers her help, and introduces her to Meme Oshino, a middle-aged homeless man who helped him stop being a vampire.

In each chapter of the series, he encounters a different heroine, each involved with a different "apparition". The events of the previous chapters play an important role in the subsequent ones. The series primarily focuses on conversations between characters; it contains a fair number of parodies of other series, as well as Nisio Isin's trademark wordplay and metahumor.

Series aired July thru Sept '09.
12 TV Episodes
+3 (web-released) OVA episodes. [source:ANN].

For a detailed summary of the story, characters and episodes, see the writeup in ↗Wikipedia

2009 Anime Reactor Award - Best Series.

ANN reports that Amazon.JP has just listed the next 2 novels as BD (Blueray Disc). 1/6/2010

[edit] ↗Bakemonogatari Franchise

Main Series: Prequels:
Episode Details 
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 9 8 9 8 8 9 Ggultra2764 [series:2097#1552]
(Buy-/ Rent+)

I was wondering how long Shaft was gonna take with completing the ONAs to this series. Bakemonogatari was doing enough at meandering my opinion between giving it a Buy or Rent thanks to some of its flaws hanging around which despite these issues, they mostly contributed to advancing the plot or looking into the problems faced by the characters. So I settled on giving it a low Buy rating, even though I'm still a bit uneasy with some of the bits I seen in this show and considering the rating.

While a good amount of Bakemonogatari is a comedy thanks to Araragi's interactions with the female lead characters, it also functions as a supernatural mystery and drama divided into several arcs focused around a female character possessed by a spirit influenced by said character's personal problems and trying to figure out how to overcome the problem with help from Araragi, spiritual expert/ homeless man Oshino and any of the female characters Araragi helped from the previous arcs. In knowing these problems, the series explores the background and psychological states of each of the characters to give a better sense of how each character winded up as they were and how they became possessed by the spirits that overtook them thus giving it a great sense of characterization. This development also goes into the relationships that Araragi develops with each of the characters as some of the female leads are those he becomes more acquainted with or was close to before and after each character arc in the show. One major case being Senjougahara accepting the help Araragi provides the other female leads as she hangs around Araragi and starts a relationship with him. The series does sport some good looking scenery and character designs, as well as having a diverse number of opening songs used for each of the show's character arcs to reflect on said character's personality or inner desires.

The series might not be for all people though for a couple major reasons. First, the series is very dialogue driven as many instances only feature conversations between characters mixed in with written dialogue visible onscreen (often times bombarding multiple dialogue screens in a matter of seconds) and an avant-garde visual presentation mixed in (a la ef) to give focus and depth on the underlying meanings of the discussions between characters. While there are some fluid movements shown in encounters Araragi has with the spirits in each of the show's arcs, the character conversations are more prevalent meaning those looking for more action in this title will be disappointed. Second, the series can be surprisingly bloody and hitting hard with its fan service at points. The content doesn't appear too frequently throughout the series yet when it does, it can hit hard. From getting blatant crotch shots of a female cast member to literally seeing someone getting swung around by their intestines, the content can be shocking to those unprepared for it and I'd definitely avoid exposing this title to younger teens thanks to the content. While some of this content is around to shock or titillate its audience, a good amount of it was necessary to advance the plot to a character arc (Nadeko Snake) or to delve into the subdued desires of a character having inner doubts (Suguru Monkey, Tsubasa Cat).

Overall, Bakemonogatari was a title that offered a unique presentation with presenting the supernatural and personal problems faced by its cast, as well as the conversations that Araragi has in becoming more acquainted with the female characters that he helps out. The dialogue heavy storytelling and occasional blatant objectionable content will make this a title that won't be for all to enjoy. But if you are looking for something different from the heaping load of dating sim spinoff, fan service heavy, moe and harem comedy titles that have been given greater focus with anime in recent years, then Bakemonogatari should be your cup of tea.

Last updated Monday, June 28 2010. Created Monday, June 28 2010.
Watch 8 9 9 7 7 8 Dreamer [series:2097#2279]
What an odd series. This one is definitely an aquired taste, both visually and in dialogue.

Art, Animation & Character Designs
Artwork is both artistic and well done. Some might beg to differ on the "artistic" part, but it "is" stylistic overall. At times, it seems minimalistic but that's what gives this an artistic feel. Animation is smooth. Character designs were good and seemed above the norm. Somehow, all the girls were kawaii... in appearance that is.

The OP was like an alternative piece... couldn't quite put my finger on it. But it was acceptable nevertheless.... far better than the typical high-pitched pop pieces you find in gazillion other series. The rest of the soundtrack didn't really have music... but rather had just odd sound effects, or short instrumental clips to heighten a dramatic dialogue or small scene.

Series and Episode Story
I didn't know what to make of this one. In fact, I still don't know what to make of it. One thing is for sure. There's no action here (aside from the 1st episode), no dramatic animation sequences, no amazing plot and not a single bit of humor (at least I didn't laugh at anything). Instead, you've got a whole 12 episodes of whitty dialogue, ecclectic banter, and surreal scenes/backdrops.... or rather simply put, lots of one on one conversations about everything and nothing.

Then the end came. It simply concluded the relationship between our main characters (Araragi & Senjougahara)... which actually was a nice touch now that I think about it. The visuals in the last episode were just stunning and breathtakingly illustrated with rich details and vibrant colors.

Overall, odd and unusual series but interesting in it's own right. You'll like this one if you can appreciate a dialogue-based anime and with virtually no real action.

Last updated Saturday, December 19 2009. Created Saturday, December 19 2009.
Buy Jan-Chan [series:2097#967]
This one is a keeper!! BTW, ###### is a git! And ###### is a smeghead!

Each of the different girls (four of them in total) has her own specific series opening. The music accompanying each opening is different, running the full gamut of ↗J-pop styles. And some of them have very little to do with the anime series, other than being visually very cute.

Last updated Friday, January 29 2010. Created Tuesday, December 15 2009.
Buy 8 9 10 9 8 9 Silence [series:2097#2939]
12 episodes watched, in a row.

Man, this is one cool show. We have our hero Araragi, 1/10th vampire 9/10th human running into all sorts of weird shit (known as oddities). He meets a girl who weighs 5kg, a girl who can't find her way to her mom, girl possessed by demon, girl cursed by other girl; You get the idea.

Anyway, this is not a horror series, despite being translated as Ghostory (quite apt in my opinion). It is more comedy than anything else. It has a loose story, very conversational, and lots (i mean lots) of flashes of text, strange camera angles and 'artsy' scenes (consider the picture above, the railings are basically undrawn on purpose. You will see lots of that sort thing, and others). Action does come in every so often, and it's pretty good too. A lot of gore and blood are implicit, like we see the silhouette of Araragi getting swinged around by a string like thing connected to his stomache, and we can tell that those are his guts. Nothing more graphic than spurts of blood though.

This show captured my attention very early on, with Senjougahara going on the offensive with her arsenal of stationary. My interest was easily sustained by the oration of Senjougahara. What Kyon did in SHnY with his monologue and exasperated tone, she did here with her (very) sharp jabs and serious tone. Things are never dull when our two leads are talking (or when she's trying to assault him). On top of this, we get to see loads of interesting paranormal events, with plenty of twists and turns in the story. Hence I was always kept guessing, and the episode ends before i know it. Oh, and ooshino is quite a cool guy. I got to like him pretty fast.

The overall story was pretty good, with many cute moments. The fanservice is of superb quality as well. I especially loved the alternative opening themes when a new character is being introduced. Though at times I do not really like the music, the effort shows, and much like SHnY, this impresses the audience, which is always a good thing. I am not hot for the 'artsy' style, but it did not impede my viewing pleasure much, so its ok. The animation was good, and the characters are very distinct and vivid.

The ending was very cute and moving, but overall the story was not that strong; this series is somewhat more episodic, with a few arcs more or less independent from each other. Hence, when the ending came, it was sort of unexpected; we were still dealing with paranormal events, when the focus suddenly shifted back to Araragi and Senjougahara's relationship. This transition is not very smooth, and I would have liked it better if it was a few episodes longer, hence, the adjustment can be more gradual. But, still, a very awesome series. Seriously cute, seriously funny, and very very addictive.

Last updated Saturday, October 03 2009. Created Tuesday, September 29 2009.
Unevaluated chibi [series:2097#2380]
I think we need a new term for the anime genre where the male character is continuously collecting strange girls. (eg: To Aru Majutsu no Index)

Interesting characters and fast-paced clever dialog. But a lot of the mystery involves various word and character manipulations that are virtually impossible to translate. (Think of a Japanese person trying to watch The Da Vinci Code.) I know just enough kanji to be able to get a glimpse of what they're trying to get at. (Sometimes.) Could be interesting if you didn't try to understand it too much, otherwise might make your head hurt.

bakemono (monster) + monogatari (saga, story) => bakemonogatari

Last updated Friday, July 31 2009. Created Wednesday, July 29 2009.
Rent Stretch [series:2097#628]
(12 episodes watched):

Well, this show knows how to grab the viewer's attention! But episode one left me praying that they weren't expecting me to make any sense out of the confused, fleeting images of horror immediately afterwards. Strange camera angles (upside-down, for example) and audio tones are employed--artsy. I concluded that this might be very good, or might not be; for all the bizarre happenings, episode one doesn't really take us all that far into the story. I hoped it wouldn't just turn out to be mean spirited, violent stuff like had happened in this episode.

I didn't know where this is going, but that was okay because it made me confident that it was going somewhere, rather than just being predictable and unoriginal. Clever dialogue, and infinitely more of it than in most series, is a plus. At first Senjougahara was seeming to be a major turn-off with her bitchy and hateful attitude, but that problem suddenly seems to have been fixed--well, lessened--in episode two and I was left intensely curious about where things would go from there.

Bakemono seems to be not so much a matter of genuine, frightening monsters as ordinary people who have been cursed in such a way as to become sort of pseudo-monsters. That is, more of a comedy than a horror story. Unfortunately, this show seems to fall into the category of shows which don't work all that well in subtitled mode, probably because there is a lot of reading of clever dialogue to be done, and continually pausing the episode spoils the timing of the jokes. This is a pity, because Bakemono seems like a neat show; I especially liked the resolution of the lost girl arc in episode five.

Another thing which annoys me is the way that text appears briefly (to express what somebody is thinking but not saying, for example). But these often flash by in literally a fraction of a second, and it's hard to see how even a fluent Japanese speaker could take them in without pausing the show and moving forward one frame at a time--which takes forever and again, spoils the timing.

Senjougahara seemed a frightening person with unpredictable emotions, someone who was liable to snap into violence at any moment. The quirky, disfunctional behavior of the characters in genral puts this show in a category with Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, i.e, shows which have discarded the usual cast of harmless, healthy-minded people. The sense of humor is exceptional, largely because the show is prepared to delve into the minds of such bizarre people and reveal the strange things they think. Arcs number two with Kanbaru's "monkey paw" and number three with the snake girl went just as well as number one did.

The final episode must have been the best one of the series. It was remarkably touching and at a stroke made complete sense of Senjougahara and Aragi's relationship--that doesn't happen often. And it leaves us feeling confident and optimistic about their future together--that's nice. You might say that Senjougahara is a tsundere character done right. This was a strange, original, fun show. I hear there are several additional episodes which are to be added to the twelve TV ones, and I'll definitely be watching for those.

Last updated Thursday, October 29 2009. Created Friday, July 10 2009.
Buy Forbin [series:2097#1573]
Analysis : 5 Episodes watched

  • Drama : Med / High
  • Action : Low
  • Comedy : Low
  • SciFi : Med
  • Ecchi : HIGH
I am very surprised at the ecchi 2nd episode.

Mysterious Girlfriend X Meets Kara No Kyokai.

Well I'm definitely watching it. Damn the girl was pretty brutal with the stapler.

Episode 5 : Perfect!

IAK! (It's a keeper)

Last updated Tuesday, August 04 2009. Created Thursday, July 09 2009.

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