Before reading this, I'd reccomend that you firstly watch Bakemonogatari, and read this review http://www.anime-planet.com/users/Taekwondoin/reviews/9709
Nisemono - Fake, Imitation, Bogus, Counterfeit, Forgery, Phony, Copy etc.
Monogatari - Legend, Story, Tale.
Another very good play on words here.
Animation: Pretty much the same as Bakemonogatari here, though it may be slightly slicker, with more emphasis put on shading and lighting especially on the characters. Again, this is one of my favourite things about the anime, how they manage to blend in what seem like 2 Dimensional backgrounds with the characters over the top, or the text filtering across the screen, or cutting to a seemingly random pose, or a shot of something. It’s one of Shaft’s strong points in my opinion, they’re trying to push the boundaries of what you should and shouldn’t do.
Sound: There are only 2 OPs for Nise, and just the 1 ED. They’re all very good. A lot of people have a lot of love for Platinum Disco, which is Tsukihi’s theme, and I’m afraid I have to follow the herd with that, I like it a lot. Karen’s theme (Marshmallow Justice) is also very very good too, and both could be listened to as a standalone song devoid of any connection to the show. The in-show music is also very good, especially the music that plays whenever Kaiki is around, it fits his personality perfectly. Again the VA’s are extraordinarily brilliant once again, and as this is the first time we hear Shinobu speak, she easily steals the show, easily the most fitting voice for a character I’ve ever heard. Again, I’m sure this is helped by another fantastic script.
Characters: Much Like Bake[…] this is once again the shows strong point. Although the same 5 girls from the first season do appear and have their own affect on each story, we now get the focus shifted onto Koyomi’s sisters, Karen and Tsukihi Araragi, as well as Shinobu, the only 3 characters that I felt didn’t have any development in the first season. These 3 all seem to break free of the ‘let’s give each character a specific archetype’ mould of Bake[…] and as a result seem stronger than the original 5 girls. Having said that, we learn more of the original 5 and they all break out of their moulds too, or at least push the boundaries of what they should be. You have Karen, the oldest of the ‘Fire Sisters’, an incredibly skilled martial artist (I wonder why I like her?) who likes to throw herself head first into things usually at the expense of herself. Then there is Tsukihi, the youngest of the ‘Fire Sisters’, she dresses in a yukata and is very quick to anger, yet also to try and shift blame onto others, she comes across as both sweet and quite… lethal almost. Lastly there is Shinobu, a vampire who lives in Koyomi’s shadow, ancient and wise in a child’s body, she is possibly the strongest of the ‘new’ characters, being the most intelligent and the most interesting. All together it makes a stronger character set than Bakemonogatari (although I would like to have seen more of Nadeko) and one of the strongest line-ups so far. My only Criticism can be leveled at Kagenui Yozoru and Ononoki Yotsugi, they appear in the second to last episode, and just play the part of the bad guys, they do it rather well mind, but in comparison to the rest of the characters they seem very predictable and quite 2 dimensional. It’s not a huge criticism, but some fore shadowing wouldn’t have gone amiss for them.
Plot: Nisemonogatari only has 11 episodes to Bakemonogatari’s 15, in Bake[…] terms thats a whole arc missing. So instead we have just 2 arcs, Karen Bee and Tsukihi Phoenix, they are both very well paced with Karen’s arc taking up 7 episodes and Tsukihi’s the remaining 4, at first I thought it might feel slightly rushed in comparison and it doesn’t. In fact the pacing is one of the best things about this show, nothing is rushed, everything gets the time it needs and deserves, for those more interested in shounen-ai style conflicts and fights, you may find it very slow, this almost has the same pacing as you’d find in a book (which isn’t surprising as that is the source material), but to anyone with the slightest amount of patience, this really is a very well paced show. The Karen Bee arc is especially good, building up into what looks like it should be a huge climax, but then actually gives us something a hell of a lot more intelligent instead. The Tsukihi arc has a similar build up, and ends with a twist followed by the tease of a confrontation. Both end extremely well and end up tying in together wonderfully. Throughout the show though, you will see fanservice. More so than Bake[…], I’ve heard the description that Nisio Isin wrote the show with his ‘genetalia’ in his hand and it’s quite accurate in some parts, those who watched Episode 8 will agree, fortunately, this doesn’t take anything away from the plot, but neither does it add much. Mostly it’s just how the camera is used rather than having the characters constantly adapt sexualised poses and end up in strange situations. Please notice that I said ‘Mostly’ here, there are exceptions. *cough*episode8*cough*
Summary: Much like Bake[…]this is an anime entirely dependent on your experience of it. Having said that, it does feel slightly more linear in approach and slightly easier to follow. This doesn’t take anything away from either Nise[…] or Bake[…], it’s just a difference they have. It’s really worth watching, whether you though the first season was amazing or not, the play between the characters is just as good, the animation is actually improved upon, and it is more followable in terms of plot development. The antagonists are well thought out and, in the case of Kaiki, fairly creepy, with lots of back story and ideas behind them. I’d approach this the same as Bake[…], with an open mind, and with as little hype or expectations as possible, because it doesn’t exist to meet them, it exists to be only what it is devoid of any pretension. My only regret about the show is that there is very little play between Araragi and Senjougahara, their relationship is one of the best I’ve seen in an anime, but it’s not really expanded upon or developed from where Bake[…] leaves off. Having said that, I’m giving this a slightly higher score, it feels very deserving of a 9/10