This is basicly a harem show (Clanned or Air or somthing similar) mixed with xxxHOLiC. Although it takes Bakemonogatari around 3 episodes to do what xxxHOLiC does in one, and xxxHOLiC still does it better. I know I shouldn’t compare them, but I just can’t help it here since it REALLY reminds of xxxHOLiC all the time.
Also, it’s not exactly like most harems since most females don’t pursue him in a romantic way (even though it’s hinted at it with some/most of them), but it’s definitely set up like a harem. It’s one guy that helps out girls one by one in their own specific arc and is in the end surrounded by them.
If you ask me, the unique art directing is most probably used to hide that the show itself in fact isn’t unique at all.
If I wouldn’t be so interested in these kinds of supernatural stories to begin with the score would be MUCH lower.
Animation/Artwork/Visual Effects: 8/10
This part of the show is good in itself, but it isn’t used very well most of the time. There are plenty of unnecessary movements used throughout the series. Like the classic “shaking-ones-head-to-make-the-said-statement-appear-more-dramatic”, although, if you ask me, it does the exact opposite. It just ridiculous.Then we have the general directing which is very similar to an opening from “Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei” series. I’m comparing it to an opening and not the actual show because it’s much “wilder” than the actual SZS series and it doesn’t even fit with this show like it does with SZS.
That said, it does have some great shots here and there, and the fight scene with the “monkey” looks absolutely great.
The OP/ED had great animation
The voice actors all did a good job, nothing real to complain about, even though I don’t think that Hiroshi Kamiya (Nozomu Itoshiki from SZS) really fits as Araragi. But I do think that Chiwa Saitō did a great job as Senjoughara.
The BGM is very inconsistent. Sometimes it’s great music, but it doesn’t fit with what’s going on, other times the music is just lame. But there are a few times when it works great. So overall it’s quite avarage.
The OP songs were never particularly good, but I liked the ED song.
Araragi is alot like any other harem male lead. He’s a bit better than most though since he has some special background story which makes him more than the faceless male lead that usually inhabits harems. But his behaviour is very close to the usual type. Araragi is also one of the reasons why I keep thinking of Clannad and Air because those shows also have male leads with slightly special background stories that act pretty much like the usual male harem lead. They’re all still below avarage as characters though. Mayoi is the incredibly common yelling and fighting tsundere loli and Nadeko is the shy and helpless loli. Both incredibly cliché and uninteresting. We also have the “dignified” class-rep, Hanekawa, and the cheery sports girl, Kanbaru. Although thanks to some pretty nice and unexpected character development Hanekawa isn’t completely uninteresting and Kanbaru turns out pretty nice. Unfortunately, they’re still not all that good and I actually felt that Hanekawa could’ve been more fleshed out. Then we have the little sisters. We can’t have a harem set-up without some cute younger sisters now, can we? They didn’t even need them in the show. They used them as a way for Araragi to have some backstory with the snake girl, but that could’ve easily been done in another way. Senjoughara on the other hand is a pretty well crafted character, even if I didn’t like her personally. She was too much of a bitch for me, even if we got a good reason for why she acted the way she did. One thing I didn’t understand was why she carried arround all that hidden stuff in the beginning. Wouldn’t the staple be enough? I do gotta say that the staple thing was something I really found interesting though. That and the other characters personal objects which identified them with their “hidden nature”. Hitagi's staple - the claw of a crab, Mayoi's back pack - the shell of a snail, Kanbaru's leggings - Sarumata ('Saru' means monkey), and Nadeko's big hat and baggy jacket - the head and skin of a snake. Althought to be honest, I got this information after I finished this show and the previous information comes directly from Wikipedia. That doesn’t mean it’s not an interesting thing, even if it didn’t add any enjoyment to the show seeing as how I didn't see it when I watched the show.
Anyway, Senjoughara is pretty good, kanbaru is pretty entertaining in some aspects, Hanekawa has some redeeming facts even though she is close to the bottom, Araragi isn’t completely worthless as a character, but he isn’t far off either, Nadeko is very uninteresting but isn’t THAT annoying, Mayoi is incredibly annoying, cliché and generally uninteresting and the sisters are useless except for crappy fanservice although not for anything ecchi, just as imagination stereotypes.
Oh, I forgot about two characters; Shinobu and Oshino. Well, Shinobu is just used for backstories, she’s a bit interesting, but just as a mystery. She’s basicly nothing seeing as how she gets no character development. Oshino was just a very inferior version of Yuuko from xxxHOLiC.
The characters faults annoyed me much more than their positive sides entertained me. The only reason this didn’t get a bottom score is because of the personal object thing and the slight enjoyment from Kanbaru and Senjoughara. Although, even if Senjoughara is the most entertaining character, shouldn’t Araragi be the person on most of the posters and stuff, seeing as he is in fact the main character – not Senjoughara.
But I gotta say that if I did like the show for some reason I would probably try to think more of their good sider than their bad sides. But as it is, this is the only way I can view these characters.
I didn’t like it at all. Like I’ve stated before, alot from this show reminded me of xxxHOLiC and this show is inferior in every aspect except for the quality of the A/A/V. The fact that I dislike harem shows deals another great blow to this series. The dialogue wasn’t the least bit witty to me and it irritated me much more than it entertained me with lines like “Hey Ararararagi.” “Wait, you added 2 extra ra to my name.” I mean, what the hell is that. They even use the same kind of joke several times. But they then did it like; “wait, you removed a ra from my name”. It was just sad.
If it weren’t for my love of supernatural shows this would get a bottom score.