Bakemonogatari is either amazing or a let down depending on what you start the anime looking for. If you're looking for a creepy supernatural anime with heavy plot and adventure, you will probably find this anime to be very dull. However, if you start this anime looking for moe girls and cuteness, you will likely be thrilled by the supernatural sub-plot and gorgeous animation.
Story (Not the worst)
The story is broken up into five arcs, each focusing on an individual character. As you would expect, there are some sub-plots more interesting then others. The stories told behind all abnormalities affecting the girls are fascinating and add a layer of character development. While this show is moe-harem thinly masked by it's supernatural atmosphere, it erases alot of the genres cliches. The protagonist is not a pathetic wimp, and he picks a girl right away, while there is flirtation bewteen him and the others, you know where his heart lies. Bakemonogatari also has much more plot and substance then most harem anime. My biggest complaint story wise, is in such a short series, having filler episodes with the characters doing nothing but talking is frustrating. Especially because most of these conversations, while funny at times, are not very memorable and feel like a waste of an episode.
Some people complain about studio Shaft being "cheap" and taking shortcuts, by using cuts and using live-action bits, and how static talking scenes are. However, I say poo-poo to them, because those factors added to the already gorgeous art work. The character designs were gorgeous, the lighting and coloration added to the atmosphere, and the few fight scene that were in there were beautiful. And the scenery made you wish you were there. This anime is an AMV makers wet dream. This is the type of anime you can pause at random parts and you will not find the hilariously awkward stretched out pieces of characters and badly drawn facial expressions. Every frame of this show is art.
This anime has five openings, one for each heroine. Me being the sucker for girly music I am, fell madly in love with the second opening "Kaerimichi" and even moreso for the danceable "Renai Circulation" while the others are good, I don't find them as catchy as the other OPS. I also thought the ED sounded very pretty.
The background music wasn't particularily wowing aside from a couple songs and seeing as the show was mostly talking, the background music wasn't relied on heavily.
I can't think of a seeiyu I didn't like in this show, I also liked the lack of extras. There is never any speaking roles aside the main characters, which added an oddly intimate atmosphere.
I absolutely loved all the characters until I wrote a review. Why? All the characters are likeable, they are cute and all have personality quirks that make you fawn over them. Not to mention all their designs are gorgeous. However, if you look at this show analytically, all the shows are moe-moe cliches. A tsundere, a loli, a tomboy, a moe blob, the unlucky friend, and the imouto-chans, inspite of the cliches, the character still managed to be semi-unique. The supernatural feel and their own tales of suffering make them seem well developed, and some of them are. But most fell flat in the depth department. Regardless, they all had interesting stories and magnetic personalities, and I like them, even if they aren't all the best developed characters.
While this anime had its flaws (their biggest crime were the fillers), it's still one of my all time favorite. I personally give it 9.5/10, however, in an unbiased review I give it 8/10, the art and sound do not disappoint, the characters are all pretty likeable, and a fascinating premise if you can handle the slow pace.
overall score: 8/10
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