Just checked out Bakemonogatari 1-4. It definitely piqued my interest, though I'm not sure if its pros outweighed the cons.
- Extremely interesting animation - combining all sorts of styles (hard to explain what I mean) in a very symbolic ways. Gorgeous scenery, and very cinematic in a way.
- Quirky, appropriate music
- Witty dialogue (though this is also a negative, see below)
- An intro that changes depending on the character of the day - I loved the stapler in the intro for episode 2, as an example.
- Bakemonogatari is a textbook case of 'too much of a good thing'. The majority of each episode is dedicated to watching two of the characters talk to each other, usually with very little scene changing or visual excitement. While the dialogue is witty and entertaining, it also becomes boring very quickly - especially when watching multiple episodes in a row.
- The animation is gorgeous, but there aren't nearly enough locations to keep your interest. Episode 3 takes place almost fully on the steps of a building (the school?) and the characters never really leave that spot. It's great seeing that location for a bit, but what about changing things up?
- The tone is odd. Clearly Bakemonogatari is meant more as a bizarre comedy than a monster story (though the title of the series suggests otherwiseS), but I really would like to see more monsters. Episode 1's 'intro' suggests that there's a lot more blood and gore, but so far in 4 episodes there's been zero. Somewhat false advertising, in my opinion.
- I really, really could have done without all the ecchi. I don't think it does anything for the show and feels out of place.
Overall, Bakemonogatari is a bizarre yet solid watch for Summer 2009, but this is a rare instance where I'm recommending to watch it once a week as it airs, rather than trying to watch it all at once. Normally I do the latter because otherwise I can't remember enough to write a review with the piece meal method, but in Bakemonogatari's case, watching a few eps in a row are a quick path to a nap.