TV (15 eps)
2009 - 2010
Summer 2009
4.084 out of 5 from 33,329 votes
Rank #656

Koyomi Araragi is an aloof boy who holds a strange, supernatural secret which inadvertently leads him to others with similar stories. Gods, spirits and afflictions can be pesky things, taking important memories or causing unusual tendencies – a fact that Koyomi and others are unfortunately aware of. Using the help of an eccentric homeless man, Koyomi is able to help new friends he meets along the way with their own paranormal conundrums…

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Just checked out Bakemonogatari 1-4. It definitely piqued my interest, though I'm not sure if its pros outweighed the cons.Pros: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 musicWitty 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. Cons: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.


Okay, so I read the 5 star review and I've read the one star reviews. -I've got very little to add, read one or two of each, and I must remind you the confusing series order is Bakemonogatari>Nisemonogatari>Nekomonogatari>Bakemonogatari second season. Alright, but I should add in quick summary, this particular series (because that's what this review is posted on) is visually beautiful but CONCEPTUALLY ANIMATED, so not necessarily to everyone's taste. The scene cuts are fast pace and there's a lot of wit in the animation (not ideal for us poor sods who can't understand Japanese) BUT - THIS SHOULD NOT TAKE AWAY FROM IT. In fact, it's a good thing, if you can't read the subs quick enough, practice skim reading, it'll help in school as well. It takes a couple of episodes to get your mind to catch up, and is nearly impossible to watch while half asleep (you'll miss absolutely everything). But I won't accept the statement 'it doesn't make sense'. It really does make sense, and when it doesn't, it's nonsensical humour (and doesn't impact any further than the gag at hand). There is a lingering greater depth to the characters than they reveal in this series, all the same, you know everything you need to know in order to relate. -Also, when watching this show, just accept spirits and animal Gods are real, they don't plan to explain that to you here, it's not about that. It's about (this is a little opinionated I apologise) the complicated bonds that form between the appearing characters and the protagonist due to the mingling of spirits and Gods in the world humans (and obviously Senjougahara, which you'll understand better when you watch, but I only think she's on the cover of this series because she's a totally hot school girl sadist, and the Japanese love that jazz) I can accept that a conceptually animated, complicated and verbally heavy anime like this really isn't to everyone's taste, but it's totally worth a shot. -Please don't give up because it's hard to keep up, the conversation is fast and full of pretty much only witty banter but read between the lines and there's always a second layer to each conversation that reveals the plot and it's surprisingly slow paced I think! (The key plot that is, they talk back like it's a damn jerk reaction) Lastly, (warning - opinion fast approaching) I like the protagonists decisions in this show. You get the feeling he genuinely cares about everyone around him, and when he and 'her' get a little more 'intricate' (trying to avoid spoilers), you don't feel like he's being a two timing asshole. Which I believe is an all too common problem with male protagonists in love triangles. Like, come on, who wants to spend 24 minutes a week watching an asshole being an asshole? It's just bad form. (Sorry, mini rant over) So enjoy! P.S. I hear crunchy roll hasn't got the last couple episodes or so? Bummer, there SHOULD BE 15 EPISODES. But only 12 were aired on television! (That's why, the licensing is totally different to most of the anime you see on CR) DO FIND THESE MISSING EPISODES. Guys, you've done your part by paying your subscription to cr, don't wuss out and become al 'holier than thou'. Just find them online, and if you REALLY want to support this show or any show you like, buy the box sets. That's where their real money is once it leaves television. -I don't have this show on CR in the UK, I just watched it illegally then bought the box set. (I really liked this show, it's my kind of thing) Oh my God, I meant for this to be a 2 liner review.. I'm so sorry, but I think I aired out any potentially harmful statements you'll see in other reviews, and covered important pointers I really needed to know before I dove in! Now, dive in yourselves!! This is a CR review of mine, but I love this show so I wanted to put it in too.


Bakemonogatari is a combination of so many themes and genres that individually it seems to be pure win. Yet in reality it is just a crafty way of pandering the audience. If you want to fully enjoy it, see it as fan service with artsy artwork and not as a thought-provoking concept with fan service for garnish. At best it can be seen as an interesting series of smart gags and wordplays in a psychedelic setting of artistic expression. Every scene symbolizes something or fools around with viewer expectations by showing him slice of life moments in the opening that never actually happen in-series. At worst it can be seen as a big pile of weirdness that never seems to get anywhere other than throwing excuses for erotic foreplay. Here is a toothbrush.The characters are generally drawn in a cartoony way and they often deform further or change artstyles to resemble other eras or series. They can look polished as well, but those scenes are reserved for fan service (when some girl undresses or shows off her underwear or the camera zooms to her face). Lots of people defend this as an artistic choice or even go as far as saying it is not fan service because we see the girls through the perverted eyes of the protagonist, but it still boils down to the usual sexualization of minors and the plot becomes an afterthought after awhile, so it’s not like you can remove the naughty parts to make the story better. The story doesn’t matter. It’s about some dude helping girls with supernatural curses, stuff you see in lots of datesims, but it’s not like they deal with it in some pragmatic way. They just talk, make jokes, show bare skin for a couple of episodes, and then the issue is resolved in some cheap magical way. It’s a show you are watching for all the crazy stuff happening on-screen, and a big part of them involves erotic stuff. Is there a story? Yes, but it doesn’t matter regardless of how mysterious and non-linear it presents itself. Here is a toothbrush.If the anime community was seeing it that way and did not refuse its raunchy side, I would be a happy camper. Unfortunately the anime and its numerous continuations has garnered a large number of apologists who will insist it’s not a harem or that it doesn’t have fan service because it’s just the protagonist indulging in his sexual fantasies. But isn’t that what the ecchi genre is all about? Indulging in sexual fantasies? The anime is not critiquing it, and it doesn’t seek ways to help people move past it. This ain’t Welcome to the NHK or Lolita (the book/movie). It is just self-aware about it and revels in its naughty nature, so let’s not defend it for being more of the same, the same way we shouldn’t defend drug lords just for being self-aware when they ruin the lives of thousands of people. Down to it it’s artistic erotism and not erotic art. Here is a toothbrush.I will give the show credit in the character department, since if you peel away all the artsy stuff and the objectification of minors you still get a cast of fleshed out characters. Since the conflict is internal and they talk (a lot) about it, you get to see how they think and act far more than your average bimbo caricature in some crappy harem. It’s not the only harem that does that, mind you, Love Hina and Ah My Goddess are famous examples of that, but it still ranks among the best softporn anime for bothering to treat the girls as something more than just meat. It still treats them as meat though. The girls are datesim-level stereotypes. Here is a toothbrush.With all that out of the way, it’s a very memorable show thanks to its uncommon artsy aesthetics and if you are into harems it can be very enjoyable. If you happen to get all the references and the wordplays, it can even come off as competent half the time. If on the other hand you are not a fan of trolling comedy or 2D softporn, you are better off giving it a pass. Remember to brush your teeth.

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