Just checked out Bakemonogatari 1-4. It definitely piqued my interest, though I'm not sure if its pros outweighed the cons.
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)
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.
Bakemonogatari is one of the very first anime I've ever watched online in 2011, initially it didn't have a good impression on me because the many walls of text and the 3D'ish backgrounds were a bit annoying, but the dialogues are so funny and interesting that everything else doesn't really matter anymore, the first episode was enough to get me hooked in the whole series.
About the animation I like the details they put in faces/all characters in general, also there're different openings for each arc (I love Hachikuji's so much) and the ending changes slightly every time, not to mention the awesomeness of the theme songs (Supercell, nuff said).
Regarding the walls of text, I highly recommend to pause the video and take your time to read them because sometimes there're written important details. If you're new to this series, even though Bakemonogatari was the first anime adaption, I think would be better to start watching from the prequel (Nekomonogatari: Black - or Kuro), but this is just my personal preference for any anime series in general, I watched Bakemonogatari first and I don't regret it!
It literally means ghost-story
Bakemonogatari had been on my 'want to watch' list for quite a long time. And then I decided to watch it for the bingo challenge: Fall 2019 and also there is a badge for finishing this anime( I thought I had to finish all the Monogatari titles to earn the badge. Phew!)
How do I feel about Bakemonogatari? In a sentence, it's different, beautiful and I found it unique. Now let's talk in detail, Shall we?
At first( I mean for the first episode) everything seemed really confusing. But with time things started to settle in a pattern. Araragi Koyomi is a high school boy who is a post-vampire( I mean, he was a vampire for some time. Now he is not). He can recognize or sense aberration very naturally and that's how he was familiarised with Senjougahara Hitagi. Koyomi knows a guy named Oshino Meme( Yes, his name is Meme. And I like him) who knows how to deal with these aberrations. Soon Koyomi meets more characters like Hitagi who are suffering from supernatural situations and that is how the story flows.
Graphically Bakemonogatari has a different type of animation than other anime clearly. It was different and I loved it. I think this type of art is exactly what this anime needed. The background, the characters, the surroundings, I loved everything.
I want to talk about the background music that is played where a bunch of scenes is shown with just a bunch of lines. The suspense that held that music is praisable.
Araragi: Or Koyomi, it's his first name. Most of the characters are female but the main protagonist is a male. He has an ahoge on his head that moves a lot (I mean a lot, a lot). He was once a vampire for sometimes but he is recovered from that. He still has some superpowers though. I liked Araragi more than I thought I would. He is kind of a pervert (the kinda typical teenager is). But doesn't like to admit though. Yes, he is all about saving people and friends but not in the typical way we see in the shounen anime (like screaming how he will definitely save all his loved ones by beating the crap out of the enemy). He just wants to help despite anything. He cares. That's what makes him so great.
Senjougahara: She is my most favorite female character by far. As a woman myself I am always kind of disappointed by the female characters in anime about their character developments being not so great. But I am really happy to find that Senjougahara Hitagi is a really well-written character. She is violent, shows almost no emotion on her face, and brutally honest. She is the ultimate example of Tsundr a(Yes, it's tsundra not Tsundere). The way she confessed was mild blowing. I love her. Chiwa Saito's voice acting added a new dimension to her chilliness.
Hanekawa: She is like the total encyclopedia. She knows everything. But still, you will hear her say It's not like I know a lot. I just know what I know. She is a kind character with a pathetic family story.
Hachikuji: A middle-schooler hanging around with her schoolbag. Araragi likes to tease and harass her. And she always mispronounces him intentionally and says she is sorry that she stuttered. I also loved her voice.
Kanbaru: I thought I wouldn't like her. But she came out to be great. And also Miyuki Sawashiro did a really great job.
Oshino Meme: Yes. You are not wrong. HIS NAME IS MEME AND HE IS THE MY MOST FAVOURITE CHARACTER IN THE ANIME (I wrote it in both bold and capital. You better know how much I admire him). He is kind of an exorcist who has a vast knowledge of spirits, demons, and gods. He did mention supernaturality or something was his subject in college. He has mind-blowing confidence and an aura around him which is hard to ignore. He is a laid-back, homeless person. He is the one who revived Araragi.
I loved this anime and I will definitely finish the whole Monogatari series. I also highly recommend this anime.