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Nekomonogatari (Black)

Sep 19, 2023

"Nekomonogatari (Black)" is an intriguing addition to the Monogatari series, known for its unique storytelling and complex characters. Here's my review of this particular installment, breaking down various aspects:

Story (6/10): "Nekomonogatari (Black)" offers a more focused narrative compared to other entries in the series. It delves into the backstory of Tsubasa Hanekawa and her encounter with a mysterious cat spirit. The story explores themes of identity, adolescence, and the consequences of repressed emotions. While it may not be as intricate or mind-bending as some other arcs in the Monogatari series, it still manages to captivate with its character-driven storytelling and witty dialogue.

Animation (8/10): One of the standout features of the Monogatari series is its visually striking and avant-garde animation style. "Nekomonogatari (Black)" continues this tradition with its unique visual aesthetics. The use of abstract imagery, symbolism, and creative camera angles adds depth to the storytelling. While some may find the animation style polarizing, it undeniably contributes to the series' distinct charm.

Sound (8/10): The sound design in "Nekomonogatari (Black)" is exceptional, as is typical of the Monogatari series. The voice acting, particularly the performances of Kana Hanazawa as Tsubasa Hanekawa and Hiroshi Kamiya as Koyomi Araragi, is top-notch. The series' use of music, ambient sounds, and silence to create mood and tension is masterful and enhances the viewing experience.

Characters (6/10): Tsubasa Hanekawa takes the spotlight in this arc, and her character development is a central focus. Her internal struggles and the revelation of her hidden emotions are compelling to witness. While some other characters from the series make appearances, this arc primarily revolves around Hanekawa and her complex relationships with others. The Monogatari series has a knack for creating multi-dimensional characters with intricate psychological profiles, and "Nekomonogatari (Black)" is no exception.

Overall (6/10): "Nekomonogatari (Black)" is a solid entry in the Monogatari series, offering a more contained and character-driven narrative. While it may not reach the heights of some of the more iconic arcs in the series, it still maintains the series' signature style and thought-provoking storytelling.

Regarding a comparison to the manga or novel, it's important to note that "Nekomonogatari (Black)" is originally a light novel written by Nisio Isin and later adapted into anime form. While there may be manga adaptations of certain parts of the Monogatari series, the primary source material for the anime is the light novels. Therefore, for the most authentic experience, I recommend exploring the light novels, which provide deeper insights into the characters and narrative.

6/10 story
8/10 animation
8/10 sound
6/10 characters
6/10 overall
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