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WolfAngelus

  • Kelowna, BC, Canada
  • Joined Nov 14, 2015
  • ? / M

Bakemonogatari

Sep 24, 2017

A surprisingly good (and rather odd) anime, that is plagued with one of the worst and most confusing start-ups I have seen (I wasn't sure if I was even watching the right anime, as there was no way it was worth the 4.3 stars average). The first 3 episodes are incredibly confusing, boring, and have you wondering what on earth you are supposed to be watching. Almost an entire episode takes place at a single setting. This is very inaccurate of what you will get with the other 12 episodes though. Know that once you hit episode 4+, things change and this is where it really shines. (Don't stop till after ep 5, if you don't like it then, it won't change anymore).

The description and tags aren't great indicators of what to expect. What we have here is a mix of the following (in my opinion and in no particular order): ecchi - not strong though, comedy, partial horror, partial psychological, supernatural, partial romance.

The concept is simple enough. There are multiple "short stories, or chapters" spanning across 2-4 eps. Each one features a person that has a "spirit animal" attached to them. The stories are all connected though, and does feature natural progression. Each small chapter focuses on learning about the associated character's past on how it happened, and they try to cure the person of it. It just so happens that all these people are female, and also have a thing for the main character. This plays into the whole romance triangle concept, despite the guy having made a girlfriend already. There are some pretty violent scenes, and a decent amount of comedy too, part of which relies on ecchi humor. Once you hit that 4th+ ep, it all is quite engaging and entertaining, so you really have to force yourself to get there.

I gave the animation a low score due to two things. One, and the most oddest thing throughout, is the use of these wierd... subliminal message cards or whatever they are. Regularly, brief showings of what I would call flash cards are shown with a text, and animation number. It was quite confusing and annoying as it felt like a way to save money or something, just really bizarre. To me, it cuts the immersion down. Part of me can appreciate the unique nature, but it felt overused, and at times it flashes so quick you can't read it without getting up to pause it. Two, many scenes were used for several minutes, and without looking at the airing date, would have thought the artwork to be from the early 2000's.

The multiple opening themes was nice. Each spirit animal girl had their own theme play for a few episodes essentially.

Finally, the characters. I enjoyed each one of the main ones. They all had their own story and background. Due to the chapter based nature, none were overused (except the main guy), so it felt fresh, but with enough exposure to get a feel for each character. Due to their spirit animals, they all had quite a unique personality, and typically followed a unfortunate/sad story towards a happier one. The meddlecat spirit had to be the most amusing.

Overall, I quite liked this (after the first 3 eps, had it not been for my persistant nature to finish what I started, this would be dropped, as I suspect many have). I am not a huge story person, but I was captured by this one. Do yourself a favor and make sure you don't stop till after episode 5, you will most likely regret missing out otherwise if you ever do get the chance to come back to it or finally watch it.

8.5/10 story
5/10 animation
9/10 sound
9/10 characters
7/10 overall
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