Posted by psgels on 17 April 2010 with categories: Katanagatari



The big potential pitfall for this series was becoming too formulaic. You know, having every episode consist out of talking that leads up to a fight between Shichika and whoever holds the next of the twelve swords, in which we get to see the story of that swordsman examined. So what does this episode do? It just skips all of this in order to focus on something completely different. Nice. I love it when shows pull twists like that.

And on top of that, this episode was surprisingly intense. This episode completely reversed the parts of good and evil in this series. While Katanagatari wasn’t exactly a battle between good and evil to begin with, there always was a clear side of protagonists: Togame and Shichika, while the antagonists were also pretty well defined. This episode however… wow. Shichika’s sister is evil.

At first sight it seems a bit boring to have three random maniwani try to attack her, but this is really one of those cases in which the creators’ decision to go with double-length episodes pay off. If this had to be condensed into 20 minutes it would have just failed, but with forty minutes we really could get to know these guys beyond the shallow appearances that the maniwani had made thus far in this series. On top of that, Nanami’s monologues were really intense to watch in the way that she completely killed off the first people she was able to talk to since years, aside from her brother and Togame. It made for a very slow-paced episode though. This episode might actually have the most dialogue out of any Katanagatari episodes yet. Ah, those poor subbers.

Overall it was one of the best episodes so far, however it did seem that a part of the animators was on some sort of holiday or something. There was an unusual amount of still frames and extreme close-ups that were shot so that the creators wouldn’t have to animate the characters’ mouths. Thankfully it was nowhere near as bad as with Bakemonogatari, but it still stood out. With these series that show a lot of long monologues, it’s of course no problem if you cut away to a few photos and pictures to illustrate your point or show the surroundings, but there is a thing as overdoing it, and this episode felt to me like it was cutting a few too many corners.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

18 Responses

  1. m says:

    I’m still at a loss to explain what this show has done to my brain, because I was initially unimpressed by the visual style, but now find myself quite liking it. I don’t care for the male character designs all that much, but the backgrounds and the female designs are appealing. There’s a certain animated storybook quality to it. Every month I think, “Wow, this series looks better than I remembered.”

    I think Migiri is my favorite character. There isn’t much new about the gentle-voiced monster, but I still find her pretty funny. There’s also a certain amount of misdirection where the possibility of a cheesy intervention looms, only for another bout of sadistic invulnerability by our (my) heroine.

    Listening to the cannon fodder talk was really taxing though. It has the same effect on me as listening to Duane Gish.

    I didn’t think this episode was quite as slickly composed as the previous one, though. The previous episode was pretty polished while I thought this sagged a little. Though if one is to compare it to Bakemonogatari, it’s obvious this show benefits greatly from the absence of SHAFT.

  2. PL says:

    lol m, shaftbo would have made a mockery of this story. I’m very glad they went with a completely different studio, instead of just trying to latch on to the commercial success of bakemonogatari.
    I enjoyed this episode a lot; although I was kind of in a groove with the formula and wouldn’t have minded if all 12 eps had gone that route, this was a very interesting detour and leaves me wondering what subsequent episodes will choose to focus on.

  3. chounokoe says:

    I have to be one of the few people who does not enjoy this show that much, especially compared to the brilliantly executed Bakemonogatari (at least in terms of adaption).

    Most of the time I fail to see the reason for it to be anime at all, because characters are mostly not moving at all and the designs of the world, apart from some costume, is rather bland.
    Bakemonogatari had the same initial problems with it’s setting, but at least Shaft spiced it up.

    Still the positive fact remains that at least some of the useless chats of Shichika and Togame are shortened and I don’t have to work through 20-40 pages of recap each book.

    I still hope most Nishio critics are wrong and this wasn’t the strongest story in Katanagatari…but I fear it will be, because next episode we will return to the same formula as before.
    Yes the episode was good and I liked Nanami very much, I would feel kinda dissappointed if she really turned out to be the most interesting character in the story.

  4. nys says:

    I liked this episode. Until the end. I can never predict what I`m going to like. But, for once, I did not fall asleep during a Shichika and Togame chat because I was on the edge of my seat over what (evil things) Nanami was gonna do to the maniwani. We didn`t know anything about her skill before, but this episode introduced her again really well.

  5. K.K. says:

    Love how she automatically nicknames them “Maniwani” as well. Like brother like sister, I guess.

    Sabi Hakuhei really got shafted though. I kept expecting them to reveal that the next episode was going to be about him, since he’s supposed to be THE mega-baddy in the show. Still, that was one (probably) amazing fight, huh…?

  6. Bruce says:

    Haha, I like how they even animated parts of that fight in the previews. Very disappointed with the fact that we didn’t see that, but that made the ending conversation that much funnier.

    @chounokoe: IMO shaft did those things even worse, what with all the black/red screens, close-eye shots, and the parts where they were literally just show text on the screen.

  7. chounokoe says:

    @Bruce: Well I think that depends on what you’d expect from a visual presentation.
    For me there is not much there in Katanagatari to look at, most screens are almost stillframes for some minutes, they could as well have made it a Drama-CD with some illustrations.

    That’s the problem when a studio adapts something that largely consists of conversation. And Katanagatari’s visual novelity quickly wears off, as backgrounds are mostly rather bland and costumes…well they work for the first minutes.
    Bakemonogatari would have become boring quite quickly if characters would have just stood there and talked.

    I don’t know if you watch it with subtitles, but I think that’s still a little different, because there’s something else on screen you have to concentrate about.
    But well…maybe it’s only me.

  8. PL says:

    Personally, I find Katanagatari one of the most visually appealing things I’ve seen in ages. I love the backgrounds, character designs and costumes. Yeah, it’s a lot of dialogue, but it’s more enjoyable animated, and the fights are lots of fun to watch. But, I’ve been a pretty hardcore defender/fanboy of this series from episode 1 so I’m not objective, for sure. Then again, fans of bakemonogatari are unlikely to be objective either, because the art and style has been taken in a very different direction. This is one of the best things airing, though, and that’s an objective statement of fact ;P j/k

  9. chounokoe says:

    Haha, yeah it’s always difficult to set the fanboy google totally aside when talking about an anime. I think it’s impossible to ever be fully objective. XD
    Well I like Take’s art, so of course the character design and costumes are neat, but as with Bakemonogatari there is not that much background in the first place, because Nishio doesn’t go into that much detail concerning places.
    The amount of dialogue is okay and I think Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei will be even harder on the subbers as an anime (just finished reading the novel), but I think the content isn’t that interesting and it often shows that he just HAD to come up with something to fill those 200-300 pages. There’s just better works by him…Bakemonogatari was okay, Zaregoto seems to be great, but I haven’t read any real novels by him.

  10. Michael says:

    I continue to be pleased by the use of irony in this series. The creators/writer of the show really know how to take audience expectations and completely reverse. I almost never see this in a series. But this is the 2nd episode the creators have done this, the 1st being when Shichika showed absolutely no remorse killing his opponent in episode 3, when the entire episode was dedicated to fleshing out her sympathetic character. I will always like shows like this, that force you to reconsider right/wrong and completely and utterly surprise you.

  11. Nomus says:

    I have most complex feelings towards this series. It has a lot of unexpected turns and good dialogs, but how I hate main characters. Really, after 3rd ep I started to think that Shichika is just a merciless killer. But now it’s obvious, that all of their bloodline are insane maniacs, who were sent to that island for a good reason.

    And Togame is not much better. Slaughtering everyone with Shichika for her own revenge. I know, they betrayed her, but all the sword-owners they killed had some good reason in their life (in spite of that poisoning she’s been blabbering about). And she… At this point I can’t imagine her doing something good with those swords. And, in addition, she’s not the brightest one.

  12. Gunslinger says:

    Aaaaaaah , based on last episode’s preview i really wanted to see the hakuto hari fight. hope they fit it in another episode :(

  13. Matt says:

    ooh i liked this episode alot. I like the humanization of the maniwani characters. I find the sister to be scary. I have no clue but i feel like it might be brother versus sister at the end. I love the dialogue in this series, very enjoyable.

  14. PL says:

    All the stuff about ripping out his fingernails, and disciplining him for not collecting the swords fast enough WAS very creepy. You can tell she was warped really badly by her father not choosing to train her. It is interesting to me that despite having very little in the sense of an adult’s conscience, shichika has an essentially good nature while naname is obviously quite dark and twisted.

  15. tomtom says:

    I can’t understand so many people are indifferent towards this series. Witty, great art, long episodes. I actually like the simple plot in this series, it reminds me of those western and samurai movies in which the mental and perceptive side of the battles are the central story element.
    Its clear that Nanami at least as crazy in the head as her brother after this episode but on the other hand Im not so convinced she is pure evil (you cant really expect two siblings who spent their entire youth on an island training in solitude to develop a ‘normal’ grasp of morality after all).

  16. PhantomX says:

    PL, I don’t think she was warped by her father at all. It’s mostly a byproduct of her body being rattled with excruciating disease coupled with her natural instincts fighting off her death (which she used to wish for).

  17. Reltair says:

    Shichika’s sister really means serious business. I sense an impending fight between her brother and herself.

  18. Alec says:

    Nanami isnt evil… her methods are just twisted. I her bro is also like that… She a “dont u ******* mess with me, or ur gonna get IT” person xD…

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 09:47 PM)
    @Aidan: I would recommend downloading it rather than browser-playing it as my browser kept crashing when I tried to.
    Its quite short but it gives a great teaser and introduction to the game, that gets me excited for it.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 09:45 PM)
    @Aidan: Mangagamer have released the demo for kara no shoujo 2, they’ve also confirmed a release for Autumn. Its probably better to call this demo more of a prologue/compliment to the game with content exclusive to it.
    Demo/prologue here: http://mangagamer.org/kns2/
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 02:14 PM)
    @invicableGod, Yep that comment was spam. Should have got rid of it first time I saw it.
  • Wicked
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 01:10 AM)
    well, this place changed a lot. Gotta say, I’m not a fan of how they adapted GATE into an anime. It feels too decompressed. Manga did a better job at keeping the tension taut
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 01:08 AM)
    Also I am not the blog, I’m just a poster… I really hope you have enough sense to tell the difference…
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 01:07 AM)
    @Emo: you’re saying all that like that doesn’t fit your description to a T. Kinda sad actually…
    Well I guess now at least I gave you one more thing to get angry about so your day seems just a bit more active than your last.
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 01:03 AM)
    I don’t think people are really expected to read it from the start anymore. I mean that’s probably why it stays popular in Japan considering people would have to be in their 20s at least to keep up from the start without reading hundreds of chapters just to keep up.
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 01:00 AM)
    Well admittly comics don’t seem to be that easy to follow (don’t actually read comics despite liking a lot of DC and marvel media), but anyway it’s not like the other long-running shounens in terms of continuity and more like the long-running comedies like say Kochikoma.
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 12:56 AM)
    If you don’t like it, it’s cool.
    If you don’t feel like watching a thing that still airs weekly that’s also cool.
    If you leave it because it’s long or far from ending, you’re really missing out for little reason. One Piece is like western comics, the characters and setting has been around for years but each saga comes as a standalone story and for the most part is directed at both veterans and newcomers.
  • jerkocaust
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 12:35 AM)
    ;( tell me more about this world, oh anonymous anime fan on some minor anime blog who spends his days rotting at home watching anime, tell me more about this world you must know from the window of your computer monitor

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There! – 04

Not much to talk about this episode as it was mainly set up to the next. The army’s reputation looks to have risen after driving off a dragon and looks to have caught the attention of our new female character. I was about to sigh when I saw the old anime staple of a bath […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 03

Here it is, a flashback to the beginning of the outbreak. In a market as over saturated with zombie media as ours it’s rather hard to do this kind of story without treading on old ground. The start of the outbreak is the focal point of every beginning for a zombie movie. Rarely is it […]

Gangsta. – 04

I have said it before but these twilight characters rub me the wrong way. This group of superhuman individuals just sticks out like a sore thumb in a grounded setting such as this. They are a Shounen element in a otherwise Seinien show so when they come out and start leaping on rooftops this just […]

Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There! – 03

This episode introduces what looks to be the main trio of girls for the cast. A elf girl, a mage girl and a Goth lolita girl with a giant axe. The Goth lolita, otherwise know as the Apostle of a death god, Rory is so far the most interesting of the bunch. Though mainly because […]

Gangsta. – 03

I really don’t understand Mangalobe’s thinking on this changes, for you see this episode was an adaption of the second chapter in the manga. I don’t see the reason why they felt that they needed to mix around the order of these episodes but I suppose it’s no harm done. To be honest I found […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 02

  So despite saying I would cover Chaos Dragon in my summer preview, I have decided to cover this instead. The reasons for this is simple, the obvious one being that Chaos Dragon is a poorly written, badly animated and jarring mess of an anime. But the main reason is that after the second episode […]

Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There! – 02

This episode was certainly stronger than the first as Itami’s otaku tendencies were cut down and the focus was more on the conflict. The fight itself was brilliantly portrayed as we saw it mainly from the side of the other world. In the beginning when they were marching towards the army they were assured of […]

Gangsta. – 02

As this show continues the Black Lagoon vibes only get stronger but this episode did present an issue. Namely the supernaturally strong dog tag soldiers which can jump ten feet into the air and pull out road signs. In a series that at least started fairly set in reality these elements are somewhat odd though […]

Knights of Sidonia S2: Battle for Planet Nine review – 73/100

The second season of Sidonia makes a number of mistakes that a lot of second seasons do. That namely being that the anime slows down and introduces characters and conflicts that are often resolved in a undetermined to exist, third season. A new antagonist is introduced, whom does very little in the season and only […]

Latest Reviews

Little Witch Academia The Enchanted Parade – 81/100

I wonder when it was that a film being childish became a flaw. As a medium grows it takes steps to aim to mature itself and seek a more intellectual level of presenting entertainment. Animation did it as Anime aimed to explore terrontry that cartoons refuse to explore and video games only recently broke away […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks Review – 85/100

For a long time now this adaption has been the dreams of many a Fate fan with many believing it would never come to pass, but now that it is here is it everything that we dreamed? Short answer to this is no, long answer is nearly. I feel this show will have many divided […]

Shirobako Review – 80/100

When you see a harem anime and sigh as the breasts of the female lead jiggle with every step and wind that can flip a skirt it’s easy to forget that somewhere in Japan a group of people worked hard to get that jiggle right and draw each frame of animation. The hardships of the […]

Clipboard06

Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]

Clipboard01

Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]

Clipboard04

Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]

Clipboard01

Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

Clipboard08

Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]