Posted by psgels on 26 June 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews



I usually don’t wait for DVD-only or other kinds of extra episodes for writing a review, but for Bakemonogatari I made an exception because I thought that the final three episodes would air quite soon after the end of the TV-series. So I was wrong. My memory may be a bit fuzzy about the series right now, but I do want to talk a bit about why I didn’t like it.

But first, let me say the following: I’m usually a big fan of shows that feature lots of talking. Ergo Proxy, Mouryou no Hako, Amatsuki, I can’t get enough of them. I also like series that do something interesting with their art and visuals, to give us some kind of unconventional eye candy. I was set to like this series when I first started watching it… but the way it turned out just didn’t work for me.

Now, the reason I’m a fan of anime is the way that it combines storytelling, visuals and music into one. Even with series who have a ton of dialogue, they really focus on portraying these characters as they tell their stories. With Bakemonogatari however, this combination is completely gone. There are way too many scenes that don’t focus on the characters, but on some random eye, object in the background, or just a very far away shot of a bunch of people talking. The creators go out of their way to avoid animating the full faces of these characters. There are a number of episodes in which this gets carried way over the top: one episode has scenes of three minutes, at which it just does nothing but stare at the same landscape without any variation. Another episode consists for about thirty percent of just black and red screens with random text on it. The rest of the episodes are also riddled with these blank screens that don’t really do anything except break pace.

All of this results in the fact that this isn’t really an animation about a bunch of characters having conversations with each other. It feels more like an animated slide-show in which a bunch of voice actors read a story. If I wanted something like that, I’d go for drama CDs or something.

The way that the source material was adapted leaves also a lot to be desired. Scenes are dragged on for way too long with boring dialogues, while the dialogues that matter are rushed through. This series has this very annoying habit of hinting at back-story, while only devoting a few lines to what happened, if any. This is especially annoying considering that this is a harem, in which everyone and his dog just ends up falling in love with the lead character. Most of the motivations for these characters and their crushes turn out to be just superficial. For me the worst was the snake arc. It wasted so much time with pointless stuff and weird fanservice, while the real story was rushed, glossed over with hardly any attempt given to give the characters some depth.

Now, the series also likes to play around with poetry: there’s a ton of symbolism, and the original novel is full of wordplay, but in the end that doesn’t really amount to anything. Yeah, there are a bunch of word jokes, and when the characters talk about cats you see pictures of cat ears, those kinds of things. They will strengthen the experience if you did like the series, but for those who aren’t a fan like myself, they’re pretty much pointless.

Granted though, the budget and focus do get better near the end: the creators finally take their time to fully animate episodes, it wastes less time with pointless stuff and there are a number of scenes that have some really sweet animation. But even then, it’s not really worth it to sit through the rest of the series just to get there. This series advertises itself by fleshing out its characters through its dialogues, but to me, that’s rather failed. There are still too many characters who just have one side to them, and just feel like caricatures.

There really was a time at which I liked Shinbo. And I still consider him to be a good director. However I’d much rather see him put his full attention on just one series, instead of churning out a bunch of half-assed product that might or might not have their moments.

Storytelling: 7/10 – Badly paced, and badly portrayed.
Characters: 7/10 – A lot of bark, but no bite. Most characters fail to impress.
Production-Values: 8/10 – I give this one the benefit of the doubt here. It cuts a ton of corners, but granted there are a number of scenes that are really well animated.
Setting: 7/10 – There is no explanation of the magic system here. Things just… are there, but I failed to see any cohesion or depth.

Suggestions:
Soultaker
Boogiepop Phantom
Twillight Q

40 Responses

  1. meow says:

    Hm. I haven’t seend 15 yet but I still like Bakemonogatari and hope they finish the entire story. They’ve been dropping hints and building up the story all the way. The most important arc will be Shinobu’s, where all will be revealed, including a flashblack into that fateful Golden Week.

    I have to agree that all the use of kanji and symbolism to express ideas and moods is frustrating when you don’t get them. But I’d like to think it’s a pretty unique way to tell a story. We gaijin miss out from our lack of facility with the language but I refuse to deride this production for it. If a proper translator could come out and give meaning to all that randomness, one might have a new appreciation for how they told the story. I still like the subtlety of what they have revealed. All the little hints thrown out about what is about to happen. I’m still trying to figure out what latest development happened that drove Shinobu away…that pile of dust Oshino was cleaning up in episode..13?14? looked very suspicious. I first thought that might be all that was left of Shinobu herself. There’s just so much not yet revealed and 15 episodes just isn’t going to cut it.

  2. Odda C. says:

    The problems you touched on with this anime are the same ones I had with Angel Beats, not that it matters since I liked neither. At least we have Katanagatari.

  3. theone says:

    I dropped this show after the episode with the ghost kid who couldnt find her parents home or some shit like that, I found the show way too fucking pretentious and BORING *oohh theres some artistic words and English characters floating around the screen with flashing backgrounds, OOh theres fast talking and random shit popping up everywhere, its DIFFERENT so therefore I HAVE to like it blah blah blah*

    If I wanted some Pretentious Bullshit, Id go listen to some indie punk rock, or swoon with some douche about how awwwwsome rocky horror picture show is

  4. Bruce says:

    I remember watching the opening to the first episode of this and being blown away. Unfortunately the rest of the anime was completely different than what the opening seemed to promise. It wasn’t action packed with excitement, but rather it was a pretty slow series with a lot of dialogue and a semi-harem. The lots of talking would have been fine if it was interesting and fleshed out the characters, setting, and plot, but a lot of it was just plain unnecessary.

    Also, I really have to agree with how you said that the setting isn’t explained at all. There’s a lot of mystical forces, but they are just touched upon and everybody seems to accept it without any questioning. Also, some things like Senjougahara fighting with school supplies was seriously only there for one episode and never referenced again.

  5. mds says:

    I guess that it just not your type of show,plus with some horrible ‘fanservice” decisions that Shinbo made into it (Hitagi changing her clothes? check.The entire Nadeko arc? check.)

    I personally found the artistic style in this anime quite stunning,with these floating words,strange background art,cartoonish and sudden chibi mode,etc.I think that’s Shinbo’s way of creativity.

  6. meow says:

    It’s his trademark, I think. Arakawa under the bridge has a similar feel, as does Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei.

    I think Bakemonogatari has some of the best art I’ve seen in a very long time. It’s also fairly light-hearted (for the moment) while maintaining enough curious mysteries to keep me interested in how everything will turn out. Hitagi is one of the hottest heroines in an anime I’ve seen in a long while. I also find Koyomi banter with Mayoi pretty entertaining, although I was a bit disturbed at how violent Koyomi got with Mayoi. Some of his actions with Sengoku were a bit inappropriate too. -.-; As for the lack of action though, I think things will start to heat up once Shinobu’s arc starts up.

    “Also, some things like Senjougahara fighting with school supplies was seriously only there for one episode and never referenced again.” Haha, I do miss this too. But now that Hitagi’s gained her weight again, carrying that much stationery isn’t an option for her anymore. It will be interesting if she starts using her stapler on Koyomi once in awhile though, especially if he winds up two-timing on her with Tsubasa in order to save her.

    The biggest mystery is still the Golden Week when Koyomi first met Shinobu. I’m not sure how much has been revealed in the novels but my current theory is this: During the Golden Week, Koyomi met Shinobu, who wound up sucking his blood, awakening her true power. Her awakening attracted many “Kai”s from all over the world to her – possibly to get her power. During the Golden Week, Oshino appeared and together with Koyomi, defeated the various Kai and Shinobu, sealing off her power and leaving the remaining Kai weakened. Because Koyomi himself was still a Kai (still possessing vampiric powers), Kai become attracted to him too and start affecting people around him, including Tsubasa. Oshino remains near Koyomi to deal with Kai as they get close to Koyomi. However, during/after Tsubasa’s 2nd cat awakening, something happens that makes Shinobu leave, possibly in order to protect Koyomi, by drawing some new Kai away(?) or to enable Koyomi to return to normal. Oshino also prepares to leave to escort Shinobu. Alot of weird hints are dropped that may or may not be related. Oshino tending a pile of ashes that may be the remains of a defeated vampire. Shinobu’s weird stern look at Sengoku when she was staying overnight at Oshino’s place. Something more to Sengoku than meets the eye? Possibly something leading up to Koyomi’s sisters’ arcs.

    I don’t have access to the novels so all this is speculation. Not sure where to go for discussion or sharing of info. The lack of interest in this series is a bit sad to me.

  7. c160 says:

    I actually like this show quite a bit,even though I can’t tolerate Arakawa Under the Bridge.All those screaming by that main character really annoys me,but it didn’t bother me in Bakemonogatari even though its from the same voice actor..But really though,I hope Shinbo would stop using his “unique” style everywhere..Sometimes it just doesn’t fit and ruins the show for me.Like the recent Negima OAD for example..

  8. Bruce says:

    @meow

    Of course it’s his style, it’s his style exaggerated a hundredfold to the point where it’s not enjoyable to watch anymore. Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (season 1) had good production values. Bakemongatari seemed like Shinbo got really lazy of figuring out what to do and just slapped text and eyeshots everywhere.

  9. Johnson says:

    You have some valid beefs, but this one isn’t.

    “There is no explanation of the magic system here. Things just… are there, but I failed to see any cohesion or depth.”

    This is where suspension of disbelief comes into play. There’s simply no need to explain any of it, because any explanation would be really pointless and boring. Bakemonogatari isn’t trying to construct some escapist fantasy world. No one complained that the mushi in Mushishi were totally arbitrary (they were “little things that could do… arbitrary things” — how much more vague can you get?) but no one complained about it there. The reason is the same. The mushi really weren’t the point, and neither are the random gods or spirits here.

    You clearly don’t really like this show, and that’s fine. But I think this is an example of your bias (your dislike of other aspects of the show) influencing your analysis on a particular aspect.

    Pretty much most of Bakemonogatari is pointless, i.e. do not drive the plot or characterization. You clearly have an affinity for these two qualities, so that’s why you don’t like Bakemonogatari. But pointlessness isn’t necessarily a bad quality, as long as it’s fun.

    • triviper says:

      ^ + 1.

      Completely agree. I also think the pacing was just fine for what the series is about. The start of an arc is usually whimsical and then builds up as it comes to an end, basically once Oshiro appears. This pattern happens in most of the arcs.

  10. Westlo says:

    “There are a number of episodes in which this gets carried way over the top: one episode has scenes of three minutes, at which it just does nothing but stare at the same landscape without any variation. Another episode consists for about thirty percent of just black and red screens with random text on it.”

    They got fixed on the dvd/bluray, you know the actual finished product which people actually buy. It’s okay when they can fix shit like that, it’s not permanent like Giant Killing taking 5 minutes in episode 12 and 13 to even get to new content.

  11. Tuskus says:

    I love how you hate on the series but still give it 72%. How the hell is your rating system supposed to work? You never give anything lower that 50%!

  12. Bruce says:

    He doesn’t have a lot of things below a 50 because they are unbearable to watch and he would just drop it. Also, he doesn’t hate it. A series he hates, for example, would be Shakugan no Shana.

  13. AidanAK47 says:

    Yep, pretty much the points I thought as well. Though I think this show deserved a 40/100.

    However I would add on the points of Senjougahara disappearing for about half the series despite being the poster girl and the only real interesting character and the repeating storyline. Every arc is the same.
    Guy meets girl with strange problem. Guy talks with said girl. Brings said girl to his teacher or consults teacher about her problem. Solves problem through some strange method. Another girl to the harem.

    I hated this show with a passion.

  14. Johnson says:

    @Aidan: Oh, when you put it like that… man, you know that show Yojou-han? It’s so annoying. Every episode is the same. Guy goes to college. Guy joins a club. Guy looks for girl. Guy fails. Guy does something stupid. Guy ends up in crappy situation. Time rewinds. God, what a terrible show.

    Oh wait, it’s one of my favorite shows. Let’s try another.

    … Or how about this one?

    You know that show Mushishi? God, it’s so repetitive. Guy wanders around. Mushishi finds a mysterious happening. Mushishi investigates. Mushishi identifies it as being caused by Mushi. Mushishi explains problem. Problem is either solved, unsolvable, or people don’t listen. In last two cases, problem ends in tragedy.

    Oh, whoops. Another one of my favorite shows. I guess I just have bad taste.

    You might have valid reasons for disliking the show, but what you just said isn’t one of them.

  15. m says:

    I don’t really like meta-wanking, but if someone finds the formula of a show’s arcs boring it’s as ‘valid’ a reason as any other for not liking a show. I imagine there are people that don’t enjoy episodic shows at all, and others still that just come to loathe a show’s formula as it fails to captivate them in other areas. If someone invents a reason out of whole cloth the ‘your reasons are invalid’ shtick might make more sense.

    As it pertains to explanations of magic, well it largely depends on what one means by explanation. Since magic is inherently nonsense in our own world, it can only make sense in terms of the system presented by the author (though they can depend upon expectations from the culture), and there are settings in which authors have fleshed out the rules, limitations, and what I’ll refer to as the ‘economy of magical power’ for a lack of a less stupid phrase in my vocabulary. Besides adding coherence to a world and aiding the suspension of disbelief, in the context of a mystery story where the application of magic plays a role in explaining the mystery, it enables the reader (or viewer in this case) to at least make an effort to solve the mystery instead of waiting until the designated time for the author to give the answer. If someone would prefer that I don’t see a problem.

    I think the magic in Bakemonogatari is mostly incidental veneer for psychological issues, which is why the arbitrary nature of the oddities doesn’t really matter to me. I would compare it to the oddities in Mononoke.

  16. orpheust says:

    Huh? There’s no magic in this show… just Shinto rituals and folktales come to life…

    and the screens with random text flashing are not really that revolutionary… they’re just subliminal messages that pop up in commercials, tv shows and movies all the time.

    I admit the “harem” part of Bakemonogatari was quite strange, since I was wondering where the male population (other than the Shinto priest and the main character) had wandered off to in a co-ed school and community, but that’s really the only problem I see with this show. If they made some of the characters introduced with the oddities (like Kanbaru) male rather than female, that would fix the nagging prejudice against harem shows lodged in my brain. The fundamental premise of the show that involved Araragi coming to terms with and solving an oddity every 2-3 episodes was quite enjoyable to watch for me.

  17. Johnson says:

    My point is that you can always describe a show in a way such that it sounds repetitive and boring. It’s not a valid criticism because what he’s doing is presenting his own crappy summary of the series and then using that to criticize it. Perhaps I should have said valid criticism instead of valid reason. Reasons are personal, but criticisms should have at least some basis in objectivity.

    However, m, you’re right on the mark about the nature of magic in Bakemonogatari. I agree 100% with that.

    @orpheust: It doesn’t really matter what he calls it (“magic” vs. “Shinto ritual” — who cares?).

  18. AidanAK47 says:

    @Johnson: Fine Johnson. I will flesh out my statement and show how it is a “Valid” reason.

    You can argue that a lot of animes follow a certain formula and still prove to be great. However the reason for that is that the formula is seemly invisible. You watch the show and you don’t think that “this has happened before.” For example Mushishi would sometimes changes the formula by showing some of the main characters back story or showing him telling his story to little girl or making it that a certain Mushishi is not quite as easy to get rid off as the others.
    Bakemonogatari on the other hand does not do this. While changing the situation of the girl the key facts remain. The second he brings the issue to his teacher then everything will be solved. And when you know the ending of the story it makes it much less entertaining to watch.

    So sorry if I was not clear the first time but I just don’t like to waste my time writing out paragraphs that people will most likely skip over.

  19. Solaris says:

    Hey PSG, last time i said those kind of stuff i really risked being inpaled in the public square while hordes of angry Narutarded danced around my dead body

  20. Hogart says:

    When they focused on the “ghost story” aspect of the series, it was pretty darn good. But the harem stuff was tedious, and it felt like a contest between NisioisiN and Shinbo to see who could be more pretentious. The characters felt fake, situations conveniently contrived, and the tip of iceberg was the wait for the last story-arc.

    I agree with others that this was a bit like Angel Beats, in terms of how disappointing it was and how confusingly popular it was/is. But then, it never reached the same lows as Angel Beats, and I honestly wanted it to be better.

    Sadly I feel it’s a high-point for Shinbo, because he rarely does anything more than change a character slightly when he adapts things. At least here he tried being creative. While it ultimately failed as per your points, PSG, it still felt like he put more effort into it than usual.

  21. Z.N. Singer says:

    Bakemonogatari was very, very popular for whatever reason…but I’m with you: I didn’t like it at all. It failed my three episode test utterly, and that was it. Very weird animation style that would have better suited some horror/psychological thriller story. Fanservice – I avoid it anyway, but yeah, they did it so weird I’m not sure what to call it, I don’t think it counts. A little under ten minutes at the end of episode two were sublime, the rest torture. Goner.

  22. Skoopman says:

    I think Anime like Bakemonogatari are not for the typical Anime fan, simply because it’s hard to understand. Seyonara Sensei was the same, not everyone likes black humor. The people who don’t/can’t understand shouldn’t watch it, but that doesn’t mean, that this Anime is bad. No, it’s is not for everyone, its a niché Anime. I loved it and can’t wait for more.

  23. Bakemonogatari says:

    Well, shows are meant to be enjoyed. Dont like it dont watch it.

    This anime though was quite literate. Alot of foreshadowing and symbolism, if you can read the japanese kanji, im sure alot more meaning would come out than if you couldnt read them.

  24. Scruffy says:

    According to your rating 72.5 means “These series did quite a few things wrong here. They’ve got some nice parts, but overall they’re not worth it”

    I think that is WAY too harsh for Bakemonogatari. Clearly you didn’t like the animation style and some of the random fan-service things that was chucked in there (I agree that the opening sequence panty shot is just odd) but for me this has been one of the most unique anime I have watched. In particular the last arc i though was amazing, full of suspense and then a final resolution that for me just worked.

    In terms of of the back story, the reason why the references to it are so vague is that the novel detailing what actually happened during Golden Week has not been published yet.

  25. Scorcher says:

    Im not going to take seriously a review from a guy whose favourite show is Mahou Shoujotai…

  26. BOB says:

    then get the fuck out of here

  27. GPrieto says:

    I hated this show with a passion. It’s really crap.

  28. Unknown Internet guy says:

    Bakemonogatari is a very shallow narrative and quite an unfocused work. There are no unifying themes or any meaning whatsoever. The visuals also, a lot of the time, make no sense in the context of the narrative and are obviously Shaft’s usual way of putting random shit on a screen because it looks avant garde.

    Shit like Senjogahara walking out of the shower naked and most of Mayoi’s Snails scene were worthless, fanservicey garbage engineered in to peddle DVDs. Some anime are actually concerned with telling a story.

    Bakemonogatari isn’t even concerned with that since the whole “helping people with supernatural problems” is just a flimsy pretense to have the main character interact with a selection of beautiful females (N.B. supernatural disorders seem to only afflict beautiful females in Bakemonogatari land, in addition to the main character), the majority of which are hungry for his cock and show no next to no interest in any other males their age. Not that there are any other males Arararagi’s age in the whole show.

    Visually, it was basically a ton of eyeball closeups, frames of random text, oversaturated lighting, bad 3d backgrounds and awkward animation that varied between long still shots and sudden moments of high fps.
    The narrative was awful, with the characters holding long, boring speeches and they didn’t even have a shred of personality. It’s like watching a poorly written play held by a bunch of highschoolers with no range.

    the art style was absolutely appalling. It was like watching anime with the brightness and contrast turned up all the way, and a flashlight pointed in my face.
    And the constant babbling was absolutely idiotic. I don’t mind conversations, but they were basically just babbling about a lot of nothing. If they actually had something worthwhile to say, it could have been interesting.

    people who like it, because they think awkward directing makes it artsy and deep, when it’s really just a shallow, simple story that’s really poorly told.

  29. WildNinja says:

    From Dictionary.com
    3. a group of female animals of the same species that are the mates of a single male

    The only people who liked Araragi was Senjougahara and Hanekawa. And in Hanekawa’s case you don’t find out until way later in the series. I’m pretty sure it’s over the top to call it a harem. If this had all of the girls making a move on Araragi and making it apparent that they have an interest in him then yes it would be a harem.

  30. Blacksun88 says:

    i am sorry to say that, this show are not meant for you guys that do not understand the basic of kanji and japanese culture. you will definitely lose and not understand anything, simply because this show is very culturally based. so dont said it is bad just because you dont get what it means, it will only showed how prejudiced you are.

  31. ShyBlue says:

    I personally enjoyed Bakemonogatari very much. The nadir of the series is definitely the Sengoku arc since…well, it was moeblah and not even properly animated in the second half.

    The first two episodes were amazing if you ask me. But I do agree that the creators spent too much time on the comedic parts without making an effort to make it funny. And the final few minutes where Senjougahara admits to Koyomi that she wants him to be her friend were pretty rushed.

    About the Hitagi fanservice, the novel explains why she appeared naked and showed her body a lot. It was because she wanted to show Koyomi her scars from the operation and indirectly ask for his opinion.

    Bakemonogatari has its problems for sure. But I think Shaft’s budget was ridiculously limited. The dialogues probably lacked impact because of the lack of good visuals to go with it.

    As for characters…Hanekawa’s your cliche class president, Sengoku is moe crap, but I liked Kanbaru, Senjougahara, and Hachikuji. Senjougahara for her “tsundere” attitude (it’s not really tsundere, lol. But I guess tsundere’s the closest a cliche will get). Kanbaru for her blatant directness about awkward subjects and her bright personality. And Hachikuji is just a funny little girl. They may all fall a bit flat, but they all are very interesting at the ver least.

  32. Irene says:

    Now I’ve realized why I couldn’t sit through Amatsuki and Ergo Proxy. Too much talking. Before, I thought they were just slow. XD Still, I managed through Aoi Bungaku, Otogi Zoshi and Meine Liebe.

  33. Paul says:

    Even though I really liked Bakemonogatari, it’s very distinctive, so I can totally understand being put off by the style or just the amount of dialogue. A single annoyance, felt strongly enough, can disrupt your enjoyment enough to cause otherwise fine elements of the show to fall apart. I have the exact same complaint about Katanagatari. I like the idea, I like the art, but the execution leaves me completely bored.

    However, I think most people here simply don’t _get_ Bakemonogatari. It’s a parody. It’s a deconstruction of the tropes in multiple genres, including harem, coming-of-age, and supernatural mystery. Each girl Araragi encounters is an examination and inversion of common female anime characters. And each arc is an investigation of aspects of Araragi’s adolescence.

    It would take pages upon pages to explain all of the ways in which Bakemonogatari accomplishes these thematic explorations, and it’s a lot more meaningful if you catch these things for yourself. So I’ll toss out one of the most obvious scenes as an example: Hanekawa’s confession to Araragi in the final arc.

    Hanekawa is largely a mirror that reflects how Araragi wants to see himself. She’s the first person he helped. She’s the first girl to love him. She also helps him, calms his mind, and gives him advice. The rest of the women in the show, by contrast, are big problems to him and are unpredictable even after he wins them over. Hell, she’s even basically perfect in physique, mental ability, and temperament. For the friendless dude with a very dark secret to make her weak in the knees is a perfect adolescent fantasy – exactly how he wants to see himself. We actually don’t even get to see her when the stress gets to her. She transforms into something else, keeping the Hanekawa we and Araragi know intact.

    So, it makes sense for the perfect fantasy to change at the end, after he has settled things with Senjougahara and when he knows deep down that Oshino is leaving. It’s a face-off between the reality that Araragi is beginning to accept and the fantasy of a lonely, confused adolescent. Is Hanekawa performing her part in the classic anime confession scene? Or is the unsuspecting (brainlessly so) Araragi going to get straight up killed? How will Bakemonogatari subvert the First-Girl-Wins trope? Or is Shinobu the actual First Girl despite being neither human, nor a character with much established personality (effectively a force of nature)?

    The classic anime confession scene is twisted into something massively deadly. Araragi is being fought over by truly terrifying embodiments of cliche anime eroticism: the cat girl and the loli vampire. The irony is overwhelming, albeit not exactly subtle.

    This type of thematic dialogue is the very core of the show. So to criticize for the presence of a harem or the magic system or superficiality of relationships is to completely miss what the show is doing: it’s pointing big fingers at such things in anime in general, making jokes about those things, and using them as a template to build an actual commentary on growing up. For a show that covers very similar ground in a very different way, check out FLCL.

    This definitely doesn’t mean you should like Bakemonogatari more. This might make you think it’s even more pretentious and detestable. But I think it does invalidate many of the criticisms here. Embarrassingly long comment just to ask you guys to dislike it for the _right_ reasons, but if just one of you likes it more for my effort, it was worth it.

  34. ahelo says:

    harsh? I thought Bakemonogatari was a masterpiece.
    Though I would understand if someone like you hates fan service to the ends of the earth but Bakemonogatari wasn’t all about that. Its geniusly written, has a great dialogue interaction, great visuals,and a mystery too boot.

    I mean i thought how they spend so much time on the dialogue is a very daring decision and I like it because when they interact its awesome. If you don’t like SHAFT’s artistry then you might as well not watch this at all because this is SHAFT at the extreme.

    Though opinions are opinions. I for one loved it.

  35. Fedek says:

    I love this blog, and psgels is great reviewer, but I don`t agree with bakemonogatari`s score.

    Is a personal opinion, I liked it more that Tatami Galaxy, both are great dark comedies, but bakemonogatari clicked the right points in my opinion. Maybe is too Shaft for it`s own good.

  36. VyseLegend says:

    I just can’t watch through more than 3 episodes of this show. I really can’t understand this show’s overall praise because, quite frankly, it is terrible and vapid. I wish you’d have given it a 6.0

  37. To the retards who keep saying “you dont like it because you cant read Kanji/Understand Japanese Culture” Kiss my ass… I CAN read Kanji…and living in Japan for four years…I think I understand all I needed to know about Japanese “culture”enough to know that this show was total Crap this show was as unknown internet guy said “the fapping fanboys like this show because they think awkward directing makes it artsy and deep, when it’s really just a shallow, simple story that’s really poorly told.”

    • Jerry says:

      @Carbunde
      It’s already been established that the show is pretty much indulgence, but what makes it interesting is that it accepts that fact. It doesn’t try to be serious or anything as with SAO. In fact the LN was never suppose to be published, the Author wrote it for himself. It might be considered shallow, but it understands that it is shallow and doesn’t try to be serious when it knows its not.

      Personally I thought the mysteries were simple and entertaining enough to follow through each arc and the word play was funny and clever at times (even you must agree since you understand “Kanji/Japenese Culture” unless you REALLY REALLY hate puns).

  1. […] is this it, though? Am I still missing something? I know I’m not the only person who dislikes Monogatari, but could it also be that I’m not giving the show a fair chance? If I […]

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@Aidan: you have 91 days's episode as 9 instead of 7
AidanAK47
Bloody hell, even the spambots are referencing Pokemon Go now.
K-Off
For future reference, let's direct admin dialogue to email, apart from direct feedback.
@Mario We're working on allowing users to set up accounts.
SuperMario
And the constant anonymous names just keep bugging me. Can we make it back to the old shoutbox, where you have to put down your name in order to write message?
SuperMario
I think it's one thing leads to another. he's getting too burnout that he doesn't know what to write anymore.
AidanAK47
@Anon36049, pretty much what he said. Though it seems to be a combination of anime burnout and writers block.
Anonymous36271
He suffered from anime burnout and is getting on with real life.
Anonymous36049
Hi guys I havent been around for a long time. Does anyone know what happened to psgels? I see that the new posts are not his.
AidanAK47
Disgaea 2 coming to steam. Sweet.
Gotta finish Disgaea 1 and hope they don't screw up the port on release day again.
AidanAK47
Illuminati are everywhere, regardless of wherther it's anime or not. Sword Art Online was the work of the illuminati. All in the name of the gaint magic eyeball triange god do they rule the landscape of entertainment medium.
Also Magic Eyeball-kun also argees that Rem is best girl. And none shall dare denounce that claim.
SuperMario
@Anony35181: never thought they're that much interested in anime thou
Anonymous35181
@supermario, illuminati confirmed
SuperMario
Is it just me or couple of messages from the shoutbox just gone missing?
Topgavin
Haven't been watching it myself, but apparently in Taboo Tattoo, that large-chested high school girl died while running *onto a live battlefield* to check on her boyfriend with a shirt that said "flag". 10/10
K-Off
@afgm Sent you a message.
@Friend Looks good, I'd be interested in seeing multiple witches as well.
Anonymous32745
Chemotherapy is a cause of cancer rather than a cure.
Anonymous32745
If you know someone dying of cancer, immediately inform them that allopathic medicine will kill them and turn them to natural remedies which often work.
Anonymous32745
"Medicine and science are powerfully institutionalized, but no institution or profession has existed for the purpose of encouraging people to act reasonably." - Ray Peat
afgm
.
afgm
@Friend: yeah it's a problem
@Koff: I emailed you a while back. did you get it?
Fri3nd
Huh, I can't use my username.
@Bam You're right, I'll work on it.
Bam
@K-off: It's moments like these that really remind you of mortality. People pull thru tho. medical science has come far in that field; but definitely not far enough.
Bam
@Friend: It's looks pretty good. I like Mario's suggestion of a series of witches, but a solitary one is more in-tune with the current banner. I would say however that there is too much dark in the negative space to the right. Could be just me tho.
Bam
@Kaiser: a series of consecutive 'yes'. I was really into Laloux, but FP is the one I liked the most. I've been watching Mr. Robot since season 1, and it's well worth your time. Not really all that cyberpunkish tho; mostly just cyber. And anybody who hasn't read Gibson's masterpiece is a fool of a Took.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Bam: Have you been looking into that Mr Robot series? I heard its meant to be some kind of cyber thriller, it could be our thing. Also have you read Neuromancer?
Kaiser Eoghan
And I suppose that brings me to that stranger things show then, I love horror so I guess that caught my eye, but apparently its a family/kids thing =< don't know whether to bother.
Kaiser Eoghan
I still say it takes me that extra bit of convincing to watch a childrens animated film.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Friend: The banner is in good hands I see.
AidanAK47
Well Coraline wasn't written by Laika. It was written by Neil Gaiman. Laika just adapted it. Still I would like to check out Kubo to see what all the hype is about.
SuperMario
@anony29442: I will watch Kubo this coming week so I will comment on the movie then. But I'm not that surprise if Kubo has a weak writing. Laika never really great at story development: I mean Coraline is exellent, ParaNorman is just okay and Boxstrolls writing is just so underdeveloped and full of plotholes
SuperMario
@friend: wow. It looks awesome. But why only one witch? ^^
Friend
Hey everyone! Just an update on our new banner, here's my WIP up to now: [link src="https://i.imgur.com/0QSv6IK.png
I'm"] trying a witch as a tribute to one of psgel's favorite anime maho shojotai. Feedback is welcome, I have a lot left to do. A 5:1 aspect ratio is the weirdest dimension I've ever painted in
Anonymous29442
I just saw Kubo and the 2 strings and im really shocked at all the praise its receiving. People calling it an instant masterpiece on looks alone but not enough are talking about how underdeveloped the characters and story were. It felt as if they made the whole thing up as they went along to the point where I couldnt suspend my disbelief any longer and got irritated.
Anonymous29415
qualidea code's characters havent become better in terms of how they are written; only that they have been fleshed out in the most generic and trivial of ways as to sympathize with them; and sure, they have become some what likeable in the same way you'd like a person who you heard nothing but kind things about but that does not save the characters from being boring. QC is still a bad show
AidanAK47
@Anon27511, even if the animation was kept consistent the story still can't really escape the done to death aspect of it's story. I agree that the writing has gotten better but despite that the show just feels...meh.
Anonymous27511
Fucking Qualidea Code, as the story and characters become more interesting, the animation and drawing proportionately decreases. Sad they simply do not have the budget to pull off what seems like a potentially very good story
K-Off
@Mike I'm sure you already heard but for some reason I didn't keep up to date. I thought it was strange that releases stopped in March after chapter 68,.
K-Off
Just learned that the writer of my favorite webtoon is battling terminal cancer, but despite it she hopes to finish it someday. God damn I would've never expected this.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Once spilled hot microwaved food over my hand by mistake, hurt for a day.
Kaiser Eoghan
*remaining
Kaiser Eoghan
@Bam: The story and ideas however were better in gandahar I felt. Time masters while good was a bit stop and start in its pace and animation.
I’m definitely interested in Laloux’s other, short animations and Mobius’ comic book work.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Bam: I watched Rene Laloux's remain animated films, Gandahar and time masters, I enjoyed both but not as much as Fantastic planet. I remember we talked about fantastic planet two years ago. Did you see the other two I mentioned. I liked the big moments and the ending to time masters, especially those angel things.
Anonymous27024
Ok. I beat Federation Force. I think the main positive is that the levels were playable despite the lack of voice chat. The bosses took a lot of damage and the beginning and end are relevant to the Prime continuity.
SuperMario
@K-Off: I did it once just like you did, and once when I put a metal bowl into a microwave. So yeah, boys will always be boys.
Bam
I tried my best not to half-ass either of them tho. Any oddity you guys see just write it off as mental exhaustion.
Bam
Okay, I'm officially beat. These two reviews should be considered companion pieces, as some material from one flew into the other. Thank god that episode 08 was not a heavy one, or I'd be completely depleted.
K-Off
Shit, I'm a damn idiot at baking, slightly burnt my hand a minute ago grabbing a hot tray with a wet towl. Why do I even try.
K-Off
@afgm Alright, send me a message at fightthepowwa@gmail.com and we'll work it out.
Bam
*cinematography
Bam
@K-off: I second that, as although the Poirot series has very well-done choreography, casting and music, there is still a little more of that unquantifiable magic sprinkled on the Granada series. But keep watching and I'll guarantee that Suchet will become the quintessential Poirot in your mind as well.
K-Off
I said that while I liked the performance and the direction, I didn't think that it did for Poirot what Granada did for Holmes.
K-Off
@Bam Yeah it is, and generally when I camp I like to stay for 1-2 weeks, places like Niagara or Yellowstone I can pretty much see everything I want to see in a few days so I don't find much value going to those places. The Adirons on the other hand is diverse as hell.
Bam
@K-off: I'm not sure if you mentioned it while I was gone: but did you get to watch any of the Poirot series with David Suchet? And if so, what are your thoughts?
Bam
I generally go to either the Muir Woods north of SF, or the forests around Big Sur. It doesn't take much to please me really.
Bam
@K-ff: is that by Lake Champlain? Cuz I've been there once and loved it.
Bam
@K-off: I thought of a combined post, but my OCD wouldn't allow a skip in the episodic order of the reviews.
K-Off
Usually when you go camping in Yellowstone or Yosemite the tourist industry kills those places, like I'd be on a rowboat and see cars, cabins, and people from a long ways offshore. The Adirondacks are nice because their building codes mandate construction to be hidden behind trees.
K-Off
@Bam My favorite camping spot is the Adirondacks in upstate NY, I went there probably 4-7 times and never get tired of the place. No, I don't have any posts for now, but for future reference consider combining episodic reviews when you get behind. I.E. Episode 6-8 Review
Bam
Also there's a reader in the comment section of Berserk 07 who wants to know if we have a notification system. I vaguely remember a widget that links the site to a FaceBook page. If anybody knows how that works, or if it's still functional, please shed some light on the matter for him/her. Thx.
Bam
@Aidan @K-off @Mario either one of y'all has any post near completion? I'm almost done with Berserk 08 and as previously mentioned, really prefer not to put two reviews up back to back. I think the length of them is already a hassle for some to get thru, let alone two right after eachother. I think it hurts the viewership, but if nothing's on hand then I'll guess I'll just finish up and post mine.
Bam
@Kaiser: I was actually camping near a mountain, but aren't all mountains somewhat holy? That could be my bias tho, since I was raised on the Alborz mountain range, and for me there is something therapeutic about the mountain air.
Kaiser Eoghan
Yes! Looks like the shoutbox is fixed and not deleting posts after 24 hours anymore!
Kaiser Eoghan
lol Or you could live in the shitty suburb where I do and spend your time just waiting for when your internet connection randomly cuts out twice a month or as it has the past few days two-three times a day.
Kaiser Eoghan
Basically bam went up the Holy mountain .
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: ....guy I know who loves war films and I've ended up inadvertedly/un-intentionally gotten him to buy some fucked up Polish horror film that just happens to be set in WW2. lol he's going to be pretty freaked out when he watches it.
Bam
Everything been cool here? Hehe ... looks like I conveniently missed all the hard parts.
Bam
@Mario: thx m8. I wish I could just make it down to Rio on a whim, but then again, I took a much-needed vacation, so I ain't complaining.
SuperMario
Welcome back Bam, I was already convinced that you went to Rio for screwing around. Lol
Bam
Also I apologize for the absence. I was gone somewhere without reliable internet access, and looking back I should've gave a notification.
Either way, I'm back now, and will be jumping on getting those Berserk reviews out as soon as possible.
Bam
Man looky here with the renovations; I like it.
SuperMario
@Vyse: wow. So how was the sites then back from 2005?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: and what is that sh!te you're talking about?
VyseLegendaire
<— fixed
VyseLegendaire
<— me
VyseLegendaire
Ive been a reader since 2005
Kaiser Eoghan
Haha, this'll be fun lol
Kaiser Eoghan
.....that feeling when you keep going on about a show or film but fail to give all the details...and someone goes out and buys it not knowing the full extent of the mad shit their in for...s--t lol
Anonymous24840
any reader from 2005 here....
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: This guy seems interesting: https://letterboxd.com/director/tsai-ming-liang/
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Hmm, not familiar with him.
I really really loved in the mood for love, alot, it emotionally effected me. I even watched it three times.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I couldn't seem to enjoy any of Zimou yangs films apart from Hero, which had some pretty creative fight scenes. I've seen the story of Ricky and some of John-woos films but they were more just silly entertaining exploitation films.
SuperMario
Don't know if you know the Vietnamese-French Tran Anh Hung. His works are stunning too. If you want to check out East-Asian cinema don't forget to check him out.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Yeah, but Park Chan Wood changed the ending, so the author insisted that the Handmaiden is more "inspired" than "based". The third chapter is the weakest part for me
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Of interest, The handmaiden was based on some British book/tv show.
Kaiser Eoghan
I need to completely re-evaluate/get into more Chinese cinema.
Kaiser Eoghan
Doesn't look like I've seen anything by Hong-sang-so.
My favourite Korean actor is song-kang-ho.
Kaiser Eoghan
Theres an anime convention over here in Dublin in three months. Although I haven't been to one in years.
SuperMario
I'm heading to anime convention today. Normally I don't really care about those conventions but I figure I'd come this year to see the taste of it. The only hassle is it's 3-hour drive, which gonna be a pain when I drive back after a long day being there.
SuperMario
Bong Joon-ho, on the other hand,is incredible at writing. His scripts are often layered, sharp and best of all fuses many tones/ genres into one coherent whole. The best thing about this Korean New Wave directors is they all have very distinctive voices. But my favorite director isn't the ones that you list. That would be Hong Sang Soo. I just love his simplicity style so much.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Park Chan Wood is a master of visual. Whenever I come to his movies I expected to be blown-away by his visual. He can write compelling characters (he loves his characters) as well but his screenplays in general are weak. You can watch his lesser effort "I'm a Cyborg, but That's Okay" and see many things that made him good/bad. That's the movie I feel he made without the care of the critic
afgm
.
afgm
@koff: Yeah I can help. But midterms/finals are coming up so I can't dedicate to much time.
Kaiser Eoghan
I always felt Bong-jong and Chang-dong , kim-di-duk and Kim-jee-woon were better than Park-chan-wook. Oldboy did have that one hell of an ending, so did lady vengeance but I feel that those are the bits people tend to remember and the rest was good but not great.
Topgavin
For anyone that doesn't regularly browse /r/anime, Godzilla is apparently getting an anime adaption by Polygon Pictures with Urobuchi involved. Should be good.
K-Off
Well, I climbed to rank 52 in Overwatch with Tracer alone. Looking forward to season 2 already, but I do wish Blizzard had somehow implemented a single-player storyline since the lore in Blizzard titles is always so vast. Kind of surprised they didn't make one with Overwatch.
K-Off
@Kaiser Watch Train to Busan if you can. Me neither, I can't dig too deep into Korean films due to the language barrier. Sure would be convenient to have Vincent recommending films again.
K-Off
@afgm Hey, are you still interested in helping out with the site? At this point I'm looking over the site's code & doing some rewriting - if you think you can help, let me know.
K-Off
@Mario I hadn't watched Old Boy for 6 years when I got to I Saw the Devil and it was out of mind for me, so you may be right.
SuperMario
@K-Off: maybe it was just me but I was underwhelmed by I Saw the Devil. The point it trying to match was similar to OldBoy, and Oldboy's execution was way better (OldBoy's one of my favorite movie). Yes, the soundtracks of OldBoy, Lady Vengeance are exceptional. I still listen to The Last Waltz after all those years...
K-Off
The soundtrack in a lot of these Korean films are top notch as well, Lady Vengeance and I Saw the Devil in particular.
K-Off
@Mario Speaking of which, Korean psychological thrillers are hands down some of the best in the last 10-20 years. I Saw the Devil, Lady Vengeance, Old Boy, list goes on.
SuperMario
@Aidan: It just comes to me that we're already half way of this season... Time sure flies
SuperMario
@Kaiser: so please finish up Inside Mari. The last chapter had been out. I need someone to talk about that goddamn manga anw
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I always consider the Korean New Wave started back in 2000, and really peaked in 2003 (OldBoy, Memories of Murders, Spring Summer..., A Tale of 2 Sisters). Before 2000? The only director I can think of was Im Kwon-Taek
AidanAK47
About nearly finished Fata Morgana but I might have to finish doom first because that thing is eating a huge chunk of my SSD drive.
AidanAK47
Back up to date...at least for now. I have to go to a wedding so It's likely I will fall behind again. Got to admit that I haven't had much of an opinion on the latest episodes. Might be just mentally drained personally.
SuperMario
@K-off: I totally agree with you. 28 Days Later is a gem. Though I'm not really into zombie genre as a whole, I'm more into psychological stuffs more.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Reminding me I need to catch up on boku mari no naka.
Kaiser Eoghan
Although the trailer for train to busan does catch my interest.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've gotten more than enough out of Korean films, I can enjoy them but I probably don't sing the same high praises for them as most bar some exceptions.
Seeing Lee-chang-dongs stuff I'm actually kind of interested in finding some more low key korean films.
Kaiser Eoghan
Very likely a view shared by my indie loving friend and I, but Battery and Wyrmwood were jokey takes on the zombie genre I thought were enjoyable.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Likely my preference for British comedy that makes me laugh more at Shaun of the dead more. Although Hot fuzz is the better Simon Pegg film in my opinion.
In terms of Korean films, I've been wondering, what are the pre-90s ones like. Lee-chang-dong started the Korean new wave in 1997.
K-Off
I'm still waiting for a good horror-zombie film, nothing has met my expectations after 28 Days Later (and techinically REC), which admittedly is a high bar.
K-Off
@Mario I am watching Seoul Station next week, that was just me recapping TtB after I watched it a few days ago. It's definitely more of a thriller, it has good "wtf" moments but nothing I'd call horror.
SuperMario
@K-Off: I thought you were going to watch Seoul Station? So I gather that Train of Busan is more thriller than horror? Just thinking of Zombieland already puts a smile on my face. That one and Shaun of the Dead are so goddamn hilarious.
SuperMario
@Aidan: I will review them in the future. atm I'm in watching/ reading mode so I'll push back all the world movie/ full show reviews for a while
K-Off
@Mario My impression of Train to Busan was that although it wasn't anything ground breaking, it had a great cast of characters and an entertaining gimmick that managed to stay exhilarating. I haven't seen a zombie film this well structured since Zombieland, even though they're completely opposite in tone.
AidanAK47
They are all yours if you want to do them.
SuperMario
Reading Inside Mary makes me want to watch Flowers of Evil again. If I remember correctly psgels never actually had a full review on this one, and Ping Pong.
AidanAK47
@Vyse, Width wise it's exactly the same as the old chat box. Though it's possible the old one had smaller font.
VyseLegendaire
This chat box is too narrow I think, only see a couple messages.
AidanAK47
@Anon18138, Yeah but I don't see that writer making something that truly represents the games. There may be a possibility of it being a good movie but that movie won't be Pokemon.
Anonymous18138
@AidanAK47 It'll have the writer of Gravity Falls. Though I don't have a high standard in regards to the 3D mascot and live-action style of movies.
SuperMario
They originally planned to male a live-action remake of Seoul Station, as the producer saw a footage of the animation and really loved it; but Yeon Sang-Ho (the director) insisted that if he was about to make a live-action film, he's go for a sequel instead. Hence Train of Busan.
SuperMario
@K-off: I missed my chance to watch Train to Busan but I heard nothing but rave from it. People who watched it really loved it. Damn, you make me jealous man, since I want to watch Seoul Station and review it here. Come watch it and tell me what you think; my bet is you'll enjoy it.
K-Off
@Mario Have you watched Train to Busan? I'm planning to watch its animated prequel Seoul Station next week. Animation looks shabby as hell but I can always expect a good story from the koreans.
AidanAK47
So the live action Pokemon movie will feature detective pikachu. Clearly a necessary inclusion.
SuperMario
I'm reading Inside Mary now and it's quite a gem despite its ridiculous premise. There's a lot of raw emotions. I love raw emotions. As expected from the same guy who wrote Flowers of Evil.
AidanAK47
Yep, when she sends the images let me know. It may have been a while ago but I am a qualified graphic designer so even I can lend a hand to the banner design.
AidanAK47
Ugh...a new version of wordpress is ready to be updated to. I have a bad feeling updating to the latest version could potentially break things.
K-Off
Alright, I've got Friend onbaord with a commission for our new banner. She says she'll send us sketches so we can decide if it's something we want.
AidanAK47
Considering how much trouble this plugin has given us, i am not up for adding another one. Only thing the subscriber account thing needs is me to tick and box and get rid of that password promt.
K-Off
@Aidan You can set that up if you'd like, though another idea would be to set up buddypress and link it to there. But it's yet again another plugin.
Total users: 34

Featured Posts

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Thunderbolt Fantasy – 07

This week our band heads up to the evil mountain and needless to say they possess absolutely no teamwork spirit whatsoever. It’s as you would expect from a group of seven egocentric members. Our main character Shang Bu Shuan repeatedly gets teased by their comrades, as he finds himself fighting the enemies alone without the […]

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Berserk(2016) - 07 [The Black Witch]

Berserk(2016) – 07 [The Black Witch]

I apologize for this very late review, but due to circumstances I didn’t have the means of watching the episode, and hence the week-long delay. I’ll try to at least leave a notification in case of such issues in the future, but otherwise will try to keep the posts steady. So let’s get right to […]

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It a beginning of a dark path for Ritsu as his own inadequacies are pushing him in a direction that won’t end well for him. Part of the problem is the student council president whom is called Shinji. He happens to remind me of another Shinji in another series who had an equally punchable face […]

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91 Days – 06

I would say this is the strongest episode so far of 91 Days as it essentially revolves around what makes Mafia drama at it’s best. Betrayals, scheming and deceit are what fuels organised crime and what a scheme this was. When looking at the three family leaders I suppose it’s no surprise that Orco is […]

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Kiznaiver Review – 60/100

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