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



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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Vonter
@Niello - That's 'cause Miayano isn't Pepe Macias: https://youtu.be/nCL6e5TmVG8?t=34
Lenlo
Personally I like this Miyano voice, but only because it sounds like Old Okabe before 0 ruined him
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Wouldn't go that far. But as I've said this show did not click with me at all on most levels.
Niello
Am I the only one who think Miyano sounds annoying in Zombieland Saga? It was the same in Tadakoi too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Castlebros4life.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I forgot to mention, what I like about this guy is that he actually does have a plan rather than just milling it into the goblins.
Lenlo
Castlevania hype! I cant wait for season 2
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm more looking forward to reading The year one side story which is more about Goblin slayer himself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, I've caught up to the 28th chapter of Goblin slayers manga chapter, in spite of being rinse and repeat with not much depth, so far its remains fun. There will definitely be a "human shield" scene that won't appear in the anime. I'd hoped the side story manga would go into priestess girls past our something but it doesn't.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Castlevania season 2 is out next week.
AidanAK47
Damn, Youtubes down
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mamoru Miyano is the same voice actor for the producer and Okabe.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think they are doing other genres in zombieland too, I think one is vaporwave.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It would be very strange if the guy who is the past version of Hitomi's grandfather started falling for her.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That leads me to consider , should the search bar be moved?
AidanAK47
Pretty Sure he mistook the chat window for a search bar
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Fell behind, part 3 too long aswell.
SuperMario
@anon: it's just too little too late...
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Interested in seeing more of that horse guy who showed up in the recent beastars chapters. Also liked how they co-relate lion guy with louis' dad.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not that I'm knocking Honda-san, as that simple/minimalist style is another thing that makes these gag comedies work also.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Animation's a bit BARE BONES though wahaha!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I'm quite amused by the surrealism of it all, a skeleton working in a bookshop =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: A quick random fact, one of the manga the blonde girl in episode 1 is asking for is a legendary, old shounen-ai classic from the 70s. The short format suits these gag comedies because I feel that stretching them out to 20 something minute runtimes kills the joke.
Lenlo
Honda-San continues to be the funniest thing I have seen in awhile
AidanAK47
@Vonter, That should not go together as well as it does
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Goblin slayer did nothing wrong.
Animosh
It's dumb, but I can't deny it's uplifting. :)
Animosh
The slime anime really offers the perfect counter to Goblin Slayer. In Goblin Slayer murder is the answer to everything, peace is impossible and revenge will haunt you forever. In the slime series? A short speech about the benefits of kindness and cooperation and the pitfalls of revenge is enough to convince everyone to get along (and that includes two races who were on the verge of war).
Vonter
Also because I just had to: http://vmashup.com/yvDoiQhU
Vonter
Zombieland gives me Scooby Doo vibes. With a silly premise of reviving moe girls to make a band. How they're prey to their instincts and I do like the music aspect doesn't feel as artificial as other shows that may also promote the songs to be sold. Since the music seems more to play for the story than to be good songs. Not remarkable but enjoyable I'll say.
Vonter
So far I've more issue with what the maid says than what she does. Since the anime wants to paint her in a good light but some of the things she says are very creepy. On the other side, there seems an underlying sadness since she seems capable but dumbfounded on how to live her life.
Vonter
I checked UzaMaid! and Zombieland Saga, which were funny and silly and entertaining, nothing major, but I also don't found them bad. The first one treads the line so far of having creepy implications, but it has a bit of John Hughes slapstick thrown a bit. I'll like it more if the little girl were a bit more like Kevin from Home Alone or Junior from Problem Children.
Amagi
Seems like a part of the background has changed after the post-kaiju fight reset in Gridman. I wonder what's even real in this series.
SuperMario
Gosh, how I love the improv dialogues and the indie Kemono-Friends level of visual flourish in Himote House
Masky
Like Zero Escape series itself goes through pretty much everything related to psychology
Masky
In general I don't really get what is up with japanese fictional works running different scientific paradoxes or theories into everything unrelated ._.
Lenlo
Mmm Im so glad I started throwback thursday. 2 episodes in and I already love Planetes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think might know it off by heart now I hear it mentioned so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I hope I haven't doomed you, I voted for Goblin slayer .
Amagi
Hate that too and I actually got my hopes up in episode 1 since it seemed like they wouldn't explain it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: I was hoping someone else would bring that up.
Niello
Bunny Girl is pretty good so far, but I do have to say that I rolled my eyes at another rundown of Schrodinger's cat. What's with the obsession?
Amagi
Drama never works for me with Key and even most of Kyoani's works in general.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I already mentioned about how surprisingly solid/serious bunny girl senpai takes itself for the better, but I'd like to add, the drama doesn't feel obnoxious either such as in a Key work.
Amagi
I love those first impression reviews of bad series.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Yeah, it's why I never picked HxH up again as well. I also think there are still tons of issues with SAO although most of them come up later. AW will always be way better in my opinion.
Anonymous2948346
Glad the Imouto review was good for something, niello. The show itself certainly isn't.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't deny that for some a series could improve as it went on, but with sword art, its now three seasond and a movie , thats alot to watch and quite the ask to get to the "good" part.
Amagi
@niello: I meant that key visual https://d38fgd7fmrcuct.cloudfront.net/1_3p7wgf1obds2mkioy1cmi.jpg - but as said it doesn't mean anything. I will only get hyped once I see the first animated scene and confirm that the boats aren't CG or at least a good kind of CG.
Lenlo
Oh baby. Spring 2019, One Punch Man S2 and Hero Aca S4. Can't wait
niello
@Amagi, Vinland Saga promo pic looks good? Aren't those just manga cover pictures that they showed in the promo...
niello
"Ore ga Sick of this Shit dakedo Shit Keeps Getting Made", I laughed so hard, thanks.
Lenlo
Will probably do a final review but not weekly episodes
Lenlo
But I watched it. Its alright, im gonna watch it to the end.
Lenlo
@animosh, I dont know about them.
Animosh
Oh, that sounds very promising! I've always found thematic explorations of virtual reality very interesting. You know: What is "real" and what isn't? Does it even matter? And what place should virtual reality have in society? In previous seasons those themes were a bit dumbed down, so I'd be up for seeing them explored in some more detail. And with four cours, there's plenty of time to do so.
Amagi
I am not yet sure how much SAO III will suffer from the lacking inner monologue though. The interesting part fo it was the world building and the taboos and how it was the first actual simulation and creation of humanity and the birth of a virtual culture, with mods and admins being literal gods in the VR, like some matrix thing. The anime skipped a lot and actions they do feel more casual there.
Amagi
@Animosh: Well the author did improve a lot, I actually consider most of Accel World as pretty good, especially the later arcs. Thanks for reminding me to buy the last two volumes by the way.
Animosh
I'm sure it won't be great (hell, given SAO's track record, it'll almost certainly end up punishing me for getting my hopes up), but there are at least signs that the author has recognized what went wrong in previous seasons and is trying to correct his mistakes. So with some luck, I might just end up enjoying this season! Maybe. Not getting my hopes up too much though.
Animosh
And where previous seasons barely made any attempts to build up the various virtual worlds, this season is taking it slow so far, which makes it feel more like a well-realized world than a generic fantasy blob. And last but not least, it seems Kirito will have to start over, so even if he'll inevitably end up OP again, he'll probably have to work for it, which is something the series really needed
Animosh
For example: the old cast has been stuck in the harem-mold for a long time, and that makes them incredibly dull. Most of them only exist to make Kirito look good, and barely have any agency of their own. But the new characters are different (so far at least). The most prominent new character (Eugeo) is male, and has clear goals of his own.
Animosh
By the way, did you guys skip Sword Art Online for your first impressions posts? I know you're not fond of the series (and rightly so, because it's way too popular for such a mediocre series), but I actually think it's been pretty decent so far. A fresh start with a largely new cast is exactly what the series needed, and there are some promising signs it's heading in a positive direction.
Animosh
@Amagi: I felt the same way after the episode. It's a very predictable move, but somehow I still didn't see it coming. I guess I should have known better than to trust a happy-go-lucky love interest (although I'm rooting for Rikka) after Darling in the Franxx.
Animosh
But in their own ways they still offered the kind of wild and wacky ride through adolescent insecurities that FLCL is known for, and the characters were likable enough (even if underdeveloped). The OST remains strong too. So although the series could definitely have been better, overall I think this has been a pretty enjoyable revival of the series.
Animosh
After its slow start I'm glad FLCL at least managed to end on a fairly strong note. I still think it's a shame none of the two series really managed to replicate the surreal craziness and visual inventiveness of the original (though Progressive did try), and the wider focus of both series compared to OG FLCL (with the same number of episodes) backfired a little.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Sometimes the offscreen content can allow our imaginations to work and disturb us more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Deception more like.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Girl wasn't even pregnant, show telling lies, too lazy to draw pregnancy too probably .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Was your internet acting weird today? Don't know what provider you're using but mine only came back an hour ago or so, lots of people in Dublin were reporting connection issues and in other counties too.
SuperMario
@Amagi: still haven't watched the second one but the first episode did surprise me
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Still ain't watching it
Amagi
Okay I didn't really see the content of ep 2 of Gridman coming. I feel like I should have seen this coming, but I didn't.
Masky
I'm honestly confused about Conception since I'm under impression that Conception games are about "Do some sort of weird ritual to create "Star Child" which doesn't actually involve pregnancy". Like did game also go this far, did anime change this or is this setup for second episode to start with "lol just kidding" or what the frick
Amagi
I think deaths are often the best examples of failed attempts to keep the audience invested. Regardless how many tears there are and how tragic the death is, I won't care when the series itself is bad, the character not flashed out or the scene forced. I have seen series in which one died offscreen that hit me harder than a full episode of whining over some dead moe blobb.
Amagi
There are a lot anime like that since the presentation is important. There are many of those convoluted trainwrecks with 10 different plot twist where one or two of them are actually good on paper but do nothing when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding those crap light novel shows...it really is a sign isn't it, that its so bad sometimes, that even if it does something that appeals to you/would titillate you, you still don't care and won't watch it, because its so shit.
Lenlo
A poll assumes people would actually vote in it. I guess I can try it out and see if people care enough for it, sure. Still, would need things to put on said poll, so feel free to suggest
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes with these shows you just have to let them wash over you.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Perhaps I could say similar about irozuku as I do Yagate.
Amagi
I am kinda happy I managed to avoid all bad series this season with the exception of Release the Spyce which I only tried because I gave it the benefit of doubt due to having enjoyed Princess principal to some degree despite its many flaws.
SuperMario
I'm back after a week vacation and the first thing I watched again was Conception. I mean I was prepared but this show is one of the reason we all need break to stay sane
Kaiser-Eoghan
I need a refresher on the early bits of vinland and Viking Count Dooku (Askeladd) arc so watching the anime would be a great recap oppurtunity.
Amagi
I really hope Vinland Saga will have a good budget. The promo pic looks pretty damn good but I also liked the very first promo pic of the last Berserk series and we all know how that one turned out.
Amagi
And yes Legosi also always makes me think of Bela Lugosi. I guess I watched too many old movies.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I strangely also lost interest in some game series I liked as little kid, Megaman too for example. I guess there are just series that can work on NES and SNES but not that well as 3D series on modern consoles.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I come away from irozuku feeling I watched an aethetically pleasing, somewhat cute show but not much else, but that may not be an entirely bad thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@lenlo: Alternatively you could put up a poll.
Lenlo
Thats a good idea Kaiser! I read all the comments, so if there are any you think would be good feel free to suggest them. I can compile a list and pick one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: To make things easier, perhaps each season, for variety, the throwback Thursday thing could pick a different genre for it each season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Every time I read his name in Beastars, I kept thinking the actors name "Bela Legosi" because the wolf's name was legosi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Weird tangent, looking up Irozuku on google image search reveals theres a porn actress with the same name as the lead female character =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes I think the fans had better ideas for the games.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not that I hated any of his games though, but they did have diminishing returns and weren't always consistent in quality. It was disappointing when they started going for some kind of story, then kind of dropped it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was a big fan of megaman growing up, but like sonic, unlike Mario and Zelda, his games got increasingly diluted the more the franchise went on, megaman didn't work in 3D either. Also the second nes one has a really neat soundtrack =)
Vonter
Megaman 11 made me want to play the old games. So I bought the first Legacy Collection pack which has a rewind feature. The first game is hard and cheap at some spots. It also feels a bit stiff. Still it's funny spotting things that were changed in every other entry. Like the boss checkpoints having enemies and traps. Also I think this is the only game showing Dr. Light's house from the outside.
Lenlo
Ah, that anon was me! Was on my phone
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: My beastars post would have gone into spoilers. I decided to private message instead.
Anonymous2930785
I am very happy that Shorter isnt a one and done event.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In regards to humour. However in terms of anime humour, something like hoozuki no reitatsu would have me losing my shit laughing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I love stuff by Bunuel or Roy Anderson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I prefer sardonic, sad bastard, bleak, dry/depressing or particularly serious but surreal comedy, humour/comedy played straight .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, yes as expected with Zombieland saga, I gave it a second episode chance, but this is an easy drop for me, its just how comedy goes sometimes, but I didn't laugh once during this episode , just left me cold/blank to it.
Amagi
It's like that season that had SoraYori, I watched like 7 other shows but I only remember SoryYori by now.
Amagi
I think for the last season (counting finished series) this is only true for Planet With. I do remember Chiochan when I think a bit but spontaneosly I couldn't come up with anything else if I had a time limit of 20 seconds or so.
Amagi
I often only really become aware about which series I liked the most when I try remembering the respective season months later. I often enjoy a bunch of shows and watch even more, and yet, at the end of the day, there is always onely one or two that actually stick in my mind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to say again, I'm glad that Shorter is still being remembered episodes after him leaving the show. Thought they could have held that scene with yut-lung longer, its obvious he despises Eiji. Sudden gag in this episodes middle threw me off. lol at that killing attempt in the second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's also a horror manga about Robert Johnson, me and the devil blues.
Amagi
Speaking of great manga series, everyone should try Shiori Experience, the Jimmy Hendrix manga. There is barely any series that hypes me up as much as this one and I read a lot. This could be the anime of the year if it would get adapted by a competent team and get a good budget and appropriate OST.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think I will marathon the rest of Dorohedoro the next days. And then looking forward to her next series.
Amagi
Zombieland Saga is the only new anime that actually surprised me. I am not talking about good or bad here, there are a bunch of other pretty good series airing right now but Zombieland is the only one that caught me off-guard in a positive way.
AidanAK47
Okay, I think I love Zombieland Saga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've embraced bunny-girls approach to its dialogue/drama now with the second episode, also they go a bit into her past in this episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I'll be posting my thoughts later. Also, there's on one chapter of dorohedoro left.
Amagi
There are 7 new Beastars chapters out, I really liked the climax here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On a tangent, damn you mappa, adapt Freesia already .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I needed to watch red garden twice to really "get" it, as in for it to click for me, its a show that picks up near the middle.
Amagi
It had scenes you rarely see in anime that do happen all the time in real life, like friends talking across each other, people talking at the same time or interrupting others.
Amagi
@Niel: Have you seen Red Garden? A lot of people agreed that it had the most natural dialogues of the anime that aired that year so maybe you would enjoy that too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animmosh: josei yuri I would welcome being adapted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Hana wa saku, yuutsu no asa and Acid town adaptation WHEN.
Animosh
Yuri gets all the hype, but yaoi gets all the glory.
Animosh
So, yeah, if other folk here haven't seen it yet, give it a try! By the way, it's interesting how what probably were my two favorite shows of the past season (Banana Fish and this one) were both BL shows. Can't say I saw that coming.
Animosh
It's kind of reminiscent of classics like Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but with some anime tropes added to the mix (the bubbly main character and his tsundere love interest), and with less emphasis on politics and more on horror and fantasy. And for a Chinese series, the animation is really solid, in spite of the occasional CGI hiccup. The backgrounds in particular are very easy on the eyes.
Animosh
I don't remember who it was, but thanks for recommending Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation! It's surprisingly good for a show I had heard so little about. I love historical epics, and the main characters are built up very well and have a lot of chemistry. I do wish the antagonists were more interesting (they're very black-and-white), but the protagonists are all a lot of fun to watch.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*didn't work for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niel: Garo didn't work for outside of the fantasy setting.
Niel
The exceptions to this are usually shorts and films. You don't get to see them often in TV series. As for the story, I don't have nearly enough patience for monster-of-the-week formula as I did years ago, so if it's just going the generic tokusatsu route then you'll hear from me. but since Garo wasn't too bad I have hope that they will do something interesting with this.
Niel
The environments also feel so much more like places where people live and hang out. Take the school room for example. Anime rarely portray school rooms as this place where teenagers gather and play during break. It's usually only consist of people talking with no mischieve whatsoever. And when there are scenes of bedroom they often feels more like a showroom than a place where someone live in.
Niel
@Lenlo @Aidan Your impressions of Gridman are fair. I'm just really excited for Gridman because two of my main pet peeves with anime are the unnatural dialogue, and bland and sterilised background environments. Here when characters talk, it actually seem so much closer to the conversation flow you'd see more in everyday life, and I'm kind of starving for that in my anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although with drugs and anime in mind, I do wish that a sports anime that addresses cheating through performance enhancing drugs would be made.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Release the spyce and drug use? I find this odd, I think I heard that the Japanese had a thing about depicting that (drugs) in animation/on tv when it came to young charcters.
Masky
Like, sure, it has tactical goblin slaughter action, but its more about how broken mess of person Goblin Slayer is and how he learns to connect with people. Its surprisingly insightful at times, but the trashy parts really clash with the actual tone of series considering its only purpose is pretty much "Goblins are horrible" which is point you got with gore in first place
Masky
Anyhoo, yeah, made already comment about it on the blog, but I really feel like trashy parts of Goblin Slayer clash with what it is about
Masky
Oh yeah, that was surprisingly hilarious. Mostly because English was surprisingly good
Lenlo
I should not like Honda-San as much as I do. But I love it.
Masky
Like, lot of writers, game developers, comic artists, etc, they clearly base their works on stuff they were fan of. Lot of people get inspired by stuff they enjoyed during their childhood for example. There is no real difference between "Being inspired to do same type of thing you liked" and "You copied something popular" besides the level of half assedness
Masky
@SuperWooper: What I feel like is that there is nothing new under the sun. Whenever something feels like original, its mostly that you yourself just haven't seen it before or the execution feels fresh or the cliches and tropes haven't been used in a while
Amagi
I really don't like the highschool boy suddently getting super power and mega robot-kind of trope so they better add some more original stuff to make up for this.
Amagi
I might still enjoy this series though depending on the ideas the writers might have. As usual, much of my enjoyment depends on the antagonist. If this should really be nothing than a typical toku show with evil villain I will probably drop it too.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I only watch sub, I kinda feel like the first half was good dialoguewise but I know what Aidan and Lenlo mean, I generally didn't like the second half of the episode.
SuperWooper
Being a writer for an anime blog, I'm not really qualified to say.
AidanAK47
@Wooper, what is originality?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although personally I won't be watching gridman due to not being a fan of trigger.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In Goblin slayer I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I just glad that the protaganist is a guy in his 20s for a change.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Did you all watch gridman in English or Japanese? I ask because, perhaps the dialogue might have been an issue with the dub or something?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, it seems I wasn't really paying much attention to the animation in Goblin slayer, I was having too much fun with it.
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Coming off as one of my most anticipated anime out of this last Spring Season, based solely on staffs involved alone – after all, an original anime written by Mari Okada and produced by Bones (which I regarded as one of the best anime studio working right now) – I can’t help but feel let […]

Megalo Box – 86/100

Ah boxing, the quintessential manly man sport of beating each other unconscious. In anime, the sport was first forged in the fires of Ashita no Joe, and some would say later perfected by Hajime no Ippo. Both fantastic series in their own right. Both filled to the brim with epic clashes of wills, phenomenal characters and […]