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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SuperMario
"There's a white house waiting for us in Casablanca" haha, can't help but laugh at its wordplay
Lenlo
Im planning on mentioning it, but yeah. Alot of the combat didnt really have an 'impact' to them. There are other shows, like Ping Pong, that I think do this sort of style better, if alittle differently.
Anonymous1283104
I think the main issue was the animation being kind of simple, the scenes didnt have 'motion'
Lenlo
@Anon, yeah The Reflection moved at the pace of a glacier. The art style was unique and should have lead to good looking fights, but instead it moved at the pace of a glacier. Ill have a write up on it later today
KTravlos
very nice episode of Virgin Soul. Really liked seeing Favoro look like Favoro again.
Vonter
Tales of Graces sadly might have the most childish, and pandering story of the series.
Vonter
AidanAK47 - Tales of Graces worked around having to both attack and defend to continue attacking. If just attacked you made less and weaker attacks. It was a way of cooldown that was more reliant on the player thinking about the attacks it used. Later games followed a more typical cooldown and combined special attacks with the regular ones.
Anonymous1282493
Reflection was kinda painful to watch, I didn't expect anything in the first place and was disappointed nonetheless.
Lenlo
I cant snowboard or ski at all so its ok.
SuperMario
I did hit my head on the ground (for the first time) but I was lucky that I was wearing helmet. I curse S turn
SuperMario
@lenlo: it's fun but it's a lot of pain as well.
Lenlo
Sounds like fun
SuperMario
I'm literally covered in snow right now with my butt numbed. Will get back home in few hours to catch up on 18if
Lenlo
Havnt had the chance to watch it yet, but Reflection apparently looks like a comic book but has weird fight scenes? Ill get that write up tomorrow once I watch it tonight.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*hear
Jesus Christ what happened to my spelling
AidanAK47
That's one of the things that mainly turned me off. The battle system is essentially button mashing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The regular complaint I here from Tales of naysayers is a dislike of the battle mechanics/system.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I avoided the anime adaptations of the tales games mostly because I assumed they presumed previous knowledge of the games. I actually only saw Phantasia due to having been familiar with the games story when I was younger.
HelghastKillzone
No Re:Creators this week. I get a week off which is good since I'm stuck on an army base.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, A lot of people say Vesperia is their favorite as well. I only have played Abyss so far and was really not impressed with it.
K-Off
@Kaiser Damn, Detective Conan has a long way to go then.
K-Off
Phantasia was my first Tales game (and its anime is the best amongst anything after) but Symphonia really did take it to another level. In general I think most fans will agree with Symphonia, Abyss, and Xillia in their favorites.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe Kochikame is the longest running manga of all time 1,960 chapters, 200 volumes, actually does have a record.
K-Off
@Aidan I remember you saying how it's funny that no two fans of Tales will have the same favorite title. But that's definitely because Tales has changed very little over the years, and they've always been solid games, and so for most fans they'll remember the first title they played.
K-Off
@Vonter With you there. The art direction in Tales hasn't been really that exciting since Xillia, and as a long time fan of the series I finally got sick of the gameplay after Vesperia.
K-Off
Jeez, detective Conan is reaching its 1000th chapter. Pretty sure it's a milestone for some Guinness record.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Embarassing
**Here
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also agree about complaints made about the mumbled dialogue when it does occur.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think thin red line is a good thing to bring up hear as throughout much of Dunkirk I was thinking about how much more Mallick's film did for me, how I should have been re-watching that instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet at the same time I couldn't connect with it, it became repetitive, disjointed and the shots/Zimmer score towards the end were embaeassing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There were definitely aspects to praise, to be fair there is no shortage of action, it eschews exposition and tries to visually immerse the viewer to make them feel as if they are present.
Lenlo
Im ready. Reflection comes on tomorrow, so heres hopin its worth it
Anonymous1279803
it was trash. just british propaganda
Vonter
I finished Tales of Berseria. And I'm conflicted. I really liked the story and the characters, essentially a Tales of were the story is told form the perspective of the villains. I also saw the episodes Ufotable made of the beginning of the game, and I want moar. It's was a waste as game, considering the archaic and dull game design. It mainly came up to buying time in regards to things to play.
KTravlos
I also watched it. I thought it was a great war film. Very intense and unrelenting, but still at points the images reminded me of Thin Red Line. My only quip was the end. The film did a great job in getting me to feel the hopelessness the soldiers felt. So great that the attempt at making a "happy" end was forced and fell flat. Beyond that I liked it.
Anonymous1279184
I already lost interest when I saw Inception which I didn't really like. My favorite Nolan movie will always be Memento.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, saw Dunkirk, I think at this point I'm done with giving Nolan any more chances, this like his other works, I can appreciate them to some extent but come away honestly not giving a damn.
SuperMario
and this week's Sakura Quest is damn great as well... This backstory of Chitose and Kadota rocks
SuperMario
Just watching the 2nd episode of Gamers, It was actually pretty good. I can't believe they fleshing out that annoying hot guy into such a relatable guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I recall the extent of my interest in Linkin park in my early teens was strictly the breaking the habit video and that was it.
SuperMario
The frontman of Linkin Park commited suicide by hanging himself... sad news. Never been his fan but I feel sad nonetheless
AidanAK47
Actually forgot with all the impressions and whatnot but I do believe we said we would review the Castlevania Netflix series. Now that everything has calmed down I will see if I can do a write up next week.
AidanAK47
I was busy trying to discern whether the story had any point besides "Life is shit"
Kaiser-Eoghan
Again, while I enjoyed punpun, the excessive internal narration, when marathoned, I had to take a break.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Come to think of it, I don't even have a phone that does that, haven't bought a new one since 2004.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, you see I could never force myself to browse/type/use the internet on a phone, too used to using a desktop exclusively for that.
AidanAK47
Oh bloody hell. Stupid phone autocorrect. Yeah I meant Punpun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Read Freesia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
umi no onnanoko is probably the exact thing ninjarealist would be interested in.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*oyasumi punpun
I found it alot more accessible than nijigahara holograph. deded-demon-destruction while enjoyable, is beneath him. Solanin is probably his easiest work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I assume you man oyasui punpun. Its been about five years since I read in, the final couple of volumes stay in my mind the most, all the stuff with him, the girl and his uncle also, I love Asano Inios art and the surreal elements but I got lost/bored somewhere in the middle and most of the other side characters and the cult thing I didn't really care about.
AidanAK47
Finished reading Goodnight Pumping. Really not sure on what to think of it. The story kept me reading but it just felt really empty.
Anonymous1276500
There are 2 Nyaa's now. This one is considered the 'real' one: https://nyaa.si
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looks like anirena is down for me. Although it looks like nyaa went back up as this: https://nyaa.pantsu.cat/
SuperMario
Aidan: Fate/Apocrypha, Made in Abyss, Kakegurui
Mario: Princess Principal, 18if, Youkoso
Lenlo: Touken Ranbu, The Reflection
Wooper: Ballroom, Shoukoku no Altair
Helghast: Re:Creators
SuperMario
Note: I'm deciding to take Classroom of the Elite as my third show to cover. So, for this season we are covering 11 shows.
Vonter
Just to end, it kind of shows than even if a story is predictable on where it is going. Characters can make up for that, if they're funny, interesting, and perhaps not agreeing all the time and having different agendas and points of view despite all sharing the same boat.
Vonter
Yet as a game Tales hasn't felt deep since Symphonia, (at least from the ones I've played). I'm wondering if it'll leave me wanting check the anime of Zestiria, since apparently Berseria is a prequel to that game. And many say the anime is better than the game. (I can see why).
Vonter
I also like the reused Tales beats from Phantasia and Berseria. It those have moments like when Lloyd was exiled and Cless had his village attacked. It has clear antagonists unlike Vesperia, and trying harder than the cartoony villains of Graces.
Vonter
I've been playing Tales of Berseria, and it seems to be the anti Tales of Graces. In which I'm caring about the story and characters, but the gameplay is a drag. This is the first time I've been autoplaying an JRPG. But unlike Gravity Rush 2, I'm not dropping it because I'm liking the interactions of these characters even if it gets, campy, overdramatic, or edgy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I mean I watch anime and films subtitled but sometimes my reading speed can be slow if theres a lot of dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I do that sometimes, mostly to check for message updates or on occasion to read reviews of what I am watching or to download more/check downloads.
SuperMario
For instance, I watched Okja yesterday and I had to take 15', 20' minute break in between for snack, surfing webs and playing mobile games...
SuperMario
I watched Fanny and Alexander... don't really remember which version I watched thou. I think it's a TV version since it divides into 4 separate parts
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it just that... my attention span has shortened greatly and I just can't stay focus on movies over an hour mark. In cinema, it's alright since you can't move anywhere but now it's abig task to finish a 2 hour and a half movie for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
And is good enough to keep up the quality for that long.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll say this, for every medium, to me the length of something isn't so much the issue, if you have a writer good enough to keep something going for ages then the length shouldn't be an issue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If something goes over three hours I treat it as a miniseries and watch one hour or two a day.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: lol if you thought thats long, have you seen the extended versions of scenes from a marriage and fanny & alexander by Bergman? I can't wait to get my hands on the tv versions I hear they're completely different.
SuperMario
Okja is pretty entertaining with pointed social commentary. I don't really feel Tilda Swinton's double roles add up much but everything else is great. Bong has never disappointed me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: good luck with Satantango then. I guess now if I watch an 8-hour long film it would take me a whole week to finish it :/
Kaiser-Eoghan
Made in abyss and vatican keep staring at me. Although I'm not chancing them yet or anything else until I hear a bit more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My once massive film backlog is nearly cleared. I can try watching stuff this season hopefully.
K-Off
Same boat here. For the first time in a long time I spent almost half the day catching up on all of my manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'll have two weeks leave, I will finally watch Satantango, all eight hours of that film.
AidanAK47
I did a double take when I saw this. One of these things is not like the other.... http://gematsu.com/2017/07/blazblue-cross-tag-battle-announced
SuperMario
Well, finally have a bit of precious free time to watch something else and I have too much things to watch. Castlevania, the final Kizumonogatari movie, live-action Okja and some books planned to read... I guess I'll go with Okja today
Ninja
Looking forward to that Dies review
Lenlo
Yaaay! Time to enjoy your blogging time
AidanAK47
And now we are up to date. Just need to finally get that Dies Irae Review posted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again I'll watch almost every horror film I can, don't even mind the awful acting most have.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pet cemetary was a guilty pleasure of mine when I was a teenager.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know how I'd feel if I rewatched salems lot, although a positive is that it did have James Mason in it and it was done in that 70s style of slow burn horror that I love.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The IT film has aged horribly and thats one case where I would advocate a remake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Stand by me was a perftly watchable coming of age film and it surprised me, seeing a non-horror King story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay theres one way to settle this =P Lovecraft > all of them ;) I have actually enjoyed some King adaptations even though I know the Shining took liberties , I also enjoyed Carrie and Apt Pupil.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, please. Early King > Richard Matheson > Modern King. Kings early works were good.
Lenlo
@Aidan, its true that Monty was the mind behind the fights. Sad, but I think the other directors are starting to come into their own instead of trying to copy Monty.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But we all know Richard Matheson > King.
Kaiser-Eoghan
He did some collabs with Stephen King I believe.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Like the dead films he's trying to be thematic, although this one is clumsily put together, I kind of like how it hybridizes the 50s with 70s style exploitation, it has its moments.
Kaiser-Eoghan
hmmm the only non Dead trilogy film I've seen by Romero is the Crazies, feels like he's still finding his voice with it.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Part of the reason is that they started using better animation software. But despite that there was a downgrade in fight chorgraphy when Monty died. Though the story I find is getting better.
AidanAK47
@Kinseryu, I think it's ridiculous to everyone but there are those that choose to ignore it.
@Anon, That's a bit harsh. It is true that his later works never truly panned out but he did pretty much popularise the zombie apoc. Even if Day of the Triffids did it before him.
Lenlo
Every season RWBY gets just a little bit prettier. Rooster Teeth really does have some of the better 3D animation skills out there.
Anonymous1272531
goerge romero was a hack trying desperate to stay relevant.
Kinseryu
Tenshi3P... I thought it was just me that this show was just ridiculous by putting three ten years old girl that knows how to play electrical instruments. They are insulting the people who plays these. But good thing I found this site with your first impression. I laughed and I feel better. Lol.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: he passed away? damn. He was the Father of Zombie genre. So like him or hate him, he was influential to say the least. RIP.
Kaiser_Eoghan
...holy shit George A Romero died? Now I have to watch the rest of his films.
Kaiser_Eoghan
Rei Hiroe is really dicking around with black lagoon lately, he's still releasing wasted chapters, just like re:creators, the most recent chapter of black lagoon was a slog.
Kaiser_Eoghan
Maybe the conversation and lives of others could sort of count as espionage stories to an extent.
Kaiser_Eoghan
If you're interested in spy fiction, Spy who came in from the cold, most wanted man, Smiley's people, deadly affair and tinker tailor soldier spy are your best bet.
SuperMario
@Travlos (regarding yoir earlier comment): yeah, it hit me as well that most of regular readers have been here even longer than myself. So thanks for sticking around mates
SuperMario
@Travlos: playing catch up with both Re:Creators and Virgin Soul yesterday. Agreed that last week's Re:Creators was weak because it focused on the Creators (they're not good) but last episode was on par again. Virgin Soul, I loved that episode that the girls go bacl to Nina's hometown
SuperMario
@anon1272074: I still haven't had the time to watch Pripri yet (probably in few more hours), but you bet I'm looking forward to it
Anonymous1272074
Then again, James Bond does count as a spy. I meant not a realistic one.
Anonymous1272074
Princess Principal 2 was pretty good. Still more James Bond via little girls than spies, but this episode was more about intrigue and stuff than action.
Lenlo
Started catching up with Kakegurui. The OP is the sort of mind games I remember from Mob Psycho. Dunno what that means for the show, but I like it.
KTravlos
Quite happy with this week's RE:Creators. Blitz is cool, Aliceteria looked so scary. It washed out the taste of last week's episode.

Bahamut is going interesting places.
BTW. Speaking of spies from Princess Principal. I watch TURN. That is a good spy show.
KTravlos
I mean you see the use of those heavy revolvers as clubs in westerns. Mythbusters did a experiment, and being hit by one could kill you just fine. But in anime, I do not remember seeing it often
AidanAK47
Homura used Gun-kata in the fight against Mami in Rebellion. Can't think of anyone who exclusively uses it though. After all Gun-Kata is more or less a flashy art that has no real benefit.
Anonymous1270604
amazing!
Vonter
Is Gun Kata the fighting style of Noel Vermillion from BlazBlue? I suppose I'm mainly thinking about how guns are handled in fighting games. Where the shots are mainly concussive. I suppose those are mainly energy blasts.
Lenlo
Ranbu took a step in the right direction I feel. Used the morals of whether or not to change history and it focused in on one of its characters.
Lenlo
Final Fantasy has had some gun swords. Cant think of any with guns in melee though. There are some with gun-kata like cowboy bebop though
Vonter
Just for curiosity, have anyone watched an anime, movie or game that uses a gun as a melee weapon. Or one in which the gun is mainly concussive but still has impact?
Spike
18if ep2 was a bit wacky... main character seems to be off his rocker.
AidanAK47
Alright. Time to finally play catch up with those series I need to blog.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time acknowledging love for creativity is more important in the end than making a profit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think I was using death of artist/deceased artist as a term to suggest peoples careers in the area are too often killed before they get a chance.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Moreso also to save the guy the embarrassment of misinterpreting it so awkwardly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Nothing too extreme , moreso that the piece itself feels inappropriate/tainted to have up/leave around/submit. Ended up taking it down out of taste.
Puran
Did that change how you feel about your writing? I had a somewhat similar experience, where something I was writing was similar to a real situation some I knew was going through. After I found out I stopped writing it. Not sure why.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wasn't all that close to either of them much but yeah, weird coincidence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
He thought I already knew the guy was dead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*earlier
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its all okay now...but fuck that was was awkward.
Kaiser-Eoghan
....Oh jesus christ...oh christ this is a creepy creepy coincidence...I showed an acquaintance a bit of writing I did early, it mentions death of an artist, thing is I was writing something based on a conversation with my editor friend, turns out said acquaintance's artist friend died (who he knows that I've spoken to in the past) and he thought the piece I showed him was about the dead guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe I began visiting this site in 2008.
As for humanity has declined, I found it bizzare and darkly funny for a while but felt it ran dry in its second half and I kind of fell out of following it.
KTravlos
You know it hit me. I think I have been following this blog for a decade now, perhaps more. Cool that it is still around.
Lenlo
I do agree it had alot more western influence than eastern though
Lenlo
Eh nothing wrong with that I think. Astro boy was very much the same after all
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I personally saw it as more of a Saturday morning cartoon than an anime.
Lenlo
@Masky, Heroman was a decent giant robot show. It looked and sounded good, though the acting was off in places. Alot of people panned it thinking it was the West invading the east when really it was trying to bridge that gap
SuperWooper
@Kaiser: Hey, Humanity Has Declined was great.
KTravlos
need not be

not

need to be
KTravlos
Masky it was not an issue of writing about politics. It is an issue of writing just about your preferred politics. A good political work need to be politicized if you understand what I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
...what the hell tsuki ga kirei was directed by Seiji Kishi? He was actually capable of making a good anime?
Masky
Anyhoo, lol. Haven't mentioned Jitsu wa watashi wa in long time, but I really find it hilarious that its only actually evil character's competence is just "they aren't a idiot" xD As in, they don't even seem that diabolically intelligent, they just don't get wrapped into hijinxs.
Masky
@KTravlos: Well, depends on your views. Some people think artists should have their work speak about politics and world instead of just good stories. I'm kinda neutral about that since while stories about nature of world can be great, most of them don't really teach anyone anything new or change anyone
Masky
Huh, another anime work with Stan Lee being involved? I wonder how well Heroman did
KTravlos
Yup. A mangaka that could had been another Urasaw imho is Kawaguchi Kaiji. I really like his art, and it evokes some of the elements that I love in Urasawa. He also has interesting stories. But I fear he has let his political and ideological prejudices get the better of him. Which is a pity. Definitely a missed chance.
Masky
Did Urasawa do that billy bat manga?
SuperMario
As for Urasawa, I mentioned here before but I read 20th Century Boys few months ago and the manga was a straight out masterpiece. Fillers, yes but they are still in service for the main plot. Although out of his work my favorite's still Monster
AidanAK47
Alright. Only one more. Though the two superhero shows won't air for another week. Seeing as one is reflectiona nd the other is that marvel kids show maybe we shouldn't bother covering them in the impressions.
SuperMario
@Amagi: agree with you on the Friday's anime (well, for me it's technically Saturday) but Kakegurui, Fate and Princess Principal are worth following as well
SuperMario
@Kaiser: if you're still deciding if you should check out the manga or novel then I say novel since it's the novel that was influential, not the manga
Kaiser-Eoghan
So based on that fantasy itch I had thought about Altair, but hesitated because it was labeled as a shounen action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was a time where I was hugely into the shoujo fantasy/historical thing. I've actually been thinking of out of curiousity looking into some old obscure ovas such as Books of Y and Crystania.
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