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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AidanAK47
@Anon, that respect seems on different levels for people though. I mean I seen people championed Yuri on Ice as a major win for LGBT representation in anime while I myself just saw it as queer baiting seeing as the series itself couldn't admit it's characters were gay.
Anonymous1829806
Travlos here: I know many of the AoTitan fans hate the new direction of the manga, but I love it. Gimme more war!

While I love the ideas in Birdy the Mighty, the pace of the mangaka is maddening.
Anonymous1829447
Well, one last thing. I understand that anime like games or movies are a refuge for people who want to escape from politics for a second. But when mangakas bring those topics up themselves with stupid yaoi, gender bender, or yuri fan service, they're the ones politicizing anime and manga, not people like me. If they'd treat it with respect, then there would be no need for outcry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Eh sorry about that, I almost launched into a rant about tumblr.
Lenlo
Yeah, id prefer not to get to political in this chat, but I agree with Aidan. Theres a limit, and I strike that limit at the + of LGBTQ+. There comes a point where your just making things up to be special
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looking back I probably read hourou musuko initially to get a better understanding of the topic it covered.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not looking for cares/attention/fellating/self promoting, just felt a moment to pseudo-intellectualize because it was related to the identity topic.
Kaiser-Eoghan
From a psychological standpoint, apparently this is linked in with autism to some level.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of cosplay as a thing is fascinating honestly as an escapist thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I imagine it would probably be easier to interact in a relationship as someone else, of course with them being aware of that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
More in a religious/spiritual sense however and having a greater sense of identity/feeling through temporarily taking on the role of someone else.
Kaiser-Eoghan
but the person themselves.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did have ideas after hourou musuko and also finding out someone was trans that that might have applied to me and I still use female names in some sites but I really just came to realize it wasn't about trying the female clothes thing numerous times, wasn't trans(vestite or sexual), really pretty much found out I temporarily can take on roles of what/who I dress as, not due to gender
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh, tumblr sjws are a parody of leftism /activism .
AidanAK47
People have the right to be whatever they want to be. That said there is a line when it comes to respecting peoples choices. For example, I don't think we need Tumblrs 40 different Genders.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I haven't read the lesbian experience one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Love my life was another good one, a serious shoujo-ai manga.
Anonymous1829213
That's unfortunate. TvT
Anonymous1829200
no thanks
Anonymous1829213
In the future though, I'd like to see something exploring sexuality as a whole even further. Even LGBT in and of itself implies a gender/sexuality binary. Let's get into the gender neutral/fluid, pansexuality, and so on as well. :.D
Anonymous1829200
and i like the
Anonymous1829200
i have one
Anonymous1829213
And I definitely agree - those manga exist and are excellent. ^_^
Anonymous1829213
*Shimanami
Anonymous1829213
And in regards to the celebrities themselves acting flamboyant or playing into stereotypes, why do you think those are the ones who are famous? They are allowed to be, because they paint a comical picture that is more easily accepted by the public. This is why Hourou Musuko and manga like Shiranami Tasogare/My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness are so amazing by painting people as actual humans
Kaiser-Eoghan
There ARE good shoujo-ai manga of course, girlfriends, aoi hana and yaoi like haru wo deiteita.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@CoolerAnon: I notice that bisexuality isn't much addressed in these things , the coming out thing doesn't often come into it.
Anonymous1829213
@Other Anon: You might add that a lot of those shows also perpetuate some pretty extreme stereotypes and male light of other of serious issues (i.e. the perception others have of LGBT people and that LGBT people have towards themselves, the experience of coming out, etc. etc.)
Kaiser-Eoghan
By lol coincidence he seems to have also voiced a pokemon character too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*re-incarnation of, not evolved
Kaiser-Eoghan
Totally based, hilarious guy to, once claimed jokingly in an interview he was the evolved form of pikachu.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: There is a view of the transvestite as a "silly joke character" even in live action media there thats connected to homosexuallity but I'd say in most cases the person themselves is into it, Akihiro Miwa, famous Japanese gay actor played up that flamboyant drag act since the 60s.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: That is well known to me. Also its seen as anti-conform and I heard that the teachers don't know what to do when people are bullied over it, some of them think its down to mental illness.
Anonymous1829154
How japanese media portray lgbtq issues is a problem to this day. Sure shoujo, gender bender, and yaoi genres are mainstream, but at the end of the day people are expected to eventually "grow out of it" and find heterosexual partners in the end. Pretty patronizing
SuperMario
Oh shit, I didn't realize I put Wandering Children instead of Wandering Son in the title. Thanks for pointing that out Kaiser
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Shuu, mai precious lil' Babbu *hugs*
Kaiser-Eoghan
lol Okadas best anime work cause she didn't really write it lol
SuperMario
I will read on the manga to see how these kids growing up. Boy do i love this cast
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I suppose thats fair enough.
SuperMario
@Aidan: yeah, I know I stretched that image a bit but for some reasons I was goddamn hard to find an image for Wandering Son that I liked. Will make a slideshow later today to see if it looks better
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah I call them by their physical gender because at that stage, they haven't come out yet, right? If I remember correctly, Shuu still regards himself as "boku" rather than "watashi"
Kaiser-Eoghan
I guess this amuses me mostly because theres a jokey line later on in the manga where the girl with shu says "Ha, guess this makes me a lesbian"
Kaiser-Eoghan
There has been some theory/suggestion that Doi is attracted to shuu seeing shuu's femininty, seeing shuu as a woman .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Later in the manga Takatsuki stops having these feelings toward masculinity, which is addressing adolescent confusion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry about this really hope I don't come off as trying to start anything/an arguement/coming off as an asshole here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Whats really interesting about hourou musuko is that in addition to Takako Shimura being a Lesbian , by choosing a mtf character as the protaganist and with shuu's relationship with a biological woman later in the manga, she is dealing with an even more interesting issue of whats called by Lesbians as Trans-lesbianism.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Transexual, mtf or ftm are probably the more accurate words to use as transgender also includes transvestite which is a different thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its a very good review though, you don't have to change anything I'm probably being overly anal about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Was wandering Children chosen instead of wandering son to avoid suggesting pronouns in the title? But then the text of the review uses shuus physical rather than psychological gender. I'm not preaching or asking for changes or complaining, I just found this somewhat contradictory.
AidanAK47
Oh Tomogui Kyoushitsu? That is a weird death game manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Checks manga cover* Goes in expecting bondage manga *its a cannibalism horror manga instead*
Kaiser-Eoghan
Probably just me, but I feel the top two pictures should have a gap between them.
AidanAK47
I would recommend replacing the top image of wandering son. Cause you killed the quality of it by stretching it. Never stretch an image.
Lenlo
Id recommend some kind of slideshow or something Mario. For me, its a big sudden blob of images. But thats just me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't deny a single criticism of the Junji Ito adaptation, and yet despite it all it works for me , I forgive it because the imagination goes such a long way with me, I don't even mind that some of them aren't fully developed either, don't need things to be too tidy or explain everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Eh, Maverick was a fairly rubbish, thrown in villain but I liked Lunatics backstory how it linked in with the twist his father was that big hero guy mentioned at the start who ended up becoming a washed up mess.
SuperMario
And I won't take "No, you don't need these pics at all" for an answer
SuperMario
Guys, should I put the 2 arts back-to-back at the begin of the post like this, or should I use slideshow?
Anonymous1828545
Travlos here: 91 Days was not too bad.
Anonymous1828545
Travlos here: Thanks for those two historical manga's head-up.
Anonymous1828434
Akumestu soo satisfying to read
Anonymous1828321
Thank you
Lenlo
A shame. Kokkoku had the first truly dull episode this week. Suppose one had to come eventually, but this one was mostly an info dump.
AidanAK47
Like lightning, I strike. Junji Ito is basically interesting ideas with deeply flawed execution. It's not scary, doesn't really capture Ito's style and the animation is bare bones. While the stories themselves can have there interesting points, they are often not fleshed out enough. Honestly I am getting rather bored with it.
Lenlo
Holy bejesus Aidan. Nice triple post. :P

So overall how is Junji Ito? From what ive read so far, it seems pretty hit or miss on the horror/gore front. Failing to live up to the manga. I havnt read it though, so im curious what ya think
AidanAK47
Akumetsu?
Anonymous1828142
Wearing a mask
Anonymous1828142
What was the name of the manga where the main character is some superhuman high school student who goes around fighting Japanese politicians
Lenlo
On a side note, I should really start Violet Evergarden at some point...
Lenlo
"Anime is dying" is just a meme that gets thrown around because of Miyazaki.
Lenlo
Maybe. I dont think average score per year is a good metric though, as the cash ins are increasing, but I doubt the passion projects are decreasing. For instance we had /alot/ of duds this year, but people only really remember/care about the good ones of which there was a fair number. It wasnt a bad year for decent/good anime.
AidanAK47
Well yeah, but they didn't have as many Animation studios back then as we do right now. So it's not so much that we lost artistic merit but rather the number of studios cashing in on popular trends for a quick buck have increased. Even then, I am willing to put money on there being just as much harem anime in yesteryear as we have cute girls shows in present.
Lenlo
Perhaps, but I would argue those were on smaller scales, and even then, thats not so different from Western animation or movies. Just look at Warner Bros and their DC push after the success of Marvel. Every industry has those who chase successful trends, yet they arnt failing
AidanAK47
@lenlo, the thing is though that before Moe crap there was eva copy crap and before eva copy crap you had space opera crap and before space opera crap you had hyperviolet OVA crap. The industry has always tried to cash in on a popular trend.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel people went apeshit over, say highschool of the dead because they never saw a bunch of old B/exploitation films, thus that show was never special to me and even failed at an imitation of such.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think people getting to excited for it being unique to a single medium or for, its setting themselve up for disappointment.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I just think its incredibly limited thinking to base it all on just ONE medium, you CAN hold up anime to film when anaylzing anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Why should 91 days get a free pass just because its an anime about gangsters? Go watch a film about it instead which theres probably many of, joker game fail you as the mature spy thriller it ended up not being, who cares, Tinker tailor soldier spy exists.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I dislike this "Its unique for an anime/manga to do this, so instantly lets latch on to it, despite fact that same something is already extremely prevalent in other mediums "
Kaiser-Eoghan
Case in point 91 days and Joker game "It has adults, lets pre-rejoice before the show even came out"
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel though because of the level of dissatisfaction with said moe shows that people are going to leap far too quickly on anything just slightly different, getting their hopes up too high and end up feeling let down.
Lenlo
That, or it all comes crashing down around our ears. With stuff like Houseki no Kuni and Made in Abyss from last year however, I think its going to be ok. We are just getting inundated with crap right now.
Lenlo
I do think that some of the artistic part of it has been lost, its gotten diluted in the never ending river of Moe crap. But that doesnt mean its gone. Just harder to find. Eventually all the random moe shows no one cares about will fail and stop getting made. But the anime audience will still be around, to enjoy the better stuff thats left.
Lenlo
Same thing happened in the mid/late 90's and early 00's to American cartoons.
Lenlo
Eh, I dont think anime is dying. Changing no doubt. Its going through a rough growth stage right now. It has a bigger audience than ever and people are trying to cash in on that with lots of shows that are basically the same
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Tank you and damn you for posting screencap of loli-tachibana, I now have cuteness overload a diabeetus =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
I realize thats a very minor detail to focus on though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats why I can really really get into a history manga if the art is top quality, the costume designs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the historical thing, I have a massive I repeat massive thing for full body medieval armoured characters hacking the shit into things or just the armour in general , especially templar armour designs. I also have an little obsession with male aristocratic army uniforms from the Prussian era and world war 2.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That recent Urasawa manga Travlos mentioned is ending also
@Mario: We might get a complete adaptation of after the rain, the manga is ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
More historical manga I found, haven't read the second one however, I didn't hear those two mentioned on here either before.
Kaiser-Eoghan
[link src="http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Hawkwood
http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Ad-Astra-Scipio-to-Hannibal"]
AidanAK47
@Anon, yes clearly you know better than everyone else on the planet despite having no evidence whatsoever to back up you claims. Thank you nameless Stranger, we owe you a debt for telling us the same thing we hear every year. Let me congratulate you by kicking you out the door.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can generally come up with an opinion for what I follow/watch/read , but I don't really have one on kokkuu.
KTravlos
Well we watched the first episode of Kokkuku. Interesting. The ED theme is quite the fanservice.
SuperMario
@Ktravlos: If your like to check out some other shows this season then I'd definitely recommend After the Rain.
SuperMario
@KTravlos: at least Kino is thought-provoking. I can't say the same for Violet Evergarden. In fact I remain skeptical with VE
KTravlos
I am quite enjoying both Violet Evergarden and Mahoutsukai. Violet gives me similar vibes to the first Kio series, though obviously Kino was a better series.
SuperWooper
EPIC post, anon!
Anonymous1825128
Of course, as ardent fans of anime, the writers of this site would not deign to agree or even entertain the idea that their passion is no longer the same artisanal endeavor it once was.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Oh. Actually surprised I forgot about that. Yeah, when it comes to something being described as edgy I think Goblin Slayer fits that definition perfectly.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, You can still throw down your take if you want.
Anonymous1824209
AidanAK47 - Or the women shields.
Lenlo
You know, sometimes I dont regret forgetting about this chatbox. Missing the "anime is dying" conversation? One of those times
AidanAK47
Oh, Goblin Slayer is getting an anime adaption. I was rather lukewarm on it but I wonder how the anime is going to handle the rather unsavoury aspects. Like the rape. Lots and lots of rape.
AidanAK47
I remember the last guy said he would make a chart and I thought it was a brillent idea as at least something useful could come out of this old dead horse. Then his chart turned out to be a useless jpeg with series thrown to the left or right.
AidanAK47
It does stir up conversation but it's really just the same conversation repeated. I remember stating the exact same points Nayrael and Bokusen are saying around a year ago when this last came up.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Indeed Ratings are subjective but it would at least be a general mainstream consensus of the quality of anime over the years. Not final but at least it's better evidence than one persons general assumption. And other factors are impossible to quaitify.
Nayrael
A good parody of the "Anime back then and now - what happened? meme (if the links are not blocked here): https://i.imgur.com/JZqxz6f.jpg
Nayrael
Not to mention that back in the olden days you didn't see every Anime that aired. Official translators and fansubbers selected the best stuff, which resulted in you seeing the best shows and never even knowing about the shit-tier shows.
Bokusen
I think that people who say "anime is dying" are just getting too nostalgic. It's easy to remember the hit series from earlier seasons. It's less easy to remember all the forgettable generic series that you dropped after 1 episode, and so anime tends to "seem better" back then because of people's tendency towards selective memory.
Anonymous1820731
Why are there more bad anime? Because there are more anime being made. That means the good ones are buried under the lots of bad ones. But saying "anime is dying" from that is like saying "music is dead because I don't like Britney Spears." Why does this conversation always come up, its obvious conversation bait.
Anonymous1820589
@Aidan: You are the first to obsess over the fact that reviews are subjective. And since they're subjective, looking at anime 'ratings' over time does nothing to gauge the measure of effort and artistic talent that goes into making anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which I got my answer by the way.
SuperWooper
>average review scores
What do those have to do with whether anime is "dying" or not? You'd need to look at the money.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Want to add that I agree with both you and Aidan, only brought up those two topics back there because I wanted to know what shows now will be popular in the future.
SuperMario
I'm on the side of Aidan regarding to this. For me it's not neccessary means the anime industry has become "better" or "worse", it's just that it takes new shape and trends and based on the number of anime produced, the industry isn't going down soon
AidanAK47
Am I really going to draft up a chart gathering average review scores of the past 25 years just t shut up this talk of anime dying?
But even if I did that won't toss aside this nonsense.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know this is complete guesswork.
AidanAK47
Plus the industry is dying? Bloody hell, we got major companies FUNDING anime. Streaming services and more anime coming out that ever before. You can argue that this new anime is weaker but honestly it's just misguided. It takes time but great shows are still coming out. Just like back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well thats kind of what I meant, what, when passage of time comes into it are going to end up being classic based on that, speculatively speaking.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats probably a much better way of phrasing it, inheriting mantles. I'm going to say that promised neverland is presently along with Titan a BIG modern shounen.
AidanAK47
Anyway my point is that the shows of the past, the so called classics, are just as flawed as the shows of today. It is only through the passage of time that they become classics. When Stein;Gate finished airing, I seen no one call it a classic. Same goes for Madoka and Fate/Zero. Now, you have people putting up the pedestals.
AidanAK47
Though if anything has inherited the Shounen mantle, it's likely Boku no hero.
AidanAK47
There is no big three Shounen and that's honestly for the best. Because in generally the declining aspect of Naruto and Bleach was mainly due to the pressure on the mangaka to put out chapters on a weekly basis. In fact it's pretty much the primary factor in Bleachs decline.
AidanAK47
Bebop is great but even it is hit and miss by nature. Doubt many remember much about the casino episode and the Alien spoof episode is likely not anyone's favorite. Eva is massively flawed but no one wants to admit it due to the massive amount of praise it receives and influence it has on the industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But what is the new big three shounen?
AidanAK47
If we go further back to DBZ, that has tons of issues with filler, dragging out episodes, animation shortcuts, and even complaints of it doing the same thing over and over again with it's story. No to mention the underutilised cast and the everlasting act up putting Goku on a greater pedestal.
AidanAK47
But let us dissect this viewpoint of yours. You claim the Shouen-jump canon as a great, guessing that refers to the shounen big three. But aside from One piece, the other two are emmensily flawed. Naruto is 50% filler and Bleach drops seriously in quality after soul society.
AidanAK47
Also Fate series is trash? That definitely seems aimed at me. What first series are you referring to? Fate/Zero, Fate/Stay Night 2006? Fate/UTW? The same thing over and over again? Sure each series has a holy grail war, but none of them every turned out the same. I am more than willing to admit that the spinoff series outside of the main canon are lesser. Calling them trash however is hyperbole.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Not this crap again. The old "Anime isn't as good as it used to be", how many times have I heard that over the years, and each and every time it proves more untrue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
One point I'm trying to get at is, I don't get throwing the word bad taste around when I know I was probably in the same position as that other fan years ago.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Another thing, for shows we talk up and obviously I've been just as guilty of this, how many of these am I going to be able to recite off by heart years down the line?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't like Madoka but thats a good example of a modern classic that'll keep in peoples minds, people still care.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*its a
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: The reason I want to see a new show become a modern classic is because I'm tired of this "fleeting masterpiece" way of thinking, where I a show is super popular during the season and gets talked up as if it'll stick in the mind years on, then weeks later it disappears from memory.
Anonymous1819907
And anime watchers tend to be attracted to series that are just plain boring. The Fate franchise is case and point. The same thing over and over again. It really is a disgrace, to be honest--in my opinion. The first series was great, and I look forward to the movie. But everything in between is trash. But they still get the views, since people are sheep.
Anonymous1819907
The shonen-jump canon, shows like bebop and eva were huge in their time. The industry is just not the same--it's really dying. There isn't the same desire to blow shows up like there used to be. Shonen jump is still at it, but those shows are rarely worth watching, even if they're popular
Anonymous1819907
its a good anime, but it doesn't have the same staying power since it was not an entire industry
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for the long post, I want to get people talking again here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would love for this to happen with, say, made in Abyss, that becoming a show that we remember decades from now and still talk about.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something else I want to bring up, what shows do you all REALLY believe will still be talked about in the future . Bebop and Eva still come up regularly to this day, what new shows do you think will become big classics.
Kaiser-Eoghan
To base taste on things you watched ages ago doesn't really work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I bring that up because I remember a comment somewhere I read that said, the people who trashed guilty crown, forget geass was 10 years ago and if guilty crown had came out back then instead of geass they would have embraced it instead at the time.
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