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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Kaiser-Eoghan
Gah, one of the gutting things about being into historical stuff or stuff about things that happened decades ago, is that I'll never be a direct witness to it as it happened. It'll never hit me as someone who lived through it. I having all the fun second hand.
SuperMario
Thanks, Amagi. They look pretty cool
Amagi
Why would I waste my time watching other people shopping or working. Not to mention that the scripted part turns everything worse than it usually is by shoving in terrible cringy moments everywhere to.. don't know. Entertain(?) the audience or something.
Amagi
I mean unless you want info dumps you watch fiction and you watch that because it makes you indirectly experience adventures you can't have in real life. Even when fiction is down to earth it's usually about special situations like the MC becoming a professional runner like in Kaze ga or something.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Me neither, especially because it seems to be the exact opposite of the reason why people consume media, and therefore fiction, in the first place.
Amagi
They probably used these in Irozuko because they look like're part of some J-RPG town.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I never really understood why reality television ever became a thing or how someone could give it any form of attention.
Amagi
Seems like they even have a wikipedia entry https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trullo
Amagi
@SuperMario: It's some specific type of house that only exist in Apulia. https://cdn.getyourguide.com/img/tour_img-437617-146.jpg - the whole historic disctrict looks like that
Amagi
I shouldn't use so many brackets.
SuperMario
Trulli? What does that mean?
SuperMario
We have all kinds of international film festivals here. I watched Roma in the Latin Film Festival. Yeah that aspect I mus say that I feel lucky
Amagi
There are Trulli in one scene of this week's Irozuko (after they entered that painting), how funny. I just visited this city (Alberobello) last month.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: You are lucky, Roma gets a one day limited release here for one time.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Just imagine going to the west of Ireland and asking them about the internet.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yes there are people turning up to the one art cinema we actually have. But Ireland is not a good place to be in general if you are a film/anime/gaming fan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
lol this country is incapable of giving a proper wide/long cinema release to anything that might even be considered slight non-mainstream.
SuperMario
*week-long
SuperMario
Well, we have a week-log screening here and I already lament how undeserving these films have. Guess I should be more appreciate now I know that other countries have 1-day screening only
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if anyone started out in the light novel industry as a stepping stone before moving on to real book writing. I also wonder how easy it is to get published.
Anonymous3183156
Progressive is good from what I heard since he went back to his older material from a more mature outlook. Ordinal Scale is decent too coming from the same matured Kawahara.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes there are re-showings, some cinemas will play Akira for the billionth time for example.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I imagine seeing scenes like that being recorded in the recording booth would look quite strange.
Anonymous3183156
Apparently, he even apologized to the voice actress for being subjected to voice a rape scene, so I guess even he has deep regrets about it. The LN doesn't have any more moments like this so I guess he matured a lot.
Amagi
@Anon: The problem is that he was still a teen when he wrote Alicization, he just edited it a bit later. But I also wish he would have cut this scene, it's always so forced and feels so stupid.
Amagi
Pancreas has no subs yet AFAIK
Anonymous3183156
Ugh, ep10 of Alicinization reminded me why I disliked SAO so much years ago. I assume Kawahara still had some nasty tendencies in him when writing Alicinization despite being past his edgy teenage phase.
Amagi
@Kaiser: It's the same here too. One day screenings and that's it. I also believe that anime are made for everyone it's just that the West (save for France and Italy maybe) doesn't give anime a chance. They are sure people would never care so they rather die or air the same awful scripted reality show for the 5th time rather than try showing anime that could appeal to adults like Monster.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The anon might want to watch that though, a torrent of it recently got uploaded.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also Let me eat your pancreas wasn't shown here. But it was shown in Australia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although there are some films that America gets that we don't, the Heavens feel, the Madoka movies and Nanoha reflection showed in America but not here.
Amagi
@SuperMario: That would be great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Anime films seem to appeal to normies aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I saw an older woman in my screening of Maquia and talked to her after it and she liked it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Again, I don't know about elsewhere, but what surprised me was the amount of people who are seeing these in the audience who don't actually come off as anime fans and probably aren't.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I'm genuinely surprised that my country would actually even go that far to even show them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know about all the other countries that get showings for these anime films, but here its a one day only thing each time one comes out.
SuperMario
Reviewig anime movies/ making posts about them might be something I can do in the future
SuperMario
@amagi: anime movies are somethingn I wanna raise more awareness as well. Normally each year there are 4,5 solid anime films out there, but like you said they’re hardly discussed
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've never heard of UFO no natsu.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I felt bad for the little girl in grave of the fireflies, the boy was already caught up though in "muhfascistempire is goat tier" for me to care about him as much as her.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Air movie was more focused, better paced and visually directed with more panache than the show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I have gone to almost every anime screening since the early 2000s and continue to.
Amagi
And many have barely any sort of advertising so I only notice them coincidentally by seeing a thread on /a/ or because I see some screenshot somewhere.
Amagi
Speaking of it there are so many great anime movies every year but nobody ever talks about them because the fans are split between those who see the screenings (that happen randomly depending on the country) and those who watch it a year later on their PC.
Amagi
I also found Hotori sad but it's ages old and I never met anyone who cared about it besides myself. Also, Hanbun no Tsuki and UFO no natsu although these were 6 part ova. Colourful probably too and the Key movies. I actually like all these movies like Air or Clannad but I didn't like the series that much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think ultimately its the patience some of these sad films are made with that allows then to eventually land their effect.
SuperWooper
It takes a while to get to that point, though.
SuperWooper
"The Wind Rises" is pretty damn sad.
SuperMario
Well, Grave of Fireflies hands down. or Your Lie in April if you don't mind TV show
Amagi
Then basically everything from Shinkai for example.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: You may need to let us now what type of drama you're into, are you okay with highly melodramatic stories?
Anonymous3180985
if so anybody have any good sad anime movies?
Anonymous3180985
anybody here?
Amagi
The more we approach xmas time the more it rains in my city. Like every year.
Amagi
Didn't know that guess I try this someday I love this setting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The most recent thing I've watched dealing with a created/artificial/virtual world was an old German mini series called World on a wire by Rainer Fassbinder.
Amagi
Wonder about the consequences these last scenes in Gridman will have.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally got around to Aki Kaurasamaki's films, watched I hired a contract killer, I like dry, sad bastard black humour like that and even when it wasn't being amusing I enjoyed the whole quirky tone throughout it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to watch season 2 of sound euphonium before getting to liz and the bluebird. I would like to see more of this. I guess I liked Asuka's arc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think bloom into you has stood out in how its dealt with Nanami's insecurities and backstory, found myself liking that one side character Sayaka more. There will be an arc where they do some kind of play which compliments/links in well with nanami's character.
Animosh
But yeah, I agree the series has great character writing. In hindsight, it's kind of a shame you picked Irozuku over Bloom into You. It had a great premiere and some stunning scenes, but the characters are so incredibly droll that there's just not much to write about. They're both slow burns, but Bloom into You gives you much more to think about.
Animosh
So I think the crossing the line thing is ambiguous between your interpretation and Yuu's subconscious fear that if she initiates things, displays her affection towards Nanami (and a passionate kiss that Yuu initiates certainly seems to qualify), then that will be the end of things. Actually, it's probably a bit of both.
Animosh
@SuperMario: I think Yuu is also aware that Nanami does not want Yuu to fall in love with her (I mean, it's hard not to after that death stare). And as a result she can never initiate things, because showing affection would undermine the whole reason Nanami fell in love with her. And Yuu obviously does not want this relationship to end.
Anonymous3177625
Did uh that really happen in BF? Probably not, but dang if that really was the case then stuff got real
SuperMario
@Animosh: the thing is Yuu takes the special attraction from Nanami for granted, and her mode is that she “doesn’t hate” it. She doesn’t hate it when she spends time alone with Nanami, she doesn’t hate it when they kiss. So for Yuu, when Nanami askes her to actively do it, it’a the first time Yuu feels like she’s crossing the line. Some really great character writing there
Anonymous3175137
It boils down to a female-targeted version of those moe shows that I don't care about all that much. Just replace the cute girls with hot boys.
Anonymous3175137
Compared to Katsugeki, where it tried to sell the series as something more than just a mobile adaptation and tried to court non-fans, here I got exactly what I expected; something safe and predictable, and catering exclusively to fans. So I got nothing out of it.
Anonymous3175137
Is there some sort of moe equivalent for male characters? Because this show probably counts as one. otoh, my feelings towards it are like most CGDCT anime: indifference.
Anonymous3175137
I think the oddest thing I did regarding anime this year was how I sat through both season of Touken Ranbu Hanamaru (including the one that aired earlier this winter), and didn't claw my eyes out when it's basically an unfortunate mix of a mobile game adaptation and a CBDCT show mixed in with some action segments to show that it's not just a pure estrogen-fest.
Animosh
I should also note that I don't relate to her in every way. I understand her difficulties with falling in love, but for me the problem is more that my view on love is too negative, and as a result I'm hesitant about taking the "leap of faith" that any relationship requires. Love is messy, and may well get you hurt, so it's easier to observe things from a distance, like Maki for example.
Animosh
Oh Yuu is definitely frustrating to watch. Her idealized conception of love prevents her from seeing what is obvious to everyone watching: that she's slowly developing feelings for Touko. And when those feelings evidently turn into love, instead of seeing them for what they are, she's in denial and insists that her feelings aren't special enough to be called "love". It's frustrating.
SuperMario
Then again, I can't really say why Bloom into You works for me now, but kept me in a distance in their first few episodes. It's slow-burn, and when you think back to it, not a lot has been happening. But I feel they haven't made any wrong step yet
SuperMario
Can't say I relate to Yuu thou. She's the kind of character that in real life I would find really frustrated, and I know many of my friends behave that way. That just to further demonstrates how real these characters can be. Even the side characters, Sayaka and the lesbian adult couple work well for me.
SuperMario
@Aminosh: it took awhile for me to fully embrace Bloom into You (I say about episode 5,6) but I agree it's getting very solid now. it reminds me of Scums Wish as well, mainly because how twisted romance can be
Animosh
I'm also worried it won't end in a satisfying way, since the manga is still ongoing. But otherwise I quite like it. It has its problems, but if you go into it with the right expectations (slow pacing, complex and flawed characters that make for an unusual love story, with more focus on the characters' psychological issues than their sexuality) there's a lot to enjoy.
Animosh
My only major complaint is that its characters can feel rather artificial sometimes. Touko in particular is a victim of this. She's such a weird bundle of complexes that she can be hard to relate to. Maybe it'll be better explained later on, but the whole idea of falling in love with another person because you think she'll be incapable of reciprocating it ... it's weird.
Animosh
I particularly like Yuu. I can empathize with her difficulties with falling in love, and I like her arc of slowly "blooming into" liking another person. It feels natural and earned. And like in SSSS.Gridman, the direction is surprisingly strong, and as a result it mostly nails its key moments (the river confrontation, the shed starting shot, etc).
Animosh
I finally caught up with Bloom into You, and it really surpassed my expectations. It kind of reminds me of Scum's Wish, with how flawed its characters are, and how selfish and unreasonable they can be. But like in Scum's Wish, instead of condemning the characters for their flaws, we're given the background to understand them, and they're not used for forced melodrama but sympathetically explored.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Are the Tezuka Buddha movies really that bad? I'll probably try the manga soon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, it'd be cool if we could get long ova adaptations again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd be happy to get more anime set outside of Japan. I also wouldn't mind seeing some anime based off western material.
Lenlo
Gotta say, I wasnt expecting that from Banana Fish this week. I hope its not a fake out, because if it isnt this ending could be great. I love sad endings
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bunny-girl made me watch a horrible idol segment. Then I forgave it because the end of the episode was well executed melodrama.
Sash
I just recently watched Made in Abyss.... and i cried real hard. I was worried that this story was going down the loli route at first... but how this show frightened me... and how it pulled at my heartstrings at the end.
Sash
I just recently watched Made in Abyss.... and i cried real hard. I was worried that this story was going down the loli route at first... but how this show frightened me... and how it pulled at my heartstrings at the end.
Animosh
But regardless of how things turn out, it was definitely a powerful moment, and I'm really happy things are finally heating up again. Looks like the demon/leopard/whatever will be unleashed next episode.
Animosh
Welp, I guess something really did happen this week in Banana Fish. I kind of expect it to be a fake-out though. Chii mentioned there will be an epilogue, and it'd be strange to do so without our main couple intact. We haven't really gotten a confirmation of how Ash and Eiji see their relationship either. So I don't think the ship (or rather, one of its passengers) has sunk just yet.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well, one of them is essentially the first two episodes of the show as one long episode. So i would say that makes sense.
Anonymous3169068
After all, I don't think they know anything about the series until I show them these. They already know that I bought the novels though.
Anonymous3169068
Meanwhile, I'm planning on showing my family, the two LoGH films, My Conquest is a Sea of Stars and Overture to a New War during our Christmas vacation. Is this a good jumping on point?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Come on torrent, 90% done, then you decide to slow down. This is conspiracy I say.
Amagi
Same here
SuperMario
Thanks, will download it when I get home.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Early sub for 720p version of liz and bluebird is on nyaatorrents, they say they are doing a 1080p version tomorrow.
SuperMario
It’s Christmas season soon so I hope I can watch some older gems during that period
SuperMario
I, on the other hand, decide to get off my movie marathon for now to spend time WATCHING MORE ANIME.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've had that issue on other blogs, getting the moderation awaiting message, I got it here in the past too.
SuperMario
Woah, I will read that story soon when I have free time. Thanks
SuperMario
Lemme fix this, Amagi
Amagi
I have given up on a bunch of anime now I rather enjoy the few I really like to the fullest and use the rest of my free time to play games and read VNs.
Amagi
"Your comment is awaiting moderation" guess I posted too many links, he. Well thinking about it I could have just posted this in the shoutbox, it's no spoiler or anything.
Lenlo
I quite liked it. I like that it wasnt a one off thing either, but it showed them working at it. I enjoy how when Kurahara chooses to do something, he commits 100% to it. Its fitting for his character
Kaiser-Eoghan
A lesser series would have drawn out the drama with Haiji. The scenes with kakeru reading manga with Prince also further support what the anon was saying about him warming up to Prince.
Lenlo
I cant wait to watch it.
Anonymous3164706
And yeah, the cliffhanger from last wasn't a big deal since Haiji fainted from overworking himself and needs to rest.
Anonymous3164706
That part where he chose to slow down in order to cheer on Prince and Ouji was a great scene in particular. He's starting to care about others now.
Anonymous3164706
Man, Prince has come a long way from his slow, awkward running at the start. And it looks like Kakeru is improving in terms of building his relationships with his teammates.
SuperMario
awesome! Under the Silver Lake is out as well in case you want to watch it, Kaiser
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yo AwesomeMario , the bluray for Liz and the bluebird (the sound euphonium spinoff thing) is out, will probably be subtitled someday soon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Compartively dogs DESPISE me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know...yeah, old kids stuff was kinda messed up and animal deaths were a big thing, Mufasa, bambi's mother aswell.
Amagi
Cats are weird
Amagi
We have two cats for two certain metro stations in my city. They belong to people living nearby but love the station so damn much you almost always see them sitting on the benches made for humans waiting for the subway/train. Two days ago I returned in the middle of the night and that one cat was still sitting there enjoying life. The other cat belongs to the station in front of my house.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Depressingly we also have that Lion king remake too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though I think plague dogs film adaptation stopped just before the full ending of the book?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lol there are actually people out there who believe that only straight men have aspergers syndrome.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't actually leave a cat alone when I see it, actually snuck up on one to pick it up. Couldn't help myself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh, heh, hey didn't know it shared the same author, makes alot of sense though.
Amagi
Yeah Plague Dogs is by the same author that did Watership. It was great. It's interesting to see how quickly series can become edgy and therefore bad on the one hand and how many grim dark movies or series exist that are damn good on the other hand. A wrong turn and your serious drama or thriller can turn into trash.
Amagi
Funny because I was also always a rabbit owner and now have a shitty cat (and yes I am actually autistic though although I guess I write pretty normal nowadays)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh Jesus...there was another old one wasn't there, the one about the dogs? Plague dogs, another example of a famliy/kids animation that pulled no punches.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoy alternate history/dystopia stuff, There was It happened here, a British film about a what if situation where Hitler won.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't think I was able to get away with missing the subtext of watership down though when I was younger, my parents made sure I understood it at that young age.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also liked how watership never really came off as being edgy in an detrimental way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm convinced there is some connection between cats and rabbits in relation to autistic people, both creatures appear to love me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And thats something I'm extremely picky on, mixing cuteness and darkness together but Waterships art got that right.
Anonymous3163410
Although it does try to go into darker material later on. It just tries to do what it can with a TV-Y7 rating and manages to succeed despite not being as violent or scary as the film.
Amagi
I like how Watership Down was basically the first popular cartoon with that dark moe trope if you count the rabbits as cute for being actual fluffy rabbits
Amagi
da,,it the cat won't leave the keyboard
Amagi
love 1984 too. genrally all of these political dystopias or however youcalltheseä#+
Anonymous3163410
It could be worse. It could be the sanitized kids version that aired in the late 90s.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And because the rabbits look organic in the 70s one, its more scary.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Watership was particularly harrowing though because it was rabbits and I was young and I was predisposed to rabbits=fluffy cute things.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Ahem* kind of commied out there for a second. I'm actually more of an Allende-ist.
Kaiser-Eoghan
1984is still a good story too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But he agreed that animal farm was good, despite being written by a trotsykite.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My father hated him despite my dad being a Marxist.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually that was more of a stab toward Orwell I was making.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As it stands, I don't dislike animal farm despite being a Marxist .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also remember a cartoon called animals of farthing wood also being very bleak for a kids show.
Amagi
I mean there are positive aspects of remakes and 2h movies. They could add more stuff from the book for once. But on the other hand there are these fears and I must say that I am not fond of this CG. The drawn rabbits were just way more expressive than those of the new trailer.
Amagi
Taking away these aspects will turn such movies to useless teen entertainment.
Amagi
I hope they won't water down the political part of Watership too. All these allusions to Hitler and the NS regime were things I could only appreciate years later when I actually had some lowkey knowledge of history. Same thing with Stalinism and Animal Farm.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It was always the Bright eyes song bit that sticks out in my head. I also remember secret of the nymph.
Amagi
Same here. Children aren't as stupid as adults believe them to be. Most of the series aimed at children I saw as a kid were downright insulting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember being very effected by it when I was younger. And admiring it for not talking down to children.
Amagi
What the hell man. Watership was the first thing I ever was a fan of when I was ~4. I still consider it as one of the best cartoons I've ever seen including having the best atmosphere. I mean many series want to be dark, but gore alone doesn't help, it's the landscapes, the music, movement, shadows and so on, this movie was perfect in that regard.
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