Hello everyone this is Shawn aka TheKazeTrigger and welcome to my month of MVM Entertainment reviews. For this one we are taking a look at the first enter of the Monogatari Series Bakemonogatari.

Now I for the longest time I was never a huge fan of Monogatari series because while I kinda liked the series the first time when I watched it back in 2015 I thought it was just an another waifu pandering show that have nothing but flashy visuals and fan-service. Also, I wasn’t a fan of heavy dialogue shows at the time.

In short I thought this series was kinda overrated.

However, this all changed when I decided to randomly buy Bakemonogatari on DVD for £15 brand new in that comic con anime shop and when I got home I decided to watch it again on my TV and well. Did I like I like the series and saw the other side of Bakemonogatari series or do I still think Bakemonogatari is just an overhyped series that not that good?

Well let’s find out.

Story.

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The story of Bakemonogatari follows  Koyomi Araragi meeting Senjougahara our female lead by catching her as she fall down a giant spiral staircase. What surprises Araragi as he catches her is her weight because she is light as a feather. This is due to a type of spirt that is taking her weight. Lucky Araragi knows someone that can help Meme Oshino, Oshino previously helped Aragai with his own problem which resulted Araragi to become part vampire so he obviously takes Senjougahara to Oshino for help.

From here and out its pretty much the same plot being recycled but the only difference to this are the different girls that he meets that have this spirit problem.

That’s about it for the story of Bakemonogatari and despite this the story of Bakemonogatari still remains fresh by containing wood humour at you giving us very interesting supernatural elements and switching up which girl get the focus.

Now for the most part Bakemonogatari is an episodic show typically 2 or 3 episodes that are given for each mini arc rather than only one.

Personally, am not a fan of episodic things because usually the show ends up being rushed. This is why I wasn’t a fan of episodic shows like Death Parade. It has a lots of interesting themes and conspectus but only had time to induce them before the episode was over. Shows like Cowboy Bebop and Outlaw Star are good at telling episodic episodes because not only there are well paced but they introduce its themes at the right time without being rushed.

Lucky Bakemonogatari doesn’t suffer from this because each episode/ arc are very well written to the point where you actually care for the story progression and character development.

What really makes Bakemonogatari special is the use of heavy of dialogue and let me tell you it has some of the best heavy dialogue I have ever seen in anime.

Not only there are extremely well written but it always has that meaningful edge throughout. Whether it’s to make a joke, reveal character depth, character development for that set arc or to advance the plot ever conversation has a purpose.  With all that said it’s impossible to translate the whole Monogatari series in English without screwing the dialogue up. This is part of the reason why the series hasn’t got a dub yet.

Overall the story of Bakemonogatari is just great.

9/10

Characters.

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Bakemonogatari is a very character driven series meaning the character have to be good or else the show would have flop.

Lucky Bakemonogatari features a great cast that is different, relatable and original.

All of the characters start off with generic tropes meaning you will have your everyday harem male lead Aragami,  Senjougahara a cool tsundere, Mayoi who is a bratty loli , Nadoeko who is a innocent moto type, Suruga who is a energetic athlete  and Tsubasa who is a perfection  But as each main girl’s arc developed the restraints for those types break apart. Treating us to meaningful exploration of the defence mechanism people used themselves from the harsh reality from outside the world or in the own minds.

This may sound like edgy writing and character development on paper but it isn’t because the execution is just wonderful.

All of the girls are flawed in they own ways and also just seeing how these characters break apart from they generic tropes is just amazing and very rewarding for the audience.

I wish I can tell you more about the characters in Bakemonogatari but I won’t because I would have to spoil every arc and its themes and to be real honest you don’t want to get spoiled while watching this series.

Overall the characters of Bakemonogatari are just amazing and well fleshed out.

10/10

Art/Animation.

Visually Bakemonogatari is beautiful every scene from Bakemongatari is filled with life. From the action scenes to very experimental animation Bakemonogatari has it all and.

The fan-service of Bakemonogatari is handed well because unlike any other ecchi anime out there Bakemonogatari uses fan service to advance the plot or reveal character modulations. Not to mention the symbolism is just beautiful here that also has meaning and substance to them.

This is fan-service done right

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One more thing that I want to mention each girl and each arc have they own opening that is sung by the Japanese voice actors and each opening reflects a certain theme and aspect of the girl. I personally that that approached to very unique because it gives each girl and they arc meaning.

Overall the visuals are just wonderful to watch and very appealing to the eye.

11/10

Sound.

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The sound production for Bakemonogatari is just a masterpiece and it really made the show more a relaxing experience while you hear lots of dialogue of character taking. Not to mention the sound quality of Bakemonogatari is very clean and realistic making each scene from the sound effects and background music have a greater impact.

Now as a guy who watches dubs am glad that this haven’t receive the dub because it will look and sound terrible. The dub of Bakemonogatari will suffer for having horrendous mistranslations with the dialogue the story nature with be butchered and the character personalities will also be butchered. Am saying this because the original japanese audio for Bakemonogatari is just flawless and having a dub for it will ruin the fame of the series.

Overall the soundtrack and voice acting of Bakemonogatari is just amazing.

10/10

Final Thoughts.

Bakemonogatari is easily one of the best animes that I seen in modern anime. It’s a very unique experience that you can’t get in any other medium. While the story arcs were great for what it was the character really driven the story along thanks to its well written narrative structure and great use of heavy dialogue.

The visuals were extremely artistic that has a purpose and the soundtrack was just amazing and well used.

Lastly all of the girls in Bakemonogatari avoided waifu pandering route where all the girls are only there for style over substance where shows like Niseoki where that show didn’t know how to use female characters correctly and instead that show became waifu pandering show with no soul or identity.

I use to find this series to be kinda overrated after my first watch but after my re-watch of Bakemonogatari this series this show immediately became a favourite of mine and it’s my second favorite Monogatari series only losing to Monogatari series second season.

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I give Bakemonogatari a 9.5/10

Bakemonogatari is available from MVM Entertainment in the UK on DVD and Blu Ray.

Anime Recommendations

Katanagatari

xxxHolic

Mawaru Penguindrum

The Tatami Galaxy

FLCL

Mushishi

Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei

Anyway this was Shawn aka TheKazeTrigger and I will see you guys next time.

Now please enjoy a few Senjougahara aka best girl images and gifs.

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