First Impressions – Bakemonogatari

You would be getting a review today, but I’m about ready to drown in a sea of wordplay and weird animation. Expect a full review soon, though. Hopefully around Thursday, depending on my schedule. On with the impressions!

So, anyway, everyone told me to watch Bakemonogatari (and by that I mean one guy on r/anime along with Ace), so I decided why not because I’m reasonably caught up with this season’s shows. I knew before going in that this is a SHAFT anime. For those of you unaware, SHAFT worked on stuff like Madoka and Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei.

I didn’t go in expecting much, really. I read a synopsis, heard about the infamous tooth brushing pseudo-sex scene from Nisemonogatari, and saw a clip from later on in the show. I wasn’t sure what to expect outside of bizarre, vaguely terrifying animation. I wasn’t disappointed there. I’ve never had to make a folder to hold all the potential screenshots for one of my articles before this one. There’s just so much crazy, surreal stuff going on that just reading about it doesn’t do the show justice.

As for the characters and story? Well, they’re likeable enough. Koyomi’s… surprisingly normal and reasonably calm about all of this weird, supernatural stuff. From what little I saw of Hanekawa in the first handful of episodes, she… Is infinitely more likeable than I assumed. Her design makes her seem like Manami from Ore no Imouto, who I absolutelyhated. Thankfully, she’s… less annoying, for lack of a nicer term. Hitagi’s also more likeable than I thought (despite the whole stapler-to-mouth incident in the first episode).

Now about that story… I was told it was dialogue heavy and that the ‘parts were better than the whole.’ Whoever told me this, I apologize for butchering your quote horribly. And they weren’t lying, by the way. There is no ‘real,’ overarching story like I’m used to. I’d call it a slice-of-life because of this, but I can’t even do that because there’s too much weird crap going on. So yeah, not entirely sure what it is, but it’s enjoyable and entertaining. It’s just not something I can watch a lot of in one sitting. Subtitles and dialogue heavy series are a horrible combination for me and the ‘SHAFT being SHAFT’ animation kills my eyes after a bit.

But, would I recommend it, based on the first few episodes? Yeah, I would. It’s definitely one of those series that I’d tell people about just so they could experience it. Because that seems like what it’s going for here. It’s not trying to tell an some grand, epic tale; it’s not trying to impress you; it’s not trying to drill some philosophical truth into you. It’s trying to give you an experience. And, so far anyway, it succeeds.

And that’s me done for the day. Apologies about the lack of an article yesterday, writer’s block was kicking me in the teeth and I didn’t want to half-ass something. As always, thanks for reading and have a good’un.

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