When I found out that Nisemonogatari and Kizumonogatari were getting an anime and a movie adaptation I found myself jumping up and down. Nisemonogatari is the sequel to the very popular series Bakemonogatari while Kizumonogatari is a prequel movie that will be released later this year. I loved everything about Bakemonogatari and it remains as one of my favorite animes of all time. I am going to attempt to review Nisemonogatari in as unbiassed a manner as I can. I read a review that said if you didn’t know what Bakemonogatari is, you probably lived under a rock, and that was me before last summer. I came across the anime when I was reading a list of someones top 100 animes of the 2000’s and it looked interesting so I checked it out and I was stunned. I loved it so much I searched the internet to immediately to buy it on dvd but to my dismay it is not licensed in the United States. I ended buying a english subbed version from some company in Singapore, I am very happy the dvd worked. Nisemonogatari is animated by Studio Shaft who are known for their unconventional animation style and fan service. Luckily they have started to stray from large amounts of fan service in their most recent animes. Works of Shaft include the very popular Puella Magi Madoka Magica which I loved and the crazy Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei series which gave me a headache.
The episode starts with Araragi the Protagonist realizing he has been kidnapped and is chained to a chair. Senjougahara, Araragi’s girlfriend comes in and as usual she verbally assaults him in her own special way. She seems to be enjoying herself very much. Araragi informs her that he hungry and thirsty and Senjougahara enjoys this even more. There a whole minute of Senjougahara forcing Araragi to lick a droplet of water off of her finger. Nisemonogatari then cuts to the morning before when Araragi get a message from Tsubasa one of his friends that she can’t come help him study. He is now getting tutored almost everyday by Tsubasa and Senjougahara due to his poor grades. He walks down stairs and you meet one of his sisters Tsuhiki for the first time. They start arguing with each other and Tsuhiki tells him not to grow up to fast. Araragi decides to call his friend Sengoku who he had promised to visit. She readily agrees and they make plans to meet at her house. Araragi tries to drag along his sister but she declines saying something along the lines of Sengoku would prefer you alone. On the way to her house he meets Hachikuji, and they start bantering with each other and he kind of feels her up in a creepy way and says some very perverted things to her. (Well she is an invisible elementary school student, I don’t know if this is creepy or just plain CREEPY) Hachikuji asks Araragi if he is looking for new members of his Harem. (This really isn’t a joke but the truth, every character he saves in the first series get weirdly obsessed with him) They then start talking about Araragi being a vampire, or sort of a vampire, or whatever he is. He then asks her if she going to disappear and she says she will tell him first before it happens.
With all my expectations I found the episode to be good. It re-introduced some of the characters I had come to know and love. It had all the same characteristics that made me love the series in the first place; Araragi is still a pervert and Senjougahara is as sadistic as she ever was. The show highlighted some plot points, like Araragi being kidnapped and it introduced you to the first of his 2 sisters. The humor was great and just like the original and I found myself laughing many times. The dialogue between the characters which was so strong in the first series was just as strong in Nisemonogatari. I am going to start with the shows animation which is great in my opinion, but some people don’t like it. You can tell that Nisemonogatari is 100 percent shaft. The series is full of cartoony faces, weird shadows, strange angels, and the strange backgrounds you only see in shaft animes. The animation is just something you have to see because its so hard to write about. The contrast from darks to lights in the kidnapped seen are wonderful. It gives the show a sense of style that screams the Bakemonogatari franchise. I loved Araragi’s house which you get to see for the first time. It looks like it would be so much fun, it was spacious, colorful and even had cinema lights. The outside backgrounds have much attention to detail and there wasn’t the recycled animation I saw in the original series which was nice. There were also very few blank color screens which the first series was full of. This is an improvement on Bakemonogatari because they can start to get on your nerves a little. The screens are what many people who loved the show hated. The only screen you see are in-between scenes or not in the middle of something important. (unlike Bakemonogatari, which placed them in the middle of the actions scenes.) The dialogue between the characters as I said before was great. The characters all seem to play off of each other and there is always some sense of humor. Nisemonogatari picks up right where Bakemonogatari left off with how Araragi interacts with both Senjougahara and Hachikuji. Senjougahara is still her old self with how she talk down to Araragi with her condescending tone and her possessive attitude towards him. The first thing she says is “Araragi your awake, I glad, I thought you may have died.” This is her boyfriend she talking to who she just kidnapped…she is crazy. And even though he is thirsty and starving she makes him lick the water off of her hand and then eats right in front of him, while enjoying every minute of it. When Hachikuji and Araragi talk its the same old act with both of them. Araragi is a complete pervert while Hachikuji continually mispronounces his name. Araragi and his sister’s dialogue seems like it will be solid. They argue just like any brother and sister will, and I have high hopes for her as a character. The jokes in the show were great and as I said I laughed a lot. Senjougahara acts just continually makes me laugh while Hachikuji was also funny. I hope they don’t overuse the characters because they could become stale. I have hopes that Karen and Tsuhiki, Araragi’s 2 sisters who should add some fresh humor into the mix.
(The house looks like a lot of fun)
Overall Nisemonogatari episode 1 was a solid start to a show I know I’m going to love. It re-introduced everything Bakemonogatari had going for it, from the great animation to the funny jokes.
Episode rating 8/10