Review of Monogatari Series first season



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Anime Review: Monogatari Series Season 1

Although I’ve been watching anime for quite some time, I never had the opportunity to watch the monogatari series until very recently, and funnily enough, I started watching it a day before my exams, and I’m glad I did that.

The Monogatari series is quite popular and has had a dedicated fandom, and the way people watch it can actually vary, some people watch it according to air date, some watch it according to chronology and some watch it in a totally random, and there is no correct or wrong way of watching it.

Although this article is not to list the different ways of watching the series, or suggest you the best way to watch it, instead it is a review of what is considered as first season of the Monogatari series which includes Bakemonogatari, Nisemonogatari and Nekomonogatari. The season one includes Bakemonogatari which aired in 2009, followed by Nisemonogatari and Nekomonogatari in 2012.

The Monogatari first season and the series for the most revolves around the main character, Koyomi Araragi who is a high schooler and is also part vampire. The first season focuses on Koyomi as he solves “oddities” around him and the problems that might be affecting people from family issues to bullying to love, and although I mentioned the word ‘solve’ it doesn’t necessary imply that he’s successful, and although it might seem very simple of a plot, but it works well.


[The main character- Koyomi Araragi]

The story in the start is decent, but it gets better and the things happening makes it very interesting, but what shines the most is the character interactions. Without spoiling much the character interactions is really good especially the ones between Koyomi and Hitagi Senjougahara. Other characters are interesting, but the ones that interest me the most are Koyomi, Hitagi and the mysterious Oshino. Koyomi’s attitude of helping others and his ways of self-sacrifice makes him my favourite character in the show and it’s quite relatable, at least to me.

                                                               

        [Oshino Meme]                                                                                                  [Hitagi Senjogouhara]

Monogatari means “collection of stories”, and that’s what it actually is- all of the sub seasons have several stories and each story has a different female protagonist and interestingly, in Bakemonogatari, the main female protagonist of a particular story makes a cameo role in the next one which has a different female protagonist. Each sub season has a common theme like the common theme in all the stories of Bakemonogatari are the monsters plaguing the characters (Bakemono means monster in Japanese), while the theme for Nisemonogatari is fake personality of the characters (Nisemono means Fake in Japanese).The show also uses symbolism frequently, with symbolism being used for the different characters, but it’ll be difficult to write about them without spoiling some parts of the story.

Monogatari for most, is quite dialogue based and has very less action, and since it is based on light novel series, more dialogues suits it well, and maybe that can be a bit off-putting for people who like more action, however this dialogue heavy approach makes sure that it covers much of the story in the novel and makes the action scenes really epic. I’ve read that some of the references in this series might not be understandable to people who don’t know about Japanese culture, but I personally didn’t find any references as such which I had a hard time understanding.

Another thing very unique about this series is the art style. The art style is quite unique and gives the watcher a very different experience. What’s different from usual anime is that the scenes only focus on the characters and not on other people and it entirely omits other people, and maybe this can make it seem like a bit lazy on their part, but it surely isn’t and because of this approach the animations of the series are pretty good for most of the part.


[A scene from the series]

Now onto, animations, as I said before the animations are really good, but even the animations part is something really different in this series and the unique animation style is kind takes some time to get used to in fact, it took me almost entire Bakemonogatari to get used to it, and although it seems quite unconventional and the scenes that have words move too fast to read (they removed this from Nisemonogatari), I’m glad I got used to it.

Even though the first part of the season 1 is more than a decade old, it doesn’t detract from the experience. All in all, the very unique approaches to this series make it an enjoyable experience, and although I’m yet to start the second season, I can understand why the Monogatari series enjoys a very loyal fan base, and I’m very excited to see what happens in season 2.

Rating- 7.5/10

Recommended for people who like : Supernatural, Mystery, Comedy.

Written By

Hridayesh Bajaj.

[The views in my article are mine and it can differ for others.]

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