It’s the return of PORNSTORY! MORE FETISHES! MORE DIALOGUE! MORE ODDITIES IN BOTH THE SUPERNATURAL AND WOMEN! And if you are utterly confused at what is going on, don’t be surprised. So were we when Bakemonogatari introduced us to this wonderfully unique world of supernatural, yet semi-realistic events where people talking about nothing could be exciting. Where Nisemonogatari introduced us to Toothbrush Porn. And where Nekomonogatari Kuro told us the way to stop a homicidal cat girl is to swallow a giant sword and let her cut you in half. If that’s gotten your interest, catch up on the rest because it only gets better here.
This first ep takes place right after Nisemonogatari, but is more relevant to the prequel Ova Nekomonogatari Kuro. We see Hanekawa wake up to tell us about the seperated lifestyle of her home, then proceed to meet the lost snail Hachikuji. She’s lost her backpack and was supposedly harassed again by our lead, Araragi. After some small talk, she suddenly meets an oddity that resembles a white-striped tiger. From then on, things escalate from a discussion with Hitagi to Hanekawa’s house burning down and her sleeping in an abandoned building, all in just half the ep.
The monogatari series has always come up with ways to surprise us, and this first episode does not dissapoint. From slice-of-life and comedy to mystery and drama, this ep manages to cover it all at a consistent pace, giving enough to keep your attention. We’ve only seen 3 characters(Hitagi, Hanekawa and hachikuji), but everyone still seems energetic and fun as ever. Hitagi’s still psychotic, Hanekawa’s still ironically calm, and Hachikuji is still the pedo bait we love(or at least me).
More importantly, it also seems we’ll be getting much development between these characters. Hitagi and Hanekawa display a surprisingly tense, but unbreakable friendship between each other in this ep, which was rarely touched upon in previous series. Even characters we haven’t seen are still mentioned, and it seems Araragi’s absence in this episode will mean more to see between both Hitagi and Hanekawa(that includes their underwear). 🙂
What I really like about this ep though is the balance between being kept between depth and fun, something I didn’t get to see done until Nekomonogatari Kuro. Bakemonogatari was known for depth and supernatural mystery, but also known to bore people out of their minds, leaving only memorable dialogue that had nothing to do with the depth as the entertaining part. Nisemonogatari did the opposite by focusing more on the fun dialogue and weird visuals while putting less effort in the depth and mystery.
Now it seems that both SHAFT and Nisio Isin(original creator) have learned their lesson, managing to seamlessly fuse the two while also leaving time for them to shine seperately. It knows when we want to see perverted gestures and epic speeches put together. It knows when we want to see a large tiger scare the crap out of us. It knows when we want to hear about the whole harem situation between the girls while also labeling him a sexual criminal(that had me laughing constantly). But shockingly, it also knows when to completely shock us too(Hitagi being emotional? IMPOSSIBLE!!!)
There is no need to worry about the visuals and music, as they are just as much, if not more excellent than before. The crazy backgrounds, contrasting colors and quick editing is all still here. Don’t forget the sexy camera angles are back as well. Music is still catchy as ever, and it’s always pleasant to hear the bullet time dialogue once again.
Overall, this season of Monogatari is not only promising, but possibly the best in the series. We’ll have to wait to see how the rest of it turns out, but I’m confident that they can pull off a better Monogatari series than ever before. Otherwise, they will face the wrath of Senjougahara Hitagi!