Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 3, 2009 to Jun 25, 2010
24 min. per episode
R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.441 (scored by 123973 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisThe story centers on Koyomi Araragi, a third year high school student who has recently survived a vampire attack, and finds himself mixed up with all kinds of apparitions: gods, ghosts, myths, and spirits.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Monogatari Series: First Season
Summary: Bakemonogatari Recap
Prequel: Nekomonogatari: Kuro
Characters & Voice Actors
"To be blunt, I just enjoy talking to you... so I want to talk with you more."
"If our opinions clash, let's talk it over." (Dialogue from episode 5)
'Bakemonogatari', cleverly translated as 'Ghostory' or 'Monstory', is about five not-so-normal girls that Araragi Koyomi, a vampire himself, encounters and attempt to save from oddities possessing them.
The main characters of 'Bakemonogatari' are among the most unique and complex I have yet to encounter.
Heroine Senjougahara Hitagi is a tsundere like half of all modern heroines in anime, but she is also 「ドS」, a sadist to an extreme degree, which is more common for side characters and rare for heroines. Our protagonist, as expected, is rather on the masochist side who takes constant verbal abuse from Senjougahara.
What makes the couple extraordinary, is that Senjougahara is often boke while Araragi is tsukkomi. Traditional Japanese stand-up comedy consists of a duo: One takes the "boke" role who says something stupid while the "tsukommi" role points out the flaws in boke's argument, often with a violent slap in the head.
Yes, that's right. Boke is masochist by nature and often not very intelligent, while tsukommi is sadist by nature and often more observant.
The leading couple in this series, on the other hand, take turns with the roles. It is particularly interesting when the sadist and intelligent Senjougahara purposefully take on the boke role and overwhelms tsukkomi. Such as making insulting statements that sound flawed, but when Araragi tries to make a comeback, he realizes what she said was true. Or Senjougahara makes a blatantly flawed statement just to hurt Araragi, and his comeback fall into deaf ears. And of course, plenty of intentional boke or tease spoken with so much authority that Araragi just gives up and let it slide.
The unlikely toggling of comedy roles were delivered extremely well, and this back and forth interaction between the leading couple is a key part of this show's appeal.
The remaining four main characters are not as complex as the leading couple, but they all have their own unique issues that drive the story,each with distinct personalities that made them memorable.
There are 6 main characters in this series, and total of only 5 side/peripheral characters (Meme, Shinobu, two sisters, and Senjougahara's father) in the whole series. The limited character headcount made thorough character development possible despite being an arc-based series.
Simply put, half the show is about the romantic relationship between the Senjougahara and Araragi.
The other half is about a constant argument between two values: The rational vs the idealistic, with Araragi as Mr. Nice Guy seeking happy end for everyone. Solution of supernatural oddities as the topic of the argument.
Hachikuji, Kanbaru, and Hanekawa's arcs developed the relationship of leading couple while offering new topics to the story.
The only flaw in the story in my opinion, is that Sengoku's arc was pretty much by itself, and contributed very little to the whole series other than loli and moe fan service.
Each arc is an incident focusing on a different girl, but all the arcs combine to show a whole picture of Araragi and Senjougahara closing their personal distances.
"Bakemonogatari" is essentially a verbal performance with visual support. Story is driven by back and forth debate on various issues.
With verbal performance playing such a big role in this show, voice acting is taken to a whole new level in this series.
Every characters' voices fit perfectly, and not only that, distinct tones and nuance of speech establish unique impressions for every single character. The characters speak so fast in this series with lots of tongue twisters, but the seiyuu cast had done a wonderful job in keeping up. I don't think it's an exaggeration to describe voice acting in this series as epic.
Music score in 'Bakemonogatari' has a generally consistent ambient feel to it with a nice flow. Other than intense music for action scenes, they don't particularly set the mood or enhance drama as what I usually consider to be strong BGM for anime, but the usually upbeat sounds in the background set the quick pace for dialogue, and make conversations all the more engaging.
OP song "Staple Stable" is one of the best anime opening theme song by a seiyuu, ever. Really memorable tune accompanied by great vocal and lyric by meg rock was simply amazing.
The other four OPs sang by seiyuu of each arc heroines were nowhere as impressive as "Staple Stable", but offers refreshment value to the OPs, and fits each character perfectly.
ED song's lyric made little sense at first, but its meaning was unveiled in a conversation between the leading couple in a certain episode, and it turned out to very suitable for the series. The two Senjougahara theme songs (OP1, ED) were masterpieces.
Animation in 'Bakemonogatari' mainly serve as a visual aid to the verbal performance, and it proved to be very effective.
Visuals for the anime got somewhat of an "art house film" treatment. There were many abstract and surreal scenes, unconventional cuts, and intriguing camera angles that made the viewing experience very pleasant. It's the perfected form of SHAFT's signature style.
Character designs were attractive, and main characters had visually shown a wide range of emotion that further portrays the character's state of mind.
The only complaint I have with the animation is the use of photographs/videos of real-life imagery. At the risk of sounding like a super-otaku, I would say 3D images do not belong in the world of 2D.
As a fansubber and having seen thousands of hours of fan/professionally translated works, I can tell you that at least 10% of the meaning is lost in translation, no matter how well translated. In conversation/narration driven series filled with wordplay and metaphors, at least 20% of the meaning, therefore enjoyability, will inevitably be lost to non-Japanese speakers.
Still, 'Bakemonogatari' is a true masterpiece with experimental production that actually worked. Attention was paid to the tiniest details, and a story well-told. Truly amazing direction by Shinbou Akiyuki left us with so many memorable scenes, and this will definitely be a series to be remembered.
The 8-month wait for the final three episodes were excruciating, but the ending was so satisfying that it almost made it worth the absurd wait. Given the commercial success 'Bakemonogatari' has achieved, I will be hoping for the remaining novels in the series to be animated. Possibly 'Kizumonogatari' OVA/film and 'Nisemonogatari' as a sequel season.
To be blunt, I just enjoyed listening to them... so I want to listen to them more.
I'll start off my review by saying one of my usual comments when I talk about Bakemonogatari: this anime is not for everyone. It's definitely something worth trying out, but I cannot guarantee that it will be your cup of tea. It's an interestingly boring anime that tries hard (and succeeds) to be unique with its eccentric style of story telling and world building.
Bakemonogatari is an anime adaptation of the popular light novel series written by Nisio Isin. The anime revolves around Koyomi Araragi, a high school student who's also a half-vampire, and his relationships with different characters and their oddities, along with the usual SHAFT head tilting we've all come to know and love. It's an arc-based anime that focuses on a different character every arc, but these arcs come together as characters often overlap another character's arc.
Apart from the nice story telling Bakemonogatari features, I personally think that its cast are definitely deserving to be called great, if not, the best, in terms of design, personality and development. They all have a unique air to them and is very hard to properly describe without ruining the enjoyment you get from initially watching them on-screen.
"Koyomi Araragi ranked sixth in the Best Male Character in 2009, second in 2010, seventh in 2011, third in 2012, and sixth in 2013. Meanwhile, Hitagi Senjougahara ranked seventh in the Best Female Character in 2009, fourth in 2010, eighth in 2011, and seventh in 2012." [Source: Wikipedia]
Popularity ranking may mean nothing for some people, but I think it serves to be a concrete example that Bakemonogatari's characters are indeed very likable. On top of that, almost everyone has several layers to them, their development is tangible and coherent, and they are different enough from common archetypes so it doesn't feel like they're just some generic character you've seen at least a hundred times. So what's the icing on the cake? They give off a sense of depth without making you think really hard, and you dig up more bits of their character by paying close attention to details and certain dialogues.
The opening and ending songs are all really awesome. As I've said, this anime is an arc-based one, so the opening song changes every arc. The OPs usually have the same "feel" as the character they're focused on, as if they're describing them through a song. The ED might not look like its relevant to the story at first, but once you get to see the later episodes, the song will beg for your appreciation as it perfectly conveys the feelings and the message of the song to the watcher. As for the BGM in the lengthy conversations, they're okay. Not much to say about them, really. They're pretty average compared to the BGM used in the sequels. Worry not, since this flaw gets overshadowed by the quality of the voices, which was beautifully delivered by the voice actors.
One word to describe the art: amazing. I myself like to think that the quirky but beautiful art of Bakemonogatari is the result of telling a story through a character's point of view, which in this case, is Araragi. The whole anime is told through his perspective. Therefore, the things and the people that aren't connected with the story aren't shown, hence them being the only characters in the show. Why are the main cast's houses different? Because he pays special attention to them. Why is his bike the only different one in the anime? Because it's special to him, being his own possession. Why are the fight scenes so colorfully gory? Because the flashy colors convey how feels while the fight is happening, which in this case, is pain. Why were the stairs of the school back to normal at the middle of episode 1, rather than being huge and circular? Because the staircase never has been huge and circular. Senjougahara just tripped at the top of the staircase and "fell into his arms." They were all in Araragi's perspective. Not minding the fact that people call the anime pretentious, I honestly think that the art, in itself, is a good enough reason to actually call this anime deep.
With all of that, the enjoyment levels of this anime is great. It left me in a one-person standing ovation after watching it the first time, which is a huge feat considering that it was 4AM in the morning and I had classes in 3 hours. The re-watch-ability of this anime is top-notch too, as watching the whole series again makes you notice things that you didn't catch the first time you watched, like dialogues that revealed more about the character, or scenes that will make you think about what it's trying to say.
Summing up everything above, Bakemonogatari is something that I could call a masterpiece, being something boring, yet interesting; slideshow-y, yet visually appealing; and complex, yet understandable. This anime is my current favorite and it probably will be for a long, long, time.
I'll end this review with a nice quote that, in my opinion, makes this anime really stand out from the rest.
"There stood a high school boy who had seriously taken on an elementary school girl, seriously fought her, seriously won with a judo throw, and seriously felt proud of himself. Wait, that's me."
It's a quote spoken by Rarararagi Koyomi.
"Sorry, I stuttered." read more
If you like one of these male leads you should enjoy the perspective of the other. While Yuhari is really starred by the main female instead of the main male the females have a lot in common in terms of being independent, strong and confusing for the males to figure out.
Both shows feature limited but well developed for 12 ep anime series supporting casts.
Bakemonogatari is basically the more supernatural (Yahari is pretty much just another HS anime) and higher quality in every way version of Love Comedy but if you love the type of characters the leads are you will still enjoy Love Comedy a great deal.
Both with witty dialogues and monologues, if you enjoyed either series you'll definitely enjoy the other because of the well-crafted dialogue between the two main characters. Seeing their relationship grow and their abusive banter is really amusing. I would've loved to see their relationship go more deeper like Bakemonogotari but the love triangle was amusing enough.
Thick dialogue from the very fleshed out male and female protagonists. Both plots primary revolve around character driven events that illicit deep conversations that are meaningful, serious, and sometimes just plain witty/hilarious. Also there are some camera angles in Yahari that are very eerie to the monogatari series
Similar character design and setting. Both series involve meaningful conversation about life, friendship, and values.
In both series, the main male protagonist seems to have similar personalities and possesses a rather indifferent outlook on others and life itself.
However, he meets a girl who is mysterious, elegant, and has strange interactions with her. These usually comes from the various dialogues and tones in the words used.
Both series also has school life setting and events happen that often gets the main male protagonist involved. There's also a similar atmosphere in both series that sometimes becomes more and more interactive especially with the word plays/dialogues.
Both have much dialogue and similar protagonists.
Main characters are extremely similar in both their nature and interactions with each other
Shows in which the female leads possess sharp, biting, sarcastic tongue, truly shining examples of "100%-proud-0%-cute" tsunderes. The main draw of these shows come from the witty, cleverly delivered dialogue between main characters.
Both male leads are philosophers of sorts, slowly revealing their complex worldview to the audience by way of monologue, both engaging in fascinating battles of wit with a sharp-tongued female lead.
Loner protagonists that go on long winded rants.
Well written monologues and a witty dialogues , the main characters are somewhat similar to Araragi & Hitagi.
What I noticed in both animes, is the character personalities. Male lead and female lead in Yahari are almost complete copies of the main leads in Bakemonogatari in my opinion.
Yahari is not supernatural stuff though. Only thing similar is that they're in highschool (what anime isnt?) and the characters are very similar.
Both of the series focus a lot on the dialogue overall. Furthermore, they are both quite psychological and the main issue is to help others out with their problems. Along the way, they help themselves out as well. With the vibes of romance being present in both, as well as just-that being quite unique and special, they successfully take us on a ride that's something more.
The two anime have the same cheeky, if I may, remarks. I love the OPs of both of them—some of the most memorable ones I've ever listened to. The love triangle is quite interesting and humorous, though the romance definitely could have gotten deeper.
Both have witty and interesting dialogues and both MCs have a similar outlook on life. Even though not much is happening, the show never gets boring. Heck, both main characters even have the same piece of hair sticking out of their head.
Both anime have a very similar feel to them.
Bakemonogatari however, is darker than Arakawa Under The Bridge.
Arakawa contains more light-hearted random humour and is generally a more happy series, where Bakemonogatari is more about removing oddities which may end up killing people, etc
Bakemonogatari also contains random humour, but as I already said, it has a darker atmosphere than Arakawa.
The art is also kinda similar.
Both series start with the meeting between the protagonist and an odd yet characteristically deadpan girl he forms an arbitrarily romantic relationship with and follow up with his dealings with various increasingly odd people and their problems. Having the same production studio, director, and lead seiyuu, they often feel quite similar, despite Bakemonogatari possessing a seriousness and sequential arc structure Arakawa consistently avoids.
It is obvious that if you liked Bakemonogatari you should watch Arakawa Under the Bridge. The main character of the both series is voiced by the same actor, which gives the impression that we have to deal with the very similar story.
Another thing that is in common is the way the story is being told. It is almost the same. The key factor is the fact that Bakemonogatari was made by the studio that has also made the Arakawa Under the Bridge. Both series will rather not be liked by the most of the viewers because the storyline is made for more intelligent people.
The only difference is shown using the art style, which is rather similar to the standard anime shows in Arakawa Under the Bridge. But it should make it easier to watch for non otakus.
Both are done by SHAFT, hence it's shafty. When, Bakemonogatari focuses on very little amount of characters and analysis them in depth using clever and witty dialogues, Arakawa under the Bridge raises the madness of the characters by far and the number of the cast is significantly larger with bother-line retarded and nonsensical conversations. Still, they are very similar in the fact that both focuses mainly on dialogues of individual characters. Oh, and eye rolling scenes too.
Thus, both looks great.
Arakawa Under The Bridge follows the legacy of Bakemonogatari with exactly the same style, same director, same elite main voice actors. However, this show is one or two notch(es) down from Bakemonogatari on romance, plot, and characters. Afterall, good learning material for funny Japanese chatter.
Both are random-esque animes that tend to shift from situation to situation, involving comedy or general mishaps between the protagonist and his girlfriend or friends. While Bakemonogatari does have a more concrete ending, Arakawa has a much more lighthearted feel to it and will keep you laughing for quite a while. The happy-go-lucky feel is present in every single minute of the anime.
Similar humor and character developments. Emphasis on a very small area of the anime's locale. The person that voices the main character in Arakawa (Kou) also voices a main character in Bakemonogatari (Hitagi), and does an amazing job. The all around feel of both anime's are very similar, funny, and enjoyable.
When i started watching Bakemonogatari it almost instantly reminded me about Arakawa. Art and characters, their humor and actions, and random plots. Both are really good and funny.
-Male main character meets strange female character
-Both male main character share the same VA
-MANY other strange characters
-Same producer: Shaft
Oh God, that randomness and humor in both of these series.
Shaft is involved in both series and brings unique comedy into both of these series that are sarcastic and out of this world.
Both series meets a strange girl and becomes a couple with them. The protagonist in both series are quite similar in terms of personalities and even a bit in appearance.
Both series are outrageously funny and a must watch.
Both anime excel in Extreme Trash-Talking
Like seriously some of the most outright fascinating dialogue possible
Both anime were Produced by Shaft--really awesome group
Neither of these anime involve the typical --school nonsense
Both of these anime really get their Substance from all characters that are not the
Where Bakemonogatari is intense and weird, Arakawa Under the Bridge is lighthearted and weird. Despite this, and despite completely different settings, plots, and character dynamics, they share a very similar aesthetic and "feel."
from the beginning you will feel the same sensation
from the art, the CV (character voice) almost all of CV of bakemonogatari same with arakwa under the bridge.
and the comedy is funny too.. :p
the only different is bakemonogatari is about supernatural called "Kaii" but,
arakawa is not really supernatural "if you know what i mean"
Both are very similar to each other, animation and character too. A very interesting and funny story that will make them excited and laugh, if you like romantic comedy should see this series
Opening Theme#1: "staple stable" by Chiwa Saito (eps 2, 6-7, 11-12; BD/DVD: 1-2, 12)
#2: "Kaerimichi (帰り道)" by Emiri Katou (ep 4; BD/DVD: 3-5)
#3: "ambivalent world" by Miyuki Sawashiro (ep 8; BD/DVD: 6-8)
#4: "Ren'ai Circulation (恋愛サーキュレーション)" by Kana Hanazawa (ep 10; BD/DVD: 9-10)
#5: "Sugar Sweet Nightmare" by Yui Horie (eps 14-15; BD/DVD: 11, 13-15)
Ending Theme"Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari (君の知らない物語)" by supercell; performed by nagi (Gazelle)
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