18 of 107 chapters read
Even through poor translation (which is in truth how I came to first read the story), it made a great deal of an impact on me. Errors in past tense vs. present tense, nonsensical phrases, and sometimes just downright poor English - through it all, this is one story that cannot be masked from its status as a true gem. Of course I certainly recommend the Japanese version, if one is able to read it, but though, as far as I know, there is no "proper," official translation, rough ones like the one I found will still suffice (you really won't regret it). It's not even that long of a novel (one could call it a light novel), but it's length really is suitable. There is no dragging out of events (save for wit and humor), and it's not so short as to ruin anything.
So what exactly is Kizumonogatari?
It's a story of "damaged goods," to make a literal translation. (Sounds a bit scandalous..? Don't worry.) It's a prequel to the Bakemonogatari anime and novel(s), and proceeds to explain what transpired during the spring break of Araragi Koyomi's final spring break of high school - a break that he describes as "hellish" and has something to do with vampires... I'll say no more on this lest this degrades into a spoiler-fest.
To fans of the series, this is a must-read (even if you aren't that into reading - like I said, even a messy translation can't drag this story down, and I'm a grammar nut). To those who are unfamiliar with the series, there aren't any confusing references or spoilers for the sequels, just 18 chapters of incredible storytelling. To be sure, strange content will arise (we're talking about Japan here), but make no mistake, there are moments of pure genius (lots of them) that make this work undoubtedly worthwhile. read more
9 of 13 episodes seen
The story is rather laid back, not too complex. It doesn't focus on about saving the world, helping a friend in dire distress, or even falling in love (that's not to say that there aren't any sweet dilemmas present). It's a slice of life that revolves around the theme of growing up and friendships that grow along with one's stature. And yes, the story revolves around 4 (then 5) males. At first, one feels like this could NEVER be anything but yaoi (male on male anime/manga), but it is anything but that. Instead, Kimi to Boku brings a new light on a what could be an "over-done" subject. Poetic prose seasons the the memories of the various protagonists who wistfully (and sometimes regretfully) reminisce the past, their experiences more than 10 years ago still having strong influences and ties to what is happening at the "now" of their life. As for romance, you'll have to see for yourself, hehe.
The art is also not of the "spectacular, melts the eyes and makes them bleed" type. Those who are looking for sophisticated backdrops and blinding visual effects should look elsewhere. However, as with many anime of this genre, the art compliments the story (indeed nearly every aspect of the anime) with its simplistic and relaxing tones and hues. Simple though it may be, some of the ending credit "snapshots" are sure to curve even the most stubborn of lips. It did mine.
The sound was what stood out to me at first. I understand it isn't for everyone, but with the reviews out now that say that its "okay" leave me confused. The opening ("Bye Bye" by the artist "7!!") and ending ("Nakumushi" by the artist "Miku Sawai") are perfectly in sync with the series, and are totally worth hearing in their full versions (you folks do this too right?). Personally, I find these artists' other songs worthwhile as well. As for the rest of the music, it isn't perfect, but it is certainly well-matched and well-placed in each episode, and at times you could find yourself tapping your foot or even rocking your head to that catchy guitar.
The other outstanding aspect of this anime are the characters. At first glance, they are failures. Four (then five, you'll understand what I mean) high school boys: A very feminine, long-haired Matsuoka Shun, two rather good-looking yet otherwise un-noteworthy twins (Yuuki and Yuuta) who only speak in monotone voices, and a stereotypical , reliable-type nerd (Kaname -> Megane). The fifth guy is just a wild card. You'll see.
But, as the story progresses, it's like watching a flower bloom. Okay okay, spare me your spit and jeers for saying it in such a way, but I won't take it back. The creator really pays attention to little details, and creates such depth in these characters that you'll find yourself wondering why you ever believed in Santa Claus. Each episode, viewers learn just a little bit more about these boys: what they were like when they were little and what they did as opposed to how they are now - insignificant little details, things that seem unimportant yet hold some strange and precious place in their hearts. To these characters, the world is changed through these little details, and their bonds, it feels, are irreplaceable.
If it was meant to be exciting, this anime is not that great. It would deserve those careless sixes and sevens and be overshadowed by better shows. But it seems the artist wants to do something else. What else is there to life besides head-pounding, heart-rushing battle? Simple, sweet, everyday life. A cup of tea with friends. Fretting over school and girls. It's these underestimated yet precious, precious things that one can only miss once they are over and nought but memories. Kimi to Boku brings wistfulness in a curious way, and stokes the fires of the heart. If anything, it's real art.
Overall: 10. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
The art is wonderful and deep. The character designs and backdrops especially have been worked on with so much detail it makes one wonder how much effort was put in, and the answer is a LOT. It certainly brings Japan and its modern inhabitants alive. The music, while not my favorite, matches the themes and storyline, as good soundtracks will do.
The main thing about Kamisama no Memochou, however, is the storyline, and it is one of the best I have ever seen, and I have seen a lot. Many ratings seem to have been on the first few episodes alone, and while they are captivating in and of themselves, I believe the final few episodes is what, without a doubt, makes this anime so incredible.
Not merely about sex or sports or drugs, this anime takes in so many shades of life and living, and the problems that the world faces today and the reactions that real people have in facing them. The ending is simply one of those moments where you have that curious feeling of simultaneous satisfaction and longing for more. I find myself wanting a good second season to follow it up, but in all reality it doesn't need it.
If you let it, it will draw you in and leave you in awe of humanity.
The story of Yozakura Quartet has yet to come to full bloom; to people who merely skim the surface of the events that happened thus far might pass it off as something of little worth, but I for one cannot help but feel a bit of nostalgia when I see the heartwarming events that unfold.. There might not exactly be blurring action every step of the way, but the story meanders in a way that makes you get lost in it's world. It is a world full of youkai, or "demons" (the word is only a rough translation), and a certain town is full of them, and looked after by a young mayor. Many mysteries and perils are coming, and unless she and her friends step up to the challenge. Their cherished days together will end as they know them.
The art, if nothing else, is perfect. The characters are beautifully drawn, and the artist skillfully creates a world that is both believable and enjoyable.. Balanced, sharp and pleasing to the eye - it's some of the best art I've seen, and I've seen quite a bit, if I do say so myself. Each character is designed distinctly and uniquely, and the sometimes the backdrops are simply breathtaking.
Each character has his or her own quirks, abilities, strengths, weaknesses; they really come alive in a way that may astonish you. It has been accused of overdevelopment of characters to the point where the storyline is forgotten, and that is true to a certain point. Even so, what ends up happening is the characters literally coming to life, moving on the pages drawing you further in. I for one do not find anything wrong in that.
All these elements come together in a way that leaves the reader satisfied and wanting more. To be sure, there are things that need to be brushed up, but if one were to ask if it is worth the time, my answer would certainly be a resounding YES. read more
15 of 15 episodes seen
At the beginning, one has little or no idea about what is happening; scenes flicker back and forth and the viewer struggle to make sense of the images they see before them. As the story progresses, however, it draws you in to each and every interesting and unique character, with a treasure trove of Japanese play on words that, unfortunately, aren't able to be appreciated through rough translations. There is only one male character, the protagonist at that, but rather than falling into the chaos of a harem, the story progresses in such a way that is heartwarming and, at its climax, will tempt your eyes to flood.
Bold colors, thick lines, sharp polygons. The art immediately grabs your attention, and is complimented by the storyline, which keeps it. Each character looks as unique as they act and each has his or her own charm. The backdrops are certainly nothing to sneeze at, but are not over-detailed as not to distract the viewers from what's going on. It's certainly one of the better, if not one of the best-looking anime out there.
Several songs in the soundtrack are notably lovely, worthy of listening to by themselves over and over again. The rest play their part: suspense, surprise, action-triggered tension - all are masterfully integrated into the anime, and nothing is out of place. (A rarely noted aspect of sound is the actual sound effects, but if they're good, you aren't supposed to notice them. You don't unless you are paying too much attention.) Another noteworthy aspect is that the openings are different for each arc, where a new heroine is introduced. Each song is amazingly tailored to the characters and go above and beyond "character theme songs" in the traditional sense.
One of my personal favorites, and well-deserving of its popularity. The 10s in all categories must be due to my biases and blindness to the anime's flaws. But while not perfect, I am sure that many viewers will find it impossible themselves to give Bakemonogatari anything less than a perfect score. read more