Koyomi Araragi is studying hard in preparation for his college entrance exams when he begins to notice something very strange: his reflection no longer appears in a mirror, a characteristic of a true vampire. Worried about the state of his body, he enlists the help of the human-like doll Yotsugi Ononoki and her master Yozuru Kagenui, an immortal oddity specialist.
Quickly realizing what is wrong with him, Yozuru gives him two choices: either abstain from using the vampiric abilities he received from Shinobu Oshino, or lose his humanity forever.
What a way to cap off the year of 2014. Tsukimonogatari may be only 4 episodes but these captures the point of the series quite well. In retrospect, we get Araragi with his presence in this show that is well felt in the beginning. To top things off, these four episodes captures the very essence of what the Monogatari franchise should be. Produced with Shaft at the steering wheel and a mission to adapt the novel, Tsukimonogatari is quite something that ought to be remembered.
Of course, any fan familiar with the Monogatari franchise should know its unorthodox style. Tsukimonogatari is no different despite being just four episodes; or to be more precisely called ‘Yotsugi Doll’. Why? Well a particular character going by the name Yotsugi Ononoki with no real personality could be described as such. A doll is after all without any real feelings although they can be a symbolism for innocence, playfulness, and youth. Taking a few steps back though, the first episode of Tsukimonogatari introduces Araragi who is in his college years. However, he is more busy with his sisters especially Tsukihi who he has a rather peculiar “battle” in the baths. All seems silly at first until Araragi discovers something wrong at the glance of himself in the mirror. By no doubt, the first episode sets the stage for the remainder of this series and in a fashionable way at that.
What follows is the ingenious dialogues of what Monogatari is all about as well as the overall tone of the story. It’s both well directed and a pleasure to relieve another chance at the stages of the final season. Here, we are also introduced to Shinobu once again. For those who don’t remember her, she is the vampire girl that sucks on his blood daily. The reason for this is explained and also creates the theory of Araragi’s newfound problem in the second episode. It gets to the point where characters such as Kagenui Yozuru is involved along with her familiar. While they seem like characters (and even described by Kagenui as actors on the stage), it’s their stellar performance that makes them worthwhile to remember. It helps bring to life the story that crafts the style of Monogatari. Through word plays and clever dialogues along with effective comedy timing, the series becomes fine calibrated entertainment. Not only does it create appealing entrances and exits but the character interactions are first class with their expressions. There’s not a dull moment with timing and precision being part of the formula of success. This is even emphasized with the soundtrack and OST that specifically markets its creativity. At the same time, there’s clear intelligence to the writing with every dialogue that fits to the story’s purpose.
Another aspect of the series is its ability to command attention. One event leads to another that creates a thrilling feel for the audience to anticipate what’s to come next. It’s through the appealing setup that makes the series stands out with dangerous adversaries with their motives. While it seems stereotypical at first, there’s still no doubt about complex performance of the characters. Not only does it shine through their roles, but the show also explains the story fairly well through unique ways. Like I mentioned before, Tsukimonogatari is about storytelling and no story is complete without a background. In this series, that background is not just thrown into the audience face like an auto-pilot info dump. Instead, it mixes unique word plays and engrossing scenarios to tell the story. And true to its style, the series also delivers its conclusion through with everything it has set up. The finale of the series sparks the climax but not before we get even more nicely textured dialogues. Some of these evokes various feelings such as fear, angry, and hatred. At the same time, there’s a moving experience that can be felt through these episodes and in particular with the finale. Everything comes together and even Araragi realizes what has happened that leaves him a bit stunned. Indeed, the series tells the anti-thesis of a doll and what it’s truly like for someone without a real personality; perhaps something as Ononoki is far from a human.
Despite with all the events going on in these four episodes, I still find it interesting how it’s able to squeeze in comedy. While this may be a mixed bag for is some, I have no doubt about the way the series is handled in an attempt to exaggerate Araragi’s relationship with his sister. There’s honesty there too with how Araragi’s emotions becomes evident after realizing the danger they are in. Furthermore, these episodes also has bits of lighthearted moments at the end to give the audience a bit of ease.
Anyone familiar with Daiki Konno would also easily recognize his artistic talents which is clearly shown in the first episode. The surrealistic backgrounds along with Shaft’s zany and idiosyncratic style is also hard to miss. Along with the background symbolism, this series’ artwork is a testament of what unorthodox is all about; and I do say that in a good way. Character designs also gives off a feeling of fresh air especially with Ononoki’s doll-like appearance and behavior. Similarly, Araragi returns in full force with not 1, 3, 6, but an 8-pack! It’s hard to miss any of the fan service since they are all over the screen to be quite honest. Half of the first episode takes place in the bathroom with Araragi and his sister being nearly fully naked. Not to mention the rest, we also have other suggestive camera angles that will raise some eyebrows. Still, this shouldn’t be new or a surprise at all given the way Shaft handles this adaptation.
What may surprise you though is the powerful soundtrack. Each scene in every episode has a bit of it to keep up the momentum. Somehow, the soundtrack is also able to carry through this whole series wherever it goes. Regardless where the setting is or what event takes place, it tells of a cinematic grace with a pensive style to convey the story. It’s also hard to not let yourself be indulged by the dialogues of this series as the words spoken are wild, perspective to the point, yet able to remain intact all the way through. Finally, the OP and ED songs are cleverly decorated. The opening song “Orange Mint” has a catchy tone and in all respects decently coordinated by its illustrative tones. Similarly, ClariS returns with their performance that although isn’t groundbreaking still has an attractive appeal.
Looking back at these four episodes, I have no shadow of a doubt that the Final Season will be an upcoming saga of the coming ages. These four episodes tells more than just a story. It’s the kind of uncompromising adaptation that we don’t see too often these days. Tsukimonogatari may be only four episodes but is richly imaginative with brilliant characters and a well-developed story. Director Shinbou Akiyuki once again shows the world his talent with this adaptation and the future is looking brighter than ever. read more
Wow coming into Tsukimonogatari i knew i was gonna get a different vibe from Hana from the start. The reason i liked tsuki more than hana is because hana seemed liked a conclusion and conclusions aren't really "fun" per say, they are just to wrap everything up. With Tsuki we are getting more plot progression and ALOT of foreshadowing. Honestly for those who don't know even the littlest hints of spoilers these foreshadowing will go over your head. When Oshino Ouji states that "the more u lose the more you mature" it just gave me chills cuz after seeing hana (which is the last part of the story, for now who knows what nisio wants to do) we realize how mature Araragi has become. To the point where he is still Araragi but you can tell there was a great deal of maturity (thx god his character is always there ie. lifting Ononoki's skirt). Also the ending with interactions with Teori and Araragi. Thats all i gotta say i know if i say more ppl will hate me for spoiling an essential part of the series and i will be exterminated from existence by hate messages. Without spoiling it lemme just say, you really gotta read into what he is actually saying. Cause there is a lot of meaning in it.
For being Ononoki's arc it did a decent job at progressing her character. With every arc we sense more growth with the characters at hand. You don't see Ononoki as just a doll anymore but more as a human, or monster. However you want to look at it. I was beginning to doubt her involvement in all of this because of how much screen time the fire sisters were getting. But the fire sisters were an important asset to this arc so it made sense.
Now the fan service. You truly can't have SHAFT directing something without giving u top notch fan service. THANK U SHAFT FOR MAKING THE FIRE SISTERS SO FUCKING BEAUTIFUL. I doubted fire sister lovers for the longest and giving no mind to them. But god damn. GOD DAMN. GOD DAAAAAAAAMN. (Beyonce flow).
Shinobu is great as always, seeing her cute face makes me wanna rip my cock off because i'd rather rub my non-existent genitalia on her pussy and make sweet lesbian love to her because no dick in this world is worthy of Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade's vagina.
Overall i would say this arc is one of the stronger arcs in the gatari series. And Nisio never fails to be soooo fucking anticlimactic with that ending. Its cute that we got to see Hitagi at the end. Moreover SHAFT really did do this arc justice. The music felt fresh, the art was amazing, the transition scenes changed from the traditional style but it fit this arc. Also, the backgrounds, honestly the most detailed and colorful backgrounds this series has gotten in a while. Im really glad they changed the vibe from hana but it just shows that hana was meant to look that way. It was a conclusion after all. I rated it a 9/10 on mal but honestly it deserves a 9.5 or higher. It didn't just match my hype like hana did but it actually exceeded my expectation. read more
After spending alot of time without touching the 'monogatari' suffix, I decided it was time to get my daily dose of insanity by watching Tsukimonogatari. It was kind of a good decision, I guess.
I'll start with the bad points.
Tuskimonogatari (and probably the entire franchise, if that's the right word) has a problem with keeping the viewer's attention, I've come to acknowledge. This is something I've talked to my friends about, and they all share the same problem that is getting lost in the middle of the dialogue only to rewind so they don't miss any important information. It is like this because the pace of the show (even though it hardly involves action and/or a very fluid animation) is very fast. The dialogues come in what I like to call "concrete walls", masses of words that never stop coming, and the screenplay is always showing interesting scenarios and viewpoints (for our pleasure or displeasure) that drags the attention away from the information. I think the execution could be alot more interesting if there were pauses between the dialogues.
And I am not mentioning this because I watch subtitled anime, but it certainly doesn't help.
This is a show that starts off without giving much time sense. It's easy for MAL users to understand when it was set by looking at the prequels and sequels, but as a layman it's difficult to situate yourself and acknowledge what has happened and what has not - that's something that also kept my attention off the dialogue while I was searching for clues.
Let’s talk about the first episode, now. It shares a common problem with Nisemonogatari with the pointless fanservice it delivers – one entire episode was gone just to get Araragi’s toe broken while the whole conflict could’ve been delivered with much less screentime and filler (like a tripping scene, for example). All of that so we could spend some time with Tsukihi, an overall bad character, to develop almost nothing. I also take points away for this anime not being a family show. Screw society, I wanna watch this with my friends and family.
I’m not even going to mention how confused I was by the last episode. Not all of it was confusing, but some of it. And hell, it was nothing to be proud about. The show speculated as heck.
I’ll start off with the good points by saying how unpredictable this show is. I think it’s Shaft’s specialty to mess up with people’s minds, and it delivers. Oh, it delivers.
It’s refreshing to get more screenplay on the solid and interesting characters of the series (like Shinobu and Yotsugi, even though the doll-girl is the protagonist here). We got to see a lot of story development and a little character development, something that was pretty lacking in the entire –monogatari series. I’d say Tsukimonogatari did a very good job at situating the entire story, similar as Second Season did, but better.
The art and animation are amazing, as always; I think the sound work could do one thing better. The music playing in the background serves its purpose to add a feeling to the atmosphere/scene, but it’s nothing amazing and the viewers could never recognize the songs if not while watching the show. At least, I couldn’t. It serves much more as an ambient sound for the scene than as a theme that could define the identity of the show.
It was a good installment, probably the best of all of them. And it was enjoyable. I’m looking forward to end this madness as soon as possible. read more
Much like with western entertainment, there are certain TV series and movies that stand out not just as promising installments of new or existing franchises, but also as popular events that a large portion of the community with wait in massive anticipation for. In the world of anime, the "events" that captures the most attention are new additions to the Monogatari series, an anime that began back in 2009 and is continuously pumping out sequels to this day. However, during the past year, the formula for how new entries into this franchise are premiered has changed drastically. Rather than being part of the regular seasonal lineup, new Monogatari arcs are now released in large chunks, with one entire story being contained in each of these chunk. So, does the newest entry into the Monogatari franchise live up to its household name?
Before diving into the actual story, I want to briefly give praise to Shinbo and Studio Shaft for finally recognizing a formula that works best for Monogatari, and that is giving us a single adaptation of one of the novels all at once. With a story as complicated and complex as Monogatari, pacing out each story over the course of four to six weeks felt incredibly prolonged and not very engaging because it practically requires a recap every time a new episode came out. However, by releasing it in feature length film-sized chunks, we can get the entire story all at once, making the loss of certain details over time less acute. This might sound like a very minor detail, but presentation is hugely important, especially with something as eclectic as Monogatari, though I can't say with zero reservations that I would be all for continuing this formula for the rest of the franchise, as it would also mean that the hype levels would fluctuate uncontrollably over the course of releases.
Getting back to the matter of Tsukimonogatari specifically, I wouldn't say that this is one of the worst stories to come from the franchise, but coming off the heels of Hanamonogatari last summer makes it feel a bit weak by comparison, though there wasn't anything necessarily wrong with the main story of this arc. My biggest problem, however, lies in the introduction. While I did very much enjoy the beginning scene that contained a prolonged philosophical discussion about the nature of life and "not" life, despite taking up the entire first five minutes of this four-episode series, my true problem lies in what happens once the story actually begins, as we are treated to nearly fifteen minutes of what I can only describe as a self-congratulatory revel in Monogatari-style fan service. To put it bluntly: Araragi is messing around with his sisters' naked bodies again. While I wouldn't say that it reaches "toothbrush" levels of perversion, it still reminded me of a lot of things that I didn't like about Nisemonogatari.
Once we get into the meat of the story, however, Tsuki immediately kicks it into high gear, and we spend the rest of the series enveloped in the "talking heads"-style intense discussions and schemes of Araragi and the other characters. This one isn't so much a character study like Hana was, but instead has more emphasis on the actual story, and the thrill of following Araragi and the others as they plan and debate over the most minute of details is just as thrilling as it was way back in Bakemonogatari.
While the characters don't necessarily take center stage for this arc, there's still quite a bit of interesting development that occurs. Araragi surprisingly ends up getting more development than he's gotten since Nekomonogatari, as we watch him struggle with the changes in his vampiric powers and how that's affecting him on both a strategic level and an emotional one. Yotsugi Ononoki also takes on the main character role once again, and while I initially didn't really see them being able to do much with a character that wasn't very interesting in the first place, she ends up being surprisingly compelling, both for herself and for Araragi, and discussions centered around her that focus on what constitutes true life and the difference between true and artificial life give this series its trademark introspective edge. As for new faces, there is one new character named Tadatsuru, and while I can't go in detail into how he plays into the plot due to spoilers, I will say that despite his short appearance on-screen, he ended up being rather fascinating. Finally, we have Ougi Oshino, whom the series has been continuously teasing us with since the beginning of Second Season, and while her appearance is rather brief this time, much like in Hana, she still manages to interject a new perspective into the discussions being had.
As always, the animation was produced by Shaft, and, to be honest, there's very little need for me to discuss the animation by this point, assuming that those of you still reading are up-to-date on the series. The massive contrasts in color, surreal CG that manages to fit rather well despite being very obviously CG, random "black screen" cuts, and as many head tilts and you can snap your neck at are all still present, though in terms of symbolism, I still think Hana, while still a bit on the blatant side, did a much better job with attempting to convey the overall message of the story.
There is still no dub for this series, and, once again, this series stands as one of the few that I think would be significantly hindered by a dub, simply because of how much talking there actually is.
The soundtrack seems to be firmly stuck in the hands of Kei Haneoka now, who took over for Satoru Kōsaki starting with Hana, and while I wouldn't say that the soundtrack has changed significantly from its usual eclectic nature, it did feel a bit more "traditional" and less overtly stylized. I can't really complain about any of the tracks specifically, and some of them were actually rather moving, but I would certainly hate to see the usual Monogatari style soundtrack disappear completely. The opening theme "Orange Mint" was performed by Saori Hayami (VA for Ononoki) and opens with a techno-inspired song with the usual Monogatari flair that puts it a step above the average, while the ending theme "border" by ClariS plays us out with their usual energized J-pop sound.
Overall, while I wouldn't say it's one of my favorite stories from the franchise so far, Tsukimonogatari is yet another welcome addition into the franchise, though to be honest everything I'm saying right now is rather pointless when you think about it. If you like Monogatari as much as I do, then you probably already finished watching this new story before I could even post this review, and if you don't like Monogatari, then this is certainly not going to change your mind because it really is just more of the same.read more
Aside from a character’s eyes and mouth, eyebrows also play an important part in the character design of an anime character. And sometimes these anime character's eyebrows are painted on pretty thick! Let’s take a look at some of these majestic eyebrows!
This article will count down the top 20 anime of 2014, as decided by the users on MAL. There are fan favorites, surprise snubs and even hidden gems. Feeling nostalgic? Get ready for a blast from the past... and yes, by past I mean last year.