A peculiar transfer student named Ougi Oshino has just arrived at Naoetsu Private High School. She is quickly introduced to senior student Koyomi Araragi by their mutual friend Kanbaru Suruga, in hopes of obtaining advice regarding a strange discovery she has made. After taking a look at the school's layout, Ougi notices that a classroom has appeared in an otherwise empty area—a place that should not exist.
Unsure if this is the work of an apparition, Araragi and Ougi attempt to unravel the truth behind this enigma. But Araragi soon discovers, after finding himself locked in with Ougi, that the room holds the memory of an event he had long since forgotten.
The Monogatari franchise has been a creative narrative with some of the most intriguing dialogues found in the light novel medium. Owarimonogatari isn’t so far different either as the series takes on three separate arcs that is molded into 1-cour adaptation of 12 episodes. Adapted by studio Shaft, which is well known for an avant-gante style of artwork, the series makes it bold return. And any fan of the Monogatari franchise should be excited because this latest work will leave some classic memories.
For storytelling, Owarimonogatari is divided into three parts. They are known as “Ougi Formula”, “Sodaichi Riddle”, and “Sodachi Lost”. All three parts draws
connections with each other that interconnects the story as a whole. Araragi is once again a centerpiece for the story. But that’s not all, there’s also the mysterious Ougi who plays a sort of lead character to guide others. The most pivotal moments of the season involves Ougi’s relationship and conversation with Araragi. Their interactions brings about a battle of emotions and bizarre mystery from two years ago. Ougi Formula covers Araragi’s growth as a character and how he uses his experiences to solve problems. What I also find interesting for the episodes of this arc is the clever geometric usage of the artwork style. Add a bit of mathematics and you’ll feel like it’s back to school.
Sodaichi Riddle takes on a different approach, one that’s more based on personal problems and also pits Araragi with his former classmate, Oikura. The interesting parts about these episodes is the amount of emotional expression. Oikura’s hatred for Araragi is explained based on her past background story that has connections with him. Tsubasa Hanekawa also gets involved that pits her in a unique angle between herself, Araragi, and Ougi. Speaking of which, Ougi’s presence in the show is still the most mysterious. It’s hard to trust or know what her true intentions are. However, her role in the arc is meaningful as she guides Araragi to the truth. Yet at the same time, Ougi’s actions seems to also suggest that she is attacking Araragi’s insecurities. Hanekawa’s role in this arc seems to stand for as an antithesis of Oikura’s character, especially in family values. What the arc ultimately brings is an iconic buildup and execution in Monogatari fashion at its finest.
Sodachi Lost, the final part of the season, brings together the reunion of some of the characters from the Monogatari franchise that fans are well aware of. These include Shinobu, Gaen, Kanbaru, and even Ononoki will feel like a refreshing sight. The arc also introduces some other mysterious supernatural beings that while seems gimmicky can also be unique. Their role in the arc is also very important that makes the story compelling. For fans who are familiar with Bakemonogatari, it will even feel somewhat nostalgic with the strange apparitions that makes their appearances. Do be aware that the timeline and info dumping of this arc can feel confusing at times so it’s better to rewatch some scenes carefully. However, the reward is the distinctive amount of word plays with Shaft’s clever adaptation. Furthermore, there’s some attractive references and facial expressions coming from Araragi. Kanbaru’s role as a comic foil is also fun to watch especially with some of her suggestive innuendo jokes.
That being said, Owarimonogatari is a unique show but definitely not something everyone can get used to. For any new fans, watching this show will feel confusing even with knowledge of the previous seasons. The most enjoyable way I find to watch this season is getting a feeling of attachment with the characters. In particular, Ougi is the most mysterious of the cast and it’s intriguing just to anticipate what she will do next. Her unpredictable behavior will often get viewers thinking what her true intentions are. Araragi’s interactions with the others will show more of his character on a more personal level. Add a bit of comedy and this will feel quite like an unorthodox adventure in Monogatari style. On the other hand, the season does omit some parts of the novel. Not every adaptation can be focus on a panel-by-panel level after all.
As with most Monogatari series, Shaft once again proves that it’s capable of delivering its clever artwork. There are many word plays that works well in conjunction with the dialogues. There is also three different OP theme songs for each of the different arcs that is quite artistic with the style it delivers. Most often, I find a lot of the scenes for this season to be fun to look at whether they are for plot development, comedy, and references. The show appears to be self-aware of its own traits and have fun with itself. Just be aware that there is an abundance amount of sex jokes and suggestive references as some fans may find it uncomfortable to watch at times. In addition, character designs are also fairly unique. Ougi’s black hollow eyes and ambiguous gender is one of the most bizarre character designs I’ve seen. Not to mention, her pendulum-like body movements reinforces her mysterious presence and role overall for the season. Swinging back, swinging forth…
Soundtrack is also a unique feature that I think not too many people notice often. But when examining it more carefully, it’s iconic. The eerie mood of the season in all three arcs can only work with the dynamics of the OST. And to be quite honest, it fits very well. Furthermore, the character voices matches in credibility with the personalities of everyone this season. Again, I have to emphasize that Ougi’s voice is the most mysterious. Kaori Mizuhashi’s performance with her character is to be praised as she is able to step into the shoes of such a character. Finally, the ED theme song has a nice eerie rhythm with its thrilling cinematics.
Owarimonogatari is a fairly unique show for its ability to convince viewers to watch and read at the same time to appreciate the story. By reading, I mean it more like trying to understand what the characters’ roles, dialogues, and word plays mean. It may feel like a brain fart at times but also fairly entertaining to comprehend the story’s intentions. The emotional expressions and character interactions will be what seasoned fans will expect – dynamic and one that continues with a thrilling resurgence with its trend. It’s twisty that’s filled with mysteries and moments that will tear the house down.
In the heat of all the millions of One Punch Man reviews, I've decided to take on the task of reviewing this series onto myself. This will be quick and spoiler free, yay!
Oh Monogatari, a strange one you certainly are. The way I see it is that there are 2 types of reviews for this series - the people praising it for being a complete masterpiece of the modern age with no flaws what so ever and the people that hate it for... what again? Oh that's right, it's "devoid of a functioning storyline and character development" as pointed out by some pleb on this
website. Now, I respect your opinion and everything but.. you're wrong.
What's so special about this series is how it handles exactly that. It doesn't follow a strict route in storytelling, it just kinda does whatever the hell it wants. Apart from the occasional obnoxious panty shots I think the story is very unique and engaging for the most part. As for the characters - you've got our protagonist who while being a borderline lolicon also happens to be a vampire, a sadistic tsundere with a daddy complex, a cat girl, etc. Point is that if not on the most complex side of things (also arguable), the cast is one of the most entertaining I have ever seen. The story combined with these characters and breaking the 4th wall humor makes this show what it is. However while I do praise it, the fact still remains that the Monogatari series is an overrated one.
Pretty edgy, huh? Anyway, Owarimonogatari is the final installment of the Final Season and it focuses on the mysterious transfer student, Ougi Oshino, who is seemingly Oshino Meme's niece. Ougi has appeared through various arcs of the series but never really got over an episode of screen time as far as I can remember. Something interesting as well is that Kanbaru referred to Ougi as a guy, what gives? So yeah, not knowing a characters gender is pretty mysterious to me. Owarimonogatari is divided into 2 arcs or 3 parts - Sodachi Riddle / Sodachi Lost and Shinobu Time.
The first arc is very mystery driven. It starts off with Araragi and Ougi getting trapped in a classroom. Pretty plain and simple, right? Turns out that a pretty big event took place in that classroom a couple of years ago. Soon after we get introduced to Araragi's former classmate who seems to hold some kind of grudge against him. To be honest, I thought I was going to hate this character. While I still somewhat do it turns out that she is a lot more complex than I originally imagined. What is her story and how is she related to Arararagi apart from being his classmate? That's pretty much all that can be said without spoiling. There also happens to be a pretty cool random James Bond reference thrown in there because why not.
Surprisingly enough, even though the 2nd arc is called "Shinobu time" there is no Shinobu to speak off for the first 2-3 episodes. No worries though, the show does compensate. We start off with Araragi meeting up with Kanbaru in the middle of the night in the abandoned school. The possibilities of that scenario are endless but sadly Koyomin is just acting on orders of Gaen, as we knew she wanted to meet with Kanbaru. All of a sudden a strange samurai appears. After seemingly defeating him they realize that it was just an empty suit of armor. The building is then lit on fire but they are saved by Yotsugi. Saying anything else would be getting into spoiler territory so let's avoid that.
Kanbaru has also gained quite a lot of best girl points from this arc. Every moment with her is just pure gold, she may provide the best fanservice in the entire series actually. "Eat up!" All that was needed was more of Senjougahara and/or Kaiki-chan but I'll let it slide this time.
The production value is top notch as to be expected from Shaft. The entire Soundtrack is filled with variations of music that work perfectly as the series changes tone and the voice acting is great as always. It might just be me but I feel like this is the peak of the Monogatari series in terms of animation. Everything just looks so smooth and nice to look at. Probably just me though, amazing nonetheless.
So all in all, Owarimonogatari follows the same general formula as all of the other series, filled with witty dialogue, amplified by all the shaft shafting. Should you watch Owarimonogatari? Probably, just keep in mind that it's not as good as Bake or Second Season and that the 2nd arc is inferior to the first. 6.5, best of the season.
The final season for the Monogatari series...I never thought I'd reach this point. This obviously isn't the final show for the series. There's still the 2nd cour for Owarimonogatari, a bunch of Koyomi arcs and Kizumonogatari.
(There will be SPOILERS in my review)
[Story]: (9/10) (SPOILERS)
Owarimonogatari is a sequel to Tsukimonogatari but it does not take place after Tsuki. The first 3 arcs chronologically takes place after Onimonogatari and Nekomonogatari: Shiro and the last arc chronologically takes place immediately after Onimonogatari. The show features Ougi Oshino, an underclassman introduced to Araragi by Kanbaru Suruga.
I thought Second Season was going to be the only Monogatari series
that's better than Bakemonogatari. I mean, out of 6 Monogatari that was released, only 1 was able to beat Bake and that's Second Season. After finishing Owarimonogatari, it's safe to say that there are now 2 Monogatari that is better than Bakemonogatari and that's Second Season and Owarimonogatari. I'm going to explain as you read through the review.
The series is divided into 4 arcs...These arcs are called "Ougi Formula", "Sodachi Riddle", "Sodachi Lost", and "Shinobu Mail. I guess you can count Sodachi Riddle and Sodachi Lost as one arc because these 2 arcs revolve around the same character except both arcs have 2 different mysteries. Just do whatever feels best for you. In this review, however, I'm going to count the 2nd and 3rd arc as one whole 2nd arc.
Now this is where the spoiler comes in. In fact, at this point, it's going to be filled with heavy spoilers as I'm going to review each arc. Just like I did with Second Season.
The first arc is "Ougi Formula". Technically, this arc lasted for 2 episodes but this was a one hour episode. So..what's in this arc? Basically, Ougi and Koyomi are trapped in a classroom and they start thinking of how to get out of the classroom. Is that it? No, that's just a simple summary. In fact, this is the first arc in the whole series that doesn't deal with any aberrations. In other words, this arc is like one of those mystery novels. A mystery that's got something to do with one of Koyomi's past. The dialogue scenes in this arc are really engaging. This is why I love mystery, it forces me to ask questions about this and that and Ougi Formula also did the same thing for me. I was asking questions such as the relationship between Koyomi and Sodachi, who actually stole the test answer sheet, and et cetera. The mystery of this arc was well thought out. It was actually almost similar to Hyouka's mysteries with an added Nisio Isin flair in it and the answer to the whole mystery was pretty unpredictable. I mean, first second you thought you figured out the answer, the next second, they throw more information at you that invalidates your previous answer.
Next up is Sodachi Riddle/Lost arc. Just like the first arc, this was also a huge "mystery" arc that doesn't have to do with any aberrations. The first half of the arc (Sodachi Riddle) basically expands the first arc and starts to ask more questions like "who is Sodachi" and "why does Sodachi hate Koyomi like he murdered her family?". This arc also visits Koyomi's past and explains why he is the way he is right now. The second half of the arc explores Sodachi and her parents and what actually happened to her mom.
I honestly DO NOT GET why some people hate this arc. Please give me reasons..One of the reasons why I love this arc is it's something different from your usual "girl's abberation problem" arcs that you've seen countless times in previous Monogatari series. Another reason is I'm a big fan of mystery. The way the mystery is handled in this arc is just absolutely amazing.
Let me give you a few mysteries that was from the Sodachi Riddle arc. Why did Sodachi begin teaching Koyomi "Math"? Why did Sodachi specifically choose Koyomi and invited him into her house? Why does Sodachi hate Koyomi's guts?. You think you know the answer? Wrong, you don't (Unless you've seen the show). The answers to these mysteries are not as straightforward as you think they are. The mysteries are so well-thought out that figuring out the answer to said mystery is complicated as hell unless you hear the character's backstory. Even their backstory might not be enough, unless you're a smartass.
Lastly, the "Shinobu Mail" arc. Unlike the first 2 arcs, this arc is all about "aberrations" again. It's not a new "aberration" though. This arc just expands and wraps up on the story Shinobu told to Araragi in "Shinobu Time" arc. The arc took place during (or slightly before) the events of the Tsubasa Tiger arc so they finally showed us where Araragi came from before jumping in to save Tsubasa. Anyways, you remember that first minion that Shinobu was talking about right? You better because he makes a return for this arc. The reason why he returned is actually rather kind of sweet...I think. At first, I thought he had some kind of diabolical plan but turns out, he just wants his sword back and wants to apologize to Shinobu for what he did 400 years ago. There's a bunch of reasons why I love this arc so much. Firstly, the Araragi and Kanbaru pairing and no I'm not talking about pairing as in love pairing. It's just like the previous Monogatari series where Araragi and X female character pairs up together to solve a mystery/problem. I love their pairing because it creates tons of hilarious moments. Half of it being perverted. Secondly, I just love the character dynamics between Araragi and Shinobu. If you see these 2 characters together, it creates a ton of best moments. Third and lastly, obviously is the character development for Shinobu and Kanbaru. The only downside to this arc is it felt a bit underwhelming. The dialogue scenes aren't really on par with the Second Season. However, I'm not saying that the dialogue scenes were bad. They were pretty good actually.
Putting the story aside, I now want to talk about the show's 3 points. Fanservice, the Pacing, and the dialogue scenes. Firstly, the amount of fanservice scenes in Owarimonogatari is almost the same as Second Season. In other words, there's a not a lot..Thank.God!. Secondly, the pacing of the show is great. For a 12 episode anime, they managed to have the same pacing as Second Season which I found to be almost perfect. They didn't go too fast like Bake nor did it go too slow like Hana. Third and lastly is, of course, the dialogue scenes. It's back which is not a surprise. The dialogue scenes for the first 3 arcs are great and like I said above, the dialogue scenes for the final arc is a bit underwhelming but it's still pretty good.
The visuals and animation of Owarimonogatari looks great..I mean, if you've already seen Tsukimonogatari then you shouldn't have any problems with the animation as the 2 shows have the exact same animation. The character designs looks great too, especially the way Ougi is designed. To this day, I'm still wondering why her eyes looks different than the rest of the characters.
Ever since Tsukimonogatari, the flashing text that appears randomly on the show has been different. Owari is no different. The way they designed the flashing text resembles the character's arc. For example, the flashing text in Sodachi's arc has a bunch of drawings on the background that resembles math and algebra.
Honestly, I was quite disappointed with most of the show's OP theme song. Before I get into that, I want to get into the soundtrack of the show. Just like the previous Monogatari shows, a background theme would play every time a dialogue scene plays out. So did Owari's background theme impress me? Of course, it did. It just made the already-engaging dialogue scenes more engaging. Now the OP and ED theme songs.
The OP theme songs are "Decent black" by Ougi Oshino, "mathematics" by Sodachi Oikura and "mein schatz" by Ryuichi Takada. The ED theme song is "Sayonara no Yukue" by Alisa Takigawa. I'm going to have to be brutally honest here..the 2nd and 3rd OP theme song sucks. Sodachi's VA is a crappy singer and I still have no idea what's the deal with Shinobu's VA not being able to sing in an opening. The only great OP theme song for Owari is the first one and it only played for 1 episode. I gotta say though, SHAFT put in a lot of effort on the 1st OP theme song even though it's only for 1 episode. The ED theme song sounds pretty decent but the Second Seasons' ED theme song is still better.
Maybe this is just me but I didn't like Sodachi's VA that much. It's not that she's bad or anything..Her voice just doesn't fit. She sounds like a 35-40 year old girl. If her voice was a bit lighter then it would have fit. Ougi's VA, on the other hand, is f*cking amazing. She has that voice that makes her a more mysterious person than she already is. That's all the VA's I'm going to review.
[Characters]: (9.5/10) (SPOILERS)
If you were expecting characters like Senjougahara, Koyomi's sister or even Kaiki then don't. Senjougahara barely gets any screentime and the last 3 characters I mentioned did not make an appearance at all. I guess it's only fair. They already got enough screentime in previous Monogatari shows. There were some major characters that made an appearance like Hanekawa (Sodachi Lost), Kanbaru and Yotsugi (Shinobu Mail). I now want to focus on characters such as Ougi Oshino and Sodachi Oikura. I'll also also get on other characters if I can but I'm going to have to write it shortly.
After making many mysterious appearances in previous Monogatari shows, Ougi finally gets her own arc here in Owari and obviously, some background about her and who she really is. In short, she is a transfer student and is introduced to Araragi Koyomi by Kanbaru Suruga. Even after getting her own arc and being a major character in Sodachi Riddle arc, she's still the most mysterious and the most creepiest character in the Monogatari series. I mean, why does her eyes look so dead? Just try looking at her eyes for an hour and see if you don't get any nightmares. What's more mysterious about her is the fact that she's as smart as Sherlock Holmes. She's the one who solved the mystery in "Ougi Formula" and "Sodachi Riddle/Lost" arc. She even provides concrete evidence to support her conclusion. I really want to know which part of the Oshino family gave her that trait because Oshino Meme is a bum and not a smart-ass.
Now that's out of the way, I'm now going to talk about Sodachi Oikura. Sodachi is a new character introduced in Owari. Unlike most of Araragi's harem *cough I mean, the girls having an aberration status, Sodachi doesn't have one. The show instead uses Sodachi not only to build her character but to develop Araragi's character as well. Turns out, Sodachi had a terrible childhood past. Calling it "terrible" would be an understatement. "Horrific" is probably the word I'm looking for. Anyways, Sodachi didn't have a great childhood. She had terrible parents, her mother died in a locked room without her knowing (she probably knew) and what's worse is Araragi forgot the reason why he is what he is today. Basically, Sodachi is the reason why Araragi has loads of friends and why he is great at math.
Last characters that I want to talk about are Hanekawa and Kanbaru. Hanekawa got a fair amount of screentime in Sodachi Lost arc. Instead of Ougi helping out in this arc, Hanekawa helped Araragi out. I will leave the interpretations to you on why Hanekawa helped Araragi out and not Ougi. Kanbara also got a fair amount of screentime in Shinobu Time arc. Kanbaru really surprised me in this arc and might have became one of my new favorite characters in the Monogatari series. If you've seen Episode 11 then you know what I'm talking about. That's right, the conversation between Kanbaru and Shinobu. Kanbaru just put Shinobu to shame with their argument.
I didn't really enjoy Owari as much as Second Season but I definitely enjoyed the show way more than Bakemonogatari. If "Shinobu Mail" was as great as the Second Season's arc then I would have enjoyed Owari as much as Second Season.
"Owarimonogatari" is a great addition to the Monogatari series. Owari is definitely on par with the Second Season in terms of great character arcs, pacing, and the characters and Owari is a lot better than Bakemonogatari; making Owari the 2nd best Monogatari series just under Second Season. The only issue I found in Owari is the "Shinobu Mail" arc which felt a bit underwhelming compared to Second Season. It's still a great arc though.
+Dialogue scenes are as engaging as ever
+Outstanding and Unique Animation
+Soundtrack was not heavily changed
+Main heroines of all arcs are fleshed out and developed
+Second Season's near-perfect pacing returns
+Fanservice reduced significantly
-2 out of 3 OP theme songs are terrible
-"Shinobu Mail" felt a bit underwhelming compared to Second Season
To start with the good news, Owarimonogatari is a breath of fresh air in this rather stale year in animes. The bad news? While its second half provides hints of what was the aftermath of Kizumonogatari film to be aired next year, it is one of the worse arcs in the Monogatari universe.
Story and Character: 6/10
The Sodachi Lost Arc is an oddball even by Monogatari standards. It started with solving the supernatural right away then proceeded with detailed explanation behind the titular character in the arc. The pacing is slower than normal albeit more even which gave enough time to layout the foundation of this
fantastic case and the characters to develop well. For the plot, it is straightforward this time and avoided some irritating Monogatari quirks that marred the show.
Every character was utilized to the extent that removing one of them leads to the series' failure. Sodachi, in particular, stood out given her neurotic nature and her background which justifies why she hates Araragi. Ougi, on the other hand, is still an enigma to the viewer but is not as abrasive during her presence in Shinobu Time so she gets a pass. The arc also gets a big plus because Araragi is not portrayed as your typical loli-loving pedophile but as a person who is trying to resolve some issues in the past and is trying to find the missing part of him which he repressed in his memories. Moreover, the Sodachi Lost Arc explained as to why Araragi was like what we saw through the course of Monogatari series.
In that sense, the first half of Owarimonogatari could be viewed as a coming of age story because Araragi and Sodachi managed to settle everything between them. As for Araragi, he finally reconciled with Sodachi. As for the latter, she is now able to move on because she found what she hoped to look for. (Spoiler: It's not romantic in nature)
The end product is a compelling and emotional piece that is reminiscent of what Monogatari can offer in its prime.
The second half? Not so much. The disappointment could be from the unrealistic expectation Owarimonogatari brought but it is no doubt that this arc is one of the subpar ones in the series. The majority of Shinobu Mail did what your typical bad Monogatari episode does: there was too much talking that did not move the plot.
The bad omen began when this particular arc opened with Araragi and Kanbaru had their banter which was seen too many times in the series that the jokes grew old. Gaen talks too much to the extent that her ramble took half of an episode with much of the details flying to the viewer's heads. The comedy in Shinobu Time didn't help either. This is because we already saw those jokes and there are certain points in the series where you have to really know Japanese to appreciate some of their gags.
Which was a shame, because the premise of this arc could be the more nuanced than the first arc. We have Shinobu and her first minion showed again after being supposedly dead for 400 years. How cool was that? Instead, we get an unnecessary slow arc with Gaen side trips and loli-tripping that took four episodes to be good. The output is just as emotional as in Sodachi Lost Arc but the way this arc was executed was really questionable.
Again, Shaft is still excellent in providing the right music for a Monogatari show. It knows how to employ OSTs with fast beats when the characters try to come up with something and strings when things go dramatic. The soundtrack helped both arcs in reaching the emotional impact the studio wants. The OPs and the EDs are also strong in this one which is typical for the Monogatari series.
Now that's where this series excelled. While it may not be able to beat One Punch Man visually, it succeeded in entertaining its audience by its visual quirks. Keeping an audience awake over the span of 24 minutes is a tall task if the characters are just talking for most of the time. Shaft pulled every trick from its sleeve that ranged from visually fun (Araragi and Kanbaru's BL-centric banters) to entirely neurotic (Araragi's class search for the culprit).
Enjoyment: 6/10 (8/10 for Sodachi Lost Case and 4/10 for Shinobu Mail)
Owarimonogatari still stands as one of the best shows in 2015 due to the lack of competition. However, if the second arc is the indication of what will happen in Kizumonogatari, it's getting real hard to be excited for the next Monogatari series.
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