Shaft continues to adapt the best Monogatari story extremely well. I'm giving it a perfect ten out of ten, but it does have a problem: the way it was presented. Kizu should never have been split into three parts. It just doesn't work, for reasons I'll discuss below. But that's Aniplex's problem, not Kizu's. So I don't count that against this movie.
The animation continues to be amazing. There's no single moment as glorious as the "Araragi on fire" scene from the first movie, but a great many scenes look very neat. Additionally, the voice acting and soundtrack continue to be
on-point - which is no surprise. These VAs have proven themselves countless times over the course of this series. I shouldn't even have to tell you this.
The direction is noticeably good, especially in the comedy department. The comedic timing, the visual metaphors, the sound effects, and so on enhance the humor of each scene. Additionally, the fights are very well-choreographed. It's easy to tell where each character is at any given time (unless you're not supposed to), and the developments in each fight are believable.
The story here is geared heavily toward developing Araragi as a character and showing how special he and Kissshot are compared to other vampires. The "intensity as a human" theme in particular receives very heavy focus, with the story developments constantly encouraging the viewer to evaluate Araragi's "intensity as a human," in both a literal and figurative sense. Dramaturgy, Episode, and Guillotinecutter exist mainly as devices to illustrate how strong the iron-blooded, hot-blooded, and cold-blooded vampire really is - this is made clear immediately with the reasoning under which the Dramaturgy fight ends. As Araragi grows more accustomed to using his vampire powers, we learn more and more how strong Kissshot was, which leads us to think about how she got into her current predicament and what values she holds. Of course, the main focus of the character development is on Araragi and Hanekawa, and they get it in spades. I really shouldn't even have to talk about this.
Additionally, Kissshot gains the body of a teenager in this movie, so Shaft is now allowed to sexualize her. We get a nude shot, we get some thigh shots, and we even get some butt shots. Strangely, though, this is actually overshadowed by the Araragi fan service. The guy's a hunk! No wonder Hanekawa got so flustered when he took off his shirt.
Nekketsu gives us the action scenes that were promised in the first movie and provides nice set-up for the third movie, where the careful character development we've seen in our vampires will reach its climax. However, this begs the question: why did this have to be split into three movies? Other people have said this before, but Kizu is a very textbook three-act story. And a movie needs to have more than one act in it to be interesting - with only one act per movie, the tone is more or less the same throughout each one, until the next movie comes out and it changes. The Kizu movies are more suited to the binge-watcher than the theatergoer: it's much better to see all three in one sitting, with maybe short intermissions between each act.
In short, here's what I'm saying: watch this movie, but not yet. Wait until Reiketsu is in theaters near you. Watch Tekketsu, then watch this, and then go to the theater and watch Reiketsu. It's best to have the entire story fresh in your mind as you watch each one. And if Reiketsu doesn't come to theaters near you... well, at least watch this one right after Tekketsu, since it'll probably be hard to wait for the Reiketsu BDs.
So here I am with another review of an hour-long episode that I paid fifteen bucks to see. And once again, I happened to see another anime movie that same day for half the price (Miss Hokusai), and yet was structured way more like a movie than how Shaft has been handling this "totally not worth the wait" prequel, which still baffles me. I know Japan has a different culture to the West, but I'll never understand what it is they love about airing anime episodes in theatres and expecting their audience to pay full price for them. Was this how it was like to
experience the big screen when the Looney Tunes were popular? I bet if I somehow time-travelled to that period, I'd be calling all of you guys paying ten bucks to see Daffy get blown up for six minutes a bunch of crazy fucks.
But enough about the price. Let's talk about whether Kizumonogatari actually lived up to its promise this time with its second installment. In case you've forgotten, the first part of this serial movie release had Shinobu get turned into a little girl for reasons that I can't be assed to explain the biology of, and Araragi must use his newly acquired vampire powers to defeat a group of supernatural individuals "shonen tournament"-style in order to get the body parts our Heart-Angel-Blade needs to swallow in order to go from "you masturbate to her and you'll get arrested" to "you masturbate to her and you'll get humiliated". Thanks to his newly acquired vampire body, Araragi is basically a non-shining version of a Twilight vampire with his toned body and fighting skills, along with the usual regenerative powers, so of course the movie will exploit the shit out of it with over-the-top fight scenes, Araragi bleeding like a geyser in order to showcase how dangerous his opponents are, and making fangirls squee harder than when Sora in Kingdom Hearts II sung "Under the Sea". This is what all those years of production were for, fanboys. Pure fanservice that I seem to recall Madhouse accomplishing with a far less time-consuming schedule back when attaching their name to an anime actually meant something.
Hanekawa also shows up for no reason other than fanservice. No seriously, that's it. Her cat powers don't seem to exist as of yet and she contributes nothing to the plot but overlong "comedic" banter without the humor and giving Araragi a motive to fight harder, because apparently his loli-fetish for a vampire who doesn't wear underwear is not the best choice for drawing out his true inner strength. She also has this weird habit of just teleporting to where Araragi is at the most plot-convenient moment, just in time to get her guts ripped out or to discover that the only teenage boy that seems to exist in this world is going to be young and hot forever. And because nobody seems to exist in the Monogatari universe but the main characters, it's really distracting how much this movie doesn't bother to clarify why she'd be wandering around these battle arenas in the first place, especially given how these fight scenes always take place in the middle of the night. Is her favorite grocery store in the area? Is her internal clock set in Western Hemisphere time? What?
I'm having a really hard time describing the plot to this thing because it's not really up to much. There's not really more to the movie than Araragi fighting vampires (and a vampire hunter), getting closer to Hanekawa, and that cliched "you risk becoming a monster with these powers" narrative with no original ideas whatsoever. Exactly how am I supposed to write a few paragraphs about your story when that's all you're giving me? Describe the fight scenes? I guess I could say that I liked how Araragi won some of them due to tactical planning rather than Dragonball Z-logic, although the overblown emotional nature of the second and third fights was pretty silly, and the comedic nature in the beginning of the first fight was fucking dumb. And because the camera is constantly swinging, it's hard to appreciate any existing choreography that might have snuck in amidst all the power level clashes, although to be fair, I recall the camera being more calm during those scenes than the talking ones.
As for the animation style, what do you want me to say? Nothing has changed from the last Kizumonogatari or any of the other ten Monogatari iterations aside from a little more blood and a little less fire. Nekketsu-hen does increase the amount of humor, so of course that means an increase in the amount of annoying sound effects and stupid reaction faces that would only be funny to twelve year olds who think it's appropriate to make fun of a woman's vagina whilst calling attention to the fact that you're making fun of it as a free pass. Every time Hanekawa banters with Araragi regarding his perverted tendencies and the amazing appeal of the panty she may or may not be wearing, I wanted to reach into the screen and beat both of them up with each other's faces for wasting about half the movie's runtime on something that in any sane universe would be considered "filler", but in the Nisio Isin universe is considered "solid gold".
Please explain to me the appeal of two characters purposefully making bad jokes and calling attention to the fact that said jokes are bad for long stretches of something that's only an hour long. If I was watching Danganronpa, said jokes would be accompanied by someone getting murdered or going through a villainous breakdown in order to keep the energy going. Monogatari though seems to have that stupid mindset that characterization for its own sake is engaging, and self-aware humor where you just do something stupid and point out that said thing is stupid was funny when Mike Myers did it. And that's what's always annoyed me about this series' usage of irony: it doesn't go far enough or attach that irony to something with momentum. Every time characters converse, the plot basically grinds to a halt in order for the actors to banter with each other like a deleted scene that somehow made it into the final cut. Also, someone please tell me the appeal of sexual harassment as humor. What the fuck is the punchline of those sorts of jokes anyways?
Finally, there are the new characters, who I honestly don't remember a thing about because they have no characterization other than being antagonistic and not above playing dirty to get what they want. Honestly, I can't even remember what they look like or what their names are. They don't have any good chemistry with Araragi, making them very pointless villains that makes Doc Ock's relationship with Spiderman look like something from DC comics, and they're never mentioned again after they're defeated, so Araragi might as well have been fighting moving gargoyle statues. It occurs to me that if you had cut out Hanekawa's very existence from this movie and given all that screen time to Araragi and his vampire opponents bantering it up instead, at least it would have given the action more meaning, even if risks falling into that other DBZ trademark of drawn-out anime action by doing so. But then again, Nisio Isin just doesn't seem to like the concept of male-on-male conversations. Why else would Oshino leave the story right the first series?
All in all, Nekketsu-hen just gets a big meh from me. I don't care for the animation because it's the same Shaft-style it's always been except of higher technical quality, but lacking in strong visual metaphors deserving of said quality, and full of so many quick cuts, annoying reaction faces, and title cards that I'm surprised I came out of the theater without a seizure. The story actually goes somewhere in this part so it's not as torturously boring as last time, but anyone who thinks that Araragi sacrificing his humanity to protect those he loves is an engaging tale obviously does not watch monster movies. Not to mention, since this is a prequel, we know he and everyone else are going to make it out okay, so there's no real tension to anything that happens to the established cast unless you were curious regarding whether Hanekawa actually got through the whole ordeal with her virginity intact.
At the end of the day, I just don't understand why this prequel needed to exist. All it does is show us stuff that we already knew happened, except being shown to us visually. And there's nothing being conveyed to us through these visuals that's new and refreshing unless you count another stupid usage of the music from 2001: A Space Odyssey new and refreshing. It's basically what's inevitably going to happen with that new Star Wars movie focused on the spies who stole the Death Star plans, and if there's anything worse than getting compared to the prequel trilogy, it's getting compared to Disney's brand of mediocre nostalgia cash-ins.
Kizumonogatari really goes out of its way to look and feel different, doing so in a fashion so gratuitous yet overwhelmingly desirable that I can’t help but want more. Starting with the setting itself, Nekketsu follows up on Part 1 with its continued use of a 3D rendered setting. Normally you might expect the combination of 2D and 3D to not work out well, with either the characters or the environment feeling out of totally out of place. In this however, it’s an awe-inspiring mixture of extravagant animation and the skillful mimicking of live-action cinematography. Kizumonogatari makes use of this combination in
ways that you wouldn’t expect to actually look good, utilizing tilts and pans which you might assume would make the 2D character models appear even more flat, and instead creates shots that are much more compelling and intense.
The attention to detail in the 3D setting is most likely the greatest contributor to actually making the computer generated images “work” (although the quick and precise camera work has a large part to play as well). Specifically, the lighting, shadowing, and reflections all have a major role to play in making the world of the film look ideal, and in a lot of ways, real. Light and shadow are critical in creating believably 3-Dimensional objects, but to create a truly realistic setting you mustn’t neglect the many reflective surfaces of everyday life. Kizumonogatari doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the details, and it exhibits a complete and utter mastery that surpasses any and all reasonable expectations. All that, paired with grandiose architecture and scenery that the monogatari series is known for, this film manages jaw-dropping scenes of an impressive variety ranging from the fabulously intense to the astonishingly serene.
Moving on to a focus on the characters, as well as a focus on the camera’s focus of the characters, it’s utterly delightful how much expression is delivered through the close-ups of this film. Though predominantly Araragi and Hanekawa, almost all of the characters make complete use of their close-up time in conveying emotions. Their facial expressions exemplify so much of what they’re feeling at any given moment; it’s remarkable just how excruciatingly painful things look when just given the facial expressions of Araragi, or how imposingly malevolent Episode seems to be in the heat of battle. And outside of the fights, feelings of reluctant embarrassment and cheeky skepticism come off just as strong.
Another signature of the monogatari series, the editing of this film is just as sharp, agile, and wildly hilarious as you’d expect it to be. On a personal note, one of the things I love most about the series is how it’s able to inject comedy into any situation, going much farther than you’d think is possible without overstepping the boundary of where it becomes hokey and depreciative. Kizumonogatari amplifies this even further, making some gags hit especially hard with jump cuts and non-diegetic imagery. The whimsical and avant-garde nature of the film makes it so much more than just a viewing experience. It’s as if the movie itself is playing with its audience and going the extra mile to make sure we’re all having a fun time.
But as wonderful as it was, this film was not perfect. I mean, I’ll give it a 10 anyway because I’m a biased SHAFT fanboy and numbers are pretty meaningless to me anyway, but I do have a few gripes that somewhat relate to the consistencies between the novel and the movie. I normally don’t like comparing a movie to the books they’re based off of, because adaptations are not inherently meant to precisely embody its source material, and making judgements based on how it didn’t live up to the base that exists in a different storytelling medium is usually pretty unjust. That all being said, I thought the villains in the film lacked a lot of dialogue and consequentially a lot of character. In the book, they’re given plenty of lines, and Episode’s even given a catch phrase. However, in the film’s interpretation, they’re just obstacles to be overcome. Having villains with depth is obviously preferable in most instances, at least for me, because that essentially raises the stakes. Understanding motivations for the hero is one thing, but being able to see the point of view of the antagonist, and being able to relate to them on some level, can be much more thought-provoking.
Other than the villains not being compelling characters however, I’d say this film was an absolutely marvelous experience. Kizumonogatari: Nekketsu knows how to experiment and perfect almost every single aspect of itself, presenting its unique mastery of visual design, cunning cinematography, and brilliantly whimsical editing, to far exceed our necessary requirements of captivation. And I haven’t even addressed the musical score, which is full of fantastic jazz renditions that really add to the whole “film noir” motif that the movie also has going for it. While it does suck that film was arbitrarily cut into three parts, it’s still incredibly satisfying to witness an hour of this extraordinary piece of art.
Kizumonogatari is back once again but this time on the form of Nekketsu-hen or "Hot Blood" meant to showcased different aspects of Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade, the Iron Blooded, Hot Blooded yet Cold Blooded Vampire. It brings us the meat of the "Wound Tale" novel as it is called by "Vertical-Inc" , "Hot Blood" maybe I should say it is the backbone that leads us straight into the climax that is yet to approach us on the upcoming January 6th of 2017 for Reiketsu-hen or "Cold Blood". However did SHAFT managed the middle installment we've all been waiting for since February masterfully as they
handled Tekketsu-hen where we left off.
We are brought into Nekketsu-hen with Dramaturgy and Araragi right off the bat as they prepare to fight for one of the limbs of Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade as she finds her self currently in a child form. from there on we are once again rewind on a similar fashion to Tekketsu-hen leaving us with Araragi Koyomi reading books regarding fights and/or sports books as he gathers ideas to fight Dramaturgy.
Kizumonogatari Nekketsu-hen Adapts Chapter 007 - Chapter 013, Pages 101 - 220. there is some shaving here and there once again removing the inner dialogues and replaced with body language and some symbolism however not as rich as it was present as Tekketsu-hen. As this installment is a little more confrontative and addresses the issue of the characters not demonstrating their thoughts on a confrontational manner letting them rip across the screen for the audience to enjoy. since this is the backbone of the trilogy and as such it is less intuitive as the predecessor.
The art in comparison to Tekketsu-hen did what i didn't expect. It rose and once again proved that SHAFT has mastered the blend between CGI and standard highly detailed animation. Its is superb and other words can't describe how well done it is.
The BGMs are back and well placed. Overall hard to complain about them as they're meticulously well placed.
The characters are tweaked a little bit as they're more youthful and direct on this installment. they're not you're usual quick witted 360 degree characters that dissect the smallest of things as usual of the Monogatari Series.
To reiterate, on Nekketsu-hen they rely a little less on symbolism and have the characters be a little more direct to interact with once another. Araragi is more emotional and Hanekawa less smartsy than what we are used to. the dynamics between the characters works rather well and let's us see another face of the characters we are used to and spin them on a more correlated way to reality imprinted on the screen as high school students interact and some bonus shinanigans fly about.
The movie is well put together. I've enjoyed it a lot, It's most definitely more action packed and a lot more comedy is thrown in. some ecchi from Kiss-Shot md form and more panties from Hanekawa Tsubasa.
however sadly this comes with some drawbacks. Nekketsu-hen unnecessarily trimmed itself into a 1Hr and 9 Minutes. this unfortunately thins out and sometimes removes the cushion necessary to shift gear on a adaptation which contains different states of emotion and setting that vary from serious to comical. the removal of this cushion handicapped this film up most potential on the eyes of a person that hasn't read the book.
Fan can overlook this mishap as they know what is going on but on the other side of the coin. Kizumonogatari Nekketsu-hen shifts gears a little too quick, It doesn't let you settle in the setting it's built up and what you were comfortable settling on a serious, dramatic take suddenly turns a bit corny and outright comical that steal some of the set up the film was trying to achieve. Nekketsu-hen needed more time to widen the cushion between the rotations of each setting.
I give Nekketsu-hen a 10 / 10 since it was well executed to a certain degree and many other areas are just too well done that overshadow the unfortunate lack of cushion.
If you're a fan just like myself you're probably already stalking Aniplex USA for any announcement regarding Reiketsu. If you've seen Tekketsu-hen and you've yet to read the book released by Vertical-Inc. I wholeheartedly suggest that you pick up a copy ASAP to create context for what you're watching as the movie will become more enjoyable. Kizumonogatari, from "The Monogatari" franchise it's more fan base friendly rather than newcomer friendly.
In anime, there are plenty of cases where the sequel is better than the first season, but does the same hold true with anime movies? In the case of Kizumonogatari, YES!
In my review of the first movie I broke down all the aspects of the new animation style and everything else fresh this trilogy brings to the franchise, but this is a totally different beast. Because this movie focuses on something near non-existent in the Monogatari series: fighting. In all of the Monogatari series, all seasons, specials, etc., there have probably been 4-5 fights ever. And fighting is different for lots of reasons. You need
fighting animation, fighting music, fighting choreography, basically everything the Mongatari series doesn't normally have. However, when the Monogatari does have fights they are over-the-top slaughterfests filled with physics defying action and gorey violence that no real fight could possibly replicate and have the combatants still alive afterwards. And Kizumonogatari 2 doesn't fail to deliver.
The fights were all beautifully well directed with amazing animation and a soundtrack that gets you pumped up before the fight and adrenaline-shot during them. The fights were probably only 1/4th of the film but they felt so much longer because of just how engrossing they were. The other 3/4ths of the film was the Monogatari series being itself, but much better than usual. Like with the first movie, the visual humor and cinematography take a step up from the TV series and any change to the stagnating Monogatari series is welcomed. Hearing audience reactions and laughter to the movie makes it even better, and just like the last movie, we get another addition to the most glorious panty shots ever.
Another aspect that made this film better than the last was how much better paced it was than the last film. Part 1 had a few moments that felt stretched to make the film last a whole hour, but this time around every moment brought something new to the screen and no time was wasted, though the film is still only an hour long. The trailers promised 3 fights and we got 3 fights, which surprised me because I was wondering how they would have any material left for a third film. However, after seeing the after credits preview I'm well-assured the third film will have plenty of material and I already can't wait for it.
Overall, Kizumonogatari Part 2 is an anime film at its best. The animation, soundtrack, voice acting, humor, action, cinematography, and pacing are all perfect. Even the third film probably won't be as good as this one (I hope to be pleasantly surprised though). If you can, I highly recommend watching this film, or if you can't the third one, in theaters. Here's waiting for Part 3.
Nekketsu-hen, similar to Tekketsu-hen, is quite a mess. Not because Kizumonogatari is split up into 3 films, nor because of the hour length, but because there's no premise, nor a theme, that carries the film. By the time the film ends, it's clear that there's an incredibly missed opportunity in this department, as the balance between man and monster and individual choice could have been incredibly interesting. After about an hour since seeing the film, I can concede to the idea that there is an attempt at crafting a theme, but it's so minor and weak that it comes across as unrelated characterization for people
we don't care about.
In some regards, I think that's what makes this film such a lackluster experience. I won't get into details about everything as I'm mostly focusing on story here, but there isn't very much investment in the characters within this production to care about what's going on. Rather than create who Araragi is in the beginning of this narrative we're just expected to like him and know everything about him since we saw every other animated feature in the Monogatari story. However, if this is the prequel, in a sense we know nothing about him. Same goes for Shinobu, Oshino, Hanekawa.
Sure, I know some stuff that will come up later and it's neat to see where our characters were and compare it to where they will go, but the problem comes in that the story makes allusions to the future, while never giving a foundation for the past. The same goes for our 3 vampire hunters. I don't care a lick about them. I also don't care what they mean to Araragi nor the story of this film. I may have gotten some information about them in the previous film but not nearly enough is thrown into this production to make them worthwhile.
And, so, that's why the importance of a theme is necessary. Had there been a clear theme in this story (better yet, a good theme) then perhaps this films story could hold itself upright. However, here we are with 3 flashy fight sequences and 3 dialogues that are somewhat unrelated to each other that ultimately climax into an event that, while I didn't expect it, wasn't exactly surprised by it. I merely took it as it was and thought, "Huh, well, there was a lot that could have made this more impactful for me, but it doesn't matter now anyway since the film is over."
Significantly less enjoyable than the previous film. I was amazed with certain scenes within the first Kizumonogatari production. There's a clear reason why this film is worse than the previous, though. Every scene is set during night time. Well, 90% of it. Backgrounds are so dark that it doesn't really matter how intricate they are.
That's really my only issue. SHAFT really knows how to animate a show even if this particular production was bogged down by its narrative. If we had some day-time sequences, perhaps we could have enjoyed better scenery, but there are plenty of other things to be enjoyed here in Kizumonogatari II: Nekketsu-hen. First off, the actor animation is fantastic. Characters move with incredible authenticity, despite jiggle physics being an unfortunate obligatory addition. Objects within the world move realistically as well, and recieve just as much respect from their animators as the actors do. It's ncie to watch grass move out of the way of characters walking, or desks go flying during fight sequences.
The fight sequences definitely need to be mentioned. They start out looking great but progressively become less and less interesting. Honestly, I'm feeling that's how this whole film is. Yikes
Pretty cool. I don't know. I'm just losing my enthusiasm for this review as much as I am losing my enthusiasm for Kizumonogatari. I'll save my laments for later though.
The soundtrack is pretty great but because it's wasted on such a horrid portrayal of the source materials events, everything falls on flat scenes and unemotional experiences. I'm not at the passive aggressive tier in which I'd barrate this production for being pretentious in trying to sound incredibly introspective despite being elementary, merely because Monogatari has always been self-aware in its balance of childish antics and indepth character analysis. It's always been a comical review of incredibly sick people, as everyone in Monogatari has something terrible going on in their lives and is suffering because of them, yet still enjoying their lives.
So I can't say Kizumonogatari II: Nekketsu-hen is losing that very specific balance. Too far childish and you become immature. Too far introspective and the childishness seems, again, immature and disrespectful. The problem here is that it's neighter immature nor is it on that balance. This film is in some sort of third dimension where its music can potentially move you because there is really something going on that is important and relatable but the film itself is just not doing it right. It's very likely that this is due to the fact that many of us watching have seen hours upon hours of Monogatari and, therefore, see this as just another scene where 2 lovable characters are on screen in dialogue. However, this just means it doesn't matter whether these characters are talking in Kizumonogatari or Nisemonogatari. They could be talking in Bakemonogatari or Nekomonogatari. It means that the barriers of this film on its own mean nothing and that all anyone cares about is what's happening on screen at the very moment for 5 minutes when we hear a relatively similar song.
I know, I know. I very weakly connected that with the music section, but I do believe it fits here.
I've already mentioned how the characters here are rather 2-dimensional. There are even times where I think to myself that characters were doing things they would never do. This, of course, is why it's important for these characters to be recreated within Kizumonogatari. It's why the above mentioned stuff about us merely watching the film as just another thing with characters in it rather than its own body is so important. It means when scenes happen that are required or exclusive for the film, they must then align with the characters we have. So, when I see a scene where Araragi does something totally against what I've seen him do for hours on end, it makes me confused and I stop paying attention to the film.
I can't stress this enough. This is why the film needs a consistent theme at the least. If not the individual film, at least the trilogy as a whole. However, there wasn't any carried theme from the previous film to this, as the previous film didn't have one. Even then, would I just excuse this film if the previous one had a theme carry over? Not necessarily. An individual film is an individual film. It must carry itself. That's why it was produced separately, was it not?
Oh, Kizumonogatari was split into 3 parts for money? Not because it structures better in 3 parts? OOOOOOH, now it all makes sense! I understand now! It's being done this way as a revival of the franchise since it's basically at the end of its run! Okay, now it all makes sense.
Honestly, I really had a good time. I know I make it sound like I'm strapped to a dentist chair, but I really did enjoy my time in the theater. Despite the many faults, despite the missed potential, I found myself having a ton of fun with some of the scenes as they were structured, as well as finding the ending quite cool although unsurprising. I'm eager to finish the story if not for my own curiosity. That said, this trilogy is not without its faults, in fact I'd say it has many of them. They don't take away from the fun experience, though, and that's why we see movies, right? Because they're fun!
((If you liked this review, check out my other reviews by going to my profile and clicking the 'reviews' tab. I review virtually all anime and manga I find!))
This... was actually more garbage than the first movie. Wow.
The amount of changes, deviations and omissions from the novel was staggering. The lack of monologues tears this one to pieces because nothing gets the appropriate context and explanation to actually tie things together.
The CG animation was jarring as ever, even more so. In many scenes the exaggerated character animations actually made things look like old 90s attempts at having Disney-like 2D animation co-exist with live action actors in a live action world. Heck, they even put in a section that could be taken on its own, stripped of dialogue, and aired on TV
as an advertisement for the Coca Cola Company. Product placement to the max, hope it paid well.
The movie, like the first, tried to go through the moves but lacked every bit of soul and essence that the novel, and even the original Bakemonogatari adaptation had. It was a constant stream of animation bloat, especially during the action scenes. There was so much excess fat around it that things felt distracting, all over the place and so over the top that it got ridiculous. And then even with that bloat, the final fight against Guillotine Cutter was shorter than the credit roll, whereas in the novel, there was so much back and forth, so much tension and excitement coming from Araragi's inner turmoil that it engaged the reader. Here it just... threw more CG animation at you and was done with it.
No, this was a terrible movie. The pacing was completely off, there was no room to build tension, character development was almost entirely scrapped for all but Hanekawa and Araragi, and even that was diminished by changes and omissions. Heck, they didn't even care that Araragi goes up in flames when exposed to sunlight. The amount of scenes set at dawn, in the open was stupid. Nevermind Hanekawa's shouting having an echo... in an open air environment.
And what is it with Shaft's apparent obsession of showing you what's happening five to ten seconds from now, just to immediately cut back to fill in the blank space between then and before? I know Shaft tries to be flashy, but my god is that irritating and pointless. That is something I'd expect from somebody trying to impress his teacher in movie editing classes, not from established veterans. It really felt like the studio is too enamored with their own animation wank than the idea of adapting something they literally announced what, five years ago? Was supposed to be out 4 years ago? That paired with the very, very liberal attempt at adapting the light novel makes this a farce, and I'm surprised how many perfect rating it's getting from folks. It really makes me wonder if I watched the correct movie, to be honest.
I'm very conflicted about this film. It leaves a very odd, half-empty feeling in my stomach. An open void that I can't really pinpoint the exact location of. Is it in my liver? My heart? My duodenum? I'm not sure. All I know is that this wasn't really the film I expected it to be.
That doesn't really mean it was bad though. As you can tell from the score, and I don't give that score easily, it was a very solid film with some very exceptional developements in it. That and I love the entire aesthetic and concept of the series it's based
off of. So, by nature, KizuII appealed to me in many ways. However, it also left me feeling a little disappointed as it exhibited a lot of the show's negative trappings as well.
It sometimes felt as though this new film rested too bravely on the laurels of the amazing series that it's sprouted from. I can't help but feel I bought into that aspect of it, which is disappointing, seeing as I'm not someone to go easy on a show just because I like it. However, I feel like if this was any show that isn't Monogatari or something of remotely equal quality, i'd be tearing it a new one of just how many things this film did that I personally didn't find beneficial.
With that said though, the ride was worth the wait in more ways than one.
What can I say? This thing is beautiful. I talked about the new style in my KizuI review, however, i'll outline the general positives of the art and direction here as well.
This is an aggressively stylistic film that drips swagger in just about every frame. We see Monogatari go to it's roots for inspiration. It's no secret that the French New Wave greatly inspired Tatsuya Oishi's style, as well as Akiyuki Shinbo's signature imagery. It's also blatantly visible through this show's stylistic choices in these films specifically.
The black frames are littered with french. The word "noir" pours out of this show like an open wound. The music is a beautiful mix of French piano and some methodical techno. It's something that feels wholly original and unique for an anime. The soundtrack to this film is amazing; even better than the one from the first one, although there are similar stings that occur.
The use of melody and rhythm decorate not only the backgrounds, as asymmetry and symmetry is equally visible throughout most of Kizu's shot composition, but also puncture the foreground. Fights are backed by strings and juxtaposing riffs, dialogue is often paced in tune to the music, and the feeling is generally slightly lighter than the first film, even if the actual topics being discussed are more grim.
The direction is as "Monogatari" as ever, too. There are plenty of close-ups, iris-frames, and gorgeous backdrops. This film takes a darker approach to it's coloring. While the first film was mostly dusk, strong oranges and reds. This film is mostly dark blues and blacks that contrast with the bright blood that pumps through this new installment.
The fight choreography is generally fairly solid too, and for a show that really doesn't pride itself on fight scenes that's pretty damn great. Saying that Monogatari has some of the rawest and coolest fight scenes in anime would be weird, but I wouldn't disagree, per say.
Long story short, it's a very pretty film. The re-done world reflects the world through the characters eyes. Creating an old world that we are familiar with feel fresh again is no easy task, however, the team working on Kizu really did superbly with this. It's a visual treat if nothing else.
So here is where things get iffy. The story itself is engaging, simply because it's set in a world that is by nature engage to me. I love the idea of the supernatural in a slightly skewed portrayal of every day life. It gives off mystery vibes just through concept. The story here is about as simple as Monogatari has ever been. Araragi needs limbs. He needs to fight to get them. This is how he does it.
These story segments are interspersed with some comedy, dialogue, a hefty wallop of fanservice, and enough blood to make a blood bank go "hey, what's a... what's going on with all this blood?!" Now a lot of this shouldn't come as a surprise to a Monogatari viewer. Apart from the blood-drenched everything, the series these films piggy back off of are generally filled with all of the above. Even the show got fairly gory on occasion, flaunting it's R+17 rating.
That's fine though. The story is hardly the issue. It doesn't need to be complicated, especially with just how simplistic the themes and structure of these movies seem to be going for. Unlike the series, fractured narrative structure is ditched for more direct and straightforward storytelling. The unreliable narrator gimmick proceeds as always though, with Araragi creating some pretty hilariously brooding and edgy pictures of himself that contradict with just about what everyone else thinks of him.
This narrative simplification does wonders with fleshing out an easier to absorb story. While I wouldn't trade in the show's crazy structure for anything, in the film format this direct style is needed. They also toned down the monologuing, which I don't mind. There's still exposition, on occasion very un-stylistically delivered, unfortunately, but that can be forgiven as well.
What really got me a little annoyed with this second installment is just how huge the focus was on Araragi and Hanekawa and the relationship they had. Personally, I don't care about Hanekawa or her well-being, so seeing this massive focus on her was just drab for me. While I know I may be ruffling some feathers by saying this ,and yes, technically Hanekawa is a very well-fleshed out character, as in, I know a lot about her. But, saying that, I don't care about her. Something about her just didn't click for me, especially in KizuII.
She has a more vivacious and groovy personality, in this film too. Which probably has to do with the fact that Araragi is single and also a complete hunk, I guess. But it really doesn't give much to chew on. Araragi is just as much of a scumbag as always, saving the girl just cause she's pretty and wears skimpy panties. There are many arguments to be had about Araragi and his knack for throwing himself under the bus every chance he gets. To me, personally, it always comes off as shallow. I dislike him.
That being said, me disliking Araragi doesn't mean he's a bad character. While I don't think the writer/s intended to make him unlikeable, I do think that the show doesn't really lose much by having him unlikeable, so it's fine. So much like in the series, he's as pedophilic and selfless as usual. This, however, brings up what I like to call : "The Three Testaments of Monogatari"
---> Araragi shall never not be beaten to a pulp.
---> Araragi shall never not get the girl he wants.
---> Araragi shall never not attempt to harm himself just cause of panties.
Now those testaments don't make the film worse, as much as they make certain scenes very cathartic. Like, arm-rippingly cathartic. What i'm trying to say is that when Araragi is getting the shit kicked out of him, I'm generally smiling ear to ear. What can I say, I like balance. And if it means I have to sit through more fan-service, then so be it, as long as it balances out with him getting his nose pushed through the back of his skull.
Now... where was I? Hanekawa. She's pretty uninteresting in this. Their attachment, while it may make sense logistically, never really resonates emotionally. But Monogatari always had a hard time resonating emotionally with me. Seeing this kid cry over a girl and then proceed to just molest a few other girls in the scene after doesn't really speak well to empathizing with the character. So I personally don't buy whatever small romance there is until Araragi inevitably hooks up with Crab.
The fact that this movie had such a huge focus on their dialogue, even though this entire film should be about Araragi and Shinobu's relationship and their origin story was what left me kind of disappointed. I don't care that Hanekawa is there. Yes, she has big tits. Oh wow, look at that, she has big tits. Wonderful. That's great.
It's almost as if the the creators are a little kid who drew some shitty picture with crayons and constantly shove it in your face. This shitty picture might be Hanekawa. Yes, she does have absolutely astoundingly large sweater hams that seem to only grow with every frame. But that doesn't mean I care about her OR her meat puppets. Especially in a film that drips so much coolness in just about everything else it does.
The comedy is simple anime reaction-driven comedy. It's not up my alley, however, there was a chuckle and giggle here and there that I appreciated. Once again, these scenes come separate from the story. If you think about it, the story really only got two or three major scenes, with the rest being dialogue between Hanekawa and Araragi. Man, Shinobu really wasn't even there for most of this film's run time. Shinobu is so much more interesting and engaging as a presence, too.
As I said, the story stays interesting. It progresses too. The themes of "Monster vs. Human", and "becoming" are very prevalent in this film. They pose some interesting, if a little cliched, questions about humanity that I actually enjoyed having Araragi battle with. Every opponent he fights is increasingly more human in being, but also more monstrous in action. The ending, I won't lie, left me a little high and dry. However, I understand that these films aren't standalones and need to be watched together and this film pretty much ended at the climax of the second act.
If only the characters could get a little more love. No. Simply the characters I care about, personally. I know that's a shallow and needy question, but reviews and critics never claim to have objectivity in their views. I'm not stating facts. I'm writing and expressing opinions. It's sad to see how little time they have between Oshino and the others, too, as he's one of the shows most interesting figures but really doesn't do all too much.
The idea of not expanding on the oddity-hunting specialists is something has been a part of the show throughout it's run-time. This film also inhabits that ideology. You get short ideas of who these hunters are, but you never see the full picture. I guess they have to make room for Hanekawa dropping her panties.
If I sound bitter, I don't want to. I still greatly enjoyed this film. It's a very solid piece of work that I think will work a lot of better with the other two parts. I think i'm almost giving it a benefit of the doubt, in a way.
Maybe i'm just being lenient because I truly do value this series and some of the more interesting risks it takes. This film, for example, is insanely gory. While it should be, because it's Monogatari and also a story of losing limbs. It's still nice to see them going all out with it. Nothing gets held back. One scene especially had me giggling with glee... as well as with shock. Maybe i'm just a masochist who loves gore, I don't know, but it's nice to see it actually having substance to it.
There's also a beautiful world. Both literally and figuratively. The story this origin story sets up is glorious. It's also incredibly well-animated by SHAFT, with awesome juxtaposing meshing of CG and cell-shading that really makes visuals pop. The dialogue, while not as snappy due to a focus on... Hanekawa. Is still Monogatari dialogue. What that means is that while it goes long, it's still unique and holds your attention for the most part.
I wish they would've trimmed down the scenes with Hanekawa. I want to re-iterate that my argument isn't how she's flawed as a character. She's a well-enough written character with some fleshed out elements that linger within the film and can be interpreted through the story we watched from the show. That being said, she never really does anything engaging as a character at all. She's just kinda there to be flirty and occasionally cute. A lot of the time their relationship is played up to the point where it seems her purpose is just to be a damsel in distress and an object of affection. In a medium where girls are almost always that, it's disheartening to see this show occasionally dip into that kind of territory. Her point in this series was to "help", but also get put in danger so Araragi can actually do some ass-kicking for once. Her role really isn't interesting to watch, especially in a film about recovering the limbs of a vampire. Which, by all means, should be badass.
It was badass, too, perhaps not as often as I expected from a film where a villain is named Guillotinecutter. That's still the coolest possible name of anything ever. But there was a powerful focus on fanservice, which I expected, but maybe wasn't really pleased with. It just didn't mesh well for me. I didn't by it's relation to the story and I most definitely don't care about who it involves.
KizuII is still a very enjoyable film though. Once again, perhaps it's leniency or the benefit of the doubt, but I truly think that re-watching all three films once they are released together will create a vastly more rewarding watch. Is it as raw and intriguing as the first one? Nope. However, when it wants to be, it's an intense and absolutely gorgeous trip through a world turned red. Gothic imagery awaits as you click the play button.
As a solid second act with a very odd and perhaps shark-jumpy ending, I can't even begin to imagine what awaits me in part three!
As someone who has read through the Kizumonogatari novel multiple times, this film is to me personally is a damn near perfect adaptation.
First off, let me just start out on a side note by saying I have never had so much fun with a movie as I did seeing the premiere of this at Akibafest 2016. Seeing this in theaters was quite frankly unforgettable and as a super-fan of the monogatari series it was a thrill and I would like to thank Aniplex for being able to make that happen.
While part 1 of Kizumonogatari took it's time to introduce the characters and general
plot of the movies, part 2 amps up the pacing and gets straight to the point. The fight scenes were quite frankly some of the most high-octane and enthralling battles I have ever seen in an animated film. The humour in this was probably some of the most cleverly written and accessible in the entire Monogatari Series, and that is saying something. All of the humour and serious emotional moments were executed brilliantly through film. While this film has fantastic fight scenes, beautiful animation, and great directing, it still manages to perfect that clever dialogue the series has always been known for.
My main concern going into the film having read the novel was the fight scenes. The monogatari series has been known for it's dialogue based story, and while there is some action here and there it is very scarce. I was also concerned as to how they would fit all 3 fight scenes, along with everything else into the 70 minute run time. I have to say that the film blew me away on that end, managing to exceed my already high expectations and go even farther. All of the fights between Dramaturgy, Episode, and Guillotine Cutter were all engaging, well choreographed, and had some of the best fight animation I think i've ever seen in my life. The fight with Episode in particular had me at the edge of my seat with my jaw on the floor the whole way through. Akiyuki Shinbo has absolutely nailed it when it came to adapting this to film, as it takes everything great about the book and expresses it wonderfully through the art of cinema. The love and care put into these movies since their announcement in 2011 really shows.
This is where I would like to end my review, because while I can only say so much I would not like to ruin this movie for you. Monogatari fan or not, as a prequel this trilogy is very accessible to newcomers with both the story and dialogue as well. I would recommend this series to anyone who enjoys that trademark French nu-wave feel of monogatari but is looking for something fresh and easy to follow.
I usually try and constrain myself with ratings but I can't help but give this a personal rating of 10/10. Go check it out!
As you enter Nekketsu-hen, the point in the story finally building upon the concepts of humanity and selflessness, where we finally get to the real fight scenes of the movies, it's a little bit hard to shake the feeling that it's constantly, if subtly, off. It's easy to miss the first watch, and if you can brush this feeling aside and enjoy it you'll totally and fully love it anyway. But it feels a bit barebones and skimping on key moments that result in a wobbly progression throughout.
The mark of a good adaptation is being able to change source
content or adapt it oddly to fit the medium, but in a way that feels not only natural but easy to immediately love it. Even if it sticks out, you still love it anyway. (See; the constant flash card cut-ins and outs.) In the first movie, there were moments that felt like they were handled in a noticeably different way. But because it fit in with the overall tone of the movie and its relaxed flow, it felt natural to enjoy or even like. This movie does it at points, but even then, because of the weird and uneven flow and story beats, it just feels way off.
Dramaturgy is perhaps the most noticeable example. It's hard to get a clear sense of what his character is, since he's noble and rational even if it's not seen much. You get the sense that there's something critical missing that ties in the themes together (and indeed, there are some stuff missing that some may call critical). After he is defeated, there is no more ruminating about him. He was merely an obstacle.
This wouldn't be a problem if the story was trying to make clear parallels and conflicts for each fight. Koyomi Araragi, a human turned vampire, facing off against a vampire, a half-vampire, and a human, all hunting vampires. The way it is all set up to test Araragi's humanity and his conviction (the Guillotinecutter fight is where all the conflicts get tested in an amazingly-done scene). It falls flat because each time, we miss some context that explains the hunters' goals and motivations. As great as the last battle is, we only get a hint of what Guillotinecutter is capable of, how much of a monster he is. The end result makes it not feel so satisfying, even if the fights are good.
The switch-off to scenes with Tsubasa Hanekawa before each fight doesn't make it any better. In the first ten minutes of the film, Araragi tries to brutally end his friendship with Hanekawa because... he wanted to feel human. With how sudden this sequence happens, everything happens too quickly and it's hard for me to understand the point. Were we supposed to think Araragi is an absolute idiot and asshole? He sort of is both but not to the extent that the scene portrays him as. Luckily, the next two Hanekawa scenes are not as bad in this department, and it feels more natural even for the kind of movie it's in.
This is why I still think this film is really good. There are moments where everything just shines and feels bright and vivid! Hanekawa admiring Araragi shirtless and making excuses to feel his abs. Hanekawa slowly roasting Araragi after finding the adult magazines Shinobu brought back. Hanekawa taking charge and shocking Araragi in the fields in her third scene. Even in the fights there's fantastic moments. Episode's cheesy yet hearty laughter interjecting itself visually during the first half of the fight sells him for me. The baby noises during the moments where Araragi figures out his body parts can regenerate. Guillotinecutter's cold, sadistic laughing when he believes he's already won. It saves what's otherwise an uneven and therefore so-so film.
Special mention to the soundtrack and animation here. The animation gets more adapted to portray fights well, so even in the most gloomy unexciting moments (like Araragi attempting to throw baseballs into Dramaturgy's face, or during sections of Araragi avoiding Episode's cross weapon) it manages to feel fresh. Meanwhile, with the soundtrack, there are climaxes of songs and even brief moments of stuff like intros and bridges, the action or visuals sync up to the music. Even in the calmer scenes with Hanekawa, it manages to hit each mark and strengthen the bond these characters have. It can capture moments better than any monologue can. The absolute best moment musically is when Araragi succumbs to his vampire powers against Guillotinecutter, the Drum and Bass music pounding away as he loses control. The visuals of him tearing up the streets sell it; it's as over-the-top as it needs to be.
This movie really did need to be longer, maybe one to three minutes in each scene setting up context and explaining things the film only alludes to. But for what it is (an underdog fighting to become human again in the most intense ways), it's a very serviceable and fine film. The way the fights get more and more serious as they go on is a perfect lead-up to the final film. So if you watched the first one and you're wondering whether you want to watch a bunch of fight scenes, my answer will always be the same: yes. Don't skip out on this, even with its issues.
Well what do you have to say about that movie? Holy fucking shit. That was just great, just fucking amazingly great. The cinematography was interesting and on point. The cinematic techniques of choice were critically creative and different. They put animation over intricate art design, or simply using a very interesting choice of art style from mediocre to substantially alluring artwork. And we finally get to see some semantic puns dude lmao. We finally get to see some witty dialogue from the original serie's style of attracting people to watch the anime, for its essence of a great dialogic attraction and ornate philosophical writing. And
em catch phrase is back too doe lul. And em pedophile is back too, aka Araragi, giving loli em perverted looks kappa. And i just cant get over the fact that Hanekawa boob physic is so perplexing to comprehend, like how in the hell is it that big, and why does it moves like a water balloon? It was a weird but the way they blend those in with the story makes it ok tbh. Because the entire film was unearthly weird in a good way. In addition to that, the mix of classical, piano, violin, female vocals singing melodies and some nostalgic melody that was played in the background really gives you that vibe that you're not actually watching an anime right now, but you're actually watching a western like film with a greatly lip sync japanese dub. Given the fact that each character movement and animation are so much different from the entirety of the possible japanese animated film and anime that I have seen thus far, and there are even some ballet and shit too. Though even if that were the vibe that I was getting from this film, the level of creativity and the weird mix that may not be that funny to some, despite it aiming to be darkly humorous and really just a weird blend and mix, it's all in all a very experimental way of doing a movie within such a style. The art also have a mix of random scratches of characters or drawings, real life picture photoshoped or being displayed in the movie, random sounds of baby crying as a metaphor, and so on. The multiplicity of these weird and innovative, or even experimental even, is by far one of the most interesting thing that an anime film has to offer. And all in all, that was some great movie quality production there shaft. Even though it took you like forever to create one of these great movie and all the movie parts. PS, the movie was also randomly kinky, seductive, and INSANELY CUTE AS FUCK as fuck. OMG SHINOBU AND HANEKAWA WHY ARE YOU SO FUCKING CUTETETETE..... Anyways, given that there are some butt shot and panty shot and all lol. IM not complaining, but as i have repeated through out, this was weird as hell, though i incredibly like the movie so much for its creativity and amalgamation with various sorts of visual style and presentation, presented in the movie.
All the superficial side apart, imma just randomly go into the semantics now. Dramaturgy (sociology) sociological perspective in a theater like social interaction, or acting in a movie, or precisely, a story performance. This shit basically compare real life to drama in term of human behaviours, in a metaphorical sense of that real life situation in a certain scenario of the performance obviously. Incidentally, this also means "
the theory and practice of dramatic composition.". And I personally feel like Dramaturgy, the guy that Araragi is going to fight from what you've seen in the trailer of him screaming and all, is the exact opposite of Dramaturgy. Usually the word Dramaturgy have to do with dramaturgical analysis, but specifically the actor themselves. The audience will view the actor as he or she wants to be viewed. And if he is a dramatic character, we would expect a much more dramatic personality and such. But in term of what actually went down in the story, we got an unexpected outcome where I wouldn't want to spoil it, but it was the opposite of us viewing Dramaturgy as some kind of a tough guy with a very fearless personality, despite his power, strong walking posture and superficial looks. That was my thought this character specifically.
Plus, the doki doki moment between Hanekawa and Araragi made me want to ask, like why the hell aren't they together already in the beginning of Bakemonogatari, or Nekomonogatari. I know that Araragi is in love with Hanekawa, but Senjougahara ended up on his side before Hanekawa got the chance to. But I wish it was Hanekawa that Araragi hook up, or go out with. And now I also know why Hanekawa turn into a Black Hanekawa due to the stresses that has been build up eversince Araragi got hook up with Senjougahara. The person you fall in love was taken by someone else. And that love for Araragi was insanely strong too because of what went down in Kizumonogatari. But really, Hanekawa in Kizumonogatari is so different from the normal Hanekawa in the series. I guess we will have to see the changes in her character development that helps explains her sudden change from this cheerful teaser, to that of a more well manner character and less of a poseur when it comes to trying to make us center our eyes on her boobs all the time (It was effective when she look up at Araragi by lowering her back, and look at him in a cute way) .
And the film spend more time on action over dialogue in the middle of the fight, which is pretty much something that we should be expecting in any fight scene man. Literally, this anime also did something pretty experimental even in fight scene as well. You will know what i meant if you actually watch the movie (that just came out in kissanime) where a typical fighting scene being done in a humorous way (sometimes with dark humor), rather than it being extremely serious and Araragi fighting for his life. And omfg dude, the gore in this is insane. Definitely not recommended for a weak willed people, who still have that pussy like mentality that can't handle the sight of the inside of a human body. When Araragi is actually serious, he's so damn powerful too dude, I didn't expected that from Araragi, the man who never fight back, and is generally a brave, but a more cowardly person when it comes to fighting against other oddities, or oddities hunter. Ton of shit went down in this movie that's all I have to say unlike the previous one, which is obviously the exposition and half of the rising action of the overall story.
Lastly, this movie is pretty entertaining to watch that's all I've got to say. Definitely check the movie out even if you're not a fan of this series. Watching this rather than watching the anime series first isn't the wrong choice. This movie, in chronological order, is the initial turn of event that make up the other monogatari series, since it's in fact the beginning of its entirety.
TL;DR: the problem with Kizumonogatari is that it was never a good story to adapt in the first place, and the studio's efforts to turn it into an interesting tale proved fruitless.
TL;DR2: "oh god this is awful" rant
While the animation and art can be soberb, there not much they could do to deviate from the source work, and just like it the movie is a colossal bad joke. The fact that the writer included a superpowered school manga gag into the story almost looks like he knows Kizumonogatari reads just like a boring, jaded and over the top shounen series, with nothing new in it
but the fact that it is the beginning of the Monogatari series.
Although exposition dialogue is a trademark of the series and it is often done in a very well and quirk way, in Kizumo it is just plain dumb, like the one you would find in a bad fantasy novel, where a guy who lived on a fantasy land for all his life apparently doesn't know how the currency or magic system of said land works, and just like it, apparently the average reader of Kizumo is too dumb to keep in mind the inhuman skills of vampires (to be fair, I feel dumb for buying the book so there's that), so the writer did us a favor to remind us at least two times per pages how whimsical and stupendous are the new abilities Araragi got as a vampire (funny enough, the book even acknowledges at the beginning how worn off are vampires these days — but nevermind it, the series got famous for using expository dialogue so it will as a matter of fact always work, no?). It might be interesting when done on animes like Jojo, and on mangas, but it just gets repetitive and boring after so much pages on a book. And, unfortunately, it turned out to be the same way for the movies adaptation.
The ad lib slapstick comedy bits (like the gush of wind at the beginning and the MWAHAAHAHA gag of Episode fight) looks just silly and outright stupid, rather than the interesting visual humor the series usually does.
Also they did good to keep the fighting scenes on the anime as just gags or really short ones, because in here they were really meh.
I will probably check out part 3, but I got no hope for it whatsoever.
In terms of enjoyment, Kizumono-Nekketsu-hen achieved a lot more than the previous installment, Tekketsu-hen.
The fleshing out of the villains (and the allies for that matter) is sub par. While they have great stage presence, they lack impact and purpose. I would like to know more on these guys. Why is the bi-racial vampire so self loathing? What is so problematic about exorcisms? and what makes the priest, who is fully human, nearly as strong as Kiss Shot herself?
Nekketsu-hen gives rise to more questions than it answers, very irritating but it's obviously intentional. I guess they really want me to read the book.
Watching Kiss Shot
spawn into puberty and early adulthood was uncomfortable and animation-wise, these scenes pale in comparison to her initial blight in Tekketsu-hen. She's more smug and less palatable in this go around. I feel like her character could have suffered 'less' if Hanekawa had been axed. I don't dislike Hanekawa, her interactions with Araragi are cute but meaningless. Her sole purpose as a cheerleader is maddening when literally the entire cast are more deserving of dialogue and screen time.
By the end of the movie, I was satisfied, granted, the ending was rushed. Very much so. Despite that, it was probably my favorite of the three showdowns if only for the Matrix, 1990s cyberpunk mood and boy was the music good.
If absolutely nothing else, I'd the seek the OSTs for this and Tekketstu-hen. They stand very well on their own but when re-watching either film, they almost don't quite fit together. The score is highly polished but coupled with some scenes, are down right base and childish. I mean it's easy to avoid this annoyance, just don't listen to the album but evenso, it doesn't mesh all that well.
Nekketsu-hen gets a 6/10.
I'm pretty mixed on this one to be honest.. after the fantastic first movie and the long, LONG wait, kizumono 2 finally arrived. and oh boy what a ride it was, but was it a good ride? I think not. Stick to me if you wanna know why :)
to make this review and my overall feelings on this movie a bit more logical I'm gonna combine story and character, to juggle between those, since those are my main problems with the movie.
but to start off easy, let's start with art:
-the art was gorgeous. With Tatsuya Oishi returning to the monogatari series I
was expecting it to return to bakemono's greatness and oh boy it delivered. Oishi really showed his directorial talents with showing innovative animation by combining high-quality CG backgrounds and high-quality, expressive animation. It also happens to be directed decently, more leaning towards the good side, so I was very pleased.
I still enjoy the change in design from the rest of the series, it really suites the tone of these movies and works really well. You can really feel this is a prequel with it's nostalgic colour palette and more oldschool anime character designs. And I adore that choice.
but what about the directing? It's solid. not a masterpiece of direction, but solid. Oishi definately shows he understands 'show don't tell', but I feel like he could apply it more often. It really would nail home the feel of this being a prequel and totally different from the rest of the series, but what we got wasn't bad. Combine what we got with okay cinematogrophy and you get yourself a beastly looking movie.
I do feel like it was less innovative then the previous movie, but not bad in comparison, and definately looks good on it's own too. overall I would give the art an 7, for being slightly less directed then the first movie, but still not bad looking regardless.
sound: movie has a great soundtrack. with Satoru Kosaki returning to this movie, and the monogatari series in general. he really shows his talents as a composer by fully grasping the tone of the movie and making some great, supplementary pieces to the animation that do work on their own, if you are a fan of his style.
I did feel like the soundtrack was used sparingly, along with the sound effects etc. still no bad stuff, but a mild complaint. The more frequent use of both really could nail home the odd feeling this movie has. I mean, it doesn't want to use it's sound design like Serial experiments lain, where the lack of sound did make the atmosphere.
the voice acting was great too, nothing to complain.
overall i would give the sound a 7, for sounding catchy, working well with the movie and being great music in general (only if you like stuff like it), but that it was used questionably. not bad, mind you.
-story and character:
my biggest complaint with this movie would have to be the runtime and the way the novel was adapted. you see, Oishii had difficulty adapting the source material, understandable, because the novel was clearly splitten up in 3 arcs. first the setup, second the fighting, third the resolution to Araragi's story. Oishii decided to adapt this book with 3 movies, all being around an hour and adapting a part of the story. But it just doesn't work for me.
you see, seperating the fighting away from the setup and conclusion simply doesn't work, at least with it lenght. It worked in the novel, where it all was presented in one package and could be experienced at my own pacing, but not as a seperate part of the story, at least for the amount of time it is given.
You see, if this book was split up in 2 movies, one being the introduction and development, alternating the novel, and one being the fighting and conclusion, the pay-off would be miles bigger and there would be way more time to develop the characters. It wouldn't feel rushed, and the story structure would make way more sense. But this sadly didn't happen. and it's not like this is a 'comparing the novel to the movie' problem, because the movie just doesn't work as a seperate piece, at least for me. it felt cheap and rushed, because the structure didn't make sense and the movie had way too less running time to feel natural.
...but what we got wasn't bad, just weirdly tought out. Again the dynamic between the characters and dialogue really made the story, especially Araragi's development. It is odd to see an actual fleshed out harem lead and this certainly was refreshing. I also liked how the OP hero archetype got justified and that the hero actually wanted to LOOSE his powers.
overall the story get's a 6 from me and the characters a 6,5, more leaning towards the 6 side. weirdly tought out structure of this movie just didnt work for me. a problem monogatari has in general.
enjoyment: my enjoyment of this movie was decent, with stunning scenes of animation and nice character dynamics, I just couldn't overlook it's flaws. they were too blatant for me, especially as a novel reader. overall I did enjoy this movie but it was a flawed experience, thus getting a 6,5 from me.
-overall Kizumonogatari part 2 is a gorgeous movie that has potential but get's thrown out of the window with it's overly confusing structure and rushed pacing. An enjoyable experience, made for fans of the series and newcomers. just don't look at it too critically, or your experience will get shattered. it gets a 6.6 from me.
*THE RATINGS FOR THIS ARE SPECIFIC TO THE PART, BUT THE REVIEW IS FOR THE OVERALL SERIES*
The Monogatiri series comes together well to create a masterpiece of a story. This show is much deeper than alot of people think. It is filled to the brim with philosophical arguments and great storytelling. The focus isn't mainly on action, though it does have some visually stunning action scenes. Alot of the time, it will just be conversations between characters, but this is the blood that keeps this series alive and flourishing. Without it, you'd have a normal show with above average production. This type of show
isn't for everyone, but I personally love it.
The animators went all out animating this show, as detail and flamboyance embody the artistic direction of this show. Each character's design and set piece is carefully planned out, and it shows.
The voice actors become their characters when they act them out, that's how into them they get. They really care about their role, you can tell. And sound effects are well done as well, nothing seems off in that department.
Most every character is important to the main plot of the story and if they aren't a main character, the style of the show makes it seem as if they don't even exist. Whether they be designed as set pieces or outlines, the show really puts emphasis on those we really care about. These characters are no joke either, pretty much none of them are one-dimensional wastes of time, which is very appeciated.
Though some parts of the series are better than others, the series as a whole is truly an amazing body of work that I consider a masterpiece. This story is filled to the brim with beautifully crafted characters, artwork, sound design, and an amazing story that philosophically challenges the observer to think. A masterful work by Isin Nisio.
I can’t say I enjoyed this one as much as the first movie. The action scenes weren’t anything too special, especially since they are supposed to carry roughly half of the movie, Araragi went from screaming out of fear to raging and while the situations he was put into do validate the shift in character it’s still a fairly rushed transition.
On the other hand the characterization of Hanekawa is more prominent in this movie, albeit there’s a bit too much fanservice/perversion for my taste, I have a feeling they are trying to make it seem funny, but the way it’s executed just doesn’t work
for me. But, it’s generally a small detail thrown here and there so I don’t really care. Once again there are words and actions that don’t necessarily correspond to one another which is perfectly fine, they are teenagers, that’s a perfectly normal behavior.
Finally, the story itself does progress to a certain extent, some things are wrapped up, a few others left to finish in the third movie and that being said the movie does a fine job as continuation, it does fine job as a set-up and it does fine job as a somewhat of a stand-alone since you would be confused if you watched it before seeing the first one, but it wouldn’t affect the experience too much.
This movie has to be the best out of the 3 part trilogy by shaft.
The animation and charecter design was nothing like I had ever seen before in a movie.
The story was solid with the gags inbetween to keep veiwers entertained.
The best part is that the movie also has some amount of comedy in it rather then going full suspence mode.
They made Araragi look like a complete psycho in this part of the story.
I had lot of excitement for watching this movie and I waited so long just to see it and I have to say that it was Completely worth the wait..
who likes supernatural elements will enjoy this movie and the trilogy overall!
I will make just a small review since I have reviewed the first movie and my impressions for both movies are similar. However, Kizumono II made more distinct its air of pretentiousness through its dialogue. It is weird and the topics are also, but that is what makes this series fun and pretentious at the same time. The animation got a bit messier on this film in comparison to the first one but it still looks gorgeous. soundtrack was more pronounced in this film and more memorable and it paid off. The story finally got more speed and started to evolve. Same opinion for characters
as I had in the last film. Overall, a fun movie and I hope the third installment answers some questions I have about it.
about a year from now,I wouldn't have seen myself overall enjoying this much of the monogatari series.
But after each series I enjoyed more and more of it and before I knew it, I was hooked. It was a HARD journey.Episodes and episodes of dialogue, confusion , and the use of wikipedia followed but the stories got better and I expected for the next series to get no better or worse. UNTIL I SAW THIS MOVIE
Kizumonogatari II is part of a trilogy of movies that takes place at the VERY VERY VERY beginning of everything in the monogatari universe; before Kanberu, before Mayoi , and even
before Hitagi. There was only Shinobu, Hanekawa, and Arararararagi. These three movies are pretty much a depiction of the first 86 seconds of the first episode of Bakemonogatari.
Arararagi is just walking, gets a nice upskirt shots of Hanekawa and runs through a freaking wall literally to pick up some stuff.Next thing you know, he stumbles across this vampire with no limps, freaks out , and eventually gets bitten by said vampire and now is a vampire himself, and if that wasn't enough, he gets caught on fire and gets attacked by these vampire hunters who apparently stole the vampire's limbs.He now is on a quest to take back those limbs and save Kiss-shot Acerola-orion Heart-under-blade and return her back to her original form.
What I really like about this concept is the way it's executed.Between each battle, Araragi is either talking with Hanekawa, or with Kisshot and Oshino but whats different about this series instead of the others in the monogatari series, its that this movie fixes major problems I had while watching Bakemonogatari, IT WASN'T BORING! At no time during the movie did I feel bored or sleepy.Even during the dialogue because at this time of the show Araragi wasn't talking with five different other people.Also at times that didn't have to do with the story, my attention was still had because of SHAFT's spectacular animation and awesome music.
The animation is another thing I had a problem with in Bakemonogatari
, not because it wasn't good, but only because SHAFT only showed the good bits of it on Bluray which is expensive as crap.BUT this movie was theatrically released so SHAFT couldn't do that and OHH MY GOODNESS THIS MOVIE LOOKS FREAKING AMAZING.I may sound bias, but I think that this show trumps over Your Name when it comes to animation. Don't get me wrong,Your Name looks beautiful but Kizumonogatari II is more exaggerated and insane with their animation and it fits the craziness of the movie.The over the top fights and character movements looks like so much effort has been put into it to showoff SHAFT's abilities.Also with the artsy fartsy style, unbelievable architecture, and sooo many shades of red, you can already tell what studio made this.
The reason why the soundtrack is awesome is because it's different. The soundtrack is made up techno, jazz, and beautiful vocals.I honestly don't remember the last time I watched a show that used so much jazz.I can't recommend enough to listen to the soundtrack if you can.
The characters in this movie are.......very different. Hanekawa, I don't why, but she does a good job at being a comic relief character, a damsel in distress,and a heroine at different times in the movie.Araragi is still funny, awkward and perverted but there are times in the movie where he loses it and becomes a badass its very nice to see.There is Oshino and Kisshot too, but they don't really do anything in the movie because they're not supposed to yet.I like how after each fight Kisshot starts turning more and more hotter. These villans are some crazy villians too just by their names alone.Dramaturgy, Episode,and
GuillotineCutter. I really like their superpowers and stuff two. Like Dramaturgy is this muscled vampire with knives for hands , Episode carries this huge cross, and GuillotineCutter has.. a book.
.In the end,Kizumonogatari II was funny action,packed , well animated and has a great soundtrack.What's weird about this movie was that it was some of the first events to occur but was also one of the latest to be released. But you should definately give it a go since this starts off the monogatari story chronologically.There are also two other movies.
The first one was a bit boring and the third one hasn't come out yet, so hopefully it won't let me down.
Years from now when I look at examples of amazing animation ,this would definately be one of the first to stand out from the rest.Once the bluray comes out I will try my hardest to pick up a copy and love it forever.I think this is absolutely a staple that stands out in SHAFT's works and really deserves praise.
If your mad over me thinking this is better animated than Your Name, WATCH THIS MOVIE and see what i'm talking about.