In several of my anime reviews, I've spoken about titles that split the community, and this same principal also applies to series that span several iterations and installments. And If there was ever an anime series that immediately invoked contention among anime enthusiasts it would be that of the Monogatari franchise, with fans on one side proclaiming it as the "crème de la crème of anime" and naysayers labeling it as pseudo-intellectual fanservice-bait for plebeians. Since its anime debut in 2009, that tug-of-war relationship has shown no signs of letting up. With such bipolar opinions between parties, there seems to be only one solution to determine the show's worth, and that's simply to have someone who couldn't give a flying fuck either way to provide an impartial evaluation. Ladies and gentlemen, in an attempt to restore a semblance of common sense to this feud, I, a man who has mastered the sacred art of "Who cares" shall proceed to do just that by bringing equilibrium to this cacophonous mess of a "debate."
To put it simply:
-If you're searching for something with a great audiovisual presentation that properly utilizes the medium of anime to its advantage, look no further than the Monogatari lineup, as it rivals many of its competitors in terms of striking imagery and eye-candy material.
-If you want a little something extra with your audiovisual experience, like, I don't know... maybe a compelling narrative and actual character exploration, then I suggest you go check out a Masaaki Yuasa project instead.
Koyomimonogatari, like its prior installments, is yet another entry into the franchise that upholds its quirky upbeat presentation, wordy banter and all the glitz and glam expected from a Shaft/Shinbou love-child, but like its prior installments, the narrative is a meandering pile-driver of senior-citizen pacing and superfluous storylines that border on utter pointlessness. No, the Monogatari franchise isn't trash like many self-proclaimed elites would preach, but at the same time, it isn't really breaking new grounds either. It's a show that, script-wise, can barely keep its head above water, but presentation-wise, stands as a monolith that dwarfs others around it.
Diving head first into these side stories, the show wastes no time plopping us and our protagonist Ararararararagi against his first obstacle. And in typical Monogatari fashion, that obstacle is, of course, something that is accompanied by the involvement of some quirky female character. If you wanted to make a template to help describe Monogatari as a whole to an outsider, it'd go something along these lines:
Arararararargi meets a female --> He helps solve her problems --> Female has some kind of infatuation with our lead (whether rational or not) --> Bombastic visual motifs and rapid-fire dialogue occur in quick succession--> The cycle starts all over again.
Koyomimonogatari is essentially a set of side stories that can be wedged into several different moments throughout the entire franchise. They serve as placeholders of sorts, all self-contained, but still a part of the ever-expanding Monogatari-verse. Each one of these mystery episodes centers around the involvement of any given female character that has been introduced up to this point, and it is up to our protagonist Arararararargi to solve yet again whatever issue they're having. Take the template I just gave, but applied on a micro scale, and you've pretty much got the plot of any given scenario. Of course there were a few episodes that serve as exceptions to this rule, but for the most part, it consisted of this formula. The biggest difference is that Arararararargi often seeks the advice of other females in the story, this time, around to help piece together the mystery that he can't quite figure out himself. These cases can range from trivial to something that directly ties into bigger events to come (as seen by the franchise's other installments).
There is also a continuing storyline established in the last three episodes. While still self-contained in standing with the rest of the series, it's an overarching story for these specials as its own entity. Another thing to take note of is that these episodes aren't of feature length time for typical anime episodes (20-24 minutes), but are condensed down to 10 minute run times, with exclusion of the opening and ending themes.
The mood of each episode also changed with the female whom it was centered around. For Ougi Oshino, things had this morbid sense of dread hanging over everything, while Tsukihi Araragi's story gave off a more bubblegum mood. It was a minor touch, but one worth noting, as it did much in spicing up the feeling and tone of each new story. Even the color choices placed throughout were adjusted accordingly, with the personality commonly associated with the character. For Yotsugi Ononoki, her surroundings were mostly washed out and devoid of color to reflect her doll-like personality, while characters like Shinobu Oshino had sparse uses of yellow tossed in to represent her intermittent bursts of child-like innocence better. These touches showed an eye for detail on the staff behind these specials, which made them feel like they were done by people who care about the project rather than a team producing material of an established brand for profit. Of course, these techniques were carried over from the main series, but applying them here shows that they cared about these shorts as much as anything found in the main story up to this point.
Another thing worth noting was that the opening songs would change in accordance with whichever female character the episode was focusing on. These were songs used throughout the prior seasons for their individual story arc and, like the minor details found with the color choices, this too helped in setting the tone for whomever the female in question was for that episode. Every episode was crafted to be in service of the subject matter at hand, which when compared to the conventional method of creating episodes, could be seen as a liberal act for the betterment of creative freedom on the staff's behalf.
If you're reading this review then you're already familiar with the characters of this universe; nothing really changes. It's still the mischievous and slightly perverted Arararararargi being surrounded by a bevy of zany females. And while the main series seems to be zigzagging with its plot constantly, the benefit of this mostly episodic format made these specials far more palatable and easier to follow.
I often found myself spacing out and rewatching several scenes of this show. The content itself is fine, but it contains stories and characters I honestly don't care about. This was made for the fans, not me, so it's really unfair to evaluate it for doing its job. This wasn't made with everyone in mind; this is a niche project that knew who its target audience was. So while I might not find much here to enjoy, there will be those who eat this up, simple as that.
These specials are without question self-indulgent excuses to revisit the world of Arararararargi and friends. Is that necessarily a bad thing? No, not really. As it stands, it doesn't hinder the integrity of the franchise as a whole and serves as a decent enough deviation from the main story for fans to partake in. It's just as eccentric and warped as anything offered in the shows prior and did a commendable job maintaining the same level of quality found in a typical episode of Monogatari. This was made for the die-hard fans of this franchise, and with that said, if you've been apathetic or just detested the series up to this point, then don't waste your time here. However, if you're an avid follower of this ongoing series and for some reason hasn't viewed this installment yet, I highly suggest you check it out soon.read more
Owarimonogatari aired on Fall of 2015, It brought many joys to the Monogatari fans animating the last of the Monogatari installment regarding Nishio Ishin novels produced by Anime Studio SHAFT.
Our hopes dove a bit when we found out only 2 / 3 Volumes of the Owarimonogatari installment was animated during the Fall season of 2015. As a Monogatari fan I was a bit mad since as not only a fan but an objective reviewer knew that the end product wouldn't have the impact we the fans wanted on the newbies regarding the series or maybe it's more adequate to say the conclusion of the series.
In light of the screening of Kizumonogatari Tekketsu-hen Part 1 / 3 on Japanese cinemas the fans got a little extra. A prep-show that would massage the audience for the turmoil that's to come to us the fans for the upcoming Volume 3 of Owarimonogatari through a phone app that would air alongside the re-airing of Bakemonogatari. The remainder arcs of Owarimonogatari are the following:
So what exactly is this thing called Koyomimonogatari and what exactly does it mean to the franchise or what's to come it?
Story 10 / 10
Koyomi is a Japanese phrase for Calendar or rather it's KANJI could be read as calendar and this of course being a part of the Monogatari franchise deals with tada...Stories.
Calendar Story deals with events dealt during the year since which Araragi Koyomi had the fateful meeting with "Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade" The Hot Blooded, Iron Blooded yet Cold Blooded Vampire. The Name of the series already being a pun since it's a story about our Main Character Koyomi but it also depicts 12 stories depicted on 12 months which constitute a whole year.
We are carried since the aftermath of Spring Break all the way towards March 13th the day it left off on the last episode of "Shinobu Mail". Which is the end of volume 2 of the light novel adaptation.
The series dissect whether Araragi Koyomi meeting with oddities has somewhat normalized him to expect odd but ordinary situations to be oddity related, Most of all this based around perspective and lessons for the viewer regarding situations and train of thought.
A sort of behind the scenes of the main vein of the Monogatari Series that straighten not only the main series of maybe misunderstanding or vague assumptions but also produce a bridge to the 5th arc of the Owarimonogatari novel which has quite the complicated beginning and as of now can understand how delirious it was or is for the producers to bring forth the lasts of the Final Season Section towards the fan base.
Art 7 / 10
The art it's standard but deluded since the watching experience comes from a telephone app. Most adequate since it's a series of 12-13 minutes but quite annoying for those always expecting to be surprised.
Quite frankly I was meh...about the art since it doesn't bother me but the quality of it.
Sound 8 / 10
Given the outlet the sound wasn't as good as it would be it regular streaming sites but it was good enough. The voice actors like always had the meticulous delivery and the BGM was refreshing.
Character 10 / 10
Many aspect of the characters that we know or think we know came out to the light and widen our perception of these characters.
Enjoyment 10 / 10
I was quite pleased with this installment of "Setting things Straight" as this is what the show is about and enjoyed it to the maximum of my capabilities. If only AniplexUSA had licensed this on a better format then I wouldn't have the slightest of complains.
Overall 10 /10
This is a great set of stories which shed light to aspects of points of view, character and even human nature itself. I would say the Last Two episodes are more than crucial to any Monogatari FAN as they're bridges and the groundwork of what's to come for the Owarimonogatari Volume 3 Adaptation. Anyone who binged the series and reached this review I recommend to you the same and I really hope you love this series as I have come to enjoy it and love it.read more
Koyomimonogatari can be a hit or miss depending on how much you're into the series.
Koyomimonogatari is an ONA full of stories based off of the Nisio's Monogatari series. The episodes are mostly about things that seem out of the ordinary or supernatural however after the characters look into the situation further the so called "incidents" or "abnormalities" are often times misunderstanding and turn out to be nothing of importance. The show itself is pretty decent it's not too bad nor is it too good. I personally would not recommend it to any of the die hard fans of this series though. The biggest reason why I wouldn't is because the show strays away from the original story or path, along with other developments that you.. I would find in the actual story or TV series. In the shows defensive though, it is short about 12-13 minutes long so I can understand why certain things were cut out just to focus more on developing a story or in this case "stories."
Now I must strongly disagree with statements about this series being "complex" or the stories "complexity" in all honesty, this show is actually very simple, simple plot, simple stories etc. You would have to be completely new to this series to not understand what makes it a unique series. If you are new to this series then I would highly recommend you check out the main story, that way you can understand how things work in Monogatari series.
Moving along, I strongly felt that it was lacking, more specifically in the creativity department. Certain events and moments did not feel fresh or exciting, no bizarre oddities and paranormal activity. For example, and probably one of my favorite paranormal scenes was in Bakemonogatari. In the scene mentioned viewers were graced with an exciting and an emotional moment between Hitagi going up against the stone crab oddity. None of that feeling was in this series, so again, the sense of excitement I felt was pretty much non-existent. I could not find myself looking forward to most of upcoming scenes or moments. Now, the episodes were damn well-paced, like even though I found myself bored every now and then, there would be an episode that stood out. I would assume mostly because those certain episodes felt more like the main Monogatari series to me. For example the certain episodes were completely out of the ordinary, hilarious. and most importantly that good ol' fashioned Monogatari fan service.. Mhhmmm, that aside, my overall feeling for the story was that it was sort of like I was watching filler, or at the very least, rejected episodes that just couldn't exactly make the cut into the actual story.
One thing, out of the many, that I love most about this series and I am strictly speaking about the Monogatari series in general is it's art, animation & creativity. Now, here is where I think time restraints come in again. Akio Watanabe is a well known at shaft studios, he's the key animator, character designer, creator or main artist of the posters for the Blu-rays and specials, etc. Well, if you're watching Koyomimonogatari, or deciding to get into and if you are like me and love seeing HQ animation designs, cut-scenes, or character reaction faces etc then just be prepared to be let down just a little, not too much though. A lot of the "creativity" in this series, for the most part, scenes, themes and reactions sometimes feel recycled. The greatest thing about the "feeling of recycled themes and scenes" though is that When there are new scenes, they pack a punch of laughter right into my face. My personal favorite in terms of what I just mentioned is in episode 9 because you know, Shinobu, doughnuts, whats' not to love? there were only such a handful of new little skits or cutaways that had me in stitches laughing in this series so overall I was just a bit disappointed with it. The music and art still retained its' usual style and there were no major changes other than opening songs. The BGM was recycled from the OST of the other series. Going back to opening songs and outro or "ending songs" they looked pretty clean and sounded nice, it really retained that "Okay the show is starting prepare yourself" vibe.
So for the characters department, I was okay with it, there was no need for any major changes or development/growth... I noticed that our characters were still their usual selves. Kanbaru being Kanbaru, Hitagi being Hitagi, Araragi being Arararagi, (Oops I stuttered) etc. So nothing new, no big changes.
To sort of wrap things up, I was not too impressed with this installment. I think I expected a little too much from this series of shorts. That was most likely my biggest mistake watching this (expecting a lot for specials.) I do however look forward to seeing the next parts of the films, and maybe down the road next year or even better this year, there will be another release. Overall I gave this show a 7/10 because while it wasn't the greatest thing to come from Nisio's Monogatari series however the show still stuck to its' roots rather than changing everything and becoming something entirely different. It still had that sense of wonder, and unique story which always makes this series great.read more
Ever since Bakemonogatari, I knew that SHAFT is going to adapt every single Monogatari Books but I never knew they were going to adapt Koyomimonogatari because it's just a bunch of side stories. The word "side stories" might throw some people off but don't skip this show because you're going to need to watch the last 2 episodes. You'll thank me later.
Koyomimonogatari is a sequel (airing order) to Owarimonogatari but it does not take place after Owarimonogatari. The 12 short stories chronologically takes place throughout the Monogatari Series timeline. It's actually very easy to tell when, one of the short episodes, takes place by watching the OP Animation. For example, episode 2 "Koyomi Flower" takes place during the Bakemonogatari (Hitagi Crab arc) timeline because the OP Animation is "staple stable" that was shown during the Hitagi Crab arc.
Since this are just a bunch of short side stories, don't expect the episodes to be 24 minutes long because they're not. The episodes are just 14 mins. long, including the OP and ED theme songs, so in reality, you only get 11 mins. of content. Also, there's no overarching arc for Koyomimonogatari which will be the first in the series to have an episodic plot instead of a story arc.
So what story does each episode offer? Are the mysteries the same as the main Monogatari series? Are the dialogues as engaging as the predecessors? So many questions...you're full of good questions. To answer the first question, No. the mysteries for Koyomimonogatari aren't even that great to begin with. At first, the mysteries seemed serious and as it goes on, it turns out to be a false alarm. In other words, it's not an oddity that's causing said mysteries. The characters are just being paranoid or they just think it's being caused by an oddity but it's not. Unlike the previous Monogatari shows, you won't need to use much of your brain if you're going to watch Koyomimonogatari. I mean, what's the point? Araragi is just going to summarize everything that just happened in an episode and he does it for every single episode and like I said above, the "mysteries" aren't that mysterious at all.
Since Koyomimonogatari has 12 short stories separated into 12 episodes, that means each episode will feature Araragi and a girl from his hare-- *ahem* I mean, his friends who are all girls. So if you're a big fan of Nadeko, Senjougahara or the Fire Sisters then I can 100% guarantee you that there will be an episode of that girl alone with Araragi solving a mystery and having a hilarious conversation. Their conversations is actually the main reason why I am enjoying Koyomimonogatari and not the story itself. Each characters are hilarious in their own ways like Kanbaru and her pervertedness (Ep. 4) or when Senjougahara goes yandere on Araragi. Pretty weird since I have always preferred the Monogatari series' story over the fanservice/comedy scenes.
[Animation and Soundtrack]
The animation for Koyomimonogatari is pretty lacking compared to the latest Monogatari series, Owarimonogatari, which had better animation than Koyomimonogatari. It honestly felt like I was watching Bakemonogatari at times because of the animation. Though, Koyomimonogatari's animation to me is really not a big problem since this are just 12 short episodes. If this was...let's say, Owarimonogatari 2nd cour then I would have made it a big problem.
The soundtrack is exactly the same as the predecessors and most, if not, all soundtrack were reused which is again...not a big problem. Even the OP theme songs were reused which honestly gave me a feeling of nostalgia every episode. I feel so old.....
I'm a big fan of the Monogatari Series so even though Koyomimonogatari's story isn't on par with...let's say Owari and Second Season, I still enjoyed this show because of the characters. If you're planning on skipping Koyomimonogatari because you think it's just a bunch of side stories then you're making a mistake because the last two episodes is a set up to the 2nd cour of Owarimonogatari.