Shaft opens up with their Pro - GAME for the Kizumonogatari: Tekketsu-hen, Part 1 out of Three. The other two being Nekketsu-hen and Reiketsu-hen.
I've been a fan of The Monogatari Series for quite some time and honestly like every fan out there who seen this series back when this movie was being announced on 2011 - 2013 Gap. We've been SHAFTED 3 times after all and each one those hurt a lot for us fans.
I almost teared up as I found myself dumbfounded sitting down waiting for the show to finally begin. Suddenly filled myself with reminiscence of the entirety of the
series that went right in front of my eyes, Preparing myself mentally for what was about to begin. The very foundation of NISHIO ISHIN tale, A tale he at first didn't planned to publish was now right in front of my eyes on the form of a animated movie adaptation.
However did SHAFT make up for their cruel games of leaving the fans holding their breath?.
Story 10 / 10
Given that it is unfair to do a review of a story since this is 1 / 3 of then light novel adaptation, I will say that the first quarter was meticulously executed to perfection.
Inner monologues as well as narrations are absent on this adaptation and are substituted by visuals and symbolism that do it instead meant to challenge the perception of the audience. It compliments the dialogues and storyline presented on this first adaptation.
I always wondered how would SHAFT open Kizumonogatari as the novel opens up to the readers as a flashback of Araragi Koyomi as he has a memory he has kept out of prying eyes and deemed the occasion fit for him to talk about the Hot Blooded, Iron Blooded yet Cold Blooded Vampire. Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade later on know as simply "Oshino Shinobu".
The Film opens up with Araragi Koyomi wandering inside a building as it were a maze, He explores multiple rooms and decides for the stairs. All this going while on silent as there is no sound but his heavy breathing. He reaches the top and upon opening the door encounters a dense like gray sky filled with clouds and surrounded by hundreds if not thousands of crows as they eerily make sounds as if something awful is about to happen, an Ill omen.
Araragi ignores the crows as they persist as though they're warning him not to keep moving, but he does and stares blankly at the sky as he sees just the shape of the sun but it don't quite make it out of the clouds. The sun rays start to break free of the cloud and Araragi doesn't noticed that little by little he is catching on fire, After he notices it he panics and falls 2 stories down to the ground but shares a moment with "Bakemonogatari" as his falling mimics Senjougahara Hitagi never ending fall but with the difference that Araragi Koyomi plummets like a asteroid enveloped in flames towards the ground.
The picture turns black and we quickly are moved to Araragi Koyomi walking on the streets right in front of Naoetsu High School just to encounter Hanekawa Tsubasa right across!. The rest you'll have to see.
[For the people who have read "Wound Tale" as Vertical-Inc has named Kizumonogatari for the English translation. Kizumonogatari: Tekketsu-hen adapts the first 100 pages of the novel chapters 001 - 006 in all!.]
Art 10 / 10
Crisp and clean, The art and animation showed to the fans it's outstanding truly impeccable, A somewhat strange blend of animation with what seems to be realistic CG that works out on a way that you would never think it would on a rather extreme positive way. As always SHAFT proves impossible doesn't exist on their book of words.
The symbolism is put to well use and the sounds placed on the right scenes are outright powerful to leave you with a dry mouth with nothing to say.
Araragi Koyomi as well as Kiss-Shot on their fateful meeting had a lot of work done on regards to corporeal and facial expressions so much so that's it automatically silences the theater when there was a comedy just moments ago.
Sound 10 / 10
The voice actors were on their A Game and the OST were on point and so well done that you can't help but to have your both hands on a triangular manner on which you are left breathless to how much you can get into this 1/3 of the trilogy.
The auditory exposition was masterful and more than BGM the sounds used conveyed seriousness as well as reality checks for some of the characters. It as well highlight positions in power and the powerless on key situations throughout the film
Characters 10 / 10
The characters are used as a thread on a needle, Accurate and on par with the story. They're well stitched together on complementary fashion that becomes a game of catch and you're on the middle as you witness remarks and rebuttals done and launched around right in front of your eyes.
Enjoyment 10 / 10
I can't go further than PERFECT, This film will have you gripped on your seat and you will be swayed to laugh and will be brought to tears, When you realize this was done with just a third of a trilogy you then realize that this series will go down as a Masterpiece.
The adaptation has been twinkled a bit so that your foreseen knowledge of the movie from the light novel doesn't make it feel easy to anticipate. It is done on a way to hook the audience without removing the vitality from the novel.
The synergy between visuals and auditory expositions are masterfully done compensating for the cut of inner monologues and usual narrations that we are so used to Araragi Koyomi doing. It is done in such a way that it conveyed as much as the dialogue itself and work in perfect harmony.
The opening it's great. I've gone over and over and I don't see an alternate opening.
Overall 10 / 10
If you're a Monogatari Fan you just have to witness this work of art, If you aren't then give it a chance. There is a high chance you will be drawn to the series. Having said that, Rather than a prequel this is more of a Prologue nevertheless you can be assured that this film it's worth every penny and more!.
I honestly have never wanted summer to come and I'm a winter person, That should say enough. All because I want Nekketsu-hen to arrive as soon as possible.
It's getting increasingly hard to care about Shaft as an animation studio. Ever since Madoka Magica, they've done nothing but play it safe, churning out sequels to their popular stuff again and again until they became the anime studio version of Nintendo, whilst all their new IP have been so mediocre that with the exception of Nisekoi, nobody remembers them anymore. Not helping is the fact that after so many years, they STILL haven't ditched that outdated Shinbou-animation style that quite frankly looks about as exciting to watch as the same tech demo done on Unreal Engine. Sure it's pretty to look at, but it
gets old when you see the same exact thing fifty fucking times. And in Monogatari's case, you're just seeing the exact same story told to the audience, only with slight variations in details and inconsistent levels of of quality animation.
Let's be honest, anybody who says they still like Shaft at this point in time really means they just like Monogatari. And the studio knows it because at this point, they've churned out more sequels to that thing than they have new anime. Except in Kizumonogatari's case, it's actually a prequel. Or to be more precise, "the" prequel, because this thing has been delayed so long that people were afraid it was going to become the anime equivalent to The Thief and the Cobbler. Can't imagine why people wanted it to be adapted so badly, considering it's just the story of how Hanekawa and Shinobu first met Arararagi and I don't know why you'd need to see that. Or why it needed to be a movie to begin with. And what exactly is so important about getting the quality right that you needed it to be split into three parts? Does Shaft think Kizumonogatari is their 5 Centimeters Per Second or something?
I paid money to go see Kizumonogatari in theatres because I was almost certain I would hate it, and I needed more reasons to ignore the -gatari fans I hang out with when they keep trying to reassure me that "this segment is the best one yet" like a Jojo fan going through rehab (which incidentally, they are too, minus the rehab part). Every single Monogatari thing that I've personally seen has been nothing but every inexplicably popular light novel adaptation ever. Always full of unfunny conversations that do nothing but build character for the sake of building character, or move plot points along without attaching any sort of story to it whilst having all the female characters get their panties in a bunch for that one lone male who ends up saving them from a terrible fate as a bonus. So with all the hype built towards this film, I was kinda looking forward to see if it was worth the long wait, and whether it would actually differ from the other adaptations or if it was just the fans praising shit that has less differences from the previous iterations than a Ubisoft sequel.
Well it turns out that the reason for the long wait is so they could properly animate Arararagi getting set on the best-looking fire you'll ever see. No, I'm not kidding. Get close to the screen and when the scene occurs, you'll actually be in danger of getting your eyebrows burnt to a crisp. Hope you consider the flames worth the price of admission, because everything else about this movie is so bad - so fucking NOT worth the fifteen bucks - that I was glad Boy and the Beast was also airing on the same day, because I needed to watch another movie after that and it helped that it was only $7.50 for a ticket. HALF of what I spent on Kizu in order to watch a movie that's TWICE AS LONG. That is bullshit!
I actually kind of wished I waited until it got subbed online, because then I could mute the video player, turn off the subtitles, and just watch some pretty visuals for an hour. Sure they're not exactly on the level of the works produced by my favorite anime directors, and I can't work around the stupid "title card segues" and the cheesecake shots - but if I can sit through an animated Adam Sandler film with those conditions, I can live with that. Because whilst the incredibly large audience at my theatre were having a big laugh at stuff I didn't get the joke of several times throughout the movie, I initially sat down pondering how they were going to impress the fans, and by the end I was slumped all over my seat wondering how much longer I had to sit through this pig shit. At least up until the ending credits, where I literally woke up from my seat and started shouting obscenities for reasons I'll get into later, before leaving the theater whilst everyone around me spoke about how much they enjoyed themselves.
So we all know the basic outline of the thing, but what exactly happens in the first part of Kizumonogatari you may ask? Well it's pretty much a poor man's combination of Mind Game and the vampire arc from the latest season of Adventure Time, two much better cartoons. Arararagi meets Hanekawa one day and the two have that usual Nisio Isin inexplicably long conversation before the dude walks off into a random subway in order to meet a busty vampire. He lets the vampire drink his blood after another long conversation and gets turned into one himself. Then he finds himself hunted by three other vampires who mostly like to jump around alot rather than throw a punch or a bite and meets Oshino through them. That's literally all that happens in this film: meeting and talking, meeting and talking, an explanation for Agakawi's (yes I'm misspelling this on purpose) vampire powers and how they work, and then more meeting and talking while I try to figure out where the fucking story is.
It doesn't even have the same level of standalone-ness with each installment as previous anime-told-through-movies like Break Blade or Kara no Kyoukai has. After Hanekawa's introduction, she never shows up again for the rest of the film. And the three vampires that are hunting Arararagi? They don't even have a line, let alone are given any names or personality whatsoever, thus causing them to have zero chemistry with the dude. Why? Because we had to devote the necessary screen time to making it clear that our lead character is a pervert who likes his busty ladies. This is script-work I'd expect to see from the writers of Mortal Kombat Annihilation. With screwdrivers lodged into their eyeballs so they can't even see what they're typing!
They even use those outdated shitty sound effects whenever a "comical" scene that adds nothing to the movie happens because we needed some way to get the audience to know you're supposed to laugh at Hanekawa's bouncing overly large boobs shy of a laugh track. And just to hammer the "nail of suck" in, after sitting through all that meet and greet, the film ends on a cliffhanger. A cliffhanger that literally made me do all the obscenity shouting I mentioned earlier because it just happens out of nowhere, right when Oshino puts an end to his conversation with Arararagi! I don't care if there are two more movies coming out later. You wouldn't say that about Shyamalan's The Last Airbender film - not that sequels will ever be made - and even with the 3D glasses, it wasn't as expensive as the ticket price attached to this crap!
Intriguing cliffhangers along with a slick (outdated) style and sharp dialogue that isn't nearly as funny as it thinks it is are the only reason Monogatari (and Durarara for that matter given there's still people saying it's good with a straight face despite Japan all but giving up on it entirely) still gets a free ride, despite the fact that the core of the show has absolutely no thrust or tension to its themes whatsoever. Last I checked, story-focused shows require that shit to be intriguing. But then again, anime fans have proven for more than a decade that they'll forgive lack of forward momentum as long as what lies on the horizon looks intriguing, and given that poll I did a while ago, that doesn't look to be changing anytime soon. Seriously guys, "Bad Story #2" is in last place?
I just hope you fans realize that Shaft can't rely on Monogatari to keep them afloat forever. Eventually they're going to finish the thing, and what's going to happen then? Personally, I'm all in favor of them getting help. The same kind that Manglobe got, preferably.
Kizumonogatari Tekketsu-hen is a truly sublime experience, an expertly crafted intense mood piece that encapsulates the ideological perspectives and meanderings of the coming-of-age character, such as is Araragi Koyomi; this is all portrayed in a very bloody folklore/supernatural tale complete with limbless vampires, a deus ex machina Hawaiin shirt wearing dude, head-patting, burning corpses, porn magazines, train metaphors, lots of crows masquerading as metaphors, and through sexualized imagery of PANTIES!!!
In this light novel adaptation of NisiOisiN's popular series, Bakemonogatari director Oishi Tatsuya returns (!!!!!!) to present the true beginnings of the Monogatari series in cinematic form (a first in the long running series). It's
finally time that we witness Araragi speak about his ill-fated meeting with Kissshot Acerolaorion Heartunderblade during the spring break between his second and third year of high school, as it is his duty to so (well probably, it's been six years). Here, we begin this wounded tale of awakening, friendship, identity, as well as the role of balance between the supernatural and humans. The story follows our isolated and anti-social hero, Araragi, a friendless slacker who thinks having friends will decline his intensity as a human being, as he develops into a slightly less friendless slacker who makes a friend (well maybe two or three more), hence making him not a friendless slacker (too bad for you Araragi-kun, you' just made a friend;). It's also about vampires... for now until the next two movies come out!
The opening scene of the film lets us Monogatari fans know right off the bat that it will be a very different experience from previous series' iterations. Director Oishi breaks away from the more avant-garde and colorful visual styles and limited animation of narrative from the previous series (Nisemonogatari and onwards). He returns to the darker and more obscured perspective of the darker silhouettes of the original Bakemonogatari. It's a little more on the realism side rather than dreamy side. The art is a bit more morbid and dark, to convey a sense of isolation as well as the foreboding role of death/suicide that is so pervasive in Araragi's position throughout the film. That is not to say it's all death and gloomy, as there are still the more light-hearted and playful banters between characters. The role of post-modern identity and of truths and fakes and objectivity are still at play here. It's all still Monogatari, just with a bigger budget and a different style.
And man do they utilize that bigger budget with character animation. Facial animation looks incredibly emotive and stunning. The line work on character faces are impeccable, especially on Araragi and Kiss shot's ---- I mean Heart under blade's gigantic heaping melons -- I mean the line work on her face, definitely not her boobs. The quality of the work is able to convincingly convey every sense of emotion we see in Araragi, especially during a certain subway scene, one of my favorite scenes of the movie and probably of the entire series. A very visceral, bloody, intense, and powerful scene detailing human compassion and hopelessness through stunning animation. Araragi gives his best "Oh sh**! What the f*** is going on! Holy mother of big t!ts-- Holy Sh*t! F*** this I'm outta here! F**K! This lady has no arms and legs! Oh SH*T! I'm not taking this sh** anymore! I'm sick of these motherf***ing vampires on this motherf***ing plane! I am f***ed! F**K!" facial expressions ever.
And this is probably my favorite part of the film, the use of animation to invoke character's thoughts rather than through narration or monologues (though they are still present). The high quality art is able guide us through our hero's thoughts, desperations, as well as shifts in his mannerisms. It's pretty good. A movie budget is able to give the animation studio, Shaft, an alternative way of presenting the story cinematically. We lose some of the witty and hilarious inner thoughts of Araragi, but are presented with a thematic style that is able to portray emotions visually rather than through words. I know some people will hate that style, but the silence combined with heavy sound effects and limited dialogue or internal monologue create such a dark and foreboding presence. It enhances the tone I think the director is going for. I dig it.
Backgrounds are also very appealing and the CG didn't bother me at all, very well utilized not too distracting or noticeable.
The director's use of cross-cutting scenes (something I've not often seen in the series) to build up grand character introductions is also pretty damn cool. Specifically, a scene involving Heartunderblade discussing Araragi's new objective cross cutting with an impending encounter with a certain three characters. It's great work, a film technique we see in a lot of american films, but not too much in anime (at least in this series). Overall, the animation and art are sensational.
But it's not all about animation and the tone/silence that shine, dialogue is also heavy, especially in the second half. Here we are presented with the ramblings and bloated explanations that we've all come to love. Right guys Right! Music is mostly jazz but can be chaotic (in a good way) during the more intense scenes. And voice acting is all top notch. Maaya Sakamoto absolutely nails Kissshot's-I mean Heartunderblade's subway introduction scene. Again, I find that scene to be so raw and powerful that I can't stop thinking about it even days after watching it.
My only gripe with Kizumonogatari Part One is that it kinda just ends; though that's to be expected with a three parter for light novel. Character development is pretty stagnant, too, other than with Araragi. But having read the light novel, parts two and three should fix that. I also think it might be polarizing for newcomers since you're only basically getting one third of a story, an introduction of sorts. But I think it will keep them wanting more though. For fans, it's a must watch. F***ing watch it now! Legally please! (if it's playing in a theater near you)
But still, Kizumonogatari is a phenomenal and intense experience,.. for being one third of a movie. If the next two films can follow its opening footsteps, the trilogy will become a truly worthy thrall/servant to the almighty and great five hundred year old slayer and empress of aberrations Kiss-shot Acerola-orion Heart-under-blade, the iron-blooded, hot-blooded, yet cold-blooded vampire.
But seriously, this is my favorite story from the all Monogatari arcs I've seen or read. I think they truly nailed it with this first film, so I have full confidence in the Shaft team to deliver in the next two installments. It's a moving and visceral novel with a knockout ending full of emotional truths, pain, and suffering, and I can't wait as I am so f***ing stoked to experience this incredible tale cinematically and through the visual medium. Thank you Aniplex of America for releasing Kizu stateside you money gouging, wallet killing cun-------; I will forgive you this once for your overpriced blu-rays Aniplex, just this once....
Plus i got a free poster when I watched it in the theater. It's very very nice. So the movie automatically gets a .3 bump, but also automatically loses that .3 bump cause the blu ray will be super expensive (I can't forgive you Aniplex NOOO), but the blu ray will also be all so glorious so it automatically gets a .01 bump. Hence a 9.01 outta 10.
Ok, I'm not sure what movie the majority of reviewers online watched, but Kizmonogatari (Part 1) was AWFUL. Basically it was boobs bouncing, Araragi sweating/screaming/running, and a bunch of 3D backgrounds that didn't look right with the 2D animated characters. It honestly feels like the creators said "Ok, time to stretch 20 minutes of plot into 60 minutes. Let's make Araragi gasp and scream and flail for a 20 minute scene." They wasted so much time under the guise of suspense that when the "thing" actually happened, I was bored, not intrigued or excited. By the time the movie actually got interesting, it was over.
Not to mention the inconsistent animation. The movement of the characters towards the beginning is really terrible (Hanekawa looks like she's hobbling across the street instead of walking), compared with a part towards the end I won't spoil that looked awesome and clearly had a different animator in charge.
I actually LIKE the Monogatari Series for the most part. It has its faults, but overall is a fun series that's different enough I keep coming back for the new seasons despite its flaws. So I'm coming from an honest place where I want to give it the benefit of the doubt and can't. Tekketsu-hen was unbelievably appalling as a movie and I personally think it shows how little they think of their fans. Do they think we'll like and rave about anything labeled "Monogatari?" Judging by the other reviews I'm reading online, that seems to be the case and it's really hard to comprehend. Whoever wrote the script left out 90% of the charm the show does have. The show wastes tons of time, but fills it with witty dialogue. Almost none in Tekketsu-hen. There were a couple laugh out loud moments, but that's it. I WANTED to see this movie, bought my tickets weeks in advance, and have really nothing good to say about it which is a huge disappointment.
I remember right after watching the first episode of Owarimonogatari that the trailer for this movie had finally been released. It looked really good from what I could see, as expected of Shaft. However, it turned out that Kizumonogatari would be split into three movies which either meant that the studio was trying to do the story justice by giving the full adaptation. Or, that Shaft was simply only trying to milk the series for what it was worth giving the amount of hype built up over the last couple years. After watching the movie, I can gladly say it's more
of the former than the latter.
Let me start out by talking about the visuals. Given the amount of pain-staking traditional animation, the production is more higher quality than I would expect in a typical anime film. But then again, it's Shaft we're talking about. There was a plethora of subtle motions and unique movement quirks that showcased the characters without relying on dialogue to characterize them, as seen with Kiss-shot's broad, puffy actions, Araragi's more reserved behavior, and Hanekawa's friendly approaches. CG was very well done even though I generally dislike it in other works usually due to how cheap it looks or how it stands out too much, but here it almost seamlessly integrated with the 2D characters creating an asthetic I've never seen from any other anime.
Sound-wise, I don't have much to say. When I left the theatre I was throughly convinced that I needed to get the OST when it comes out. Tracks were very smooth and whimsical and badass in the right places. Also, voice acting was spot-on. Got to give props to Maaya Sakamoto for conveying how desperate Kiss-shot was to preserve her life. Aragi's (sorry, bit my tongue) mortal turmoil was also solidly done.
Onto the direction. Holy hell, the direction. Shinbou and Oishi have done it. There were loads of the visual and audio metaphors many of us are used to from the television series, but now only more nuanced because of the film-budget allowing them to combine high quality animation with their top-tier shot framing. As a result, though, the text flashes that were often used to help characterize the characters were practically nonexistent. And I guess for the better because of the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words or something. I really didn't get the random French that appeared from time to time, but what the hell, it looked cool stylistically.
Plot was perhaps the weakest aspect of the movie given how some parts seemed like they lasted a tiny bit too long, but it didn't detract from my enjoyment because I was too immersed in the direction to notice how little of the novel the first part actually adapted. At the very least, it did a great job setting up for the next movie.
Overall, it was absolutely worth ditching hanging out with friends to go see an anime movie. Everything about it was pretty damn solid, aside from the thin plot. I'd go see it again in a heartbeat if I could, but that would mean traveling again. Anyway, I really can't wait for the second movie to come out!
So before I start this my overall view of the show is that a fan of the monogatari series should see it but not pay any money for it because it is bad, really bad. As someone else said there actually 15-20 minutes of actual content stretched over one hour. The main impression the movie made on me was that of young art school student who tries to impress too much. So without delay these are my points against this movie:
1. the drawings are extremely different from the rest of the animes related to Monogatari. And different in a bad way. While in the rest
the difference in style between the building and characters is visible in this one is annoying. Also there are plenty of effects thata have no purpose and lots of bad CGI.
2. characters behave odd. I understand it should be a prequel but still it does not seem they are the same person.
3. The word screens in the original series meant something. They expressed Araragi's thoughts and had an impact. In this movie they pop up every 5 minutes and they are annoying: "Black" "Red" "Silence" ... really now?
4. too much time wasted wit Araragi falling an burning
5. Too many replays of Hanekawa's boobs and panties. I mean even the fanservice is bad.
6. Araragi seemingly masturbating and Araragi leaving an apartment flat in the middle of nowhere. Two weird scenes, the second being weird because he lives in a house in the middle of a house neighborhood
7. Kiss-Shot does not look like herself
8.there are severe differences between the previous animes with monogatari +Manga and this one regarding how Araragi and Kiss-shot met.
I’m in a unique position, in relation to how people usually view this franchise. I’ve seen pretty much nothing of Monogatari as a series, sans a few early episodes of Bakemonogatari. All I know is that Kizu takes place at the very start of the series, and features a somewhat different style and approach the series overall. I'd heard about how good the Kizumonogatari films were meant to be, and I've always been a little drawn to anime films rather then TV series - so, I dove in, expecting just a feature-length version of what I'd seen in Bakemonogatari.
Man, Kizumonogatari is really something different.
thing I took out of the first Kizu movie is it’s depiction of it’s visuals - I am in love with how this film looks. My first thought as I was watching the film was that having a near totally CGI backgrounds would look cheap and out of place, but it does so much to create this weird, eerie atmosphere. I’ve been critical of SHAFT’s attempts of CG in the past, but I think they did amazing work utilizing what I’d say is a shortcoming in their other series to amazing effect in the film. The animation is also nothing short of superb in this film, not once dropping below a spectacular standard - Araragi’s immolation is probably the standout moment of the film. It’s just this nightmarish situation that goes on just long enough that it feels like it’ll never end for our poor protagonist.Character animations can range from being incredibly realistic and fluid, to an almost hyper-cartoonish and silly. Maybe the most wonderful thing about that though is that it all flows together perfectly, never really breaking up the important scenes of the film.
Honestly, the story isn’t that unique - normal high school student Araragi runs into the dying body of an obscenely powerful vampire lady, offers his blood to restore her life, and the plot unfolds from there. Like I said, it isn’t particularly new territory for any media, but it’s the way they outline the plot, the way the characters act - especially Araragi, who’s complicated feelings in regards to the people he meets (like Hanekawa) or the sheer terror, yet need to help, Heart-Under-Blade, in what felt like turning the ‘protagonist's sacrifice’ trope turned on its head. The ending of the story sets up a lot of cool places Kizumonogatari could go, none of which really bodes well for Araragi, and gets me excited for some more animation-heavy content, especially after seeing SHAFT flex their animaton muscles in a lot of more mundane situations in this film.
I know dialogue is the standout feature of the Monogatari series, but I feel the general lack of constant dialogue made the scenes of character interaction stand out that much more. I adored pretty much all of the interactions between Araragi and Hanekawa, with all their little movements and mannerisms that I haven’t really seen captured in most films of this level, a further testament to just how far SHAFT went on developing this film series. Even with such a different style to the series (at least from what I can tell), the lifeblood of Monogatari is still utterly present within it, which I think would've made this something the fans didn’t celebrate as much as they have since it’s release.
I think it's been a while since I watched something we're pretty much every character on screen was so utterly fighting for the spotlight. I wasn’t sure if it was the writing, their visuals, or the stellar voice acting (which, my god, is probably the most objectively perfect thing in this entire film). At first, Araragi and Hanekawa’s interactions were simply divine, but then Araragi’s encounter with Kiss-Shot and what follows had me at a loss for what I enjoyed more. Every character feels so distinct and utterly different from each other, and I legitimately feel they’re all perfect for the role they play in this film. Though, with a gun to my head, I’d have to say Hanekawa - all her little movements and playful, bubbly energy was like an arrow into me, and I was legitimately sad when (due to events in the film) she wasn’t a major player. Thankfully, I’ve got two more films worth of content with this simply divine cast of characters.
I will go back to how I mentioned how good the atmosphere of this film was. During the opening scene, of Aragragi climbing the building, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Silent, eerie, bleak - it all combines to create this world that I couldn’t tear my eyes away from. There were a lot of moments in this film, especially in its first half, that felt like I was watching someone else’s nightmare. Honestly, there are some situations I could imagine watching this film and actually be a little creeped out by the vibe it throws out at times. Atmosphere has always been key to my enjoyment of a lot of shows, and I can’t really think of many other anime that have nailed that atmosphere as well as Kizumonogatari.
With an incredibly strong start, Kizumonogatari has got me raring to watch the rest of the film trilogy, and dive into Monogatari as a greater franchise. With amazing voice acting, visuals, and mood to cover a slightly ho-hum story, Kizumonogatari I is a feast for the eyes, and required viewing for pretty much anyone who’s got a hungering for some top tier animation. It’s weird, it’s eerie, and it’s all kinds of crazy, but damn, Kizumonogatari feels like something special that only SHAFT could do.
Kizumonogatari was probably the most original and entertaining story about vampires that I read in my life. I did not read much of them. But most were similar. And now finally we have a screen version of the novel.
What do we have here?
Characters designs ruined, ugly rotoscoping animation, irrelevant backgrounds work, monstrously prolonged scenes, they threw out half of the dialogues, but added lo-o-ong and absolutely pointless scenes and details that were not in the novel.
Apparently, this is an exhausted, long-running project, many times changed the director, and released from the consideration "just to finish it."
Or an eloquent demonstration of bad taste, lack of talent
and helplessness of modern Japanese animation.
After putting it off for so long and reading (and listening to) the Light Novel a few months ago, I am utterly disappointed and shocked by this first part of Kizumonogatari.
The amount of inconsistencies not just with the light novel original but also depictions and styles from the rest of the animated series is staggering. CG and hyperrealistic backdrops everywhere, and evencharacters are CG-animated in places.
Environments were changed for the heck of it, with no real point to them. Instead of having a localized lack of electricity around Kiss-shot on the street, we get almost a full-blown outage, just that she's lying in the subway
with all the lights around her working just fine. Nevermind the kilometer-long blood trail leading to her. Or how Araragi is cornered by the Vampire Hunters in a highly industrialized area instead of a suburb. Or how he doesn't just step out of the cram school and burns, but has to take a minutes-long walk looking at crows before lighting up, then falling off the building, then crashing around the place some more.
This entire thing is overchoreographed to the point of silliness. Not the good silliness of the rest of the series, but just one that feels needlessly padded.
The worst part however is the almost complete lack of Araragi's inner monologues. Instead we see him walking silently. Walking. Running. Screaming. Where the novel and the other animated adaptations build him up as an interesting character through his monologues, this one has barely any of that. As a result the voice acting is so sparse, they could have squeezed all of it easily into a single episode of Bakemonogatari. For a movie about three times as long, that is ludicrous.
There are some good scenes towards the end, with a bunch of dialogue, but that just reinforces how empty the first 30-45 minutes feel. It had me bored, not engaged like the rest, or indeed the novel. If this is the product of years and years of work and movie-like budgets, I am honestly wondering where the money went.
A three parter of 1-hour movies definitely doesn't seem necessary, or even plausible, when about half of what was shown here could have been condensed (or, rather, not blown up the way it was). This screems of padding and milking a popular license, nothing else.
Here's hoping parts 2 and 3 will be better. I have my doubts, though. I can only recommend reading the novel, officially released in English by now, or getting the audiobook (also in English) if you'd like a more familiar experience. The movie, at least as far as this first part is concerned, is dreadful.
Kizumonogatari is something that's been teased by Shaft ever since the very first episode of Bakemonogatari (where the entire intro was basically a highly condensed version of this movie). Having read the novel the anime is based off of, I had some expectations, but I also knew that anime is a different medium from text and that Shaft tries to make full use of that in their adaptations.
To begin with, let's go over the positives of this movie. To be frank, every single aspect of this production was top-notch. The animation quality was a clear step-up, the CG replacing the usual flat
design served its purpose in creating strong atmospheres, and the music and voice acting were just excellent overall. Unlike the OVAs, this definitely felt like a theatrical rather than just a very long episode.
So I end up in this strange position where every individual piece boasted quality, but I still wasn't satisfied with the movie. Perhaps it's because my initial reaction became skewed from reading the novel. If you've ever wanted to see Shaft do "show, not tell", it's in Kizumonogatari. Gone were most of the voice-over narrations, very few slideshows and text flashes, everything was boldly attempted in a more direct, visual manner with expressive animation and less jarring metaphors.
But that was exactly what seemed off to me. Ultimately, Kizumonogatari's plot is more straightforward than the others in the Monogatari series. And since this movie only really covers the introduction, the overall plot is very much bare-bones. In the novel, this was spruced up by Araragi's thoughts and impressions. If this had been in the style of the TV series, a lot of these thoughts would've shown up in slideshow imagery and narration. And those parts are really the meat of Kizumonogatari: the insights from the characters, their underlying motivations, and how these develop their initial relationships.
On one hand, it's commendable of Shaft to try and convey all this solely through their animation. But on the other hand, it made for odd jumps in pacing and actions as the characters go through the motions, but without enough context to flesh things out. Scenes felt like they came in on signal rather than naturally and the interactions felt almost forced and hollow without Shaft's usual "supporting" devices. "Showing" rather than telling is fine even if the details are subtle, as long as there's enough meat behind it to get the meanings across. But in this case, you get things like Araragi constantly panting like he's having a stroke for 80% of the runtime; Meme Oshino's hero arrival losing all impact because it showed him coming from a mile away (literally); music tracks (albeit, very nice tracks) aggressively spelling out the mood even during lowkey moments.
I'm sure that others will see things differently. Shaft's Monogatari "signatures" are criticized by many for being excessive and jolting at times. However, for me at least, the removal of them in Kizumonogatari seems to have forced Shaft to be even more heavy-handed in order to compensate. So while I can't really fault any one part of the film, it felt as if the strengths of the source material were overshadowed to the point that only its weaknesses remained.
“SHAFT is perfect and creates nothing but masterpieces. Anyone who disagrees is wrong.”
I could watch this movie without any dialogue whatsoever and still be kept thoroughly engaged from beginning to end. That’s my untested hypothesis, of course. Needless to say, Kizumonogatari is visually stunning. Gorgeous. Magnificent. Ravishing. Sensational. Out of this world. I just want to keep listing off words to describe how fucking beautiful this movie looked. As is the SHAFT guarantee, there’s never a dull moment. Whether it be the playfully unique changing of camera angles to the cuts of text, or how it manages to take
us from location to location to location in a matter of seconds, the monogatari series has always been something that encourages keeping your eyes glued, otherwise you just might miss it.
The character art is fantastic, and even more mesmerizing in motion. What’s even more fun is how the camera moves with the character it’s following. It’s an interesting view to, walking behind Araragi. Or in front. Or to the sides. Or to any angle imaginable, which is basically what Kizumonogatari is trying to accomplish. Look good, in every possible way. And from scenery to character art to motion, it succeeds.
As for the character’s interactions, they’re absolutely wonderful...but succinct. It seems like there’s much less dialogue in this movie than in any of the other monogataris. For the first five to ten minutes (roughly) not even a single word is spoken. Now, I’m not one of those asshol- erhm, “special people” who like to criticize a movie through comparison with the novel it was based on. They’re different mediums, and it’s an adaption, so there’s no need to get our knickers in a twist. However, the book does hold quite a lot over the movie in terms of dialogue and Araragi’s inner thoughts, and it might’ve been nice for SHAFT pull more from it. Still, the movie still manages to be witty and profound without it.
Without getting too far into the issue of runtime, I will say that Kizumonogatari ends in a...strange place. A weird way to end a movie, that doesn’t really offer up much of a conclusion nor cliffhanger. Even the final line wasn’t much to go off of. It’s...a little disappointing, considering the film as a whole was bloody brilliant. But I think I’ll write about the story being cut up into three parts another time, so for now I’ll just leave you with these words: Bloody brilliant. Excessively excellent. Splendid masterpiece. Impeccable piece of art. Epitome of film. Fucking amazing.
Thanks for reading!
(note: Review also posted on my blog, was not stolen https://theregoesmykokoro.wordpress.com/2016/03/12/bloody-brilliant-kizumonogatari-part-1/ )
"Welcome to a world of darkness," Shinobu tells Araragi as he just discovers his combustible vampirism.
In the first film of the trilogy, we explore the backstory of Araragi and Shinobu. Its been a long time coming, too, since their backstory has forever been teased but never fully fleshed out until this was released.
Admittedly, I was a little sad going into the film knowing it won't be a continuation of the jaw-dropping conclusion Koyomimonogatari had; but my sadness quickly vanished. Here we get the unreliably narrated first part of a story about Araragi meeting our favorite donut-loving vampire loli.
[PART 1] : An Explosive
This is distinctly Monogatari. From the bout of fanservice to the beautiful art direction, what i'm watching is definitely Monogatari. However, there have been a few changes.
In the film, Studio Shaft employs a new style of animation to the show. While everything is as slick as it always was and every character is distinctly recognizable, we do receive females with rosier cheeks and noses; as well as a less-polished look.
Mind you, this less-polished look is on purpose. I'll get to the actual animation later, but needless to say, this new look fits the tone of the show perfectly.
The story fits the tone, the tone fits the story, and the new art-style fits both.
Araragi is painted as a loner. Not just painted, but exposited as one by a pleasant Hanekawa cameo. He doesn't want to make friends, but not really for the reasons he says.
Needless to say, Araragi is trying hard to be an edgy and cliche anime protagonist. However, once he does make a friend, it quickly shows that he's still the koyomi we know.
At first I was hesitant on Hanekawa's scene, however, once I thought about everything it did, I look back at it with fondness. It did a solid job of establishing everything we need to know about Araragi.
This leads its way to the main story and it's kept nice and simple so far. To avoid spoilers, Araragi needs to help the famous vampire known as Kiss-shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade. From here, we meet our three antagonists and the story unfolds.
While the visual appearance of the show is similar; this direct form of storytelling is somewhat refreshing, but also a bit strange. We don't get pages and pages of dialogue, and if anything, the exposition through paragraphs is kept to a brisk minimum.
This is because something else takes over for that.
[PART 2] : Story Through Animation
Ah!!! The animation is SO. FUCKING. GOOD.
Now i've always praised the show for being a definite step away from the "anime norm". It's visually representing a Light Novel. So it has to find a way to create two characters standing around talking into engaging scenes... Shaft has always done this incredibly well.
But with Kizu, it's on another level. This is a movie where the studio and director put an absolutely preposterous amount of work into the fluidity of the animation.
Certain stylistic choices were made in regards to using CG 3D imagery more. This was, in my opinion, a choice to portray how much the world has changed. Locations we know look different. It creates a sense of "new", because it is new for Araragi, and the way the first movie plays out, it's currently a story about Araragi. So through his eyes, we experience a new-same world. It's cool.
That and the fact that this has some of the most fluid CG animation i've seen in an anime, plus the fact that when the regular 2D character moves it's absolutely gorgeously imposed onto the 3D as well.
I'm an animation fanatic, I love when something is animated well. This is animated exceedingly well. Some scenes were jaw-droppingly beautiful to look at. I absolutely love the new artstyle and I don't think it's wrong to say that the gorgeous animation was the highlight of this film.
I can't stop praising it enough. It's THAT good. In a perfect world where anime isn't dominated by still-images and pans of characters standing around and talking in a boring way, I'd hope that things like this would take over.
Point is. Monogatari has found a way to be EVEN prettier.
[PART 3]: Characters and Progress
As I said, the story is kept simple. It's kept simple because this movie is a feast for the eyes rather than the ears. The characterization is clean and the motivations are (so far) pretty clear.
That's all I really have to say about the story. But, lets talk about cool.
What is cool? How is cool something tangible in television or film? Is it something that needs to be there? Is it something that can be done well, in a self-aware way?
Well "cool", in its slang-meaning, is something that's attractive. Something that's "in", something fashionable, something that catches your eye.
Needless to say, a lot of anime tries to be cool. It's a cliche now, for me. Especially in Shounen shows like HunterXHunter, Attack on Titan, Fullmetal Alchemist, etc. The writers have this need to make things "cool", and a lot of the time, unfortunately, it backfires.
While Monogatari is far from a shounen and far from an action show. I've seen just about everything try "cool" before. But what a lot of people, especially writers and directors, don't realize, is that cool isn't something that can be done easily.
For example, these said shounen shows have this annoying thing they do where when they have to introduce a "powerful" character into the story, they go about making him/her cool in the most boring way possible.
1.) They Job. Where they have this said new character beat the ever living fuck out of a previously established "strong" character to make this new character seem EVEN COOLER AND STRONGER!
2.) They have a character say something like, "Ah! He's so strong! I can feel his evil aura!" Or something along those lines.
So one is something that can work once but soon becomes boring and stale. And the second method is just boring. How is exposition something cool? How is telling the viewer something like "Oh shit he's so cool! Please think he's cool!'.... cool? It's not cool. It's not cool at all!
So this relates to Monogatari, especially Kizumonogatari, I promise.
With this cliched view on "cool", anime has always been distinctly uncool for me. Sure the idea of some shows are cool, but their execution has been lacking.
Yes you can make a character an archetype for cool. Give him slick hair a leather jacket and an "I don't care" personality. But if you want something to capture the essence of "cool", it requires a delivery that's cool. And what's cool to a lot of people? Being subtle. Not caring. Not screaming "Look how cool I am!" Because doing that is totally NOT cool.
So a character in "X" show can be a cool character for the characters. But if he isn't shown in a cool way... if he's just a cool character because "well, the writers say so!', he's not really that cool, to me anyway.
Yes i'm aware i've used the word cool like a hundred times.
So where does Monogatari come in? Well, I think Monogatari has a very perfect way of showing "cool". Especially since the show is fairly blunt in it's parody, it's very eager to point things out. If Hachikuji is acting cute, Araragi won't hesitate to yell "Kawaiiiii!"
But the show doesn't do that with cool, and i reckon that's because the director and writer knows exactly what being cool is.
Kizumonogatari delivers that in spades. While characters like Kagenui, Episode, Oshino, Ononoki, etc. have always been cool characters, Kizu dramatizes that.
When Monogatari does cool it's subtle. It's intense. It's a character looking at you. It's right.
I can't emphasize how great this is for me, as a lover of cool. I love getting that tingling sensation down your spine when some badass just does something fucking awesome.
Kizu does that with the introduction of its antagonists. It doesn't job, it doesn't explain what makes them cool. You get it. They're cool. They're cool because they're aberration-slaying bad-asses. One of them wields a giant god damn cross. He doesn't need to explain why. You see it and you are like "Damn son, that's fucking sick!"
That's the essence of cool!
One of them is named Dramaturgy! Which is a hilariously self-aware way of saying "Hell yeah, this dude is awesome."
And this is all done in a scene with literally no dialogue! This is all done in a way where when there IS dialogue, it's purposefully muted over. They know cool!
[EPILOGUE]: Life of Problems
So after that massive rant, I'll wind things down. Kizu is part one out of three. It's literally the build up. In fact, the "climax" of this episode still serves as a buildup.
It has an incredibly unique and awesome new animation style that fits the theme of the show.
While the overall theme of the show, Romance, isn't quite present yet, it's still really entertaining to see a long-gone world where Shinobu and Araragi don't quite know each-other yet.
It's like the first part of the first Star Wars, almost. It's you beginning to grip the edges of your seat in anticipation for whats to come. Knowing the creator and writers, whats to come is sure to be cool, funny, dramatic, subversive, and most likely a little fanservicey.
While the story is simple so far, it was an absolute blast to watch this glorious animation unfold before me. It was an absolute blast to see the old-world. It was an absolute blast to meet old and new characters.
Engaging, self-aware, dialogue driven: These are the three things to best describe the Monogatari Series, and this film carries those themes well. Not once was I bored from certain events that took place, be it a stroll by the river or an over-emphasized internal conflict (something we've seen a lot by now in this show).
Quite honestly, there isn't much to say beyond this. It's unfortunate, but the film isn't very long and nothing happens that I didn't already know about from watching the series, so the film in itself is like one giant exposition. That is not to say it isn't a boring exposition, but
as someone who has only seen the show (to save myself from spoilers for this part of the story) I was hoping to walk into this film with more than Araragi meeting Kiss-Shot for the first time, and then learning why she needed his help. It's kind of cheap, and I can't see a good reason why Shinbo though this was a good approach to something that could have easily been a television series.
I apologize. I haven't said much about the story, but that's sort of the point. There isn't enough content within this hour to be of any importance, and the film is paced like it's supposed to be longer. This means the only reason it's an hour is because it's going to be milked for money with 2 other films. Such a shame.
Flawless. SHAFT has outdone themselves here. There's a clean nature to the entire film that sticks to the visual themes of the previous works while standing out among them. I've no complaints in this department.
I found the soundtrack really enjoyable but there was one song that wasn't very fitting. It's during the last 10 minutes or so of the film. There's also a really stupid sound used during the "Araragi meets Kiss-Shot" scene that does nothing for the film. SHAFT likes to take liberties with their sound effects (looking at you, awkward breathing scene: Madoka Magica: Rebellion) and while I appreciate that in some respect, this was far off the mark. It makes the scene silly. I couldn't wait for it to be over.
To those who are wondering what the sound effect is, you'll know exactly what it is when it happens. I guarantee it.
Decent. There isn't enough time to really get into any of the characters, so there aren't any individual arcs to enjoy. Another fault of the money-grabbing film schedule. However, it's a small cast and I've come to enjoy the limited ensemble that has become so pivotal to the Monogatari arcs. That said, the villains have no personality and I wish there'd been more to them. They may be shown further in the future, but that's in a different film and not this one.
There's a lot to appreciate with SHAFT. They have this balance of going beyond the boundary to wow you, and then balance it out with hilarious visuals that otherwise wouldn't work. Although the film is offensively short, it's a lot of fun to watch and I am really excited to see the next one.
((If you liked this review, friend me for new reviews on other works, both manga and anime!))
SO YEAH. I've watched the Kizumonogatari series. Not in the Cinema. Or brought the DVD from the DVD store and shit. But I've watched it on kissanime today, July 30 2016.
And due to seeing people getting extremely disappointed with the film for being too short, for having only 7-10 things happening in the first film, and in the entire 1 hour and 3 min. In term of the scenario, situation, or the interaction scene between characters. It's justifiable for those to criticize this movie for being mediocre, or slow pacing to the point where you would feel like the long wait for the kizumonogatari series
was just a joke.
And let me start off by saying this. The pivotal components of this film itself is the cinematic techniques that was used in this movie. And we could clearly sees that this is just the exposition of the other parts of the kizumonogatari movie and that's why it's called part one. And the pacing of it is extremely slow as well because that's just how it's. And from what I've seen. This Kizumonogatari movie contains both parts of the plot-line. The exposition and in the progress of undergoing a rising action. And in term of the cinematic technique that was used within this movie. I would say, this is prolly one of the best cinematic technique that was used in an anime ever. One of the many things that it did, is to build up its atmospheric environment, atmosphere, setting, the sound tracks, and the symbolism involvement with the voices of other external correlated things (baby crying, sounds of someone stepping on a door etc.). That created a kind of cinematic moment which is considered to be called as, "noir". And other term during the flashcard thing that usually appear when you watch the monogatari was a film contextual words. That was "noir", and "rouge".
And this is what "noir" means, a movie about crime that uses dark shadows and lighting to show the complicated moral nature of the subject; also : this style of film. And it was delivering this kind of cinematic "noir" in the movie so well. And the atmospheric environment are that of a realistic images of an actual place. As well as the background setting that was used in the anime as well. And the application of various sources of imagery and animation in the film is pretty interesting as well. And based from what I've seen in this movie, the director seem to spend most of his time to create an extremely less repetitive frame of animation to each scene, or body movement to make it look even more realistic. This though, is at the opportunity cost of some of its character design texture, intricate lines on them, details, and the welly drawn entirety of the character in motion. This is probably because their budget for this movie isn't really as much as the fate zero franchise.
And certain character's interaction aren't really that logical. Maybe because of the time constraint of how long the movie gotta be with their current budget for the movie itself. Or the fact that this is how it's done in the light novel already. But the characters, especially Hanekawa. And here's my character analysis of Hanekawa in the movie. She was pretty clingy, show no certain kind of disturbance or faze when she show her panties to Araragi when they first met with one another, and actually talk. Then they started talking like they were very close despite them only being just a stranger, and they began to hang out with one another. This includes other form of other character's interaction within this kizumonogatari when we get to see Araragi interacting with them. And that shit makes no sense. But the character is pretty likable enough, they have a very good voice cast, etc. So I'm not going to say that the character in this show was illogical and bad. But they're likable enough (coz, moe) to be able to enjoy the story and the character interaction nontheless.
And the weight, or the dialogue itself were render short within this film. And my guess would probably be because this is just the exposition to the entirety of the Kizumonogatari story.
But the much more intellectual, maybe containing puns, philosophical arguments, uses of English words, English puns, hardcore symbolism with its visuals, or structuring their arguments of any of the related topics in a logical sequence (Premise, Premise, Premise... all of those premise will support the Conclusion. Which makes them valid and sound). We will probably see those in the upcoming film, or either of the part 2 and 3 of the kizumonogatari. And because the film itself was concentrating more on the cinematic techniques, and the uses of "noir". I still find the kizumonogatari as enjoyable, or even more enjoyable than their usual ways of compiling all of their dialogue within their visual novels, into a single episode of the their monogatari episodes. But in the overall sense, I'm cool with the lack of dialogue within Kizumonogatari for part 1 of its entirety, because of the cinematic technique that was used, and interesting animations within it.
But on the side note, each episode of Fate zero cost around $200,000-350,000+USD. And imagine how much does this movie even cost to make in the first place. Based from the quality of the art, the high level of animation, and the editing, OST, voice cast, staff payment etc. I would prolly think that this movie cost as much as 2 or 4 episode of Fate zero, approximately.
And I'm not gonna lie here, I was laughing my ass off on a scene that wasn't intended to be funny several times. Maybe because of the silliness of over exaggerated animation, the lack of gravity/physics, and the somewhat sloppy art-style during character's body movement, boobs physic/boob size xD, or when the characters is moving in general. But nonetheless, I fully enjoyed the movie because of the cinematic techniques that was used in the film in a very professional manner, the variation of jazzy, chill, suspense/intense, dramatic, majestic and friendly OST. And the light hearted, cute, comedy like art scene/parody of some other comedic work in the manga industries. I would probably recommend this to many of you to check it out. This review may be pretty long to read, but to get the overall idea of what the objectives of this Kizumonogatari is. I would recommend you to skim it over just to get the overall idea of what to expect while you are watching the film :)
The first movie, much like the rest of the trilogy is set on Japan, centered around a high-school student, providing a backstory to the ever-so-popular Gatari series main character Araragi.
The opening of the movie is a flashforward scene, raising questions for the viewers about what is going on. This is made to pique interest very early on and generally helps to follow a very good pace throughout the storytelling.
This is definitely an area that could be done better in this movie. Between the flashforward and the rest of the story - I felt there was a missing scene, disconnection these
two and providing no sense to what happened in the opening. This is quite disappointing for a movie, seeing as being the first one it definitely should've taken care of viewers not feeling connected to the story after finishing it.
Besides that, the story itself is nothing complex, definitely not original to what it's trying to say. It's been done before, exhausted even. It was predictable in some scenes, however this doesn't make the set-up for the trilogy less interesting. The cliffhanger at the end took care of that. It was satisfying in a sense that things finally seemed to be getting interesting, and disappointing because that came too late in the movie.
The artstyle feels like the CryEngine of gaming. It's very good, definitely close to a realistic view, as animated movies should be. It is something that this studio has done a few times in the past as well from what we've seen.
That said, sometimes it doesn't fit in quite well with the rest of the scenes, especially in the comical ones, or the expressions of the main character. I felt that broke the immersion and could definitely been done better.
I watched the movie subbed in English, not being very familiar with the voice actors, as I'm quite new to anime, I cannot recognize any of them. However I felt that generally the voice acting was very good.
With that said, it wasn't anything memorable, and didn't provide any atmosphere to keep the viewers in. In a way, I think the quiet was deliberate on the producer's part.
I felt this was the lowest point. The world of Gatari is vastly underwhelming when it comes to the number of characters that we see in the movie. It does help and give a sense of scale to see people running or walking about while the important characters have a conversation. There are *very* few characters throughout the movie to a point that the world feels desolate. Even the cars driving in the background could be automated since it doesn't appear that there's a person in the driving wheel for all we can see.
The main character makes a questionable and arguably terrible decision with the first and only problem he's presented in the movie. He faces a problem, is stuck with this problem and despite being a loner, one should always try to seek outside help or at the very least, as we've seen in anime for years, contemplation of the issue is mandatory to find the next course of action.
None of the other characters are memorable, and one of them is certainly used as a plot device twice in the story, the audience still confused as to who he might be and why should he be involved in this.
Enjoyment and final thoughts :
I felt this was just a decent animated movie and perhaps just enough to be called average seeing as it's the first one in a trilogy. Perhaps all the questions and questionable decisions will make sense in the second or final movie?
Okay, I'll start by saying that there is a lot to say about this movie because it is so vastly different from everything else in the Monogatari series:
First thing you'll definitely notice - The animation:
The character designs in this movie very much resemble those in Mekakucity Actors, in the way that they lose their sheen and smooth polish used in the anime series. Personally I think this is actually pretty neat, there isn't much change from the characters characteristics apart from Hanekawa being even more well-endowed (if you think this is a problem you're lying to yourself). The only complaint I had was the
very brief scenes where 3D animation was used to animate characters. While the models were very detailed, the movements were very robotic.
There are a lot more live action images and film inserts in both the backgrounds and structures in the film than in any previous Monogatari series. Even structures you've seen before such as the cram school and Araragi's high school look entirely different in this movie. The rotoscopes and live action images are so well done that they're indistinguishable from each other. It blends well with the new character designs so it all works to give it a new fresh look. Whether or not it works is all personal preference, I think it worked quite well.
Next up is the story:
This is the prequel of the Monogatari series explaining Araragi's first encounter with the supernatural, namely Shinobu. This being the first part of a trilogy and me not wanting to spoil anything, I can't give a complete overview of the plot so I'll leave it at this.
Faithfulness to source material:
I have not read Kizumonogatari, however from what I heard from the friend I went with whom has read Kizumonogatari, this movie did adapt about a third of the book. However there are some moments that do seem stretched in order to make it long enough to be a film (though the film is only 60 minutes long). According to my friend some events receive clearer explainations in the book, however there was nothing altered too much.
To my suprise this movie had the least amount of speaking in any installation of the Monogatari series. This is mainly due to the stretched scenes I referred to earlier, but it actually didn't bother me much. I think if there was too much dialogue I wouldn't be able to take in the new style of artwork displayed in the series, also the dialogue that was present was very good.
I'm especially making a section on humor because this movie has some of the best I've seen in the Monogatari series in a long time. The first half of the movie has some of the best visual humor and witty dialogue that made me and the rest of the audience laugh out loud at its sheer ridiculousness and snark (including what I now know as the epitome of the world's most glorious panty shot, you'll see what I mean).
And finally, Overall enjoyment:
This was honestly a treat to watch on the big screen and hope to see the next two in theaters as well. What made Bakemonogatari so great was that it was like nothing anyone had seen before, however after multiple seasons and specials proving that it could be replicated it was really nice to see such jurassic changes to the film, making it seem like you're watching something totally new. Overall, this was a great film and I highly recommend watching it as soon as you can.
Having watched the Monogatari series in release order during the last few months, I was looking forward to this very much. Finally getting to see, how araragi and shinobu met in the frist place. The Monogatari series is now (still, despite of this monstrosity) one of my favourite Anime series, with all the arcs up until here ranging somewhere between 6/10 (nadeko snake) to 10/10 (tsubasa tiger, hitagi end, suruga monkey,...).
That said, it is hard to believe, how terrible this movie is. The visuals are mostly okay, but everything else went wrong:
This is my biggest issue. Araragi in this movie is not araragi. The same
completely over the top panic-expressions combined with baby-like voiceacting turn him into a pathetic little wimp, so much so that it is painful to watch. Shinobu goes from threatening to crying like a baby within a few seconds, in a way that does not make any sence at all. Her personality after changing into child-form is also abnoxious and nothing like she turns out to be in the actual series. The only character they actually got right is hanekawa.
It is god-awful. Most of it is the bare minimum of what is cosidered dramatic orchestra music, composed without any inspiration and mixed in too suddenly and too loud. It is completely different from the minimalist but sufficient approach that the rest of the series takes. It is distracting and annoying.
For some reason, this prequel is not treated as a prequels at all. It spends so much time setting up "suprising" moments, that we ALREADY KNOW are going to happen. We know, that araragi is going to find shinobu at the end of that blood trail. No need for 3 minutes of him dramatically following it. We also already know, that he is going to save her. No need for him to go through mindless over the top panic to a brief moment of actually being araragi to depressed selfhatred within a few minutes before actually saving her. And we also already know, that he is not going to die. All of these things were never going to have any tension about them, but that is the only thing the movie is trying to achieve, instead of focusing on character develpoment.
All in all, this is nothing but a painful experience of wasted potential for what copuld have been a great story.
For those who have stuck with the Monogatari series for the long haul (in particular the anime, as that is what I have the most experience with), it's no surprise that one of its biggest strengths is the atmosphere it creates. A broad concept, yet fulfilled in many different ways. The dialog-heavy conversations between characters (the point where entire episodes have consisted of only two distinct conversations), soundscapes underpinning moments of both comedy and drama, slightly-heavy faces with odd animation that admittedly got better as the series went on, setpieces and places emphasizing tension and characterization... take your pick. Each season creates its own atmosphere
in a variety of ways, giving every single one its own style and character.
Each of the Kizumonogatari movies have their own character to them culminating in an overall tremendous experience, but I can't help but be so drawn towards the first of the three, Tekketsu. I'll be upfront about it; this movie is almost entirely setup for the next two, with the main attractions (that being the fights and Araragi's struggle with his humanity versus living as a vampire) only teased here. It's hard to really be into something that spends an hour primarily building its foundation, but Tekketsu saves itself from being plodding by making sure to have every scene matter, feeling like it means something.
From the start, it leaves an absolutely strong and notable impression. After all, it's not until a little over eight minutes in that characters start speaking. Gone are our main character's (Koyomi Araragi here) inner monologue and narration, and the silences during conversations normally taken up by inner interjections is instead taken up by... just that. Silences. Throughout the movie, there are only three sizable conversations that make up the meat of the movie, and only two feel like conversations from the television seasons; with Tsubasa Hanekawa at the beginning of the movie and with Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade (hereforth referred to as Shinobu for ease) during the cram school scene.
Even then, small bits of quiet break up the conversations in awkward ways, hijinks are practically nonexistent, and familiar conversational beats rarely happen. Instead, characters talk at their own pace, topics drift in the air caring little about getting to their destination, and everything happens at their own pace. It feels less like story happening and more like people talking, which is great! It makes the setup feel more natural, despite this movie being able to be summarized in only a single paragraph (and probably not even that much is needed).
As far as other movie elements that feel loosely defined, the pacing is also definitely in that category. All events happen at their own pace, which is better for a character-focused movie that's primarily setup than what is supposed to be a tightly-packed story-first series. While the movie doesn't have to do this, it often works for its advantage. The best example is 20 minutes in, with the build-up of Araragi following the trail of blood in the subway taking three minutes before reaching its conclusion. At various points the camera wil linger on small details or angles to focus the tension closing in, emphasizing Araragi's face at the most claustrophobic bits as the gravity of the situation truly sinks in. During scenes like these, as the film creates absolutely memorable moments, it'll do so on more relaxed and humanizing terms. It really does make characters feel more like real people, despite the absurdity and/or gravity of the situation, moreso than almost any other parts of the Monogatari series.
This is why when we have absurd bits like Araragi and Hanekawa's meeting, it feels less typical, less gross, and more funny than other anime that don't commit to how absurd they hammer home the bit and really emphasize how the characters feel. (The car crash right when that bit ends is perfect; catch the wreckage of the car later on in the scene.) Here, the comedic timing of the situation, the flow of the music, the incredibly gorgeous and expressive animation highlighting it, all work to serve the moment. Parts like this in all the movies, but this one especially, help it feel so engaging where any other treatments would probably lead to a collapse.
This kind of over-the-top absurdity is also highlighted with other elements of the film as well. The gorgeous, breathtaking 2D animation is contrasted against what seems to be oddly rendered 3D environments, making Araragi's adventure feel all the more bizarre. How about the cram school? In the television seasons, it's framed as a tight, claustrophobic building that ultimately ends up as many characters' salvation. In this film, it has the appearance and size of being a castle, a giant lonely place for Araragi and Shinobu. The scene where they walk around in it talking to each other takes ages as they explore different parts of the school (also having a loose flow to it), and it's captivating as a result. Or the pained, shocked face Araragi makes; it borders on ridiculousness but the film is self-aware enough not to make it too funny or attention-grabbing the entire time he makes it. And so on and so on.
At moments it gets to be too much. There was never any need to have Araragi and Hanekawa's meeting happen like that, but that ties into personal taste for how I do not enjoy Araragi whenever he's a part of the series (despite liking him more in the Kizu movies). With this being wholly setup, there's going to be times where this won't do it for me as much as the second or third parts would. Some parts of scenes feel a bit too vague or cryptic, as if stuff is passed over from the novels and we're left to infer more than we should. Oshino who is a bigger part of the next films, does not do too much here, despite him being introduced in the final third.
But even with the above, I ultimately think that the best aspects carry this for me and cater to my personal tastes the most. Plus, given its position both chronologically in and out-of-universe, it feels like a good place to let people new to the series to start (all they'd have to get over are the art and slight dialog barriers). Try and ride with it being a film almost all about setup; the payoff will be super worth it.
Wow. You definitely don’t see something like Kizumonogatari I every day. It is essentially Monogatari on steroids. Kizumonogatari I is like adding lighter fluid to the Monogatari series fire. I don’t even know where to begin talking about something like this. Let’s start with the obvious I guess: how it looks.
I’m actually surprised to see that Kizumonogatari I is made by the same studio that made the rest of the Monogatari series. It is uniquely different. Kizumonogatari I is still clearly Monogatari, but mostly by feeling now. The awesome cuts, shot composition, directing, pacing, and attention to detail are all still there, but everything,
absolutely everything is ten times more stylized and dramatic. Kizumonogatari I looks exactly like what you would expect Monogatari to look if you threw an endless pit of money at it. Kizumonogatari I looks like if they threw the rest of Monogatari, Devilman Crybaby, and The Animatrix all in one of those Alchemy Pots from Dragon Quest. Kizumonogatari I looks ridiculous.
What do I talk about next? The plot? Kizumonogatari is basically 30 minutes of shots of Koyomi Araragi freaking out intertwined into 30 minutes of story. It feels more like an episode of a weird arc than a movie. All I can say about it is that it is an astonishingly simpler plot than what you’d expect from the Monogatari Series, at least so far.
I don’t even know what else I could say about Kizumonogatari I. It is quite literally like trying to review the first episode of an arc. I think this is all I can say about Kizumonogatari I. I’ll see you on my review for Kizumonogatari II.
Kizumonogatari is the first and only installment of any -gatari series I've ever watched. Being very familiar with Shaft's production and somewhat familiar with the running theme of this series, it's not that I didn't think it'd be worth watching, it just wasn't a priority.
However, this prequel piqued my interest.
The animation is highly stylized with some scenes that were far more pleasing than others. Of my favorites were those featuring Kiss Shot who, putting it simply, just looked cool.
Overall, the animation is highly reminiscent of titles put out by Studio 4°C...10 plus years ago. To make matters worse, 4°C is hardly the
only studio to have done this, they just did it the best. I am not at all familiar with the proper terminology for this style, but it's a regurgitated technique & aesthetic that makes Kizumonogatari appear dated or at least, very unoriginal.
I'd actually be embarrassed for anyone who found this novel or impressive.
The audio was appropriate, nothing to write home about. I enjoyed a few jazz and guitar pieces put towards the end. Some of the effects coupled along with the visuals made me groan but I've seen worse.
The dialogue is spread rather unevenly throughout the film and the progression of events is shaky. The antagonists make a showy entrance, that I actually liked, but they don't even speak. Their names are introduced via flashcards. There are silly production choices like that scattered throughout Kizu- and while it's so obviously intended to intrigue, it's overuse is beyond tiresome.
In spite of the grocery list of flaws, I did enjoy the cast- all except Araragi who rubs me as an opportunist. Kiss Shot and MEME readily captured my affection and hopefully the antagonists will evolve to be more than stunt queens.
But on that note, I can't rate a piece based on how I 'hope' it will turn out.
With the precarious handling of such a basic plot that makes up not just one but THREE films, this could go any number of directions and I'd hate to get my hopes up for something that didn't deliver.
Therefore, Kizumonogatari gets a 6/10.