During Koyomi Araragi's second year at Naoetsu Private High School, he has a chance encounter with Tsubasa Hanekawa, the top honor student in his class. When they strike up a conversation, Hanekawa mentions a shocking rumor: a vampire with beautiful blonde hair and freezing cold eyes has been seen lurking around town.
Happy to have made a new friend, Araragi writes off the rumor and goes about the rest of his evening in a carefree manner. However, on his way home, he stumbles across splatters of blood leading down the stairs to the subway. His curiosity pushes him to investigate further, so he follows the gruesome pools into the depths of the station.
When he arrives at the source of the blood, he is terrified by what he sees—the rumored blonde vampire herself, completely dismembered. After she calls for his help, Araragi must make a decision, one which carries the potential to change his life forever.
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.
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