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Sep 26, 2018 9:48 AM
Anime Relations: Bakemonogatari
The Monogatari series can be a bit confusing for a beginner to get into. A lot of things appear on the screen in a fast paced manner - events from the past and future and some of them happen at the same time. It took a long time, but now that Kizumonogatari has been animated we finally have the luxury to follow the original story from beginning to end.

There are at least three possible watch orders:

  • The chronological order - if you're like me and enjoy following long stories in one big chunk, this is the best option for you since it mostly follows one continuous timeline from beginning to end. The only problem is that transitioning between the different series can be a bit rough in the 2nd season, but overall I find it a really enjoyable experience.

  • The novel order - this is how the story was written originally in Nisio Isin's novels. It skips back and forth in time between different events, but it builds up a lot of mystery and suspense. If you like to be kept in the dark and piece bits of story together by yourself, this is the order you'll want to stick with.

  • The anime release order - Shaft has adapted the series in a different order altogether and in my opinion this can be pretty confusing at times, especially because Kizumonogatari (which holds a very important part of the main story) was animated so late. Watch in this order if you find skipping between different animation styles too jarring.

To get more of an understanding, you can help yourself with these sources:
http://bakemonogatari.wikia.com/wiki/Monogatari_Series_Timeline_and_Watch_Guide
https://www.reddit.com/r/araragi/comments/1mezh0/the_orders_to_monogatari/
https://www.reddit.com/r/araragi/comments/253p64/the_orders_to_monogatari_condensed_version/
https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/bakemonogatari1645/images/f/fb/Timeline_Dec_2017-0.png

Watching Monogatari in mostly chronological order
I say "mostly", because 1 or 2 stories are originally told as a backstory and there is one consideration you can make at the start, which I will describe below. Other than that, unless stated otherwise, the events in the list below happen one after the other. To avoid any confusion, let me just say that no matter what some other people might say, it's completely OK to watch the series in the chronological order.

----- Before you start, consider this: ----
You might want to watch Bakemonogatari first and then everything else in the chronological order, like it's listed here. Kizumonogatari is really powerful and brutal, compared to Bakemonogatari's more comedic tone and it has a different visual style compared to most of the other Monogatari series. So, watching Kizumonogatari after Bakemonogatari can serve as a strong finisher to this segment of the story.

On the other hand, watching Kizumonogatari first can make Bakemonogatari even more enjoyable, especially because of the continuity of Hanekawa's story. Another reason to experience Shinobu's full story early on is the fact that after Bakemonogatari, she suddenly becomes very talkative - you might not understand the reason for this and it can be pretty annoying if you don't know what she's talking about.

Just take into account that there are some flashbacks in Bakemonogatari, that hint at the events in Kizumonogatari and Nekomonogatari (black), but for some reason those events aren't accurately portrayed (the places are a bit different).
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Note: Some novels haven't been animated yet - those will be marked with gray text and you can either read them or wait for the anime to be made.

1. Wazamonogatari (Acerola Bon Apetite)

2. Kizumonogatari (2016-2017) - this is where it all begins. It introduces Shinobu, Hanekawa and Oshino, and saves you A LOT of confusion going further into the series.
Note: the first Kizumonogatari movie is a bit slow and lacks content, but the other two are absolutely fantastic.

3. Nekomonogatari Black (2012) - reveals a lot more of Hanekawa's character and Koyomi's sisters. Clears up more of the confusion that you might encounter going into Bakemonogatari.

4. Bakemonogatari (2009) - the monumental core of the Monogatari series. This was the first arc adapted by Shaft and is famous for it's puzzling backgrounds, animation tricks, playful soundtrack and overall a pretty unique production. The series can be broken down by episodes like this:

1-2 Hitagi crab (Senjougahara)
3-5 Mayoi snail (Hachikuji)
6-8 Suruga monkey (Kanbaru)
9-10 Nadeko snake (Sengoku)
11-15 Tsubasa cat (Hanekawa)
*11 is partially a flashback to Nekomonogatari (black)
**12 is entirely a Senjougahara episode and originally the TV series ending

5. Nisemonogatari (2012) - deals with Araragi's sisters, mostly with Karen, but other characters also appear a lot. Some people say Nisemono is pretty dumb, but I find that claim to be a misunderstanding of what the series really is. It has a short backstory going for it, but mostly it's just some nice fanservice with the characters you've been enjoying up to this point.

----- The above series conclude what is referred to as the "First Season". Below is the 2nd season and I won't specifically mention the 3rd season since some of its events actually happen during the 2nd season. Check out the links at the top of this post for more information on how the seasons are structured in the original novel. ----

6. Monogatari Second Season (2013) - here is where it gets quite complicated!
The title refers to the 2013 anime and the episodes in it. The entries in orange color are from a different series altogether! If you're not very picky you could watch the Second Season (2013) and then Owarimonogatari (2015), but as you can see below the time order is quite a mess. All the events here happen in a time span of 6 months.

  1. Kabukimonogatari (ep 7-10, Mayoi Jiangshi) - Ougi appears, but she's barely introduced. Ononoki appears again, cool to see her right after end of Nise. Works well as an opening since Shinobu plays a big part, just like in the 1st season.

  2. Nekomonogatari White (ep. 1-5, Tsubasa Tiger) - happens roughly at the same time as #3 and #4 and is told from Hanekawa's point of view. Watching Hanekawa's arc here makes for a good dynamic, similar to the 1st season. It's a great story and a lot of characters appear in it. Don't get confused by Senjougahara already being familiar with the Araragi sisters, they get introduced off-screen.

  3. Onimonogatari (ep 17-20, Shinobu Time) - continues right after #1, with Araragi in the lead and happens at the same time as #2.

  4. Owarimonogatari 2015 (ep. 8-13, Shinobu Mail) - resumes roughly from #3, but is told as a backstory, so don't be surprised at Ougi's appearance. I think it's better to watch this second half first, while the events of the entire arc are still in your head.

  5. Owarimonogatari 2015 (ep. 1-7, Ougi Formula, Sodachi Riddle, Sodachi Lost) - Ougi finally gets introduced and Sodachi appears. This arc starts very slowly, but builds a strong dramatic story.

  6. Wazamonogatari (Tsubasa Sleeping)

  7. Orokamonogatari (Sodachi Fiasco)

  8. Otorimonogatari (ep. 12-15, Nadeko Medusa) - happens roughly at the same time as #6 and #7

  9. Koimonogatari (ep. 21-26, Hitagi End) - continues with the story started in #8

Episodes 6, 11 and 16 are recaps, listed as TV specials and you won't even find them on the BD's.

7. Tsukimonogatari (2014) (Yotsugi doll) - a short arc, mostly about Araragi, comes right after the end of the 2nd season.

8. Koyomimonogatari (2016) - short side stories that don't have much to do with the main story, but the last 2 episodes lead into Owarimonogatari (2017) and are a bridge between #7 and #9. Other stories are placed at different times, during the main story, but since they're mostly filler (and by this point you already know the timeline very well), there's not much point in trying to watch them in the correct time order, alongside the main story.

9. Owarimonogatari 2017 (sometimes marked as episodes 14-20, Mayoi H., Hitagi Rendezvous, Ougi Dark) - they go in the written order, starting with Mayoi's chapter.

10. Zoku Owarimonogatari 2018 (Koyomi Reverse) - Araragi is thrown into an alternate world, where everything is reversed, but not everything is as simple as it seems. This arc builds on all the previous events and sort of concludes them.

11. Hanamonogatari (2014) - happens right after Zoku. This arc is focused on Kanbaru Suruga and shows how she deals with her senpai's graduation.

12. Shinobumonogatari

13. Wazamonogatari (Karen Ogre)

14. Orokamonogatari (Suruga Bonehead)

15. Orokamonogatari (Tsukihi Undo)

16. Nademonogatari

17. Musubimonogatari

Posted by Boltz | Sep 26, 2018 9:48 AM | Add a comment