This is a story, a "ghostory" of sorts, about scars that bond, monsters that haunt, and fakes that deceive.
The story of Koyomi Araragi begins through a fateful encounter with the all-powerful, blonde-haired, "hot-blooded, iron-blooded and cold-blooded" vampire, later introduced as Shinobu Oshino. Their tragic rendezvous results in the end of Araragi's life as a human and his subsequent rebirth as a vampire—a monster. However, this encounter is only the start of his meddlings with the supernatural. Koyomi's noble personality ultimately sees him getting further involved in the lives of others with supernatural afflictions. This is his desperate attempt at returning to a normal human life, in a paranormal world filled with nothing but tragedy, suffering, and inhumanity.
[Written by MAL Rewrite]
This entry includes the first season of the Monogatari Series.
Monogatari Series: First Season was published in English by Vertical Inc: first with Kizumonogatari as Kizumonogatari: Wound Tale on December 15, 2015, Bakemonogatari as Bakemonogatari: Monster Tale in 3 volumes from December 20, 2016 to April 25, 2017, Nisemonogatari as Nisemonogatari: Fake Tale in 2 volumes from June 27 to August 29, and Nekomonogatari: Kuro as Nekomonogatari (Black): Cat Tale on November 28, 2017.
If you are here, it means either you are a big fan of Nishio Ishin, or saw the anime Bakemonogatari and fall in love with it. Monogatari series, as expected from Nishio Ishin, is full of Japanese word plays and definition intonation; what I mean is it is hard to understand from just reading it once. From here and now will be a review of the book, not the anime.
Before getting into review and "a bit" of spoilers, here is the timeline of the story
Kizumonogatari -> Nekomonogatari Kuro -> Bakemonogatari -> Nisemonogatari
Now let's start this.
Consist of different girls possessed by different Kai'i(Oddity or strangeness). Senjogahara
Hitagi possessed by a Crab, Kanbaru Suruga possessed by a Monkey, Hachikuji Mayoi possessed by a Snail, Sengoku Nadeko possessed by a Snake, and Hanekawa Tsubasa (re)possessed by a Cat. Each had a reason to why and how they where possessed to these oddities and you can find that out by reading the novel or already know from the anime. Araragi Koyomi basically helps these young ladies to remove these oddities from them, and the point is he only "helps", not actually "saves" them. Bakemonogatari, as it's name is a collection of stories(monogatari) of monsters, or oddities(Bakemono).
Koyomi Vamp. Yes, why wouldn't have our dear main male character not be possessed by a oddity? Araragi Koyomi, one day, meets a Vampire, Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade, on the way back to his home. Kiss-Shot was heavily injured, and Koyomi gives up all his blood to her to save her, and from this, Kiss-Shot turns Koyomi into a Vampire. Kizumonogatari is the "Beginning" of the all the monogatari series. The point to pay attention to this story is not only thrilling battle scenes or the beauty of Kiss-Shot, but more of our dear almighty class-representative, Hanekawa Tsubasa. Kizumonogatari is a story where one and others hurt each other creating scars (Kizu) to each other.
There is a real and there is a fake imposter of that real. Now, which one has the more value?
Nisemonogatari features the story of Araragi Koyomi's cute little sisters, Araragi Karen and Tsukihi, the Fire Sisters. "Fire" is one feature to keep in mind for Nisemonogatari and Nekomongatari Shiro, but for Nisemonogatari, fire comes from the name of Karen and Tsukihi (Ren = fire, hi = fire). Karen is self-proclaimed "Moreu Onna" (Burning women), which she meant to explain her extraordinary passion towards everything. Tsukihi, is not passionate, but has a personality of that of a fire, hysteric. Main point of the story to pay a close attention is the Kaiki Deishu's logic towards fake and false. We can even say that Kaiki is the main character of the story, rather than Karen and Tsukihi. Nisemonogatari is a story where what can be called fake/imposter (Nise) and the true value of the world.
The talk of there being no such thing as right, is right.
Nekomonogatari Kuro is, yes a story of a cat(neko), but it's not that cute at all, or rather, a bit gruesome; Nekomonogatari Kuro and even go par with the Suruga Monkey from Bakemonogatari. The story takes place in between the Kizu and Bake, and is about Hanekawa Tsubasa and her meeting with a Cat, and more about the family of Hanekawa. Beginning starts with Koyomi's confession to Tsukihi that he can't stop thinking about Hanekawa's breasts, comedy, and then rapidly turns into serious story. Nekomonogatari Kuro, in another way to say it, Tsubasa Family, is about Hanekawa Tsubasa and her life in her family. The reason why Kuro (black) is added to it, you can find it out by yourself. Main point to pay attention to this story is the family issue, and the Oshino Meme's logic and Araragi Koyomi's logic towards people, or more about Hanekawa Tsubasa.
Nishio Ishin thank you for publishing books in out of time line for sakes. But still, I loved it, especially Nisemono and Nekomono Kuro. For people who are not a great fan of reading too much words, or not interested in beauty of Kanji and their true meanings, I really do not recommend any of Nishio Ishin's novel, but for the rest, Monogatari series is the best to know Nishio Ishin's writing style.
ps. All of them are available as anime so if you are confused or auditory learner, then go watch it after/before. It will make more sense.
The monogatari series. The number 1 highest ranking light novel here in myanimelist...
If your'e new here and your'e not familiar with the monogatari series nor read the light novels, but you are indeed curios, then let me help you
First thing you have to understand, the monogatari series, more specifically its author nisio isin doesn't really care about the order of the story
( the prequel to monogatari, which is kizumonogatari got released after bakemonogatari ) its sounds weird and it causes a lot of controversy in the fandom too... in my opinion you can either start with kizu or
bakemonogatari they are both enjoyable. But after story progresses we jump more and more in the timeline . So don't be surprised!
AND HERE IS THE REAL DEAL
The monogatari series is ALL about the characters!!!!!
Story ? you may ask, doesn't matter! It's basically nonexistent. Characters go from point A to point B and here you go. That's it. If you expected a world breaking story with the biggest plot wist ever developed, than you will be disappointed. As i mentioned earlier the series is all about the characters their dialogues, and monologues. And nisio isin's wordplay/ writing style.
He loves making references and long pages of dialogues. Most of the time nothing really happens, just 2 characters interacting with each other.
We have some nice discussions about girl panties, the meaning of love, life and friendship. But sometimes the author decides to throw in some meaningless tool and lets his imagination go wild. We basically have 10 pages where nothing happens, Araragi is just thinking about some girls panties that's all. But you don't have to take those seriously, it just shows how a high school boy thinks and feels. WARNINGS: the series, especially kizumonogatari can be stupidly sexual sometimes. In the first season " first 7 books from kizumonogatari to nekomonogatari white " we have our main protagonist aka Koyomi Araragi as narrator. I was really impressed how strange/weird he gets sometimes, but to be honest i was obsessed with Araragi. He is a loner, a bad student, who doesn't want friends. He is generic at first glance, but he's actions and the way he sees the world, people and other situations makes him stick out. It was really interesting getting to know him better and understand him.
He truly shines as a main character and as an individual.
Every word that leaves his mouth, can be used as an awesome quote. "Worlds how powerless" or "I think you should call the verbal abuse police then"
1) If you start with kizumonogatari / wound tale
It's a story about how Koyomi Araragi a high school loser met the missy class president and helped the world's most fearsome vampire
This is how everything started. You can read this first, or you can read it after nekomonogatari. The story here is surprisingly good, and i loved the "twist" at the end. But if you can't handle a 10 page long description of underwear, than i'm sorry but the series isn't for you...
2) If you start with bakemonogatari / monster tale
Bakemonogatari is a collection of short stories about troublesome girls, demons gods and possessed souls. Our main protagonist Koyomi Araragi already has some experience with this kind of stuff, which are monsters, and unnatural events, so he decides to help the girls in need. Here we have some hints about Araragi's spring break, which is the story of kizumonogatari. The plots are basic, but we get to know the characters and Araragi.
I think it's a great experience, but the series isn't meant for everybody. You either fall in love with it, or you throw it in the garbage bag. There is no in between.
Hope it was helpful and sorry for making some grammar mistakes, i am just a human afterall c:
The Monogatari series is one that has alluded me for some time. Like with Durarara!, the hype train came and gone. Their anime both- astonishingly- adapted all the volumes of their source materials, and have long since fully aired. However, they looked so charming that I HAD to try the originals for the sake of the fact that I really don't care for anime that much. And finally, in 2019, I slowly sunk my teeth into the first third of the Monogatari franchise.
Story AND Characters- What Even is This?/10
This is a strange series. Basically, we have a supernatural slice-of-life, similar to Durarara! Except unlike Durarara!'s
nonchalantly over-the-top cast and sense of humor, Monogatari- so far- is the exact opposite. Monogatari is all about meta-humor and nuanced wordplay.
Monogatari is a character study in disguise as a supernatural harem. The main character, Araragi, is a hypocritical masochist who has been through some HELL. Ever since his run in with a vampire in Kizumonogatari (which is set BEFORE Bake but was published AFTER because the author is so "META"), he's had to help various girls like Best Girl Senjogahara and Other Best Girl Kanbaru with Best Man Oshino the Memelord.
These girls are all tormented by inner demons, literally and figureatively. Literally, as in they are being cursed by literal yokai and spirits. Figuratively, as in these are all real life human issues. And the latter thing is my least favorite aspect of Monogatari.
I think Monogatari is a very charming series so far, but I personally don't care about what it's trying to do. I know what it's doing; it's trying to deconstruct the harem genre by making the self-insert male and his girls deceptively complex and human. But... I dunno, maybe it's because my selectiveness has spared me from the hundreds of thousands of hours of factory-produced harems and rom-coms that Monogatari puts to shame, or the fact that I don't find human psychology that interesting, but I'm not floored by it.
As for Monogatari's writing, though... oh boy! You've ever heard of SAO's notorious information dumps? Well, Kawahara is holding Nisioisin's beer! A chapter will often start with Araragi meeting up with someone on his way from point A to point B and say something to the effect of "Good morning, X-san!" Fifteen plus pages later, and those same two characters will finish their intricate philosophical conversation about the meaning of life, their game of "Let's retroactively analyze Araragi-kun's psyche", or... panties. It's... different, and I'm at odds with it. The real problem is that it gets redundant and feels like padding. A lot of the times Araragi meets up with someone by happenstance it's ON HIS WAY to the actual plot of the arc and then the entire chapter ends up being spent just roasting him for the umpteenth time, especially if he's with Senjogahara or Hachikuji. Not that I don't like a good "nothing happens" story (like Grand Blue), but Monogatari HAS arcs and ORVERARCHING NARRATIVES, and the actual proper storylines are legitimately really good, so the nothing happening bits are AGONIZING in this case. But don't worry; it's perfectly justified by having Araragi apologize to the reader after intentionally wasting 100+ pages of time. *sarcasm*
This feels like an unintentionally pretentious writing style, plus it reminds me a lot of the abhorrent writing of some Western YA novels that I hate. For example, there's this vampire character, see, and if their name is ever mentioned in dialogue OR narration, we must be reminded that she's the "iron-blooded, hot-blooded, yet cold-blooded vampire". I can suspend disbelief over her having hot and cold blood at the same time, but calling her IRON-blooded?! FUN FACT: Blood HAS iron; That's the whole basis behind the Metallica fight in Jojo! Why call it "iron-blooded"? Because it SOUNDS COOL on a surface level, and people'll eat it up (not literally though, or else they'll become vampires too...). It makes me feel like the series is pretending to be smart.
But the thing is, Monogatari pretends to be smart really well. Like I said for the twelfth time, it's charming. I didn't expect to see a perverse guy screaming his perverse ideals and feel like it's an uplifting battle shounen moment. I didn't think that a book would describe panties for 5+ pages. It's not terrible! But I can also see how people wouldn't enjoy it. It depends on what kind of person you are. If the characters didn't have legitimately interesting personalities (unlike some other "human" protagonists who have less personality than rocks), then I would without question hate this series.
Art- Not that Much/10
This one only really has volume cover and chapter cover illustrations. However, the presentation of the cover art is very visually surreal, and is probably what would get people into the series if it weren't for the anime.
I'm really at odds with this franchise so far... I enjoy the personalities of the characters (except Hanekawa) and how the harem tropes are seamlessly integrated into the drama. But... at the same time, I don't enjoy the whole infrastructure of talking about random crap until the good stuff happens (at least it always gets to the good stuff within the volume, unlike Overlord) or how it sometimes thinks it's smarter than it is. If it weren't for my PTSD with Western YA "masterpieces" like The Fault in Our Stars, I'd likely enjoy Monogatari marginally better.
I'm definitely willing to finish the series, but it's not the masterpiece of a genius, it's merely the pretty darn good work of a decently talented writer.
I'm assuming that the one who reads this is already familiar with Bakemonogatari. Review is still pretty much spoiler free.
Kizumonogatari is another light novel to Nisio Isin's monogatari series. Published after Bakemonogatari while chronologically taking place to time before Bakemono's story and therefore being its prequel. Characters are about same age as in Bakemonogatari so chronologically these two are really close to each others.
Story answers questions like how did Araragi and Tsubasa Hanekawa met, why did Araragi became vampire, who actually are Shinobu and Meme Oshino and how did things end up to the situation like those were in Bakemono. Actual plot is all about
Oshino Shinobu (the young blond girl sitting in the corner in Bakemono) and her "relationship" to Araragi.
I have always respected Nisio Isin as a story writer, that guy has balls and Kizumo is yet another one where he really shows them. No other writer makes whole chapter about breast massage between serious moments, and just to quote Araragi: "Possibly she possesses a bust that cannot even be compared to. Moreover the shape was also splendid." While story is beautiful and emotional, making that could be stupid, that could ruin the story, but NO. Nisio Isin really knows what he is doing, he makes it all work (if that is enough of a word to describe it). All in all, everything in Kizumo is completely brilliant.
Have you ever heard of a main character who is mad at story writer because he makes story to weird to be adapted into an anime? Well Kizumogatari has that. Araragi stopping Meme doing certain things because they can't have anime adaption otherwise. Actually, he says it like "You can't adapt this into an anime, you just can't!" SHAFT is making the anime adaption btw. Because Kizumonogatari is so high quality light novel, the anime has every potential to be great. By great, I really mean great. I'm really strict when it comes to rating, atm less than 4% of the manga I've read has gotten rating over an 8 from me. Kizumono is a 9 all the way.
I didn't write to much about the actual story since I don't want to spoil anything. Imagine that all I said are just nice adds and the actual story is the one that makes this great. The point is; you don't want to miss this. The level of brilliantness and uniqueness is to high to be ignored since Kizumonogatari really is outstanding. The mean score is currently 8.70/10 on MAL, to me, this is one of the really rare ones which actually deserves it. Feels like I couldn't give this all the praising it deserves, I still hope I actually convinced someone to read this.
This article lists the characters from Nisemonogatari as well as the supernatural oddities that affect them. In addition, this article will address how each of the characters affects the plot line of Nisemonogatari.