May 19, 2017
Battlechili (All reviews)
Kizumonogatari is without a doubt the worst Monogatari Shaft has put out. Don't get me wrong; its still good. But its incredibly dissappointing and is a shame to the source material.

One of the things the Monogatari series is known for and is strong because of is the dialogue. Clever and often comedic, the series is very dialogue heavy, sometimes perhaps a bit too much, but nonetheless it makes up for this by giving truly entertaining discussions that not only add to the characters but also give the viewer something to laugh at and sometimes think about. Kizumonogatari is unique in that it has very little dialogue (in the anime, that is). Shaft chose to omit some of the dialogue present within the original novel, and as a result, we get something that is very different from the usual Monogatari fare. This wouldn't necessarily be a problem, but due to the pacing of this film and due to how it ends, this winds up feeling more like an episode of a short series rather than an actual film. The ending isn't so much a climax as it is a stopping point, and despite the lack of dialogue, not much actually happens in this film. Its really disappointing that Shaft went this route. This might've been okay if all of the Kizumonogatari films were in one, but since this is not the case, this really should've been a short series with all the dialogue intact.

The lack of dialogue isn't the only change in direction Kizu went through however, as its art style is a good ways different from the rest of the series. Its much more detailed and extremely gorgeous as a result, and the animation is the best in the series. But since not much actually happens in the film, it feels like its all being wasted, and indeed some parts seem to be Shaft having fun with the animation making eye candy rather than even following a faithful and consistent adaptation of the original novel. While the Monogatari series has always had a clean and modern look to its settings, places such as the abandoned cram school look more like modern empty brand new building rather than the old abandoned building it is in the other anime adaptations. It IS supposed to be an old and abandoned building, but Shaft here chose to do something different with it, and this was extremely unnecessary. Much of the art and animation in this is unnecessary in fact; Kizu oftentimes seems to be more Shaft showing off rather than making any meaningful effort to adapt the material, and that's a real shame, because the original novel is a page-turner if there ever was one.

Beyond that the plot and characters are fine; you get to see how Araragi first came in contact with Shinobu, Oshino, and even Hanekawa here, although the anime could have done a lot more with these; Oshino for example has a common quirk where he'll ask anyone upset "Did something good happen to you recently?" but here not once does it come up. I feel that Oshino as a whole was not as fleshed out as he was in the novel, and neither was Hanekawa. That's not to say that anything was BAD, but just lacking. There could've been more that was adapted, but it was all left out.

In short, Kizumonogatari was a disappointment as a Monogatari fan. While good for eye candy, I highly recommend you look towards the original novel if you want a true Monogatari experience.