Throwback Thursday: Bakemonogatari

If you watch our weekly podcast, which you totally should because it’s fucking awesome, I’ve been talking about this series for the last two weeks. Well, there’s a good reason for it. It’s great. After constantly seeing gifs, memes, and references in my timeline for this series, I figured it was time to give it a shot and see what all the fuss is about. Well, I got what I came for. The fuss and nothing but the fuss. Holy fuss. Okay, I’ll stop.  Let’s jump right in!

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The story of Bakemonogatari follows a young lad by the name of Koyomi Araragi. Araragi-kun is a high school student who survived a vampire attack. He was brought back from vampirism and became a human again while retaining some abilities. When Araragi finds himself saving a fellow classmate, Hitagi Senjougahara, from falling down the stairs, he realizes that she’s almost weightless. Despite Senjougara’s threats to end his life, Araragi decides to help her. Not only Senjougara but other characters throughout the series Araragi attempt to help solve their supernatural issues.

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Okay, I’ll be totally honest with you. The synopsis doesn’t seem very interesting and you know what, the beginning of the show won’t either. It really doesn’t get interesting until the plot is fully revealed to the viewer. Once you fully understand what role Araragi plays in all this and get more of an understanding of all the supernatural maladies everyone is suffering from, that my friends, is when you’ll be able to fall for this anime.

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In order to keep the audience around, you need to give us something, or maybe someone to emotionally invest in. Thankfully this series presents such a vibrant cast that’ll present a difference between the best girl argument and the best girl debate. Every girl is wonderful for their own unique way. If you were to say Senjougahara is the best girl, no one should fight you because you’re right. She is the best girl FOR YOU. I can talk all day about how Shinobu is the best girl but I respect Senjougahara as well. They’re both characters full of surprises that’ll continuously keep your attention and find ways to steal the spotlight from each other.

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Bakemonogatari is animated by Studio Shaft, the one and only. I guess you can really call the Monogatari Series their flagship series. After making Bakemonogatari and a few of the other entries of the Monogatari series, Studio Shaft created anime like Nisekoi and Mekakucity Actors. I remember watching these series and thinking how strange the animation and framing was and thought “man this is weird. Are they cutting corners?” I couldn’t tell. Then, I came to learn that this was all intentional. Shinbou Akiyuki, the director of all of these anime series, was given an abundance of freedom to just do what he wanted and I’m glad he did. If you’re a big film buff, you’ll recognize many different styles he plays around with from all kinds of different films into this series. It’s very refreshing for me to watch this at the time I did. I was in a weird place watching a bunch of series that were generic and just copy pasta of whatever was popular the season before. You sometimes need a new set of eyes on a great story to bring it new life.

The above video is the best opening of this show. Yes, there are multiple openings! There’s one opening for each arch or story. I was a big fan of this with Mekakucity Actors and it made total sense why they made the choice for that series. I believe with this series, they wanted to have a firm disconnect between stories and make sure that it was definitely separate. Back to this opening above, you may not have even heard of Bakemonogatari but I guarantee, you had to have heard this song if you are a true fan of anime. If you’ve been an active member of this community, you’ve heard this at least once or glanced over it. If you haven’t, you’re welcome.

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As soon as I finished this season, I was sad to see it go but also quickly reminded that there’s so much more to watch. The Monogatari series is a lot but it’s not One Piece. Very achievable. I’ve already finished two more seasons in this series and I’m trying to finish the rest of what is available before the last story is released. I’ll say this to anyone looking to give this series a shot, Bakemonogatari is on Crunchyroll BUT it is only up to episode 12. Since the original airing of the show ended on episode 12, for some reason, that is where it ends on Crunchyroll as well. Probably a licensing issue. To watch the other three episodes that were streamed after, you can watch it on Anime Strike. Just a heads up.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this article. As always, hit that like button if you enjoyed and leave a comment to let me know what you thought of the series.

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