Anime Review: Bakemonogatari


Bakemonogatari

I think I planned to review this show before, but got interrupted by a starting anime season or something. Basically, this series follows Koyomi Araragi, who one day catches a falling girl (I'm not kidding) only to find that she is as light as a feather. This girl, Hitagi Senjougahara, has had her weight stolen from her, and Koyomi recruits the aid of his friend Meme Oshino to help her with her problem. But that's not the end of the story. Koyomi starts to run into more girls with supernatural problems, and continues to help them solve them.

The story is split up into arcs for each of the girls, each arc being about 2 or 3 episodes. I thought it was a pretty nice, especially as these arcs seem to work to drive the love story that's going on in the background. I was definitely surprised when the first arc was resolved so early in the show...I didn't even realize that was how it was being formatted. Also, Koyomi's a pseudo-vampire, meaning that he has accelerated regenerative properties. What does this mean for the story? Well, there ends up being a decent amount of action in the form of Koyomi getting the crap beaten out of him (he really is as strong as he looks).

Story: Score 92/100

Characters in this show were pretty well done. The main character Koyomi Araragi is pretty entertaining in that he tries to play the normal guy, desperately trying to keep his cool despite the paranormal events that seem to revolve around him. Despite his best efforts, the show is always bringing out the panicked or even perverted sides within him, but I enjoyed his range of behaviors...almost like Katsuragi Keima, but not quite as entertaining. Joining him, we have the self-proclaimed tsundere, Hitagi Senjougahara, who does a great job of complimenting him (I mean in a literary sense, not actual praise). I definitely liked her character a lot...she was always entertaining doing crazy and exaggerated things with a straight face.

With them, we have a few other major female leads, Suruga Kabaru, the eccentric underclassman, Tsubasa Hanekawa, the knowledgeable class president, Mayoi Hachikuji, the spirited loli, and Nadeko Sengoku, the shy friend of the family. I didn't really have any problems with any of them. Meme Oshino probably ends up being one my favorite characters in this show, though. He's got a general nonchalance that I always find entertaining, and he always knows what's going on, always has the answers. Definitely entertaining.

Characters: Score 90/100

The animation in this show is...different. The character designs are definitely unique and they threw me off when I first watched it. Still, everything looked good...although, I'd be prepared for some random blank scenes. But I dunno...I thought it was cool that the scenes were dynamic and not just staring at two people talking. They sorta flash around with camera angles, focusing on other parts of the room, or just the blank scenes. The music is pretty consistent for the most part...nothing really out of place. I thought it all went along well. The opening themes change for each arc, and I like each of them. Staple Stable probably ends up being my favorite, with either Sugar Sweet Nightmare or Renai Circulation following it. Staple Stable just has that calm atmosphere to it. I'm also a big fan of the ending theme...but that could just be because supercell is awesome.

Animation: Score 90/100

Music: Score 90/100

All in all, it was a pretty entertaining experience. Not exactly the most action-packed series ever, but it's still there. There's definitely a ton of dialogue, though...that's basically how the show is. Something I have to point out, though. I understand how they decided to organize the arcs, but it would have been nice to see a bit more interaction between the girls outside of their own arcs. Maybe I'm not looking at it the right way, but I guess I was starting to feel like each arc was its own separate show. Suppose that has something to do with the adaptation from the light novels. Either way, this show still has probably the best love scene I've ever seen (not the confession part...episode 12). I'd definitely recommend this series...unless they just really hate SHAFT.

Final Score: 90/100



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