Bakemonogatari, Volume 1 – Review

Today I finally reviewed the first Bakemonogatari print volume, which was… well, not great. Pretty much everything that’s good in this novel was conveyed as well or better in the anime, and there’s plenty here that was mercifully cut in the adaptation. Monogatari is one of my favorite anime franchises, but I’m not really compelled to continue reading these.

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

Bakemonogatari – Episodes 13-15

At last, we arrive at the end of Bakemonogatari! I unsurprisingly had a ton of stuff to say about this one, and had to scramble to fit the viewing and writing in on the tail end of preview of week. Rewatching the show’s conclusion was as rewarding as all the rest of it, and now I’m even more ready for the summer’s new season. Just keep feeding me Monogatari forever, goddamnit.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my notes below!

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Bakemonogatari – Episode 12

At last, we arrive at the most acclaimed episode of Monogatari’s first season. Bakemonogatari #12 is a remarkable episode, and I enjoyed it even more upon revisit. This episode basically condenses more chemistry, flirting, and romantic truth into one episode than most dedicated romances manage in a full series, a pretty solid feat for a show that isn’t even really a romance in general. Nice going, Monogatari.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my notes below.

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Bakemonogatari – Episode 11

And so we finally enter Bakemonogatari’s final arc. My review format’s gonna get shaken up pretty shortly by Crunchyroll’s lack of streaming, but hey, at least twelve is a reasonable end point by itself. Anyway, this episode was all about Hanekawa, and Hanekawa was great. I’ve certainly written enough words about it, so go read those, you big goofball!

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my notes below.

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Bakemonogatari – Episode 10

Hoo boy, we’re in it now. Nadeko Snake #2 is a rich and uncomfortable episode, one of those things that’s better for actually being an unpleasant experience. Its visual framing makes it effective in the same way great interactive storytelling can be – you’re not just a witness, you are complicit in the crimes on-screen due to the way you are perceiving them. I did my best to articulate all my muddled feelings on this episode, and hope you enjoy my piece.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my notes below.

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Bakemonogatari – Episode 9

Today we begin Bakemonogatari’s hella controversial fourth arc! Yep, it’s time for Nadeko. I had a bit of a tough time writing about this one, but not really because of the Nadeko material itself – more because this episode’s structure made it difficult to establish a single thesis and then explore it throughout a variety of scenes. Fortunately, I’m pretty sure the second episode will offer an extremely straightforward opportunity to explore What’s The Deal With Nadeko, so I’m looking forward to that. And this one was still a very strong episode!

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my notes below.

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Bakemonogatari – Episode 8

Today we concluded one of Monogatari’s most famous arcs with that arc’s most famous episode. The climactic showdown between Kanbaru and Araragi was as great as ever, but unsurprisingly, I spent most of today’s writeup pouring over both Araragi’s psychological hangups here and how they reflect the series overall, as well as the larger implications of this episode’s monkey’s paw shenanigans. Fun times all around!

You can check out my supersized review over at ANN, or my notes below.

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Bakemonogatari – Episode 7

We powered through the second episode of Suruga Monkey this time, which was largely spent establishing Araragi and Kanbaru’s relationship. The two of them have a pretty great rapport – like with Mayoi, they’re basically immediately friends, but unlike with Mayoi, at least half of Kanbaru’s jokes involve dunking on Araragi. I can’t say I mind having her lead the story for a bit!

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my notes below.

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Bakemonogatari – Episode 6

It’s time to begin Suruga Monkey! This was a bit of a transition episode, but still offered plenty to dig into regarding Araragi’s character, along with adding new wrinkles to his relationships with Senjougahara and Hanekawa. I’m almost surprised by how directly all this material reflects on Araragi’s fatal flaws – I’d expected that stuff to come up, but it feels like the focus even as we’re being initially introduced to the rest of the show’s main cast. For a show that’s rambled through over fifty episodes, Monogatari still feels like a pretty focused thing.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my notes below!

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Bakemonogatari – Episode 5

We’re back with the end of Mayoi Snail, and I’m back with another episode post that’s basically an essay in its own right. What can I say – Bakemonogatari steadily introduces pretty much all of the concepts that will become pillars of the franchise, and so there’s a whole lot to dig into. This time we get more on the strange nature of Mayoi arcs, a fair bit about Araragi’s personality, and plenty on Senjougahara as well. Let’s get right to it!

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my episode notes below.

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