Nekomonogatari (Black) (Review)
Hello there, long time no review so here’s one about Nekomonogatari (Black), the Bakemonogatari prequel that aired in Japan over New Year as a New Year special in one run, but subbers have split it into 4 different parts for easy watching.
Quick synopsis: Hanekawa is the perfect girl, nice figure, good grades, good attitude, always helping others and doing the right things. So then why is it that she is stressed? Our once-vampire protagonist wonders about love and thinks he’s in love with Hanekawa, but is he really? And is she what he think she is? NYAHAHAHAHA~ I guess you’ll have to watch to find out.
Personal thoughts: There’s really no reason why I wouldn’t watch this. The ~monogatari series has been really enjoyable to me, even since I started to understand the point of the show and its focal point: conversations. Unlike other action-mystery anime which focus on plot and story, the ~monogatari series has many episodes of pointless chatter. However, it is in these pointless conversations that we discover the charm, the allure of the characters. The humor, the satire, the visual parodies, ~monogatari series has lots of them. The animation studio does one heck of an awesome job with it as well, so what’s not to love?
Storyline & Plot: 9/10
The story is a prequel that is written only after Bakemonogatari was written, so it only makes sense that we already know what’s gonna happen. However, what was surprising was that EVEN THOUGH we know it’s ending, it still is enjoyable because of the conversations between the characters, plot-related or non-plot related. The story is pretty simple and straightforward, but the way it was executed was so quaint that it draws you in.
Art & Character Design: 9/10
SHAFT designs, a few parodies here and there, but everything was good. Pretty much everything was the same with Bakemonogatari because it’s a prequel, the characters were already defined and pretty much stuck to their respective roles, though Shinobu was especially spectacular. She didn’t talk at all in Bakemonogatari, yet in the prequel, she talks. From the point of Araragi, he thinks he’s just hallucinating because he’s on the edge of death, but I really can’t get enough of Shinobu’s voice. Oshino Meme also makes an awesome comeback with this prequel. I did not realise his awesomeness before, but now it’s definitely there.
Entertainment & Execution: 9.5/10
As expected from SHAFT and the ~monogatari series, ever since it was first adapted, the subtle fanservice is strong. You can’t expect everyone to be watching the anime when all that’s really happening is just conversations right? Gotta have some eyecandy so that there are rewards for actually looking when the anime is airing. The scenes that were supposed to be action are action, the talking scenes are full of flashes, subtle fanservice or flashback animations. SHAFT doing it’s stuff, it’s really good.
A little disappointed because most of the OST seems to be reuse of Bakemonogatari’s OST, but the OP and ED saved it. And because this is the prequel, it technically shouldn’t have sequel music in it, but it does. Not that I dislike it, because Tsukihi humming Platinum Disco was QUITE cute.
As with every other ~monogatari series, once you start, you can’t stop. You just need more and more because once you are assimilated to the seemingly-random but actually very entertaining conversations, you can’t help but just watch the next one that comes out because you crave more of these. In fact, there are news about Bakemonogatari S2 airing this year, so you might want to keep your eyes out for that.
As for Kizumonogatari, I DON’T KNOW HOW LONG SHAFT WANTS TO TAKE FOR IT, BUT YOU BETTER MAKE IT 10x MORE AWESOME THAN WHATEVER YOU’RE DOING WITH MADOKA BECAUSE YOU’VE DELAYED THIS FOR ALMOST 3 YEARS ALREADY! For those who are unable to wait for the animation (movie), you can proceed to baka-tsuki for the translated novel. Kizumonogatari is Araragi’s story of how he became a vampire and how he (mostly) regained his humanity. It’s really quite awesome. I strongly encourage you to read it.