Genre: Supernatural, Drama, Action, Romantic Comedy
Length: 70+ episodes over several seasons:
Bakemonogatari - 15 Episodes
Nisemonogatari - 11 Episodes
Nekomonogatari (Kuro) - 4 Episodes
Monogatari Series Second Season - 26 Episodes
Hanamonogatari - 5 Episodes
Tsukimonogatari - 4 Episodes
Owarimonogatari - 12 Episodes
Kizumonogatari - 3 Films
It is somewhat hard to describe exactly what type of anime Bakemonogatari is. It is certainly an action anime but at times
half an episode can devoted to Seinfeldian Conversations. At times it poses deep philosophical questions about the
nature of value, perception, and correct behavior while being interspersed with almost gratuitous fan service. The art
style is at once highly detailed and largely minimalistic.
The plot largely centers on Koyomi Araragi who is mostly Human again after briefly becoming a vampire. He finds himself
getting involved with various people who have become involved with 'apparitions'. These apparitions are essentially
supernatural beings (based on Japanese folklore) whose goals and purpose are somewhat inscrutable. After helping
Hitagi Senjōgahara with a weight problem Araragi increasingly gets dragged into helping the apparition-effected around
Avant-garde describes most of the background scenery, character flashbacks, and the treatment of inter-scene
transitions. The main characters are animated in the more realistic style common to drama and action anime. However,
the main characters and a very select group of side-characters are the only ones who even appear. Background
characters are non-existent or occasionally represented symbolically. Scenes are interspersed with red and black cue
cards that indicate either strong or ambiguous emotion.
Each character has a leitmotif with a number of mood pieces used throughout. The music mix cover a variety of styles
from J-pop to Japanese folk music, from the upbeat to the foreboding. 'Hyouri' and 'Ominous' stand out as the best of a
great set of songs.
Araragi is (not) helpful- He tries to be but he dives into battle with little regard for his well-being or the effect his death
would have on those around him. While he has some regenerative ability Senjōgahara fears that Araragi would still do
the same thing even if he weren't able to recover from grievous injuries. Whats a bit unfortunate is that the times that
have turned out best are the times he does the least. Whats more, his insistence on helping everyone in need invariably causes additional troubles down the road.
People need to confront their past- Apparitions exist for specific reasons in this setting and more often than not it has
something to do with the character's past. An inability to come to terms with a painful past or a willful choice to ignore it
often leads an inconvenient situation escalating into a deadly one.
People need to help themselves- The lesson learned from the above two themes.
This anime will not be for everyone. Its weird on a whole lot of different levels. It is a niche title and a cult classic.
Similar anime that I have watched:
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (Humour and art style)
Bakemonogatari can be watched for free on Crunchyroll.