Genre: Action, Comedy, Mystery, Psychological, Romance, Supernatural
Summary: Although there are still traces of the brief period he became a vampire, third year high school student Koyomi Araragi is human again. He happens upon others with their own supernatural problems and finds that he can empathize. Koyomi becomes involved in their lives, seeking to help them and occasionally asking for advice from Meme Oshino, the homeless man who helped him become human again.
Review: Finally able to review Bakemonogatari. I have waited for the final episode releases, keeping an eye on it like a hawk since the first delay. As you can tell from the rating, the wait was worth it. Before I continue I would like to say that I did not take off rating because of the the long absence. The anime was rated just as it should be, for the episodes; regardless of the time intervals between each one. Since that is out of the way, let us move forward. I couldn’t believe how unbelievably amazing this anime turned out. It captured my attention in the first five minutes and kept me aching for more. This anime was probably the closest to receiving a perfect score by me. The only real complaint I had is that they didn’t have enough ghost stories in the series. Many of you probably have heard about the month gaps between episodes due to financial issues. I believe this was the cause of the small episode count, but don’t quote me on that. It is very unfortunate that Bakemonogatari didn’t follow regular air time, but this probably was caused by the intense illustration every episode had. Probably the most wondrous, spectacular, all-around mind blowing art I have ever seen. The rich, contrasting colors really brought out the characters to the foreground. The lighting effects set comedic, action, and even romantic moods. The art style literally covered all fields full heartedly and spared no details. The backgrounds constantly changing kept the anime fresh and interesting. Bakemonogatari’s art was as breathtaking in the anime world as Avatar was in the CGI world. Unlike Avatar, Bakemonogatari had a captivating storyline (oh snaps, movie burn!) to tag along with the marvelous art work. The different stories not only hooked the viewer, they also introduced a multitude of new characters. I enjoyed watching each mystery get solved as well as learning more about the different characters of the world. The series does have romance and comedy despite the summary description. In fact, due to the rarity of lovey dovey scenes, any sweet spoken line had heavy meaning behind it. One particular episode made my heart skip a beat, which is rare despite the countless number of romantic comedies I have watched. Comedy may be a bit darker than most people’s tastes, but it was such a small portion of the anime no one should base Bakemonogatari’s watchability on it. One thing I did notice is each story being bittersweet. I prefer these types of stories because I don’t feel everything can always end so happily when it comes to stories of hauntings, curses, and cults. Going back to the multiple of characters – the character designs were perfected. I was completely knocked back by having reoccurring characters in a mini-story style series. From what I have seen, most of these kinds of anime either have a fix number of 3-4 main characters that play every role, or abandon characters once their story has been told. It even came to the point where each story had its own opening theme song. That’s right, within fifteen episodes the series managed to pull off five different openings with completely different art and music. I was thankful that they didn’t change the ending because the song was stuck on repeat on my MP3 player. Needless to say I watch every episode from beginning to end with no complaints.
Final statements: Do I feel it was a bad choice for the producers to spend so much on production costs that it delayed the anime by three months? No. Not in the least. Bakemonogatari was well worth the wait. The blood, sweat, and tears put into the creation of this anime should not be cut short. I would have waited a year to see such a quality series. I only wish they had the funding to make a longer series. This is an absolute, no-questions-asked, MUST SEE!