Genre: Comedy, Psychological, Supernatural
Summary: In Bakemonogatari, the story centers on Koyomi Araragi, a third-year high school student who has recently survived a vampire attack, and finds himself mixed up with all kinds of apparitions: gods, ghosts, myths, and spirits. However, in Nisemonogatari, we pick up right where we left off and follow Koyomi as the psychological twists delve deeper and deeper…
Review: I’m surprised that I didn’t jump to do this review earlier considering my complete obsession with the first season which I currently claim to be my favorite series of all time. Bakemonogatari had something going for it being both unique, artistically brilliant, and containing a strange mix of characters. While its sequel, Nisemonogatari, also contained many similar traits it didn’t quite live up to standards. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the series though; it simply wasn’t what I was expecting.
I want to spend this review talking about the story instead of the art and soundtrack as I usually do. Why? Because the art and soundtrack were basically on equal standing as the first season with the exception of not having the amazing Supercell singing “Kimi no Shiranai MonogatarI” which still remains the most listened to song on my MP3 player. Moving on to the story after that random tid-bit of information I want to say that you shouldn’t be expecting the same as season one. It isn’t really about a collection of ghost stories as you may gather from the new witty title of Nisemonogatari. The fact that they changed the collection of ghost stories into basically two big arcs wasn’t to my liking. I feel that the arcs could have easily been shortened to 2 episodes each. And with such a short eleven episode series it is seems like spending any longer is a waste.
That being said, the reason I gave Nisemonogatari a decent score is because I appreciated it for what it was trying to do. Instead of creating very dark and intense stories it remained a lot more light hearted. Much of the anime was spent reintroducing characters with the same chemistry as the first season. More specifically Araragi’s two sisters who tend to have a gung-ho attitude and an awkward love-hate relationship with their brother. The entire thing was basically a big comedy act with a tad spec of seriousness. There were times where I thought “Man, that Araragi is one cool dude” and others where I thought “Man, that Araragi is one creepy dude”. As many of you may have picked up from my past reviews I am absolute hater of any sort of incest. I’ll admit when I say it completely creeps me out and any form of it makes my blood boil. Or so I thought until Nisemonogatari. No, I haven’t suddenly gotten a lust for incest or think it is a perfectly natural thing; I’ve simply found the lighter side to it. I feel that most anime I tend to watch really lay on the romantic aspects of incest where the little sister is absolutely in love with her older brother. Of course, I find it rare to find an anime where anything comes of it, but it still creeps me out. Nisemonogatari for some reason didn’t do that for me. I’m not sure if it is because I was such a huge fan of the first season I completely blocked out any possibility of negative story telling, or if it is because the series made it rather funny. I took the incest the same as I took the pedophilia in this anime, as a joke. Nothing more, nothing less. Still the overuse of fanservice this season really didn’t do it any good. I did have times where I would be glancing around to see if anyone was watching my screen because of some of the rather heavy scenes this time around. Even though I found Nisemonogatari’s censorship quite tasteful due to its artistic knowhow, I still am not a huge advocate of fanservice.
Moving on to the actual story, overall it wasn’t bad. It showed the good and bad of Araragi and his harem of girls. I was sad to see less of the famous Senjougahara, but I got a bit of my fill from the first few episodes. This season should be looked at as a comedy more than anything else. A lighter, more relaxed side of the series. That being said, I don’t consider it a phenomenal season. It had ups and downs, there were times where I was sitting at the edge of my seat and others where I got bored. Overall I will say that I enjoyed the series and probably plan to revisit it some time in the future.
Final statements: I’m sad to say that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would after so much excitement, but I’m glad I watched it. It showed a different side to the characters and brought out a lot more to the series. I’m still looking forward to the prequel even though we will probably miss a lot of the characters we have grown to love. If you are looking for a different side of the series then give this a watch, else hold strong till the prequel to Bakemonogatari. A preferred watch for this good but not great sequel to a beautiful series.