This time, I will review one of my favourite animes: Bakemonogatari. The story revolves around Araragi, who was a Vampire. He attracts many oddities (things that are not how they should be), and due to his personality tries to help. Although I believe it to be one of the best animes I’ve ever seen, many people in my surroundings either dropped it or simply disliked it, due to the focus on dialogue, the expressionistic artwork and the focus on character development.
I’ll start with the artwork, since most people go by that as a measure for watching the show. If you do not follow the dialogue closely, the rest of the series will not make sense to you. Instead on relying on many details (for example a library with many different books) it uses a single statement, expressing the current situation. With situation I mean what’s happening in the dialogue. For example they put an entire room full with red books (messy) in a situation where the protagonist is in an embarresing situation, that might even possibly be dangerous. The charakters appear to tidy it up, but only after the situation calms down, it is that the books are in order. The dialogue is rather lengthy, but if you read between the lines, and not just the obvius jokes, you get a pretty interesting picture as well. While there are many repetitive and loop scenes, the characters are advancing the dialogue so that one understands what is happening.
The biggest strongpoint of this show is the characters: The kind (and a little sadistic) Senjougahara, the grade school ghost, Hachikuji, the obsessive Kanbaru, the shy Nadeko (I bet she’s an exhibitionist), Hanekawa, who does not like to hurt anyone, and Shinobu. Each of these charakters has her own history, and the way it is uncovered and shown piece by piece, is what makes this anime interesting. There are other minor characters, but these don’t stand out to much, and only a little (if anything) is revealed about them.
Each of their problems is unique, partly funny, but then again serious. Instead of having episodes that each end with a cleas cut, this anime has one story, that is drawn over a couple of episodes, bwfore starting the next. In the BD versiond each episode hast the theme song of the character that it deals with.
While it is what you’d call open ended, I liked the cut they set, although I still want to believe that they put episode 15 as episode twelve due to broadcasting issues. If I were able to read Japanese, I actually would by every single light novel of the series. Well, if you are interested in watching it you have my recommendation, but pull it through, as it might get boring at some point. As I said it is amongst my favourite animes, there are some that I like just as much: Serial Experiments Lain and FLCL. Both are unique in their own ways and managed to impress me the same way Bakemonogatari did.