I’ve been an anime fan for a long time. I’ve seen countless shows, OVA’s and movies. As such, I’ve seen a boatload of shitty garbage. But none other have yet to trounce this atrocity that I have just watched.
Now, you might be thinking “But Bakemonogatari isn’t bad! It has great animation, a unique plot, is really popular and has sold record breaking amounts of copies in japan! You’re over reacting.”
I’m not going to fault people for enjoying this show. It has aspects that aim to capture a broad number of anime watchers. But I’d like to break this series down so that everyone can understand why exactly I think this show is the most wretched thing since that new no-name moé anime airing next week.
Lets get down to the basic plot. Nisio Isin throws us right in the beginning of an arc of an already ongoing story. Koyomi Araragi has had previously been turned into a vampire. Now his everyday life has gone back to normal as he is slowly regaining his humanity. He is currently 1/10th vampire. One day at school, he sees a girl falling off the balcony. He ends up catching the girl in his arms. This girl is Hitagi Senjōgahara. She has been possessed by a crab apparition, who has cursed her to weightlessness. Araragi introduces her to Meme Oshino who specializes in dealing with apparitions. Senjougahara’s problem is fixed and her and Araragi begin a somewhat awkward relationship. Araragi ends up helping other people cursed by apparitions throughout the duration of the series.
No, the general synopsis actually sounds pretty decent. Unfortunately, every single other aspect of the series is what turns this decent-sounding story into pure shit as it tries to cater towards Japanese otaku in a subtle, yet vastly blunt spaghetti pile full of tropes and fetishes under the false disguise of actual storytelling.
Araragi is the protagonist of the show. He is 1/10th vampire and gets the shit beaten out of him on a few occasions. He is your typical anime nice guy, underdog, highschool student, you name it. Japanese men ages 16-21 year olds can associate with him, 21-30+ year olds wish they could be him. He is always under a lot of [sexual] pressure from his peers, as they are all girls. Of course, he always turns their advances down as he is loyal to Senjougahara for whatever reason. Despite Senjougahara threatening his life and being all-around abusive to Araragi, he seems to look past every inch of abuse and continues to try and court her. Or maybe it’s the other way around. He is hinted at being somewhat of a lolicon and a hypocrite when it comes to incest.
Meet Anime Stereotype #2. And the first in the list of otaku fetish stereotypes. Senjougahara is a cold and verbally abusive girl towards even the man she loves. She’s the epitome of Tsundere (or Kūdere, if you want to be specific). Her hobbies include cock teasing Araragi and initiating boring convoluted conversations that last for whole episodes at a time that end up just being about Araragi’s virginity or some shit. You can see her mouth in action in this dramatic interpretation.
Anime Stereotype #3. Hachikuji is a tsundere loli wondering spirit. She does nothing but fight with Araragi and give him streetside info. She’s kind of like a drug dealer. But instead of drugs she deals information and free molestation, as she gets molested by Araragi on a regular basis.
Kanbaru is Otaku Fetish Stereotype #4. She’s the lesbian who wants your cock. In fact, she barely does anything lesbian-esque in the whole show. All she does is lust over Araragi’s cock the whole time. She ends up beating the shit out of Araragi on two occasions since she is in love with Senjougahara. This violence is unwarranted however, and the whole reasoning behind her motives is autistic as fuck.
Sengoku is loli #2 electric boogaloo. Sengoku is a shy loli who wants Araragi to be an older brother to her, but really she just wants his dick. She is cursed by a snake apparition that ends up giving her bruises resembling BSDM rope bruises. When Araragi goes to exorcise her, the choice of clothing for Sengoku is a middle school swimsuit, as to show a considerable amount of skin. The process ends up putting Sengoku in several highly suggestive positions, facial expressions, and moaning noises to complete the greasy fantasy that gets Otaku off.
Hanekawa is the geeky girl next door turned cat girl stereotype. She wants Araragi’s dick more than any of the other girls combined. So much that she’ll turn into a murderous cat girl titty monster to get what she wants. Her stress levels bring the catgirl apparition out, suggesting she needs a good hot dicking. She is almost as much WORDS as Senjougahara, however she is ten times more likable. In her special BD opening, she gets raped by hands. DEEP.
Well now that the characters are out of the way, lets go onto the other parts of the show.
The animation is fucking amazing. Too bad there barely is any animation. Most of the show is just a bunch of standstill frames, mixed with animation number scenes.
These animation number scenes show up every five fucking seconds in this show. It’s meant to draw an artistic atmosphere, but really it’s just lazy as fuck.
After all of this, I don’t know what else I can complain about. On top of the show pandering towards the broad spectrum of otaku fetishes, it’s incredibly boring. I’m sure fans of the show can reach into it and dig out some further meaning to a number of the things in this show, but to someone who has grown tired of the constant bastardization of proper storytelling and characterization in anime, this was worse than a disappointment. I really can’t see how Nisio Isin wrote this mess and then went on to write Katanagatari, which was wonderful. You could literally read Ctrl Alt Delete and gain the same experience from watching Bakemonogatari.
So Gru gives Bakemonogatari a NONE out of 5
Time to drag myself through Nisemonogatari.