Yata’s 12 Days of Anime – 2015 – #8: Monogatari and Steady Success

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Sorry, gotta get this out there first: Kizumonogatari is coming out on January 8th! I repeat, everyone, Kizumonogatari is coming out on January 8th! The sequel prequel the world’s been waiting for years for is now finally upon us. Shinbo’s not fucking around anymore, I can’t make “Jenny SHAFT when?” jokes now, and for once, it looks like if the PV is any indication, all will be right in the world.

…except for Cencoroll 2 still not being a thing because Atsuya Uki was busy messing with character design for Digimon Tri, which to be honest, felt like kind of a let down. His art style fits well, and I dig it, but those first four episodes were pretty weak outside the nostalgia factor. But I digress.

I read the novel translations of Kizumonogatari a few years ago and it’s been up there in my favorite arcs of the series since then, alongside Koimonogatari (a.k.a Kaiki-gatari) and maybe Hanamonogatari. My memory’s a bit shaky since I’ve only watched each Monogatari arc once, and more or less in the order they were released per SHAFT’s anime adaptations. The reason for this – aside from this franchise being extremely multifaceted in tone and complex in chronology – is cause the start of it all, the Big Bang of Monogatari and SHAFT’s personal little Noodle Incident, Kizu, was never released.

But now that it will be and Owarimonogatari is currently airing, the major gaps in Monogatari’s anime timeline are at last starting to be filled, which means among the many things I need to do in 2016, I can add “rewatch ALL the Monogatari” to the list. I didn’t know when that day would come, but I was looking forward to it for a while.

And while that Kizu headline is arguably just hype (which I’ll be discussing a bit more tomorrow), I can’t ignore that Owarimonogatari has thus far been a wonderful contribution to the franchise. I love how inhuman and unsettling Ougi is, I love the slow build to Sodachi Lost’s emotional peak, I love how all these little aforementioned chronology gaps are being filled in without only feeling like filler, and as always, SHAFT’s Monogatari shot direction and visual oddities continue to dazzle like nothing else. Monogatari is a show of many voices, histories, and ideas, and as such some parts of it don’t hold up as well as others, but if there’s one thing we’ve received since roughly the middle of Second Season onward, it’s a decent level of consistency and a mastering of the techniques needed to make Nisio Isin’s writing and Akiyuki Shinbo’s directing a perfect match. When you think Monogatari, you may think of a lot of things (hopefully not Nisemonogatari’s toothbrush scene but I wouldn’t blame you if that’s still not out of your head); but the root of its consistency is the fact that Isin, Shinbo, and SHAFT were a match made in heaven with this franchise, and they continue to prove it with each installment. I couldn’t ask for much more.

Also did I mention Kizu’s coming out on January 8th? Cause Kizu’s coming out on January 8th. Mark your fuckin’ calendars, people.

View the rest of Yata’s 12 Days of Anime for 2015 here.

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