|Since that dubious announcement of Kizumonogatari last year, we hadn’t heard a peep from Shinbou. Until that PR gimmick over Nisemonogatari announcement. I am the happiest to see Senjougahara and Araragi back! Not to mention, we’ll get to know the Fire Sisters. Being a Shaft enthusiast at least when NisiOisin’s in the mix, I’ve looked forward to this episode just too much. So, let’s get this first post of lvlln started~|
|Hooray it is officially time for some Nisemonogatari! After I heard the news of this series I was really excited, mostly because we would finally get to see Araragi’s sisters and the other popular girls. And without any more rambling from me let us find out if the first episode of Nisemonogatari went! Enjoy the first impressions.|
|Hisashiburi, Bakemonogatari cast! I’m pretty sure that 90% of us here at Metanorn have been holding their breath waiting for this to come out (…for a year and a bit. People at Metanorn have LUNGS OF STEEL). So it’s finally here! Am I excited? HELL YES I’M EXCITED!|
|Well, here we go. The sequel to one of the most popular anime of the last few years is here. Bakemonogatari was an odd creature, a show whose appeal I couldn’t quite nail down. The writing had its ups and downs, and production quality was inconsistent. But somehow the quirky visual direction and fun cast of characters made it a darling for many. I have recently finished reading Bakemonogatari and the prequel Kizumonogatari, and I’m working my way through Nisemonogatari right now, which means this is one of few anime that I’m watching with knowledge of the source material. Also, this is my first actual post here!|
Mustn’t forget the head tilt even while watching TV!
Nisemonogatari starts off right in the middle of things, with protagonist Koyomi Araragi disoriented and handcuffed to a pole at an abandoned school. Before long, Hitagi Senjougahara, who became his girlfriend early on in the first show, appears, revealing herself as the perpetrator. We’re not served with an explanation, but we do get a healthy dose of Hitagi’s brand of tsundere service, what with the licking water off her fingers and talk of diapers and what not. One thing is very clear: Hitagi is not planning on freeing Koyomi any time soon, at least not on his terms.
Didn’t think she’d just hand it over now, did you?
Nope, gonna have to lap it up. Like a dog.
But before we discover how Koyomi will get out of this pickle, we rewind to that morning. It’s summer – July 29, to build exact – and Koyomi unexpectedly has the day off from tutoring thanks to a cancelation by Tsubasa. He goes downstairs to discover his youngest sister Tsukihi watching TV. This is our first introduction to either of the Fire Sisters, as neither character appeared in any meaningful capacity in Bakemonogatari. The two engage in the type of exchange you’d expect from siblings that age who don’t really get along. The conversation is short, and it touches upon how the high school senior Koyomi is starting to grow distant from his middle school sisters. The star of the scene besides the wacky decor of the Araragi home has got to be Tsukihi’s legs.
What’s with that step ladder? And those pure-white studio lights? And is that a picture of a claymation monkey on the wall?
Koyomi remembers that he had promised Nadeko to go to her house, and decides that this day off is a good chance. Nadeko on the phone is suspiciously insistent that he has to come over TODAY and NOW, and no other time will do. And though Koyomi is oddly (in denial?) clueless as to Nadeko’s intentions, Tsukihi is right on top of things, forcing him visit Nadeko by himself, which makes it the perfect time to run into Mayoi.
Nadeko was quite, um, vocal about when Koyomi needed to visit.
Anyone who forgot the type of dynamic between Koyomi and Mayoi were reminded very quickly, as the former stopped only to stretch in preparation before tackling the latter and peppering her with kisses and hugs and throws and gropes and attempts to drag down her panties. Their exchange goes more or less expected, as Mayoi is quick with the bite and is made to calm down before the two converse for the rest of the episode.
One must always remember to stretch before engaging in loli-groping. Especially if one does it like Koyomi does.
See? Dude’s a pro!
There’s a lot of entertaining fluff here, such as Mayoi’s cynical belief that money is all that matters in the world, as well as the discussion of how adding “courage” to any phrase makes it sound good. The latter of which ended with Koyomi standing on his hands and looking at Mayoi’s panties. For a grade schooler, Mayoi really knows her way around words (of course, being a ghost, she is likely older than Koyomi)! But there was serious stuff as well, including Koyomi confiding in Mayoi his frustration at having to keep his experience being a vampire (events of the prequel Kizumonogatari) a secret from his family. I expect this will become a sticking point as the story develops and Karen and Tsukihi are sucked into the world of oddities.
Just a handful of the locales Koyomi and Mayoi “visited” during their short conversation.
The episode ends along with their conversation, with assurances from Mayoi that she won’t disappear from Koyomi without saying goodbye. It’s a touching little scene that drives home the friendship these two have formed through their chance encounters over the course of the stories. OK, Koyomi is an insufferable pervert, but these two get along very well, and they genuinely enjoy each other’s company.
Notably, there was no ending theme, just credits over the last scene, and no next-episode preview. Hm, didn’t Shaft do that with the first couple episodes of Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica…?
Let us remind you, this thing has a life of its own.
I can’t think of a caption worthy of this screenshot.
The film strip shots are back.
And now, featuring the new heroines, the Fire Sisters!
This was so SHAFT that it’s not even funny. Though, this is good Shaft, not bad Shaft like Vampire Bund. It’s hard to be objective about this when I’ve been an avid fan of NisiOisin’s work, even when it was not animated by Shaft. Bakemonogatari has been successful, even when the ending episodes were released with time jumps; it’s a thing with this studio and trolling. Just like how there was no ED single by ClariS this time around because everyone’s been looking forward to it (ryo/ClariS – what can go wrong?!). They have budgets this time but they will keep some hooks for the continuing episodes to rope more people in. I literally gawk at the haters but I guess, trying to understand them would be a waste of time. Let me be happy with my fandom love, is it too much to ask?
But yeah, coming back to Nisemonogatari, the old Shaft crew returned for this project and as I haven’t read the novels, I can only hope that Oshino is not completely gone because Takahiro Sakurai did attend the big reveal PR of this. But as Kizumonogatari PV was shown as well, I shouldn’t get my hopes up too high. It was clear that the time frame for this episode was out of whack, filled with the usual head-tilting, extreme close-ups and Araragi being a total pervert. Starting off with Senjougahara was a pretty good idea because out of the girls, she’s the most famous, our recent ANTM results prove it *cough*lastpoststillinmaking*cough* It was a treat, seeing Senjougahara in her full glory.
Also, is Tsukihi really in middle school?! Her curves are defying her age but I guess, I’ll have to look over that fact; just like how Karen is actually taller than Araragi. Most probably, we’ll be seeing her in the next episode, which makes me wonder about pacing of this arc and how many episodes per arc? I’m just glad that it wasn’t one of the Fire Sisters but the known Araragi introducing everything. His fun groping and conversation with Hachikuji was hilariously deep. I love this series for such conversations, where playfully Araragi can lay bare his fears and trepidation over revealing his changed state to his sisters. The thing I didn’t miss was the giant blocks of text for which you have to pause just at the right frame; I’d rather hear Araragi’s internal monologue than read it. Overall, a strong first episode and now I’m really looking forward to see Karen and Kanbaru.
Whoa… whoa…that first episode just what the hell actually happened?! I mean the first ten minutes or so was about poor old Araragi chained up to a pile of desks? But we did get to see that wonderful tsundere side to Senjougahara! Boy did she have a field day with him mostly with her teasing him…but wow the artwork during that whole scene was amazing. Was anyone waiting for a steamy mouth to mouth session between those two? They should have done that. The best parts of that first half had to be Araragi’s hair, I forgot how alive that antenna was…
Finally we got so see Tsukihi! One of Arargai sisters at last and I can already quote myself for liking her character thanks to a certain Index voice actress Yuka Iguchi. This time she is playing someone who is less hungry and more of a chatter box with a short fuse. Anyone else notice the curves of her body? DAMN….I hope she is at least eighteen…or some would say Araragai is lucky? But no incest please… GO AWAY! We don’t want that in this series… I wonder how the other sister acts compared to Tsukihi? I guess we will have to wait and see.
It was only a matter of time until little Hachikuji appeared in the very first episode! Yes she is one of the youngest girls of the cast besides Shinobu, but I love the way she interacts with Araragi. Those two have such a strange relationship even though it makes Araragi look like a huge lolicon! He just loves cute-twin-tail-moe-girls, is that so wrong? Before I end my spam of love for the first episode, can we talk about mind blowing animation? Whoa…the character designs looked like they got some extra love in the details and like any Shaft series the environments always looked fantastic. Anyway I loved this first episode and I can’t wait to see more soon.
….What the hell was that? …In a good way. The first half of the episode was entirely Senjougahara and Araragi. Not only that, but Araragi was in handcuffs the entire time. Multiple ones. Where did Senjougahara even get those…? You know what, I don’t even want to know. Plus, when did this happen? I know they gave out dates, but it was a bit confusing. That being said, I’m glad to see Araragi’s sisters getting more screen time. Seeing the cast after such a long time is nice too (…was Araragi always such a pedobear when it came to Mayoi?). The only one I really missed was Oshino. Though I expected him to be missing, so I wasn’t that surprised. Oh, him and Shinobu (…and Kanbaru). Really, most of my favourite characters of the series were only mentioned in passing or gone completely. SHINOBU HAD BETTER GET A BIGGER PART IN THIS. Or else all of my hope will rest on Kizumono. Whenever that’s coming out.
I’m sad that we didn’t get to see the infamous Claris x Ryo ED, but hopefully next episode. Bakemono’s ED was only the greatest thing ever and it will be EXTREMELY hard to top (though it’s Claris and Ryo. I’m sure they can do it.) The OP was far better (IMO) than Staple Stable. But yeah, the music in Bakemono was fantastic and I just know that I’ll be comparing the OPs (assuming that they change it every arc like last season (which I bet they will)) and every other song every opportunity I get. The Kaerimichi piano version at the end of the episode was well placed and a nice touch. …Does this mean a piano version of Renai Circulation? God I hope so.
Well, looks like SHAFT made a ton of money off of Madoka, so they upped the budget immensely for Nisemono. It was exactly like Bakemono, only with actual (fantastic!) animation. Sometimes. It wouldn’t be the same series without random black screens with text. That being said, I absolutely love the long bouts of dialogue that Bakemono had, so I’m glad they kept that in this. Also, they had some extremely weird and awesome scenery going on. Like Araragi’s living room (if you couldn’t tell, I like typing out Araragi’s name). Long story short, SHAFT not only wrote their name all over this with black permanent marker, but they also rubbed themselves all over this shamelessly. (Oh, the mental imagery. I kind of wish I hadn’t typed that.) This is completely their production from the head tilts, to the strategic lack of animation and they want EVERYONE to know it.
As a fan of the first series, I quite enjoyed this 1st entry to the sequel. The visual flourishes that Shaft is known for and that had been integral to Bakemonogatari’s success were back in full force. This episode was nothing more than a series of 3 unconnected conversations (not including the phone call to Nadeko) but the talking heads were always shown in some visually engaging way. The whole 2nd half with Mayoi was excellent in particular, showing the characters at various locations following the movement of their dialgoue. The animation quality also took a noticeable step up from Bakemonogatari, and Koyomi’s initial tackling and, um, aggressive groping of Mayoi especially stood out in their fluidity.
I was a little surprised by the exclusion of the prologue from the novel. In it, Koyomi had introduced his sisters to the audience and had given a small anecdote explaining the reputation his sisters have in town as the “Fire Sisters” (besides their names). Remember in the 1st episode of Bakemonogatari when Hitagi was unexpectedly able to name Koyomi’s sisters to him? Given some of their previous actions, their notoriety shouldn’t have come as any surprise. That said, I don’t think that the prologue was necessary, some of the information got added to the scene with Tsukihi (such as the fact that Karen is taller than Koyomi) and skipping over it was probably a good decision from a pacing perspective.
And speaking of pacing, Nisemonogatari starts off much more slowly than its predecessor. Following the in medias res opening with Hitagi, the show is reintroducing its characters as Koyomi encounters them one by one, which means we’re getting a lot of the banter that Nisio Isin is known for. If the show continues with this pace, episode 2 will be very similar to episode 1, just with different characters. When will we discover the meaning of this “Fake Story,” how Koyomi ended up knocked out and handcuffed, and how his oldest younger sister plays into it? Probably not for at least a couple more weeks, but in the meanwhile, I’m glad that these characters are back.