It’s funny what draws me to watch an anime series over another. Sometimes it’s due to it’s overwhelming popularity and fandom a la Bleach, Naruto and One Piece. Other times it’s because of
raging hormones the heroine looks super pretty; To Love Ru, Amaenaideyo and Rio Rainbow Gate. This time, Bakemonogatari attracted me because I watched this review and also because the main character Araragi Koyomi shared my teenage emo hairstyle.
I’m no stranger to the harem anime genre and going into Bakemonogatari, I thought it’d be another one of those cheap thrills. Typical harem tropes aside, Bakemonogatari supersedes my expectations as it actually gives the main character a girlfriend. This almost never happens in the genre and adds a drama element to the show. Bakemonogatari has a strong occult/ supernatural element to the show hence the show name that translates to ghost story.
This anime is split up into 5 arcs each featuring a different girl and their related supernatural problem. This set up helps ward of fatigue with one character and also has a nice monster of the week aspect that goes in line with the supernatural genre. I also enjoyed the changing opening themes that corresponded to the arc they were currently on, as they parodied different anime genres from; lolicon to sports anime.
The show like the main heroine; Hitagi Senjougahara has a perchant for sharp witty dialogue so for non-japanese speakers be prepared to have your finger hovering over the pause button. These verbal jousts between Araragi and the belle du jour (most likely Senjougahara) carry much of the show’s comedy and brightest moments. All the characters are presented brilliantly due to strong character design and great acting. You always feel that each episode you are getting to understand the characters more and yet there is still something deeper still to be uncovered.
I would recommend people to give it a watch if they are attracted by the art style because they are in for a visual treat in this short anime series. But those that were turned off by the dialogue heavy Haruhi Suzimaya or Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei series should probably avoid Bakemonogatari as it is more of the same with a healthy dose of occult goodness.