If you try to look up the Monogatari anime series you will see that it doesn’t follow the typical naming system of seasons 1, 2, 3 etc. Instead each season is named with the latest season being called Monogatari Series: Second Season. However confusingly Nisemonogatari is the direct sequel that follows on from Bakemonogatari and a prequel season called Nekomonogatari: Kuro that precedes it. Very Odd
Nisemonogatari is similar to Bakemonogatari in which each arc focuses on a girl and her problems. Except we aren’t introduced to more heroines. The Belle du Jours are Araragi’s sisters Karen and Tsukihi. These girls seen at the end of every arc in Bakemongatari waking up Koyomi. I warmly accepted the series going more in depth with Karen and Tsukihi as they were present in Bakemonogatari but didn’t have any screen time to explain anything about them.
However I didn’t enjoy Nisemonogatari as much as I did it’s prequel. I think it’s because the series decided to go down harem road. Bakemonogatari understood that Koyomi was popular with the girls and made it a obstacle for him to remain faithful to Senjougahara. Nisemonogatari has every single girl he had encountered trying to get into his pants and he acts clueless or worse. This combined with a lack of Senjougahara left a sour taste in my mouth. It’s bad when some of the ecchi moments happen between himself and his biological sisters! I know Koyomi is a pervert and who isn’t when they are 18, but in Bakemonogatari he could at least control himself.
That aside, I thought Nisemonogatari focussed more on Karen than Tsukihi. Karen’s arc was longer and half the episodes from Tsukihi’s arc, Tsukihi doesn’t even play a major role! Karen fills in for her. I can see the appeal of Karen; she is a less perverted Kanbaru and does get a great fight scene with Koyomi but Tsukihi is the better character. Tsukihi’s character design is adorable, her opening is adorable and she has some of the best scenes of the series.
Nekomongatari Kuro is a four episode prequel to the whole of Monogatari and fills in the gaps that were hinted at during Bakemonogatari and Nisemonogatari. I thought this was an unnecessary edition to the series. It revisited the themes of Tsubasa’s oddity, Sawarineko and explored the relationship between Koyomi and the vampire Shinobu. The series didn’t need to elaborate what happened in Golden Week and it just confused my perception of Tsubasa’s and Koyomi’s Relationship. So he has a crush on her but it’s just a lust crush, but then he offers to kill himself because of that crush but later in Bakemonogatari he shows no signs of liking Tsubasa?
I only have Monogatari Second Season to watch now and I have a feeling that it will be similar to Nisemongatari. Girls chasing after Araragi and getting into ecchi scenes due to misunderstanding. At least the character design, animation and comedy are still consistently amazing.