The Monogatari series was supposed to be my summer anime. Anime that has been on my backlog for sometime but requires a lot of free time to catch up on thus being perfect to watch in summer. Suffice to say that I accomplished that goal last month and more recently watched the whole of Berserk, Paranoia Agent, caught up with Attack on Titan (Dub), Space Dandy, Game of Thrones and The Legend of Korra. I usually write a Quick Thoughts straight after finishing a series so leaving this one after watching all of them may have affected memory.
Right off the bat, I liked Monogatari Series: Second Seasona lot more than the last two seasons. Back again is multiple arcs featuring the girls of Bakemonogatari. Initially I thought Monogatari would feature different girls with different oddities a la The World God Only Knows thus exploring the different anime tropes like; the overly erotic teacher or too shy library club junior. This time, instead of following Koyomi around as he fondles, sacrifices, and prat falls his way into girl’s hearts, we follow the girls with Koyomi only making the occasional appearance.
In fact I think only one of the arcs out of the five do we follow Koyomi. Watching through Monogatari Series: Second Season from the point of view of other characters was a refreshing change of pace. I was getting tired of Koyomi’s Fan Servicey bullshit. There is more mystery concerning the Monogatari world and it is hinted at throughout with the various exorcists dropping in to stir up trouble or exposition. It keeps making you think that the oddities manifesting themselves in Tokyo’s teens are a small part compared to how all the characters are related to one another.
Humour and animation/art style are still the core appeals of Monogatari but the arcs were more hit and miss. Sometimes you would get great arcs like the final two, ho-hum ones like Tsubasa Tiger that was saved because of Senjougahara and then the snooze fests that focussed on Shinobu’s origins. Sure the ending of the Shinobu arc had a good pay off leaving some permanent changes to Monogatari but it felt like a long time to reach that point.
Monogatari is not an anime I would go around wearing on my sleeve and recommending to friends. It’s a very acquired taste. The main draw for me was the excellent art style provided by Akio Watanabe and fortunately I enjoyed obscure jokes and japanese culture enough to sit through all the seasons. The next arc will focus on Kanbaru called Suruga Devil in Hanamonogatari with a movie being scheduled called Koyomi Vamp. While not actively anticipating these new arcs, I’m happy they are in the works. I hope it doesn’t end prematurely like Haruhi or go downhill like The World God Only Knows.