Anime Review: Nisemonogatari

The anticipated sequel to Bakemonogatari, one of my favorite shows. If you’re unfamiliar with how Bakemonogatari was, this show is basically more of the same. We follow Koyomi Araragi as he goes around solving the supernatural problems of the girls in his life. While Bakemonogatari looked more at girls that Koyomi knew from school and such, Nisemonogatari focuses on Karen and Tsukihi, Koyomi’s younger sisters. The story is split up into two arcs, one for each sister.

While the story was pretty interesting, it was bit tough to find. There were a lot of episodes with Koyomi just randomly talking with one of the girls from the last season or just talking in general. While it was a bit annoying, I think it was nice that they didn’t really let the girls just fall into the background like they did in Bakemonogatari. A lot of the time, it didn’t seem to be related to the story at all and just there to take up time. I felt like the story culminated to about 4 episodes. The season was already short, being only 11 episodes, and to have so much talking time seemed weird to me. Also, the fanservice takes up a lot of time too (*cough* toothbrush scene)

Story: Score 80/100

All of your favorite characters are back from Bakemonogatari. Tsubasa Hanekawa, the knowledgeable one with a new hairstyle, Nadeko Sengoku, with a bit more maturity (?), Suruga Kanbaru, just the same as always, Mayoi Hachikuji, the loli with the huge backpack, and of course, Hitagi Senjougahara, our favorite tsundere with a stapler. I’m not really sure I liked how they changed up Sengoku’s character, but what are you gonna do? Along with the girls from the first season, we get a closer look at Tsukihi and Karen Araragi as we explore their individual stories.

The big addition to the show is Shinobu, the vampire living in Koyomi’s shadow, who takes on a completely different role in Nisemonogatari. She’s arguably the best character in the show. As for the main character, Koyomi Araragi, they really seemed to make him more….lewd? in this second season. I dunno…I found it a bit annoying. Yeah, I get that screwing around with Hachikuji is funny, but it’s still weird to see. I thought he was more interesting as a character in the first season…maybe true of most of the characters.

Characters: Score 85/100

The animation style is pretty similar to Bakemonogatari. I didn’t really notice many changes. It’s an interesting look to thing, and I still liked it. Good music as well. Background music was okay, but the theme songs are where the show really shines. An ending theme by ClariS that sounds great, and opening themes that seem almost like continuations of themes from the first season. My favorite has to be Platinum Disco, Tsukihi’s opening and a possible continuation of Renai Circulation. While the song itself probably wouldn’t have been too impressive, the combination of the song and the opening animation really hooked me.

Animation: Score 90/100

Music: Score 92/100

It was nice to see a second season for Bakemonogatari. But without the love story of the first season, this season didn’t really have as much of an impact on me. It really ended up being too much fanservice and not as much action. Actually, most of it was probably comedy, rather than romance. Still, Shinobu replacing Oshino was pretty cool, and Kaiki ends up being a very intriguing bad guy. Strong visuals and great music. If you haven’t seen Bakemonogatari, go watch it now…either that or read my review of it…then watch it. Then you can come back and watch Nisemonogatari if you want to see your favorite characters again.

Final Score: 85/100

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Nisemonogatari Final Episode

So apparently, Tsukihi is a Dying Bird, some kind of cuckoo that plants itself into a human womb to be reborn. Koyomi goes to talk with Tsukihi, confirming to himself that she is his sister. He then leaves Tsukihi with Karen and goes to face Kagenui and Ononoki. He also allows Shinobu to drink his blood and regain some of her powers.

Before Koyomi fights with Kagenui, she reveals that she, Oshino, and Kaiki were former classmates and that Kaiki told her about Tsukihi. Koyomi gets beaten up by Kagenui, but Ononoki gets beaten easily by Shinobu. Koyomi refuses to give up, though. He starts to argue morals with Kagenui, and she admits defeat.

Well, the ending was kinda random, but I can live with it. Apparently, Hitagi’s haircut only shows up to end everything…I’d forgotten about that. Koyomi’s evil laugh at the beginning of the episode when he kissed Tsukihi was kinda O.o. Kaiki’s influence returns in this arc…I knew he couldn’t just disappear. He had to be involved somehow. Most of the stuff in this episode was predictable (exceptions include kissing his sister, etc.). The battle scene may have been a bit excessively violent. And by that, I mean too much mutilation of Koyomi…oh well, maybe it’s karma for all the incest undertones in the series. I would have been angry if Shinobu hadn’t beaten Ononoki easily. Interestingly, Kagenui mentions a fourth person in their university group…I wonder if that person will become important in a sequel series or something. It’s been fun to blog on this show, and I will review it as a whole eventually. Definitely a hilarious show…maybe it bit too much at times.

Nisemonogatari Episode 10

What better way to start an episode than Shinobu? Anyway, as Koyomi heads out to get Shinobu some donuts, he talks a bit with Tsukihi about Karen. Koyomi suddenly realizes something is off and…examines Tsukihi, finding that her scars have strangely healed. Later, Koyomi asks Shinobu about the two characters from last week, and Shinobu reveals that Ononoki is actually a supernatural creature. She then suggests that Koyomi ask Kaiki, who is sitting right by them.

Kaiki explains that Kagenui is an onmyouji (ghost buster) and Ononoki is her shikigami, and that the two specialize in immortal creatures. Koyomi returns home to find the two. Kagenui reveals that she hasn’t come for Koyomi or Shinobu, and they attack Tsukihi. Koyomi goes into a rage, but Tsukihi then reincarnates.

Tsukihi knows!! (about the toothbrush scene, I mean). Anyways, as I predicted, Kagenui and Ononoki are not really evil, and have come for Tsukihi, who has been possessed by a phoenix. I mean…when Kaiki said that they went after immortal creatures, it was pretty obvious, since the phoenix symbolizes rebirth. They had already met Koyomi, so they couldn’t have been targeting him. I’m interested in the fake sister bit. I wonder if there is a real Tsukihi still out there, or if the story will end with Koyomi accepting the phoenix as Tsukihi and allowing her to live with him. I’m guessing the latter, because then Koyomi will have to face off against Kagenui and Ononoki to protect his fake sister, and that seems to be what they’ve set up. Anyway, next week is the big finale, so it should be interesting. Shinobu’s still the best character! 😛

Nisemonogatari Episode 9

After the…events of last week, Koyomi takes Karen to meet with Kanbaru. However, on the way there, enter a new character. She introduces herself as Kagenui Yodzuru, and asks where to find Eikou Cram School. Koyomi calls Tsubasa to ask, and the place turns out to be where Oshino used to stay. Koyomi tells Kagenui this and she heads off, but not before telling Koyomi of another who will ask him the same question.

Koyomi then takes Karen to see Kanbaru and head back. On the way back, Koyomi runs into Mayoi and tries to surprise her as usual, but is interrupted by Shinobu. Their conversation is interrupted by a strange girl named Ononoki Yotsugi who asks him about the cram school.

What the heck? Everyone’s cutting their hair? Tsubasa knowing about Kanbaru and Koyomi’s reaction were pretty hilarious (she knows!). Two more episodes and Tsukihi’s story hasn’t really started. I guess Kagenui and Ononoki were introduced. It’s interesting that the two seem to know the supernatural natures of the characters they’ve met. I wonder if they’re actually evil. It’s highly possible Tsukihi has a situation similar to Tsubasa and Koyomi will have to rely on the help of those two. But we’ll see soon enough. Probably next week…they can’t hope to complete everything in one episode.

Nisemonogatari Episode 8

This week’s episode starts off with a bit of recovery from the last arc, with Karen showing up in a cute outfit (and Koyomi’s hilarious reaction). Karen asks Koyomi if he will introduce her to Kanbaru. Koyomi agrees, but first issues a challenge as a requirement. Koyomi ends up brushing her teeth (ehh?), but gets interrupted by Tsukihi. Nonetheless, Koyomi still loses the challenge.

So…what did I just watch? What did Koyomi just do to Karen? Let’s just pretend that never happened…what? It was half the episode? Oh…Well, this show is definitely pushing the fanservice. Oh well, it’s a funny way to start the new arc. The OP for this arc was definitely nice. I don’t usually like the super-happy style of music (like PapaKiki’s theme), but this one really worked. The actual visuals of the OP were great as well…maybe even better than the song was. I wonder how many episodes before the story of Tsukihi’s arc starts. Maybe it’ll be next episode.

Nisemonogatari Episode 7

Picking up where we left off, Koyomi finds Karen and tries to bring her home, but she responds by trying to fight him. Karen starts to beat the crap out of him, but he is saved by his vampire powers. Koyomi starts to lecture Karen and she finally agrees to leaves Kaiki to him. Koyomi and Hitagi then go to confront Kaiki.

Kaiki immediately agrees to leave town and also agrees to get rid of the charms on the middle school kids. He also tells Koyomi that Karen was only under a hypnosis, and the bee’s sickness would wear off in a few days. After talking a bit more with Hitagi, he leaves. After that, things start to return to normal, with Karen recovering and the Fire Sisters back in action.

So…making it a point not to piss off Karen…ever. That whole thing with Kaiki was way too easy, so there’s no way we’ve seen the last of him. He’s a con man, so I’d expect much of what he said to be a lie. Still, the stuff he was saying about Karen was true, so it’s hard to read. With that, Karen’s arc is completed and we can move over to Tsukihi’s arc. I wonder what they’re planning since probably half of Karen’s arc was bringing back the girls from Bakemonogatari. Tsukihi’s arc might in fact be longer than Karen’s arc despite having fewer episodes. Unless, of course, they fill in the space with random fanservice and stuff. But we’ll have to see.

Nisemonogatari Episode 6

So after the big ending to last week’s episode, Karen’s fever only goes down a little and Koyomi looks unfazed. He ends up running into Mayoi and telling her about Karen’s condition. They then talk about bit about adulthood before Koyomi goes to see Hitagi. He finds Hitagi preparing to confront Kaiki and insists on going with her.

She initially refuses, saying that she hates Kaiki for separating her parents, so it doesn’t concern Koyomi. However, Koyomi manages to convince her otherwise (with love of all things). Unfortunately, Koyomi returns home to find that Karen has gone missing. Shinobu appears to help and Koyomi sends her to find Karen.

Pretty good episode as usual. Shinobu acting tsundere and Hitagi strangely under the beck and call of Hanekawa. We also have the explanation for Hitagi’s impending haircut, as an attempt to move forward like Hanekawa. Should I be scared? I really like how Shinobu’s character has changed. It definitely makes things interesting. Next week is looking like an arc-ender…maybe? Bakemonogatari had so many shorter arcs, and they’re breaking the pattern for what looks like much longer arcs. Still, it’s a pretty nice thing to see.

Nisemonogatari Episode 5

So after much conversation with Tsukihi, Koyomi finally finds out what happened to Karen. Apparently, she confronted Kaiki, asking about his motives, which turn out to just be money. She tries to attack him, but he simply poisons her with the bee. Back in the present, Koyomi tells Tsubasa about Shinobu and the stuff about the wreathe-fire bee.

Koyomi returns home to help take care of Karen. He ends up lecturing her, but when she mentions the possibility of him catching the sickness, Koyomi gets the idea to transfer the illness to himself. The episode ends with him preparing to kiss Karen (lol).

Of course it’s a kiss that transfers the sickness. What else would it be? I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it doesn’t work and Shinobu was just messing with Koyomi. Either way, it looks like this arc is coming to an end. Kaiki’s certainly an interesting character. Human, but was able to simply give Karen the bee poison. It’s almost like he’s evil Oshino. More hilarious fun as usual in this episode…I certainly enjoyed Tsukihi’s sympathy at Koyomi’s five friends. Should be fun stuff next week too. Looking forward to it!

Nisemonogatari Episode 4

So after the cliffhanger from last week, Koyomi meets up with Tsubasa and his sisters, but they refuse to tell him what happened. He then talks with Tsubasa alone, who tells him that the charms that Karen and Tsukihi are looking for are cursing people. Although Tsubasa was unable to see the culprit, but Karen and Tsukihi identified him as Kaiki Deishuu.

Afterwards, Koyomi has a conversation with Shinobu of all people, who suddenly has become chatty. Shinobu ends up taking Oshino’s job, telling Koyomi that Karen is being plagued by a wreathe-fire bee, which has caused her to run a fever. Shinobu then brings up the dilemma of Koyomi’s lifespan, which may have been lengthened significantly from becoming a vampire, but Koyomi seems unfazed.

Note to self: do not piss off Tsukihi. Also, Tsubasa without glasses and long hair was almost impossible to recognize. Looks like the story is finally ramping up, with Karen in trouble and Shinobu to act as Oshino, guiding Koyomi to the solution. Still, we don’t know how this bee stung Karen and we don’t know how this Kaiki guy is involved.

Interesting to see Shinobu talk after so long. I certainly wasn’t expecting the vibrant personality that she presented. I guess if Kizumonogatari had come out first, I’d have known more. I think there shouldn’t be any more characters to introduce, so it’s smooth sailing from here.

Nisemonogatari Episode 3

This week’s episode starts off where last week’s left off: with antics at Suruga’s house. There’s a funny conversation about Koyomi’s marriage plans and card games. As he’s leaving, Koyomi meets a strange man named Kaiki, who reminds him a bit of Oshino. He then runs into Hitagi, who is clearly upset that Koyomi has shirked his studies (lol). When Koyomi tells Hitagi about Kaiki, she chains him up like we saw in the first episode.

Hitagi starts to tell the story of Kaiki Deishuu, who she knows from the past. She reveals that Kaiki was the first of the five con men that she met before she met Koyomi. However, there is something about him that she is hiding from Koyomi, which seems to be linked to why she’s protecting Koyomi from him. Koyomi gets a message from his sister asking for help, and he breaks free from the chains. Hitagi then gets a strange call from Tsubasa as the episode ends.

So we’re back to the first episode’s opening, I see. I’m sure it’s because this episode was more focused on Hitagi while the last episode featured the first appearance of Karen. So it looks like the story is getting started with the arrival of this mysterious Kaiki. With that last phone call, I wonder if Koyomi will head to Tsubasa or help his sister, since they both seem to need him.

I had wondered if this season would continue the pattern of using Koyomi to solve all of the problems, and it seems like that is the case. I was wondering if they might use a different point of view, but I think that this is still okay. I’ve also wondered what Hitagi was always thinking with Koyomi running around with all of these girls all the time, but I guess this answers my question as well. Still good stuff so far…no real complaints.