Nisemonogatari Overall Review

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Note: Not spoiler-free at all. 

Storyline and Plot

Nisemonogatari’s plot covers two arcs in the Monogatari series – Karen Bee and Tsukihi Phoenix. Araragi Koyomi has solved all the oddity problems relating to the five girls around him, and now he has to solve the next two incidents by himself with the departure of Oshino, events revolving around his two imoutos, the self-proclaimed Fire Sisters. As new experts on the supernatural turn up in town, Araragi now has to deal with them as well as the two oddities within his imoutos, the Wreathe-Fire Bee and the Dying Bird.

The storyline generally went at a slow pace, with episodes more likely to focus on Araragi’s individual interactions with different haremette members characters rather than full blown plot, like with Bakemonogatari. I’m writing that off as more time for character development, and in that sense, SHAFT definitely did do well with the episodes they got, since I was never bored watching even at times where there wasn’t any plot; the toothbrush incident and pretty much every time he talked to Hachikuji or Shinobu being particular favourites of mine.

The entire plot centred around the concept of fakes (nisemono) – what a fake is, and what its true value is compared to the real thing. It’s quite clever really, seeing as how nearly every new character central to the plot is fake in some way apart from Yozuru and Yotsugi – Karen has a fake illness, Kaiki is a fake con man, Tsukihi isn’t even human or Araragi’s sister, and both Fire Sisters are fake heroes of justice. Amidst all the trademark wordplay and banter is some pretty deep plot, even though all of it usually happens toward the end of the arc.

9/10

Characters and Development

The character cast is superb. Each character has their own distinct personality and odd fetishes traits, and the changes in hairstyle for nearly everyone apart from Hachikuji (since she’s, you know, technically dead) were much appreciated. Since this sequel is centered more around the Fire Sisters, it’s understandable that Senjougahara takes a back seat this time round, and only really makes an impact in a few episodes. In exchange though, I’m glad we got to see more of Karen and Tsukihi rather than just the same sequence of them waking Araragi up in the morning. Karen got rather a lot of development over many episodes, while Tsukihi’s was relatively shorter, but something Araragi said did leave a huge impression on me – isn’t it hot, having a sister who isn’t your real sister?

The gap left by Oshino Meme was replaced with the now-talking loli vampire Shinobu, who has the biggest claim on Araragi other than Senjougahara, him being her former bonded servant and all that. Arguably she was more helpful than Oshino, though far more exciting and my favourite character to date in the series xD Actually, speaking of Oshino, he now seems normal compared to his two clubmates, both antagonists at some point or another in the series – Kaiki Deishuu and Kagenui Yozuru. While the former is a fake and the latter is all too real, both end up being fended off by Araragi in the way only he can, which is through words. Admittedly, both are pros at what they do though, and are no less interesting than any of the other characters. What do you get when you cram them all together in one setting? The Monogatari series.

10/10

Animation

I actually felt it was an improvement from Bakemonogatari, but that may just be because I watched it streaming instead of in HD. In any case, they held back the walls of text and cuts of “red” or “black” a lot in exchange for more dialogue and action, which is always a good thing since I could never catch all of the text fast enough xD There were more full-length shots and less close-up facial features too, which I favoured. Overall it was beautifully animated, nothing major that needs improving.

9/10

Music and OST

Nothing ever produced by any of the sequels is going to surpass the likes of Staple Stable, Renai Circulation or Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari (the latter of which we didn’t even know the meaning of until 10 episodes into the series) but they did give it a good shot. Though my reaction to marshmallow justice was pretty average, Platinum Disco was catchy, as was ClariS’ ED, Naisho no Hanashi. I know there was a lot of hype to the ED, and like many others, I felt it was a step down from both the first Supercell ED as well as being a bit different from ClariS’ usual style, but it was still good.

The OST was as stunning as usual, and after a while they were catchy enough for you to recognize immediately when they started playing. I’m definitely getting my hands on this when the album is released.

9/10

Recommendation

If you watched and loved Bakemonogatari, you’d be doing Studio SHAFT and Nisio Isin a disservice by not trying the sequels out. The general issue of sequels not being as good as the original series doesn’t really apply here, if anything the amazing setting and characters that Bakemonogatari left behind should be enough to have you try it out at least – don’t let any slow pacing put you off!

Overall Rating: 10/10

Vantage

I love cute things.

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