September 16, 2012

Bakemonogatari EP 1

Crunchyroll has now started streaming Bakemonogatari in a possibly futile attempt to have its sequel (Nisemonogatari) make sense.

I'd heard generally good things about this series so I'm giving it a shot. I must say I was unprepared for the sheer SHAFTacular SHAFTieness of this SHAFT production.

How SHAFTy is it?

This is the staircase at the school....
This is a hallway in the same school...
Yes, SHAFT tends to be aggressively surrealist in its art direction and this show rather maxes that out. It's quirky look accentuates the otherworldly feel of the story. The use of "lighting" is particularly effective.

Despite its striking visuals this is not a show that relies on imagery to tell a tale. It is VERY dialog heavy...and text heavy...with episode one having several flashes of 'textposition' that are onscreen for such a short period of time that they frequently defy even the pause button. Despite this one annoyance and opening with one of the most gratuitous panty-shots I have ever seen this is a pretty intelligent and intriguing show.

Our hero, Kyomi Araragi... a senior at the academically challenging and architecturally improbable Naoetsu High School. He's your typical high school senior with the minor exceptions that he's smart and organized enough to be vice president of the student council and he's a former vampire, having spent much of his junior/senior vacation as a blood sucking creature of the night. He's better now, but struggles with lingering eosophobia which frequently makes getting to first period on time a challenge. 
His closest thing to a friend in school is...

 Tsubasa Hyakawa, the student council president. She she is helpful, smart, adventurous in her choice of undergarments, frighteningly well organized, an exceptional student and quite down to earth. Araragi has immense respect for her. She shares homeroom with...
Hitagi Senjogahara, who our hero recently saved by catching her when she fell down the schools spectacular stairshaft....a kindness for which she is less than grateful.
Hitagi is never without adequate school supplies despite never carrying a bookbag or purse and indeed is a very good student notwithstanding a lingering illness that has caused her to miss much school. Hitagi is a bit underweight and is not particularly sociable. In fact she's a very private person to the point that one might consider her a bit crabby. Despite this, our hero attempts to befriend her which sets in motion a series of bizarre and painful events.

   This is an odd show, but it is a clever and even thoughtful supernatural adventure and thus far I'm really liking it.

Next ep streams in 4 days.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 08:54 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
Post contains 439 words, total size 4 kb.

1 She's a very private person to the point that one might consider her a bit crabby.

I see what you did there.

Posted by: Wonderduck at Sun Sep 16 21:05:12 2012 (yqnY1)

2 Her lack of sociability is a staple of her life.

Posted by: ubu at Sun Sep 16 23:56:01 2012 (GfCSm)

3 Oh, sorry, I forgot to mention. Araragi is the class VP, not the overall council VP.  And he's actually a bit lazy and has poor grades.  Tsubasa-chan roped him into his position and has been tutoring him.

And yes, it's very dialog heavy; in fact that is the overwhelming strength of the show, even more than the art.

Posted by: ubu at Sun Sep 16 23:59:35 2012 (GfCSm)

4 I actually downloaded the series a while ago, but I haven't gotten around to watching it.  I mostly did that to check out a scene from later in the series that someone told me about.  The show seems to have more title cards than a silent movie.

Posted by: Mauser at Tue Sep 18 02:23:14 2012 (cZPoz)

5 Yeah. It's unfortunate that it's Aniplex handling the distribution because this is one of those rare shows that actually needs a dub.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Tue Sep 18 02:51:50 2012 (e9h6K)

6 Oh come on. Just BRW it.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Tue Sep 18 08:44:48 2012 (RqRa5)

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