The “Monogatari” series and I have an odd and ever-changing relationship. If you’ve read my reviews of previous “Monogatari” releases you’d know this very well because I usually always clarify that this Anime is one of my favorites but also one of my most hated and it only ever works to tear me up inside.
Fortunately for me the inner conflict hurts so good that I continue to come back for more. The in-depth supernatural elements are what keep me hooked to the series but it’s protagonist Koyomi Araragi’s dry sense of humour and inflated “Lolita Complex” that force me to walk away from the screen in shame.
While my views on the main character or constantly shifting, there’s one member of the main character cast I always delight in seeing and she just so happens to be the main focus of “Onimonogatari”…or so we think. Thanks, once again, goes to Hanabee Entertainment for providing this review copy and for fuelling an addiction that has only ever worked to well up a chiaroscuro mix of emotions. Hah! Who am I kidding? I love it!
The past can come back to haunt you…
Shinobu’s past is coming back with a vengeance.
Known only as the ‘darkness’, for its elusive and unidentifiable nature, this mysterious phenomenon utterly decimates everything in its wake.
A victim to the ‘darkness’ 400 years ago, Shinobu seems to be a target to its attack once again.
Araragi, Mayoi and Yotsugi are there to help with Shinobu’s dilemma but the answer to the problem may be more complicated than first believed.
Is Shinobu really the intended victim or is she just a ruse to hide the bigger issue at hand?
– Hanabee Entertainment
Let me get this out of the way first before I move onto to everything else: While “Onimonogatari” DOES indeed feature Koyomi Araragi’s inflated ego and obsession with young girls…it isn’t put on display as much as it has been in the past. In fact, our not-so-humble hero’s attitude is turned on its head later on in the episodes and we actually get to see his more “genuine’ side once again.
This is a huge deal for me because usually Koyomi is played off as kind of a “doofus” and it’s only on occasion that we actually get to see the version of him that gives a damn. It’s one of the many things I hate about him but I also understand that without these negative character traits we wouldn’t be able to properly appreciate the times when he ditches his usual silly persona to instead adopt one more reminiscent of a true hero.
Shinobu also plays a huge role in the latest “Monogatari” release, if you havn’t already figured out. Her being one of my favorite characters, it’s pretty easy to see why I very much enjoyed a story revolving around her but as the synopsis alludes to, in the end, it’s not really an arc about Shinobu but one about…well, I’m not going to tell you. It’d ruin what’s to come.
Fantastically paced, we get to see just what it was that Shinobu used to be like four hundred years before she met and Vampirically transformed the lead of the series. Seeing Shinobu as a puckish pre-teen is usually good for a bit of a giggle but seeing her in the prime of her life as a Vampire God is on a whole other level.
“Onimonogatari” is written VERY well: There are a couple twists and turns, and the audience is left mostly in the dark by the end of it which actually worked to the advantage of the arc rather than against it. “Monogatari” can do one thing much better than all the other contemporary Anime titles and that’s enjoyable mystery. I find that it’s what the series DOESN’T tell you that’s so much more interesting than what it DOES tell you.
Like every piece of “Monogatari” media, be it the Anime or the Light Novels that inspired the adaptation, there’s always a fair amount of super dry humour that doesn’t quite fit a scene as well as, I’m sure, the script writers thought it would BUT it is part of the charm of the series so even though I’m not too big a fan I can see why it would be weird for it to not be present.
As for the audio and visuals of “Onimonogatari”: It’s much the same as the rest of the Anime series. Shaft continue to prove that they’re one of the better Anime production studios of our generation with fantastic use of colour, depth and fluid animation that could put even the best Anime movies to shame.
Oddly enough these points were still very obvious in the arc despite how a couple of the episodes were mostly shown in still images. This was only present when Shinobu was describing the details of her past it somehow still kept me very much engaged.
Once again, both the voice acting and soundtrack were on point with all the voice artists and music tracks featured in previous instalments of the series making a return. The “Monogatari” series has an amazing production value and the Anime makes that blatantly obvious with just how high-quality everything comes across both visually and auditorally. It’s a series that cannot be beat in that regard.
What more is there to say about “Onimonogatari”? the more I seem to watch of the “Monogatari” series, the more I’m impressed but just how fantastic it is. The aspects of the series I usually complain about in a review could not even be mentioned in this one because they simply weren’t there, or at least they weren’t present enough for me to even bother noting.
The first episode starts off the same as any other “Monogatari” episode but ends in such a thrilling way that perfectly lines up the next three. The end hits you like a tonne of bricks and you’re left with so many questions you’re not sure you want answered. There aren’t many Anime series’ that can do that and, although this is a hard one to recommend to your friends, it’s one I believe is worth watching.
While I still very much miss the presence of Meme Oshino who’s not been shown in the series for quite some time, he’s left a character in his place who’s just as, if not even more, interesting as well as instantly charming. “Onimonogatari” gave me everything I wanted from it, including a whole bunch of things I didn’t know I wanted but I’m glad I got to experience. Marceline The Vampire Queen (Adventure Time) has nothing on Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade and even though we always knew it, “Onimonogatari” has just confirmed who has the ultimate Vampiric supremacy and, let me tell you, it isn’t Edward Cullen.
Find out for yourself by buying “Onimonogatari” from the official Hanabee store: Click here