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Koimonogatari – Review (DVD/Blu-Ray Combo)

Koimonogatari-Cover-Image-01What is it that truly makes love…love? It is this visceral feeling that wells up from inside someone but unlike anger it comes from a place of utter joy. It comes about through the spiritual connection of two people and is so pure that it is almost dangerously unstable.

If we, as simply humans, could somehow harness the power of love we’d have enough to last us until the end of time…but what is it? How do you know the difference between it and lust? How do you know if it is lasting? How do you know if it is real?

If it’s Nadeko Sengoku you’re asking; chances are before she commands a river of white snakes to dismantle your body she’ll tell you that the greatest love is one that’s unrequited. If it’s Hitagi Senjougahara you’re asking; she’ll probably explain that true love is only attained when one is willing to sacrifice themselves wholly for their partner. If you ask Kaiki Deishu…such things simply do not exist.

This is a love story told with doubt.

The destined day for Hitagi to fulfil her promise to Nadeko is fast approaching. To save Araragi’s life, she is about to enlist the help from the last person who expected to hear from her – Kaiki Deishu. A reluctant participant, Kaiki might have agreed to his biggest con when his victim is a God. – Hanabee Entertainment

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Like every single other release from the Monogatari series, Koimonogatari plays jump rope with the idea that this is either a really boring series or an incredibly interesting series. Before I go on to what makes Koimonogatari a little boring, I’d first like to talk about what makes it really good: This particular stretch of the Monogatari Anime brings together Kaiki Deishu and Hitagi Senjougahara in a way that, until this point in time, has never been seen. The only times the two have met were short and very much sour. Hitagi swallows her pride and calls on Kaiki for help knowing that he’s the only one who can quell Sengoku’s godly rage.

A great deal of the six episode arc is spent in dialogue which, for the most part, goes pretty much nowhere. The Monogatari series has a tendency to meander when it comes to engaging dialogue but then picks up very well when it comes to the overall lore of the characters shown. Koimonogatari didn’t have as much of that as I have been made to expect from past story arcs and that’s where it fell flat.

What impressed me a whole lot about Koimonogatari is its attention to detail. I can’t go into it thanks to spoilers but I can say that what had me in a sense of awe was that something said midway through the arc eventually was addressed despite the character seemingly forgetting about it. It’s clear attention to detail and I wish there were more Anime like this.

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There isn’t much to be said about the visual quality of Koimonogatari that I havn’t already said about the Anime series as a whole: It’s produced by the studio Shaft which, if you know anything about that particular studio, are renowned for their odd but very much impressive animation style and quality, so they’re the perfect studio to handle the Monogatari series. Now there isn’t actually a great deal of movement in Koimonogatari seeing as it’s mostly just talking, but there are a lot of shots that show off the environment and they all, for lack of a better term…rock!

A lot of the environments are shown in technicolour but the proper audience member will indeed notice colour patterns that represent certain emotions. That’s the way of the Monogatari series and Koimonogatari doesn’t stray from the series’ high-quality path. All this can also be said about the series’ audio quality: For the most part all the voice actors do damn good jobs and the music is always very engaging.

The problem with Koimonogatari specifically is that there isn’t much variation when it comes to the soundtrack. There’s one song that, while actually enjoyable, gets played far too often to STAY enjoyable. It’s not too hard to put together a good soundtrack especially for the team behind the Monogatari series seeing as they have plenty of fantastic tracks to choose from. Too bad they only decided to use a couple.

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Koimonogatari isn’t exactly the most exhilarating arc of the long-running Anime series but, considering the actual story, it is a necessary one. Without this arc we wouldn’t have been able to see the evolution of Kaiki Deishu nor would we have been able to see the more emotional side of Hitagi Senjougahara which actually came is quite a surprise. Pretty much the entirety of the six episodes is made up by what seemed like never-ending dialogue which, if you’ve watched any Monogatari arc before, you’d know is present in a great deal of the series.

This time around the banter was even drier than the previous arcs and it just made for quite a boring lead up to what was, I have to say, a pretty eventful ending. I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with this Anime and, while I don’t HATE Koimonogatari, this arc would have to be one of my least favorites even though it did feature one of my favorite characters. It’s still one that fans of the series should watch because, while a little hard to get through, it’s one piece of a story that needs to be experienced as a whole.

Grab your copy of Koimonogatari from Hanabee’s online store here: Click Here

Grade: B

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