Nisemonogatari Episode 1 – First Impressions
So here we are, the day I (and several other people) have been waiting for for about four months now, the first episode of Nisemonogatari. If you’re anything like me, you’re expectations for this show are ridiculously high and you were expecting this first episode to be as amazing as the first episode of Bakemonogatari. However, it wasn’t quite what I thought it would be. I’m in no way saying that it was bad at all, in fact it was great, but I think this episode was more to kind of lead into the rest of the series, since it is a direct sequel to Bakemonogatari.
I think that was my main problem with this episode; it was the first episode, yet it didn’t feel like it at all. Nothing really happened to establish the plot summary that’s been given about it. Also, it’s supposedly the first part of Karen’s arc, yet she isn’t in the episode at all, so I don’t why it’s called “Karen Bee”. The episode focused more on Hachikuji (for whatever reason) with the only think even remotely related to Karen being Araragi and Hachikuji talking about whether or not he should tell them that he is a vampire, but it’s not like it matters because we know that he’s going to have to tell them sometime. The only real plot to this episode was that Araragi was going to visit Sengoku, and on the way he meets Hachikuji and they talked; that’s it. It seemed kind of weird that Hachikuji would play such a big part in the first episode of this series; I mean, she’s literally in fifty percent of the whole thing. I don’t dislike her character or anything, and the scenes she had in this episode and Bakemonogatari were good, but shouldn’t the main characters come first?
But this episode actually did manage to answer a few questions I had about it. First, Oshino really is gone, which I thought wouldn’t really last, since he “left” once before. Maybe he’ll turn back up somewhere along the road. I had also always wondered if his sisters knew that he was a vampire. They were never really in the first series, so I wasn’t sure how much they knew about any of the stuff that was going on, and you never actually saw Araragi telling anyone that he was a vampire, but they all seemed to know it (so I just assumed that if happened off-screen). So Oshino’s gone, and his sisters don’t know he’s a vampire, which means that he’s going to have a hell of a time getting rid of whatever posses them.
Araragi’s other sister, Tsukihi, made an appearance, but only for a minute. I don’t even think she moved form their weird-ass couch the whole time she was talking to Araragi. Speaking of which, their house is fuckin crazy, but I guess that’s just the risk you take when you hire someone from Shaft to design it for you. Senjoughara was also briefly in the episode, being the condescending and sadistic person she always is (that scene didn’t really make a whole lot of sense though), but other than that it was just Araragi, Tsukihi, and Hachikuji. I’m really hoping that these first few episodes aren’t just a big character reintroduction extravaganza, but I think that’ll probably be what ends up happening. And Shinobu better be fucking appearing soon. Where the hell is she anyway, is she staying at the cram school, or is she still following Araragi around as his shadow? But at least the characters that were in this episode did what I hoped that they would do best: talk.
Even though I think this wasn’t really a good choice as a first episode, the dialogue and writing was just as great as it was in Bakemonogatari. I haven’t seen Crunchyroll’s version of the episode (though I’ll probably go back and watch it when it’s free to see if they screwed up or not), but thankfully, Horrible Subs decided to do the series since GG dropped out, on account of it being simulcast. They actually did a really good job with all of the dialogue in the show, so I’m glad they decided to sub it even though it’s on Crunchyroll. All of the dialogue in each of the three main parts of the episode was great, and once again reminded my why I love the Monogatari series so much. I think these pieces of dialogue could even rival some of the better scenes form Bakemonogatari. And of course the “Courage” scene was awesome, even though it kind of drug on a little longer than it should have, but I guess if you want to stay alive in the anime business these days you’ve gotta get that echhi in there wherever you can.
Visually, it seems that the show is going to be almost exactly like it’s predecessor, which I have no real problems with. It has the same weird aspect ratio jumping think that the original series had; you know, where one second it’s 16:9 and the next in cinematic widescreen, and the next it’s in the old-ass widescreen where only about 1/3 of the screen has anything on it? Fuckin Shaft. I also noticed as very surprising lack of random text flashing on the screen. Though it did happen a few times, it was no where near as much as Bakemonogatari, which should please those people who had such a problem with the original series because of that. Like everything Shaft does, the animation and artwork were really good, though I don’t really think that should come as a surprise to anyone.
And so we must now wait another week to see if the show will actually have anything happening plotwise, or if it will just be a continuation of Bakemongatari with some new people to help. The copy pasta plot summary about some guy who put the snake curse on Sengoku and has something to do with Senjougahara actually sounds like a real, linear plot instead of a bunch of episodic arcs. If that’s the case maybe it’s more like Kizumonogatari, and if it is, then it’s going to be awesome.