WHAT! Monogatari Series: Second Season, is your PART 4?! Yes, yes it is. Monogatari you see has many sequels and prequels to them, so it’s easy to get lost as to what order you should watch everything in. But don’t worry, I will be submitting my own list as to how I think you should watch the Monogatari Series if you wish to take up such a BIG Anime when I finish all my reviews :3
Monogatari S2’s story is the driving point of the anime itself, the beating heart at its core. The storytelling in this anime is top-notch, as it is an almost completely dialogue driven anime. If you don’t like characters sitting down and fleshing things out, exploring the facets of their inner thoughts, strengths and flaws, then you might not enjoy this season. However, assuming that you watched the first season, you probably would have already figured out whether the Monogatari Series was right for you or not. Needless to say, if it is for you, you’re in for a treat.
The story covers additional stories for Hanekawa, Hachikuji, Shinobu, Nadeko and Kaiki. Most of the characters from the original series make an appearance, although there is a bit of absence of Kanbaru. Shaft’s unique way of organizing the anime leaves the free-flowing story to explore the great characters within the story, as well as progress through the life of our lively MC, Ararararararagi. All the arcs seem to have different flavours to them, some being more action-oriented, others being a lot more explorative, and some very emotional.
Shaft has done an excellent job of succeeding the original series, as the viewer truly never finds themselves disappointed by the story aspect of Monogatari. The arcs only get better and better, leaving with a truly memorable experience in the final arc (Koimonogatari) which I’ll leave you all to discover for yourselves. The fact of the matter, or the conclusion rather is that on the story basis, Monogatari is outstanding, and it makes me sad that I won’t be able to experience the great storytelling until a hopefully additional season comes out.
The art in Monogatari S2 is very much like its predecessors. The characters are all well-defined, and all have unique aspects to them, however, if you’re someone who is very picky about animation and slick transitions, you might feel a little disappointed. Shaft cycles through animations during dialogue, zooming in and accentuating different nuances to the speaker’s body. The famous slow motion head turns and zooming right into their face. It helps to keep the viewer enticed in the dialogue while they are talking, but other than that it does get repetitive.
Besides that, the avant-garde nature of some of the apparitions and environments (things made completely of Kanji) are always a treat, as the peculiarity only seems to add to the experience. That being said, since Monogatari S2 is such a dialogue based anime, this really isn’t a problem. Besides that the transition slides usually have a bit of text, that you can choose to neglect or to pause and read, and people may find that annoying, although I didn’t seem to mind it as much. As I mentioned before, if you don’t like the way the art and animation are done, you probably would have figured it out in the earlier seasons.
The sound in Monogatari S2 is great at doing what it was made to do. Complimenting dialogue with a good soundtrack is very difficult. Fortunately, it’s done very well in Monogatari S2, as you will find that what would have been a more stale conversation is brought to life a bit more by the beautiful pieces in the soundtrack. The OPs and EDs are some of the best I’ve seen, as the music is always great, as it was in the previous seasons. There are a few clips of ambient sounds when transitioning to other scenes, but they only add to the experience.
The characters in Monogatari S2 really help define what the anime is like. Since it is a storytelling anime, the storytellers should be interesting as to keep the viewers interested as well. Luckily the unique set of characters we have are very well-defined and interesting to the end. One of the great parts of Monogatari S2 is the way that it highlights the flaws of people fundamentally.
This is through the apparitions that they get latched onto, as the apparitions themselves target weakness and the vulnerable. You have a cast of characters who all have their unique flaws, but all find ways to get through it, and that is the beauty and joy that you will experience through the expert storytelling of Shaft. As expected, the character development is very good, as there are plenty of learning experiences of the characters as they tell their stories. You will grow more attached to your favourite characters, and learn to understand the characters that you don’t like as much. The beauty is, there’s plenty of choices.
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