⚠ Reviewing Info: How I rate/review stuff is explained on my website, which can be found through my profile. But TDLR; My personal opinion has much bigger weight than “critical” novel length “objective” mumbo jumbo.
⚠ Review layout: Minimal/Lazy MAL non-h
⚠ Review type: Anime
⚠ Note: Still testing review layouts. This line will be removed when I’m satisfied with the layout.
⬛Review (short ver):
⚡In a nutshell: Mental issues take physical supernatural forms and bizarre adventures for solutions.
⬛NOTE: Review is about whole FRANCHISE. ⬛
✅ Superb storytelling
✅ Very unique in both style, setting, presentation and characters
✅ Great character stereotypes with much given extra depth
✅ Anime excels at all genres. (drama, romance, ecchi, fantasy, action, mystery etc…)
✅ Great OST & top notch visual quality
✅ Extremely interesting / fun dia/mono’logue heavy series
❌ Watching in “proper” order requires some research. (will also give watch order in longer section)
❌ Not recommended for those who can’t keep up with dia/mono’logue.
⬛Review (comments/longer ver):
Really hard to properly review this Anime, but first things first. Firstly, this is review about whole franchise as whole. I can’t be bothered to “review” them all separately.
Secondly, the optimal watch order is the Novel release order but, in the end, I settled with order as following.
Bakemonogatari (MAL entry) > Kizumonogatari movies (3 MAL entries) > Nisemonogatari (MAL entry) > Nekomonogatari:Kuro (MAL entry) > Monogatari Series: Second season (which splits into own acts = Nekomonogatari:Shiro > Kabukimonogatari > Hanamonogatari (has separate MAL entry) > Otorimonogatari > Onimonogatari > Koimonogatari) >> Tsukimonogatari (MAL entry) > Koyomimonogatari > Owarimonogatari (part 1 and 2 MAL entries) > Zoku Owarimonogatari.
Anyhow moving on to actual contents now.
I must tell monogatari franchise has very unique setting about just anything. Story in a nutshell feels like various mental issues take some sort of supernatural form and the whole franchise is about various characters growth and MC impact on those around him thus having goal of solving issues for others to essentially living better lives. Of course you can’t take the in a nutshell part 1:1, as it does have some actual different plot devices that goes much deeper when it comes to existence of those creatures. But anyhow, the way story is presented and how most things get wrapped up are fairly excellent. Very discussion heavy Anime but extremely fun and entertaining.
Without the doubt, all the characters are beautifully made, whenever you like or hate them, they are still well made. Everyone has their pre-defined stereotype that simply goes much deeper as character whilst offering plenty of character growth. Which is main focus anyways in this franchise thus why characters get a lot of attention and also praise from me. Hanekawa is my choice of “waifu” but Shinobu is also great. All other characters also have lot of charm to them, so it’ a great quirky Harem galore in a sense. Main character is essentially dumb cynic that oddly still wants to help others than deal with himself. But eh… living the harem dream at least. Overall, great growth, expanded stereotypes and tons of discussion heavy dialogues/monologues that share each other’s viewpoints, morals and such.
Visual / Audio
Most of OST/OP/ED’s are unique and great to listen to. Visual art style is unique and absolutely top quality. Voice acting is beautiful. I have nothing else to add.
Closing thoughts / Personal enjoyment
First time I watched Bakemonogatari A LOOOOOOOOOOOONG time ago and rated it rather low. Gave it 5 or 6 I think, but that was pretty much because I couldn’t keep up with dialogues and the jumpy art was hard to digest. But now that I’ve re-watched/finished the whole franchise from start to finish, I must say, I absolutely loved it, one of the best franchises out there that hit’s all the sweet spots. Great art, fun action, lovable characters, great fanservice, great story and story telling and excellent presentation as whole.
If you get hooked with first season, you will likely enjoy whole franchise. Just recommend watching in proper watch order rather than release order.