Monogatari is a light novel series by Nisio Isin. The light novel is completed with 28 published volumes. It received an anime adaptation in 2009, which is divided into different parts – all with the suffix ‘Monogatari’. It has three seasons with the first having the Bakemonogatari, Nisemonogatari, and Nekomonogatari (Black) arcs; the second having Nekomonogatari (White), Kabukimonogatari, Otorimonogatari, Onimonogatari, Koimonogatari, and Hanamonogatari arcs; and the final season having Tsukimonogatari, Owarimonogatari I, Koyomimonogatari, Owarimonogatari II, and Zoku Owarimonogatari arcs.
What is the story of this series?
Third-year high school student Koyomi Araragi nearly lost his humanity after briefly turning into a vampire over spring vacation. His reclusive classmate Hitagi Senjgahara comes into Koyomi’s arms one day after falling down a set of stairs at school. Much to his shock, Hitagi defies gravity and weighs nearly nothing.
Koyomi offers his assistance and introduces her to Meme Oshino, a bizarre middle-aged man who lives in an abandoned cram school. He had helped Koyomi reverse his vampirism, despite being threatened to stay away. Soon enough, he starts finding out that many of his schoolmates also suffer from other supernatural problems.
Reasons to watch the Monogatari series
1. It has well-written characters.
The Monogatari series has a large cast, mainly to give the protagonist as many people to help as possible. But fortunately, all the characters in the story maintain their uniqueness and complexity. The initial parts of the story deal with the introduction of the casts anime, and the latter ones deal with their characterization, which is quite excellent.
2. It has a unique way of storytelling.
The Monogatari series takes up a completely different manner of storytelling. It uses numerous weird and funny visuals, art styles, and comparisons to depict particular scenes which keeps the story compelling and entertaining. At least in terms of animation, there is never a dull moment in the visual part of the show.
3. It is not a harem.
Despite what the synopsis suggests, the Monogatari series is not a harem story. The protagonist has a perverted personality and there are definitely many ecchi scenes in the show, especially involving him, but it surprisingly does not follow the harem trope. The protagonist is in a monogamous and devoted relationship with his partner. The best part of it is the wholesome and platonic relationships that the protagonist shares with the other female characters of the show.
4. It is a character-driven show.
Most anime shows are plot-driven, meaning that the show’s story is the focus while the characters are created to fulfill their roles in that story. But unlike them, the Monogatari series is actually character-driven, meaning that it focuses on the characters and the story revolves around them. This, paired with its well-written characters, makes the Monogatari series a unique anime.
5. It is one of the weirdest and most confusing anime shows ever.
The Monogatari series is a fascinating combination of humor, supernatural, thriller, and dark fantasy. It has moments that will have the viewers laughing at the bad jokes and moments that will have them creeped out completely. It mixes reality with the characters’ imagination in such a manner that viewers are left wondering what is part of the story and what is not. This itself makes it one of the most unique stories ever.