Episode 13 of Key Frames: Inbetweens, a mini-podcast about anime. The boys (that is, Ben and Jeff) are back in town, and that means that it's time for another round of navel-gazing about the Monogatari Series franchise! This time, it's the long-delayed movie trilogy that tells the story of Araragi's first encounter with a hot girl... and with a vampire! There's so much to cover that they miss a bunch, though. For instance, there's not a word about Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade jogging her memory by digging through her literal brains, or about the recurring motif of a vampire hunter's head laughing in front of bad CGI flames. Still, they talk a lot! Maybe too much. Listen, if you dare...
Kizumonogatari (Tekketsu-hen, Nekketsu-hen, and Reiketsu-hen) (1:02)
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (2006) (8:47)
Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei (1:25:30)
How exactly did noted astronomer Tycho Brahe die?
Unpretentious authorial voice as the aesthetic of iki
Who is Hiroshi Kamiya?
Who is Maaya Sakamoto?
In defense of the toothbrush scene in Nisemonogatari
Who was Kenzo Tange?
More on the use of mixed materials and media in the Monogatari Series franchise
What is brutalism?
Who was Arthur Erickson?
The rise and fall of Taisho democracy in Japan
What's all this about class reps?
There is actually a reason for that sword to be so broadly presented out of nowhere. Like at that last fight against Kiss-Shot began in the stadium, I was just like: "Why doesn't she just use that sword they set up and kills him with ease?" - And then I was like "aaaaaaaaaa" So her not using the sword at all just contrasts the seeming purpose of that last fight and lets the viewers figure out the truth for themselves.
I kind of get why Araragi becomes so repelling to you two when we see him at his lowest, but for me that just made him that much more relatable, that much more human and that much more of a character I wanted to follow along. I really admire the subtle human details in this film, how Araragi acts, his back and forth as he is torn between the fornts of an inner conflict. You just don't get that sort of dedication to those moments in the series.
Also, how come YOU DIDN'T TALK ABOUT THAT MUSIC? It's sooooooo good! So moody, so melancholic and just something else entirely.
The boob-fondeling scene for me just illustrated how much both of them were on a totally different page from the beginning. As Araragi is just your casual horny teenager, Hanekawa actually wanted something out of their intimate relation. And this gets further discussed and brought up in the series, as in the ending of Hanekawas Tiger-Story in the Second Season. It just made sense to me, yet sudden twists and shifts of power in that scene still came out of nowhere and were an absolute blast to watch - just makes the dialogue and interaction so dynamic.
What can I say? I love this film. It was my first entry into this series and I'm a big fan of it ever since. I tried watching Bakemonogatari first, but it just wasn't engaging enough to pull me in. Kizumonogatari did the job just that much better for me. It made me really curious as to where the show was going from there.
But I guess that's just my take on it.
I hope I can add something to the discussion.
I want to be clear, I find Araragi repellent mostly because he does the things that my morality keep me from doing. He is my sublimated fear of failure to be a good person made manifest in an excessively sexy quasi-harem anime, so it's recognition and not alienness driving the negative feelinsg, at least for me.
Apologies for not talking about the music, though! Sometimes I remember to pay attention, but too often I let it fade into the background and that's on me as a critic.
Anyway, thanks for commenting! You should write into the show if you have any more thoughts like this. You can back me up about Bakemonogatari being a somewhat off-putting way to get sucked into the world of the Monogatari Series.
Soooooo - after what, like, half a dozen months, I've come to the realization that my comment had a reply on it. I guess I thought leaving my mail on the post was for the sake of notification or something.
In terms of Bake vs Kizu as an introduction:
The thing is, I'm not an English-native-speaking person. I'm also pretty slow at reading. That makes it so that reading the subtitles in Bakemonogatari was always just hard enough for me, so that I had to devote too much of my attention on it, and just demanding enough, so that I had to read them twice to fully grasp the meaning of what the characters actually want to say and how it relates to the context which I was loosing my grip on the more I watched.
The concept of the monster manifestations and the past of these girls, their dialogue and Araragis point of view, it all just makes for such an overflow of information, if you are insufficiant at english and reading, as I am.
Kizumonogatari on the other hand is much simpler to grasp at first. You don't need to fully understand what's going on to appreciate the characters and the story. The conversations in between the the camera movements and shots are much slower paced as well, or so I experienced. It was easier to take in. There is so much to appreciate. The film tells you so much by just showing you detailed movements and micro-expressions of the characters that it kinda takes load off of the dialogue.
I watched the film trilogy three times at first. Each time I got a better understanding of what was actually happening. It's like layers of fog getting torn of its surface. At the start, you're like: "Oh, there is this normal boy and this normal girl. They have a pretty awkward conversation. Yea, that's kinda relatable. Wow, the back and forth flows so natural and goes well with the jokes and metaphors. They match so well in their way of being. Are they in love with each other? Will they get into a relationship when this is over? What will come of this bond they forged by going through these traumatic experiences?"
-and so on and so forth. This is really simplistic and kinda bland at first, like a classic adventure of overcoming evil monsters - or something. But then it starts to dawn on you that you didn't really grasp what was going on after all, the whole vampire plot didn't make any sense, so you decide to watch it again.
The second time, you start to realize what kind of person Araragi is. You realize that it is actually Hanekawa who desperately seeks a friend and falls in love with him. You realize that she's just strolling around at night and seems really detached from anything, her home, any other person, her family. Araragi sort of becomes her only anchor point. And he, although being horny as shit (which is also relatable, humanizing and makes for some great situational comedy) doesn't really want to get into a relationship with her.
The third time, the way he handles the main plot element of Kiss-Shot being a dangerous Vampire, starts to tell you a whole lot about how he thinks and how self righteous he is. The dialogue at the end with Oshino makes you shiver instead of calming you down and closing of the story. Hanekawas advances become really scary and unsettling. Araragis way of going about it becomes quite appalling and his role for the viewer changes dramatically. The whole thing just devolves into a really questionable chain of events. Maybe these characters have some serious psychological and social issues.
I enjoyed every single way of looking at the film. All stages of understanding are engaging on their own. And in the end, I really - really wanted to know, what would come of this setup. To know that there is a lengthy series about Araragi and his adventures just made it all the more compelling.
On a smaller note, I think the film also manages to create a way more consistent and engaging atmosphere: grand, dramatic, over the top, dark, melancholic, lonely, artistic, unique. What sticks out to me is the consistent color theme of red, the music and the blend of hand-drawn and 3D-elements.
It really sucks you in.
I'll take this opportunity to comment on the podcast as well.
I really enjoy listening to your discussions about anime. The whole group has a very chill, low-key buddies vibe going on. But that never stops you guys from staying concise and informative. You bring in you own views, without forcing it onto the listener. It feels very natural and believable, like a group of friends that actually comes together in a cafe and you just happen to listen into their conversations. But you also bring a level of competence and knowledge to the table that goes beyond just casually watching anime. You're all likable, because you stay humble and authentic.
You just don't get something like that from your average anime podcast (sadly?).
This is just me saying thank you to you all.
I hope my comment could add something to the Monogatari-Series discussion.