Monday, February 18, 2013

Anime review: "Nekomonogatari (Kuro)"

As I mention, I plan to watch few anime shows in next weeks. I wanted to watch "Nekomonogatari" since I've seen it on AniDB in December, and planned to watch it in between "Towers of Midnight" and "A Memory of Light". But when aMoL arrived, I was still at "The Gathering Storm", so it got delayed. But watched the anime this weekend, and its only flaw is that it has only 4 episodes.

"Nekomonogatari" follows the same principles as "Bakemonogatari" and "Nisemonogatari", a mix of fantasy, romance, Japanese mythology, ecchi and comedy. For those who didn't like "Nisemonogatari", but liked the original "Bakemonogatari", you will be happy, because NKMG (short for "Nekomonogatari") is much close to BMG that to NMG. So, after this hard sentence, let us continue with the review. NKMG was a New Year's special, and it has only 4 episodes - one arc.

It actually takes place immediately before NMG, but after the "Kizumonogatari", which will describe the actual beginning of series. The arc here deals with bakeneko (Monster-Cat) Oddity, and the female obsessed by it Hanekawa Tsubasa, best friend of main character Araragi Koyomi.

As you can surmise for last paragraph, this whole series is pretty non-linear. The particular "seasons" are linear, but they are pretty much mixed up. This may presents some difficulties to occasional viewer, but I find it very appealing.

The story itself is very interesting. Even though it deals with a topic usual for Japan mythology-based anime (bakeneko - I think this is third anime dealing with it), it is in no way dull or familiar. Especially when it is placed in "Bakemonogatari" setting. As usual, this means a lot of talking scenes and lots of flashbacks with no explanation. Ecchi element is much less expressed than in "Nisemonogatari", but it is present. I didn't expect such action scene at the end - but I liked it. There is a very dark streak in background, dealing with domestic violence, but this has always been a part of this series.

One of strongest points of "Nekomonogatari" (and other from this series) is beautiful art. Backgrounds are CGI, very nicely done, and characters are drawn, even better. I just love such bright and vibrant colors. The show also has very good sound effects.

"Nekomonogatari" is a great treat for fans of "Bakemonogatari" and a tease until we wait for "Bakemonogatari: Second Season", sometime later in this year. I really enjoyed there four episodes.

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