Welcome to Winter Watch, an article series where we will take each episode of some the simulcasted winter season anime and disclose our opinions about them. Among the many shows being broadcast this season, Nisemonogatari is perhaps the most anticipated one as it is a direct sequel to fan favorite Bakemonogatari.
Episode 1: Karen Bee, Part 1
Summary: Koyomi is kidnapped by Hitagi and has a flash back to earlier that day where he talks with his sister and meets Mayoi while walking to a friend's house.
Air Date: Jan. 07, 2012
Run Time: 24:10
Warning: This article contains spoilers. We recommend watching the episode here first.
This episode starts with Koyomi, the main character of the series, restrained in a chair by a young woman named Hitagi who is a bit of a sadist with a few screws loose. After some mild and "playful" torture/harrasment filled with sexual innuendo, a flashback to earlier that morning takes place and we find Koyomi at his house where he talks with his sister, Tsukihi. After some light banter, Koyomi heads out to meet up with a friend but gets sidetracked when he spots Mayoi, a 5th grader who is his friend but isn't quite what she seems. After playing sneaking up on her for an extremely over-the-top hug and greeting, the two chat for a bit and the episode ends with them going their separate ways.
There is a lot to enjoy about this episode. A lot of care has gone into making this show visually appealing, which is impressive considering that the majority of the episode is banter between Koyomi and another character. I found the characters extremely engaging. The dialog between them is sharp and you can gauge a lot of their personality through the things they say and how they say it. Finally, this series is genuinely funny whether it be from blatant gags, witty dialog, or utilizing the visuals for comedic effect. However, all is not perfect. Much of the dialog is delivered at a rapid fire pace that borders on overwhelming and seemingly was written without a clear understanding of how much dialog can be delivered at a reasonable pace given the length of an episode. Additionally, there is some mild loli banter and antics which I thought wasn't necessary.
For all of the turbo talking and mild loli content, I really enjoyed this episode. It did so much right that it's easy for me to look past some of the things it did wrong. I can honestly say that I want to watch more of it and see what happens to the characters and how Koyomi eventually ends up kidnapped by Hitagi. The desire to watch more of the series is the ultimate goal for any first episode and this one delivered on that for me. I'd definitely say that if you are on the fence about the series or have in inclining to check it out, do so.